Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Protecting your hearing is much like eating the right way. It’s difficult to know where to begin even though it sounds like a good idea. This is especially true if you don’t consider your daily environment to be particularly noisy and there aren’t any obvious dangers to your ears. But your ears and senses can be stressed by daily living, so your auditory acuity can be maintained if you apply these tips.

The more you can do to slow the degeneration of your hearing, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy the sounds around you.

Tip 1: Ear Protection You Can Wear

The most simple and practical way that you can safeguard your hearing is to protect your ears. This means taking basic actions to minimize the amount of loud and harmful noises you’re exposed to.

For most people, this will mean utilizing hearing protection when it’s called for. Hearing protection normally comes in two basic forms:

  • Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.
  • Ear Plugs, which are put in the ear canal.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each type has its positive aspects. Your choice of hearing protection should, most importantly, feel comfortable.

Tip 2: Know When Sound Gets Dangerous

But when to wear hearing protection is the question. We’re used to linking harmful noise with painful noise. But the truth is that sounds can begin to damage your hearing at a much lower level than you might expect. After just a couple hours, for instance, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your ears. A vital step in protecting your hearing, then, is knowing when sound becomes harmful.

The following threshold is when sound becomes dangerous:

  • 85 decibels (dB): After about two hours this level of sound is damaging.Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both circumstances where you will find this level of sound.
  • 95-100 dB: This is the typical volume of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. After about 15-20 minutes this level of noise becomes hazardous.
  • Over 100 dB: Your ears can be very rapidly damaged by this. Anything above this limit can injure your hearing in minutes or seconds. For instance, rock concerts and jet engines will injure your hearing in 30 seconds.

Tip 3: Use Your Phone as a Sound Meter

Now that we have a general idea of what volume of noise may be hazardous, we can take some steps to ensure we limit our exposure. But in everyday life, it can be tricky trying to measure what is too loud and what isn’t.

Your smartphone can now be used as a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.

In order to get an idea of what dangerous levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Keep Track of Your Volume Buttons

Most people today listen to music via their phone or smart device, and they normally use earbuds while they do it. This creates a risky scenario for your hearing. Over years of use, earbuds set to a substantially high level can cause significant damage to your ears.

Somonitoring the volume control means protecting your hearing. In order to drown out sounds elsewhere, you should not increase the volume. And we recommend using apps or configurations to make sure that your volume never accidentally become hazardously high.

Earbud use can become a negative feedback loop if your hearing starts to decline; in order to make up for your declining hearing, you could find yourself constantly increasing the volume of your earbuds, doing more damage to your ears in the process.

Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Examined

You might think that getting a hearing test is something you do only when your hearing starts to wane. The issue is that it’s not always easy to identify a problem in your hearing without a standard to compare results to.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a good way to generate data that can be used for both treatment and analytic purposes, making certain that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) decisions have a little bit of added context and information.

Keep an Eye on Your Ears

It would be ideal if you could always safeguard your hearing without any problems. But there are always going to be difficulties. So anytime you can and as often as possible, protect your ears. Also, get routine hearing exams. Put these suggestions into practice to improve your chances.