Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (nearly 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can result in permanent hearing loss. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may be impractical to entirely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, it’s crucial that you use hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- 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
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
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 smartest thing you can do. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were using hearing protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be substantially impacted by the medication you take. There are certain medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Luckily, medication associated 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? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.