Woman protects her hearing with ear muffs while doing yardwork.

Eating right and safeguarding your hearing have some parallels. It’s difficult to know where to start even though it sounds like a good idea. If there aren’t any obvious noise risks and you don’t consider your daily environment to be especially loud, this is especially true. But your ears and senses can be stressed by day-to-day living, so practicing these hearing protection techniques can help maintain your auditory acuity.

If you want to keep enjoying the sounds around you, you should do everything you can to impede down the deterioration of your hearing.

Tip 1: Wearable Hearing Protection

Using hearing protection is the most practical and basic way to safeguard your ears. This means that lessening loud and harmful sound is a basic step you should take.

For many people, this will mean utilizing hearing protection when it’s warranted. Two basic forms of protection are available:

  • Ear Plugs, which are placed in the ear canal.
  • Ear Muffs, which are placed over the ears.

Neither form of hearing protection is inherently better than the other. Each style has its benefits. What’s important is that you pick some hearing protection that you feel comfortable wearing.

Tip 2: Know When Sound Becomes Harmful

But when to wear hearing protection is the question. We’re used to linking dangerous noise with painful noise. But much lower volumes of sound can damage your ears than you might realize. After only a couple hours, for example, the sounds of traffic are enough to damage your hearing. An important step in protecting your hearing, then, is knowing when sound becomes harmful.

Typically sounds become dangerous at the following thresholds:

  • 95-100 dB: This is the typical volume of your earbuds or the level of farm equipment. After about 15-20 minutes this level of noise becomes hazardous.
  • Over 100 dB: Your hearing can be very quickly injured by this. Damage is done in about thirty seconds with sounds above this limit. Jet engines and rock concerts, for example, can damage your hearing in around thirty seconds.
  • 85 decibels (dB): After around two hours this volume of sound is damaging.Your hairdryer or a busy city street are both situations where you will find this volume of sound.

Tip 3: Your Phone Can Be a Sound Meter

Now that we have a basic idea of what levels of noise might be harmful, we can take some steps to ensure we minimize our exposure. The trick is that, once you’re out and about in the real world, it can be challenging to determine what’s too loud and what isn’t.

That’s where your smartphone can become a handy little tool. There are dozens of apps for iPhone, Android, and everything in between that turn your device’s microphone into a sound meter.

In order to get an understanding of what hazardous levels of noise actually sound like, use your sound meter to confirm the decibel level of everything you are hearing.

Tip 4: Keep an Eye on Your Volume Buttons

Most people these days listen to music using their phone or smart device, and they normally use earbuds while they do it. This creates a risky scenario for your hearing. Over time, earbuds set to a sufficiently high level can cause considerable damage to your ears.

That’s why safeguarding your hearing means keeping a focused eye on your volume management. You should not raise the volume in order to drown out sounds somewhere else. And we suggest using apps or settings to ensure that your volume doesn’t accidentally become hazardously high.

Earbud use can become something of a negative feedback loop if your hearing starts to decline; you could find yourself constantly increasing the volume of your earbuds so that you can compensate for your declining hearing, and in the process doing more damage to your hearing.

Tip 5: Get Your Hearing Tested

You may think that having a hearing exam is something you do only when your hearing starts to wane. Without a baseline to compare results to, it’s not always easy to detect a problem in your hearing.

Scheduling a hearing screening or exam is a great way to obtain data that can be used for both treatment and diagnostic purposes, ensuring that all of your future hearing (and hearing protection) decisions have some added context and information.

Keep an Eye on Your Hearing

It would be perfect if you could constantly protect your hearing without any issues. But there are always going to be challenges. So protect your hearing when you can, as often as possible. Also, get regular hearing examinations. Put these suggestions into practice to improve your chances.