The most common cause of hearing loss in today’s society is noise-induced. Luckily, this type of hearing loss is completely preventable. In fact, one-third of permanent hearing loss is preventable with proper hearing loss prevention strategies(1). To keep your ears in tip top shape for years to come, follow the below tips:
- An easy way to check whether a noise would be considered harmful is by trying to speak over the noise. If you need to raise your voice to a shout in order for someone within arm’s length to hear you, you could be putting your hearing at serious risk.
- Beware of hazardous noises such as power tools, firearms, motorboats, concerts, sporting events, etc. Whenever possible, wear earplugs or other hearing protection devices when exposed to these types of noises.
- If you have an occupation that frequently expose you to harmful noises, such as heavy industry workers, construction workers, miners, musicians, firefighters, etc., check with your employer to ensure the jobsite has measures in place to protect your hearing. They must meet federal and state regulations.
- When using headphones to listen to music, monitor the volume level. Consider investing in high quality headphones that block out background noises.
- If you have children, examine their toys. If you think they may pose a danger to your child’s hearing, remove the batteries or donate the toy. Always check the sound levels when purchasing new toys.
Now that we’ve covered some ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, here are some ways to prevent other types of hearing loss:
- Ask about possible side-effects of any medications you’re taking. Some drugs can be toxic to your ears and result in hearing loss. If hearing loss is listed as a possible side-effect, talk to your doctor to find out if there are any alternative medications.
- When traveling by air, frequently swallow and yawn during landing.
- Avoid placing any object, even cotton swabs, in your ear.
Early detection is key. Get your ears tested regularly to identify any loss in hearing. The sooner you know, the quicker you can take steps to prevent further loss.