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There are many things that can cause damage to the auditory system, but the most common is noise damage. Please visit the NIH’s Interactive sound ruler for examples of various types of sounds and their hazard levels. Musicians work in a high decibel environment in which hearing loss, tinnitus, hyper-sensitivity to sound and sound distortion can result.  Traditional earplugs are not a good choice for the professional musician, as they reduce sound by muffling low-to-mid-range frequencies, which change the frequency spectrum of what they are hearing. Hunting requires the ability to hear very soft sounds, while still having a need for protecting the ear from the peak noise levels of a gun blast. NIHL (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss) can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud sound as well as by repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time.
Scientists believe that, depending upon the type of sound, the pure force of its vibrations at high decibel levels can cause hearing loss. Wear earplugs or other hearing protective devices when involved in a loud activity (special earplugs and earmuffs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores). If you suspect hearing loss, have a medical examination by an otolaryngologist (a physician who specializes in diseases of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck) and a hearing test by an audiologist (a health professional trained to measure and help individuals deal with hearing loss. The objectives of this award are to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements in hearing loss prevention programs, and to obtain and disseminate information on their real world successes.
The Safe-in-Sound Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention Awardsa„? honor excellent hearing loss prevention (HLP) practices in the work environment.
The awards recognize those who demonstrate, by example, the benefits of developing or following good hearing loss prevention practices. Examples of award-winning hearing loss prevention strategies will be presented in a booklet to be widely distributed on the NHCA and Safe-in-Sound websites. Prolonged noise can damage your hearing — even short bursts of sound over 90 decibels can have an impact.
Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from firearms and certain power tools.

Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine or the wind. Wear headphones or solid earplugs for outstanding noise protection if you use noisy equipment such as drills, lawnmowers, etc. If pregnant, she should avoid certain activities (like handling cat litter) that can expose the fetus to dangerous infections such as toxoplasmosis. If there is a family history of hearing loss on either the mother’s or the father’s side, the parents may want to obtain genetic counseling before becoming pregnant. Early and consistent prenatal care will reduce the risk of prematurity which causes some cases of hearing loss. Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about the challenges facing your child.
Custom musicians earplugs are available that can protect the musician’s ears from loud sounds without distorting what they hear.
Loud, sudden noises (gunfire, industrial noises, woodworking, motorcycles, loud music, motorized lawn equipment, noisy hobbies and other noises louder than 90 db) are more damaging to hearing than regular and extended exposure to loud sounds over a period of time. Decibel levels begin at zero, which is near total silence and the weakest sound our ears can hear.
Recent studies also show that exposure to sounds at harmful decibel levels triggers the formation of molecules inside the ear that damage hair cells. All individuals should understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good hearing health in everyday life. Please, email if you have questions and suggestions or if you would like to provide links and information. Those selected will be recognized for their role in improving working conditions in the United States. If your hearing is susceptible to any sounds above 90 decibels, you need to take immediate action to prevent permanent hearing damage.

By taking a few simple steps to protect them, you may be able to prevent hearing loss caused by excessive noise or foreign objects.
There are also a variety of in ear monitors that will enhance the music experience whether you are a serious musician or just a music aficionado. Not only can they choose from custom or over-the-counter earplugs or earmuffs, they can also choose protection devices that provide amplification while reducing the sounds of gunfire down to a safe level. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the delicate hair cells of your inner ear. These destructive molecules play an important role in hearing loss in children and adults who listen to loud noise for too long. Hearing protectors not properly fitted to the wearer’s ears do not effectively prevent damaging noises from penetrating the ear canal. Once the hair cells are destroyed by exposure to harmful sounds, they cannot grow back, resulting in permanent hearing loss.
Check out the NIDCD for detailed information regarding the mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss.
Frequent hand washing in all settings and safe sexual practices can reduce exposure as well. The sound of an ambulance siren at 120 decibels is about 1 trillion times more intense than the weakest sound our ears can hear.

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