Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But somehow, hearing loss tends to go untreated and unchecked in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 suffer from neglected and permanent hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The better option would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a pair 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.
Keep your volume down
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It might be unrealistic to completely avoid these settings especially if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, 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 average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
- The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the best thing you can do. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine could actually have a significant impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines 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 use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.