Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable cause of hearing loss. When exposed to loud sounds, it may feel like you are adjusting to them over time, but your ears and brain, unfortunately, will not.
Once you lose your hearing from exposure to loud sounds, it will not recover (though it can usually be treated). Noise-induced hearing loss is typically gradual — by the time you notice it, it is often too late to prevent damage.
Follow the tips below and start protecting your hearing now!
10 hearing protection tips
Avoid loud or noisy activities and places, when possible.
If you can't avoid them, use hearing protection. Foam earplugs are an economical solution, but custom-fit hearing protection products are even better at reducing sound levels.
Limit your time exposed to noises above 85 dB.
- Turn down the volume on the TV, radio, or when listening to headphones.
- When listening to loud sounds (like music, concerts, fitness classes, etc.), take breaks from the noise.
- Move away from the loudest sound source (e.g., speakers, fireworks, sirens).
- Give your ears time to recover after being exposed to loud noises.
- Do not put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear! This includes cotton swabs, bobby pins, keys, paperclips, or anything else you might use to clean or scratch your ears.
- Keep moving! Exercise keeps the blood pumping throughout the body, including the ears. This keeps the internal parts of the ears healthy.
- Get your hearing tested, especially if you experience a change in your hearing, or ringing or fullness in your ears for over 24 hours.
Want additional hearing protection tips? A local hearing care professional can help. To find one near you, simply type your zip code in here and you’ll a generate a list of area providers who you can reach out to for advice, as well as who can test your hearing if you think you have hearing loss.
Join our community of Starkey Blog subscribers
Want a week's worth of Starkey blogs delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.