At Ascent Audiology & Hearing, we understand how valuable your hearing is. Part of life-long hearing health is protecting your hearing from damage. Protecting yourself against hearing loss preserves your hearing and has a big impact on your health and wellness too. For many of our patients, hearing health is a vital part of their livelihood and passion. We work extensively with members of Nashville’s vibrant music scene and specialize in providing hearing protection that keeps them doing what they love.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
The most common threat to your hearing is also the most preventable. Noise induced hearing loss is the single most common cause of permanent hearing damage and develops when we expose our hearing to sound at dangerous volumes.
Our hearing relies on delicate sensory cells that live within the cochlea of the inner ear. These cells, known as “hair cells,” do the finely-tuned work of detecting sound waves in the air and translating those waves into electrical signals for the brain to process. Hair cells are amazing, but also very delicate. Stimulation from too much noise can cause irreparable damage to them.
Hair cells do not have the ability to repair or replace themselves. This means that once a hair cell has been injured it will never be returned to a functioning state. When hair cells are injured, it creates a gap in our hearing that we cannot restore. This sort of hearing loss is cumulative, so damages accrue over the course of our lives as new damage occurs. When many hair cells are damaged it becomes significant hearing loss and can take a toll on our health and quality of life.
When can a noise cause lasting harm to our hearing? Our hearing has different thresholds for different volumes of sound. For most people, 85 decibels an important level to recognize. Being exposed to 85 dB of sound for 8 hours can cause lasting injury to our hearing. As sound becomes louder, the limit of our exposure time greatly decreases. Volume of 95 dB is only safe for one hour, while 105 dB of sound causes harm after just 10 minutes of exposure. Sounds above 120 dB are unsafe for any amount of time.
If you’re concerned about the noise in your life, you can take stock of your exposure with simple-to-use sound measuring smart phone apps. Smartphone apps like DecibelX offer an easy way to see if your routines expose you to dangerous levels of sound.
Occupational Hearing Hazards
While you’re hard at work, your hearing is too, and if you are part of a noisy jobsite, your hearing can pay a big price. Occupational hearing loss occurs when your workplace sustains a hazardous noise level and your hearing is adversely affected. Working around loud machinery, loud music or even the floor of a bustling restaurant may be exposing you to occupational hearing damage.
Custom-Fitted Ear Protection
Disposable ear plugs and hearing protection can be a quick solution to hazardous noise, but if your hearing is consistently exposed to dangerous volumes of sound, you’ll want to consider a better solution. Custom-fitted ear protection means that your ear plugs are molded to your ear, giving you a perfect fit and maximum protection every time you wear them. Custom hearing protection is great for hunters and sportsmen, people exposed to occupational noise, and even people living near loud street noise.
For many people, the soul of Nashville is our incredible music scene. Built on talent, passion, and an incredible ear for sound, the musicians, vocalists and sound engineers rely on their hearing every day. If music is part of who you are, make sure your hearing keeps up with your career!
The average live concert registers at 105 dB, a level that can cause permanent hearing damage after only 10 minutes of exposure! For music lovers, that means that performing or seeing your favorite group can actually hurt your ability to hear into the future. If music is an integral part of your life, it’s time to consider investing in musicians’ plugs.
Musicians’ plugs are specially designed custom ear plugs that allow you to hear the richness of music without threatening your long-term ability to hear. Discreet and custom fit to your ear, musicians’ plugs deliver high-fidelity sound while protecting you from hazardous noise levels.