Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with untreated and permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest perils to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It may be impractical to entirely avoid these settings particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- 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
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a rest. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. That means, you definitely 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 could be significantly impacted by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to set up a consultation.