Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 suffer from untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary 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 threats to hearing. Nearly every smartphone on the market comes with a pair of these little devices that fit 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 cause permanent hearing loss. 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 pair that has noise-canceling technology. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Steering clear of these scenarios may only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will help
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you make use of hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- Over a one hour visit to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
If you participate in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the best thing you can do. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to recover. 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 may actually have a substantial effect on your hearing. There are certain medications that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Fortunately, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test.