NIHL is 100 percent preventable. All individuals should understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good hearing health in everyday life. To protect your hearing, remember these three words: Walk, Block and Turn:
- Walk away from loud sounds.
- Block noise by wearing earplugs or other hearing protective devices when involved in a loud activity (special earplugs and earmuffs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores).
- Turn the sound down on stereos and mp3 devices. Listening to an mp3 device at maximum volume (usually around 105 decibels) for more than 15 minutes per day may cause a permanent hearing loss.
- Know which noises can cause damage (those at or above 85 decibels.)
- Be alert to hazardous noise in the environment.
- Protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own.
- Make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the hazards of noise.
- If you suspect hearing loss, have a medical examination by an otolaryngologist (a physician who specializes in diseases of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck) and a hearing test by an audiologist (a health professional trained to measure and help individuals deal with hearing loss). (hearinghealthfoundation.org)