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 disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 suffer from neglected and permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
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 players in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. Earmuff style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. No matter what 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.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a sustained period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Steering clear of these situations may only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Hearing protection will help
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, it’s crucial that you use hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor shooting range
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
If you participate in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you simply need to give your ears a rest. If you engaged 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 significant effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to cause 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 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.