Suggestions to Help Preserve Your Hearing
• Seek medical care if you have ear pain or an ear infection.
• Immediately seek medical care from an ear specialist or emergency room if you have a sudden loss of hearing. Treatment may be available to reduce the likelihood of permanent hearing loss if performed early.
• Don't insert objects into your ear canal, including Q-tips. The presence of ear wax is not a sign of poor hygiene. If you have excessive ear wax, ask your physician, audiologist, or pharmacist for appropriate cleaning products.
Tips for persons exposed to noise at work
or during leisure activities
• The harmful effect of noise exposure is a combination of intensity and duration of exposure. Similar to the damaging effect of sunlight, lengthy exposure to moderate noise can be as damaging as brief exposure to very loud noise. If exposure to noise can’t be avoided, try to reduce the exposure time.
• Common sources of hazardous noise at home and at play include chain saws, lawn equipment, power tools, motorcycles, snow mobiles, amplified music, gunfire during target practice, etc.
• Wear hearing protection whenever you must raise your voice to be understood by someone at arm's length.
• When in hazardous noise, wear hearing protection the entire time you are exposed. Removing hearing protection for even 15 minutes during an 8 hour work shift reduces the effectiveness by half.
• It's a myth that you can't hear while wearing protection. People with normal hearing actually hear better in noise while wearing earplugs. Think of earplugs as "sunglasses" for your ears.
• If you work in noise, be your own "safety supervisor.” Wear your hearing protection properly for the benefit of you and your family....not just because it's required.
• If after noise exposure, your ears ring or your hearing seems muffled, you were over-exposed. The next time you are in similar noise, wear hearing protection or choose protection with a higher "NRR" (Noise Reduction Rating).
• Although some earmuffs provide very high protection, properly worn earplugs offer excellent protection for most noise exposures. Earmuffs can be worn over earplugs during very high exposures, such as gunfire.
• Special musician's earplugs reduce the intensity of music without distorting the sound. They are available from audiologists.