5 Best Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss is a condition which in many cases cannot be prevented. It is a condition which gradually develops as an individual gets old and becomes a part of life. However, hearing loss incurred due to other factors like loud noises can definitely be prevented. There are simple methods that can be implied to protect the ears and prevent any damage to the overall structure of the ear irrespective of the age of the individual [1].

There are many causes for hearing loss. A small percentage of people have hearing loss right from the time of their birth. This is due to some genetic abnormality. In other cases, age plays a factor in development of hearing loss. However, in majority of cases especially in the younger population loud noises is known to be the primary factor leading to hearing loss [1].

Certain disease condition or trauma to the structure of the ear also can result in hearing loss. The human ear has three parts namely the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Damage to any of these parts can cause hearing loss. Hearing loss can be subdivided into three parts which are conductive, mixed, and sensorineural depending upon which part of the ear gets damaged. This article gives a brief overview of some of the ways to prevent hearing loss caused due to external factors [1].

5 Best Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss

Some of the best common ways to protect the ears and prevent hearing loss includes.

Avoid Loud Noises. This is the most common factor which can damage the ears. A sound which falls below 89 decibels is considered to be safe. However, if the intensity of the sound surpasses this level then it starts damaging the ears [2].

This usually happens when an individual is in a rock concert or at a place where he or she has to raise the voice to be audible and strain the ears to hear what others are saying. Being in such places consistently results in the individual feeling pain in the ears and experiencing tinnitus [2].

Some of the noises which are damaging to the ears are sound in busy traffic conditions, pillion riding on a motorbike, using headphone and playing music at full volume. It may not be possible to avoid all of the situations but by plugging the ears with a ball of cotton while on a motorbike or when in busy traffic can definitely protect the ears to some degree [2].

Listen to Music Carefully. Using headphone and listening to loud music is extremely damaging to the ears. This is because the loud sound of music impacts directly the ears thereby damaging the structures resulting in hearing loss over a period of time [2].

To protect the ears from this imminent danger, it is advised to use headphone with noise cancellation features and listen to music at low volume. It will not only be pleasant to the ears but also relax the mind more. The best strategy is to put the volume at 50% of the maximum volume and no more than that [2].

Additionally, make sure to not use the earphones or headphones continuously for more than half an hour at a time. At least take a 10 minute break before using the headphones again [2].

Ear Protection During Concerts. When you go out for a concert or a rock show or if you plan to party at a nightclub where the noise is at its peak then protecting the ears is a must. The best way to do this is by putting a cotton ball in the ear which will suppress the noise that goes into the ears. You can also avoid places near loudspeakers from where the noise is emitted [2].

Additionally, ensure that you go out of the area for at least 10 minutes every hour so that the ears get a much needed rest. Studies suggest that it takes about 18-20 hours for the ears to come back to normal after exposure to loud noises for more than 3 hours [2].

Ear Protection at Work. In case if an individual works at a factory at a steel plant where they have to spend an entire day in extremely loud noises on an everyday basis then protecting the ear become that much more necessary. However, if the individual is sensitive to loud noises then they can contact the Human Resources department for a change of position to a much quieter environment [2].

If that is not deemed possible then wearing ear plugs while at work is the best choice to protect the ears from the loud noises. Taking a break every hour for about 10 minutes from the loud noise is also very helpful in calming the ear structures being pounded by the loud noise [2].

Audiology Testing. If an individual has sensitive ears and is frequently exposed to loud noises then it is preferable to get frequent audiology testing. This is more important when you feel as if your hearing is getting weak. The sooner any disturbance in hearing is diagnosed the better are the chances to fix it [2].

Reference.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207834/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/top-10-tips-to-help-protect-your-hearing/

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