Protect Your Hearing
Facts About Hearing Loss Caused By Noise
- About 40 million people in the US have noise-induced hearing loss.
- Native Americans are about twice as likely to report moderate to severe hearing loss as the general population.
- Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.
- Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent.
- Only about half of the people who have noise-induced hearing loss have noisy jobs. Some other reasons people lose their hearing due to noise are:
- Loud music from electronic devices
- Hunting and firearm use
What You Can Do To Protect Your Hearing
- Noisy Jobs:
- If you have a noisy job, talk to your employer about hearing protection. Your employer is required by law to provide you with hearing protection, offer you annual hearing testing, and provide you with annual hearing conservation training.
- If you are self-employed or your employer does not have a hearing conservation program, you can get hearing protection from the Audiology Clinic at your Indian Health Clinic. The audiologist there can also check your hearing periodically to make sure you are not losing hearing due to work-place noise.
- Off-the Job (Recreational Noise)
Following these three steps will help you protect your hearing by minimizing the effects of hazardous noise:
- Lower the volume of electronic devices.
- Move away from the noise when possible.
- Use hearing protection when you cannot turn down the volume and it is not possible to walk away from noise.
- Hunting and Firearms
If you are a hunter and do not protect your hearing, you will eventually get hearing loss in the high-pitch tones.This will make it harder for you to follow conversations, especially when there is background noise.The following recommendations will help you safeguard your hearing:
- Always use hearing protection for target practice and while siting-in your firearms.
- When possible use hearing protection while hunting. If you are concerned about not hearing game or your hunting partners, you can get hunter’s earplugs from your Indian Health Service audiologist. Amplified hunter’s earmuffs can be purchased at Cabela’s or other hunting supplies retailers.
- Always use hearing protection while shooting from a blind or when you are close to someone else who is shooting.
Online Resources for Hearing Conservation
- Resources for Teaching Children and Adolescents about Hazardous Noise:
It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.®
This national public education campaign is designed to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. With this information, parents and other adults can encourage children to adopt healthy hearing habits before and during the time that they develop listening, leisure, and working habits.
It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing® and the Noisy Planet logo are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Dangerous Decibels Program
The Dangerous Decibels project is a public health campaign designed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) by changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of school-aged children. This is a great resource for teachers and parents.
- CDC NIOSH Hearing Conservation Website:
This government sponsored website has tons of information and videos that talk about your hearing and how to take care of it.
- Hearing Conservation Training:
The Hearing Video
Produced in the style of a TV science show, The Hearing Video uses vintage films, computer animation, and noise-defying stunts to demonstrate how your ears work and the effects of hazardous noise on your hearing. The video also demonstrates the proper use and maintenance of hearing protection and how to choose the right protection for you.
- How to use Ear Plugs:
Protect Your Hearing: How to Use Earplugs
Hearing loss can seriously affect your lifestyle. Watch this video to find out how the proper use of earplugs at work can protect your ears and prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Other Hearing Concerns
The Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board Audiology Program exists to assist individuals and families with their hearing communication needs. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Tera at (505) 962-2605 and he will have an audiologist call you.