Hear the warning signs
Some tips to help you protect your hearing from noise-related damage.
Imagine not being able to listen to your favourite song on the radio, talking to your friends or family or simply hearing the hassle and bustle of the world around you.
“Hearing is something most Australians take for granted, but imagine a life without it,” says Assistant Heath Minister Fiona Nash.
“Hearing loss reduces our ability to communicate with our friends and family and to participate in social situations. It can also affect education and job prospects,” says Nash.
Causes of hearing loss
There are many causes of hearing loss but according to Deafness Forum of Australia, most cases of hearing loss results from damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear, which can be caused by noise and usually cannot be repaired.
Deafness Forum of Australia says noisy workplaces used to be the most common cause of hearing problems, now it’s recreational noises like playing loud music in our headphones, or at pubs, clubs and festivals.
“Young people and those in loud working environments are particularly susceptible to hearing loss from continued exposure to loud noises,” says Nash.
Tips to protect your hearing
Here are some tips to help you protect your hearing from the damage caused by noise:
- Use earplugs or ear protectors in loud situations.
- Listen to your music at 60 per cent of maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
- If noise is an issue at work – talk to your supervisor about solutions.
- Loud music in confined spaces increases the risk of hearing damage, so if you’re listening to music in the car, turn down the volume.
- Let your ears recover after you’ve been exposed to loud noise.
Getting your hearing tested
If you, or your friends and family, notice any changes in your hearing, speak to your GP. Your GP will examine your ears to see if they can find out what the potential cause may be. They may refer you to a hearing specialist for further tests if necessary
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