Your sense of hearing is important in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way for it to return But for some reason, 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 is dealing with neglected and permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory 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 fit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss. The better option would be to get a set 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. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It might be unrealistic to completely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- 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
The takeaway here is that you should invest in some type of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the smartest thing you can do. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a substantial effect on your hearing. There are certain medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.