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From the Parish Nurse – Noise Induced Hearing Loss

March 4, 2007

Life is getting noisier in the United States and as it does, people are losing their hearing. The rate of hearing loss has increased in every age group, but perhaps most alarming is that 15% of children ages 6-19 are showing signs of hearing loss. Up to one third of all cases of hearing loss are due to extended exposure to loud noise.

If you can’t talk over the music you are listening to, it’s too loud. Be careful if you listen to music through headphones because the sound is so close to the eardrum. If the music can be heard by a person not wearing the headphones,lynnecurvin.jpg it’s too loud.

Wear earplugs whenever you’re around loud machinery or other noisemakers such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, motorcycles, monster trucks, power tools, and rock concerts, or if you will be exposed to sudden, loud noises such as gunshots while hunting. Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following signs after being exposed to loud noises: ringing or buzzing in the ears, difficulty in understanding speech, or difficulty hearing normal conversation in a group of people or where there is background noise.

Lynn Curvin, RN, BSN

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