Protecting your hearing is similar to eating the right way. It’s hard to know where to begin even though it sounds like a good idea. This is particularly true if you don’t think your daily environment is especially noisy and there aren’t any apparent dangers to your ears. But your ears and senses can be stressed by daily living, so your auditory acuity can be preserved if you practice these tips.
The more you can do to slow the degeneration of your hearing, the longer you’ll be capable of enjoying the sounds around you.
Tip 1: Wearable Ear Protection
Using hearing protection is the most sensible and simple way to safeguard your hearing. This means taking basic actions to diminish the amount of loud and harmful noises you’re exposed to.
For many people, this will mean using ear protection when it’s required. Two basic forms of protection are available:
- 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 style has its benefits. Your choice of hearing protection should, most notably, feel comfortable.
Tip 2: When Sound Becomes Dangerous, be Aware of It
The following threshold is when sound becomes harmful:
- 85 decibels (dB): After about two hours this volume of sound is damaging.Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both circumstances where you will find this level of sound.
- Over 100 dB: Your hearing can be very quickly injured by this. Injury is done in about thirty seconds with sounds over this threshold. Rock concerts and jet engines, for instance, can damage your ears in about thirty seconds.
- 95-100 dB: This is about the noise level you’d get from farm equipment or the normal volume of your earbuds. After around 15-20 minutes this level of sound becomes harmful.
Tip 3: Turn Your Phone Into a Sound Meter
Now that we have a general concept of what levels of sound could be dangerous, we can take some steps to ensure we minimize our exposure. The trick is that, once you’re out in the real world, it can be difficult to determine what’s too loud and what isn’t.
That’s where your smartphone can become 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 harmful levels of noise really sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.
Tip 4: Monitor Your Volume Settings
A smartphone with earbuds is usually the way people listen to music nowadays. This sets up a risky situation for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a substantially high level can cause significant damage to your hearing.
That’s why protecting your hearing means keeping a focused eye on your volume management. You should not increase the volume in order to drown out sounds elsewhere. And we recommend using apps or settings to ensure that your volume never accidentally become dangerously high.
Earbud use can become something of a negative feedback loop if your hearing begins to wane; you could find yourself constantly increasing the volume of your earbuds so that you can compensate for your faltering hearing, doing more damage to your ears in the process.
Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Checked
You may think that getting a hearing test is something you do only when your hearing begins to wane. Without a baseline to compare results to, it’s not always easy to detect a problem in your ears.
Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a great way to generate data that can be used for both treatment and diagnostic purposes, ensuring that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) choices have a little bit of added context and information.
Pay Attention to Your Hearing
In a perfect world, protecting your hearing would be something you could do continuously without any difficulty. But there will always be obstacles. So safeguard your ears when you can, as often as you can. You should also have your hearing tested regularly. Put these suggestions into practice to improve your chances.