AVOID LOUD NOISES
As we grow older there’s a tendency to think that we are exposed to fewer loud noises. Perhaps that’s because we no longer go to loud concerts or listen to loud music in earphones; but we should let down our guard.
The reality is there are many everyday sounds in our lives that can damage our hearing in the short and long term.
Any loud noise that’s above 80 decibels has the potential to damage the ear in an irreparable way. When this happens the ear starts to deteriorate. You will need to visit an audiologist at some point and choose the best hearing aid style for your personality and lifestyle.
There are four main ones to choose from.
USE EAR PROTECTION
Regardless of your age you can protect your hearing and prevent its decline with some effective practices. One of the easiest and best is simple ear protection. If you can’t avoid loud noise then this is one alternative. You can use ear defenders or inner ear plugs to protect your hearing from damage.
It’s useful to know what sounds break the 80 decibel threshold so you can take effective measures when you encounter them. 80 decibels is the sound of heavy traffic or fireworks going off, but many household items such as hair dryers and lawnmowers also reach their heights.
LIMIT LOUD MUSIC
Even if you’re in your forties or fifties you still might like to listen to loud music and play air guitar when no one’s home, it’s cathartic! Or maybe your kids play their loud music upstairs and you have to listen to it.
These situations can contribute to a deterioration in your hearing which is also linked to cognitive decline.
If you’re listening to loud music through headphones or earphones always ensure the volume is lower than 60%, this will protect your hearing from damage. If the blouse is coming from an outside source like an upstairs bedroom or a music concert earplugs are a very effective means of protecting your hearing.
KNOW THE SIGNS
If you want to protect your hearing in the long term and avoid a hearing device you need to know what to look for and avoid it. As well as monitoring the decibel levels in your life you need to be aware of damage that has occurred and take measures to reduce its impact.
These signs can be hard to find.
Your hearing is very subjective and because changes happen incrementally you often don’t notice them. Look out for times when you mishear someone or don’t pick up certain sounds. You might also experience a low frequency buzzing in the background. If you have any of these warning signs visit your audiologist.
Like your eyes and teeth your ears need regular care and attention. Your ears are easy to forget about, we often don’t notice there is any issue with them until it starts to affect our life or livelihood.
This is all the more reason to have them checked on annually by an audiologist, most issues can be solved if noticed and treated early enough.