Hearing Loss Prevention Tips and Advice from the Experts Skip to Main Content

Hearing Loss Prevention: Tips and Advice

A hearing aid specialist at Concept by Iowa Hearing giving hearing aid advice during an exam.
– 5.5 minute read

Hearing Loss Prevention: Tips and Advice

Hearing is a vital sense that connects you to the world. Yet, it’s not uncommon for people to experience some degree of hearing loss due to various factors, which makes ear health and hearing protection an important topic. Concept by Iowa Hearing has hearing care centers throughout Iowa that provide critical services to keep everyone in the conversation. Understanding the catalysts of hearing impairment and adopting practices to maintain healthy ears is crucial for preserving this precious faculty. While some hearing loss is inevitable for reasons beyond our control, we can take steps to protect hearing and prevent the issues we can control.  

Understanding the Causes of Hearing Loss

Understanding what can cause hearing loss is essential to protect against it. Age-related hearing loss gradually occurs naturally because of the deterioration of the tiny hair cells that enable us to hear and the auditory nerve. However, other factors beyond age can contribute to accelerated hearing loss. Common causes include:

  • Ear or head trauma
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Viral infections and ear conditions
  • Ototoxicity, which is inner ear damage caused by certain medications

How Loud Is Too Loud?

Exposure to loud noises, whether a one-time blast or prolonged over time, is dangerous to our ears. The safe noise level threshold is 85 decibels (dB). Anything over 85 dB is considered unhealthy, and sudden exposure to noises over 120 dB can cause immediate harm. But dangerous noise isn’t solely defined by dB level. The length of the exposure is also a factor. If you work in an environment for eight hours or more where noise levels are in the 70 dB range or above, your hearing is at risk. Consider everyday environments and the general noise level of these conditions:

  • A regular conversation typically measures about 60 dB
  • Traffic noise from a busy road can be about 80-85 dB
  • Attending a concert might expose you to sound levels between 95-120 dB
  • Hearing a siren as it passes close by can be around 120 dB
  • An airplane taking off, which one might hear at an airport, can reach up to 140 dB

Use Ear Protection in Noisy Environments

Whenever you anticipate being in a loud environment, ear protection should be a go-to solution. Over-the-counter earplugs or custom-made products can drastically reduce your ears’ exposure to potentially harmful noise levels. Anyone who works in construction or around machinery and other loud equipment should always protect their ears. Everyone else should keep ear protection handy for activities like concerts, sports events, or DIY projects involving loud tools. 

Keep Personal Listening Device Volumes Safe

Music can be a wonderful companion during exercise or work, but volumes should remain at a safe level. Most devices now have warning signals or settings that alert you when the volume exceeds safe listening levels. Pay attention to these warnings and keep the volume at 60% or lower, especially during prolonged listening sessions. 

Schedule Regular Hearing Check-Ups

Just like visits to the dentist, regular check-ups for your ears are necessary, though not as frequently for most. Professional audiologists can detect early signs of hearing loss, sometimes before you even notice it yourself. Early detection can prevent further damage and help manage existing conditions better. Here’s a general guideline of how frequently you should have a hearing test:

  • Adults 18-40 with no signs of hearing loss – Every five to 10 years
  • Adults 40-60 – Every two or three years
  • Adults over 60 – Once a year
  • People who work in loud environments – Once a year

Adults with signs of hearing loss, certain medical conditions, or a family history of ear problems require more frequent assessments. They should work with their hearing care provider to maintain the proper schedule.

Additional Hearing Health Tips

Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support ear health. Regular exercise helps promote healthy blood circulation, which is as good for your ears as it is for the rest of your body. Avoid smoking, which can contribute to hearing loss, and manage stress levels, as long-term stress can harm your hearing. 

Being Proactive in Protecting Your Hearing

Taking proactive steps is vital in preserving your ears’ health. Keep general dB levels in mind, and don’t hesitate to reduce TV or music volume if it feels too loud, move away from loud sound sources, seek quieter alternatives when possible, or opt for ear protection. If you experience ringing in your ears or difficulty hearing, consult with a healthcare professional.

Educating yourself about the risks and integrating these preventive practices into your everyday life will go a long way in preventing hearing damage. Be mindful of the sounds around you, respect the limits of your ears, and acknowledge that it’s never too early or too late to start taking care of your hearing health.

Contact Us to Learn More About Hearing Health Tips 

Concept by Iowa Hearing has hearing care centers throughout Iowa dedicated to ear health and solutions to manage hearing loss. Protecting your ability to hear is about ensuring a lifetime of rich experiences, from enjoying conversations with loved ones to appreciating the subtleties of music and nature’s sounds. Find one of our locations near you and contact us to schedule a hearing test and assessment.

Schedule an Appointment