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Helpful handbook includes advice from our own Dr. Fligor

“Recreational noise” sounds rather innocuous. After all, “recreation” refers to fun, relaxation, recess, playtime, and so many other positive associations, so how bad could recreational noise really be? The reality, however, is that it’s one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, making it important to understand potential risks and ways to protect your health.


Our own Dr. Brian Fligor, audiologist-in-chief and president here at Tobias & Battite, Inc., worked to do just that in contributing to the empowering lay-friendly guide, The Consumer Handbook on Hearing Loss and Noise. The 224-page book includes a chapter by Dr. Fligor, whose discussion of noise-induced hearing loss also includes a historical look at noise exposure in the workplace.


In demystifying how excess noise can most commonly lead to hearing loss, Dr. Fligor breaks things down step by step in Chapter 4:

NIHL is a permanent hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear, and is cumulative throughout one’s lifetime. The most common cause is from extended exposures to moderately intense sound levels, above 80-85 dBA (A-weighted decibels sound pressure level), and develops insidiously over months or years. This type of gradually developing NIHL occurs when the sensory cells in the inner ear are overworked and die (see Chapter 2 for greater detail on how this happens). These cells are not replaced by new sensory cells in the inner ear, and so the resulting hearing loss is permanent.


Dr. Fligor also explains in the chapter how in some circumstances the hearing damage resulting from loud sounds can be more immediate. Whether gradual or sudden, noise-related hearing loss affects millions of people, including an estimated 1 in 4 U.S. adults ages 20 to 69. On a global level, more than a billion 12- to 35-year-olds are at risk from overexposure to recreational sounds.


Of course, prevention is key. Whether turning the volume down, moving away from the source of the noise, taking regular breaks from loud sounds, or wearing custom hearing protection, avoiding exposure can go a long way in conserving your hearing. Another critical step: Having your hearing regularly checked.


Are you having trouble following conversations in loud spaces? Do loved ones complain about your TV volume? Have you experienced ringing or buzzing in your head or ears? These could indicate a noise-related hearing loss. Don’t wait. Contact our expert team to book a hearing evaluation today. Let’s make sure you’re hearing your best so you can live your best!


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