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Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Eating right and safeguarding your hearing have some parallels. It sounds good, but not many of us have a very good concept of where to start. If there aren’t any apparent noise dangers and you don’t consider your daily environment to be very noisy, this is especially true. But day-to-day life can put stress on your ears and your senses, so doing these hearing protection techniques can help preserve your auditory acuity.

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

Tip 1: Wearable Hearing Protection

The most basic and sensible way that you can safeguard your hearing is to protect your ears. This means taking basic actions to diminish the amount of loud and harmful noises you’re exposed to.

For many people, this will mean using hearing protection when it’s required. Two general forms of protection are available:

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

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each style has its advantages. What’s important is that you get some hearing protection that you feel comfortable with.

Tip 2: Be Aware When Sound Becomes Dangerous

But how do you know when to use hearing protection? We’re used to connecting dangerous noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can harm your ears than you might think. The sounds of traffic, for instance, are loud enough to begin damaging your hearing after only a couple of hours. A vital step in safeguarding your hearing, then, is recognizing when sound becomes harmful.

The following threshold is when sound becomes dangerous:

  • 95-100 dB: This is the typical level of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. After about 15-20 minutes this level of sound becomes hazardous.
  • 85 decibels (dB): This level of sound is dangerous after about two hours of exposure. This is the level of sound you’d expect from a busy city street or your hairdryer.
  • Over 100 dB: This is where you can damage your hearing very quickly. Anything over this threshold can damage your hearing in minutes or seconds. For instance, jet engines and rock concerts will damage your ears in 30 seconds.

Tip 3: Make Your Phone Into a Sound Meter

We can take steps to minimize our exposure, now that we have a concept of what levels will be hazardous. But in day to day life, it can be challenging trying to measure what is too 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 dangerous levels of noise really sound like, use your sound meter to check the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Monitor Your Volume Settings

A smartphone with earbuds is usually the way people listen to music nowadays. This creates a risky situation for your hearing. Your ears can be considerably damaged if you keep your earbuds too loud over a long period of time.

That’s why safeguarding your hearing means keeping a sharp eye on your volume control. You should not increase the volume to drown out noises elsewhere. And we suggest using apps or settings to ensure that your volume doesn’t unintentionally become hazardously high.

If your hearing begins to decline, earbuds can become something of a negative feedback loop; you could find yourself consistently increasing the volume of your earbuds in order to make up for your declining hearing, and in the process doing more harm to your ears.

Tip 5: Have Your Hearing Checked

You may think that having a hearing test is something you do only when your hearing begins to diminish. The problem is that it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your ears without a standard to compare results to.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a good way to obtain data that can be used for both treatment and analytic purposes, making certain that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) choices have some added context and information.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

It would be perfect if you could always protect your ears without any hassles. But there are always going to be obstacles. So whenever you can and as often as possible, protect your ears. You should also get your hearing examined regularly. Hopefully, these tips will give you a good start.

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