Eating right and protecting your hearing have some similarities. It sounds smart, but not many of us have a good idea of where to begin. If there aren’t any noticeable noise risks and you don’t think your environment is particularly noisy, this is especially true. But day-to-day life can stress your ears and your senses, so your auditory acuity can be maintained if you apply these tips.
If you want to continue to enjoy the sounds around you, you should do everything you can to slow down the degeneration of your hearing.
Tip 1: Wearable Ear Protection
Using ear protection is the most practical and basic way to safeguard your ears. This means taking basic steps to reduce the amount of loud and damaging noises you’re exposed to.
This means that when it’s needed most people will want to wear hearing protection. Hearing protection commonly comes in two basic forms:
- Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.
- Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.
Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each type has its positive aspects. What’s important is that you get some hearing protection that you feel comfortable wearing.
Tip 2: When Sound Gets Harmful, be Aware of It
But how do you know when to use hearing protection? Noise that is painful is normally regarded as harmful. But much lower volumes of sound can harm your ears than you might realize. After only a couple hours, as an example, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your hearing. An essential step in protecting your hearing, then, is knowing when sound becomes dangerous.
Generally sounds become dangerous at the following thresholds:
- 95-100 dB: This is about the sound level you’d get from farm equipment or the typical volume of your earbuds. This volume of noise becomes damaging after 15-20 minutes.
- Over 100 dB: This is where you can injure your hearing very rapidly. Anything over this limit can injure your hearing in minutes or seconds. Jet engines and rock concerts, for example, can damage your hearing in around thirty seconds.
- 85 decibels (dB): This level of sound is dangerous after roughly two hours of exposure. This is the level of sound you’d expect from a busy city street or your hairdryer.
Tip 3: Make Your Phone Into a Sound Meter
Now that we have a general concept of what volume of sound may be harmful, we can take some steps to make sure we limit our exposure. But in real life, it can be difficult trying to determine what is too loud and what isn’t.
Your smartphone can now be used as 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.
In order to get an idea of what dangerous levels of noise really sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.
Tip 4: Keep an Eye on Your Volume Settings
A smartphone with earbuds is usually the way people listen to music nowadays. Your hearing is put in danger with this combination. Your ears can be considerably damaged if you keep your earbuds too loud over a long period of time.
That’s why safeguarding your ears means keeping a sharp eye on your volume control. You should never raise the volume in order to drown out sounds somewhere else. And we recommend using apps or settings to make sure that your volume never accidentally become hazardously high.
If your hearing begins to wane, earbuds can become a negative feedback loop; you could find yourself constantly raising the volume of your earbuds so that you can make up for your declining hearing, and in the process doing more damage to your hearing.
Tip 5: Have Your Hearing Checked
You may think of a hearing test as something you get when your hearing has already begun to diminish. The problem is that it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your hearing without a standard to compare results to.
Generating data that can be used for both diagnostic purposes and for treatment can best be achieved by scheduling a hearing test and screening. This will give you some extra context for future hearing choices and ear protection.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
It would be ideal if you could continuously protect your ears without any issues. But there are always going to be obstacles. So protect your ears when you can, as often as possible. You should also have your hearing tested routinely. Use these suggestions to improve your chances.