From rocking out at arenas and cheering along at action-packed ball games to getting out the power tools and equipment for gardening and woodworking, some time-honored activities can pack a bigger punch than your ears should take.
Hearing care expert Dr. T.K. Parthasarathy of Better Hearing Clinic, board-certified audiologist and former SIUE audiology professor, has advice for keeping harmful volumes at bay during Better Hearing Month this May — and beyond.
“A few simple steps can make all the difference between healthy hearing and permanent impairment,” Parthasarathy says.
TURN DOWN THE SOUND
Planning a hearty run in the fresh air with favorite tunes in your ears? It’s tempting to crank up the beats, but MP3 players can reach an ear-splitting 105 decibels. Better bet: Enjoy the sounds but turn them down to 50 percent maximum volume or lower.
GUARD YOUR EARS
Cutting that spring grass can feel so satisfying, but the noise of a gas mower can blow past the danger threshold of 85 decibels. Hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs help soften loud sounds and can be customized to your ears, so keep them on hand when using power equipment.
LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE
Concerts, sports events, and festivals abound, so help keep your hearing sound by wearing hearing protection and taking breaks from the festivities. Permanent hearing loss can result even from a single exposure to loud noise, making it important to give your ears a helpful rest from excess volumes.
Did You Know?
Over a billion people between ages 12 and 35 could experience hearing loss linked to recreational noise exposure, per the World Health Organization.
Excess noise can destroy the inner ear’s tiny, irreplaceable hair cells, which are crucial to healthy hearing.
Loud sounds can lead to tinnitus, a common and potentially debilitating problem of buzzing, humming, or ringing in the ears.
Quality hearing protection can curb noise intensity while letting music and other audio sound just as good.
For more information, visit www.betterhearingclinic.com or call (618) 433-9932 in Alton or (618) 205-1055 in Glen Carbon.