Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss tends to go untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with neglected and irreversible hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning 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.
Safeguard 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 threats to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes. The better option would be to buy a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes per day.
Lower the volume
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. Steering clear of these scenarios 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
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you use 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 produce 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor gun range
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally 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
There are times you simply need to give your ears a break. Even if you use ear 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. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a significant impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.