Spring Hearing Health Tips

Spring Hearing Health Tips: Spring Cleaning for Hearing

Spring is a marvelous time of rebirth, as nature awakens from its slumber after a long, cold winter season. The days are getting warmer and longer, inviting us to increase our participation with the outdoors. Even though at this moment we need to practice social distancing, there are still plenty of solo activities available to us to enjoy while we are outside on a warm, spring day. However, being outdoors does come with its fair share of hazards to your ears, that is. Certain outdoor activities can be harmful to our ears and hearing, making noise-induced hearing loss a real, potential threat. Luckily, by keeping these spring hearing health tips in mind every time you step outside, you will be fully armed to protect yourself and your ears adequately.

Prevention is the best medicine, but you need the know-how to do so. Many of us may not realize that the outdoors can pose a threat to our ability to hear, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This season do some spring cleaning, for your hearing, by following these spring hearing health tips!

• If you love playing music outside (who doesn’t?), either from a stereo or through a pair of headphones, pay special attention to the noise level. If you are playing music through speakers or headphones, aim to keep the volume level at or below the half-way mark to help you avoid noise-induced hearing loss.
• If you are playing music from a speaker, make sure you stand away from the source of sound. Especially if you have a powerful speaker, or you happen to have the volume level cranked up (watch those sound levels!). The closer you are to the speaker, the likelihood of damaging your hearing increases.
• Do you often wear headphones while listening to music or your favorite podcast? Many of us do, and it’s a great way to prevent bothering other people around us. However, opt for over-the-ear headphones and avoid wearing earbuds. Wearing earbuds that physically go into the ear canal increases the likelihood of damaging your hearing since the source of noise is much closer to your eardrum.
• Any sounds over 85 dB puts your ears at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Lawnmowers can produce anywhere from 90-110 dB, which means wearing ear protection while cutting the lawn is necessary. Music levels can easily reach and extend past 85 dB, as well as other outdoor activities, so make sure you have a pair of earmuffs, earplugs, or noise-canceling headphones ready and available to use.
• There is nothing better than cooling off on a hot summer day, whether it’s from taking a dip in the pool or participating in water sports. Unfortunately, water can pose a problem for your ears if the proper precautions are not taken. Water can become trapped in your ear, which may lead to swimmer’s ear or Otitis Externa, and this can be very painful. To help prevent this, make sure you thoroughly dry your ears with a towel every time you get out of the water.
• Knowing how loud is too loud is very helpful, especially since we can easily get caught up in the moment, or may not fully realize how loud a particular activity is. As we previously mentioned, even cutting the lawn can be harmful to our hearing. But how do we know the sound levels of our environment? Luckily, there are many phone applications available currently that can diagnose the sound levels of your environment, allowing you to make the right call.

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