Your ability to hear is precious – once it’s gone, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But for some reason, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with untreated and irreversible hearing loss.
While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such an easy thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.
Protect your hearing with these five tips:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds are one of the biggest perils to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. Almost every smartphone on the market comes with a set of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. 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 per day.
Keep your volume down
Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you regularly listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. Steering clear of these situations may only be possible in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will help
If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, it’s essential that you make use of hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:
- Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek
- The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor shooting range
- Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
If you take part in any of these activities, you need to purchase 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 really should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.
Check your medicine
Your medicine may actually have a substantial impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss isn’t common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications together making it easier to prevent.
Looking to get treatment for your hearing loss? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.