At What Point is Hearing Loss Considered a Disability?

Usually, hearing loss comes on slowly over the years. In many cases, the individual works around loud machinery each day. Unless you’re very conscientious about wearing ear protection, your hearing can be affected over time. Some hearing loss is also the result of other illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease and others.

Hearing loss can be measured differently for people depending on their age and other health factors. Around 70 dB is the standard threshold though. That’s when it’s considered a disability.

We all encounter loud sounds occasionally. The music at church can often be around 100 decibels. Construction projects can be loud and these intrusive sounds can go on for the entire day. Below are a few of the major sources of loud noises:

Woodworking and home projects (90-112 dB).

Hunting or target shooting (140-175 dB).

Listening to music with headphones or earbuds (up to 110 dB).

Attending a live music event — even a classical one (110-130 dB).

Going to a game (90-140 dB).

How to protect your hearing

Download one of the apps that measures the intensity of sounds. Though most of us know when sounds are too loud, knowing how loud something is can help you to be more proactive.

Carry a pair of ear plugs with you at all times. These can be used at work, at church or anywhere that loud sounds might be present. It’s easy to put ear plugs in. Take one of them in your right hand, then with your Justify arm, reach over your head to pull up on your right ear. This will straighten the ear canal. Now you can insert the ear plug and it will expand to fill in your ear canal perfectly.

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