Learn how to protect your ears!
Excessive exposure to loud noise is one of the main causes of hearing loss for more than 28 million people.
It can also cause health problems including stress, illness, high blood pressure, and sleep disruption.
How The Ear Works
- Outer Ear: Sound waves travel into the ear canal to the eardrum (tympanic membrane) causing it to vibrate.
- Middle Ear: Vibration of the eardrum causes the tiny bones in the middle ear (the malleus, incus, and stapes) to vibrate which causes fluid in the inner ear (cochlea) to move.
- Inner Ear: The fluid movement stimulates tiny sensory hair cells that translate sound into electrical impulses.
- The auditory nerve carries the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted and we ‘hear.’
- Noise-induced hearing loss: is caused when the hair cells are damaged after long exposure to loud noises.
How Noise Affects Your Health Long-Term Health Effects:
Include sleep disruption, high blood pressure, stress-related illness, headaches, heart problems,
mental health and behavioral issues, and difficulty concentrating.
Above 60 decibels, a study shows the risk of high blood pressure rises by more than 25%.
Above 64 decibels, a study shows the risk for high blood pressure rises by more than 90%.
Chronically ill or elderly people are more sensitive to noise.
Children are more sensitive to loud noises. Their ears register sounds up to 20 decibels louder than adults’ ears.
Warning Signs Seek hearing related health care if you are suffering from one or more of the following:
- Tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing noise, after exposure to noise
- Slight muffling of sound that makes it hard to understand people
- Difficulty understanding speech desprte hearing sound
- Not being sure what direction a particular sound is coming from
Tips To Protect Your Hearing
- Use the 60/60 rule when listening to iPods and other devices (volume not more than 60% of maximum and listen for no longer than 60 minutes at a time at this volume).
- Use hearing protection, such as ear plugs or noise-blocking earmuffs. when necessary. They can reduce noise by up to 30 decibels each. Using them together can reduce noise even more.
- Avoid loud noises in your environment.
- Limit time on noisy activities for children.
- Lower the volume on electronic devices.
- Create a quiet sleep environment.
- Look for noise ratings to purchase quieter appkances. power tools, vehicles, and small electric devices such as hair dryers.