Your sense of hearing is important in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But strangely, the general public tends to ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with neglected and permanent hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats 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 fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones come with them. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes can result in permanent hearing loss. The better option 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. No matter what 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 per day.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. 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 significant if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will be helpful
If you have hobbies or work in a loud setting, it’s essential that you make use of hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
If you participate in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the best thing you can do. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be significantly affected by the medication you use. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medicines, 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 coping with hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam.