Our hearing is one of our most important senses, yet we neglect it a lot of times.
This month is National Protect Your Hearing Month, where we raise awareness on hearing loss and ways to prevent it.
Noise and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a temporary or long-term loss of your ability to hear or understand speech or sounds around you. It can be caused by different things including aging, infections, and exposure to loud noise.
Loud noise can be very harmful to the cochlea, the spiral cavity of the inner ear which contains the organ, Corti. This organ produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations.
Long-term exposure to loud noise can also cause the hair cells to get overworked and eventually, die. These cells allow our brains to detect sounds. When they are damaged or destroyed, our ability to hear sounds can be affected.
Ways to Protect Our Hearing
If you want to preserve your sense of hearing for long, the following tips can help you:
Use earplugs or any hearing protective devices when working around loud noise
Being constantly exposed to loud noise can significantly increase your risk of suffering from hearing loss. Protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or any other hearing protective devices when being around or working around loud noise.
Turn the volume down
A lot of people, especially in the younger group, are at risk of hearing loss because of their unsafe use of audio devices.
If you’re listening to books or music through headphones or earbuds, you can protect your ears by following the 60/60 rule. This means listening with headphones at 60% volume max, at no more than 60 minutes a day.
Give your ears a break
Prolonged exposure to loud noise, even if it’s just for a day can affect your sense of hearing. If you’re in a loud concert or bar, step outside for at least 5 minutes to give your ears a break. Some quiet time for your ears can help you recover from a loud night.
Learn to manage your stress
Did you know that stress and anxiety can also impact your hearing? High levels of stress put your body in a fight or flight response, putting a lot of pressure on your nerves. It is believed that this pressure can travel way up to your ears, causing tinnitus-like symptoms.
These are just some of the ways you can protect your hearing. If you’re following these tips and still experience symptoms of hearing loss, don’t hesitate to see a specialist immediately.