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 for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 suffer from neglected and permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. Almost every smartphone on the market comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes. The better option would be to buy 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 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 each day.
Keep your volume down
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these settings especially 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.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is a must if you work in a setting 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:
- 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
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you simply need to give your ears a rest. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and start blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be significantly impacted by the medication you use. 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 use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Contact us today to set up a consultation.