Your sense of hearing is essential 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 disregard hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.
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 avoidable hearing loss.
Here are five easy 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 biggest dangers to hearing. Almost every smartphone on the market comes with a pair of these little devices that fit snugly in your ear and pump sound directly into your ear canal. You can get permanent 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, 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 per day.
Lower the volume
Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely listen to the TV or radio at loud volumes over sustained periods, your hearing can also be harmed. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy settings should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to entirely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.
Use hearing protection
Hearing protection is essential if you work in a setting 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
- 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 a week there
If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.
Take auditory breaks
Sometimes you simply need to give your ears a rest. 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 recover. That means, you probably shouldn’t get into your car and begin blasting loud music right after you come out of a 3-hour concert.
Check your medicine
Your hearing may be substantially affected by the medication you take. There are certain medicines that have been proven to cause hearing loss including some heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. Fortunately, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.
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