Friday, December 27, 2013

Prevent Deafness

Prevent Deafness

Permanent hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. Many factors can cause permanent or temporary damage, including illness, age, noise and genetics. It is possible to prevent deafness and hearing loss in many cases through awareness and precautions. Read on to learn prevent deafness.


Know the Causes of Hearing Loss

1. Know that deafness and hearing loss can be caused by infection, illness, medication, injury, loud noise, age, genetics and birth defects. Hearing loss caused by age or heredity cannot be prevented, but noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is preventable.

2. Be aware that permanent hearing loss is caused by damage to the auditory nerve or inner ear. Hair cells in the inner ear of the cochlea can suffer permanent damage from prolonged exposure to loud noise or a single exposure to an extremely loud sound in close proximity to the ear.

3. Know that temporary hearing loss can be caused by a build-up of fluid or earwax in the middle ear or a punctured eardrum. It can often be treated with surgery or medication, but can worsen if left untreated.

Prevent Hearing Loss

4. Become familiar with decibel levels, especially if you work with machinery or are regularly exposed to noisy environments. Decibels measure sound in units from 0 to 150, with a normal conversation rated at 60 and a gunshot rated at 140. Find decibel levels by clicking on the noise thermometer on the Better Hearing Institute website. See the Resources section below for a link.

5. Avoid prolonged exposure to noise levels of 85 decibels or higher unless you are wearing protective foam or silicone ear plugs. Learn more about hearing loss on the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. See the Resources section below for a link.

6. Always wear protective ear covering when firing guns or operating high-decibel equipment.

7. Take precautions to avoid ear infections and illnesses that can cause deafness, such as meningitis.

8. Be aware of the effects of ototoxic drugs used in some cancer treatments. These drugs can cause permanent hearing loss.

9. Protect children from hearing loss with protective ear plugs or coverings when they are exposed to noisy environments.

10. Turn the volume down on headsets.

Tags: hearing loss, loss caused, hearing loss caused, auditory nerve, below link, cause permanent