5 Sound Strategies for Preserving Hearing Health

Did you know that safeguarding your hearing and protecting against tinnitus can be as easy as using a pair of earplugs? Whether you’re cheering for your favorite sports team or going to a party, protecting your ears is crucial. Let’s dive into some simple yet effective ways to preserve your hearing health for a lifetime.


1. Understand Noise
Sounds above 85 decibels can silently sabotage your hearing over time. Tune in to sound with apps and wearable tech like the Apple Watch that can alert you when things get too loud. There’s also a low-tech way to check loudness: if you’re raising your voice to talk to someone at arm’s length, it’s probably too loud.

2. Schedule Ear Checkups
Just like your pearly whites, eyes, and skin, your ears deserve a regular checkup, called an audiogram. Your hearing health is as unique as your fingerprints and is influenced by genetics, infections, certain medications, and noise exposure. See an audiologist to give your ears the VIP treatment and to figure out if you need a hearing exam once a year, every other year, or once every three years.

3. Take Noise Breaks
From touchdown cheers to wedding bells, loud environments are part of life. Hit pause periodically at noisy events by stepping away to a quieter space. The silent intermission allows your ears to rest and recover, which helps preserve your hearing and avoid tinnitus.

4. Wear Hearing Protection
Elevate your hearing protection game with high-fidelity earplugs— the rock stars of hearing safety and easy communication. Also known as musicians’ earplugs, they are relatively inexpensive and allow you to hear clearly while still shielding your ears from loud sounds. To explore high-fidelity earplugs,* see https://us.loopearplugs.com/, https://www.discovervibes.com/, and https://goaxil.com/products/x-pro?_ pos=1&_sid=d44436400&_ss=r. Each person’s ear canal is different, so depending on your ears and how much time you spend in loud environments, you may want custom-made earplugs crafted by your audiologist. They are more expensive but provide a perfect fit while allowing you to hear clearly. Foam earplugs are also a great option when you don’t need to hear surrounding sound. Just make sure you know how to insert them so you’re getting the protection you need. For guidance, see https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2018/10/24/hearing-protection/.

5. Spread Hearing Health Awareness
Many people don’t know that hearing damage is irreversible, and that tinnitus is often preventable. Spread the word among your coworkers, family, and friends to keep the volume in check, take noise breaks, wear hearing protection, and schedule regular hearing checkups so they can enjoy the many wonders of sound and easy communication for a lifetime.

* Although ATA may suggest products, this should not be construed as an endorsement. Hearing needs and optimal hearing protection differ between individuals, so talk to an audiologist to decide which type is best for you. The fit of earplugs differs between brands, with comfort influenced by the shape of a person’s ear canal. Once you find earplugs that fit well, be sure to insert them correctly. Not sure how to do that? Visit the following link: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2018/10/24/hearing-protection/.