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 strangely, 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.
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 start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come as an accessory to most mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. 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 irreversible hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes. The better choice 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 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 each day.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you regularly listen to them over a sustained period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is crucial 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. To put that in perspective:
- Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
- The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
The moral here is that you should invest in some type of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the best thing you can do. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to rest. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications 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 at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.