Hearing loss is not curable in all cases especially if it’s just a part of getting old. Most of the time the hearing loss is managed by hearing aids or any other hearing device. The number of people using hearing aids that are rechargeable have doubled these past few years because age-related hearing loss is very common around the world.
But in case of noise induction hearing loss, it is preventable.
In this article, we are going to discuss some methods of prevention from hearing loss.
Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss
The reason for noise induction hearing loss is exposure to loud noise. Here are simple steps you can try to help stop loud noises from permanently damaging your hearing. These methods include:
Avoid Loud Noise
The perfect way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noises as much as you can.
Usually, a noise is loud enough to damage your hearing if:
- You had to increase your voice to talk to another person
- You cannot hear what the nearby people are saying
- It is hurting your ears
- You have ringing in your ears afterward
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The process of measuring sound is – “the bigger the number, the higher the noise”. Any sound that is higher than 85dB can be harmful to your ears, especially if you are exposed to it for a long time.
Here are some sounds measurements that we use to listen in our daily lives:
- Whispering – 30dB
- Conversation – 60dB
- Busy traffic – 70 to 85dB
- Motorbike – 90dB
- Music through headphone on full volume – 100-110 dB
- Plane taking off – 120dB
You can get a smartphone app to measure these noise levels but make sure they are set up properly to get an accurate reading.
Take Care When Listening To Music
Using headphones and earphones to listen to music in loud volume can also cause the biggest danger to your hearing. To avoid damage in your hearing:
- Use noise canceling headphones or earphones
- Turn the volume up enough to hear music comfortably but not higher
- Don’t listen to any kind of music at more than 60% of maximum volume
- Don’t use headphones or earphones for more than 1 hour
Protect Hearing During Events and Activities
To protect your hearing when you are in loud activities and events:
- Keep distance from sources of loud noises like loudspeakers
- Try to take shorts break from the noise in every 15 minutes
- After exposure of lots of loud noise, give your hearing a minimum time of 18 hours to recover
- Use best quality earplugs as much as possible, you can also get a re-usable musician’s earplugs that helps in reducing the volume of music and doesn’t muffle it.
Take Precautions at Work
If you are exposed to loud noise constantly at your workplace, speak to your HR or manager they are obliged to make changes to reduce your exposure to loud noise by:
- Switching to quieter equipment (if possible)
- Making sure that you are not exposed to loud noises for a long period
- Providing hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs.
Get Your Hearing Tested
If you are worrying that you might be losing your hearing, get a hearing test as soon as possible. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier you can treat it. If you are at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, you should also consider having regular hearing checks.
Above are some methods to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Now let’s take a look at some other general tips to prevent hearing loss:
Do Not Smoke
According to research, tobacco can cause you to lose your hearing. People who smoke have a 70% higher chances of having a hearing loss. The endless dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke like benzene, arsenic etc can affect both conductive hearing and inner hearing by damaging the hair cells that lining the cochlea.
Remove Earwax Properly
A blockage or buildup of earwax in your ear canal can muffle sound but do not try to clean it with a cotton swab because it can push wax deeper. Use at home irrigation kit to soften the wax and wash it out. If it gets complicated to you then consider a doctor to room it safely.
Be a Quiet Enforcer
Always buy devices and appliances that have low noise ratings. And if it is necessary to purchase anything which noise ratings are high than normal, consider wearing earplugs or earmuffs that can protect your ears from the noise.
Check Medication for Hearing Risk
About 200 drugs including some antibiotics and cancer-fighting drugs can damage a person’s hearing. Even high doses of aspirin can be harmful to your hearing. While taking prescription medication, check it with your doctor to ensure it won’t make an impact on hearing.