Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But strangely, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with neglected and irreversible hearing loss.
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 avoidable hearing loss.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. 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 just 15 minutes can lead to irreversible 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. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may 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 take note of the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 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 exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
The takeaway here is that you should purchase some sort of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
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 a chance to recover. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be substantially affected by the medication you take. There are certain medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.