Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way for it to return But somehow, hearing loss tends to go neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with neglected and irreversible hearing loss.
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 avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can result in irreversible hearing loss. The better choice would be to get a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what sound devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes every day.
Lower the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may be impractical to entirely avoid these environments particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor shooting range
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you just need to give your ears a rest. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a considerable effect on your hearing. There are some medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Luckily, medication related hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it much less common.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.