October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. Did you know hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States?

According to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss with more than half being under the age of 65.

 How can you tell if you have hearing loss? Here are a few signs to watch for:

• People seem to “mumble” when they’re talking with you
• It’s difficult to hear conversations in loud places such as restaurants, shopping malls or the movie theater
• You have trouble following conversations
• People need to repeat themselves frequently when speaking with you
• You have trouble hearing people when they’re not facing you
• You hear ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds

Are these warning signs looking familiar? It’s not too late to take preventative action. Here are a few tips to prevent additional deterioration of your hearing.

• Remove yourself from loud sounds in your environment
• Turn down the volume on the TV, radio, MP3 player or anything through earbuds or head phones
• Don’t put anything in your ear other than your hearing protection
• Wear hearing protection when you are around sounds louder than 85dB for long periods of time