Edwards audiologist offers tips to curb noise-induced hearing loss
EDWARDS — Did you know that you can permanently lose your hearing from exposure to loud noise?
Thirty-six million Americans have hearing loss. One-in-three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise. This May, Better Hearing Month, local audiologist Dr. Daria Stakiw and audiologists across the nation encourage Americans to protect their hearing by:
• Wearing hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 decibels for a long period of time;
• Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, mp3 player or anything through ear buds and headphones; and
• Walking away from loud noise.
“Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in our inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss,” said Stakiw, owner and lead audiologist at Rocky Mountain Audiology in Edwards.
Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players and ear buds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.
EXPOSURE TO DECIBELS
The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85 (dB), such as concerts, sporting events, lawnmowers, fireworks, gun shots, custom car stereos at full volume and more. A brief exposure to a very intense sound, such as a gun shot near the ear, can also damage your hearing.
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. Hearing impairment not only affects your ability to understand speech but it also has a negative impact on your social and emotional well-being. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, then make an appointment to see an audiologist. He or she will perform a hearing test to determine the type and severity of hearing loss you may have.
For more information, contact Rocky Mountain Audiology at 970-926-6660 or 56 Edwards Village Blvd. Suite 222, Edwards.