Many of us associate hearing loss with aging, but getting older is not the only contributor to deterioration. Several everyday activities can harm hearing. In this guide, we’ll explore common hazards and offer tips to help you protect your hearing.
Everyday activities that can harm hearing
There are some obvious examples of exposure to loud noises, for example, going to a concert or using a drill to hang shelves, but many of us undertake activities without realizing that we’re putting our hearing at risk. Here are some examples of everyday threats we should all be aware of:
Listening to music
Listening to music is a very popular hobby. Whether you’re commuting to work, you’re sitting at home working or you’re traveling, you may enjoy having the radio on in the background or tunes playing through headphones. While there are several benefits of listening to music, including improved wellbeing, it’s essential to think about your hearing when you set the volume. If your music is too loud, you could damage the delicate structures inside the ears, putting your hearing at risk.
Many people drive, walk or take the train, bus or subway to work. If you’re walking around the city, you’re riding the subway or you’re sitting on a train every morning and evening, you could be exposed to high levels of noise. The noise of traffic, car horns, construction work and trains whizzing past can create a cacophony of sounds in urban areas. If you do commute to work and your journey involves walking through busy streets or using the train or subway, consider using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to protect your ears.
Hearing loss is a risk for many workers. From construction sites, farms and factories to concert venues, restaurants and bars, there are several environments that carry risks. If you work in a noisy setting, or you use machinery or tools that generate high levels of noise, it’s beneficial to utilize hearing protection, for example, ear defenders or earplugs.
Sports and leisure
Hobbies are hugely beneficial for mental health and wellbeing, but some activities pose dangers when it comes to our hearing. Shooting clays, going to bowling alleys, dancing the night away at clubs and singing along at live gigs can all damage the ears. If you are taking part in these activities, try to protect your ears. Use ear defenders if you’re participating in sports or games that involve exposure to loud noises and stay away from the speakers if you’re going to a club or a concert. It’s common to experience tinnitus after events like concerts.
Protecting your hearing
Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, and it can take a long time for the signs to become visible. It may not be possible to prevent hearing loss, but there are steps you can take to protect your hearing. These include:
- Lowering the volume when listening to music: Listening to music can bring great joy, but it can also overpower the eardrums. Try to avoid turning up the volume to over 50%-60% and take extra care if you are using personal headphones or earbuds. Reducing the volume, even slightly, can make a positive difference.
- Using hearing protection: There are many ways you can protect your ears if you work in a noisy environment or you pass through busy streets on your daily commute. You can use ear defenders at work or wear earplugs to protect your hearing while you’re out and about. If your boss doesn’t already provide you with ear protection and your job carries a risk of occupational hearing loss, speak to them about ways you can reduce risks and shield your ears.
- Seek advice if you notice changes: If you notice changes in your hearing, seek advice from your audiologist as soon as possible. Hearing loss can be linked to underlying causes, which audiologists can detect and treat, but it is commonly associated with aging and exposure to loud noises. It’s best to intervene early to slow deterioration.
Many of us are aware that frequent exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss, but we don’t realize that everyday activities can put us at risk. Commuting, working, taking part in sports, going to concerts and listening to music are examples of everyday hazards that can impact hearing. If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing, or you’d like to learn more about how you can protect your ears, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experienced team at Professional Hearing Aid Associates. Call (785) 940-4101 today.