No matter how old you are, and the level of your hearing abilities, protecting your health is important. Watching one’s hearing health includes protecting your ears. It’s so easy today to let noise pollution take over one’s every aspect of their life whether is ambient noise or listening to one’s favorite song on repeat all day.
Earbuds and mobile devices make it even easier for anyone to take music, audiobooks, phone conversations or whatever tickles one’s fancy on the go. Unfortunately, this also means that we are now at more risk of damaging our hearing than ever before.
In the US, about 15% of the population suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. More often than not, one with hearing loss may wait and average of 5 to 7 years before one decides to seek treatment. But there are ways to prevent this from happening by taking simple steps to protect one’s ears.
Here are some ways to protect your hearing:
1) Volume Control
In a time and generation where headphones and earbuds are an ever-present staple in one’s life, it’s easy to get carried away by the music and singing along like a rock star. But this is one of the easiest ways and huge contributor to noise-induced hearing loss. The World Health Organization speculates that around 1.1 billion people between teenagers to young adults are at risk of hearing loss because they keep the volume too loud or at unsafe levels.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to keep the volume no louder than at 60% and to listen for only 60 minutes a day. Don’t forget to give your ears a break every once in a while. While this can be very limiting, it’s a good guideline to follow to protect one’s hearing.
2) Give You and Your Ears a Break
Do you work in a noisy environment? Make sure to take a few minutes every now and again to go outside, take a walk or to simply not be surrounded by environmental noise. If you’re going to a loud concert, nightclub or even a sporting event, take some time to step out of the room and give your ears a break. Research as discovered that ears need to rest a full 16 hours to recover from a loud night or day.
If that isn’t a viable option, earplugs are a great alternative. They’re cheap and can be bought en mass at a local convenience store. While it doesn’t cancel or stop all noise and sounds, it filters and reduces the strain put on your ears when one is in a loud environment for prolonged periods of time. One can also be fitted for custom earplugs with specific filters. Many musicians may choose this so one can still hear one’s instrument and conversations clearly while filtering out the ambient noise.
Yes, exercise is great for keeping the body healthy but did you know that it helps protect your ears as well? Proper circulation helps keep ears healthy and operate at their maximum potential. Cardio workouts or anything that gets one’s blood pumping ensures that oxygen and other nutrients are being circulated well through all the body including the small internal hearing parts in one’s ears.
4) Watch Medications
Keep and eye out and be careful with medications. Medicines like aspirin and some antibiotics have been linked to be contributors to hearing loss. Be sure to talk to a medical professional about the side effects or risks prior to taking any medication. If you find that there a change in your hearing while taking medications, get in contact with your doctor as soon as possible.
5) Check Ups
Last but not least, don’t forget to get an annual check up! By getting your hearing tested on an annual basis, you and your medical professional can keep a close eye on your hearing health and can track if there are any changes in your hearing. Don’t wait 5 to 7 years to get your hearing loss diagnosed! The earlier you can get a diagnosis, the more your ears will thank you.