The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared March 3rd International Ear Care Day (IECD).
There are all sorts of great ideas you can take advantage of to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Make safe listening a priority. Once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back!
Monitor Safe Listening Levels
The permissible time for safe listening decreases as sound levels increase. When listening to personal audio devices, it is advisable to crank the volume up no more than 60% of your device’s maximum. Carefully fitted earphones and headphones will allow music to be hear clearly at lower levels of volume than will be possible with inexpensive earbuds. Noise-cancelling earphones and headphones will cut down background noise and allow you to hear clearly at even lower volumes. Even at this level, limiting the use of personal audio devices to less than one hour per day would do much to reduce your exposure to hearing loss inducing noise.
The picture below shows examples of various levels of sound produced by different objects. The red highlights the maximum safe listening duration in hours, minutes, and seconds. Applications, or “apps” accessible through smartphones can measure noise exposure levels in real-time, so you can inform yourself about your exposure to noise loud enough to damage your hearing. The daily recommended safe volume level of ANY and ALL sound is below 85decibels for a maximum duration of eight hours.
The risk from noise exposure is cumulative. In addition to limiting the use of personal audio devices, what can you do?
- Limit the amount of time spent engaged in noisy activities
- Wear hearing protection
- Take short listening breaks
- Move away from loud sounds
Heed the warning signs of hearing loss
Make an appointment to see a hearing health professional if you find yourself having difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as doorbells, telephones or alarm clocks. Also, should you have trouble understanding speech, especially over the telephone or when there is any background noise, get thee to a hearing health professional. Should you begin to have ringing in your ears or hear phantom noises that sound like clicks or whooshes you should get checked out.
If you have already visited a hearing health professional, have implemented all their recommendations (including hearing aids), and find you still struggle, assistive listening technology might help you better understand the spoken word. At Alternative Communication Services (ACS), we caption conference calls, webinars, videos, meetings, training, events, and TV shows. We capture 100% of what gets said at speeds of up to 225 words per minute, with a 98.5% accuracy. We use highly skilled professionals to do this. We do not use speech recognition software. Let us show you how our speech-to-text services can change your life!
You can reach me at Valerie@acscaptions.com.