May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
When you are exposed to loud music or noise, your ear’s hair cells can be damaged. Hearing loss occurs because loud sounds create large pressure waves inside the ear. These large pressure waves bend the ear’s hair cells too far, sometimes to the point where they are damaged. This kills the hair cell and since cochlear hair cells can’t grow back, this manifests as a permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing takes a conscious effort in focusing on your surroundings and taking steps to protect your hearing from what might be considered as everyday sounds. A decibel level of 80db warrants hearing protection like ear plugs (lawnmowers, sporting events, firecrackers). Turn down the volume when using your mp3 players, car and home stereos.
Children's hearing is more sensitive because the ear canal is smaller and sounds become louder as they develop in a smaller space. That can translate into as much as a 20 dB difference between an adult's ears and a child's ears which can cause a child's hearing to be damaged more easily.
See our Sound Level Chart of how loud common sounds are and when to protect your hearing.