Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (about 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest threats to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to entirely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.
Utilize hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in a setting 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:
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit 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 giving your ears a break is the best thing you can do. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using hearing protection. 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. There are some medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you take 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 schedule a consultation.