Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But somehow, hearing loss tends to go neglected and unchecked in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with neglected and permanent 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 beginning to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can result in permanent hearing loss. The better option would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a set 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 per day.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud settings should be avoided. Avoiding these situations may only happen in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is a must if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor shooting range
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply 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 most likely 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 medicine could actually have a significant effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you take two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.