Your hearing is an important sense that allows you to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. If you don’t take measures to protect your hearing, you can lose it over time, and in many cases, it’s impossible to regain. Below is an overview of how noise-induced hearing loss can be developed and four easy ways for you to protect your hearing.
What’s Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss is the result of dangerously loud noises passing through the ears. Within the ears are tiny hair cells called stereocilia, which convert soundwaves into electrical energy that the brain interprets as sound. When exposed to excessive noise levels, these cells can become destroyed, and once damaged they do not regenerate. Permanent sensorineural hearing loss is the result.
Protecting Your Hearing
Here are four of the best ways you can protect your hearing.
Wear Hearing Protection
Whether you’re working at a construction site, operating a power tool, shooting a firearm, watching a fireworks show or attending a concert at The Warfield, it’s important to always wear hearing protection. This can be in the form of disposable earplugs from the drug store, earmuffs from a big box store or custom-molded earplugs from an audiologist’s office for maximum comfort and protection.
Upgrade Your Earbuds
If you prefer listening to music through earbuds, whether it’s because of the price tag, size or appearance, you should think again. Earbuds are dangerous because they deliver sound directly into the ear canals with no space buffer. They also tend to be lower quality, meaning you have to crank up the volume to hear the music over background noise. We recommend upgrading to over-ear headphones at the least, or high-fidelity noise-cancelling headphones in an ideal world.
Turn Down the Volume
When listening to music, podcasts or videos through headphones, you should always practice the 60/60 rule. This rule states you should listen at no more than 60% of your device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
Take Listening Breaks
Along the same lines, it’s important to give your ears a chance to recover after a long period of noise exposure. This means stepping outside the busy bar for a few moments or taking a nap after being on Zoom calls for hours.
For more information about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment, call San Francisco Audiology today.
Learn More About Hearing Loss
- Is There a Connection Between Hearing Loss and Menopause?
- Can Lost Hearing Be Restored?
- What Is Auditory Deprivation?