No matter what your age may be, it's important to take precautions to protect your hearing. Aging and frequent exposure to loud noises are just a couple of factors that contribute to hearing loss, and certain hearing conservation methods can help prevent hearing loss or stop the problem from getting worse.
Taking a Hearing Test
A hearing test, which is sometimes referred to as an audiometric test, can help gauge your ability to hear and can be used to diagnose hearing loss. Most hearing tests involve wearing a set of headphones while listening to a series of beeps or other sounds that are higher and lower in pitch and are of different noise levels. An audiogram review, which consists of a chart showing your test results, can be analyzed by a hearing specialist to determine if you have hearing loss and the specific sounds that you may have trouble hearing. Treatments to help you hear better and prevent any hearing loss from worsening can also be recommended based on your results.
Taking Extra Precautions on the Job
Working in a noisy environment, such as an industrial complex or on an airport runway, can exacerbate hearing loss, and hearing conservation should be prioritized if you work in one of these settings. Your employer should also be making efforts to limit exposure to loud noises that could damage your inner ear and lead to hearing loss. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a hearing conservation program to help employers create safer work environments for people's hearing. If your employer doesn't have a hearing conservation program in place, you shouldn't hesitate to ask if a plan can be developed to protect you and your coworkers.
Hearing Conservation Tips
You can take a proactive approach to protect your hearing regardless of your environment. Some of the best hearing conservation tips include:
- Keeping televisions and radios at lower sound levels
- Wearing earplugs in noisy settings
- Covering ears when police or firefighter sirens are near you
- Replacing noisy household equipment and appliances with quieter options
- Avoiding medications that cause hearing loss
Hearing is one of the most important senses, and you should be concerned about how well you hear if you want to continue to enjoy a good quality of life. With the appropriate testing and noise conservation efforts, you'll have a better chance of preserving your ability to hear throughout your years. To learn more about hearing conservation, visit a doctor near you.