Prevent Hearing Loss -- Before It's Too Late
Look around a health club, subway or any public place and you'll see hordes of people wearing earphones to listen to music or talk on their cells. But now, a new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health finds that 14 percent of people between ages 45 and 59 have hearing loss.
Here's how to make sure you don't become one of them.
1. Use sound-isolating (not noise-cancelling) earphones in crowded places
The earbuds that came with your iPod won't hurt your hearing when you're in a quiet environment, but cranking up the volume too high to drown out other noises when on a crowded street will. So in those cases, try earphones that are labeled "sound-isolating" instead. "They block just the right proportion of both high and low frequencies and allow you to hear your music perfectly at a much lower volume," says Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at Children's Hospital Boston.
Noise-cancelling headphones (which produce sound to counteract background noise) are less effective because they block mostly low frequencies, such as the constant hum on airplanes. One caveat: Never listen at more than 80 percent of the maximum volume (you can lock this volume in on many MP3 players) for more than 90 minutes a day.
2. Take supplements to protect your hearing
Loud noises damage tiny hair-like cells in our ears that turn sound waves into signals that our brains can understand. Now, U.S. military research done on Marines exposed to gunfire has found that an over-the-counter supplement called N-acetylcysteine, available at drugstores, can help prevent permanent hearing loss much better than ear plugs. Head researcher Dr. Richard D. Kopke, physician of the Hough Ear Institute in Oklahoma City recommends taking 1,200 milligrams 12 hours before you are exposed to especially loud noise, such as a rock concert or NASCAR event. If the noise is sudden, take 1,200 mg as soon as possible and 900-1,200 mg three times a day with meals for the next 14 days.
3. Give your ears a rest
Whenever you have to listen to a continuous, high-volume noise (e.g., a baby crying, an aerobics class or construction), try to retreat to someplace quiet for a few minutes every few hours.
4. Carry earplugs
Damage to your hearing starts at 85 decibels. Compare that to a crying baby (90 decibels), a power lawn mower (105 decibels), a concert or sporting event (110 decibels) or a car stereo at top volume (140 decibels). So if you're going to be exposed to anything above 85 decibels for more than a few minutes, then wear wax or foam earplugs to protect your hearing. If you're at a concert, try earplugs that are labeled "ER-20."
5. Consider seeing an audiologist
Having trouble hearing after a rock concert or another loud noise exposure? If you're still experiencing problems (including muffled sound, ringing or a sense of pressure inside your ear) 24 hours later, schedule a hearing test. An audiologist can assess any damage and recommend specific ways to protect yourself in the future.
- What's the Healthiest Yogurt?
- Are Canned Foods Good for You?
- Is There Such a Thing as a Healthier Cigarette?
- Massage Away Allergies with these Expert Moves
- Say Goodbye to Computer Strain
- Prevent Hearing Loss -- Before It's Too Late
- Train Your Brain to Crave Healthy Foods
- Broken Heart Syndrome: A Real and Dangerous Condition
- Beat Canker Sores Now
- Eating for Healthy Aging: Adopt an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Stress-relief Methods for Every Occasion
- Natural Energy Drinks That Work
- Fish Oil: The One Benefit You Haven't Considered
- Can Skipping Breakfast Raise Your Diabetes Risk?
- FDA Seeks to Tame Exploding Medical App Market
- Why You Shouldn't Work at Night
- Do Dental X-rays Cause Cancer?
- Nutrient Timing: When to Eat What for Maximum Nutrition
- 3 Simple Meditations to Help You Focus
- Herbs That Boost Flavor and Your Health
- The Latest Superfoods You Need to Know About
- Want a Better Smile? Eat This
- Dial Down the Temp to Cook Healthier Meats
- Edible Flowers
- Shift to Plant Foods for Better Health and Eco-Impact
- Best Way to Dispose of Old Drugs
- Why Sad Movies Make You Happy
- Fighting Cancer with Plant Foods
- Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Learn
- Emotional Eating: How to Stop It Forever
- Make Takeout Healthy Tonight
- Natural Cures for Spring Allergies
- The Good News About Dark Meat
- American Obesity Epidemic Much Worse Than CDC Believes
- Do You Have a Fatty Liver?
- How to Stop Ear Pain on a Plane
- Why Learning Leads to Happiness
- Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy and Healthy
- Why Our Homes Make Us Happy
- Happier People Deal Better with Hardships
- Religion Makes People Happier -- But Why?
- Boost Mood with Whole Foods
- Surprising Nutrition Facts on Foods
- Holiday Workouts: Try Interval Training
- Stay Fit and Trim All Winter Long
- Screening Tests That Can Save Your Life
- Eat Fiber and Feel Better
- The Worst and Best Sweets for Your Teeth
- Healthy Eating All Day
- A Smart Guide to Dietary Supplements
- Normal Weight Obesity - A Growing Concern
- Fruit and Vegetables: Americans Fall Short
- Hybrid Fruit: The New Super-food
- Is Indian Cuisine Healthy Cuisine?
- Is 'Ethnic' Cuisine Healthier?
- Surviving Cold Season: How Not to Get Sick
- 7 Healthy Habits in 7 Weeks
- Sleep More and Live Longer
- Heartburn-friendly Diet with Your Favorite Foods
- The Vibrant and Healthy Flavors of an Authentic Latin Diet
- Is It Hunger or Just Appetite?
- Stay Healthy the Easy Way
- Boost Your Energy: Hour by Hour
- 5 Healthy Foods That Wreck Your Teeth
- Stone Age Diet Surprisingly Good For a Healthy Life Today
- Beat Your Afternoon Energy Slump
- Small Healthy Habits With Big Health Benefits
- 5 Fast Breakfasts That Boost Your Health
- Apples Are the New Fish
- Watermelon: Summer's Antioxidant
- Are All Omega-3 Fats The Same?
- Sample a Semi-Vegetarian Lifestyle With a Flexitarian Diet
- Milk: When the First Food May Be the Best Food
- How to Lose Weight Safely
Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.