Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 is dealing with neglected and irreversible hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can cause irreversible hearing loss. The better choice would be to buy a pair 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 per day.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. 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 steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It may be impractical to completely 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.
Utilize 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:
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor gun range
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
The moral here is that you should get yourself some kind of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you engaged 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 wearing hearing protection. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a significant effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications 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 at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam.