Your sense of hearing is essential in your life and when it’s gone, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But curiously, 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.
Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you already have hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.
Here are five easy ways that you can protect your hearing:
Don’t use earbuds
Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. 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 a movie or music 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 option. 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 per day.
Lower the volume
Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Steering clear of these scenarios might only happen in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.
Hearing protection will help
Hearing protection is a must if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:
- 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
- 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 participate 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. 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 some time to rest. 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 considerable impact on your hearing. There are some medications that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Luckily, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.
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