Many people believe that hearing loss is an inevitable part of aging, but only 30% of patients with a hearing impairment are older than 65. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is actually more common and affects people of all ages. The good news?
Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented through the use of hearing protection.
Prevent NIHL with Hearing Protection
Wearing earplugs or earmuffs is an inexpensive and effective way of preventing hearing loss that results from noise exposure. You’ll want to make sure you protect your hearing when engaged in activities where decibel levels exceed 85 dB for extended periods of time. This includes obvious pastimes like rock concerts and sporting events, but don’t overlook some common everyday pursuits such as riding a motorcycle, jet ski, boat or snowmobile; using power tools and mowing the lawn.
While over-the-counter foam plugs will work okay, special earplugs are available for swimmers, musicians and concertgoers, hunters and law enforcement officials. Each is designed to protect against the unique hazards associated with that particular activity.
Swimmer’s plugs are made of waterproof silicone that prevents moisture from entering the ear canals, and are ideal for swimmers, surfers, boaters and others exposed to water. Musician’s plugs use hi-fidelity technology to reduce sounds evenly across the hearing spectrum while reducing the volume to safe levels that won’t damage the inner ear. Hunter’s plugs feature an acoustic filter that automatically softens loud sounds when struck by a sound pressure wave from a gunshot or explosion.
For maximum protection, Timpanogos Hearing & Balance can make custom earmolds shaped to your ear’s unique contours.
Other Tips for Protecting Your Hearing
Aside from wearing earplugs, there are a few other tips you can employ that will help protect your hearing. These include:
- Turn down the volume when listening to music, especially if you are wearing headphones or earbuds. If the person standing next to you can hear your music, it’s too loud!
- Limit the number of household appliances you have running at any given time. For instance, you might want to refrain from vacuuming while doing dishes and blending a smoothie.
- Look for products with lower decibel ratings. Many appliances list this information in their spec sheets.
- Always wear a seat belt when in a car in order to protect yourself from trauma in the event of an accident.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle and when playing contact sports.