You probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that working construction or attending a live music show at Round Rock Tavern could cause hearing loss. However, what you may not know is that there many common household activities that can harm your hearing as well.
Noise Exposure at Home Can Cause Hearing Loss
Any prolonged exposure to sound over 85 decibels (dB) can damage the hair cells of your inner ear and lead to permanent noise-induced hearing loss. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for damage to occur.
Unfortunately, many activities can put your hearing at risk, and noise-induced hearing loss is a growing problem among people of all ages. A study from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) found that “at least 10 million adults (6 percent) in the U.S. under age 70—and perhaps as many as 40 million adults (24 percent)—have features of their hearing test that suggest hearing loss in one or both ears from exposure to loud noise.”
Several common at-home activities may endanger your hearing, including:
- Listening to music or TV at too loud a volume. It can be tempting to turn the volume up loud when watching an action movie or listening to music on your headphones when you’re doing chores around the house. However, listening too loud can cause ringing in the ears and lead to permanent hearing loss over time.
- Loud hobbies. Things like carpentry and working on cars or motorcycles can reach dangerous levels and damage your ears.
- Household appliances. Even spending time making food using a powerful blender may get loud enough to harm your hearing.
Other Potential Hearing Hazards in Your Home
While loud noise is a big risk factor for hearing loss in the home, it isn’t the only one. You also have to be careful when it comes to:
- Cotton swabs. Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs increases your risk of injury and can push earwax deeper into the canal leading to buildup. This buildup can cause ear infections, pain and temporary hearing loss.
- Over-the-counter medications. If you have a headache or back pain, you might reach for ibuprofen or aspirin without thinking twice. While using the medication in the correct dosage should be safe for most people, too much can be ototoxic. This means it can damage your ears and lead to tinnitus, balance issues and hearing loss.
Be Proactive About Hearing Protection
Taking the proper precautions to keep your ears safe can pay dividends down the road. Make sure to:
- Use hearing protection devices when exposed to loud noise
- Listen to music and other media at a volume below 85 dB
- Do not clean your ears with cotton swabs or stick anything else in your ears
- Check with your doctor to see if any medication you’re taking increases your risk of hearing loss
- Schedule an appointment for a hearing test at the first sign of an issue
For more information or to make an appointment with one of our experts, contact Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.