5 Ways to Protect Your Hearing

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 crucial in your life and when you lose it, there will be no natural way for it to return But for some reason, hearing loss tends to go untreated and uncontrolled in the general population. As a matter of fact, permanent hearing loss affects one in every eight individuals (nearly 30 million people) 12 and older in the United States alone.

While there are treatments that can help you get some hearing back, 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:

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 fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. Listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. Over the ear style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better choice. 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.

Keep your volume down

Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud sounds from a radio or TV can do as much harm if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. You’ll also want to avoid situations where loud noises are constant, like construction zones, concerts, and firearm ranges. It may be unrealistic to entirely avoid these environments especially if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.

Hearing protection will be helpful

If you have hobbies or work in a loud environment, it’s crucial that you use hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. To put that in perspective:

  • Jackhammers at a construction site generate 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek
  • The average firearm discharge clocks in at 149 decibels, which is multiplied and amplified over the course of a one hour trip to an indoor gun range
  • At most concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well over 120 decibels

If you take part in any of these activities, you need to get a good set of earmuffs or earplugs.

Take auditory breaks

There are times you just need to give your ears a rest. If you participated 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 using hearing protection. So after you leave a concert, you probably shouldn’t jump into your car and blast music.

Check your medicine

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

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

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.