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How to Protect Your Hearing

We often take hearing for granted until it is too late, but because your auditory system is so delicate and prone to damage, it is important to take proactive steps to protect your hearing from irreversible damage. The effects of hearing loss are lifelong, which is why prevention is key.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, including:

  • Genetic disorders like otosclerosis
  • Exposure to a sudden loud noise which causes damage to the auditory system
  • Prolonged exposure to environmental noises such as lawnmowers, loud workplaces, or fireworks
  • Infection
  • Injury to the ear or the head
  • Aging (age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis)
  • Ototoxic reactions to prescription medication
  • Disease
  • Sometimes the root cause is never discovered

How to Protect Your Hearing

Limiting your exposure to loud noises will go a long way in preventing lifelong hearing loss. This is because loud noises overstimulate the delicate hair cells inside your ear which transform sound into mechanical energy that our brains can process and understand. If cells are significantly damaged, they can die off which will result in tinnitus or sensorineural hearing loss. For this reason, it is important to protect yourself from loud noises whenever possible. These tips can help ensure you do not cause lifelong hearing damage:

  • Turn down the volume when using earbuds. Because in-ear listening devices are placed so close to your eardrums, they can cause hearing damage at surprisingly low volumes. Be sure to always keep the volume as low as is comfortable.
  • Always wear protection when you will be exposed to loud noises. Whether you are getting ready to mow the lawn, set off fireworks for the 4th of July, or visit a gun range, be sure to wear proper ear protection to avoid damage.
  • Keep the volume as low as possible. Earbuds are not the only device to blame for hearing loss: Sounds from your TV or in-car audio system can also be loud enough to cause permanent damage. Avoid turning up the volume louder than you have to when watching TV or listening to music.
Bay Area Audiology provides comprehensive hearing services to clients of all ages in Bel Air, Fallston, Forest Hill, Emmorton, Churchville, Jarrettsville, and throughout Harford and Baltimore Counties. If you feel that you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, give us a call at (410) 838-4327 to take the first step toward regaining control over your hearing.