Although hearing loss can naturally occur with age, taking steps to protect the ears from loud noises can help preserve hearing. These are the most important actions to take if you want to keep your hearing sharp and prevent damage caused by sound exposure.
Know the Risks
It can be difficult to determine when a sound is loud enough to damage your hearing. The U.S. Department of Health reports that sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. In general, avoid situations where it is difficult to hear for a few hours after leaving the environment when a ringing or buzzing sound impacts hearing, when the ears actually hurt, or when conversation is difficult even with a person at the same table.
Turn Down the Volume
Listening to streaming audio such as music or movies through earbuds can damage the ears if you’re not careful. Keeping the volume as low as possible can protect hearing when using headphones. Take frequent breaks to give the ears a rest. If you already wear hearing aids, pay attention to volume control to prevent further damage to the ears.
Wear Ear Protection
If you can’t avoid loud noises, use effective ear protection in those situations, whether it’s at work or for fun. For casual use, such as at a rock concert, rubber or foam earplugs fit into the ear canal to reduce noise by up to 30 decibels. Over-the-counter earplugs are available, and an audiologist can make custom-fit earplugs for musicians and others who require noise exposure. Earmuffs, another option, fit tightly over the ears to block up to 30 decibels of sound.
Choose Quiet Products
Many manufacturers offer quieter versions of loud appliances like blenders, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. If you use these items frequently, you may want to swap a noisy product for a more subdued model. You can also use earplugs at home when using loud appliances.
If you live in St. Louis and have difficulty hearing, see the team at Associated Hearing Professionals for a comprehensive evaluation. Call 636-778-9232 or complete our online form to schedule a hearing test at one of our two convenient locations.