Hearing loss is a huge problem here in the United States. Did you know that roughly 15 percent of adults in America (age 18+) have some level of trouble hearing properly? It's true, and one in every eight individuals (12 years old and older) have experienced hearing loss in both of their ears. With hearing loss being such a big concern, it is important that you take the steps to protect your hearing as well as your child's hearing:

1. Know How Loud Is Too Loud.

Anything louder than 85 decibels can result in permanent and irreversible hearing loss. Some of the most common things that are above 85 decibels include fireworks within three feet, jackhammer, firearms, snow blower, gas lawn mower, hand drill and chain saw. Therefore, you need to make sure that you wear ear plugs or some form of ear protection when you are going to be close to these things, such as when mowing the lawn or doing a home improvement project. 

2. Pop a Pill.

The United States military has been spending a lot of money on hearing loss prevention and they have found that a supplement, which can be purchased over-the-counter, can help minimize hearing impairment when combined with earplugs. The supplement is called N-acetylcysteine. It is recommended to take 1,200 mg of the supplement roughly 12 hours prior to the high-noise event. If you encounter loud noise unexpectedly, take 1,200 mg as soon as you can and continue taking 900 to 1,2000 mg three times daily (with a meal) for the following two weeks. 

3. Chill Out for a Bit.

Whether you've just recently attended a rock concert, performed work with a jackhammer or visited the local sports bars, you were exposed to excessively loud and continuous noise. Now, it is time to take a break and chill out for a bit. Take a few minutes to find a quiet location and relax to give your ears a break from the loud noise. This is particularly true if you aren't wearing ear protection, according to the ASHA.

4. Check Your Children's Toys.

Believe it or not, some of your kids' toys may be too loud for them and could be posing a risk for developing hearing impairment now or later in life. In fact, researchers have found that many popular children's toys were recorded at 100 decibels or more, which is the equivalent of a subway, power saw or lawn mower. Prolonged use of toys that are louder than 90 decibels can result in permanent hearing loss in the future. So, before you go out and buy toys for a birthday or Christmas, you may want to consider avoiding some of these dangerous toys, which include talking dolls, cap guns, musical instruments, cranking toys, walkie-talkies and vehicles with sirens and horns

If you are worried about the possibility of hearing loss or you suspect that you are beginning to lose your hearing, contact an ENT specialist such as Cohen Angelique MD SC to schedule a hearing screening.