Hearing loss cannot always be prevented. However, hearing loss caused by loud noises is avoidable. In the following section, a hearing aid specialist of Hearing Plus explains some simple things one can do to prevent loud noises from permanently damaging their hearing.
Things to do to prevent hearing loss
Avoid loud noises
The best way to avoid noise-induced hearing problems is to keep away from loud noise as much as possible. Typically, noise is considered to be loud enough to damage one’s hearing if:
• They have to raise their voice to talk to other people
• They cannot hear what people nearby are saying
• It hurts their ears
• They have ringing in their ears or muffled hearing afterward
Any noise over 85dB can be harmful, especially if exposed to it for a long time. One can use smartphone apps that measure noise levels, but one should make sure they’re set up (calibrated) appropriately to get a more accurate reading, says the ear machine specialist.
Be cautious while listening to music
Listening to music at high volume through earphones or headphones is one of the top dangers to hearing. To avoid damaging your hearing, one should:
• Use noise-canceling earphones or headphones
• Not listen to music at more than 60% of the highest volume
• Turn the volume up just enough to hear the music comfortably
• Not use headphones or earphones for more than an hour at a time
Even turning the volume a little bit low can significantly reduce one’s risk of hearing loss. One can protect their hearing during loud activities and events by:
• Moving away from sources of loud noises
• Trying to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes
• Giving their hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise
• Wearing earplugs
Take precautions at work
Suppose one gets exposed to loud noises during their work. In that case, they should speak to their human resources (HR) department or occupational health manager.
The employer can make changes to reduce the exposure to loud noise by:
• Switching to quieter equipment if possible
• Providing hearing protection, such as earplugs
• Making sure one can wear any hearing protection they are given
One should include hearing tests in their annual health check-up. The earlier the hearing problem is diagnosed, the more are the chances of them getting treated. It is recommended for everyone, especially those working in a noisy environment.