4 Ways to Protect Your Hearing

Preventing Permanent Hearing Damage

Knowing these 4 ways to protect your hearing can keep you from a lifetime of permanent damage. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic medical condition in the United States. Over 45 million people have a significant hearing loss. Most hearing loss is permanent. This means that even if the hearing loss is getting treatment, loss due to damaging sound cannot be completely restored. Fortunately, there are preventative measures that you can do to reduce your risk of this kind of hearing loss.

The leading cause of hearing loss is due to exposure to dangerous levels of noise. Our world is loud – and getting louder, and exposure to loud noise can cause irreversible damage to the ears. While it can be hard to cut all excess noise from your life, protecting yourself can help maintain healthy hearing.

Recognize Dangerous Noise Levels

In order to protect yourself from dangerous noise levels, you need to know what to watch for. Human hearing is calibrated to sounds that fall within the range of 0 decibels to 75 decibels. For example, 0 dB being the quietest sound detectable by the ear. 75 dB is the level of the sound that comes from a vacuum cleaner. Sounds louder than 75 dB has the risk of causing permanent hearing damage. The louder the sound, the more quickly it can injure your ear.

The threshold for workplace safety is 85 dB, about the sound level of loud traffic. A constant sound level of 85 dB damages your hearing after 8 hours of exposure. Worksites with sound levels at 85 dB must provide you with appropriate ear protection at all times. This is a requirement.

Louder sounds can cause hearing damage in a much shorter time. At 95 dB, exposure is only safe for around one hour. The volume of an average rock concert, 105 dB, can damage your hearing in under 15 minutes. Sounds over 120 dB are unsafe for any amount of time.

If you want an easy way to recognize dangerous sound levels, try adding a decibel meter to your smartphone. Free apps are available and they allow you to quickly assess the volume of your surroundings. You can easily see if you need to use hearing protection to avoid hearing loss.

Get an Annual Hearing Exam

Making a hearing test part of your annual check-up can help you stay ahead of hearing loss. Annual hearing tests help detect any signs of hearing loss very early. It also helps keep further hearing damage from happening. Additionally, hearing damage that is found early responds better to treatment with hearing aids.

Untreated hearing loss places a strain on the brain. It can gradually alter the pathways our auditory system uses to understand sound. If treatment takes place early on, the negative effects of hearing loss may be less significant. Also, treatment such as hearing aids is more naturally effective.

Use Hearing Protection

You cannot possibly predict and avoid every overly loud environment. So, in addition to recognizing harmful sound levels and avoiding them when possible, it is also important to have hearing protection you can use when you need it. Talk to your hearing specialist to learn more about the type of hearing protection that would work best for your needs.

Earplugs can offer some protection from everyday noise, but if damaging sound levels are part of your lifestyle or workplace environment you will want to consider custom hearing protection. For example, Custom hearing protection is a great option for musicians and music lovers, hunters and sport shooters, and even people who live close to airports and highways.

Learn Healthy Listening Habits

It is surprising to many people that the volume of your phone, stereo, computer, and television can easily go beyond dangerous noise level thresholds. Consequently, this is even likely if you are listening through earbuds or headphones. Volume levels aren’t calibrated for hearing safety, so monitoring these noise levels is our responsibility.

Hearing damage is often subtle and gradual, so loud volume often doesn’t feel physically painful, even when it is causing hearing loss. Therefore, It is important to err on the side of caution when it comes to volume levels.

For listening through headphones, start with a low volume and only turn the sound up to a level where you can hear it clearly. Volume levels throughout your home should follow the same principle – set them just loud enough to be heard clearly in one room. Don’t increase your volume levels compete with other loud noises in the environment. This can easily escalate sound to hazardous decibels. When in doubt, use a decibel monitoring app to assess your volume settings.

Hearing Group

At Hearing Group, we are committed to all aspects of hearing health from prevention to treatment. Learning these 4 ways to protect your hearing can make a huge difference in your life. If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing or simply want to learn more about protecting your hearing abilities, contact us today for a consultation. In addition to these 4 ways to protect your hearing check out this article, All About Hearing Protection Tips.

Jesse Hidalgo, BC-HIS

Jesse is Board Certified in Hearing Instruments and has built over 25 practices during his business career starting in 1998. Using his training in Hearing Instrument Sciences he has helped thousands of patients across those practices hear better.
Published: March 28, 2019

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Noise Can Damage More Than Hearing
Loud noise is not only bad for your ears but can play a negative role in your overall health. Exposure to loud and annoying sounds can affect our blood pressure, cause headaches, cause irritability, and even cause fatigue. When we hear a sound that is annoying to us,...
Making the Most of Your Appointments
Just like your car, your hearing aids and hearing health can benefit from routine care and maintenance. After a hearing aid fitting, you are likely to be asked to come back for follow-up appointments. These routine visits offer great opportunities for you to ask your...
What to Ask Your Hearing Aid Specialist
Coming to terms with your hearing loss isn’t easy. Chances are you’ve put off going to the hearing aid clinic for as long as you could. In that time, you probably got used to living with hearing loss. Wearing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming at first. It’s a big...
Tips on Tinnitus Relief
How Do I Improve Tinnitus? Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition known to cause ringing, buzzing, and other noises in the ear. During the day, these sounds aren’t as noticeable. But when nighttime rolls around and you should be...
Why Do My Ears Feel Clogged?
Reasons for that Clogged Ear Feeling Are you having issues with your ears? Do they feel stuffy and clogged? Are you suffering from sudden hearing loss or difficulty hearing? There could be a simple reason for this – impacted earwax, a sinus infection or something...
Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work?
Acupuncture is an ancient medical treatment that began in China. This therapy involves sticking small needles in very specific parts of the body. It may be used to treat pain and help with other conditions. A person with hearing loss may want to try acupuncture for...
Studies on Hearing Loss & Injuries
Hearing loss is an issue that affects millions of people and there are various causes that some might not have considered. This article is going to highlight a few of the symptoms associated with hearing loss, certain causes, possible treatments, and the benefits of...
Hearing Loss Cures of the Past
There is a long list of past "treatments" for hearing loss. It's important to note that none of these were ever scientifically proven to work and can, in most cases, actually do more harm than good. Thankfully, doctors, today do not prescribe such bizarre remedies....
Ear Infections & Hearing Loss
Ear infections are more often seen in children than in adults, although untreated infections in adults can be more serious. Infection of an adult ear should be carefully diagnosed and monitored by a physician to lower the risks of problems. There are certain factors,...
Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments
Parts of the Ear There are three basic parts of the ear: Outer ear - the outermost portion of the ear Middle ear - found between the inner and outer ear, includes the Ossicles, Malleus, Incus, and Stapes Inner ear - The innermost portion of the ear consisting of the...
Call Now Button