Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Looking After Your Hearing: Top Tips #Healthy2020 #hearingloss #saveyourhearing

Today's feature is part of my ongoing #Healthy2020 series. After many years of dealing with hearing loss, I finally did something about it late last year -- I now wear hearing aids in both ears. The difference this decision has made in my daily life is astounding! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some practical tips to protect your hearing. This feature may contain affiliate links.

No one wants to lose one of their five senses completely. However, many of us are much closer to this becoming a reality than we might think -- or we're at at risk of this happening. We're talking about our ears and hearing -- something most of us take for granted and perhaps don't pay quite as much as attention to as we should. The problem with hearing loss is that it's often progressive. Our hearing gradually gets worse without us really noticing -- until one day, we can barely hear anything at all. By then, it's often too late to prevent or treat the hearing loss.
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In this article, we're going to look at measures you can take to reduce your changes of damaging your hearing... and to look after your ears properly.

Be Careful with Loud Noises
Excessively loud noises are one of the easiest ways to damage your hearing, whether permanently or temporarily. Loud noises can also lead to other hearing impairments such as tinnitus. Noise is measured on the decibels (dB) scale. Most people start to experience pain at 140 dB, but this is actually way too loud. The generally accepted safe level of noise is 80 dB for eight hours a day. Any longer -- or any louder -- and you're putting your hearing health at higher risk. The problem with noise is that you can’t really measure it when you're out and about. There are apps available, but they're not always accurate. It's assumed that a whisper is around 30 dB, while a plane taking off is 120 dbListening to music through earphones is generally thought to be around 100-110 db, which is louder than is safe. If a noise is hurting your ears, it's probably too loud. You either need to stop the activity or move farther away as soon as you can.

Top Tips
The following tips will help protect your hearing while taking part in common activities.
    • Rather than using earphones to listen to music, use headphones. While headphones can still be too loud, they're marginally better than having something inserted into your ear canal.
    • Don’t listen to loud music while doing something that could be potentially dangerous -- like operating machinery or driving.
    • Set your volume levels when you're in a quieter environment (rather than a noisy environment with lots of competing sounds).
    • Familiarize yourself with the decibel level of your typical everyday activities -- including mowing the lawn or drying your hair with a hairdryer.
    • If you partake in home do-it-yourself projects, be aware of the noise levels of the power tools you use. Drills and sanders can be very loud! Buy some ear plugs if you regularly use this sort power tools.
    • Think about the acoustics of your home. Carpets and soundproofing material can make a big difference in the noise level inside your home.
Dealt with proactively and early on, many instances of hearing loss can be stopped or reversed. However, waiting too long makes doing so increasingly difficult. Look after your ears to reduce the chances of your hearing being adversely affected.

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