Can You Hear Me Now? The Long-Term Effects Of Loud Noise
Early warning signs of hearing loss can be subtle and gradual. These include:
- Require frequent repetition.
- Have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
- Think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling.
- Have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
- Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
- Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
- Have ringing in your ears.
Some preventative actions include wearing ear plugs in noisy settings to dilute the sound. It isn’t the most favorable method of prevention for those who enjoy loud music. But, music artists like Jazzie B, a British DJ who suffers from tinnitus, highly recommend wearing ear plugs. “Earplugs should be a part of everyone’s essential Saturday night entertainment,” Jazzie B told Action on Hearing Loss.
Other preventative methods include scheduling a hearing screening or evaluation with an audiologist, using noise-canceling headphones or phone apps to gauge safe volume levels. Some Android devices give a warning when you attempt to increase the volume:
“Raise the volume above safe level? Listening at high volume for long periods may damage your hearing.”
You can also take short listening breaks when visiting a noisy venue. WHO recommends listening to audio no louder than 85 decibels (comparable to the volume of city traffic) for eight hours or 100 decibels (comparable to the sound of a power saw) for 15 minutes.