Hearing Loss Prevention

Hearing is one of your most valuable senses and is often taken for granted. Exposure to loud noise can lead to hearing loss, which is why it’s crucial that you engage in hearing loss prevention.

Learn how to prevent (further) hearing loss

There are some causes of hearing loss that you can do little about.

For example, losing hearing as a result of ageing or due to unexpected trauma isn’t something you can prevent. However, there are also causes of hearing loss that you can stop in its tracks.

Proper hearing loss prevention allows you to confront issues before they become major problems. In doing so, you preserve as much of your hearing as possible.

If you want to know how to prevent deafness, here are some clever techniques to try:

  • Keep music, TV and radio below 85dB, especially wearing headphones or ear-buds. As a good rule of thumb, the volume should be low enough that you can hear somebody talk to you from two metres away without them raising their voice’.

    Most phones and tablets will give a warning when turning the volume up too loud.

    Headphone/ear-bud use will soon become the number one source of NIHL.
  • Wear hearing loss prevention aids, such as earplugs or mufflers, when you know you’re going to be exposed to loud noises.
  • If you visit a club or go to a concert, take regular breaks and give your ears at least 12 hours to recover after the event.
  • Limit the use of earphones and headphones to an hour before taking a break.
  • Have an audiologist check your hearing regularly so you can identify issues early.
  • Avoid areas with a lot of loud background noise, such as work sites and industrial areas, unless you have ear protection.

Signs It's Too Late for Prevention

It’s never too late to start thinking about hearing loss prevention. Even if you have hearing loss, taking preventative measures can slow your symptoms and maintain your current hearing capabilities. Still, the following are signs that it may be too late for prevention:

You find it difficult to hear individuals talking when you’re in a group.

It’s hard for you to hear the TV or radio without turning the volume up.

Some people sound like they’re mumbling when they’re speaking.

You find it harder to hear high pitched sounds, such as the noise a microwave makes when it’s finished.

What Is Ambient Noise?

Ambient noise refers to the background noise present in a particular environment or setting.

It is the total sound in a given space, including all the sounds produced by the environment, such as traffic, chatter, music, and other sounds.

Ambient noise can be found in different settings, such as a busy street, a crowded mall, a restaurant, or even in a quiet room where the hum of the air conditioner or the sound of a clock ticking is present.

The level of ambient noise can have a significant impact on our ability to hear and communicate. In situations with high ambient noise, such as in a loud factory, people may need to wear protective earplugs or earmuffs to prevent hearing damage. In other situations, such as in a classroom or office, excessive ambient noise can be distracting and make it difficult to concentrate.

Understanding ambient noise is essential in designing spaces that are conducive to good hearing and communication. It is also important in the field of acoustics and sound engineering, where controlling ambient noise is necessary to ensure good sound quality in different environments.

How Loud Is 'Too Loud'?

Ambient noise exists in most places. Even your breathing is a form of ambient noise that you can hear.

The trick is to avoid areas where the ambient noise is so loud that it can damage your hearing. This damage may occur with prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels.

A good trick is to try talking to somebody standing a metre away. If you have to raise your voice so they can hear you, you’re likely in an area with ambient noise above 90 decibels. If you’re having trouble determining if the ambient noise is too loud, look out our tips for checking volume.

Do you believe you have hearing damage? Perhaps you need more advice on how to prevent deafness. Schedule your FREE hearing check with our team to learn more about what you can do to prevent hearing loss.

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Prevention FAQs

No one food prevents deafness, but a diet high in fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat, and low in salt can help lower the chance of getting diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, which can cause hearing loss.

Make sure to include more of the following foods on your plate: walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, fortified eggs, fortified milk, hemp seeds, purslane, Brussels sprouts, spinach, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring, oysters, and salmon.

Age-related hearing loss may be slowed or avoided with the use of omega-3 fatty acids.

You can usually sense whether the noise around you is excessively loud even without equipment to measure sound.

The sound is excessively loud and might eventually harm your hearing if you or others have to yell to be heard or if you cannot understand each other even when you are arm’s length apart.

The impact of noise on hearing varies with the volume (sound intensity) and duration of the noise (duration).

The best protection is to stay away from loud environments.

If you can’t get away from the noise, make sure you have the right hearing protection.

The intensity of noises and the duration of your exposure to them are the causes of noise-induced hearing loss.

Consider wearing hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

If it’s too loud in a restaurant or theatre, ask the manager to turn it down.

If you have wax buildup in your ears, use an at-home irrigation kit to soften it and gently wash it out.

You can also wear earplugs and earmuffs together for greater protection.

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural substance that helps protect the ear canal and eardrum. It acts as a barrier against dust, bacteria, and other foreign particles. It also helps to lubricate the ear canal and prevent dryness.

However, excessive or impacted ear wax can cause hearing loss. When ear wax builds up, it can block the ear canal and prevent sound from reaching the eardrum. This can cause difficulty hearing, a sensation of fullness in the ear, and even earaches.

While ear wax can help protect the ear canal and eardrum, excessive or impacted ear wax can cause hearing loss. It’s important to have your ear wax checked by a healthcare professional if you have difficulty hearing, ear pain, or a sensation of fullness in the ear. They can remove the excess ear wax with irrigation or suction, which can improve your hearing.

It is important to note that using cotton swabs, ear candles, or other foreign objects to remove earwax can push it further into the ear canal and lead to impaction. It is not recommended to remove ear wax by yourself unless your healthcare professional has recommended you to do so.

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