We hear sounds in much the same way electrical circuits receive impulses. And just like an electrical circuit can be overloaded, so can our hearing receptors. Exposure to loud or prolonged noise can damage the delicate hair cells that are so important for healthy hearing, resulting in hearing loss or ringing in the ears. Basically, exposure to long-term or sudden loud noise can kill hearing cells; they simply get worn out and cannot function properly anymore.
The sounds that most people notice a change in first are typically at the higher frequency levels – birds singing, young children speaking, and some musical tones. Some things to be aware of in noisy conditions are pain, ringing, or buzzing in your ears or and suddenly having difficulty understanding speech, even after you’ve left the noisy environment. However, there are some great ways to protect your hearing.
Use earplugs: Disposable earplugs, made of foam or silicone, are widely available, practical, fit well, and inexpensive. You can also have ear plugs custom made to fit each ear.
Be proactive: When you know you will be exposed to loud noises, be prepared. You can have a great concert experience or outdoor celebration and protect your hearing at the same time.
Turn it down: When listening to a device that requires ear buds, keep it at a low volume. Also, limit your use of headphones and ear buds to a certain amount of time each day.
Avoid noisy environments: This is sometimes impossible, but you can be choosy about the types of environments you expose your hearing to. Do all you can to limit the length of time you spend in a noisy environment and be sure to make time each day to rest your ears and enjoy complete quiet.
Watch the water: Dry your ears completely after swimming, bathing, and showering. You can drain residual water from your ear canal by carefully tilting your head to the side.
Don’t take your hearing for granted: Hearing loss, especially when left unaddressed, affects quality of life. Hearing is a significant connection to the world. Do all you can to protect it.
Seek professional help: Our hearing specialists at Sandia Hearing Center can test and evaluate your hearing as well as educate you on how to keep your hearing healthy for a lifetime. Your hearing is just as important as all of the other aspects of healthy living.
At Sandia Hearing Center we will help you keep your hearing fit and strong for years to come. Call us today at 719-634-6260 or just stop by and say hello. We would love to meet you!