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Injury Prevention Strategies

EARS²U is an acronym to help protect your ears from hazardous noise exposures and prevent noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL:

  • Educate yourself about hazardous noise. Become aware of hazardous noise sources that are 85 decibels or above, such as lawn mowers, power tools, motorcycles, chainsaws, and motorboats.
  • Adjust the volume of your personal listening devices. Turn down the volume. Use noise-isolating headphones to reduce your listening volume level. Take listening breaks if you listen at loud levels. Use personal listening devices that limit the volume output.
  • Recognize and reduce the noise hazards. Reduce noise at the source or increase distance from the noise. Ensure your equipment is well maintained. Replace noisy mufflers or place noisy equipment inside an enclosure or behind a barrier.
  • Select and properly use hearing protection devices, or HPDs. Wear ear plugs, noise muffs, or noise attenuating helmets when exposed to hazardous noises on or off duty.
  • Seek annual hearing health services from a local audiologist. Symptoms of NIHL include ringing or fullness in ears and/or muffled speech. Obtain a hearing test as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • Understand the consequences of unprotected exposure to noise. Repeated, unprotected exposure to hazardous noise over a period of time causes permanent inner ear damage.

Remember this rule of thumb: If you have to raise your voice to be heard by a person two to three feet from you, you’re in a noisy, hazardous environment. It’s a good idea to limit your time in this environment and/or wear appropriate hearing protection.

About Us

The Hearing Center of Excellence fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. It supports the development, exchange and adoption of best practices, research, measures of effectiveness and clinical care guidelines to reduce the prevalence and cost of hearing loss and tinnitus among Warriors and Veterans. Read more

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