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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 strangely, the general public tends to ignore hearing loss. In fact, permanent hearing loss affects one out of eight people (nearly 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 a simple thing to protect your ears from the start to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.

Here are five simple ways that you can protect your hearing:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds are one of the biggest dangers to hearing health today since they’ve come packaged with mobile devices going back to the first MP3 players in the early 2000s. These little devices sit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most 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, especially the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. No matter what 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.

Lower the volume

Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. If you regularly listen to the radio or TV at loud 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 impractical to entirely avoid these environments particularly 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.

Hearing protection will be helpful

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

  • The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
  • At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels
  • Over a one hour trip to the indoor shooting range, your ears are repeatedly subjected to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average

If you engage in any of these activities, you need to purchase a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you simply need to give your ears a break. If you engaged in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing hearing protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

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

Are you coping with hearing loss and want to find new treatment? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test.

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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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