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 of getting it back. But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight people (about 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 beginning to prevent avoidable hearing loss.

Protect your hearing with these five tips:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest threats to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Following the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes per day, is another safety measure to safeguard your hearing.

Lower the volume

Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you regularly 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, such as construction zones, concerts, and shooting ranges. Steering clear of these scenarios might only happen in a perfect world, especially 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 be helpful

Hearing protection is essential if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud sounds. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:

  • Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm 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 gun range
  • At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 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 rest is the best thing you can do. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you should make certain to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing hearing protection. That means, you most likely shouldn’t get into your car and start blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.

Check your medicine

Your medicine may actually have a considerable impact on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Luckily, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it much less common.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.

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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.
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