Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 suffer from untreated and irreversible 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 recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes. The better choice would be to buy a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these situations especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is a must if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. 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
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises 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 most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially affected by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss is not 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 exam.