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

Your ability to hear is valuable – once you lose it, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But curiously, the general public tends to ignore hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with neglected and irreversible hearing loss.

While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.

Protect 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 biggest threats to hearing. Almost every smartphone available comes with a pair of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes. The better choice would be to buy a set 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. 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 safeguard your hearing.

Keep your volume down

Your hearing can be damaged 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 sustained period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. Avoiding these situations might only be possible in a perfect world, particularly 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.

Hearing protection will help

If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, it’s essential that you utilize hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:

  • The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
  • At most 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 trip to an indoor shooting range

The moral here is that you should get yourself some type of hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a break. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.

Check your medicine

Your medicine may actually have a significant effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated 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? Make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.

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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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