Hearing Protection Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss
Protecting your hearing is so critical because once hearing loss occurs, there is no way to reverse the damage. Of course, there are several options for managing hearing loss such as hearing aids and assisted listening devices. Neglecting to take action to address hearing issues is an extremely widespread problem as the average person waits roughly seven years before even attempting to rectify the situation. Education and awareness are paramount to taking an active approach to prevent loss of hearing.
Tips and Suggestions for Hearing Loss Prevention
While not all hearing loss is completely avoidable, there are several helpful recommendations that can inhibit hearing damage.
- Use PPE in noisy environments
- Dry your ears properly
- Avoid the Q-Tips
- Give your ears a break
- Manage your listening volume
- Stay active
- Watch your stress levels
- Get routine assessments
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Noisy Environments
People that work in loud areas are at an increased risk for hearing loss. Consistently wearing effective PPE gear can help reduce those risks. A diverse selection of ear plugs and ear muffs are available to meet your situational and preference requirements.
Even if you don’t work in a noisy environment, there is still the potential of being exposed to loud noises on a daily basis from traffic, lawn mowers, heavy machinery, and the general din of busy public establishments that may affect hearing. Customized ear plugs are available to block out unwanted sounds but still provide the ability to carry on a conversation. Contact a hearing professional for more details.
Dry Your Ears Properly
If excess moisture is left to collect in the ear canal it opens the door to potentially harmful bacteria that may cause damage or infection. Use a towel to delicately dry your ears after a shower or swimming by tilting your head to the side and pulling on your earlobe to gently force the water out.
Avoid Using Q-Tips
It is very tempting to use cotton swabs to clean out or dry your ears since that is what they are designed for. However, using Q-Tips is not recommended because they can end up pushing wax farther into the ear or causing damage to the inner ear. Wax actually serves a purpose for the ear, helping protect it from the invasion of foreign particles. Earwax can be gently cleaned using a damp towel, and if there is excessive buildup consult a professional.
Give Your Ears a Break
Just like any other part of the body, the ear needs rest to recover after strain or prolonged exposure to noise. Studies show that about 16 hours of quiet are required for the ear to fully recover from a night at a loud bar or concert, or a day of noisy work.
Manage Your Listening Volume
The majority of people turn up the volume too loud when listening to headphones. While it may be true that music does sound better at high volumes, it is extremely taxing on your hearing. It is recommended to listen to headphones at no higher than 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
Regular exercise promotes increased blood flow and better circulation to get blood moving effectively to all the body’s cells. Good circulation helps ensure all the components of the ear are getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly.
Watch Your Stress Levels
Stress tends to have the opposite effect of exercise on the body, putting an increased strain on the entire system. Studies show that chronic stress can lead to tinnitus, a condition involving ringing in the ears.
Get Routine Assessments
Possibly the most effective method to prevent hearing loss is to get checked out regularly by a hearing professional. Hearing assessments are typically quick and painless and can be extremely helpful in catching problems early to prevent permanent damage.