Your audiologist can help you not only treat hearing loss but also prevent it. One of the most effective ways of doing that is by wearing ear protection to decrease the chances of getting noise-induced hearing loss, one of the most common causes. Any noises louder than 85 decibels (dB) have the potential to cause permanent hearing loss. The louder the noise or more prolonged your exposure, the greater the risk. With that in mind, let’s look at who might be most at risk.

Workers in loud environments

Work environments that commonly reach over 85 dB include construction sites, manufacturing plants and garages. Heavy machinery is frequently the most dangerous factor but long hours of driving in heavy traffic and working in crowded environments can be just as dangerous to your hearing. For those working in loud environments where clear communication is still essential, you may want to consider custom made earbuds. These can come with a range of advanced features, including the ability to filter out certain levels of noise while still allowing you to hear others from the workplace around you.

Those working in airports

Safety regulations dictate that those working in planes aren’t able to wear ear protection and the interiors of aircraft are insulated against most of the risk. However, modern planes can produce noise levels above 140 dB. This is one of the loudest known risks in any workplace, so if you work in an airport or around planes, ear protection is essential.

People who have loud hobbies

Going to concerts or attending loud theater shows can expose you to noise levels of over 100 dB. Similarly, go-karting, dirt biking and water skiing can be just as risky without protection. If your hobby is more infrequent, then you may prefer cheaper, disposable earbuds but these don’t fit as well as the custom-made kinds. The shooting range or the fireworks show can be even more dangerous still, with a real risk of causing permanent hearing loss with even short periods of exposure. From custom-made earplugs to earmuffs that fit over the entire outer ear, you should never indulge in these hobbies without ear protection.

You attend a lot of live events with big crowds

When there are enough of us, even we humans can be a risk to one another’s hearing. Whether you work in event planning or simply attend them, you need ear protection. For instance, the crowd at a football game can reach well over 100 dB.

DIY lovers and gardeners

Loud machinery doesn’t have to be in the workplace to potentially cause permanent damage. A wide range of DIY power tools, from saws to drills, regularly reach levels of over 100 dB. Even using a motorized lawn mower in your garden could expose you to levels of noise as loud as 110 dB. Do any of the above circumstances fit your lifestyle? If so, your audiologist can help you choose the ear protection that can ensure you’re kept safe. Safeguarding your hearing now can prevent you from having to come back to treat noise-induced hearing loss, after all.