Hearing loss can seem like a problem only the older people suffer from, especially when you’re a teenager. One of the leading causes of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises – from concerts to industrial sounds. Whether you’re an avid concertgoer or you work in a noisy field, having the right ear protection is crucial in preserving your hearing ability.

Here are some tips that allow you to enjoy your hobbies or job, while also taking care of your hearing health.

Purchase ear protection

There are a plethora of options available when it comes to hearing protection, including earplugs, earmolds and headphones. If you are submersed in noise for most of your day, consider visiting an audiologist for custom-made ear protection. This will allow a more comfortable, secure fit, while also providing the protection you need against loud noises.

Use headphones

It may seem like there is no difference, but ear buds pour sound directly into your ear canal. Headphones, on the other hand, offer noise further away from your inner ear. This difference may only be a few millimeters (which can make a huge difference). Headphones are also better at isolating background noise so that you don’t have to listen to your music as loud in order to hear it crisply.

Stick to 85 decibels or lower

Any sound higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing damage. There are sound machines that can measure a number of decibels, but if you don’t have one you can gauge the sound yourself. A sound of 85 decibels is equivalent to the noise of city traffic that you can hear from inside a car.

Take breaks

Even though you may be in the middle of a great playlist, take some time to give your ears a rest. If need be, set an alarm to remind you to take your ear buds out in order to allow your ear’s nerve endings a chance to rest in silence.

Use the 60/60 rule

When listening to music it can be hard to remember which rules to follow. A simple guideline to remember is to listen to music for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at no more than 60% of the total available volume.