Music Lover’s Guide on How to Prevent Hearing Loss
If you're a music lover — like a real music lover or a musician— learning how to prevent hearing loss should be at the top of your list. Similar to your teeth, you only get one set of ears, and it's up to you to protect your hearing. In the event you do experience hearing loss, it's definitely not the end of the world.
Today's hearing aid technology is more advanced than ever with a multitude of styles, types, and sizes of hearing aids. However, if the goal is to protect your hearing, it's important to learn how to prevent hearing loss. Continue reading for a few helpful tips on how to prevent hearing loss.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Levels of noise are measured in decibels (dB). Most hearing experts agree that noise levels above 105 dB can damage your hearing if listened to more than 15 minutes a week. However, if you're exposed to lower dBs between 80 and 90 for several hours a day, it can lead to permanent damage. Use the following noise decibel guide for perspective.
- MP3 player on loud: 112 dB
- A bustling street: 75 dB - 85 dB
- Motorcycles: 100 dB
- A standard conversation: 60 dB - 65 dB
- Ambulance siren or a rock concert: 120 dB
- Forklift truck: 90 dB
- Car horn/ nightclub: 110 dB
How Loud Is Too Loud?
When it comes to how to prevent hearing loss, it's based on two factors:
- How loud the music is, and
- How long you listen to it.
You'll know you've been listening to music that is too loud for too long if your ears ring or experience dull hearing after listening to loud music. Even if you don't experience these symptoms, you may still be damaging your ears.
Anytime loud music causes pain or discomfort in your ears, you should turn it down immediately or leave the room. Unless you have noise measuring equipment, it's virtually impossible to actually know the noise levels you're being exposed to. So, a general rule of thumb is if you are unable to talk to someone two yards or so away without yelling, the music noise level might be damaging. In the meantime, use the follow tips to help prevent hearing loss.
Take Your Music Down a Notch
We get it - you love music. But listening to music with the volume blasted can be hazardous to your health. You should avoid listening to your personal music player at high levels to simply drown out background noise.
Anytime your music is uncomfortable for you to listen to or if you cannot hear external sounds with your headphones on, the music may be too loud. Your headphones are also too loud if the person sitting next to you can hear music.
Put a Plug in It...Your Ears
The louder the noise and the longer you are exposed to it, the more likely you'll damage your hearing. If you're going to be exposed to loud noises at a concert or outdoor venue like a sporting event, protect your ears with earmuffs, earplugs, or other types of ear protectors. Another solution is to simply get away from the loud noise as often or as quickly as you can. If you are not able to leave the area, simply take regular 10-minute breaks to allow your ears to recover.
Don't Drown Out Background Noise - Cancel It
Anytime you're listening to music on your phone or personal music player, it's best to use noise-cancelling headphones. These devices will block out background noise, so you don't have to turn the volume all the way to experience the music.
If you don't have noise-cancelling headphones, a retro, older muff-type set of headphones may do the truck. Even when you are listening to your music with noise-canceling headphones, you should still give your ears a rest and take breaks.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss with the 60:60 Rule
Whether you're in the car or listening to music on your phone through headphones, you should never listen to it above 60% of the maximum volume for over 60 minutes a day. Since you're probably not going to time how long you listen to music at whatever volume, make it a habit to simple dial the volume down below 60%. In addition, listening to music too loudly can distort the sound and detract from the intonation and melodies the artist originally intended you to hear.
Schedule a Hearing Exam at North Shore Hearing P.C.
Undoubtedly, the best way to prevent hearing loss is to catch it early. Undetected hearing loss can progress, worsen, and lead to a variety of other complications. Regardless of your degree of hearing loss, the experts at North Shore Hearing can help.
We offer a wide range of hearing services designed to help you hear and experience the world more clearly.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today to schedule a free hearing exam.