Hearing is something most people take for granted. Whether it’s the soft rustling of leaves on a cool fall day or the crashing of the waves on a hot summer beach, we don’t take the time to fully appreciate how well our ears work. But once our ears no longer function properly, we start to realize just how important hearing truly is.
Whether you’re young or old, you need to pay attention to the risk of hearing damage and hearing loss. While certain hereditary issues can cause hearing loss, you have significant influence over this aspect of your health. By making smart choices today, you can protect yourself against long-term hearing loss.
4 Tips for Protecting Your Hearing
Research shows that approximately 15 percent of American adults aged 18 and over have some difficulty hearing (self-reported). Roughly 13 percent of people aged 12 years and older have hearing loss in both ears. In other words, hearing loss impacts tens of millions of Americans on an annual basis. Never assume that your ears can withstand loud noises (particularly when there’s prolonged exposure).
Here are some tips for protecting your hearing:
Avoid Loud Noises
The only surefire way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noises. But what constitutes loud? Generally speaking, a noise is loud enough to cause some damage to your ears if it causes you to raise your voice to talk to others; it hurts your ears; you have ringing in your ears afterwards; or you can’t hear what people nearby are saying.
Any sound over 85 decibels (dB) is potentially harmful. Here are a few examples to give you some perspective:
♦ Typical conversation is in the 60 to 65 dB range.
♦ Busy traffic is in the range of 70 to 85 dB.
♦ A lawnmower runs around 80 to 100 dB.
♦ Listening to music on full volume through headphones is 100 to 110 dB.
♦ An airplane taking off is roughly 120 dB.
If you’re uncertain of how loud something is, you can download certain smartphone apps to measure noise levels.
Wear Ear Protection
If you know that you’ll be exposed to loud noises and can’t do anything to remove yourself from the situation, ear protection is your best line of defense.
Earplugs can be purchased at any drug store and actively work to reduce the volume of sound that enters the ears. However, it should be noted that earplugs aren’t perfect. The 3M Company is currently in huge lawsuit for its failure to protect members of the armed forces who used their products and still suffered serious hearing loss, tinnitus, and other ear problems. So just because you’re wearing earplugs, don’t assume you’re invincible. The best thing you can do is avoid exposure altogether.
Be Cautious When Listening to Music
Despite convincing evidence that cramming earbuds into your ear canal and listening to loud music is bad for hearing, millions of people use headphones to listen to music every single day. Once again, the best form of protection is to avoid headphones altogether. But if you’re going to listen to music, never listen at more than 60 percent of the maximum volume and take a break for at least five minutes every hour.
Don’t Put Anything in Your Ears
“It’s common for people to use cotton swabs to clean wax out of their ear canal, but this is definitely not advisable,” EarQ.com notes. “A little bit of wax in your ears is not only normal, but it’s also important. The ears are self-cleaning organs, and wax stops dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal. Plus, inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum.”
If you find that you have excess wax in your ears, cleaning around the canal with a damp towel is a good idea. You may also speak to your doctor about at-home wax removal solutions that gradually improve the situation.
Make Smarter Choices
You can’t always control what happens around you, but you can make intelligent decisions in regards to how you protect and insulate your ears against loud noises and traumatic events. Heed the advice outline in this article and take strides to avoid unnecessary damage. It may seem like a minor deal right now, but you’ll be glad that you took preventative measures.
Shift Frequency © 2019 – Ways to Protect Your Ears
Against Hearing Loss