Most hearing loss that is diagnosed as age-related is actually caused in part by exposure to unhealthy noise levels over time. While the workplace might be the most common culprit, many of us enjoy hobbies that could potentially be playing a part, too. Your audiologist can help you by recommending or customizing ear protection to safeguard your hearing. Here are some of the hobbies that put us at most risk and require ear protection.

Going to nightclubs

The music in most nightclubs can be notoriously loud, but it may actually be loud enough to cause significant damage to your hearing. Closest to the speakers, the noise can reach levels up to 120db, enough to contribute to permanent hearing loss in only a small amount of time and to cause discomfort. Custom-molded earplugs can effectively filter the sound so you can still enjoy music without the risk of doing damage to yourself.

Attending sports events

As much as the roar of the crowd can make a sports event all the more exciting and engaging, it can cause damage after enough exposure. Football and soccer games can reach noise levels over 100db. Serious damage is likely after 8hrs of total exposure, but 60-90 minutes can still contribute to permanent hearing loss if repeated enough over a long period of time, as well. Motorsports like Nascar and Stock Car racing can get louder still, up to 115db, which is enough to cause physical pain.

Playing an instrument

Musicians are at a much greater risk of hearing loss, even though the instruments might be slightly quieter than the other noise levels mentioned above. Classical instruments can reach noise levels of up to 95db but, because practice sessions are so long and so frequent, they can cause permanent hearing loss over time. Those who play rock instruments, like electric guitar or drum kits, may be exposed to noise levels of 115db and over, which is enough to cause severe hearing loss in the long-term. The risk for all musicians increases if you’re playing as part of a band, as well.

DIY in the home

If you’re the kind of person who regularly finds themselves tackling a project with power tool in hand, you need to consider the kind of noise said tools may be making. The average handheld drill produces noise levels of up to 94db, while a power saw has an average noise level of 110db. This is especially true of people who enjoy carpentry or metalworking, where regular exposure to the more powerful (and thus, louder) tools is common. You can purchase earmuffs attached to protective helmets, safeguarding yourself in two ways at once.

If you enjoy any of the hobbies listed above, then you might be in need of ear protection. Custom-molded earplugs, created with the help of your audiologist, can be more cost-effective than the disposable variety if your hobby is a frequent part of your life. If you believe they’re the right choice for you, make an appointment to select and create them today.