Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But strangely, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with 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 avoidable 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 sit 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 full volume for only 15 minutes can result in permanent hearing loss. The better choice would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what sound devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes each day.
Reduce the volume
Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Steering clear of these situations may only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.
Utilize hearing protection
Hearing protection is essential if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. 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
- At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
- The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
There are times you just need to give your ears a rest. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to recover. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
Check your medicine
Your hearing could be significantly impacted by the medication you take. There are certain medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. The good news is that medication-related hearing loss is not 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 suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Get in touch with us today to set up a consultation.