Our bodies go through many changes as we get older, one of which is the frightening realization that we can no longer hear properly. Hearing loss is usually associated with old age; as we get older, the tiny hairs in our ears that vibrate to deliver the sound to our brain become damaged, affecting our ability to hear. While age-related hearing loss may be unavoidable, hearing loss can also occur due to damage done to our ears from loud noises.

This kind of hearing is completely avoidable, and there are certain practices you should adopt to prevent this damage from occurring. These practices can even help you delay the onset of age-related hearing loss.

Without further ado, here are the best practices to prevent hearing loss:

Understand What Damages Your Hearing

If you’re wondering just how loud the noise should be to start damaging your ears, then try to speak to anyone beside you with your normal speaking volume. If you can’t hear them over the noise, then it’s most certainly too loud for the health of your ears. In more technical terms, our ears can be subjected to damage from noise louder than 85 decibels. The noise made by whispering is 30 decibels, a normal conversation would be 60 decibels, and the sound of a motorbike is 90 decibels. As for those headphones you keep playing at full volume, the noise falls between 100 to 110 decibels, which is right below the 120 decibels of an airplane taking off.

Use Quieter Alternatives and Noise Mufflers

Once you start focusing on your surrounding environment, you’ll find that there are too many loud noises surrounding you that you usually don’t give any conscious thought. For instance, you’ll be surprised at just how noisy hair clippers are, and yet, you’ve spent your whole life using them without noticing the damage they’re doing to your ears. This is when you realize that you should start considering some quiet clipper alternatives to remedy the situation. Some of the best clippers are manufactured in a way that decreases the noises, eliminating the probability of ear damage from loud noises. The same concept can be used in various devices; if there’s a quieter alternative, then you should go for it. Otherwise, look for a noise muffler that can be used to minimize the noise.

Avoid Noisy Environments

Noise can be found in almost any place, starting from concerts and construction sites and all the way to loud music played on headphones or earphones. But prevention is better than cure, and this is one statement to live by. Instead of finding yourself in a noisy environment and starting to think about how soon your ears will be damaged, it’s better to avoid being present in such an environment in the first place. You don’t need to go to the concert and stand in the first row right in front of the speakers.

Protect Your Ears

If you absolutely need to go to the concert, or if your life depends on being present in a noisy environment, then you better take some precautionary measures. For instance, certain reusable musician earplugs reduce the noise without completely eliminating it, or you can just get earplugs to completely block unwanted noises. If you’re stuck on your way out, consider taking a break every 15 minutes or so to give your ears some time out, and make sure to take a prolonged break of 18 hours following such an event so that your ears can recover.

Remove Ear Wax Regularly

Sometimes, wax can build up in the ear, interfering with our ability to hear well. Make sure to regularly remove this wax, but don’t do so by using cotton buds; they’ll only travel further up the ear canal. Consider using another wax removal drop or visit an ENT physician to get it removed.

Watch Out for Medication Side Effects

If you’re just getting started on new medications, make sure to check their pamphlets for potential side effects. Many medications, such as those treating cancers, some antibiotics, and high doses of aspirin, can cause temporary hearing loss, which can be exacerbated with prolonged use. If you have to use such medications, then make sure you get regular checkups with your physician to test your hearing and balance.

Losing our ability to hear can be mortifying. It may be something that all of us will face sooner or later once we get older, but that doesn’t mean we’re helpless in preventing its onset. By taking the necessary precautions and keeping our ears safe, healthy, and relaxed, we can enjoy a long and happy life hearing all of the beautiful sounds around us.