Your sense of hearing is important 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 disregard hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one out of eight individuals (nearly 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and simplest 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 simple 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 greatest threats to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for just 15 minutes. The better option would be to buy a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes per day.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to completely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, it’s crucial that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:
- Over a one hour visit to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
The moral here is that you should get yourself some sort of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a significant effect on your hearing. There are some medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. 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 at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to set up a consultation.