Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (about 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 an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five easy 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 biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. Earmuff style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Avoiding these situations may only happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Utilize hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial 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:
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed 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
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the best thing you can do. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a considerable effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to cause hearing loss. Luckily, medication related hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.