Sunday, September 22, 2019

Looking After Your Hearing

There are a few things that you wouldn’t want to lose. Your car keys, your bank cards, and maybe even your bike lock. But all of those will fall into insignificance when you put them against losing your hearing. There are many people who are walking around with some degree of hearing loss. Much of which can be attributed to noise-induced hearing loss. It is becoming increasingly common in children too. So how do you prevent hearing loss?

Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

Regular Checks

It is essential that you go to the doctor often to have your hearing checked. If you haven’t needed to have a hearing test before, then click here to read more about what the procedure is. If you feel like your hearing isn’t as good as it has been previously, then book a check. 

NIHL, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Inside your ear, you have a range of tiny hair cells. Noise-induced hearing loss is when there is damage caused to those tiny hairs. The hair cells convert sounds into potentials. Which means the change acoustical energy to electrical signals. These travel down your auditory pathways, and that is where the brain picks them up. Once these hair cells have been damaged from noise, they can’t grow back or be fixed. 

Protecting

Some people have loud jobs. Police officers, factory workers, roadies, musicians, and even firework specialists. If your job or someone you know has a particularly loud job, you might consider getting them some protective earmuffs. 

There are other things you can do to help reduce the chances of getting hearing damage. 

60/60

The 60/60 rule is a really simple way to make sure that you don’t overexpose your ears to too much ‘noise’ in the form of music. Often we turn headphones up far too loud and listen for far too long. This simple rule means you only listen to your music at 60 percent volume for 60 minutes maximum. When you do use headphones, make sure that you purchase noise-canceling ones, this will stop you turning the music up to drown out background noise. 

Rest

You are going to need to rest your ears. If you have been to a music festival, or you work in a loud environment, or even listening to your 60 minutes of music - you are going to want to give your ears some rest. Scientists say that you need 16 hours of rest for your ears between noise. 

Loud Noises

The most obvious way to avoid NIHL is by avoiding loud noises. But the problem is most people don’t know what really constitutes as loud noises. Here is a rough guide to what a loud noise scale really looks like. 

  • A conversation of an average volume is 60dB
  • Traffic is around 70-85dB
  • Music on full volume through headphones is 110-110dB
  • Plane taking off is 120dB

There are smartphone apps that measure noise levels, and you can calibrate it to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself at risk for long. 

When it comes to protecting your hearing, taking action early will be your best bet. 

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