Entertainment and communication technology has enriched our lives. Unfortunately, there might be a significant downside to the way we enjoy our new tech platforms. Thanks in part to a wave of portable listening devices— iPods, iPhones, and other digital music players—with increasingly powerful headphones, the potential for widespread hearing loss from noise exposure is growing. Research suggests that there is a price to pay for turning our dials up to eleven: at the current rate of degradation, hearing aids may eventually be as common as eyeglasses.
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by loud, high decibel sounds. A new study suggests that over 80% of Americans listen to music too loudly when using headphones and one in five teenagers experience hearing loss. This ailment is now more common than ever before and the potential for permanent damage is alarmingly possible: intense hearing degradation cannot be treated with medication or recovered with surgery.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS?
Hearing loss prevention is very simple and only requires a few preemptive steps. These helpful guidelines will ultimately help you maintain a healthy facility for hearing:
Turn down your volume. Your ears can actually adjust to just about any level of amplification, so don’t be too frustrated that you can’t hear every sound at first. In as little as one week, our ears can align properly with the softer volumes.
Keep the max volume at 60%. If you feel like you may be in a critical stage of hearing degradation, do not exceed a 60% volume level in headphones or with speakers. If you are visually judging amounts and don’t have a digital marker, don’t exceed too far beyond the halfway mark of a volume knob.
Take some time. Put down the iPod for awhile! Take a silent drive to the grocery or if you’re in a vehicle with friends. Decide to only listen to music if you’re exercising. These are all valid methods to effectively reducing hearing damage. You don’t have to overdo it, but maintaining a kind of portion-control for noise exposure is important for maintaining strong hearing.
Style Makes All the Difference. Headphone style can truly make a difference when it comes to noise-induced hearing loss. Instead of ear buds that nestle snuggly into your ear canal, opt for traditional headphones that rest over the opening. That little bit of space will help tremendously with loud noise exposure. Additionally, purchasing headphones that have a restricted decibel limit can aid in protecting your hearing.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS?
Many people are simply not aware that they are experiencing serious hearing loss due to its gradual onset. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs that you might be experiencing dangerous levels of hearing failure. These include tinnitus (ringing in the ears), misunderstanding words and sentences and conversation, listening to the TV or headphones at higher volumes, and difficulty following speech over minimal background noise or in noisy places.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the early symptoms of hearing loss, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you would like to correct your hearing or research your options for comprehensive hearing restoration, please visit http://www.findhearingaids.com/ or contact our team of representatives today to schedule a consultation with a hearing clinic in your area!