Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss tends to go untreated and unchecked in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight people (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 easy ways that you can safeguard your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
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 devices in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. The better choice would be to get a set 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. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. 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 situations especially 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 loud environment, it’s crucial that you use hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. 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 shooting range
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
If you participate in any of these activities, you need to invest in 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 recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. That means, you definitely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blaring loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a significant impact on your hearing. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Fortunately, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.
Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.