Let’s face it; there’s no avoiding loud noises. Most of the activities we enjoy, like concerts, are great social events or ways for us to relieve stress. But one thing we have to be careful of is the effect that things like concerts have on our hearing. Without proper protection, we can cause damage to our ears without really knowing it. And it’s not just concerts, but other activities like swimming in pools or in the ocean that can also hurt us.
Because these activities are fun and shouldn’t be avoided, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to preserve and protect your hearing while still partaking in your favorite late summer/fall activities.
This one should be obvious, but it’s easy to forget these at home. Regular earplugs can do wonders in hearing protection. There are also noise-cancelling headphones that you won’t necessarily want to wear to a concert, but if you work a job that is regularly filled with loud noise, these could benefit you in the long run. They’re also great when using lawnmowers or chainsaws.
Headphones vs. Earbuds
You need to listen to music and podcasts while at the gym or at the job, so you use earbuds. Unfortunately, earbuds are actually more dangerous for our hearing because the sound is pushed so close to the eardrum. Headphones, on the other hand, are a safer way of playing music. They might be more cumbersome at the gym, but hearing health is more important.
According to EarQ.com, our ears need 16 hours of quiet rest after one loud event. That means that one night at a Metallica concert should equal to one full day of peace and quiet. If you’re in a loud environment where you can step outside and get a few moments of rest, you should for your hearing’s sake.
The recreation of swimming can be both fun, soothing, and healthy for our bodies, but if our ears are unprotected our hearing can be subject to damage. If water enters the ear canal and stays there, it can lead to things like swimmer’s ear and ear infections. Wearing swimmer’s earplugs can prevent this from happening.
Exercise and Stress Management
We live in a fast-paced working society, so stress levels can get a little high. Stress isn’t just an uncomfortable sensation, but it can have physical effects on our bodies, including hearing. The link between stress and tinnitus proves that not enough relaxation can have permanent consequences. One way to fight stress is also exercise, which also gets the blood flowing and can help with our hearing.
Make sure to always get a checkup from your regular doctor to keep an eye on your hearing. If you suspect hearing loss or hearing damage, you can come to the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute to see an audiologist, who will assess, diagnose, and treat properly. Let our family take care of yours.
Illustration by Parisha Patel