Our major senses are important, they help us function in our everyday lives. But just like many things, wear and tear gets to it- not to mention the misuse they go through every day. We look at computer screens for hours on end, listening to loud and blasting music, eat improperly, and so on. Because of this, our senses begin to weaken and are not as sharp as they were when we were younger.
Among the easiest to damage is our sense of hearing. There are many factors that are simply unavoidable, like hearing loud music on the streets, staying in the middle of traffic with honking cars all around, and wearing listening devices 24/7 to stay connected. Our ears go through a lot throughout the day, and as a result hearing loss becomes inevitable. However, there are ways to prevent this from happening.
If you’re finding yourself asking people to repeat what they said, or can’t understand something the first it’s spoken, the best thing to do is to visit a doctor. Hearing loss happens as we grow older, and the earlier you find out the truth of the situation, the better your chances are of recovering from it.
Regular hearing checks are a good thing to consider if you’re working in a high-risk area. Some professions are more prone to hearing loss, especially noise-induced hearing loss. If you’re a musician, a construction worker, or a mechanic, it’s best to get regularly checked to circumvent any issues.
Avoid Overstimulating Environments
Loud noises and overstimulating areas, especially with particularly blaring sounds and visuals,affect our senses. While it can be difficult to avoid places like these, especially if you work in a high noise environment, it’s not advised to bear through it. See if you can switch workplaces- explaining the situation to your superiors or human resources manager might help as it’ll help you do your job more efficiently if you’re in less stimulating areas.
At the very least, try to make an arrangement where you’re not exposed to noise for long duration’s. In situations where working in places like these are unavoidable, there are ways for you to adjust, and that’s what we’re going to take a look at next.
Use Earplugs or Earmuffs
Sometimes, noisy environments simply can’t be avoided. In places where there’s loud music, such as a workshop, the road, or elsewhere, it’s necessary to wear hearing protection.
Earplugs are a nifty tool to block the sound. They come in either foam or rubber variation and are worn in your ear canal. They can reduce the sound by 15 to 30 decibels, especially if they’re fitted properly. Getting appropriately sized earplugs are great for maximizing the noise reduction, and they can be custom-fitted to you as well.
If you really don’t like earplugs, you can use earmuffs. They’re air sealed and cover the entire area of the ear canal, protecting you from the noise the same way an earplug can. If you really prefer working in silence, using earplugs and earmuffs together can reduce 10 to 15 decibels of noise, reducing a total of 35 to 45 decibels.
Turn Down the Volume
Everyone likes listening to music, wearing earphones for long periods, or listening to loud blasting music. This can have adverse effects, as even an mp3 player at 70% of its maximum volume produces sound at around 85 decibels- enough to cause noise-induced hearing loss if done regularly.
Like many things in life, moderation is the key. Listening to music using your earphones or headphones isn’t entirely bad, it’s the frequency that matters. Instead of blasting at full volume, it’s best to listen at a volume of less than 60%. And if you can help it, limit your listening time to 60 minutes at most. Give your ears the rest they deserve every now and then.
Check Your Meds
Pre-existing conditions that require medicine can sometimes affect hearing as well. Some results in tinnitus (ringing of the ears) in one or both ears, or even vertigo and nausea. Around 200 or so drugs are recorded to affect hearing. Medicines like some forms of antibiotics, high doses of aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and many more can also damage the ears.
These are called ‘ototoxic’ drugs and are often found in a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medicines. When taking any form of medicine, consult with your doctor to know if they have any adverse side effects. And if they do, ask for alternatives.
Hearing loss can be quite scary to experience, but with proper precautions and regular visits to the doctor, it’s something that can be easily prevented. Being smart about how you treat your ears and what you listen to is the key to protecting your hearing.