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Preventing hearing loss: tips to help protect your ears

Hearing is easy to take for granted, yet it plays a key role in how well we manage our lives. Our ears constantly supply us with the vital information we need to communicate with each other, experience emotions and recall memories. Scientists have linked hearing loss and dementia. It also helps us with balance. That's why HearingLife's mission includes helping individuals in preventing hearing loss.

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It's logical. The louder the noise and the longer you are exposed to it, the bigger the risk of hearing damage. Protect your ears with earplugs, ear cup headphones or other kinds of ear protection, and get away from the noise as quickly or as often as you can. Don't forget to ask about custom-fitted earmolds

People of all ages use earphones, whether they are communicating at work, listening to music, or learning about new things. A smartphone with earbuds is very convenient, but at high volumes they carry the risk of hearing loss. Fortunately, many smartphones offer an indicator that warns you when the volume is too high. Don't ignore this warning.

Motorcycling, shooting a firearm, car races and air shows and even sporting events usually include decibel levels that can harm your hearing. If you love these activities, but haven't used hearing protection in the past, it might be time for a hearing assessment.*

Keep in mind that many everyday situations can be harmful to your ears.

  • Preventing hearing loss

    Environments where you have to shout to make yourself heard over background noise

  • Preventing hearing loss

    Locations where noise hurts your ears or makes them ring

  • Preventing hearing loss

    Situations where high sound levels make it difficult to hear for several hours afterwards

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the number, the louder the noise. According to many hearing care experts, being exposed to more than 85 dB for hours every day can damage your hearing.1 But what does 85 dB feel like, and when is loud too loud? Here are some typical noise levels.

Preventing hearing loss

Normal conversation: 60 dB 

Busy street: 75-85 dB 

Lawn mower: 90 dB 

Chainsaw: 100-120 dB 

Heavy trucks seven yards away: 100 dB 

Loud music on a smartphone: 112 dB

 Loud car horn: 110 dB

Rock concert: 120 dB 

Ambulance siren: 120 dB

Jet engine: 140 dB

Preventing hearing loss

Loud noise is the most common cause of tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a ringing, throbbing, buzzing, or clicking sound in the ears. It is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition such as hearing loss or another ear injury. The most common cause of tinnitus is damage to the sensory hair cells in the inner ear from exposure to loud noises.

To prevent tinnitus, use ear protection in excessively noisy environments. Turn the volume down when you listen to music through headphones, and be aware that in-ear headphones are more likely to contribute to tinnitus and hearing loss than other types of headphones. Allowing your ears to rest occasionally also minimizes the risk.

If you think you might have tinnitus, ask the professionals at HearingLife. We have options for addressing the symptoms of tinnitus.

More about tinnitus

  • 1. Do not overload your ears

    If you must be in noisy environments, wear ear protection – at work, at home, at a concert, or on the go.

  • 2. Keep to the 60/60 rule

    When you listen to music, do not exceed 60% of your device’s maximum volume for more than 60 minutes a day.

  • 3. Take a break

    When you can't avoid an excessively noisy environment, occasionally step out to a quieter place to give your ears a rest.

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