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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 you lose it, there will be no natural way for it to return But somehow, hearing loss frequently goes neglected and unchecked in the general population. In fact, permanent hearing loss impacts one in every eight individuals (about 30 million people) over the age of 12 in the United States alone.

Protecting your hearing from the beginning is the best and simplest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can recover much of your hearing with a hearing aid.

Protect 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 threats to hearing. These little devices fit snugly into the ear canal and pump sound directly into the inner ear and most smartphones come with them. You can get irreversible hearing damage by listening to music or a movie on your mobile device at max volume for only 15 minutes. Earmuff style headphones, particularly the ones with noise canceling technology, would be a better option. Sticking to the 60/60 rule, which recommends a maximum volume of 60% for no higher than 60 minutes a day, is another safety measure to protect your hearing.

Reduce the volume

Earbuds don’t generate the only sounds that can harm your hearing. If you routinely 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 loud environments should be avoided. Steering clear of these scenarios might only be possible in a perfect world, particularly if you’re a construction worker or a musician. The next item on the list will be significant if you’re in this situation.

Use hearing protection

Hearing protection is crucial 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:

  • Over a one hour visit 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 over 130 decibels and many workers spend 40 or more hours every week there
  • The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for about an hour and 20 minutes

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 participated in any of the activities listed above, you should make sure to take some quiet time for yourself so your ears can rest and recover, even if you were using ear protection. So after you leave a concert, you most likely shouldn’t jump into your car and crank music.

Check your medicine

Your medicine could actually have a significant impact on your hearing. There are some medicines that have been proven to trigger 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 medications 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 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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