Folsom Hearing Aid Center - Folsom and Placerville, CA

Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Eating right and protecting your hearing have some parallels. It’s difficult to know where to begin even though it sounds like a good idea. If there aren’t any obvious noise risks and you don’t consider your daily environment to be especially noisy, this is especially true. But your ears and senses can be stressed by everyday living, so your auditory acuity can be maintained if you apply these tips.

The more you can do to slow the degeneration of your hearing, the longer you’ll be capable of enjoying the sounds around you.

Tip 1: Hearing Protection You Can Wear

Using hearing protection is the most sensible and simple way to safeguard your hearing. This means that decreasing loud and damaging sound is a basic step you need to take.

This means that when it’s warranted most people will want to wear ear protection. Hearing protection normally comes in two basic forms:

  • Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.
  • Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. There are positive aspects to each style. Your choice of hearing protection should, most importantly, feel comfortable.

Tip 2: Know When Sound Becomes Harmful

But when to use hearing protection is the question. We’re used to associating dangerous noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can injure your ears than you might realize. The sounds of traffic, for example, are loud enough to begin damaging your hearing after only a couple of hours. Knowing when sound becomes dangerous, then, is a vital step in safeguarding your hearing.

The following threshold is when sound becomes hazardous:

  • 95-100 dB: This is about the noise level you’d expect from farm equipment or the normal volume of your earbuds. After about 15-20 minutes this volume of sound becomes harmful.
  • Over 100 dB: Your ears can be very rapidly injured by this. Damage is done in about thirty seconds with anything over this threshold. Rock concerts and jet engines, for example, can injure your hearing in around thirty seconds.
  • 85 decibels (dB): After around two hours this level of sound is harmful.Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both situations where you will find this level of sound.

Tip 3: Turn Your Phone Into a Sound Meter

Now that we have a general understanding of what levels of sound could be hazardous, we can take some precautions to ensure we limit our exposure. The trick is that, once you’re out and about in the real world, it can be challenging to determine what’s loud and what isn’t.

That’s where your smartphone can become a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.

In order to get an idea of what hazardous levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to check the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Monitor Your Volume Settings

The majority of people these days listen to music using their phone or smart device, and they usually use earbuds while they do it. This creates a risky situation for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a sufficiently high volume can cause considerable injury to your ears.

So keeping an eye on the volume control means protecting your ears. In order to drown out sounds somewhere else, you should not raise the volume. And we suggest using apps or settings to ensure that your volume doesn’t accidentally become hazardously high.

If your hearing begins to wane, earbuds can become a negative feedback loop; in order to compensate for your faltering hearing, you could find yourself continuously increasing the volume of your earbuds, doing more damage to your ears in the process.

Tip 5: Have Your Hearing Checked

You might think of a hearing test as something you get when your hearing has already begun to decline. Without a standard to compare results to, it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your ears.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a great way to obtain data that can be used for both treatment and diagnostic purposes, ensuring that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) choices have a little bit of added context and information.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

In an ideal world, protecting your hearing would be something you could do continuously without any difficulty. But challenges are always going to be there. So whenever you can and as often as possible, safeguard your ears. Also, get routine hearing exams. Hopefully, these tips will give you a good start.