3 Safe Listening Practices for Better Hearing & Speech Month

May 9, 2016 5:00 pm

Better Hearing and Speech Month

As technology advances, hearing loss solutions have become a remarkable part of our world. However, even with the best of these advances, it is still important to understand communication disorders and how hearing and speech affect these disorders.

Every May, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association celebrates Better Hearing & Speech Month. The purpose of this initiative is to alert the public about the importance of safe listening and human communication.

There are endless numbers of noises and scenarios that can damage your hearing ability. When your ears experience hearing loss, it becomes difficult to communicate with society and function normally. Here are 3 key practices to protect your ears and prevent hearing loss.

Choose Your Headphones and Monitor Volume

There are plenty of options available for you to choose when picking headphones. While there is a common perception that noise-canceling headphones are the better option; the truth of this statement depends on the way you use them. Over-ear noise-canceling headphones block out outside noise, which means you should use them at a lower volume than ear buds. When using earbuds, your volume can adjust to balance out outside noises. It is recommended to never listen to audio above 80% of the maximum volume. If you are often in noisy environments, it might be wise to choose a noise-canceling headphone and listen to it at a lower volume. In quieter atmospheres, ear buds work well.

Limit Your Loud Noise Exposure and Wear Ear Plugs

Exposing your ears to loud noises for long periods of time can cause a significant amount of damage. If you work in a noisy environment, you should consult with your human resources department about ways to either reduce noise or provide ear protection while you are at work.

If you know you will be in a loud environment like a concert or a construction site, wear a pair of earplugs to reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels. If you want to reduce the decibel levels but still hear clearly, you can purchase specific types of earplugs that will reduce noise levels evenly across all frequencies.

Protect Your Ears from Trauma

Head injury that involves trauma to the temporal bones can cause hearing loss, as these bones protect both the middle and inner ears. It is important to wear appropriate ear protection when you participating in potentially dangerous activities.

To protect your ears, you should always wear a properly fitted helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, or when playing contact sports. In addition, you should wear a seat belt when traveling by car and avoid situations where you may fall, like standing on the top rung of a ladder. These preventative measures may protect your ears from trauma.

As we celebrate Better Hearing and Speech month, we encourage you to practice best-listening methods to protect your ears. For a free hearing evaluation, we would love to see you at one of our hearing clinics. Contact us today for more information!