Music is one of the best stress relievers and a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, especially when doing the otherwise painfully dull morning commute, or working out at the gym. However, blasting music into your headphones may be more dangerous than you realize.
Hearing loss occurs when a damaged nerve fails to send sound signals to the brain, and this happens to an astonishing 20% of people in America. In fact, by the time we reach age 65, as much as one in three of us will have some level of hearing loss.
Good news: there are plenty of things we can actively do to help protect our hearing before it becomes a major issue. This list of handy tips can help protect your precious ears from everyday harm:
1. Use earplugs around loud noises from traffic, power tools, lawn mowers, even when you make your morning smoothie: be careful of that harsh blender sound.
2. Reduce the volume when listening to music or watching TV. Put it this way: if you need to raise your voice to be heard, that’s too loud, turn that volume down.
3. Remember the 60:60 rule for headphones: don’t listen to more than 60% of max volume for more than 60 minutes a day. Another good rule of thumb when it comes to headphone use: if the person next to you can hear your music, then it’s too loud.
4. Give your ears a well-needed vacation. Frequent exposure to noise and sound does damage in the long run. If you can’t really help it, then wear ear protection or cover your ears with cotton.
5. Most importantly of all, if you have any symptoms at all – get help! Hearing loss is not simply something that comes with age, it can be prevented if caught early enough.