Worker sitting on a folding chair wearing a red plaid shirt and work overalls getting ready to put protective headphones on.

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 somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight individuals (about 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.

While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.

Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds are one of the biggest perils 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 fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones come with 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. 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 set that has noise-canceling technology. 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 per day.

Reduce the volume

Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Avoiding these situations may only happen in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.

Hearing protection will be helpful

Hearing protection is crucial if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 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
  • Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
  • Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average

The takeaway here is that you should get yourself some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes giving your ears a break is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.

Check your medicine

Your hearing could be significantly impacted by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss isn’t 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 seek out new treatment? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.

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Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/how_does_loud_noise_cause_hearing_loss.html
https://armeddefense.org/hearing-protection
https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tf3092

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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