Why Bother with Hearing Protection?
Shield Your Healthy Hearing From Harmful Noise Levels
Exposure to excessive noise levels (greater than 85 decibels) during work or other activities can significantly increase your risk of hearing loss, or exacerbate an existing hearing impairment. Going without hearing protection in the face of harmful noise levels is likely to create problems down the road, when the damaging effects on the delicate hair cells of the cochlea — the inner-ear organ that relays sound signals to the brain — begin to surface.
Concerts, sporting events, hunting, ATV riding, running power tools, or simply listening to music too loudly can all irreparably damage hearing. At times, these noise levels can reach 110 decibels (dB) or more, which puts your hearing at risk in a matter of minutes. Some sounds can damage hearing instantaneously. A shotgun blast at close range without protection can exceed 150 dB, permanently damaging your hearing in one single, fleeting moment.
Repeated noise exposure early in life can be compounded as you get older. Since the hair cells in your inner ear never regenerate, your hearing is unlikely to get any better on its own after experiencing repeated traumatic events. Hearing damage suffered during teen years may not surface until your late 20s or early 30s — or even your 50s or 60s, when presbycusis, age-related deterioration of hearing, becomes a greater factor.
Hearing protection prevents damaging noise levels by dampening the piercing sounds but still allowing you to hear the sounds you want to hear clearly. Our hearing protection goes beyond the kind of earplugs you buy at the drugstore — Hearing Center of Plainview offers a variety of custom-fit hearing protection designed to fit the contours of your ear perfectly, offering a snug, comfortable fit and all-day protection from dangerous noise.
Are There Consequences Later in Life if Hearing Loss Goes Untreated?
Protecting your hearing is important, as hearing loss is connected to a number of serious health ailments later in life. The relationship between hearing loss and dementia has been established in research, and it’s a close association. There is strong evidence that hearing loss accelerates brain-tissue atrophy, particularly in areas of the brain that auditory nerves would stimulate but can’t because they aren’t receiving a signal (due to a hearing loss). These areas of the brain are also related to memory and speech.
Individuals with a mild hearing loss are also three times as likely to fall down than those without, and the likelihood of falls increases as degree of hearing loss increases. Hearing loss has been linked to a variety of other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle-cell anemia, and other circulatory conditions.
When Is Hearing Protection Needed?
As a general rule, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music or noise, it’s probably too loud and might be on the cusp of damaging your hearing. Things like lawn mowers or heavy freeway traffic tend to hover between 80 and 90 dBs, which is when hearing is at risk of damage. Those who are regularly exposed to noises of 85 dB or more should have their hearing tested regularly to see if the effects of hearing damage are already present.
If you face continuous loud noise exposure in your leisure activities or at work, please contact us for advice on the latest hearing-protection methods that best suit your needs, or to schedule an appointment to be fit for custom hearing protection.
Types of Hearing Protection
In-Ear Studio Monitors for Musicians
Research indicates that musicians are about four times more likely than the general population to suffer from hearing loss due to their profession. On top of time spent practicing instruments, concerts regularly exceed 110 dB — loud enough to cause hearing damage in a matter of minutes. Musicians who do not wear hearing protection face the likelihood of hearing loss at an early age, and they risk their careers in the process.
Hearing Protection for Hunting
As a hunter, your ears face the risk of immediate damage from gunshots — if you fire them without proper ear protection. Hearing Center of Plainview offers an array of custom-fit, essential protective gear for hunters and shooters, military and police personnel, and industrial and manufacturing professionals. The hearing protection we fit you with is convenient to carry with you, and since it’s fit to the unique contours of your inner ear, it’s comfortable to wear.
We offer both standard hearing protection and electronic hearing protection for use wherever and whenever loud noise is a problem. Please call our office today or contact our office to schedule your appointment for custom-fit hearing protection!
Ear Protection for Swimmers
While there isn’t much to hear underwater, seasoned swimmers understand the importance of wearing ear protection to help prevent swimmer’s ear, surfer’s ear, and eardrum ruptures. Ear protection for swimmers help the ears equalize underwater, and are custom fit to create tight seals that keep the ear canal dry. Regular swimmers, or those who spend several hours per week performing activities in water, are encouraged to be fit for ear protection.
Our practice specializes in finding the right ear protection solutions for you. Please call us today to book your appointment for custom-fit swimming protection!
Ear Protection for Sleeping
So many factors go into what makes a good night’s sleep — something that many people strive for but struggle with every day for one reason or another. Our practice believes in taking charge of what you can control, like blocking out nighttime noises that keep you awake when you should be resting deeply. Whether it’s the result of street noise, loud neighbors, or a snoring partner, our custom-fit ear protection is so comfortable, you’ll barely know it’s there — because you’ll be sleeping too soundly to notice.
A lack of sleep can lead to psychiatric troubles and is tied to a multitude of other health issues. Getting poor sleep at night means you go to work the next day tired, have low energy and poor concentration, and are probably more stressed than you otherwise would have been. Call Hearing Center of Plainview today for a solution to snoring, traffic, loud neighbors, and other factors that can ruin the most important part of your night.