Your hearing and your child's hearing is precious. It helps you to communicate with others and listen to music, and it helps to keep you safe. Some hearing loss is unavoidable. Sometimes people are born with hearing conditions, or they start to lose their hearing due to aging. However, there are many ways you can protect your hearing and your ears. There are lots of things that pose a risk to your hearing, particularly loud noises. Prolonged or regular exposure to sound above a certain level can damage your ears. Here's how you can protect yourself and your children against hearing loss.
Know the Risks
The best way of protecting your family against hearing loss is to understand the risk factors to watch out for. You need to know both how you could damage your hearing and what you can do to prevent it. As well as being at risk of hearing loss, you could also develop tinnitus. This ringing in your ears can have a significant impact on your life. When you're trying to avoid hearing loss, high levels of sound are what you need to watch out for. The important things are how loud a noise is and how long you are exposed to it. A loud noise for a short amount of time might not do any damage, but prolonged exposure is more likely to.
Protecting Kids' Hearing
As a parent, you're sure to worry about protecting your child's hearing. Small ears are delicate and need protection. They include conducting hearing tests from a young age and performing auditory processing assessments. Hearing problems in children that aren't detected can cause problems speech and language development. It's important to pick up on these issues as soon as possible. You also need to protect your child's ears from damage. Ear protection is one of the ways to do this if you're in a loud environment. For example, if you take them to a festival or a sports game, they should wear ear protectors. Avoid loud noises is also a good thing to do.
Protect Your Hearing at Work
One of the places where adults can face the dangers of loud sounds is at work. There are a number of professions that might require you to be around high decibels. For example, you might work in the construction or entertainment industries. The important thing to be aware of is your rights at work. Your employer should help you to protect your hearing while you're working. They should start by measuring the level of sound in your workplace. Experts say that being exposed to noise over 80-85dB over time can damage your hearing. Your workplace should provide hearing protection while you're working in a noisy environment. They can also give you advice on how to care for your hearing.
Your Hearing at Concerts and Loud Events
A lot of people don't think to protect their hearing when they go to music concerts or other loud events. However, it's important to remember the cumulative effect of exposure to loud noises. If you attend concerts regularly or listen to loud music at home, you could still damage your hearing. The best ways to protect your ears include using earplugs and standing away from speakers. Although you might want to be close to the stage, it's better to stand back, so you don't have the music blasting right into your ears. A decent pair of earplugs can protect your hearing too, but make sure they fit properly.
Listening to Music at Home and in the Car
Listening to music in an enclosed space can amplify the sound and damage your hearing more. So it's especially important to pay attention if you have music on in the car or even in your home. Don't listen to anything at too loud a volume or for too long. You should be careful in the car for another reason too. Having your music too loud can distract you from your surroundings and driving. It could even be distracting for other drivers and pedestrians if you can hear it outside the car. At home, it's important to remember that you're protecting both yourself and your family.
Letting Your Ears Recover
Hearing experts suggest that you sometimes need to give your ears a rest. If you've just been to a loud concert or spent time in a noisy working environment, it's time for a break. Try to keep things quiet for a while so your ears can recover. Some experts recommend having at least 16 hours between exposing yourself to two hours of sound at 100dB. So try not to go out clubbing all weekend and be careful at festivals.
Be Aware of Wax
It's not always sound that can cause you to find it hard to hear. Other things can make a difference too, such as injuries. Ear wax buildup is, in fact, one of the most common causes of hearing loss. And the good thing is that it's not permanent. Lots of people get wax building up in their ears, although some get it more than others. There are ways you can take care of it at home before seeing a doctor. For example, you can use warm water to try and loosen the wax and help it leave your ear. Sometimes you might need to have your ears syringed. Don't use ear candles, as they are ineffective and can be dangerous.
When to Get a Hearing Test
A hearing test isn't usually something you would get regularly. They're only really needed if you notice any symptoms of hearing loss. The signs can be more subtle than you might think. You can find that other people will point them out to you before you realize. You might misunderstand what someone says to you or struggle to talk to more than one person at a time. People might sound like they're mumbling or perhaps you find it easier to hear deeper voices.
Your whole family needs to protect their hearing to avoid permanently damaging it. Be vigilant about avoiding anything that could cause hearing loss.