October is also National Protect Your Hearing Month. Most of us will experience a hearing loss at some point in our lives. It is a growing health concern in the United States and all over the world. The good news is that it is often preventable. Millions of people in the U.S. are exposed to damaging noise at their jobs every day. These individuals who are at risk can be farmers, factory workers, construction workers, and firemen or police officers, just to name a few. In addition, over 1 billion young people worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from recreational activities such as nightclubs, bars, and sporting events. As mentioned, this type of hearing loss can be prevented in most circumstances. If possible, the noise should be reduced at the source. It is also important to wear hearing protection such as earplugs, earmuffs, or custom hearing protection. Proper insertion of hearing protection devices is critical and the devices should be worn for the entire duration of exposure. If you are experiencing symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss such as muffled hearing or tinnitus, contact your audiologist today. Be proactive and protect your hearing to avoid debilitating loss in the future.