Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (nearly 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. Almost 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 maximum volume for just 15 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. The better option would be to buy a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to completely avoid these situations especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 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 majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
The takeaway 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
There are times you simply need to give your ears a break. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be significantly impacted by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain 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 take two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.