It is that time of year to gear up for MARCH MADNESS! And one thing not to forget is hearing damage.
Temporary threshold shift, or TTS, is a temporary hearing loss caused by exposure to harmful amounts of loud noise. This is a rising of the softest sound you can hear (your auditory threshold), thus possibly making soft sounds inaudible and louder sounds much quieter. It is sometimes accompanied by tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
The sensation of hearing loss with TTS is caused partly by the ear trying to protect itself, but is mainly due to fatigue within the hearing organ, making the mechanisms within the system unable to function properly, causing you to have a hearing loss.
While the immediate effect is generally temporary, it can be a sign that you are causing some amount of irreversible permanent hearing loss, or that you may have started down that road. What happens when loud noise hits the hearing organ is similar to that of a steam roller slamming into grass. Some sound may remain behind, but the results on a whole can be devastating and painful. Studies have shown that it can take up to a year for the effects of loud exposure to play its course in your system, and once the death of your cells begins, it is more likely to continue.
Permanent hearing loss has been shown to occur when exposed to 85 dB over eight hours. The louder the noise, the less time it takes to damage your hearing. By 115 dB, which is approximately the sound level of a basketball game, it may take less than 15 minutes to cause damage. In some cases, games can peak at up to 130 dB, which can cause permanent damage in seconds.
This March Madness season, protect your ears by wearing hearing protection, and if you experience TTS, take it for the warning sign it is.
For more information, please call 214.363.HEAR.
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- “Basketball” by Reisio – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
- “Agricultural grass” by Paolo Neo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
- Videoscribe: White Board video editor
- “NokiaArena” by Yellow up – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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