A study by Johns Hopkins Medicine in the United States shows that by the year 2060, the number of people over the age of 20 who have hearing loss will nearly double. There are several reasons for this; however, it can be greatly attributed to our modern lifestyles.
Many activities we do and places we go present potential harm to our hearing. A lot of it has to do with high decibels. It only takes sound of 85 decibels (dB) or higher to cause permanent hearing damage such as noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). That’s about as loud as the average lawn mower. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to maintain good hearing health and still do the things you love!
Here are some of the things we do that can lead to hearing loss:
Do you turn the volume up when you’re listening to your music? Even though this might help you power through your workout or deal with your commute to work, it’s not the best idea long term. It’s detrimental to your hearing health and is one of the worst things you can do to your ears.
Turn the volume down a little and give your ears a break every now and then! A good rule of thumb is to keep your device under 60% of its capacity for volume.
Going to concerts is always a great activity, but many venues are far too noisy. The average rock concert can reach between 110 and 140 dB! Exposing yourself to this can lead to noise-induced hearing loss, sometimes after just one concert. Have you ever experienced ringing in your ears after going to a concert? That’s known as tinnitus, and it is a sign that you have done permanent damage to your hearing.
Next time you go to a concert, bring a pair of earplugs. If the whole family is in tow, invest in some special earmuffs made just for kids! If you can, try to find a seat that isn’t next to a speaker or crazy crowd.
Watching a movie like Spiderman in the theater is exciting, but incredibly loud. Some movies reach almost 100 dBs. Despite the efforts of hearing health advocates, right now, most movie theaters around the world don’t have any regulations for speaker volume.
Of course, we don’t want you to miss out on a release of the next Star Wars film, so wear some ear protection. You could also watch it at home in a few weeks where you save money and can pause to fill up your popcorn too!
Restaurants and Bars
Some restaurants and bars can be a bit noisy and crowded. The average conversation sits at about 50-65 dB. When multiple conversations are going on at once and the restaurant is playing background music, the atmosphere can get far too noisy! Sports bars are also notorious for their abundance of televisions and noisy crowds.
Next time you’re out and you feel the environment is too loud, simply ask your waiter or bartender to turn down the volume of the TV’s or music! Your hearing health is important, and your waiter should take very good care of you.
At the end of the day, our modern lifestyles can hinder our hearing health, but you never have to miss out on great life experiences. The best thing you can do is be smart and protected. If you don’t already have hearing protection, invest in some. Your ears will thank you!
To make sure you are hearing at your very best, schedule an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider today!