Your sense of hearing is crucial in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But curiously, the general public tends to ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 suffer from untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
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 recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. Nearly every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can result in permanent hearing loss. 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.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you regularly 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 happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Use hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, it’s essential that you use hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
- At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The average firearm discharge 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 participate in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a break is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly affected by the medication you take. There are certain medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. The good news is that medication-associated 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.
Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.