Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that people are suffering from nowadays. The lifestyle that we are accustomed to is one of the main reason that many of us end up suffering from permanent hearing loss. According to several reports, hearing loss has become the 3rd most common health issue after arthritis and heart diseases. About 20% of the Americans are suffering from permanent hearing damage.
While our hearing ability gets affected as we age due to the breakdown of tiny hair cells present on the inner lining of our ear, the main cause of the hearing damage is prolonged exposure to loud noise. According to the reports published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), about 22 million Americans are exposed to harmful levels of noise at the workplaces.
Scientifically speaking, prolonged exposures to sound levels above 80 decibels (dB) can lead to a permanent hearing damage.
Here are the 5 ways by which you can protect your hearing from permanent damage:
1. Stay away from extremely loud sounds
As mentioned above, prolonged exposures to extremely loud sounds can permanently damage your hearing capability. There are certain signs that indicate that the sound you are being exposed to is harmful:
- If you have to speak loudly to make yourself heard clearly
- If the sound is hurting your ears
- If your ears are buzzing and echoing after hearing a sound
- If you are not unable to hear people around you
If a sound has these characters, then it best to avoid such surroundings.
2. Use protective gear
Due to our lifestyle, it is not possible to avoid all noise pollution because we are surrounded by it. A busy traffic produces a level of about 85 decibels and a motorbike can produce up to 100 decibels which are hazardous levels.
Therefore, it is recommended to wear protective gear such as earplugs. Ear protection can be worn in many places, such as concerts, and it is important to get good quality earplugs to reduce the sound strength without muffling the sound quality. This means you will still be able to enjoy the performances and keep your ears safe from damage.
3. Use headphones carefully
Listening to music on full volume through headphones creates a staggering 110 decibels of sound level that are devastatingly dangerous for our hearing ability.
Health professionals suggest listening to music with the volume below 85 decibels. Having headphones in with the volume anywhere above this level will eventually cause permanent hearing loss.
4. Make your house sound proof
While you can’t control the sound levels outside, you can surely control them inside your house. Installing replacement windows and sound deadening insolation will stop excess sound pollution from entering your house. Buying quiet appliances will also help ensure lower exposure to damaging sounds.
5. Regular ear inspection
The best way to ensure that your ears are properly functioning is by getting your ear inspected regularly by a professional ENT doctor. When loud sounds enter the ear, it can affect your inner hair cells, ultimately resulting in an ear infection or causing damage. This is why it is recommended to add a routing hearing exam to your list of annual check-ups, to ensure optimum hearing health.
The earlier the problem is diagnosed the better it is to treat the condition. So head towards a competent hearing aid center to get your hearing tested.