Hearing damage is permanent and once it is gone it is gone.
How can I protect my Hearing?
About 150 years ago the loudspeaker was invented. We started to listen to reproduced sound. In the last 15 years there has been a dramatic increase in smartphones and digital media, most of which is best consumed wearing headphones. Unfortunately, evolution has not caught up. Our ears are like those our ancestors had millions of years ago and they are not designed to listen to four or five hours of electronic dance music every day.
What is noise induced hearing loss?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss or NIHL is the expression used by audiologist and Health and Safety specialists to describe hearing loss caused by loud sounds or prolonged exposure to harmful noise levels.
Could Headphones be damaging your Children’s Hearing?
It’s normal to see young children and even toddlers set up with their own entertainment system these days. A tablet or a phone with cartoons and headphones often saves parents from tantrums especially during travel and it is easy to understand why parents want to keep their children entertained.
5 ways to protect your Hearing
Firstly, test your hearing. Try the easy, free app, hearWHO (Link to hearWHO app). Keep a record of your score and retest yourself every six months or so. If you are worried about your hearing see your doctor.
Try to avoid exposure to loud sounds/long periods of exposure. Loud sounds are common at live events, music and motorsport, when shooting, using power tools, lawn mowers and riding motorcycles. If you are attending, taking part or using noisy equipment make sure you wear hearing protection.
A common source of large sound doses is from using headphones. Consider timing how long you are using your headphones are and check out your listening levels. It may help you to download a hearing safeguarding app, which will total the time and level for you, and let you know when you’re overdoing it.
Upgrade your ear buds to good quality ‘over-ear’ headphones which will reduce the background noise so you can listen at a lower level. For the noisy public transport consider buying active noise cancelling headphones.
When you go to live music events take hearing protection with you and use it when the support act is on to give your ears a break and leave them fresh for the main attraction.