We lose about 0.5 percent of our hearing capacity every year. This means that we lose about five percent of our hearing every ten years. Age-related hearing loss can be very frustrating. As our hearing begins to fade, we may find that it is more difficult to complete work, listen to media or have conversations with our friends and family.
While age-related hearing loss is generally unavoidable, there are a few different things that you can do to promote healthy hearing. By following these tips below, you can reduce the effect of age-related hearing loss.
Visit a Hearing Specialist
A hearing specialist will give you a hearing test to assess the physical and functional health of your ears. Even if you don’t realize it, your ability to hear is constantly changing. Everyone should get their hearing tested at least once after they turn 21. After that, people without hearing loss should have a hearing test about every ten years until they turn 50, then every three years after that. Those who do have hearing loss should visit a hearing specialist at least once per year, though your specialist will be able to recommend a better schedule.
Use Earplugs When Needed
Typically, sounds that are more than 85 decibels loud can potentially cause hearing loss. Just for reference, 85 decibels is the approximate volume of a noisy restaurant, traffic, or even a lawnmower. A concert generally has the decibel value of 120. Using earplugs can help soften the harm of excessive noise. In most cases, noise-related hearing loss is permanent. This means you will want to do what you can to avoid possible damage.
Avoid Common Hearing Health Hazards
Our ears can become “fatigued” when they are exposed to loud noises for long periods of time. When using headphones, audiologists recommend a 60/60 rule. This means you should limit your headphone listening to 60 minutes per day at 60 percent volume. You can listen for longer if you lower the volume level. It is also recommended to use over-the-ear headphones rather than earbuds because earbuds are hazardously close to the eardrum.
Control Your Stress
Did you know that stress is one of the most common causes of tinnitus and other hearing issues? There has been a strong correlation between the presence of stress and tinnitus. Unfortunately, stress and tinnitus have a circle effect that can worsen the other. Take time to relax, try meditation or exercise. These will help you reduce your general levels of stress. It is also beneficial to eat healthy and get enough sleep.
Be Careful with Your Ears
There are many parts to your ears, especially your eardrum. It is easy to damage, but difficult to repair. Q-Tips – or cotton swabs – are popular for cleaning your eardrum. Although cotton swabs are fairly soft, your ears are delicate, and they are easy to scratch. Water is another common hazard for your ears. After swimming or taking a bath, be sure to gently dry your ears.