Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But somehow, hearing loss tends to go neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight individuals (nearly 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.
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 beginning to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. Almost every smartphone available comes with a set of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can cause irreversible hearing loss. The better choice would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you regularly listen to them over a sustained 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 may only be possible in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
Hearing protection is a must if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Over a one hour visit to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
The takeaway here is that you should invest in some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make certain 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 blast 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 is not 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 schedule a consultation.