Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss tends to go neglected and unchecked in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight people (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can result in irreversible hearing loss. The better choice would be to buy a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Steering clear of these situations may only happen in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is a must if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average.
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
The takeaway here is that you should get yourself some type of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were using ear protection. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially affected by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test.