That’s a great question, and a complicated one to answer! Hearing loss can be caused by a multitude of things: some are preventable and some are not. For me to write about everything that can cause hearing loss — and then all the ways to avoid each cause — would make for a very long blog post. We will save that for another day.
Instead, I am going to write about what you can do to avoid the second-leading cause of hearing loss — noise-induced hearing loss.
Did you know that one in four U.S. adults have noise-induced hearing loss? That’s a lot of people (at least 40 million)! The good news is that you can protect your hearing in most situations. And if you practice good hearing protection, not only do you increase your chances of avoiding noise-induced hearing loss, it will go a long way towards helping you avoid age-related hearing loss, which is the number one cause of hearing loss.
Here are a few ways to protect your hearing (and help avoid hearing loss):
Minimize your exposure to loud noises
Wear hearing protection
Hearing protection comes in a variety of different styles including ear plugs, custom plugs, “earmuffs” and more.
Watch the volume
Also, the general rule of thumb to use when setting your volume is: You should be able to hear and converse with a person arm’s length away from you easily. If you cannot, then it is too loud.
Buy quieter products
There are other decisions or changes you can make in your life to help avoid hearing loss, including:
Don’t put anything in your ear
Keep a healthy diet
Get your hearing tested
Nothing is guaranteed to prevent hearing loss. But the advice above should help you avoid it, or at least put it off for as long as possible.