is the most common occupational illness in the United States, with over 10 million people suffering from irreversible hearing damage due to noise. 40 Million people are exposed to dangerous noise levels every day. Firearms and Occupational Noise such as loud machinery can permanently damage your hearing; with some noise causing damage in a matter of seconds, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Untreated Hearing Loss can result in physical symptoms like
- Anger and Irritability
- Depression, Tension,Fatigue, and Stress
- Resignation from social situations
- Reduction of alertness
- Impaired alertness and growing risk to personal safety
- Noticeable decrease in job production
- Diminished mental and physical health
Hearing Loss happens to People of all ages.
Although we often associate hearing loss with old age it is possible to lose, or partially lose your hearing at an early age. Loud music and the use of headphones while watching TV or your computer is often attributed to deafness. Shooting guns and hunting can also cause hearing loss.
Prevention of Hearing Loss should be a Priority!
Losing your hearing is often a slow process. Damage to your hearing can take a long time depending on the source of the noise. There are ways to tell if you are damaging your hearing. When you are in a noisy or loud situation ask yourself the following questions to evaluate the risk;
- Do you have to speak louder to be heard?
- You cannot hear someone talking 3 feet or less away
- Your hearing is dull and or muffled after exposure to noise
- You have ear pain
- You have a ringing (Tinnitus) in your ears
Top Causes of Severe Hearing Loss
- Ongoing exposure to noise in the workplace
- Change in pressure or injury
- Medication including prescriptions and over the counter medicine
- Chronic diseases including high blood pressure, Diabetes, Stroke and Heart Disease
- Sudden and loud noises like Fireworks and Guns
- Loud music and Concerts. Do not be embarrassed to wear hearing protection
- Earbuds and Headphones
- Buildup of Ear Wax
- Ear Infections
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should see a hearing specialist. In may cases hearing loss can be treated. It can always be prevented. Hearing aids and hearing protection can make a difference in your life. The worst thing you can do is ignore the symptoms as they will not improve unless you do something.