Your hearing is probably one of the most important senses that your body possesses, and it is often taken for granted. Hearing loss is becoming more of a problem especially in the younger adults and teenagers. Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from hearing loss. This epidemic seems to be growing due to favorite daily products such as iPods and other MP3 players and the prolonged use that comes with listening and rocking out to our personal favorite tunes.
While MP3s are a huge contributor to the problem, they are however not the only culprit. Hearing damage can occur from sudden loud noises, or extended work with everyday items such as lawn mowers. Anything above 85 decibels can damage your hearing and if the sounds are prolonged over an extended period of time, your risk of hearing loss increases. How do you protect yourself in daily situations? Simple, follow these 5 tips to help reduce your hearing loss today.
1 – Wear Ear Plugs or Earmuffs
This sounds like too simple of a solution to the problem but ear plugs can help reduce the decibels hitting your eardrums. Ear plugs are inexpensive and you can pick them up at grocery stores and home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes. They fit inside your ear and reduce noise levels. Earmuffs are similar to ear plugs in their effectiveness to reduce harmful decibel levels that are delivered to your ears.
2 – Have a hearing detox
This may be a strange thing to think of but according to the Deafness Research in the UK, you need at least 16 hours of rest for your ears to recover after spending around two hours in 100dB sound. Reducing this recovery time increases the risk of permanent deafness. Once again this cannot be stressed enough, but the more prolonged the activity is the higher the chances of your hearing loss can occur.
3 – Use the 60:60 Rule
This modest tool can help reduce your hearing damage when listening to your favorite jams. First you place your MP3 player’s volume to 60% and then listen to it for no more than an hour before giving your ears a rest. Simple right? This can be extremely effective if you want to monitor and cut down how long your ears have been exposed to harmful decibel ratings. Remember if you can’t hear external sounds when you’ve got your headphones on, then it’s too loud.
4 – Move away from the source of the noise
Moving further away from the source means the sound takes longer a time for it fly through the air and enter your ear canals. The further away you are the less intense it is for your ears to receive the deafening damage. Remember that next time you decide to go downtown and are stuck standing right next the speakers. If you can’t talk to someone two meters away (about 6 feet away) then the noise level could be damaging.
5 – Schedule Regular Hearing Regular checkups with your Doctor
Monitoring your ears’ health is the most proactive activity you can accomplish in protecting yourself as well as monitoring potential hearing loss that already may have occurred. It is important to see an audiologist as soon as you recognize hearing problems or loss. They are trained to recognize problems and can help improve your quality of life. They may recommend hearing aids, assistive listening devices or simple lifestyle changes that can protect your hearing.
Protecting your hearing is an important action to take for later in life and can be achieved by taking some of these extremely simple preventative measures. Nothing is more frustrating than losing the motor skills needed to communicate with others especially when most of that frustration can is preventable.
David Incorvaia is a Rollins College Senior. He majored in Music performance/business administration and currently performs around the southeast at various venues. Other then performing David enjoys trading options, reading, and cooking. For more useful tips on health and safety management, David recommends visiting eCompliance.com.