Hearing loss is quite common. In fact, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, about 15% of adults of the age 18 and above report some kind of trouble with their hearing. Additionally, the risk of hearing loss increases as you age. The major cause of hearing loss is a loud noise, and it does not matter if it is just occasional bursts or continued exposure. Any sound that crosses the 85-decibel barrier can adversely affect your ears. Here are five tips to help you protect your hearing.
Stay away from loud noises
As stated earlier, loud noises are a significant contributor to hearing loss, so as much as you can, avoid them. To know if a sound is loud enough to hurt your ears, you would generally notice the following: raising your voice to talk to someone close to you, not hearing what someone nearby is telling you, and hearing a ringing sound in your ears.
Decibels are the measurement of noise levels, and the louder the noise, the higher the number. Now that you know that any sound above 85 decibels is harmful to your ear compare these sounds and notice which ones are not good for you. A whisper is heard at 30 decibels, a regular conversation at 60 decibels, and sounds of busy traffic at 70 to 85 decibels. A moving motorbike is 90 decibels, and when it revs, it goes higher. Headphones on at full blast are between 100 and 110 decibels, and planes take off at 120 decibels. From this list, it is quite clear that once you are stuck in traffic, you should begin to be concerned.
Mind your headset usage
With Bluetooth headsets in vogue, many people own at least one form or another. If not, they may still have a regular wired headset. While they are handy and cool, they are the primary cause of hearing loss in the younger generation. To reduce the risk of damaging your hearing, use the noise-canceling options if your headset has that option. This will help you drown out the outside noise while improving your listening experience. Remember to stick to 60% or below when using your headsets and take at least a 5-minute break every hour when you listen to music.
Safeguard your hearing in loud places
There are times when you cannot just avoid places where noise levels are high. For example, attending parties or concerts will definitely place you in a noisy environment. In such cases, you can still take some precautions. Keep away from the sources of the noise, especially the loudspeakers. You should wear earplugs for concerts that will maintain the quality of sound but limit the noise. Also, consider taking frequent breaks from the noise. If your working environment is one that is in a noisy environment such as construction and air traffic, ensure that your employer provides the appropriate hearing protection equipment.
To offer yourself the best protection, get tested and know the state of your hearing. Professionals are in the best position to tell you what to do to prevent hearing loss. Or, if you already experience some level of hearing loss, offer you ways to improve it. If you are at a higher risk of hearing loss by virtue of work, you should get tested at least twice a year.
*This is a collaborative post