Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (nearly 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 a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 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. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It might be unrealistic to entirely avoid these settings particularly 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 a must 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:
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 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 subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a rest. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended 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 start blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly affected by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.