People are losing their hearing now more than ever. Here’s why.
Hearing loss is a real threat in modern times. With ear buds, headphones, workplace noise pollution and other environmental factors ready to attack your drums, it’s something worth paying attention to.
While most people associate hearing loss with old age, being exposed to loud noises at a young age can be what causes it. The more noise you listen to at dangerous levels now, the earlier you could possibly lose your hearing.
How can you protect yourself? Common sense measures can do a lot to prevent hearing loss. It’s worth keeping your ears fresh for years to come.
Here are 5 things that could be damaging your hearing, and what you can do about it:
1) Your Phone
A loud ringer on your phone isn’t going to take away your hearing. However, listening to those tunes on the way to work and while working out, could.
According to a study done at the University of Leicester, sound levels emitted through headphones can reach as high as 120 decibles- yikes. Anything over 110dB is said to be able to damage the nerve cells in your ears.
So, if exposing yourself to the top levels on your phone often, it’s likely going to cause permanent hearing problems.
If you’re listening to music often through headphones or earbuds, it’s advised that set yourself up for success.
Experts suggest fixing your settings by dropping the volume limit to 70%, in order to stay safe.
Have kids? This is something to definitely worth talking about with them, if they’ve got their own phone.
Live music is fantastic fun. It can also be fantastically loud. There’s no need to feel like a geek for wearing ear protection- you won’t miss out on the sound, and you WILL actually be able to hear conversations when you’re 70.
How to protect yourself? Get some standard 3M foamies, (cut them in half and no one will see them in your ears), or splurge for some musicians’ earplugs. These lower sound levels evenly, for better overall enjoyment.
3) Movie Theaters
You may have thought that movie theaters seem a bit loud of late, and you’re right. Restoredhearing.com states that a report published in the journal, Ear, Nose and Throat, found disturbing levels of sound at the movies.
The soundtrack levels at a theater showing of Transformers hit 133.9 dB, and The Simpsons Movie reached 128.6 dB. Not only are these too high for everyone, but the article points out that these are movies for kids, and a jet engine reaches 130dB!
Movie makers know how to make money, but not always what’s best for your family’s health. Be forewarned and prepared-bring those plugs.
4) Power Tools
It can be easy to turn on the drill at home and leave your protective gear on the workbench, but well, don’t.
You’re only punishing yourself, and you’ll pay in the years to come.
Here are the facts: a chainsaw emits sound at around 100dB, and your ride-on lawn mower, somewhere between 80-100 dB.
Since the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) has set the standard sound exposure limit at 85 decibels for workers, it’s a good idea to be a responsible boss. Treat yourself according to code and gear up.
5) All That Wax in Your Ears
The wax in your ears isn’t causing permanent damage to your hearing, but having too much of that gunk stuck down in there could be muffling your life.
If you think you’re hearing lower sound levels, ask your doctor whether you should consider having a professional remove your ear wax. Maybe there’s a bunch in there.