Your ability to hear is valuable – 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 ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 is dealing with neglected and irreversible 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 get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
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 directly into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can lead to irreversible hearing loss. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. No matter what sound devices you use, you should follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes per day.
Reduce the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you regularly listen to them over a sustained period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in a setting 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:
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
The moral here is that you should invest in some sort of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the best thing you can do. If you participated 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 recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be substantially affected by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to cause hearing loss. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it much less common.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.