Protecting your hearing is similar to eating right. It sounds smart, but not many of us have a very good concept of where to begin. This is especially true if you don’t consider your daily environment to be particularly noisy and there aren’t any apparent dangers to your ears. But your ears and senses can be stressed by everyday living, so doing these hearing protection tips can help safeguard your auditory acuity.
The more you can do to slow the impairment of your hearing, the longer you’ll be capable of enjoying the sounds around you.
Tip 1: Ear Protection You Can Wear
Using hearing protection is the most sensible and basic way to safeguard your hearing. This means that diminishing loud and harmful sound is a basic step you need to take.
This means that when it’s needed most people will want to wear hearing protection. Hearing protection commonly comes in two basic forms:
- Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.
- Ear Muffs, which are put over the ears.
Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each type has its positive aspects. What’s significant is that you pick some hearing protection that you feel comfortable wearing.
Tip 2: Be Aware When Sound Becomes Harmful
But how can you be sure when to use hearing protection? We’re used to linking dangerous noise with painful noise. But the truth is that noises can begin to damage your hearing at a much lower volume than you might expect. After just a couple hours, for instance, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your hearing. An essential step in safeguarding your hearing, then, is recognizing when sound becomes dangerous.
The following threshold is when sound becomes dangerous:
- 95-100 dB: This is the normal volume of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. This level of sound becomes harmful after 15-20 minutes.
- 85 decibels (dB): After around two hours this level of sound is hazardous.Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both circumstances where you will find this volume of sound.
- Over 100 dB: In this situation, you can injure your hearing very quickly. Damage is done in about thirty seconds with anything above this threshold. Rock concerts and jet engines, for example, can injure your ears in around thirty seconds.
Tip 3: Your Phone Can Be a Sound Meter
Now that we have a general concept of what volume of noise might be hazardous, we can take some precautions to make sure we limit our exposure. The trick is that, once you’re out and about in the real world, it can be challenging to determine what’s too loud and what isn’t.
That’s where your smartphone can become a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.
In order to get an understanding of what dangerous levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to check the decibel level of everything you are hearing.
Tip 4: Monitor Your Volume Buttons
A smartphone with earbuds is commonly the way people listen to music nowadays. This creates a risky situation for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a sufficiently high level can cause considerable damage to your ears.
That’s why protecting your ears means keeping a sharp eye on your volume control. In order to drown out sounds somewhere else, you should not raise the sound level. And we recommend using apps or configurations to make sure that your volume never accidentally become hazardously high.
If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become something of a negative feedback loop; in order to compensate for your declining hearing, you may find yourself continuously increasing the volume of your earbuds, doing more damage to your ears in the process.
Tip 5: Have Your Hearing Examined
You might think that getting a hearing exam is something you do only when your hearing begins to wane. The issue is that it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your hearing without a standard to compare results to.
Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a good way to generate data that can be used for both treatment and analytic purposes, making certain that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) decisions have a little bit of added context and information.
Keep an Eye on Your Ears
In a perfect world, protecting your hearing would be something you could do continuously without any problem. But there are always going to be challenges. So protect your hearing when you can, as often as possible. You should also get your ears examined regularly. Hopefully, these tips will give you a good start.