Often referred to as an invisible disability, hearing loss is becoming more popular than ever before.
According to research studies, over 48 million (approximately 20% of the American population) suffers from one form of hearing loss.
Age and genetics are often the main causes of hearing loss, but now studies show that excessive noise exposure is quickly overtaking them.
When you are exposed to excessive noise, you have noise-induced hearing loss. You should note that the condition affects almost everyone, regardless of their age and genetic makeup.
You can’t fight the natural causes of hearing loss (age and genetics), but you can fight noise. Here are some of the ways you can prevent the condition from coming about:
Stay away from loud noises.
For you to avoid malaria, you should stay away from mosquitoes. The same thing applies if you want to avoid noise-induced hearing loss—you should stay away from the noise. You are said to be in loud noise if:
- You have to raise your voice to talk to other people.
- You can’t hear what other people are saying.
- The noise is hurting your ears.
- You have ringing in your ears after you get away from the noise.
Noise levels are measured in decibels, and the higher they are, the more compromised your hearing is. Any noise above 85 dB is harmful to your ears, especially when exposed to it for a long time.
Watch how you listen to your music.
Most people put on earphones and headphones and play music at the highest volume possible. While you might be enjoying your music, you might be damaging your hearing.
Do you want to protect your hearing? Do the following:
Always use noise-canceling headphones or earphones, especially when listening to music in noisy areas.
Many people tend to increase the volume of their devices whenever they can’t hear the music. This shouldn’t be you.
When listening to music, turn the volume just high enough so that you can hear the music comfortably, but not higher.
You should never listen to music any more than 60% of the maximum volume.
To have an easy time keeping check of the volume, buy a device with settings that will allow you to set the maximum volume automatically.
The length at which you listen to music has a great impact on the health of your ears.
To protect your hearing, never use the headphones or earphones for more than an hour at any given time.
If you have to listen to the music, always take a break of at least 5 minutes, then put the devices on.
Protect your hearing during parties
Parties are fun events, and you are in a great mood.
The unfortunate thing is that you are most likely hurting your hearing when you have fun with your friends.
When you are attending gigs, nightclubs, or sports events, you should protect your hearing at all times.
When you are in the club:
Stay away from the speakers.
Walk away from the club at least every 15 minutes.
After you are out of the club, don’t attend another gig immediately.
Give yourself at least 18 hours for your hearing to recover after exposure to the loud noise.
If you are comfortable with it, consider wearing earplugs. There are plenty of them in the market that you can go for.
The cool thing is that they are cheap; therefore, you can afford to dispose of them once you are done with the gig.
Protect your hearing when working
It’s not only at parties where you can be exposed to loud noise. If you work in a workshop or any other loud place, you are bound to be constantly exposed to a lot of annoying noise.
For you to protect your hearing when working, you need to:
Switch to using quieter equipment. For example, you can get a quieter saw or lawnmower.
Just like in the club, reduce the duration at which you are exposed to the loud noise.
As a rule of thumb, ensure that you aren’t exposed to loud noise for more than one hour.
You should have the necessary hearing protection devices in place all the time.
This calls for you to wear earmuffs, earplugs, and any other protection devices you might need for your work.
When buying the protection devices, invest in high-quality pieces that will give you optimum protection and last for a long time.
Undertake regular ear tests
Protecting your hearing isn’t enough—you also need to undertake regular checks. This is to tell when you are having an issue with your hearing.
When you are tested early enough, you can pick the problem when it’s at its initial stages, making it easy to fix.
You should have your hearing checked regularly (at least once a year) if you are a musician, handyman, or you work in areas where you are constantly exposed to a lot of noise.