You want to protect your hearing- who doesn’t? But even simple things like medications, can damage it.
If you attend a rock concert or spend any amount of time near a helicopter pad, you know it’s going to be loud. Conscientious concert-goers wear ear plugs that let the music in and keep the damage out. Individuals gallivanting around those helicopters hopefully have some large protective headphones on hand.
But sometimes the real damage comes from noises we hear often, but we don’t realize their power…or even other sources altogether. Here are 4 common things that could be damaging your hearing:
1) Subway Trains
A recent study completed on the London England tube showed some surprising results.
According to an article on BBC.com, on some sections of this vast subway network the noise generated by trains is as loud as being at a rock concert. It surpasses the legal level of noise allowed in workplaces in England and likely wouldn’t fly here, either.
In essence, if a work site were as loud as the subway system at those points researchers say hearing protection would have to be offered to workers.
What about in North American? Subway systems such as that found in New York City are different but likely not much quieter. You may get some funny looks, but here’s an idea. It could be a good plan to bring those earplugs with you next time, especially if you do a daily commute. Hearing damage accumulates over time.
2) Some Medications
According to a study done by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2016, there are more than 200 drugs out there that can increase your risk of hearing loss. Which ones?
Everything from over-the-counter medications to ibuprofen or acetaminophen and chemotherapy are culprits. Talk to your doctor about your risks and the possible preventive measures you can take.
These tiny sources of music and other sounds are popular. But earbuds don’t really effectively block out all the surrounding noise in your environment and so users can be tempted to crank the volume up high.
The solution? Be wary of how you use them, and for how long, if this is you. Remember, anything over 85 decibels has the potential to cause damage.
4) Not Wearing Your Hearing Aid When You Need To
This isn’t something you would think is problematic. If you don’t wish to wear your hearing aids, why should anyone be concerned?
Hearing loss isn’t exactly the same as other physical losses, though. (I go without my prescription glasses all the time, and I seem to be fine).
Experts have found that if you need assistance with your hearing but you don’t wear those aids often, over time your brain can lose the ability to process sounds. Wearing your devices regularly can act to protect you against losing the remaining good hearing that you have.
Slap them on and preserve your future- it might not make things brighter, but it will certainly sound good.
Photo credits: rorem/Shutterstock.com