20 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Hearing Loss in 2022
According to the Center for Disease Control, in the United States alone approximately 40 million adults aged 20–69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, and about 1 in 4 adults who report “excellent to good” hearing already have hearing damage.
Unfortunately, hearing loss only goes in one direction - worse. Luckily there are plenty of ways you can protect your hearing. Here are 20 ways to protect your hearing loss in 2022.
- Get a baseline hearing test - Understanding what your hearing is like today is the first step in preventing it from getting any worse.
- Check your phone’s settings - most cell phones today have ways of measuring the volume over time. Pay attention to the feedback that your device is giving you about how loud you are listening to it.
- Don’t listen at full volume - whatever device you are using, don’t listen at full volume. The WHO recommends “listening at no more than roughly 60 percent of mobile-device volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time”.
- Wear earplugs to concerts - There are certain kinds of earplugs that will drop the decibel levels of concert music into a safer range. This means you can still enjoy live music without doing damage to your ears.
- Use hearing protection while doing yard work - leaf blowers and lawnmowers can be extremely loud clocking in at about 90 dB. While not the same as a rock concert at 120dB over time this can still do long-term damage to your ears.
- Take breaks from the noise - regardless of the noise, if you can take a break from loud noises for a time, do so to give your ears time to rest.
- Avoid loud or noisy activities/places, when possible - If your ears hurt, move away from the sound as pain is the ear’s way of telling us that noise is too loud.
- Stop using cotton swabs in your ears - the rule of thumb should be don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear! That includes bobby pins, cotton swabs, and more.
- Identification and management of diseases that cause hearing loss - diseases like Otosclerosis and Ménière's disease can cause hearing loss. Talk with your doctor today if you are showing symptoms of these or other common diseases that can cause hearing loss.
- Take medications only as directed - If taken incorrectly, certain medications can have an ototoxic effect or damage the workings of the ear. This can happen when someone is on a high dose of a drug that treats cancer, infections, or other illnesses.
- Keep your ears dry - fluid buildup in the ears can cause dangerous pressure to build on the sensitive inner workings of the ear.
- Exercise regularly - a healthy body is an active body. That includes your ears. Staying physically active means that blood flow to and from your ears makes sure the inner ear stays healthy.
- Manage stress levels - high-stress levels have been linked to physical conditions such as tinnitus.
- Take precautions at work - if you work around machinery or loud noises for a prolonged period of time, be sure you’re wearing protective earplugs to reduce the damage done to your hearing.
- Ensure your doctor is aware - If you have hearing loss, be sure that your doctor is aware as there are a host of side effects that can come along with hearing loss that should be monitored.
- Find a local audiologist - booking an appointment to have your hearing checked annually can ensure that if you do have hearing loss, you can take the correct steps to ensure it doesn’t get worse.
- Consider investing in higher quality headphones - if you find yourself turning your music up loud on your headphones
- Use headphones with your TV - if you struggle hearing the TV, don't just turn it up louder. Get wireless headphones that attach to the TV so you can isolate the sound and be able to hear your favorite tv shows and movies without the background noise.
- Consider getting a hearing aid - A lot of people worry that hearing aids are always so clumsy and noticeable. Vibe Air is an invisible, state-of-the-art, hearing device that’s so small that even your closest friends and family won't notice it.
- Pay attention to your hearing over time - Regular monitoring of your hearing is important as if your hearing starts to get noticeably worse in a short timeframe (72 hours or less), you should seek medical help as this can be a sign of a more serious illness.