Worker sitting on a folding chair wearing a red plaid shirt and work overalls getting ready to put protective headphones on.

Your ability to hear is precious – 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 ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 suffer from untreated and permanent hearing loss.

While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent avoidable hearing loss.

Here are five easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. The better choice would be to buy a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. 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 each day.

Keep your volume down

Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. Avoiding these scenarios may 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 important if you’re in this situation.

Utilize hearing protection

If you have hobbies or work in a loud setting, 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:

  • Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
  • At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
  • 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

If you engage 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. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

Your hearing could be substantially impacted by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you take two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.

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Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/how_does_loud_noise_cause_hearing_loss.html
https://armeddefense.org/hearing-protection
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tf3092

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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