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 crucial in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way for it to return But strangely, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight people (nearly 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.

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 start to prevent avoidable hearing loss.

Protect your hearing with these five tips:

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 fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most smartphones included them. You can get permanent 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 better if you can find a pair that has noise-canceling technology. Following the 60/60 rule, which recommends 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

Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you regularly listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It might be unrealistic to entirely avoid these settings particularly if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.

Use hearing protection

If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, it’s essential that you make use of hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:

  • The average gunshot clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor shooting range
  • Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
  • Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek

If you engage 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 engaged in any of the activities listed above, you should make certain to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were using ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.

Check your medicine

Your hearing could be substantially affected by the medication you take. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. Fortunately, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it much less common.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to find new treatment? 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.