Safeguard Your Hearing With These Tips
The Hearing Clinic - Scarborough, ON

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 start even though it sounds like a good idea. This is particularly true if you don’t consider your daily environment to be particularly noisy and there aren’t any obvious risks to your ears. But daily life can stress your ears and your senses, so practicing these hearing protection tips can help safeguard your auditory acuity.

The more you can do to slow down the impairment of your hearing, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy the sounds around you.

Tip 1: Ear Protection You Can Wear

The most basic and sensible way that you can safeguard your ears is to protect your ears. This means taking basic steps to minimize the amount of loud and damaging noises you’re exposed to.

For most people, this will mean utilizing ear protection when it’s called for. Hearing protection commonly comes in two basic forms:

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

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

Tip 2: When Sound Gets Harmful, be Aware of It

But when to use hearing protection is the question. We’re used to connecting dangerous noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can harm your ears than you might realize. After only a couple hours, for instance, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your ears. Recognizing when sound becomes dangerous, then, is a necessary step in protecting your hearing.

The following threshold is when sound becomes dangerous:

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

Tip 3: Use Your Phone as a Sound Meter

We can take steps to limit our exposure, now that we have a concept of what volumes will be hazardous. The trick is that, once you’re out in the real world, it can be difficult to measure what’s too loud and what isn’t.

Your smartphone can now be used as a handy little tool. Sound meter apps exist for every type of smartphone.

Having a dynamic sound meter with you will help you evaluate everything you’re hearing in decibels, so you’ll have a far better concept of what hazardous levels really sound like in your day-to-day life.

Tip 4: Keep Track of Your Volume Buttons

A smartphone with earbuds is usually the way people listen to music these days. This creates a risky situation for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a sufficiently high volume can cause considerable injury to your hearing.

That’s why protecting your hearing means keeping a focused eye on your volume control. In order to drown out noises elsewhere, you should never raise the volume. And we recommend using apps or configurations to ensure that your volume never unintentionally become dangerously high.

If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become a negative feedback loop; in order to make up for your declining hearing, you may 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 may think of a hearing test as something you get when your hearing has already started to decline. The issue is that it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your ears without a standard to compare results to.

Acquiring data that can be used for both diagnostic applications and for treatment can best be accomplished by scheduling a hearing test and screening. This will give you some extra perspective for future hearing decisions and ear protection.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

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

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