Compassionate and Professional Hearing Healthcare

A Quick Guide to Protecting Your Hearing

a man cutting wood while using proper ear protection

For many people, hearing loss comes as a natural part of the aging process, and there’s little you can do to prevent it. For many other people, hearing loss can happen due to certain habits and accidents – which are mostly avoidable in such cases.

Protecting your hearing is a vital part of protecting your general health. Unfortunately, many people pay little to no attention to their ear and hearing health. No matter your age, careless habits or accidents can bring you closer to hearing loss. It's is crucial to stop overlooking your hearing health by taking the following measures:

Use earplugs

If you work in a noisy environment or enjoy recreational activities that often occur in loud settings, you should consider wearing earplugs. Working in environments like loud night clubs and construction sites can affect our hearing health over time. If you are a fan of loud concerts or operate machines like chainsaws and lawnmowers, it is advisable to always put on a pair of earplugs before going out or operating your machines. You can purchase a pair of foam earplugs, which can easily fit most ear sizes, or get it tailor-made for you. 

Avoid loud noises

As much as you can, stay away from loud noises. If you have to raise your voice above a particular sound to be heard, that sound can be classified as loud noise. If you struggle to hear people next to you because of the surrounding noise, you are in an unhealthily noisy environment. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). Sounds higher than 85dB are considered very harmful to hearing health. A typical conversation is around 60dB, motorcycle noise is 90dB and earphone music can go beyond 100 dB at high volumes. 

Turn down the volume

It is essential to always keep your entertainment devices at safe volumes. Earphones and headphone volumes can rise well beyond 100 dB, which is dangerous to hearing health and capable of causing permanent hearing damage. Listening to loud music can overwork the hair cells and even cause them to die. Unfortunately, hair cells cannot be replaced; therefore, each loss is a permanent one. 

That is why it is crucial to keep the volume at healthy levels. If you’re a music lover, using noise-cancelling headphones or earphones can be your best option when outside – instead of cranking up the volume to compete with outside noise. It is also best to avoid turning up the volumes on your home entertainment system to deafening levels.

Give your ears time to recover

Overworking the hair cells in the ear can cause permanent damage. That is why it is essential to give your ears the time they need to recover, either after listening to music for a long time or being in a noisy environment. If you have been exposed to loud noise for an extended period, take a couple of days off to give your ears enough time to recover. Doing this will help ensure that any temporary damage you may have experienced from the loud noise exposure is taken care of. Recovery time is also vital for taking the load off your hair cells, giving them time to recover and boosting their health.

Exercise and a healthy lifestyle 

If you needed another reason to exercise, this is it. Many hearing health professionals believe that exercise has a vital role to play in improving your hearing health. Exercise increases blood flow to the inner ears, which is essential for supporting the hair cells located there. The tiny hair cells are located in the ear’s internal parts and are responsible for receiving sound waves and translating them into electrical impulses to the brain. Ensure to eat healthy, which may help reduce your hearing loss risk.

Get regular hearing examinations and screening

One mistake many people make is waiting until there is a problem before visiting an audiologist. It is vital to get regular hearing examinations and screening even when you do not feel anything wrong with your hearing. Taking this proactive step will put you on top of your hearing health. It will also help to spot potential hearing issues and provide solutions before they become a problem. Regular visits also allow your audiologist to record your hearing health history and offer suggestions as and when needed.

To learn more about protecting your hearing, visit Portland Audiology Clinic, LLC, or contact us today at (503) 227-3668.