SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Permanent noise-induced hearing loss affects more than 29 percent of Americans between the ages of 6 and 69, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As summer approaches, CaptionCall, a leading provider of captioned telephone service, strongly encourages Americans to safeguard against excessive noise exposure to prevent hearing loss.
There are many sounds of summer: fireworks, motorboats, lawnmowers, and more. So, how loud is too loud? Any sound over 85 decibels can damage hearing, especially for prolonged periods. Sounds from everyday equipment, like a kitchen blender, for example, can be too loud.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), noise is potentially damaging if:
- The noise hurts your ears.
- You must raise your voice to be understood by someone nearby.
- Your normal hearing is impacted for several hours after experiencing the noise.
- There is a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears.
“Summer is a wonderful time for reconnecting and relaxing, but it’s important to think of what noise you may be exposed to during the season. Protecting your hearing is easy with just a little preparation, and the importance of taking care of your hearing cannot be overstated.”
–CaptionCall Chief Executive Officer, Scott Wood
Hearing health professionals recommend these tips to protect your hearing around loud noise:
- Use noise-blocking earplugs. Do not use rolled up tissue or napkin pieces in the ear; they do not work and will not protect your hearing from noise damage.
- Find a safe and quieter distance from the noise or avoid the area altogether if possible. If you have to remain in the loud area, try to limit the amount of time you are exposed there. (Eight hours exposed to 85 decibels can cause damage.)
- Turn down the volume and follow the 80/90 rule: Listen at 80 percent of the maximum volume for up to 90 minutes a day. If you turn up or increase the volume, the total time you can safely listen decreases. If you decrease the volume, you can listen for a longer period of time.
- Walk away from loud noises or, if that’s not possible, plug or cover your ears with your hands.
- Rest your ears. Remove yourself from loud noise every 15 minutes and then, after loud noise exposure, give your ears time — some suggest 18 hours — to recover without loud noise.
- After being in the water, keep your ears dry to prevent infection.
- Manage stress, which can lead to poor circulation, which can impact hearing.
The proper hearing protection is important for safety and comfort. Hearing health professionals recommend choosing the best style and right fit for the scenario.
Earplugs have noise reduction ratings (NRR) that correspond to the number of decibels that they reduce. For example, a NRR of 30 can reduce potentially harmful noise by 30 decibels. Earplug styles include standard disposable, custom-molded,
“We typically don’t stop and think about our sense of hearing, and we usually cope with any hearing difficulties we may have and forgo any ear protection in general,” says Steve DeMari, an audiologist and CaptionCall director of business development and education.
“Summer is a good time of year to think about your sense of hearing and how to best protect it from this noisy world. Just as we protect our eyes with goggles and our heads with bike helmets, we should consider wearing in-ear or over-the-ear plugs or earmuffs to protect our hearing.
Especially now — coming out of the pandemic and as larger events return to normal — we should remember to wear noise-protection when we mow the lawn, pound a hammer, use power tools, and most importantly, how loud we listen to music via headphones.”
–Steve DeMari, CaptionCall Director of Business Development and Education
Watch for signs of hearing loss, which include asking others to repeat themselves, difficulty understanding phone conversations, listening to the TV or radio at high volumes, ringing in one or both ears, and avoiding social settings. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, reach out to a hearing health care professional to discuss hearing solutions to best suit your needs.
For more information about CaptionCall, visit www.captioncall.com or call 877-557-2227.
About CaptionCall, LLC
CaptionCall is the industry leader in the provision of captioned-telephone service that is available at no-cost to anyone who has hearing loss that necessitates the use of captions to use the phone. While hearing loss affects millions of people for many different reasons — age, illness, injury, loud working conditions, and military service — it doesn’t have to limit the quality of their phone conversations. With CaptionCall, it’s easy to communicate confidently with friends, family, and colleagues. CaptionCall uses advanced voice recognition technology, a transcription service, and human captioning agents to quickly provide written captions of what callers say on a large, easy-to-read screen. The CaptionCall phone works like a traditional telephone — callers simply dial and answer calls, as usual, and speak and listen using a phone handset. CaptionCall users see captions of what callers say.
All eligible customers receive Red Carpet Service that includes professional installation, product training, and friendly customer support, enabling people everywhere to get more from their phone conversations — and more from life.
CaptionCall is also committed to providing this essential service in a safe manner during the pandemic. Customers can choose self-guided, remotely guided, or in-person installation of phones by local CaptionCall representatives who follow current COVID-19 guidelines, including the wearing of masks.