Your sense of hearing is important in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way for it to return But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight people (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you currently have hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Earbuds should be avoided
Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with 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 directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for just 15 minutes. The better option 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 set that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what sound devices you use, you should follow 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 generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to steer clear of situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Steering clear of these scenarios 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 significant if you’re in this situation.
Utilize hearing protection
If you have hobbies or work in a loud setting, it’s crucial that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- Over a one hour visit to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
- 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
If you take part 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 break is the smartest thing you can do. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you really should make certain to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recuperate, even if you were wearing hearing protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.
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 use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.
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