On average, most people don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss because it most often occurs gradually and is an invisible issue that can be disregarded initially without realizing there is a problem. Many times it is friends and family that notice the loss first because the person with the hearing loss mistakenly thinks other people are mumbling or not speaking clearly and doesn’t realize the difficulty is with their ability to hear. If you suspect you or a loved one may have a hearing problem, it is recommended you have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. An audiologist is a hearing care professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system. They are trained to diagnose and treat hearing loss, tinnitus and/or balance problems.
Here are some websites that may be helpful sources of information:
Acoustic Neuroma Association, USA www.anausa.org
The Acoustic Neuroma Association's (ANA) website contains information about acoustic neuromas.
American Tinnitus Association www.ata.org
The American Tinnitus Association's (ATA) website contains information about treatment options for tinnitus.
The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) website www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise contains useful information about noise and hearing loss prevention CDC .
NIH, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/noise.asp contains information on noise and hearing loss from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Vestibular Disorders Association, USA www.vestibular.org
-The overview section of the Vestibular Disorder Association's website contains a range of basic information about vestibular disorders. The information includes possible symptoms, causes and treatment.
American Academy of Audiology www.audiology.org
-The world's largest professional organization of,by, and for audiologists.
Academy of Doctors of Audiology www.audiologist.org
-An association supporting autonomous and private practitioners.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) www.asha.org
Every day we hear a variety of sounds. Sounds that are too loud, or loud sounds over a long time, can damage your hearing.
The loudness of sounds is measured in decibels (dB). Learn the decibel levels for different sounds and know which noises can cause damage to your hearing.
Protect your ears when you are involved in a loud activity.
How loud is too loud?
Decibel level What we hear
10 dB Normal breathing
20 dB Rustling leaves, mosquito
30 dB Whisper
40 dB Stream, refrigerator humming
50-60 dB Quiet office
50-65 dB Normal conversation
60-65 dB Laughter
70 dB Vacuum cleaner, hair dryer
75 dB Dishwasher
78 dB Washing machine
80 dB Garbage disposal, city traffic noise
Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 dB can cause gradual hearing loss.
84 dB Diesel truck
70-90 dB Recreational vehicle
88 dB Subway, motorcycle
85-90 dB Lawnmower
100 dB Train, garbage truck
97 dB Newspaper press
98 dB Farm tractor
Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.
103 dB Jet flyover at 100 feet
105 dB Snowmobile
110 dB Jackhammer, power saw, symphony orchestra
120 dB Thunderclap, discotheque/boom box
110-125 dB Stereo
110-140 dB Rock concerts
130 dB Jet takeoff, shotgun firing
145 dB Boom cars