Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 is dealing with untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight 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 cause irreversible hearing loss. Earmuff style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume down
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. It may be impractical to completely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will be helpful
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- 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
- 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 takeaway here is that you should get yourself some sort of hearing protection such as 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. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a considerable effect on your hearing. There are some medications that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. 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.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.