Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 suffer from neglected and permanent hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Here are five easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. Listening to a movie or music 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 sound devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes per day.
Reduce the volume
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud settings should be avoided. It may be impractical to entirely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is essential if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
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 rest is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. 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 medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. 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? Contact us today to set up a consultation.