We live in a noisy world. Traffic noise, the sound of construction equipment and loud music can all take a toll on our hearing, and over time the deficit can be quite dramatic.
Hearing loss often occurs slowly over years or even decades, and the gradual nature of the decline means that it often goes unnoticed. Many people lose a significant portion of their hearing before they even notice the change, and by then it can be difficult to undo the damage.
Taking a proactive approach to protecting your hearing is one of the best ways to prevent the damage in the first place. It is much better to prevent hearing damage than to treat it, and here are some simple tips to get you started.
#1. Limit Use of Portable Music Devices
Portable devices like smartphones with headphones and MP3 players concentrate sound directly into the ears, increasing the chances of damage to your ears and a loss of hearing over the long term.
Limiting your use of these devices to an hour a day is a smart way to protect your hearing without giving up your favorite tunes. When you do listen to music, keep the volume to the lowest level that allows you to enjoy your favorite songs.
#2. Invest in Noise-Cancelling Headphones
If you listen to the radio or music player with earbuds, you may have to turn the volume up just to overcome ambient noises in the environment. Noise-cancelling headphones allow you to keep the volume low and still enjoy your favorite music.
If you cannot afford noise-cancelling headphones, which can be quite expensive, try a pair of old-fashioned muff headphones. They are inexpensive, comfortable to wear and very effective at blocking out external noise.
#3. Take Charge of Workplace Noise
Working around noisy equipment and machinery can take a major toll on your hearing, and you should not have to put up with these unsafe conditions. If noise is a problem at the workplace, ask your boss for earplugs or other hearing protection.
If your employer does not respond to your legitimate request for hearing protection, contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There are laws on the books to protect worker hearing, and companies are required to abide by those rules.
#4. Protect Your Ears at Concerts
Listening to live music is great, but that throbbing baseline can have a negative impact on your hearing. Protecting your ears is important, especially if you attend concerts on a regular basis.
Invest in a pair of high-quality comfortable ear plugs and take them with you whenever you attend a concert. You will still be able to hear the music, but the risk of damage to your hearing will be greatly reduced.
#5. Watch where you sit or stand when you attend a concert.
The area directly in front of the speakers is particularly bad, but the corners of the stadium can create an echo effect that amplifies sound. If the music seems too loud or is distorted, try moving to a different section of the arena – your ears will thank you.
Nothing can prevent all hearing loss, and it is still important to get regular hearing tests and other health assessments. Taking good care of your hearing is essential, and a proactive approach is often the best strategy. The above tips can help you protect your ears and enjoy the sounds of life.