Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight people (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you already have hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
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 packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can cause irreversible hearing loss. 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 follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes every day.
Keep your volume low
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. Avoiding these scenarios might only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will be helpful
If you have hobbies or work in a loud setting, it’s essential that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor shooting range
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a break. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it much less common.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.