Hearing loss is a highly common issue. Did you know that more than 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss? That’s nearly 20% of the global population. That is why it is important to know how to prevent hearing loss, if possible. People who work in noisy environments risk losing their hearing over time as they are exposed to constant noise if they don’t use proper protection. However, you can also lose your hearing by listening to loud music on your headphones in a confined space, attending open-air music festivals, going to nightclubs, and more on a regular basis. It is possible you could be damaging your ears and risking your hearing without even knowing it. This is a comprehensive list of 10 tips for avoiding hearing loss with some attuned hearing loss prevention methods.
The Importance of Avoiding Hearing Loss
Of course, hearing loss is a condition in which your ability to hear sounds around you and understand speech is decreased. But hearing loss is so much more than just a medical condition. If you suffer from hearing loss, you lose your ability to participate in daily life or hear conversations with family and friends.
Unfortunately, some types of hearing loss are impossible to prevent. However, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents and 17% of adults have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.
Age can also affect your hearing, especially with the frequencies you can hear. As we age, our ability to hear high-pitched sounds begins to decrease. The human hearing range is about 20 to 20,000 HZ, but age and exposure to noise can determine which frequencies we can hear. A frequency hearing test can help you determine the extent of your hearing loss. Thankfully, there are also several hearing loss prevention steps you can take.
10 Tips for Avoiding Hearing Loss
These are 10 top tips for preventing hearing loss:
Turn Down the Volume
Avoid damaging your ears and turn down the volume on your TV, radio, headphones, and other streaming devices. Turn it down if you have to yell to hear over the noise. Or, if you are listening to your headphones, but the person sitting next to you on the couch or the next treadmill at the gym can hear you, it’s probably too loud.
A key to aiding hearing loss prevention and avoiding damaging ears is ear protection. Earplugs or earmuffs are designed to dampen noise and keep it from damaging ears. They are economical and easy to use. Especially if you work in a loud environment with consistently high noise levels, you can prevent hearing loss by wearing earplugs or earmuffs.
Try the 60:60 Rule
Avoid damaging ears with the 60:60 rule. Doctors recommend the 60-60 rule for music listening in order to prevent hearing loss. The 60-60 rule means listening at 60% volume for a maximum of 60 minutes.
Get a Pair of Noise-Canceling Headphones
Another way to prevent hearing loss is to pick up a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones allow you to hear your music, TV shows, movies, and phone conversations better. These types of headphones allow you to listen at a lower volume and give your ears a bit of a rest.
Avoid Using Earbud Headphones
Though some prefer earbud headphones because they are smaller and less noticeable, earbuds do not block out background noise as efficiently as traditional earmuff-style headphones. This causes many people to increase the volume, which can, in turn, damage your hearing. They can also make your ears sore if you wear them too long.
Use Ear Protection at Loud Events
Consider using ear protection if you are at a loud event like a concert or a fireworks show. If you forget your earplugs at home, many venues and events sell them on-site. In addition, be sure to stand away from the speakers.
Wear Ear Protection at Work
Many different jobs can lead to hearing loss. Wear ear protection if you are an entertainment venue employee, musician, factory worker, farmer, dental worker, construction worker, or involved in another profession with constant exposure to loud noises. A loud, noisy work environment can adversely affect your hearing and affect your health.
Don’t Put Anything in Your Ear
The general rule is to never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. This includes tools to scratch or clean your ears, like cotton swabs, paper clips, keys, and bobby pins. These small objects could injure your ears or eardrums and negatively affect your hearing.
Turn Down the Volume in Your Car
Sure, blasting music in your car on a warm summer day is fun. But unfortunately, listening to loud music in a confined space can increase the risk of damage to the hair cells inside your ears. Make sure to keep the volume down when the car windows are closed. Any loud noises can contribute to hearing loss.
You probably already know that exercise is good for your body, but did you know it can also benefit your ears and hearing health? Exercise keeps blood flowing through your entire body, including your ears. Good blood circulation keeps your oxygen levels high and the internal parts of your ears healthy. However, if you attend a loud exercise class, consider putting in some earplugs first!
Consider Sontro® OTC Hearing Aids
For some, despite their best efforts to retain healthy hearing, avoiding hearing loss is difficult due to their career, lifestyle, age or health. But now, there is an easier solution for hearing loss because OTC hearing aids are available. While traditional hearing aids are expensive and require a trip to the doctor, OTC hearing aids are much more affordable, and you can purchase a pair online. If you are suffering from hearing loss and are wondering if you are a candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids, take our free online hearing test today.
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