Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is when an individual acquires hearing loss due to the exposure of loud sounds. This exposure of a high-intensity sound can happen in a variety of settings, such as working in loud environments (e.g. construction, factory, military, etc.). or having hobbies that expose an individual to loud sounds (e.g. hunting, playing a musical instrument, attending concerts, etc.). These are just a few instances where noise can damage an individual’s ears permanently. Damage to the ears could be a one-time occurrence, or it could be a consistent exposure to noise. Hearing protection is the best way to prevent NIHL. If you know that you will be exposed to loud noises, wearing ear plugs or earmuffs can help protect your hearing. Hearing protection options can be purchased at various drugstores or online. A great rule to follow is if the environment seems loud enough where you would put earmuffs on a baby, then you should also be wearing protection. For more information on hearing protection and NIHL, visit www.munciehears.org.
Article by Natalie Brooks, B.S.