Avoid loud environments:
It’s best to keep away from loud noises and loud environments, whether at work, school, or home when you can. Damage to hearing occurs over time, as the total exposure to loud sound builds up. Or it can happen with a one-time, intense burst of sound. If sound is uncomfortable, feels overwhelming or requires you to shout over it to be heard, it’s probably too loud. Either walk away from the sound source for a break or use earplugs.
Being careful around noise at work:
If you’re continually exposed to loud noises at work, you should have a conversation with your manager or HR representative, as an employer should be prepared to make changes that reduce or protect you from elevated noise levels.
Protect your hearing during loud events and activities:
Gatherings at bars, nightclubs, concerts and sporting events can put your hearing at risk. Distance yourself from sources of loud noises, such as speakers. Give your ears a break from the noise by finding a quieter space in the venue. Consider buying and wearing reusable musicians’ earplugs that help reduce the volume of music, but don’t muffle it.
Turn down the music:
When listening to live music at concerts, you should be wearing quality ear protection. Listening to loud music through earphones or headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. The best way to keep your hearing safe is to turn down the volume. Even a little bit can make a big difference to your risk of hearing damage. You should also monitor the amount of time you use headphones at a loud volume – less time with loud music means less risk of hearing damage. Some smartphones can help you track your headphone usage and volume level to keep your hearing safe.
Keep your ears dry:
After swimming and showering, always wipe your ears and get rid of water. Moisture create room for bacteria and affects the ear, which exposes you to infections that could affect your hearing health. If you feel the water trapped in the ears, tilt your head toward that side and gently shake the ear lobe to get rid of the water. Swimmers can use custom-fit earplugs when swimming. These devices block water from getting into your ears.
Give your ears time to heal:
If you’ve been exposed to loud noises, try to spend some time in a quiet environment for at least a day to give your ears time to rest and recover.
Don’t put anything in your ears:
Don’t put anything in your ears, including cotton swabs, which can injure the ear canal or eardrum. Instead, clean your ears with a washcloth over your finger. If you have a buildup of earwax that’s affecting your hearing, contact your provider to get it removed.
Get your hearing tested:
If you think you’re experiencing a decline in your hearing (or you see yourself turning up the TV volume or are consistently asking people to repeat themselves), it’s a great idea to get a hearing test. ReSound offers a free online screening that’s a quick way to gauge how well you’re hearing. In only 3 minutes, you can test your ability to distinguish certain words and numbers in a noisy environment.
It’s recommended to get your hearing checked on a yearly basis. This is especially important if you’re at a higher risk for hearing loss due to favorite activities or your work environments.
Many people put off getting their hearing tested. Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to admit to having hearing loss, or not believing it is serious enough to merit help. The fact is that most, if not all of us, will have some decline in hearing and many people who don’t seek help are missing out.
Even if you think your hearing may be suffering, you can still take steps to prevent further problems. The sooner any hearing loss is picked up, the sooner you can do something about it.
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