You know that extended exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage. But do you know how to tell if a situation has escalated to that level? The Better Hearing Institute suggests four signs that should tip you off that your environment is dangerous to your hearing:
- You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area. Any amount of pain is an indicator that the noise level is much too loud. This should be a given, but many people ignore it or brush it off.
- You cannot hear someone who is three feet away from you. If you have to shout over the noise to talk to someone about an arm’s length away, you’re probably in a dangerous hearing situation.
- You have ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears after leaving the area. Symptoms of tinnitus are clear indicators of over-exposure to noise. This is common after walking away from a rock concert or other event, especially if you were standing close to the stage.
- You suddenly have trouble understanding what the people around you are saying after being exposed to loud noises. In these cases, you may be able to hear that the people are talking, but you can’t understand them. Like the other three indicators, this is a serious sign that the noise is too loud.
Remember: It is important to remove yourself from situations that you feel might be dangerous to your hearing. It is impossible to reverse the damage, so wear protection or leave the area if at all possible. Foam ear plugs or special ear muffs are a good option, particularly if you work in a consistently noisy environment. Ask your True Dental Discounts audiologist for more suggestions to keep your hearing healthy and intact.