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 curiously, the general public tends to neglect hearing loss. In the US alone, one in eight people over the age of 12 is dealing with untreated and irreversible hearing loss.

Protecting your hearing from the start is the best and easiest way to prevent hearing loss, but if you’re already experiencing hearing loss you can get much of your hearing back with a hearing aid.

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

Earbuds should be avoided

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 straight 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 full volume for just 15 minutes. The better choice would be to get a set 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 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 every day.

Lower the volume

Your hearing can be harmed by other things besides earbuds. Loud noises from a TV or radio can do as much damage if you consistently listen to them over a prolonged period of time. Shooting ranges, concerts, construction zone, and other loud environments should be avoided. It might be unrealistic to entirely avoid these situations particularly if they’re part of your job. The next item on the list will be important if you’re in this situation.

Utilize hearing protection

If you have hobbies or work in a noisy environment, it’s crucial that you utilize hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen in just 15 minutes at 85 decibels. Compare that to the following:

  • The majority of concerts are between 100 and 120 decibels with headliners normally playing for around an hour and 20 minutes
  • Over a one hour visit to the indoor gun range, your ears are repeatedly exposed to gunfire that clocks in at over 150 decibels on average
  • Jackhammers at a construction site produce 130 decibels, which could cause significant harm after a 40-hour workweek

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

Take auditory breaks

Sometimes giving your ears a rest is the smartest thing you can do. Even if you wear ear protection, if you are subjected to loud noises like these for extended periods, you should take some quiet breaks to give your ears some time to recover. 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 hearing could be significantly impacted by the medication you use. Aspirin, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and some heart and cancer medicines have all been proven to trigger hearing loss. 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 seek out new treatment? Make 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.