5 tips for hearing loss prevention

The causes of hearing loss range from ageing to birth defects of the ear. However, one cause stands out as the most common reason people have hearing problems: loud noises. One in three cases of hearing loss is due to damaging noise exposure. 

To some degree, this is actually good news. You can proactively reduce your risk of hearing loss by limiting your exposure to loud noises. Here are five steps you can take for hearing loss prevention.

Five tips for hearing loss prevention

Avoid loud noises

The modern world is full of noises in excess of 85 decibels – the level at which noise begins to damage the ears. While it’s impossible to avoid all exposure to loud noise, the more excessive noise you can avoid, the more you protect your ears. So how do you know whether a noise crosses that 85-decibel threshold? 

Generally speaking, noise is loud enough to damage your hearing if any of the following apply:

  • You need to speak loudly or shout to make yourself heard.
  • You cannot hear nearby people talking at conversational levels.
  • You experience either ringing in the ears or muffled hearing after noise exposure.
  • The noise exposure physically hurts your ears.

Hearing loss prevention at work

OSHA protects employees from workplace-related injuries, including occupational noise exposure. OSHA standards require employers to protect their employees from noise-induced hearing damage by:

  • Replacing loud equipment with quieter alternatives (if possible).
  • Providing breaks and other means of ensuring employees are not exposed to loud noise for extended time periods.
  • Providing earplugs, earmuffs, and other forms of ear protection.

Be sure to use any ear protection provided by your employer and follow all relevant ear protection procedures. If you’re exposed to loud noise and do not feel your ears are adequately protected, reach out to your HR department with your concerns. 

Control your headphone volume

Headphones and earphones allow you to block out surrounding noise and listen to your music, which has made many commutes much more bearable. Listening to music through headphones at high volume, however, is a common cause of hearing loss, so be sure to keep your music volume at comfortable levels. Consider taking the following steps:

  • Don’t try to drown out surrounding sound by turning up music volume. Instead, use noise-reducing headphones. 
  • Don’t set your volume to more than 60% maximum. Some music players and headphones allow you to set the volume to a 60% maximum.
  • Avoid using your headphones for more than an hour at a time. Take at least a five-minute break every hour.

Hearing loss prevention and loud events

Nightclubs, concerts, school dances, and music festivals all have one thing in common: they can produce ear-damaging noise. If you're attending a loud event, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes, if possible.
  • Position yourself away from loudspeakers and other sources of noise.
  • Wear musicians' earplugs, which reduce the volume you hear without muffling sound.
  • Give your ears 18 hours to recover after exposure to prolonged loud noises.

Make hearing tests part of your annual hearing los

One of the best ways to prevent hearing loss is to make a hearing test part of your yearly health program. The sooner hearing damage is identified, the easier it is to treat and control. This is especially important if you work in an industry where noise-induced hearing loss is a potential risk. If you've never had a hearing test but suspect you have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with a licensed hearing care professional as soon as possible.

Contact an hearing aid professional

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Just like you rely on your favorite mechanic to keep your car engine running smoothly, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with a highly-rated licensed hearing care professional is key to keeping your hearing aids in optimal working condition. 

With you on your journey to better hearing.

It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.

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5 Tips for Hearing Loss Prevention

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