Beltone, named America’s #1 Hearing Care Retailer & Best in Customer Service by Newsweek, announced that it is raising awareness around noise-induced hearing loss in observance of National Protect Your Hearing Month. During a virtual media tour that took place recently and will be aired on various local news stations nationwide throughout the month of October, Dr Kathy McGowan, AuD CCC-A, a practicing Doctor of Audiology with Beltone, helped educate audiences of all ages on noise-induced hearing loss focusing on what causes it, who is most at risk for it, and how to protect and preserve your hearing. Beltone is also offering free hearing screenings at its 1,500 locations nationwide to encourage everyone to start taking the first steps in protecting and preserving their hearing. 

According to the CDC, about 40 million Americans ages 20 to 69 have hearing loss that may be due to noise exposure and trouble with hearing is the third most reported chronic health condition in the US. 

What causes noise-induced hearing loss?

It only takes 30 seconds of exposure to loud sounds for noise-induced hearing loss to occur. Noise at or above 85 decibels increases the risk of hearing loss over time. Examples of this include:

  • Use of earbuds and headsets especially when the volume is close to maximum.
  • Attending concerts, sporting events, noisy restaurants, and bars. 
  • Home devices such as power tools, lawnmowers, hair dryers, and blenders.
  • Loud work environments such as construction, farming, first responders, dental, and even schools. 

Who is most at risk for it?

Noise-induced hearing loss can affect people of any age and studies are showing more younger people are starting to experience hearing loss sooner due to unsafe listening practices. The CDC reports:

  • Nearly 50% of people ages 12-35 years old could be exposed to unsafe noise from earbuds.
  • 12.5% of kids between the ages of 6 and 19 already have hearing loss from listening to loud music.
  • Roughly 22 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise at work.

How to protect and preserve your hearing:

Untreated hearing loss has been associated with increased risks for other health conditions such as cognitive decline and dementia, depression and anxiety, social isolation, and the risk of falls. Treating hearing loss and preserving your hearing can help slow the progression and lessen these risks.

  • Wear hearing protection such as ear plugs or noise canceling headphones when in loud environments whether for entertainment or work. 
  • Get your hearing checked routinely by scheduling a free hearing screening at your local Beltone to determine your current hearing health.
  • Acknowledge your current hearing loss if you have one. Unfortunately, only 4 out of 5 people who would benefit from hearing aids never experience the life-changing benefits they can bring. Beltone offers hearing solutions for all ranges of hearing loss and all lifestyles.

Source: Beltone