People take risks with their hearing ability every day. One of the Sound Advice team saw an airport ground-worker, helping to park planes in their spots. He had no ear-muffs, while his colleagues had theirs.
Protecting your hearing ability is essential to your general health. Whether you have had hearing issues from birth, or you are exposed to loud sounds at any time (like this worker), you should consciously protect your hearing.
Everyone needs to know that hearing loss affects all ages. Certain activities can damage hearing if you are in constant or loud noise, like this airport worker. What people don’t realise is that some hearing loss is preventable.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be avoided or minimised. You can take proactive steps to safeguard your hearing if your working environment has ongoing noise, such as aircraft, construction, machinery, music or TVs.
Musicians and concert-goers can also protect their hearing, as can people who engage in activities like motorcycling. Even simple, everyday home tasks like cutting grass or hedges can affect your hearing over time.
Using earplugs is key to protecting your hearing. Exposure to sounds of 85 decibels and above, can damage your ears over time. Try foam or wax earplugs when at concerts, or to cut train noise during your daily commutes.
These earplug types can reduce decibels by around 10 to 15dB. However, a top-quality pair from an audiologist’s office can be moulded to your ears to lower the decibels by up to 25dB. Many professional musicians use these to protect their hearing while playing live and when rehearsing with amplifiers.
Even if a person has NIHL, earplugs in loud places protect their hearing. If needed, modern hearing aids simply pop into your ear and nobody notices. Think about it: everyone now wears stereo kit in their ears, from teens with MP3s to drivers with hands-free phones. Hearing-devices are officially cool.
(compiled by John O’Connor – an independent contributor)
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