October is Audiology Awareness Month, which makes it a perfect time to highlight ways to protect your hearing health.
It’s easy to take hearing health for granted. However, if you’re one of the 15% of American adults who report trouble hearing, you know how impactful hearing loss can be.
While not all factors that contribute to hearing loss can be prevented, there are certain behaviors that can increase your risk of developing hearing loss or worsening pre-existing hearing loss.
Spending Time in Loud Environments
Many of us engage in hobbies or work in a field that exposes us to a lot of noise. For you that may be riding motorcycles, hunting or shooting, attending live sporting events or going to concerts at Paramount Theatre. Unfortunately, all these activities can reach volumes louder than 85 decibels (dB) and cause permanent damage to your ears, leading to issues like tinnitus and hearing loss.
Thankfully, you don’t have to avoid these activities in order to keep your hearing safe. Wearing proper hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs can reduce the volume to safe levels while still letting you enjoy what you’re doing.
Turning the Volume Up too Loud on Your Headphones
It’s not just loud events that can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Listening to music too loudly on your headphones, especially for extended lengths of time, can put you at risk as well. To avoid this, consider the following tips:
- Don’t listen at volumes louder than 60% of your headphone’s maximum volume.
- Choose noise-canceling, over-the-ear styles as opposed to earbuds.
- Take breaks when listening, especially if it’s been over an hour.
Being Too Sedentary
Regular physical exercise is good for every aspect of your health, including your hearing health. That’s because activities like yoga, lifting weights and going for walks or runs improve blood circulation and help prevent illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, both of which can increase your risk of developing hearing loss.
Not Eating a Healthy Diet
In addition to exercise, a poor diet can also increase your risk of developing conditions that affect your blood flow and raise your risk of hearing loss. Additionally, you might be missing out on enough nutrients like potassium, zinc, magnesium and folic acid that can all benefit your hearing health.
When to See a Hearing Specialist
Another mistake people can make when it comes to their hearing health is ignoring signs of hearing loss or other issues when they first arise. The sooner you can be evaluated by a specialist and have a hearing test, the sooner problems can be diagnosed and treated with hearing aids. Treating hearing loss early can lead to better outcomes and reduce your risk of experiencing the negative consequences associated with untreated hearing loss.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.