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If you care about your hearing, you need to protect your precious pair of ears against damage while still receiving as much audio information as possible. But some strategies for achieving these goals will provide better outcomes than others. Check out these wrong ways and right ways to enhance and/or protect your hearing.
Using Assistive Hearing Devices
Assistive hearing devices can make dramatic differences in the lives of the hearing impaired. But all such devices are not created equal, and the type you choose may or may not suit your purposes. For instance, choosing a personal sound amplifying product (PSAP) instead of a proper hearing aid can produce more frustration than relief. That's because PAPs simply amplify all the audio signals coming into the ear, at all frequency ranges. This unvaried boost means trouble if you have an impairment at a particular frequency range, such as the frequencies of human speech. You'll just hear more confusing "mush" instead of individual voices and conversations.
Genuine hearing aids address specific impairments through careful product selection and device tuning by a skilled audiologist. Whether you only need a small boost in the human-speech range or a wide-spectrum correction for profound hearing loss, you need to make the extra investment in these specialized instruments.
Boosting TV Audio
Today's movies and TVs shows can boast a spectacularly wide dynamic range -- you might go from a whisper to a deafening explosion (and back again) from one instant to the next. Some viewers drive themselves crazy by turning their TV volume up and down a hundred times during a program, only to receive unwelcome blasts of audio or keep replaying missed dialogue anyway. Others give up and suffer through painfully high default volume just to get all the softer details -- a decision which can contribute to permanent hearing loss.
Fortunately, a safe and effective answer to your TV volume dilemma stands right in front of you, in the electronic devices you use every day. Many video players come with circuitry designed to keep any outgoing volume constrained to a particular dynamic range. This means that the loud stuff never gets too loud and the soft stuff never gets too soft -- a kind of automatic on-the-fly volume control. Check your player to see whether it has these options or buy a new unit that does. Your ears will thank you.
Blocking Outside Noise
Noisy neighbor conversations, car stereos booming through your parking lot, and other distracting sounds can ruin your peaceful day or night while adding to your everyday stress levels. Answering noise with more noise, however, only initiates a "turf war" while damaging your hearing. Wiping out the outside sound by playing loud audio through your headphones will also destroy delicate nerve cells, leaving you with tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
The good news is that you can block incoming noise safely and effectively without deafening yourself in the process. Earplugs remain a tried-a-true solution widely used in the workplace to protect employee's hearing from industrial machinery, so they should keep your neighbors' arguments out of your ears just as handily. If you want to hear music or TV audio at sane volume levels without hearing the outside world as well, look into headphones that offer either active or passive noise canceling.
Today's sensible strategies for controlling your noise exposure can make all the difference in your future hearing acuity. Play it safe by protecting your ears! For more information, contact a company like Waters ENT Sinus & Allergy.