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 curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one out of eight people (nearly 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats 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. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss. The better option would be to get a pair 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. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud settings should be avoided. It might be impractical to entirely avoid these environments especially 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
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. Compare that to the following:
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor shooting range
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a rest. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. That means, you most likely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a substantial effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss is not 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 seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.