Can I prevent hearing loss?
For the most part, hearing loss is not preventable. Hearing loss caused by aging (the leading cause), disease, genetics, injury or biology cannot be prevented.
However, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) — the second leading cause of hearing loss — is preventable.
Noise-induced hearing loss is hearing loss caused by either a single exposure to an intense pulse of sound (for example, an explosion or gunshot) or regular, repeated exposure to unsafe sounds and volume levels (for example, repeated attendance at musical events without hearing protection, or working in an industrial or construction environment without earplugs).
There are three key factors to noise-induced hearing loss: the loudness or decibel (db) level of the sound, the proximity to loud sounds, and/or the duration of exposure.
Sounds that result in noise-induced hearing loss include any noise at or above 85 dB. The louder the sound, the less time it takes for hearing damage to occur. Additionally, the distance from the source of the sound to your ears and the length of time you are exposed to all factor in to determining the amount of damage that occurs.
You can prevent NIHL by following good hearing protection tips.