Protect Your Hearing
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and one of the most common occupational hazards in the United States. Permanent damage to your hearing may occur from a one-time exposure to a very loud sound, such as an explosion, or may occur from repeated exposures to loud sounds over time. The harmful effects of noise are often underestimated because the damage can take place gradually.
Hazardous Noise at Work and at Play
Unfortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is common in certain occupations. These occupations include: factory workers, transportation workers, military personnel, construction workers, miners, farmers, firefighters, police officers, musicians, and entertainment industry workers. Federal regulations govern allowable noise levels in the workplace, as well as the employer’s role in providing ear protection. More information on this subject can be found at www.osha.gov.
Recreational noise exposure can occur from firearms, firecrackers, power tools, music concerts, dance clubs, NASCAR, sporting events, motorcycles, motorboats, snowmobiles, powerboats, and “boom cars”.
How loud is too loud?
As a general rule of thumb, if you have to shout to be heard over the noise by someone at arm’s reach, it is too loud. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Communicable Diseases, noises above 85 dB can cause hearing damage. Following noise exposure, the warning signs that suggest you may have damaged your hearing include ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears, difficulty understanding speech, or a “fullness” feeling in your ears. The good news is that noise can be managed by turning down the volume or by wearing ear protection.
Protect Your Hearing
Since there is no cure for noise-induced hearing loss, prevention is the sensible alternative. Protection can be found commercially with non-custom earplugs or earmuffs. At Southern Vermont Audiology, we can provide custom ear protection with various filters for different communication needs (e.g. musicains, shooters, medical professionals, pilots, race care drivers.)
In addition to using ear protection, those who are regularly exposed to noise should have their hearing tested.
Meet Dr. Lowkes
While taking an ‘Anatomy’ class, I became fascinated by the complexities of the human ear and decided to become an Audiologist.
I received my Masters Degree in Audiology from the University of Connecticut and my Doctorate in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.
Having fallen in love with Vermont while attending UVM, I returned in 2001 and have practiced audiology in the Manchester area ever since.