Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But strangely, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight individuals (about 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come as an accessory to most mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a set of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. The better choice would be to get 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. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these environments particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, 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:
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- 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 participate in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. That means, you definitely 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 medicine could actually have a significant impact on your hearing. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.