Man listening to his phone while riding public transportation.
April 1, 2016 | by The Polyclinic

You don't have to attend a rock concert to put your hearing at risk.
The maximum volume of an iPod can be more than 10 times as loud as the recommended setting.

Using portable devices such as iPods to listen to music has increased conversation and concern about hearing loss. What can you do to protect yourself and your kids from noise induced hearing loss?

Hearing Loss: a Cumulative Effect

Over time, loud noises and music can damage hearing. Standard output levels delivered by headphones are loud enough to result in overexposure if used for a sufficient length of time. When noise-induced hearing loss occurs, the damage to the inner ear can be permanent.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) advises consumers to

  • Lower volume levels
  • Limit listening time
  • Use earphones that block external noises

ASHA recommends seeing an audiologist if experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss. Some warnings signs of hearing loss include:

  • Turning up the volume on the TV or radio
  • Painful sensations inside the ears
  • Needing to say “what” or “huh” during normal conversations
  • Experiencing ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus
  • A history of noisy jobs or hobbies, such as frequent rock concert attendance

Preventive Treatment for Hearing Loss

The Polyclinic Audiology Department offers comprehensive treatment solutions for hearing loss and protection, including:

  • Hearing evaluations for patients of every age.
  • Customized fit. Learn how to properly wear your earphones. Upgrade your current pair of earbud-style headphones to protect your hearing with custom-fit headphone adapters. Musical and concert earplugs can be custom fit specifically for musicians.
  • Keep music focused inside the ear and keep external noises out, which helps listeners keep the volume at a safer level.
  • Go hands-free. Comply with Washington state legislation requiring hands-free cell phone use while driving. Custom adapters can be made for cell phone ear pieces as well.

To schedule a hearing test, call 206-860-4642.