Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way for it to return But curiously, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (nearly 30 million people) over the age of 12 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 simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can result in irreversible hearing loss. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. No matter what devices you use, you should follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes each day.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. 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.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s essential that you make use of hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- Over a one hour visit to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
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 prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a considerable effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Luckily, medication associated hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it much less common.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to set up a consultation.