(HealthyAccess)- Hearing damage doesn’t just happen to teenagers who go to loud concerts and stand too close to the speakers. Nor does it only happen to children who watch television at a high volume. Hearing loss and hearing damage can happen to any of us.
We live in a loud world. Sounds at or above 85 decibels can actually damage our hearing in as little as 14 minutes! We may want to think about that the next time we crank the volume all the way up.
But protecting the ears is about more than just turning down the volume. Here are a few great ways to protect our hearing in a noisy world.
Turn the volume down.
When listening to music with headphones or earbuds, it’s recommended that we listen at 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes. In vehicles or at gatherings, we can also make sure that the volume is turned down so that people don’t have to shout to be heard.
Choose headphones over earbuds.
Earbuds’ close location to the eardrum puts us at greater risk of hearing loss. Instead, choose headphones to minimize the risk. Instead, use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones around loud sounds.
If we know we’re going to be around loud noises, we plan ahead to muffle the sound and protect our hearing. Mowing the lawn, doing projects that involve noisy power tools, and even going to loud events can necessitate the use of earplugs or other measures to reduce the volume.
Get some exercise.
Cardio exercises get blood flowing throughout the body. This includes the ears. It may seem weird, but going for that walk or run just might contribute to our hearing health.
Quit using cotton swabs.
Keeping a little earwax inside our ears is healthy. It actually protects our ear canals. To clean them, we can use a damp towel or try an ear wax removal solution rather than a cotton swab that could puncture the eardrum.
Avoid ear candling.
While ear candling sounds like a good idea in theory, it can actually do more harm than good. Not only are ear candles an ineffective way to deal with wax, they can also cause burns, clogged ear canals, and hearing loss.
Keep your ears dry.
Wet ears can lead to unhealthy bacteria. Avoid swimmer’s ear by using earplugs when swimming and drying the ears after bathing or swimming.
Manage your stress.
Staying stressed can lead to tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. By keeping our stress levels under control, we’re actually keeping our hearing healthy.
Get regular checkups.
Regular well-checks that involve hearing screenings can help us keep an eye on any issues that might come up. If we pinpoint problems early, we can do our best to address them.
When we take a proactive approach to protecting our ears, we lower our risk of hearing loss. The world around us may be loud, but with a little preparation, we may be able to hear clearly for years to come.
~Here’s to a Happier, Healthier Life!
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