Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But strangely, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with untreated and permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. Almost every smartphone on the market 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 just 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. 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.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you regularly listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Avoiding these situations might only happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, 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 environment, it’s essential that you make use of 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 gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
If you participate in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the smartest thing you can do. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. That means, you most likely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly affected by the medication you use. There are some medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. 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.
Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.