When people think of being proactive with their health, typically the first things that come to mind are exercise, weight and a healthy diet. So, things like dental health, vision and hearing may be overlooked until there is a problem. However, there are a number of ways to be proactive and prevent issues, especially with ear health. Check out these four tips to protect your hearing here.
Tips to Protect Hearing
Like any other part of your body it’s important to look after your ears and ensure they stay healthy. Similar with your dental care and eye care, regular check ups are recommended. A basic rule of thumb for ear care is never put anything into your ear canal. If you need to clean your ears, use ear drops instead. Q-tips should only be used to clean the outer ear, not the inner ear canal.
AVOID LOUD NOISES
One way your hearing gets damaged is by exposure to loud noise. These noises can be sudden and intense, like being in close proximity to a gunshot or an explosion. Hearing loss can also be caused by consistent and sustained loud noise. This type of damage is common in individuals that work in factories or operate heavy machinery.
Even if these examples do not apply to you, there are every day noises that can also be damaging to your hearing. These types of noises include lawnmowers, leaf blowers, drills and traffic. Always be aware of damaging loud noises in your environment and take measures to protect against them like wearing ear plugs.
USE EAR PROTECTION
The average upper limit decibel level for most people, before ear damage may occur is 85 decibels. This is the equivalent of heavy traffic or a noisy restaurant. If you can imagine that you can imagine how easy it is to expose yourself to damaging levels at rock concerts and fireworks displays.
The best way to protect against hearing loss at events like these is to use ear protection. This can be in the form of ear defenders or earplugs. In some instances this may detract from the experience – at a rock concert for instance – but it’s a small price to pay for hearing that isn’t damaged by the end and doesn’t require premature hearing devices.
LIMIT LOUD MUSIC
While it may be tempting to blare your favorite music loudly, it may cause long term damage to your hearing. The good news is you don’t have to abandon this experience completely, but you need to know the dangers and moderate your sounds levels.
Listening to any music at a high volume – that is past the 60% volume mark – has the potential to cause some damage to your hearing. It is also important to consider the dangers of listening to music at high volumes through an ear buds or headphones. Do not allow the volume to go above 60% and take regular breaks to protect your long term hearing.
GET YOUR HEARING TESTED
Discuss how frequently you should have your hearing tested with your physician. This can be done by an audiologist. Also, know the warning signs of hearing loss. Some of these include: difficulty hearing in a restaurant, people sound like they are mumbling and difficulty having conversations. The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed, the easier it is to prevent further damage.