Hearing loss can be a result of exposure to dangerous noise levels, and it is fast becoming one of the more common occupational illnesses in America. Permanent hearing loss can occur from repeated exposure to anything from loud machinery to the blast of a single shotgun shell. According to studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic, over 10 million people in the United States have permanent hearing loss from loud noise, and another 30 million are currently exposed to dangerous levels on the job today. These workers underestimate the potential harm from hearing loss because the damage occurs over a long period of time. The following eight tips can help you prevent hearing loss.
1. Wearing Earplugs
Earplugs will protect the delicate lining in the ear and reduce the chances of suffering permanent hearing loss. If you are going to be exposed to loud noises like a snowmobile, firecrackers, power tools, firearms, or concerts, pack a pair of earplugs. This will allow you to still hear but reduce the damage that can be done by excessive noise. If possible, take a break from the noise for 10 minutes in order to allow the ears adequate time to recover. Invest in a good quality earplug that will limit noise and protect the inner ear.
2. Using the 60/60 Rule
If you frequently listen to music on your MP3 player, iPod, or mobile device using headphones, turn down the volume to 20% and only listen to your music for a maximum of 60 minutes each day. Many new music devices come with a smart-volume feature that will automatically regulate the volume and reduce any chance of serious damage to your hearing. Earbuds are ineffective at hiding surrounding noises, so as a result the wearer will turn up the volume to dangerous levels to enjoy music.