Is your environment too noisy?

More and more, noise-induced hearing loss is being accepted as a universal - though preventable - health problem.

In fact, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health problem in the United States (behind diabetes and cancer), with one in four adults showing signs of noise-induced hearing loss.

It's important to know what is and is not safe for our ears. While noise tends to have a cumulative effect on our ears, a single loud noise can also be damaging to our ears. We've all heard the term "decibels," but did you know that an increase in 6 decibels virtually doubles how loud something sounds? So what is safe when it comes to noise?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which makes the standards for noise levels at work, recommends a limit of 85 decibels for 8 hours per day. For reference, that's similar to standing 100 feet away from a freight train, and anything more should require hearing protection.

While sustained noise is probably the most common means of hearing loss, very loud, short bursts of noise are also dangerous. Sounds such as a gunshot or an explosion louder than 120 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage. This is why you shouldn't be exposed to sounds above 100 decibels for any longer than 15 minutes, and 110 decibels for any longer than 1 minute, per the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.

If you or a loved one has thinks they may be experiencing hearing loss, please contact Sound Hearing Care for an appointment today. With 4 convenient hearing treatment locations including Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, and Greenville, Sound Hearing Care is sure to have a convenient location near you or your loved one!

Laura Berry