Every day, a new health company launches with the promise to make us smarter about our bodies. Whoop tracks your sleep and overall readiness, Levels tracks your glucose, and Apple Health tracks your steps and offers workouts from anywhere.
I’m convinced that it’s time we look for the same tools for our hearing. Our hearing affects almost every part of our life, and unlike our sleep or glucose levels, it’s a finite resource. So, what tools can we use to get smart about our hearing? It turns out there are several good options.
Here are three of my favorite tools to get smart about your hearing:
This simple app lets you measure the decibels of your surroundings. I use the app to measure loud restaurants, machine noise, and even my own speakers at home. If the dB count goes above 75, it’s time to think about hearing protection.
Apple sells around 100M AirPods a year, and we keep our AirPods in all the time. Podcasts, audiobooks, Spotify, YouTube, and TikTok, have made our ears some pretty valuable real estate. Between true-crime podcast binges, you might wonder what all this AirPod time is doing to our hearing health? The answer is a buzzkill. According to the American Osteopathic Association, approximately one in five teens today will experience hearing loss — a rate about 30 percent higher than it was 20 years ago.
Before you throw out your AirPods, try this.
You can quickly check the dB level of your AirPods by taking the following steps:
Go to Settings on your iPhone > Click “Control Center > Add “Hearing” > Now swipe up or down (depending on your phone) for your control center and tap the ear icon. If you are wearing your AirPods, you should see a meter that indicates how loud your headphones are in dB. Stay in the 60s or 70s for safe listening.
If you know that your hearing is at risk, take the extra precaution to track it each year. Save your results for easy comparison; if you see any sudden changes, contact a local ENT or audiologist. You can access hearing tests on this site, at MDHearing.com, or a local Costco hearing aid center.
The world is getting smarter about our health, and our ears should be no exception. We hope you find some of these tools helpful.
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