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What's that? 6 tips to protect against hearing loss.

One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Dr. Linda McCafferty with Middle Tennessee Medical Group has some important tips for keeping your ears healthy and protected from noise damage.

 

  • At home or work, wear hearing protection during exposure to loud levels of noise. This includes mowing the lawn, leaf blowing or using power tools. By law, a noisy work environment requires use of hearing protection. Hunting shops and some garden centers carry ear-protecting headgear.
  • Ear buds, such as those that come with an IPOD or MP3 player, do not protect your hearing.
  • Listening to music while using power tools is dangerous to your hearing and should be avoided.
  • When using stereos, home theater systems and personal sound systems, avoid high volume levels. The volume should be at a comfortable level. If you think it is too loud, it probably is. If someone else can hear what you are listening to, the volume is too high.
  • Remove the headphones from time to time to give your ears a rest.
  • Wear earplugs at rock concerts, nightclubs and motor sporting events..
  • Keep automobile sound systems at sensible volumes. This can help you avoid hearing damage and allow you to hear and yield to emergency vehicles.
Signs of Hearing Loss
  • Difficulty hearing conversations, especially in the presence of background noise
  • Frequently asking others to repeat what they have said
  • Misunderstanding what other people say and answering inappropriately
  • Difficulty hearing on the telephone
  • Requiring the television or radio volume to be louder than others in the room prefer
  • Feeling that people are mumbling or have marbles in their mouth when they talk
  • Difficulty hearing environmental sounds, such as birds chirping
  • Agreeing, nodding your head, or smiling during conversations when you are not sure what has been said
  • Withdrawing from conversations and social situations because it is too difficult to hear
  • Reading lips so you can try to follow what people are saying
  • Straining to hear or keep up with conversations
  • Noise within your ears or head, called tinnitus, which is not caused by an external sound source
  • Have your ears checked regularly by your primary care physician. Have your hearing checked by an audiologist if you or anyone else questions whether your hearing is normal. Consult an ear physician as necessary. 
To schedule an appointment with Dr. McCafferty, visit http://www.middletnmedicalgroup.com/ or call 615-895-3233.
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