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 ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 is dealing with untreated and permanent hearing loss.
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:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest threats to hearing. Nearly every smartphone on the market comes with a set of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes. Earmuff style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. 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 protect your hearing.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. Avoiding these situations might only be possible in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be important 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. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
The takeaway here is that you should invest in some type of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you just need to give your ears a break. 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 rest. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a substantial impact on your hearing. 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-related hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.