How to Protect Yourself from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is referred to as an invisible disability. Not being able to hear properly can put you at a disadvantage in certain situations, and almost 50 million Americans are currently dealing with hearing loss in one form or another. This makes hearing loss common enough for protection to be in place to help those with noise-induced hearing loss. Age and genetics are two significant factors when it comes to the causes of hearing loss, but there are plenty of studies and research papers that have been written to show that excessive noise is also a significant factor in hearing loss.
When you are exposed to excessive noise over time, you can have hearing loss induced by noise. It’s vital that you understand that the condition is something that affects nearly everyone, no matter what their age and situation are in life. Those natural causes of hearing loss that we mentioned, age and genetics, are not something that you can readily avoid. You’re going to get older, and if genetically hearing loss is going to affect you, it’s going to whether you want it to or not. There are ways, though, that you can protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss, and we’ve got them listed here.
Removing yourself from loud noise
If you wanted to avoid throwing up, you probably wouldn’t eat undercooked chicken. So, if you want to prevent hearing loss because of noise, you would need to stay out of overly loud situations. Of course, you can’t avoid loud noises all the time, but you can protect yourself from the ones that you don’t intend to be around. You’re in potentially-damaging noise if:
- You have to shout to be heard by others
- You can’t hear other people talking to you
- The sound physically hurts your ears
- You have ringing in your ears when you get away from the noise
The higher the decibel of noise, the more your hearing will be affected. If you are working on a building site with jackhammers, then protecting yourself with earplugs or earmuffs is the best secondary solution to moving away from the noise altogether.
Be careful when listening to music
A lot of people will put on earphones and play music loudly so that they get the most from their music. However, enjoying music shouldn’t hurt you! If you want to protect your hearing when listening to music, you should use noise-canceling headphones where you can and turn the volume down. When you’re listening to your music, turn it up enough to feel comfortable and then turn it down if it gets too much. Always try to keep your volume at 60% and check the volume often!
Protect your hearing at parties
Parties and concerts are places where music and bass are turned right up, and you need to protect your hearing in these places. The problem with events like this being so much fun is that you could be hurting your hearing health when you’re there. So, you need to protect your hearing at gigs and events as much as possible. This way, you can enjoy them while still having a fantastic time. You can do this by staying away from the speakers and go in and out of the club every half-hour so that you can give your ears a break.
When you’ve left the gig, you should give yourself a day or so before exposing yourself to further loud noise. You can even buy earplugs to dull the noise without covering it entirely. Earplugs come in both disposable and custom options, with the custom ones providing a more comfortable fit and a more effective performance in noise.
Regular hearing screenings
If you are living a life that puts you in the way of loud noise, whether in your personal life or at work, you need to protect your hearing as much as possible. You need to do this with regular hearing screenings and get the best possible advice from your audiologist to ensure that you are being tested in a timely way. If you are tested for hearing loss early enough, you can pick up a problem quickly and continue to book hearing tests to track the hearing loss and get the best possible support.
If you are a musician or working in construction, then you should be getting your hearing screened yearly to assess for damage or gradual loss. For more information about hearing protection, learn more about ENT Physicians Inc., and call 419-776-5028 for an appointment.