Aging is not the only cause of hearing loss. The amount of noise exposure someone has over his or her lifetime is also a factor that contributes to the amount of hearing loss an individual has. Noise exposure is most commonly thought of as only work-related. However, we experience noise everywhere. Social settings and household items can also be sources of noise exposure.

Social settings such as restaurants, theaters and gyms can be very noisy. The volume level of the noise and amount of time spent in that environment can have varying effects on a person’s hearing abilities. The louder the noise level and the longer the exposure, the greater the chances are of someone acquiring permanent hearing loss. In those environments, it is best to try to sit in a quieter area.

At home, there are many items that are used often that produce a great amount of noise exposure. Some items include the TV, hair dryer and yard equipment such as a lawn mower, edger, weed eater and leaf blower. Some of that equipment can cause permanent hearing loss in less than 20 minutes of use if hearing protection is not used.  By using proper hearing protection, individuals can use loud equipment for a longer period of time with less risk of permanent hearing loss.

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