Hearing is one of our most important senses. It helps us understand the world around us, express ourselves, and build relationships with others. Without healthy hearing, our lives can feel incomplete. However, dangers to our hearing are everywhere. Whether we’re listening to music, working at a factory, or attending an explosive football game, it’s easy for our ears to take a hit.
Luckily, there are ways to keep your ears safe while also exploring new experiences in life. When you combine these precautions with common sense and caution while enjoying activities that could damage your hearing, you can protect your ears at the same time as staying entertained.
What Constitutes Healthy Hearing?
In order to protect your hearing, you must first understand what good hearing looks like. If you have healthy hearing, you should be able to hear all the sounds around you. You shouldn’t be able to hear those sounds any better than anyone else in the room. You also shouldn’t be able to hear these sounds any louder than the sounds you’re used to – again, everyone should hear the same volume. Healthy hearing is subjective, which means that everyone hears things differently. However, most people with healthy hearing experience sounds at a normal volume and with normal quality. Note that if you’re experiencing any issues with your hearing, you should visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in Plano for whole ENT diagnosis and treatment.
How Can We Protect Our Hearing?
If you want to protect your hearing for the long haul, you’ll have to pay attention to how you use it. When you’re in a public place, turn down the volume on your headphones. You can also use “earbuds” on airplanes or in the airport. These devices allow you to listen to the noise around you while also enjoying your favorite audio content. When you’re in a noisy environment, try to shield your ears from sound. Wear earplugs while gardening, while mowing the lawn, while at a construction site, or while at a sporting event. While earplugs help to cut down on the noise around you, they don’t cancel it out. That means that you’ll still be exposed to harmful sounds. That’s why it’s important to wear earplugs the right way.
Electronic Ear Protection
For the times when you can’t avoid being exposed to loud noises, electronic ear protection is a great alternative to earplugs. It allows you to filter out harmful sound frequencies while still being able to hear what’s happening around you. While earplugs usually come with a set noise reduction rating, there are no standardized noise reduction ratings for electronic ear protection. That means that you shouldn’t use NRRs to assess which models offer the best protection for you. Instead, you should carefully read product reviews to see how the best brands stack up against each other.
Estimated Loss in dB for Common Sounds
The decibel (dB) scale is used to measure volume and sound pressure levels. When you’re trying to decide which type of hearing protection is best for you, it’s helpful to understand how the dB scale works. When we hear something, it produces sound pressure. The dB scale describes the intensity and loudness of sounds. For example, when you break the sound barrier, you’re experiencing 120 decibels. The decibel scale is logarithmic, meaning that each increase of 10 represents a 10-times increase in volume. That means that each increase of 3 denotes a 10-times increase. That’s why one of the most common dB levels comes from a simple pin-dropping.
Prescription Ear Muffs or Headphones
For some, wearing earplugs or using over-the-ear headphones is a necessity. If you have a medical condition that impacts your hearing, you could be at risk for hearing loss. If you have a family history of hearing loss, it’s also possible that you’re predisposed to hearing damage. If you’re worried that you could be at risk, speak with your doctor. They can test your hearing and give you a personalized hearing protection plan. If you need to wear earmuffs, look for “noise reduction” or “noise canceling” features on your preferred brands. These features can help to reduce the decibel levels even further.
How to Pick the Right Hearing Protection Device
Choosing the right hearing protection device for your situation can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to be aware of your options. If you’re trying to avoid sound entirely, you can use earplugs. These fit inside your ears and block out any sound from reaching your eardrums. Earbuds can be used when you need to keep out sound while still being able to hear others. If you want to reduce the volume of sound, you can use over-the-ear headphones.
Hearing protection devices are an important part of staying safe in any crowded or noisy environment. If you don’t use any type of protection when you’re in a loud place, you risk damaging your hearing. If you have a loved one who loves to be around loud noises, consider getting him or her protective gear. Protecting your hearing is one of the best ways to avoid hearing loss and tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in your ears.