Healthy Habits to Protect Your Hearing

Healthy Habits to Protect Your Hearing

In Hearing Health by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A

Have you been risking your hearing health? Whether you have perfect hearing, have noticed that your hearing is changing, or are wearing hearing aids, looking after your hearing health is important. Learn more about hearing loss and how you can protect your hearing with these healthy habits to protect your ears and your hearing.

Preventing Hearing Loss

You may not realize how many of the sounds around you could be harming your hearing. Daily noises like heavy traffic, the construction site on the corner, or even the hallways of your child’s school can all be dangerously loud. Leisure activities, such as music concerts, attending a ball game, or even spending a night out at the bar with friends can all be very loud and harm your hearing. This hearing loss is called noise induced hearing loss, and it’s completely preventable. By removing yourself from the noise, or by protecting your ears, you can keep your hearing safe.

Protect Your Ears

The best habit to get into is protecting your ears! We’re often in very noisy environments, and aren’t wearing appropriate hearing protection. It can be hard to know how loud is too loud, or which situations require hearing protection. Some of the noisiest activities in your daily life include:

  • Attending a rock concert
  • Attending a sports event
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Using power tools
  • Watching fireworks
  • Shooting a gun
  • Working on a construction site or in a factory
  • Using heavy machinery
  • Commuting to work in heavy traffic or on the subway
  • Listening to music with earbuds and turning up the volume
  • Riding a motorcycle

If you’re doing any of these activities regularly, you need to be protecting your ears and your hearing. Some sounds can cause hearing loss in just a few minutes, so don’t take a risk and protect your ears. A good rule of thumb is that if you need to shout to talk to the person next to you, it’s too loud. The environment isn’t safe for your ears and you need to protect your hearing. Another way to find out if an activity is dangerously loud is by downloading a decibel reader on your smartphone to check the volume. If the decibel reader shows sound higher than 85 decibels, protect your hearing.

Walk Away

Another healthy habit is to walk away. If you’re in a very loud venue and you know you could be damaging your hearing, then take a break. Leave the noise for a few minutes and give your ears a chance to rest. This will reduce your risk of hearing loss and help your ears. Try to find a place that’s a safe distance from the speakers, and don’t expose yourself to extremely loud sound.

Turn Down the Volume

If you’ve been using your music to drown out other noise, stop! A healthy habit is to turn down the volume and protect your hearing. If you can’t hear your music over the sounds in your environment, invest in noise-canceling headphones so you can enjoy your music without cranking up the volume. Listening to music on full volume is one of the leading causes of hearing loss among teens and young adults, and even an hour of listening to music on full volume can damage your hearing health.

Educate Your Friends

Everything is easier with good company, so talk to your friends about hearing loss, and you can all work together to protect your hearing. Talk about noise induced hearing loss, and encourage your friends to wear hearing protection. When attending a concert with friends, bring a few extra pairs of foam earplugs so you can all protect your hearing, and form healthy habits.

Treat Hearing Loss

If you’ve noticed changes to your hearing health or engage in noisy activities, you should get your hearing tested! Even a small hearing loss can impact your quality of life, damage your self-confidence, and harm your closest relationships. You’ll struggle to hear in conversations, feel socially isolated, and may even be risking your job. Treat your hearing loss with a quality pair of hearing aids, and form healthy habits to protect your ears. Not only will treating hearing loss help you hear clearly, you’ll also be protecting your hearing from further damage.