How to Prevent Age-Related Hearing Loss
On average, every individual is expected to lose about 5% of their hearing every 10 years. This statistic may seem like a dark cloud, but there are quite a few things you can do to promote healthy hearing. Like anything else, maintaining healthy hearing requires an active effort, but keeping the following ideas in mind may help.
Visit an Audiologist
An audiologist can provide a wide range of services for individuals with hearing issues, as well as people with normal hearing. Just like other health-care professionals, audiologists can promote the maintenance of your ear health over time. Typically hearing can be considered an “inches game,” and changes can take place over a long period of time. With that being said, even if you don’t realize it, your ability to hear is consistently changing.
Use Ear Plugs When Necessary
The use of ear plugs is recommended for any sound above 85 decibels, as this is the level of sound that can potentially cause hearing loss. Lawnmowers, noisy restaurants, and traffic noise may all reside within this level. Events like concerts or football games may range upwards of 120 decibels. Earplugs may soften the harmful exposure of excessive noise and the use of them may even play a role in saving your hearing.
Avoid Harmful / Noisy Environments
In addition to the use of earplugs during situations where you are exposed to loud noises, it is also recommended that you take action to avoid exposure to these environments in general. Although it is hard to tell, our ears become easily fatigued as they are exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods of time.
Be Careful with your Ears
Perhaps one of the most important steps in the prevention of hearing loss is the preservation of healthy ears. Many parts of your ear are extremely delicate and can be very easily damaged, especially the eardrum. While it’s nice to keep your ears clean, popular items such as q-tips can also be quite harmful, and may not clean as thoroughly as you would expect. Water in the ear is another common trouble and may result in different types of ear infections (such as swimmer’s ear).
Make Healthy Choices
In order to maintain your hearing, as well as your general well-being, it is important to actively take care of your ears and your body. Obesity, smoking, stress and other documented medical risks are all correlated with the onset of tinnitus and/or other common hearing issues. Quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet/weight can help reduce the risk of a number of problems, even outside of the realm of hearing. In addition, actively managing your stress has been proven to be quite helpful and can even help decelerate the rate of age-related hearing loss, in addition to providing other health benefits.