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 important in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But strangely, the general public tends to disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with untreated and permanent hearing loss.

Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.

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

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. The better choice would be to buy a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.

Keep your volume low

Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be harmed. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may be unrealistic to completely avoid these environments particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.

Hearing protection will be helpful

If you have hobbies or work in a noisy 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 average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
  • The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
  • The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there

The takeaway here is that you should purchase some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you simply need to give your ears a rest. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

Your hearing may be substantially impacted by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.

Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam.

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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.