Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way for it to return But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of 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 easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory 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 straight into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss. Earmuff style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Lower the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. It might be impractical to entirely avoid these environments especially 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.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
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 rest 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. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially affected by the medication you use. There are some medications that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, 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 much less common.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.