Hearing Loss Prevention

MOST hearing loss problems are almost entirely preventable. Although hearing normally declines with age, an average, healthy person who isn’t exposed to harmful noises can have essentially normal hearing at least up to the age of 60. Individuals vary in their vulnerability to hearing loss. Hearing loss prevention consists of steps you can take to help you prevent noise-induced hearing loss and avoid worsening of age-related hearing loss.

You should always protect your ears in the workplace. Specially designed earmuffs that resemble earphones can protect your ears by bringing most loud sounds down to an acceptable level. Foam, pre-formed, or custom-molded ear plugs made of plastic or rubber also can effectively protect your ears from damaging loud noises.

Have your hearing tested regularly, at least once a year. Consider more frequent hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment. Regular testing of your ears can provide early detection of hearing loss, thus helping you prevent any further hearing loss.

Avoid recreational risks. Some activities, such as motorcycle riding, hunting, attending concerts, or listening to extremely loud music for long periods of time, can damage your hearing. Lowering the volume when listening to music, wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise during loud recreational activities can also help protect your hearing. When listening to your music device, consider using special earphones that block out background noise to help you moderate your listening level.

Here are some more hearing loss prevention tips:

  • Wear ear plugs or other hearing protective devices if you know you are going to be around harmfully loud noises.
  • Be aware of hazardous noises in the environment.
  • Protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own.
  • Make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the hazards of noise.
  • Be sure your child has regular hearing exams and follows the suggestions given to prevent hearing loss.
  • BEWARE, sudden and very intense sounds are particularly dangerous and can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss.
  • If you attend loud music events like rock concerts or nightclubs use hearing protectors. Special ear plugs can be made for musicians that protect the hearing while preserving the sound quality of the music.
  • Encourage your children to use their headphones conservatively. Consider investing in higher quality earphones that block out background noise, to help the listening levels in noisier places.
  • Be aware that your risk increases if you are occupationally exposed to solvents or toxins or if you are taking certain drugs and/or medications.
  • If you cannot avoid loud sound, then you should protect your ears with hearing protectors such as ear plugs or ear muffs.
  • Give your ears frequent rest from noise.
  • Control the volume when you can.
  • Always blow your nose gently and through both nostrils.
  • Stop smoking; studies have shown you are more likely to have hearing loss problems if you smoke.
  • Get your hearing tested regularly.
  • Don’t wait to protect yourself!

You should always be aware to the risks of hazardous noise in your life. Since hearing loss prevention is so critical, make sure that your family, especially children, friends, and colleagues are aware of the hazards of noise and how they can protect themselves. Get your hearing tested, make sure to protect your ears in the workplace, and avoid recreational risks by wearing hearing protection products!

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Last Updated: Dec 17, 2013