6 tips on how to protect your hearing
Hearing is like most things in life. We really only miss it when it’s gone.
Of course, our hearing is subject to ‘wear and tear’ as we get older. But there are many things we can do to protect our hearing and make sure we continue to enjoy the sounds we love.
1. Turn the volume down
Many of us love to plug in our smartphones and listen to music or podcasts while we go for a walk or do the housework. But don’t be tempted to turn the volume up to 11!
Wearing earphones intensifies the volume. Too much volume and your hearing can be permanently damaged.
A general ‘rule-of-thumb’ is to have the volume dial no louder than 60% and listen for no longer than a 3-4 hours.
2. Protect your hearing at work
Hearing loss caused by noise in the workplace is so common in some jobs that many people believe it’s an inevitable ‘occupational hazard’. And it’s not just people operating jackhammers.
Some of the professions most commonly affected by workplace noise (also called ‘industrial hearing loss’) include transport, emergency services, building and construction, mining and farming. Musicians and airport ground crew are also at risk of losing their hearing.
Prevention is the best approach. Always wear solid earmuffs or earplugs to avoid damage from both sudden, loud noise or steady constant noise.
3. Ditch the earbuds
You’ve heard the saying about not putting anything smaller than your elbow into your ear? Well, it’s good advice. If you’re tempted to give your ears a vigorous clean with an earbud from time to time, don’t.
Using earbuds to clean out your ear canal can push wax and other contaminants deep into your ear. This can cause temporary deafness. You might also damage the delicate skin inside the ear, increasing the chances of infection.
If you must give your ears a clean, stick with cleaning the outside of the ears with a wet, soft cloth. If you feel your ears are blocked with wax, see your doctor or local hearing care professional.
4. Keep your ears dry
Ear infections can be a real pain. To avoid infection, it’s a good habit to dry your ears after you have a shower or a swim.
Avoid swimming if there’s a risk the water may not be clean. If you’re a regular swimmer, have some customised earplugs made by your hearing care professional. They’ll keep your ears dry and avoid any ear problems.
5. Take care with medications
We know that some medications can cause hearing loss. These include common pain killers like aspirin (salicylates) and anti-malarial drugs (quinine and chloroquine). Thankfully, the hearing loss is usually temporary.
To avoid hearing damage caused by taking medications, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. If you do have any problems, speak to your doctor and review your medications.
6. Have your hearing checked regularly
Hearing loss can creep up on you. We often get used to a certain level of noise, not realising that it may cause damage to our hearing.
It’s wise to have your hearing checked every couple of years. Even if you think you’ve got great hearing now, it gives you a benchmark just in case your hearing does deteriorate.
Try our online hearing quiz
There are a few common indicators of hearing loss. You might be straining to hear in everyday situations, for example. Our quick hearing quiz is a good first step to check if you may have a problem. Try it here.
If you have any questions about your hearing, please give us a call on 1300 017 732 to make an appointment.
As an independent, family-owned hearing care clinic, you’ll also find we like to look after our clients and offer affordable and competitive prices on all our hearing solutions.