Did you know that The World Health Organisation1 estimates that over 1 billion people aged 12 to 35 years risk losing their hearing due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and other recreational sounds?
The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable2 and there are steps you can take in your everyday life to take extra care of your ears.
10 ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss
- Limit exposure to loud noises
- Practice the 60/60 rule when using headphones
- Wear ear protection in noisy environments
- Maintain a safe distance from loudspeakers
- Turn down the volume of personal listening devices
- Be mindful of recreational activities
- Purchase a pair of headphones with personalized sound
- Embrace quite time
- Be cautious with DIY projects and power tools
- Test your hearing regularly
Limit exposure to loud noises
Excessive exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent damage to your hearing3. Therefore, avoid prolonged exposure to loud music, noise-polluted areas such as clubs and bars, and loud machinery.
Practice the 60/60 rule when using headphones
To prevent headphone-related hearing damage, follow the 60/60 rule4. When listening to music or other audio content, limit the sound to no more than 60% of the device’s maximum volume, and restrict usage to 60 minutes at a time. Taking breaks in between sessions will allow your ears to rest and recover.
Wear ear protection in noisy environments
If you work in a noisy environment, you should wear hearing protection. Exposure to noise from machinery5 , heavy equipment, or loud music during performances or concerts can damage your hearing. Wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears and prevent hearing loss.
Maintain a safe distance from loud speakers
If you’re attending a concert or a social event with loudspeakers present, ensure you keep a safe distance. Try not to sit or stand near the speakers, which can amplify the sound and can cause permanent hearing damage6.
Turn down the volume of personal listening devices
It’s common practice to turn up the volume of your headphones or personal devices when you’re outside with the noise and hustle-bustle of city life. However, by doing so, you’re putting your hearing at risk. Ensure that you listen at a comfortable volume without pushing the limits.
Be mindful of recreational activities
Some recreational activities can cause hearing damage too7. For example, riding a motorcycle or jet ski, participating in hunting and shooting, or playing video games at a high volume can all generate sound levels that lead to hearing impairment when exposed to the noise over a long period of time.
Purchase a pair of headphones with personalized sound
Invest in a high-quality pair of headphones that offer personalized sound. These headphones adjust the audio to your unique hearing, ensuring you can hear all the details without needing to turn the volume up. They can also help to reduce listening fatigue, and discomfort.
Embrace quiet time
Daily life can be busy and usually noisy, but it’s important to give your ears a rest and embrace quiet time. Take a break from listening to music, turn off the television, and disconnect from technology altogether. This way, you’ll give your ears time to recover from any listening fatigue or loud noises that they might have been exposed to from daily life.
Be cautious with DIY projects and power tools
DIY and home improvement projects that involve the use of power tools like saws, drills, and lawnmowers can generate high-level noise. Always wear ear protection when operating these tools to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss.
Test your hearing regularly
Download an app like the Mimi Hearing Test App to get a better understanding of your hearing. The app tests your hearing ability and you can create a unique hearing profile. By regularly testing your hearing, you can monitor any changes and take any necessary next steps earlier.
Taking care of your hearing is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Damage to your hearing can occur from daily life’s loud noises, but there are things you can do to prevent hearing loss induced by noise.
Practice safe listening habits, wear ear protection when necessary, and take breaks to embrace quiet time. If you participate in recreational activities that create loud sounds, make sure to wear ear protection, and if you work in a noisy environment, protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or earmuffs.
By taking necessary precautions and regularly monitoring your hearing, you can protect your precious ears for a lifetime.
The information contained in this article shall neither be considered as nor replace professional health or medical advice and is for educational and informational purposes only. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions or concerns you may have about your hearing or medical conditions.