Hearing Health Blog

Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Eating right and protecting your hearing have some similarities. It’s hard to know where to begin even though it sounds like a smart idea. This is particularly true if you don’t think your daily environment is especially noisy and there aren’t any obvious risks to your ears. But your ears and senses can be stressed by everyday living, so your auditory acuity can be preserved if you apply these tips.

If you want to keep enjoying the sounds around you, you should do everything you can to impede down the degeneration of your hearing.

Tip 1: Hearing Protection You Can Wear

The most basic and sensible way that you can safeguard your hearing is to protect your ears. This means that reducing loud and dangerous sound is a basic step you need to take.

This means that when it’s called for most people will want to use hearing protection. Hearing protection commonly comes in two basic forms:

  • Ear Muffs, which are put over the ears.
  • Ear Plugs, which are placed in the ear canal.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each style has its advantages. Your choice of hearing protection should, most importantly, feel comfortable.

Tip 2: Be Aware When Sound Becomes Harmful

But when to use hearing protection is the question. We’re used to connecting dangerous noise with painful noise. But the truth is that sounds can start to damage your ears at a much lower volume than you might anticipate. After only a couple hours, for example, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your ears. Recognizing when sound becomes dangerous, then, is a vital step in protecting your hearing.

Usually sounds become harmful at the following levels:

  • 95-100 dB: This is about the noise level you’d expect from farm equipment or the typical volume of your earbuds. After about 15-20 minutes this level of noise becomes harmful.
  • Over 100 dB: Your hearing can be very rapidly damaged by this. Anything above this limit can injure your hearing in minutes or seconds. Jet engines and rock concerts, for instance, can damage your hearing in about thirty seconds.
  • 85 decibels (dB): This volume of sound is hazardous after around two hours of exposure. Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both situations where you will find this level of sound.

Tip 3: Use Your Phone as a Sound Meter

We can take precautions to limit our exposure, now that we have an idea of what volumes will be hazardous. The trick is that, once you’re out and about in the real world, it can be challenging to determine what’s too loud and what isn’t.

That’s where your smartphone can become a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.

Having a dynamic sound meter with you will help you measure everything you’re hearing in decibels, so you’ll have a much better idea of what harmful levels actually sound like in your day-to-day life.

Tip 4: Be Mindful of Your Volume Buttons

A smartphone with earbuds is usually the way people listen to music nowadays. This creates a risky scenario for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a sufficiently high level can cause significant damage to your ears.

That’s why safeguarding your hearing means keeping a focused eye on your volume management. In order to drown out sounds elsewhere, you should not raise the sound level. And we recommend using apps or settings to ensure that your volume never unintentionally become dangerously high.

If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become something of a negative feedback loop; you could find yourself constantly increasing the volume of your earbuds so that you can compensate for your faltering hearing, doing more harm to your ears in the process.

Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Checked

You might think that having a hearing exam is something you do only when your hearing begins to diminish. Without a baseline to compare results to, it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your ears.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a great way to obtain data that can be used for both treatment and analytic purposes, making certain that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) decisions have some added context and information.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

It would be perfect if you could always safeguard your ears without any problems. But challenges are will always be there. So protect your hearing whenever you can, as often as you can. You should also have your ears tested routinely. Hopefully, these guidelines will help you get a good start.

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