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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 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 disregard hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 suffer from neglected and irreversible hearing loss.

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

Protect your hearing with these five tips:

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory 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 directly into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for just 15 minutes. Earmuff style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which suggests a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.

Keep your volume down

Your hearing can be harmed 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. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. It may be unrealistic to completely avoid these settings especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.

Utilize hearing protection

Hearing protection is a must 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:

  • 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
  • The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
  • Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally 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 take part in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you simply need to give your ears a break. Even if you wear hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to rest. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

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

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

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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.