loss is a natural part of the aging process. But noise-induced
hearing loss is on the rise.
to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders, approximately 15 percent of adults in the U.S. from
20 to 69 and 5 percent of children over 6 are affected by
noise-induced hearing loss.
two most common reasons for hearing loss are aging and
noise-induced hearing loss," says Dr. Greta Stamper, an
audiologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
hearing loss can occur anytime you are exposed to excessively
loud sounds. It occurs most often due to repetitive exposure
to loud sounds but permanent hearing loss can occur after even
one episode," says Stamper.
common causes of noise-induced hearing loss include exposure
to loud music, lawn equipment, heavy machinery or power tools,
cases, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and
reduce the risk for noise-induced hearing loss, Stamper offers
Avoid or limit exposure to excessively loud sounds.
Limit volume on headphones, especially for children.
properly fitting ear protection.
ear protection handy. She recommends foam ear inserts as a
portable, cost-effective alternative, since they can be stored
easily in a pocket, purse or glove compartment for
medical attention if there is sudden hearing loss, ongoing
ringing or pain in the ear.
GET A HEARING TEST
adults, a preventive hearing screen at age 50 is sufficient.
Then, a screening every five to 10 years afterward, based on
individual circumstances, is ideal, says Stamper. Once hearing
loss is identified, though, an annual follow-up with an
audiologist is recommended.