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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 ability to hear is precious – once you lose it, the likelihood of getting it back in its natural form is slim to nil. But somehow, hearing loss tends to go 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 get some hearing back, like hearing aids, it’s such a simple thing to protect your ears from the beginning to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.

Safeguard your hearing with these five tips:

Don’t use earbuds

Earbuds have been a mobile device accessory since the early 2000s and are one of the biggest dangers to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound straight into the inner ear and the majority of smartphones included them. You can get permanent hearing damage by listening to a movie or music on your mobile device at maximum volume for only 15 minutes. The better option would be to get a pair of earmuff-style headphones that go over your ears, which is made even more effective if you can find a set that has noise-canceling technology. Adhering to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no more than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.

Lower the volume

Earbuds don’t produce the only sounds that can damage your hearing. Loud sounds from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Gun ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. Steering clear of these situations may only happen in a perfect world, especially if you’re a construction worker or a musician. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to take note of the next item on the list.

Hearing protection will help

If you have hobbies or work in a noisy setting, it’s essential that you utilize hearing protection. 85 decibels over a period of 15 minutes is enough to cause hearing loss. Compare that to the following:

  • At the majority of concerts the headlining band plays for up to two hours at well above 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.
  • The noise of a construction site can be above 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours a week there

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

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes giving your ears a break is the best thing you can do. Even if you use hearing protection, if you are subjected to loud sounds like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears a chance to rest. That means, you definitely 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 medicine could actually have a significant effect on your hearing. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and certain heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. Luckily, medication associated hearing loss usually only happens when more than one of these medicines are taken together making it far less common.

Are you suffering from hearing loss and want to seek out new treatment? 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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