Hearing Loss Prevention & Protection Tips
Your ears allow you to experience the world around you in wonderful ways, from talking with friends to listening to your favorite music. To make sure you can enjoy these things for a long time, you need to protect your ears. Good hearing loss prevention is just as important as eating foods that are good for your heart or avoiding cigarette smoke.
How To Prevent Hearing Loss
Like many aspects of your health, the best way to protect your ears is to prevent damage to them in the first place. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help. Here are four important ways to prevent hearing loss:
1. Use Caution With Loud Music
A few of the biggest dangers to your hearing are loud music and movie soundtracks. It can be tempting to turn up the volume on pulse-pounding music when you’re excited, but this can possibly lead to hearing damage. Try not to go beyond 60% of the maximum settings for a phone, stereo or laptop.
When using earbuds or headphones to listen to music, remember to take a break once in a while. It’s a good idea to give your ears a rest for at least five minutes every hour. If you’re trying to block outside noise, such as when taking the subway to work, invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones instead of constantly turning up the volume.
2. Avoid Hazardous Noise
If possible, stay away from noises that are loud enough to damage your hearing. You know that staring directly at the sun can cause significant harm to your eyes. Excessively loud sounds can hurt your ears in the same way.
Heavy machinery subjects your ears to endless waves of high-decibel noises. Anytime you have to raise your voice because of nearby sounds, the noise is too loud.
Sometimes, this means making smart decisions for your hearing ahead of time. If you’re going to a rock concert, for example, you may be better off buying tickets farther away from the speakers. Better yet, ear plugs can be used to lessen the load while still allowing you to enjoy the music. It’s tempting to be as close to the band — and speakers — as possible, but a permanent hearing loss just isn’t worth it.
3. Protect Your Hearing
In the same way, you can wear sunglasses to give your eyes an extra layer of UV protection, you can also take advantage of modern technology for hearing protection. This includes traditional earplugs, electronic earplugs, heavy-duty earmuffs, and noise-canceling devices. The right option for you depends on the level of sound you’re usually exposed to and your lifestyle. Call our office for an appointment with an Audiologist. The Audiologist will determine which option is best for you.
4. Schedule a Hearing Evaluation
If you’re worried you may have hearing loss, don’t try to ignore the issue. Our Audiologists can examine you and provide a full comprehensive hearing evaluation. They will review these results wih you and make any necessary recommendations. Even if you have normal hearing, having a regular hearing test allows the Audiologist to track any changes that can occur annually.
Be proactive about protecting your hearing. Great hearing doesn’t depend on the world around you; it depends on how you face the noise. With good habits and high-tech hearing protection, you can keep your ears safe and sound anywhere.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Sounds that cause pain or ringing are obviously too loud. However, even less intense noises can be bad if you’re exposed to them for a long period of time. A good rule of thumb is to use ear protection anytime you’re around sounds of 85 decibels or more.
Someone whispering to you is about 30dB, and normal conversation is 60dB. Walking down the sidewalk near traffic can subject your ears to around 70–85dB. What if you decide to listen to your favorite song at maximum volume? Suddenly the sound waves spike to 100–110dB, a dangerous level for hearing. Hopping on your motorcycle can expose you to 90dB or more.
Who Needs Hearing Protection?
Everyone needs to take good care of their hearing. If you’re around loud sounds regularly, perhaps because you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or a music lover, then you need high-quality hearing protection. In-ear sound filters for musicians lower the level of sound waves significantly without distorting the music. Advanced electronic earplugs even let you control different channels to customize the highs and lows that reach your ears.
Working professionals often need earplugs, custom earmolds or earmuffs to avoid long-term issues. Anyone around heavy machinery, power tools, lawnmowers, pneumatic drills, manufacturing equipment, and other high-intensity sounds needs to invest in good quality hearing protection.
Contact Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center Today!
At Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center, our team has experience working with musicians and industry professionals to deliver personalized hearing protection. Our Audiologists can help you choose hearing protection that adapts to your needs, job, and lifestyle. They look for solutions that are comfortable, effective and practical.If normal earplugs irritate you, we can create ultra-comfortable custom ear molds that fit the shape of your ear perfectly. To learn more about protecting your hearing, contact us right away at 956-727-3801.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/By Bangkoker