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 disregard hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight people (nearly 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest threats to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent 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 safeguard your hearing.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged 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 might only be possible in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is essential if you work in a setting or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
The takeaway here is that you should invest in some kind of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were using ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly affected by the medication you take. There are certain medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Contact us today to set up a consultation.