Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But strangely, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 is dealing with neglected and permanent hearing loss.
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 get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
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 devices in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes. The better option would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to completely avoid these environments particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you make use of hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor shooting range
The moral here is that you should invest in some type of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a break. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and start blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be substantially impacted by the medication you use. There are some medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss isn’t 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 seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test.