Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Safeguarding your hearing is similar to eating right. It sounds good, but not many of us have a very good idea of where to begin. If there aren’t any apparent noise dangers and you don’t consider your daily environment to be especially loud, this is especially true. But day-to-day life can stress your ears and your senses, so your auditory acuity can be maintained if you apply these tips.

If you want to continue to enjoy the sounds around you, you should do everything you can to impede down the deterioration of your hearing.

Tip 1: Wearable Ear Protection

Using hearing protection is the most practical and basic way to safeguard your ears. This means taking basic steps to minimize the amount of loud and damaging noises you’re subjected to.

For most people, this will mean using ear protection when it’s required. Two basic forms of protection are available:

  • Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.
  • Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. There are positive aspects to each type. What’s significant is that you find some hearing protection that you feel comfortable with.

Tip 2: When Sound Becomes Dangerous, be Aware of It

But when to use hearing protection is the question. We’re used to associating dangerous noise with painful noise. But honestly, sounds can begin to damage your ears at a much lower level than you might anticipate. The sounds of traffic, for instance, are loud enough to start injuring your hearing after only a couple of hours. Knowing when sound becomes dangerous, then, is a necessary step in protecting your hearing.

The following threshold is when sound becomes harmful:

  • 85 decibels (dB): This level of sound is hazardous after about two hours of exposure. This is the level of sound you’d expect from a busy city street or your hairdryer.
  • Over 100 dB: Your ears can be very quickly injured by this. Anything above this threshold can damage your hearing in minutes or seconds. As an example, rock concerts and jet engines will injure your ears in 30 seconds.
  • 95-100 dB: This is the normal volume of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. After around 15-20 minutes this level of sound becomes dangerous.

Tip 3: Your Phone Can Become a Sound Meter

Now that we have a basic concept of what volume of noise may be harmful, we can take some steps to ensure we limit our exposure. But in day to day life, it can be tricky trying to determine what is too loud and what isn’t.

Your smartphone can now be used as a handy little tool. Sound meter apps exist for every type of smartphone.

In order to get an understanding of what hazardous levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Monitor Your Volume Buttons

Most people these days listen to music via their phone or smart device, and they usually use earbuds while they do it. Your hearing is put in danger with this setup. Your hearing can be significantly damaged if you keep your earbuds too loud over a long period of time.

That’s why protecting your ears means keeping a focused eye on your volume control. You should never increase the volume to drown out noises somewhere else. And we suggest using apps or configurations to make sure that your volume doesn’t accidentally become hazardously high.

If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become a negative feedback loop; in order to make up for your declining hearing, you could find yourself constantly rising the volume of your earbuds, doing more damage to your ears in the process.

Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Examined

You might think that having a hearing exam is something you do only when your hearing begins to decline. Without a baseline to compare results to, it’s not always easy to detect a problem in your hearing.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a good way to come up with data that can be used for both treatment and diagnostic purposes, ensuring that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) decisions have a little bit of added context and information.

Pay Attention to Your Hearing

In a perfect world, protecting your ears would be something you could do constantly without any difficulty. But challenges are will always be there. So anytime you can and as often as possible, safeguard your ears. You should also have your hearing examined routinely. Hopefully, these guidelines will give you a good start.

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