Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest 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 easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a set of these little devices that fit 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 full volume for just 15 minutes. The better choice would be to get a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you regularly listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to completely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s essential that you utilize hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
The takeaway here is that you should purchase some kind of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you use ear 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 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 significant impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. 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 coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Contact us today to set up a consultation.