Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, 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 permanent hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest threats to hearing. Nearly 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. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for just 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. No matter what devices you use, you should follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes every day.
Keep your volume low
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Avoiding these situations might 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 pay attention to the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you utilize hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor gun range
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest 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 recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. 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 hearing may be significantly affected by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medications have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Fortunately, medication related hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.