Certain types of hearing loss, such as presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), occur naturally; there is little you can to do prevent this from occurring. Noise induced hearing loss, on the other hand, is not only a leading cause of hearing loss – but is preventable. The key is to protect your hearing from loud noise by taking the necessary precautions.
Noise induced hearing loss affects people of all ages. It can occur as the result of exposure to a number of recreational activities including attending rock concerts and noisy sporting events, riding motorcycles or snowmobiles, mowing the lawn, etc. Many industrial workers and those in the manufacturing industries are exposed to noisy work environments. Be sure to protect your hearing in these instances by wearing earplugs. Disposable foam earplugs will work in a pinch, but you’re better off investing in a pair of custom earplugs designed to fit the unique contours of your ears. Your audiologist can make custom molds of your ears and use them to craft a variety of devices designed to provide superior hearing protection.
Custom earplugs are available for specific activities. Musicians, hunters, swimmers and others will benefit from excellent protection when choosing earplugs designed for their favorite pursuits. Workers exposed to on-the-job noise should take advantage of Central Oregon Audiology’s mobile Hearing Conservation Division, geared toward providing solutions for excessive noise exposure at work.
Another source of hearing loss, one that is affecting an increasingly younger group, is listening to personal music devices through ear buds. When listening to your iPod or MP3 player, be sure to keep the volume at a reasonable lower. Remember, anything above 85 dB can cause permanent hearing damage. If other people can hear your music, chances are it’s too loud! Turn down the volume to protect your hearing.
Certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they can damage your hearing. When taking a new prescription, be sure to let your doctor know if you are suffering from hearing loss. Many times, a different medication that is every bit as effective at treating your symptoms can be substituted.