One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. Age-related hearing loss is most common and more prevalent than hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure. However, exposure to excessive noise can damage hearing, and it is important to understand the effects of this kind of noise, particularly because such exposure is avoidable. Other causes of hearing loss include viruses or bacteria, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors and certain medications.
Treatment for hearing loss will depend on your diagnosis.
Minimize your risk of hearing loss:
- If you work in noisy places or commute to work in noisy traffic or construction, choose quiet leisure activities.
- Wear earplugs when you know you will be exposed to noise for a long time. Earplugs can reduce the volume of sound reaching the ear to a safer level.
- Try not to use several noisy machines at the same time.
- Keep television sets, stereos and headsets low in volume.