Did you know approximately 15 percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 have high-frequency hearing loss that may have been caused by loud noise exposure? Frequent exposure to loud sounds can wear down the hair cells of your ear’s cochlea, which can ultimately cause hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ear).
Researchers claim medical and genetic factors play a role, and some people are more at risk than others. However, anything louder than 85 decibels can cause damage after extended exposure. Interestingly, sounds made by household objects such as hair dryers and kitchen blenders can go past 85 decibels. The rule to go by is if you have to raise your voice to be able talk to someone an arm’s length away. If this is the case, the nose is probably above 85 decibels.
When you consistently listen to your headphones at a high volume, you risk doing permanent damage. The good news is you can take steps now to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in the future.