loss is becoming an increasing problem among young people and the Baby Boomer
generation. Although hearing damage is irreversible, the problem is preventable
with a healthy dose of knowledge.
loss is caused by exposure to sounds that are too loud or continued exposure to
loud noises for extended periods. In the past hearing loss was largely due to
working conditions with noisy equipment. Protective gear and safety laws have
made that a thing of the past. Hearing loss is now mainly caused by exposure to
overly loud noises in our leisure pursuits and home environments.
thing with hearing loss is that we don’t realize we’re losing our hearing
immediately. It’s gradual and incremental. The sounds we hear don’t have to be
unpleasant or physically painful. Things like loud television, radio, traffic,
neighborhood construction, and appliances all contribute to a noisy
environment, and you can accumulate damage without even realizing it.
also important to remember that the louder the noise, the less time you should
listen to it without protection. We measure sounds in decibels (db). The higher
the decibel number is, the louder the noise. Experts agree that any sound below
75 db isn’t likely to cause damage, but any regular prolonged exposure to
sounds above 85 db will contribute to hearing damage and eventual loss.
Prevent Damaging Your Hearing
a noise detox
are exposed to loud noise unintentionally, go on a hearing detox
afterwards. You need time to let your ears recover. Give yourself a sound rest
of 16 hours or more to recuperate, with at least 16 hours if you have spent 2
hours hearing 100 db.
Distance: Don’t stand so close
are exposed to a loud noise try to keep your distance from it. The physically
closer you are to a loud sound, the more damaging it is. Try stand at an angle
from the noise, and don’t be directly in front of the source of the sound.
sleep next to a snorer, consider sleeping with ear plugs because loud snoring
can reach 80-90db.
limit your time spent in noisy venues. If you are in a noisy location for a
long time, like a conference, make sure to go outside regularly and give your
ears a break from the noise.
May also interest you:
listen to music via headphones, avoid trying to drown out any outside noises
with volume and instead consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones.
Apply the 60/60 rule: set the volume at a maximum of 60% and listen for no more
than 60 minutes a day.
care in the car
in the car is an excellent way to relieve the stress or boredom of a long
commute but beware the dangers. Listening to loud music in a confined space has
more of a risk of damaging your hearing than listening in a more open space.
harmful sound levels
sound levels in your environment. Once you have learnt what is damaging, you
can practice healthy hearing habits. There are even smartphone apps that
measure sound for you.
young people engage in unhealthy hearing behavior. Be proactive in educating
them so they too can have lifelong good hearing.
should have to hear loud sounds (attending a music event or doing home repairs
with noisy equipment), then you should get protective gear. Cottonwool in the
ears will not suffice. There are many varieties of earplugs and ear muffs
available on the market. You can get wax or foam plugs, or custom made molds.
your ears a rest
your ears regular breaks from over exposure to noise. Peaceful days out of the
city are recommended if you live in a loud urban area.
Test your hearing
an appointment with a professional to learn your baseline hearing rate, for
future reference. If you are diagnosed with any damage or loss, consider a
hearing aid to slow down the process and seek support of professionals to
establish good hearing practices.