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Worker sitting on a folding chair wearing a red plaid shirt and work overalls getting ready to put protective headphones on.

Your ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the chance of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But curiously, the general public tends to ignore hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight people (about 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.

While there are treatments that can help you regain your hearing, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.

Here are five simple ways that you can safeguard your hearing:

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices 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 straight 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 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 pair that has noise-canceling technology. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.

Keep your volume low

Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. 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 situations might only happen 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

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

  • The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there
  • Over a one hour visit to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
  • Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners commonly playing for around an hour and 20 minutes

The takeaway here is that you should purchase some kind of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you engage in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you just need to give your ears a break. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you leave a 3-hour concert.

Check your medicine

Your hearing could be significantly affected by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medications have all been proven to cause hearing loss. The good news is that medication-associated hearing loss is not common and is more likely if you use two or more of those medications at the same time making it easier to prevent.

Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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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.