Our senses are precious. They give us the ability to perceive the world in a way that is uniquely human, and they allow us to dream, create and be inspired by the beauty of the world. In an increasingly growing environment of information and media, it’s easy to take our hearing for granted, letting our sensitive ears be ravaged by excessive decibels. The simple joy of hearing the voices of our loved ones is a luxury that isn’t guaranteed.

Noise pollution can be quite serious, and in heavily populated areas it can be impossible to escape. The rattling grumble of subway stations, airplanes and car horns may be something you’ve grown accustomed to, but it’s possible that the everyday sounds you encounter could be damaging your ears over time.

It’s true that everyone is different and that people have varying thresholds for noise tolerance, but ultimately, everyone has sensitive ears because the inner ear is very susceptible to damage from very high and low frequencies. However, there are ways that you can protect your ears in order to maintain the highest degree of hearing possible throughout your lifetime.

As we age, our hearing will inevitably deteriorate, but limiting your exposure to intense sounds like music, can greatly prolong the health of your ears. You may love listening to your favorite tunes while you jog, but turning the volume up too high can impair your ability to hear higher tones and frequencies.

When wearing headphones and ear-buds, never turn the volume to the max level. Invest in quality, noise cancelling headphones so that you’ll be less tempted to crank up the volume. Riding in a vehicle that has a large sound system may seem fun now, but the intensity of those large speakers and amps can give you serious long-term damage. The problem is only exacerbated by being in such a small, enclosed space, so avoid the blaring noise of car concerts if at all possible.

When you’re attending a live concert or go to view fireworks, consider wearing ear plugs. Loud noise is especially damaging when you’re exposed to it for long periods, so always bring ear plugs when you’re listening to loud events. There are high-quality ear plugs available for hunting purposes. These hearing protecting devices are excellent for hunters, but they can be used in a myriad of situations to protect ears.

Most people will say that extremely loud noises hurt their ears. If you’re experiencing ear pain associated with routine sounds such as conversations, television and running water, you could be experiencing symptoms of a disorder called hyperacusis. People with hyperacusis have an exceptionally high sensitivity to sound. However, it’s possible for people suffering with this condition to regain a greater level of sound tolerance with special treatment involving soft noise.

So even if you feel you’ve already damaged your inner ear, don’t despair. The body has a miraculous ability to repair itself. It’s possible for your ears to regain the ability to hear frequencies you may have lost under the right conditions. Therefore, it’s never too late to start protecting your ears. Preserving your future starts with changing your lifestyle today.