Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 is dealing with untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
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 start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds are one of the biggest perils to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The better option 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 set that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It might be impractical to completely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will be helpful
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- 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
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
The moral here is that you should purchase some sort of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to rest. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly impacted 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 isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.