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 somehow, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and unchecked in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (about 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you already have hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five simple 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 dangers to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones come with them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can lead to irreversible hearing loss. Earmuff style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. 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 every 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 harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud settings should be avoided. It might be impractical to entirely avoid these environments particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
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:
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun 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 get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
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 really should make certain to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be significantly affected by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. Luckily, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.