Prepare Yourself for the Hearing Loss Epidemic: Here Are a Few Ways to Save Your Hearing
Experts say that hearing loss prevalence may double in the future. Here's how to protect yourself.
Hearing loss affects 20 percent of U.S. residents. But those statistics change for people over 65 – in this demographic, 33 percent or more end up with hearing loss. But now that the average life expectancy is increasing globally, hearing loss will become more prevalent because more people will reach 65 years or older.
Experts say the number one cause of hearing loss is spending prolonged periods of time with loud noise throughout your life. This includes listening to headphones above the recommended volume. Dr. Gordon Hughes, a hearing expert at the National Institutes of Health, says that hearing damage accumulates over time until it causes hearing loss when you're older.
The best way to prevent hearing loss when you're older is to start now while you're young. Here are a few ways you can save your good hearing:
Wear earplugs or headphones while chopping up vegetables and meat. You might not realize it, but the loud chop-chop sounds when you're cutting up raw vegetables and meat can harm your hearing – especially since you cook everyday.
Take a 15-minute break when exposed to loud sounds. Did you know 16 percent of teenagers experience hearing loss caused by going to noisy places, like bars, clubs, and concerts? It's great to have fun, but if you're going to a very loud music event, make sure to step out into the quiet for 15 minutes every so often.
Wear earplugs when operating loud machinery. You might not realize that routine things you do are damaging your hearing. Some of these include mowing the lawn, operating tractors, chopping wood, and etc.. Be aware of the loud sounds you're exposing yourself to daily. Start bringing earplugs with you to protect your ears when you've realized you're being exposed to loud noise.
Exercise daily. Here's another reason you should exercise everyday – it's been found to improve your hearing. Researchers found that participants who did aerobic exercise (cycling and bicycling mostly) for eight weeks experienced a significant boost in their hearing sensitivity.
Try these tips to save your great hearing until you're older. Your hearing is an important part of life – it's how you communicate with others and listen to your awesome favorite songs.