Hearing loss can be a result of exposure to dangerous noise levels, and it is fast becoming one of the more common occupational illnesses in America. Permanent hearing loss can occur from repeated exposure to anything from loud machinery to the blast of a single shotgun shell. According to studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic, over 10 million people in the United States have permanent hearing loss from loud noise, and another 30 million are currently exposed to dangerous levels on the job today. These workers underestimate the potential harm from hearing loss because the damage occurs over a long period of time. The following eight tips can help you prevent hearing loss.
Here is the 7 things To prevent hearing loss:
1. Wearing Earplugs
Earplugs will protect the delicate lining in the ear and reduce the chances of suffering permanent hearing loss. If you are going to be exposed to loud noises like a snowmobile, firecrackers, power tools, firearms, or concerts, pack a pair of earplugs. This will allow you to still hear but reduce the damage that can be done by excessive noise. If possible, take a break from the noise for 10 minutes in order to allow the ears adequate time to recover. Invest in a good quality earplug that will limit noise and protect the inner ear.
2. Using the 60/60 Rule
If you frequently listen to music on your MP3 player, iPod, or mobile device using headphones, turn down the volume to 20% and only listen to your music for a maximum of 60 minutes each day. Many new music devices come with a smart-volume feature that will automatically regulate the volume and reduce any chance of serious damage to your hearing. Earbuds are ineffective at hiding surrounding noises, so as a result the wearer will turn up the volume to dangerous levels to enjoy music.
3. Properly Wearing Headphones
People today spend more time on their computers, laptops, and mobile devices than ever before, with many using headphones to focus. Never turn up the volume of the headphones to block out any background noise. Instead purchase a pair of muff-style headphones that will reduce the outside noise and allow you to turn down the volume. If a person next to you can hear what is playing in your headphones, the volume is too loud and damaging your hearing. Children especially should be limited to only an hour with headphones.
4. Lower Television Volume
A good test to see if the volume of the television is too loud, see if you are raising your voice in order for others to hear you clearly. Turning down the volume of the television even a small amount can have huge positive long-lasting benefits. Chances are good that as your hearing gradually decreases, the volume in your television will start going up. Lower the volume, give your hearing a rest, and see a physician frequently to ensure no irreversible damage is occurring.
5. Protection at Work
If you are subject to loud noises at work, it is extremely important to make certain your ears are protected. If you are currently working at a job-site that puts your hearing at risk, speak with your employer about getting the best hearing protection possible. According to state and federal regulations, you must be provided adequate hearing protection during time on the job. Employees that are at a high risk for hearing loss: heavy industry workers, military personnel, transportation workers, construction workers, farmers, miners, police officers, fire fighters and musicians. If there is excessive noise at your job, be sure you are utilizing all the protection equipment available.
6. Reduce Volume in Vehicles
The sound systems in vehicles today are extremely powerful and can be especially dangerous to your hearing. Not only do these sound systems make use of multiple speakers throughout the vehicle, the sound quality can be deafening at higher settings. Compound this with being in a very small and confined space, and you could do significant damage to your hearing in a very short period of time. Crack the windows or lower the volume and give your hearing a rest when driving long distances in your car while playing music.
7. See a Hearing Professional
When you see a hearing professional often, he or she can spot potential damage easily and help you to restore your hearing before permanent damage sets in. Studies conducted by WebMD and the Mayo Clinic show that your ears need at least 16 hours to recover after only two hours of listening to music at 100dB or louder. This is the average noise level in many clubs, where people spend countless hours destroying their hearing. By decreasing recovery time, the chance of permanent deafness increases.
When it comes to your hearing, an ounce of prevention will go a long way in protecting your inner ear from permanent damage. Start paying closer attention to the noise hazards that surround you every day. Children are susceptible to damage at younger ages as technology becomes more powerful. According to the Mayo Clinic, over one-third of all hearing loss is preventable when people use proper hearing loss prevention strategies.