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

Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight people (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.

Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.

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

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. Nearly every smartphone on the market comes with a set of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. No matter what sound devices you use, you should follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes every day.

Lower the volume

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. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. It might be impractical to completely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.

Use hearing protection

Hearing protection is essential if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:

  • Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
  • Over a one hour visit to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
  • Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek

If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you just need to give your ears a rest. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were using hearing protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.

Check your medicine

Your medicine may actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. 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 at the same time making it easier to prevent.

Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.

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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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