October 20, 2023
Listen Up For Advice From An Expert
October is National Audiology Awareness Month, and Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D. is sharing valuable hearing preservation tips. Although we may be unaware of it, prolonged exposure to everyday noises above 85 decibels (dB) may contribute to hearing loss. There are ways to enjoy activities you love without compromising your hearing.
Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss
1. Turn the volume down
Listening to music near maximum volume repeatedly over time can lead to hearing loss. Music still sounds great on a lower volume!
2. Walk away from the loud noise
Move away from the main noise sources at events to protect your hearing. You can still enjoy loudspeakers, cannons, fireworks and other sources of noise from a distance.
3. Take breaks
Your ears need to rest between exposures to noise. Try to give yourself moments of quiet time each day. One of the most effective ways to protect your hearing is to avoid loud settings.
4. Use hearing protection
If you can’t avoid noise, use adequate hearing protection. Earplugs create an airtight seal in the ear canal, and earmuffs may also shield you from hearing damage. Read more from the CDC on which kind of hearing protection is best for you.
“I always recommend earmuffs because there is less user error,” Dr. Brindley says. “You can also purchase custom hearing protection that is molded specifically to your ear. If you have concerns about the quality of your hearing protection, I can verify they are functioning appropriately.”
How Much Noise is Too Much?
If you need to shout to be heard by someone standing an arm’s length away, sound may damage your hearing over time. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) may cause hearing loss. Take a look at a few everyday noises and how they affect your hearing:
There is no medical or surgical treatment for hearing loss caused by noise, and damaged hair cells don’t grow back. If you already have hearing loss, taking the appropriate steps to preserve your hearing is essential.
Audiology is the branch of medicine dedicated to treating hearing and balance issues. Although both audiologists and ENT doctors may deal with the ear canal and inner ear, audiologists have more specialized knowledge regarding hearing loss.
Dr. Brindley provides:
- Diagnostic hearing evaluations
- Hearing aid fittings
- Treatment for tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
As of fall 2022, U.S. consumers may purchase over-the-counter hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss. These products may not be suitable for those with severe hearing loss. If you’d like to take advantage of this option, visit an audiologist before shopping to tailor your hearing device to your needs.
“I think it’s important to schedule a hearing test to have a baseline. It’s easier to track hearing loss when we have something to compare,” Dr. Brindley says. “Seeing an audiologist may seem inconvenient, but your older self will thank you later.”
If you’re experiencing hearing loss or related issues, please call (254) 865-2166 to inquire about scheduling an appointment with Dr. Brindley.
About Dr. Ashley Brindley
Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D., earned her associate degree from Victoria College and her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of North Texas. She received her doctorate in audiology from the University of North Texas. Dr. Brindley is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology.