How to stay fit and healthy is common knowledge: eat the right kinds of food, take part in some regular exercise, and quit smoking. But do you know how to take care of your hearing? It’s just as important but is often neglected. That’s why this month, in celebration of World Hearing Day on March 3, we thought we’d share our top 10 tips for keeping your hearing in good shape.
1) Be aware of the noise around you
Did you know that any sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can permanently damage your hearing? Your lawnmower comes in at around 90 dB. Football games can easily get as loud as 100 dB. Being aware of the noise levels around you is the first step towards protecting your hearing health.
2) Listen to music at a reasonable volume
But what is a reasonable volume? Most MP3 players can get as loud as 100-115 dB, enough to do your hearing significant damage. The 60/60 rule is a good one to follow to make sure you can enjoy your music and look after your hearing. Listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume of your MP3 player and for no longer than 60 minutes a day.
3) Wear headphones that block out surrounding noise
When you’ve got your headphones on, listening to your MP3 player or watching something on your cell, it’s easy to turn the volume up as the noise around you gets louder. This puts you at risk of going over the safe volume limit. Investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones or muff-style headphones will help you to avoid doing this.
4) Keep some ear protection on you
You can be exposed to noisy situations at home, work, or socially. Power tools, lawnmowers, fireworks, football games, and music concerts are all places where noise levels can get high enough to damage your hearing. So it’s important to always have some ear protection on you such as earplugs, ear molds, ear muffs, noise-canceling headphones, or wadding.
5) Wear head protection
Head injuries are a leading cause of damage to the inner ear, which leads to hearing loss. If you are taking part in football, baseball, or other sporting activities where there is potential for head injuries, make sure you always wear a helmet. The same goes if you are working in construction or other similar jobs.
6) Keep your ears warm
Cold weather reduces the blood flow to your ears, which increases the chances of ear infection. So if you’re going on vacation to colder climates, make sure you keep your ears warm with a hat or ear muffs.
7) Protect your ears at work
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, around 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels at work. Make sure you know your rights and ask for adequate ear protection from your employer.
8) Make healthy lifestyle choices
Smoking, poor nutrition, cardiovascular disease, stress, and anxiety can all negatively impact your hearing health. While it can be hard to avoid stress and anxiety altogether, you can try eating more healthily, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.
9) Listen to your ears
Your ears will often let you know when there is something wrong. Whooshing, whistling, or rushing sounds are all signs that you should rest your ears. Take a break from the noisy environment you’re in and move to a quieter area.
10) Get your hearing health checked
Just as you get your eyes, teeth, and general health checked, it’s important to get your hearing checked too. This ensures that any hearing problems are detected early, reducing the chances of further damage and helping you enjoy better hearing health sooner with appropriate treatment.
At Selective Hearing, Dr. Ashley Thom, our experienced Audiologist in Louisiana, can provide you with a thorough hearing assessment, as well as expert advice on how you can best look after your hearing. To book your hearing evaluation in Lafayette or Crowley, simply click here.
An Abbeville, Louisiana native, Dr. Thom realized her love for speech, language, and hearing while taking a speech pathology class her junior year at LSU. After completing a bachelor of arts in communications disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a clinical doctorate in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to her patients and likes to learn about their unique hearing and communication needs. An active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, she has been serving as a board member for two years, and was the 2016-17 President of LAA.