We are now a month into 2021 – how are your New Year’s resolutions going? If they have fallen by the wayside, that’s okay. Making a change to improve your hearing health can be done anytime. Why not start now?
Schedule a Hearing Test
The best way to start improving your hearing health is to find out how your ears are doing. A hearing exam, also known as an audiological evaluation, involves a series of tests used to determine if you have hearing loss, and if so, what is your type, degree and configuration. Your audiologist may order one or more of the following tests:
- Pure tone testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Acoustic reflex testing
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)
If your exam reveals you have a hearing loss, your audiologist can use this information to put together a treatment plan to fit your unique needs. If a loss is not identified, the results of your tests can be used as a baseline. When you have your hearing tested again in a few years, the results can be compared to your baseline and your doctor will be able to determine how much your hearing has changed.
Start Wearing Hearing Protection
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB); anything over 85 dB can cause hearing loss. Below is a list put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of common sources of noise with their corresponding decibel levels.
- Normal conversation – 60 dB
- Dishwasher – 70 dB
- Rancho Santa Fe traffic – 85 dB
- Motorcycle – 95 dB
- Sporting event – 100 dB
- An event at Community Concerts of Rancho Santa Fe – 110 dB
- Emergency sirens – 120 dB
- Firecrackers – 140 dB
The best way to protect your hearing is to avoid being exposed to these loud noises. If that is not possible, you should wear hearing protection. Disposable earplugs are available at any pharmacy, and custom-made earplugs are available from your local audiologist. Custom-made earplugs are created from a mold of your ear, providing a superior fit and better protection. To learn more about making your hearing health a priority in 2021 or to schedule an appointment for a hearing exam, contact Rancho Santa Fe Audiology today.