Gold Country Hearing - Gold Country Valley, CA

Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Protecting your hearing is a lot like eating the right way. It sounds good, but not many of us have a very good idea of where to start. This is especially true if you don’t consider your daily environment to be very noisy and there aren’t any noticeable dangers to your ears. But your ears and senses can be stressed by everyday living, so doing these hearing protection tips can help safeguard your auditory acuity.

If you want to keep enjoying the sounds around you, you need to do everything you can to slow down the degeneration of your hearing.

Tip 1: Ear Protection You Can Wear

Using ear protection is the most sensible and basic way to safeguard your ears. This means that diminishing loud and damaging sound is a basic step you should take.

For many people, this will mean using ear protection when it’s required. Two basic forms of protection are available:

  • Ear Muffs, which are put over the ears.
  • Ear Plugs, which are placed in the ear canal.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each style has its benefits. What’s important is that you pick some hearing protection that you feel comfortable with.

Tip 2: When Sound Becomes Harmful, be Aware of It

But how can you tell when to use hearing protection? We’re used to connecting harmful noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can harm your ears than you might think. After only a couple hours, for instance, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your ears. An essential step in protecting your hearing, then, is knowing when sound becomes dangerous.

The following threshold is when sound becomes dangerous:

  • 85 decibels (dB): This level of sound is harmful after around two hours of exposure. This is the level of sound you’d expect from a busy city street or your hairdryer.
  • 95-100 dB: This is the typical level of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. This volume of sound becomes harmful after 15-20 minutes.
  • Over 100 dB: Your hearing can be very rapidly damaged by this. Anything above this limit can damage your hearing in minutes or seconds. As an example, rock concerts and jet engines will injure your hearing in 30 seconds.

Tip 3: Turn Your Phone Into a Sound Meter

We can take precautions to minimize our exposure, now that we have an idea of what volumes will be dangerous. The trick is that, once you’re out and about 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: Keep an Eye on Your Volume Buttons

The majority of people today listen to music via their phone or smart device, and they usually use earbuds while they do it. This creates a risky situation for your hearing. Over years of use, earbuds set to a substantially high volume can cause considerable injury to your hearing.

Somonitoring the volume control means protecting your ears. In order to drown out noises elsewhere, you should not raise the sound level. And we recommend using apps or configurations to ensure that your volume never unintentionally become dangerously high.

Earbud use can become something of a negative feedback loop if your hearing starts to decline; you could find yourself constantly increasing the volume of your earbuds so that you can compensate for your faltering hearing, and in the process doing more damage to your hearing.

Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Examined

You might think that getting a hearing test is something you do only when your hearing begins to decline. Without a standard to compare results to, it’s not always easy to detect a problem in your ears.

Generating data that can be used for both diagnostic purposes and for treatment can best be achieved by scheduling a hearing exam and screening. This will give you a little extra context for future hearing choices and ear protection.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

In a perfect world, protecting your hearing would be something you could do constantly without any difficulty. But there will always be challenges. So protect your ears when you can, as often as you can. Also, get regular hearing exams. Put these suggestions into practice to improve your chances.

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