Audiology: Hearing ProtectionTrinity Audiology offers a wide range of hearing protection devices for a variety of environments with noise. These include both non-custom and custom earplugs and earmuffs for musicians, hunters, motorcyclists, construction workers, oil field workers and people in other high noise environments. For individuals wanting protection from noise, but access to speech and other sound, there are a variety of filtered and/or digital hearing protection products available.
Noise ExposureNoise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensory hearing cells found in our inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, the hair cells cannot grow back and results in permanent hearing loss. In some cases, even one exposure to very loud noise is enough to permanently damage the cells.
Hair bundle before noise
Hair bundle after noise
Young Adults and Noise ExposureApproximately 15% of all children ages 6-19 have permanent noise-induced hearing loss. The World Health Organization recently estimated that over 1 billion people aged 12-35 are at risk for developing noise-induced hearing loss due to personal electronics, smartphones, loud music venues, night clubs and sporting events.
Noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age and is 100% preventable. Smartphones have free sound meter apps to monitor ambient sound levels. If the decibel level is greater than 85 dB, hearing protection is always recommended.
Listening to any sound at a high volume – more than 89dB – for more than five hours a week can damage hearing permanently over time. Noise damage builds up gradually and the effects may not be noticed until years later, when it is too late. Most hearing loss and/or tinnitus caused by noise exposure is permanent.
Things you can do to prevent hearing loss• Wear hearing protection when sounds are louder than 85 dB. There are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices• Turn down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through ear buds and headphones. Volume levels should not exceed 60% of the total volume for more than 60 minutes at a time• Use noise-isolating or noise-cancelling headphones• Walk away from the noise• Do not put anything other than hearing protection in your ear.• Monitor hearing every couple of years, sooner if you notice changes