The New Year is approaching fast, which means many of us are starting to make our resolutions for the upcoming year. Often time’s people vow to manage their money better, lose weight, exercise more, and so forth. However, rarely hearing resolutions, the idea of preserving one’s hearing, is on the list. The unfortunate truth is everyone, young and old, is at risk for hearing loss. Every day billions of people are at risk due to exposure to loud noise levels, but luckily, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable if you take the correct steps.
Get on the right track in 2019 and make some healthy hearing resolutions for the New Year. If you are wondering how to get started, check out some of the basic adjustments you can make to help keep your ears healthy for years to come.
1. Every day we are exposed to high levels of noise that could potentially harm our hearing. It is crucial that you wear ear protection to help protect yourself from hearing damage that could result from exposure to loud noise. Luckily, foam earplugs are easily obtainable and are relatively inexpensive.
2. If you often find yourself listening to audio on a handheld device, make sure you watch the volume. Many devices have a setting that will allow you to adjust the maximum allowed volume, which can help protect your ears from noise-induced hearing loss. If your device doesn’t have this setting, turn down the volume.
3. Whenever you are listening to audio through a pair of headphones, be sure to apply the 60/60 rule. This means that you only listen to the audio no higher than 60 percent of the max volume, for no more than 60 minutes at a time. You can also purchase a pair of noise-canceling headphones to help limit the volume level on your device.
4. Anytime you are exposed to high levels of noise, make sure you limit your time of exposure. Even if you have earplugs, you can either avoid the noise (if possible), and if you can’t, make sure you limit your exposure time by taking frequent rest breaks. Even if you are wearing protection, get into the habit of taking a break periodically to rest your ears.
5. In order to properly protect your ears, knowing how loud is too loud is valuable information that can help safeguard your hearing. Sounds that are over 85 decibels (dB) can harm your hearing if exposure is continuous. Check out this list of sounds and their decibel level so you can realize and understand how loud is too loud for your ears.
• Conversation (normal speaking level): 60 dB • Traffic (city): 85 dB • Motorcycle: 100 dB • Media player (at max volume): 100+ dB • Music concert: 115 dB • Blast from a 12-gauge shotgun: 165 dB