Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight people (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 easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest threats to hearing. Nearly every smartphone on the market comes with a pair of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for just 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. No matter what sound devices you use, you should follow 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 consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. Steering clear of these situations may only be possible 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.
Utilize hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- The noise of a construction site can be above 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 over 120 decibels
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor shooting range
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 break. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. 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 hearing may be substantially impacted by the medication you use. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss isn’t 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? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.