June 6, 2023

10 Strategies to Prevent Future Hearing Loss

The significance of our hearing is often not fully recognized until it begins to deteriorate

The significance of our hearing is often not fully recognized until it begins to deteriorate. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world's population suffers from disabling hearing loss, and this percentage is expected to increase due to exposure to loud noises and aging. Fortunately, hearing loss is preventable when the following precautionary steps are taken. Let's dive into 10 practical ways to protect your hearing.

Mind Your Volume

Always keep the volume at a safe level, especially when using headphones or earbuds. A good rule of thumb is to stick to 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day - this is known as the 60/60 rule. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. If you use a smartphone, many of them come with warnings and limits that can be set.

Use Noise-Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones reduce the need to increase your volume to compete with background noise. By isolating the sound you want from ambient sounds, you can listen to your music or podcasts at a lower and safer level.

Limit Exposure to Loud Noises

Sustained exposure to loud noises is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Loud music, heavy machinery, and explosions can all damage your hearing over time. If you can't avoid these situations, try to limit your exposure as much as possible.

Wear Protective Equipment

If you work in a noisy environment, it's vital to wear ear protection. There are many types of protective gear available, including earplugs, earmuffs, and custom-fitted devices. Remember that prolonged exposure to loud noise without protection can cause permanent damage.

Regular Hearing Check-ups

Regular check-ups with an audiologist are a must. These professionals can detect early signs of hearing loss and suggest appropriate measures to prevent further deterioration.

Avoid Ototoxic Medications

Some medications are known to be ototoxic, meaning they can damage your hearing. If possible, discuss with your doctor about alternatives to these medications. If ototoxic medications are necessary, regular hearing screenings can help monitor potential changes.

Maintain Good Cardiovascular Health

Hearing health is closely tied to your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet, and regular check-ups can ensure that your blood vessels remain healthy and continue to supply necessary nutrients to your auditory system.

Don't Ignore Tinnitus

Tinnitus, characterized by a persistent ringing in the ears, can be an early sign of hearing damage. If you experience tinnitus, it's crucial to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Be Mindful of Recreational Activities

Activities like concerts, motor racing, hunting, or even going to the movies can expose you to high decibel levels. Bringing ear protection can help prevent potential damage.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can damage your hearing by reducing blood flow to your ears, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. If you smoke, consider seeking help to quit for the benefit of your overall health, including your hearing.

The importance of protecting our hearing can't be overstated. Implementing these strategies into your routine can significantly reduce the risk of hearing loss and ensure you maintain your hearing for as long as possible. As always, if you suspect you might be suffering from hearing loss, consult an Audiologist immediately.