Learn how to protect your hearing from everyday sounds.
When people think of noise-induced hearing loss, they often picture people working in a noisy factory or construction site. But it’s essential to understand the potential damage that everyday noises can cause to hearing as well!
October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, which makes it a great time to learn about noises that can impact our hearing and how you can protect yourself.
Here’s how to protect your hearing from ten surprising potential causes of hearing loss you might not usually think about:
- Keep your distance from barking dogs
- Turn your headphone/earbud volume down
- Wear hearing protection to exercise
- Watch out for lawn care and construction
- Be extra careful at concerts, sporting events, and fireworks shows
- Cover your ears when noisy vehicles pass
- Don’t blow dry too long
- Avoid loud children’s toys
- Protect your ears during flights
- Be conscious of your overall health
Let’s dive into how to protect your hearing with these ten simple tips!
Keep your distance from barking dogs
Did you know the sound of a barking dog has the potential to reach 100 decibels? If your neighborhood is full of loud little furry friends, try to keep your distance from the worst offenders. It’s also wise to have a pair of earplugs in your pocket if you’re on a walk and can’t avoid walking near a chatty canine.
Turn your headphone/earbud volume down
Listening to your music, podcasts, or audiobooks at a loud volume can be especially damaging when the sound is being piped directly to your ears through headphones or earbuds. Try not to turn the volume higher than 50% of your device’s maximum. It can also help to wear headphones or earbuds with good sound quality and noise cancellation; invest in a pair of the best headphones for your ears so you can safely enjoy listening at lower volumes.
Wear hearing protection to exercise
The gym is typically not one of the top places people think they need hearing protection. The idea of running on a treadmill or doing a Zumba class with earplugs in might not sound too appealing. However, gyms can be very loud environments. Your instructor might be blasting the music to pump everyone’s adrenaline up for a workout, or weightlifters might be loudly dropping barbells at their stations. If this is the case, try going at a quieter, less busy time and choosing classes that are a little more low-key with the music.
Watch out for lawn care and construction
Are you or a neighbor out mowing their lawn or doing a home renovation? Lawnmowers and power tools can be quite loud. Invest in a pair of earmuffs to wear while you’re doing your own projects, and keep earplugs handy in case a neighbor or business is touching up their property and you can’t avoid the noise.
Be extra careful at concerts, sporting events, and fireworks shows
These may or may not be as surprising, since these types of events aren’t exactly known for being quiet. That said, it’s a tip that bears repeating! Check out our concert hearing protection tips, tips for attending sporting events, and Fourth of July safety tips.
Cover your ears when noisy vehicles pass
If you’re walking or sitting parked in your car as a noisy vehicle passes, you might worry you’ll look silly for covering your ears. Trust us —you won’t! Whether it’s a train rushing by or the ear-splitting siren of an emergency vehicle, it’s entirely sensible to shield your ears from those noises. For example, a typical ambulance siren can range from 120–130 decibels, which is no joke! A freight train can be around 90 dB.
Don’t blow dry too long
If your morning routine includes a lengthy blow-dry session, consider trying a half blow dry, half air dry regimen instead. A little bit of hair dryer use is safe, but pointing a loud machine right at your ear for an extended time isn’t ideal.
Avoid loud children’s toys
Family and friends love to give kids flashy, fun noise-makers for birthdays, right? However, some of these toys can actually get so loud they can damage kids’ or adults’ hearing. If a toy’s decibel level isn’t available online, you can use a decibel measuring app to figure it out. If it’s so loud it’s giving you a headache, it’s probably uncomfortable for the child as well — it may be time to swap it out for a quieter toy.
Protect your ears during flights
Flying has the potential to be rough on the ears. With conditions like “airplane ear” and the general loudness of airplane engines (and possibly less-than-happy infant co-passengers), it’s important to know some essential ear care tips to prevent and ease ear pain during flights.
Be conscious of your overall health
There are a lot of non-noise-related things that can impact your hearing. For instance, studies have linked hypertension (high blood pressure) with hearing loss. Likewise, high cholesterol has similar effects. Certain medications can also affect hearing and lifestyle changes that can help your hearing. Make sure to discuss all these things with your doctor and audiologist! Practicing healthy living is a great way to keep your whole body happy, including your ears.
Want more tips on how to protect your hearing? Keep reading the CapTel hearing loss blog!