Whether you are a young listener trying to protect your ears from future damage or an older listener enjoying music with hearing aids, there’s no need to compromise sound quality for protected hearing. Take measures at every stage of life to care for your ears, and you will be able to enjoy music for years to come.
Prevention: Hearing Protection and Music
It’s no secret that some types of hearing loss are caused by listening to music or other sounds at too loud a volume for too long of a time period. Instead of compromising your hearing, take these steps.
- Think about your listening device. The smaller the device and the closer it is to your eardrum, the more damage can be done. While driving, utilize a car’s speakers instead of headphones for a surround sound less likely to damage your inner ear. When wearing headphones, remember that earbuds can add nine decibels of sounds on top of whatever is playing. They also do not block out surrounding noises, so you may be more tempted to turn up the volume. Consider headphones that go over your ear to take away some of the extra sound.
- Think about how long you are listening. The general rule of thumb when using headphones is 60 percent volume for 60 minutes a day. With any increase in volume or time exposed to sounds, there is a chance of ear damage. 15 to 20 percent of headphone users turn up the volume too loud, risking the future of their hearing.
- Think about your surroundings. When going to your daughter’s piano recital, you may not need earplugs, but things drastically change when you’re at a rock concert. Higher decibels cause damage in a much shorter amount of time. With the evolution of technology and increased awareness of hearing loss, there are now options of earplugs that still let in enough sound to avoid distorting music. This leaves no excuse not to protect yourself!
Solution: Hearing Aids and Music
If you do experience hearing loss (from music overexposure or any other cause of ear damage), protect your ears from further damage by investing in hearing aids. Enjoying music while wearing hearing aids may seem like a challenge, but that is not necessarily the case. While listening through speakers is still a better option than headphones, you may still crave the ease of earbuds. Consider Bluetooth hearing aids. Since nearly every form of technology comes with Bluetooth capability, take advantage with a Bluetooth hearing aid connection. The telecoil inside a hearing aid is the component that receives sounds. It then translates the sound into a loop that amplifies for the listener. If your hearing aids are within range (usually 30 feet) of a Bluetooth device, it can pick up the sounds and play them within your ear. This means that you can connect to a smart television and play a show just through your hearing aids without disturbing a partner. Or you can play music from a phone, tablet, or other music player straight into your ears. This protects your hearing from future damage and utilizes a device already in your ear! Hearing protection has never been easier.