HEARING TIPS

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 important in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way of getting it back. But strangely, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one out of eight individuals (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 avoidable hearing loss.

Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds are one of the biggest threats to hearing health today since they’ve come as an accessory to most mobile devices going back to the first MP3 devices in the early 2000s. These little devices fit 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 full volume for only 15 minutes. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends 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 generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you routinely listen to the radio or TV at high volumes over prolonged periods, your hearing can also be damaged. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud sounds are constant, such as construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. Avoiding these scenarios might only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the situation, then you’ll want to pay attention to the next item on the list.

Hearing protection will help

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

  • 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 generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
  • 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 sort of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a rest. Even if you use ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for prolonged periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.

Check your medicine

Your hearing may be significantly impacted by the medication you take. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medications have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Luckily, medication related hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.

Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Schedule 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.
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