Take action today: how to protect your hearing
Some hearing loss is inevitable as we get older, but there are a number of ways we can prevent permanent and/or early hearing loss. Listening to any sound at more than 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus or both. Ordinary spoken conversation is typically measured at 60 dB, while heavy traffic is registered at around 88 dB. Based on these comparisons alone, It’s vital to start protecting your hearing today!
- If you can’t hear properly, if you feel your hearing is dull or you have ringing in your ears for a few hours after hearing loud noise, you have probably been exposed to sound that could have damaged your hearing.
- Give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to consistent levels of loud noise.
- Regular exposure to sound can permanently affect your hearing; it’s vital to understand what ear protection is available and get into the habit of using it.
- Monitor the levels you play music at, especially if you’re wearing earphones. Be sure you can listen to the music comfortably and that the levels don’t creep up over time.
- Don’t be tempted to increase sound levels in response to environmental noise; instead, invest in a pair of quality noise-cancelling earphones or headphones and stay within the advised safety guidelines.
- If you’re using earphones or headphones for prolonged periods – for example, more than an hour – make sure to take a break for at least 5 minutes every hour.
- Consider where you are seated at an event or concert. If a nearby loudspeaker prevents a spoken conversation with someone, move away from the source if possible or consider wearing ear protection.
- If you’re regularly exposed to loud noise at work, ensure that your employer provides you with the necessary hearing protection and USE it!
- Children are more sensitive to loud noises than adults, so be sure to consider a child’s hearing needs in a noisy or loud environment.
- If you have any concerns about protecting your hearing in the workplace or in everyday life, be sure to consult a professional for advice on the best protection to use.
- If you’re concerned about your hearing in any way, make an appointment with a hearing care professional. The sooner an issue is identified, the sooner action can be taken!