Worker sitting on a folding chair wearing a red plaid shirt and work overalls getting ready to put protective headphones on.

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 neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of 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:

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come as an accessory to most 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 directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can result in irreversible hearing loss. The better option would be to get a pair 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. No matter what 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 every day.

Keep your volume low

Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you regularly listen to them over a sustained period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud settings should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to completely avoid these settings especially if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.

Hearing protection will help

If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, it’s essential that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:

  • 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
  • The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
  • The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for around an hour and 20 minutes

If you take part in any of these activities, you need to invest in a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes you just need to give your ears a break. If you participated 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 recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

Your medicine could actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. There are certain medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Luckily, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it much less common.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test.

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Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/how_does_loud_noise_cause_hearing_loss.html
https://armeddefense.org/hearing-protection
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tf3092

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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