Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when you lose it, 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 impacts one out of eight individuals (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. Almost 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. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can lead to permanent hearing loss. The better choice would be to buy a set of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective 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 higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. Avoiding these situations may only happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s essential that you use hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
The moral here is that you should get yourself some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
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 really should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially impacted by the medication you take. There are some medications that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. 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 at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.