Happy National Protect Your Hearing Month

There are hundreds of National Days throughout the year: National Taco Day, Change Your Password Day, and National Purebred Dog Day, just to name a few. But not many subjects or causes get an entire month devoted to them. So what makes hearing protection so special?

Because hearing plays a huge role in our overall quality of life.

Whether it's helping us feel safe and independent or the proven impact it has on our long-term physical and cognitive health, there’s a reason hearing is one of only four vital senses.

Then, of course, there are the sounds of laughter, music, the great outdoors, and conversations with friends and family. Simply hearing them can give us fuel for each day, and helps make moments more memorable and life more immersive.

That’s why it’s important to protect your hearing and keep it the best it can be for as long as you can.

Protecting your hearing can help prevent hearing loss

Protecting your hearing from noise is the simplest way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) — which is the second-leading cause of hearing loss after aging.

According to the CDC, nearly 40 million US adults aged 20-69 have noise-induced hearing loss, and one in four of us who report that our hearing is good unknowingly already have hearing damage.

Luckily, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. In fact, it’s the only preventable cause of hearing loss.


Pay attention and be prepared

All it takes to damage your hearing is exposure to sounds 85 decibels (dB) and above. How loud is that? Well, a food blender is around 88 dB. A typical car wash is 89 dB. A gas lawn mower can be 96 dB. And noise from traffic, horns, subways, airports and industrial activity consistently top that threshold.

So what’s a person to do? You can’t be expected to wear hearing protection when you’re sitting in the car wash.

No – but you can and should know your limits.

Loudness + time = hearing danger

The key to noise-induced hearing loss is decibel level PLUS time exposed: meaning how loud the noise is plus how long you’re around it. All it takes is one 140 dB gun blast or a single 150 dB firecracker to cause damage. But unless you’re blending a smoothie for eight hours straight, you should be ok.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s standards, safe levels of noise exposure are as follows:

  • 85 dB for eight hours
  • 88 dB for four hours
  • 91 dB for two hours
  • 94 dB for one hour
  • 97 dB for half an hour
  • 100 dB for 15 minutes

Over time, though, every exposure to loud sounds where you're not wearing hearing protection will add up. Just more gradually and less obviously.


SoundGear Phantom offers advanced hearing protection

If you work in or are consistently around loud sounds — or even if you have loud hobbies like woodworking or hunting — the best way to protect your hearing is to wear good hearing protection.

And few solutions are better or more advanced than SoundGear Phantom.

Custom molded to your ear, SoundGear Phantom features advanced digital technology that delivers instant and immediate noise suppression when loud sounds occur and sophisticated electronic amplification in between those loud sounds — so you can comfortably wear them all day or during an entire activity knowing you’ll be able to hear what you need to hear while simultaneously protecting your hearing.

If that weren’t enough, SoundGear Phantom is also rechargeable and Bluetooth® compatible, so you can stream calls, music or other audio directly from your smartphone.


Only you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss

If you don’t work in loud environments, or maybe you aren’t a weekend hunter or wood chopper, it’s still good advice to protect your hearing. This short video provides some easy ways to do it.

Want additional hearing protection tips? A local hearing care professional can help. To find one near you, simply type your zip code in here and you’ll a generate a list of area providers who can answer all your hearing-related questions.

If we all do our part to protect our hearing, maybe someday we won't need National Protect Your Hearing Month. Then, instead of just a day devoted to tacos, we can celebrate them for an entire month. Until that happens, please protect your hearing!


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By Starkey Hearing