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 somehow, hearing loss frequently goes untreated and unchecked in the general population. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 copes with neglected and permanent 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.

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

Earbuds should be avoided

Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest threats to hearing. Almost every smartphone on the market comes with a pair of these little devices that sit snugly in your ear and pump sound straight into your ear canal. Listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at full volume for only 15 minutes can result in irreversible hearing loss. The better option would be to buy a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even better if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. No matter what sound devices you use, you should follow the 60/60 rule – keep the volume at 60% maximum and only use the devices for 60 minutes each day.

Reduce 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 sustained periods, your hearing can also be damaged. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other noisy environments should be avoided. Avoiding these situations may only happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. 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 noises. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. To put that in perspective:

  • Most concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners usually playing for about an hour and 20 minutes
  • The noise of a construction site can be over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
  • The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour visit to an indoor gun range

The moral here is that you should invest in some type of hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs if you take part in any of these activities.

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. If you participated in any of the activities listed above, you really should make sure to take some quiet time to yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were wearing ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.

Check your medicine

Your hearing may be substantially impacted by the medication you use. There are certain medicines that have been proven to trigger hearing loss including certain heart and cancer medicines, aspirin, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicine. Luckily, medication associated hearing loss normally only happens when more than one of these medications are taken together making it far less common.

Looking to find treatment for your hearing loss? Make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment.

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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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