Hearing protection is important, as we are exposed to loud sounds on a daily basis. Volume levels vary considerably, and can easily exceed 85 decibels (dB) – the threshold that is considered safe. Any prolonged exposure to noise exceeding this is harmful and can cause permanent, irreversible hearing loss.
Excess noise exposure isn’t the only cause of hearing damage. Diseases, drugs, and injury may all contribute to hearing loss. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your hearing and help prevent hearing impairment.
Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common cause of hearing loss in the U.S. The good news? It is easily preventable. Follow these tips to protect your hearing:
Some diseases can cause hearing loss. Viruses that might damage hearing include measles, mumps, whooping cough, and rubella. Bacterial diseases such as meningitis and syphilis can also lead to hearing damage. Acoustic neuroma – tumors on the hearing nerve (usually benign) – may contribute to hearing loss. Tips for preventing hearing loss from disease include:
Some drugs cause damage to the sensory cells responsible for hearing. These include certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, salicylate pain relievers (e.g., aspirin), quinine (for treating malaria) and diuretics. In order to reduce your odds of hearing loss when taking medications, follow these tips:
Head trauma can damage the temporal bones in the lower lateral walls of the skull, leading to hearing loss. To help prevent this type of injury, take the following precautions:
There are other general steps you can take to protect your hearing. Refrain from inserting foreign objects in the ears; these can lead to impacted earwax, a perforated eardrum or damage to the skin. Cotton swabs and safety pins are notorious offenders. Use swim plugs when engaging in water activities and be sure to dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or bathing. Seek prompt medical attention if you are suffering from an ear infection.
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10150 Hagen Ranch Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33437
6650 W Indiantown Rd
Jupiter, FL 33458
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