Have you ever gone to a rock concert before and come out with your ears ringing? Do you often use power tools without having any ear protection? Is it difficult to hear someone speaking to you over the sound of your television or stereo? Noise induced hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States, affecting nearly 40 million adults aged 20-69.

ATL provides hearing protection when working in noisy places, however activities away from work can damage your hearing just as much as a loud working environment can.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). Noise above 70 dB (an alarm clock or a loud restaurant) over a prolonged period may start to damage your hearing. Noise greater than 120 dB (concert or car race) can cause immediate harm.

Ways to protect your hearing include: turning down the volume – especially on personal listening devices with headphones, taking periodic breaks from noise – give your ears a rest, and using hearing protection such as ear plugs or noise-reducing ear muffs.

For more information on hearing loss prevention visit cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss.