Your ability to hear is valuable – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 is dealing with untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full 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 choice. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Avoiding these scenarios might only happen in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will be helpful
Hearing protection is a must if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 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 trip to an indoor gun range
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
The takeaway here is that you should get yourself some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you just need to give your ears a break. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially affected by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medications have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you take two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.