5 Ways to Protect Your Hearing

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 valuable – once it’s gone, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is not likely. But for some reason, hearing loss tends to go neglected and uncontrolled in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight individuals over the age of 12 copes with untreated and permanent hearing loss.

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:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds have been packaged with mobile devices since the early 2000s and are one of the greatest dangers to hearing. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. Over the ear style headphones, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. No matter what sound devices you use, you should stick to the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes each day.

Keep your volume down

Your hearing can be damaged by other things besides earbuds. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at loud volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these situations especially if they’re part of your job. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.

Utilize hearing protection

Hearing protection is essential if you work in an environment or enjoy hobbies that expose you to loud noises. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:

  • At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 120 decibels
  • Over a one hour trip to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
  • Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could take their toll after a 40-hour workweek

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 best thing you can do. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to rest. That means, you most likely shouldn’t get into your car and begin blaring loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.

Check your medicine

Your medicine may actually have a significant impact on your hearing. There are some medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including some heart and cancer medications, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. Luckily, medication related hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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.