4 Steps to Protect Your Hearing and Prevent Hearing Loss

protect your hearing

No one looks forward to growing old and needing to wear hearing aids, but that will be inevitable if you don’t protect your hearing NOW. In fact, if you’re regularly exposed to loud noise without the appropriate hearing protection, that day could come far more quickly than you expect … even BEFORE you grow old.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6-19 years (approximately 5.2 million) and 17% of adults aged 20-69 years (approximately 26 million) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.” These figures represent a significant number of people and this is one statistical group you don’t want to be part of.

What kinds of sounds can cause noise-induced hearing loss? The list is endless but in short, ANY sound that’s louder than 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent hearing damage. Activities like mowing your lawn, watching fireworks, or attending your favorite band’s concert can all register at 100 dB or more.

4 Ways to Protect Your Hearing

The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss IS preventable if you simply know what hearing protection measures are appropriate and effective. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are four ways to protect your hearing now that can also help you hear better in the future:

1. Schedule routine hearing tests with an audiologist.

Remember when you were younger and you got a hearing test at school as part of your yearly checkup? While annual hearing tests are often advised or even mandated for school aged children, adults often let them go by the wayside. Perhaps that’s because many people think they don’t have to worry about hearing changes until they get ‘old’.

The truth is that hearing loss can occur at ANY age and to anyone. Of course, if you’re regularly exposed to loud noise at work or even at play, your risk for hearing loss increases. If you get a baseline hearing test, and then subsequent tests yearly after that, it’ll be easy for your audiologist or other healthcare provider to recognize when there’s been even a small change in your hearing. Early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss may alert you to lifestyle factors you can change that would prevent your hearing from getting worse.

2. Wear appropriate hearing protection when exposed to loud noise.

If you work in a noisy environment, there’s a good chance that your employer may be required to provide hearing protection for you. If they do, be sure to wear it AND make sure it’s adequate for the type of noise exposure you have. You may want to talk to an audiologist about professional hearing protection options that are designed specifically for you and your situation.

Hearing protection applies to your life outside of work, too. There’s no need to give up noisy recreational activities to protect your hearing if you’re willing to wear ear plugs, headphones, or other protective devices. Just plan ahead and be prepared for those times when loud noise exposure will be inevitable.

3. Turn down the volume on your devices.

Listening to music or watching TV shouldn’t make anyone else in the room uncomfortable. If others often complain that the volume on these devices is too loud, you’re setting yourself up for noise-induced hearing loss. Keep the volume at a comfortable level. You should be able to easily hear when you’re next to the device but you DON’T need to be able to hear it from the next room!

4. Get custom ear molds for your headphones.

Imagine having the ultimate listening experience WITHOUT having to turn up the volume too much on your devices. This is possible when you have custom ear molds that can connect to your headphones’ wires. You’ll be able to hear better at a safer volume and background noise is significantly reduced.

Protect Your Hearing With the Help of Our Mesa and Scottsdale Audiologists

At Advanced Hearing Group, we love helping people in and around Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ have the ultimate hearing experience. For many, that means treating hearing loss that has already occurred and fitting them with the best hearing aids available. But we really get excited when we can help people PREVENT hearing loss, and we’d love to do the same for YOU!

Schedule an appointment with our audiologists today. We’ll be happy to conduct a hearing test and thorough hearing evaluation, as well as provide recommendations for ways you can protect your hearing that fit your lifestyle and your budget. Let’s get you on the road to hearing well and living well … for the rest of your life!

Read the full story from Johns Hopkins Medicine here.

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