Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But strangely, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you already have hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds are one of the biggest perils to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with 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 most smartphones included them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. No matter what sound 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 each day.
Keep your volume down
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud 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.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, 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:
- The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you just need to give your ears a break. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. There are certain medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. Luckily, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it much less common.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.