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Hearing loss is an irreversible condition that will permanently damage your ability to perceive sounds. As one of our senses, we rely on hearing for a lot more than just listening to sounds. Our body actually uses our hearing to keep balance which is why hearing loss can be related to balance disorders. We rely a lot on our hearing, so it makes sense that we could protect our hearing and prevent any kind of hearing loss development in the future.
But how can we approach this? What are some simple habits to develop which can help to protect our ears?
Next to ageing and head injuries, loud noise is one of the most common reasons for hearing loss. It doesn’t take much for your ears to suffer permanent damage. A regular conversation is around 60dB and a motorbike is roughly 90dB. Your ears start to get damaged once you’re exposed to sounds over 85dB for an extended period of time. If you simply avoid loud noises, you’ll be protecting your hearing.
However, some of us can’t avoid being exposed to loud noises. Maybe you work in a loud workplace such as a construction site, or perhaps you’re a DJ at a club. In these situations, you’ll be exposed to loud sounds for a long period of time, potentially harming your hearing. In these cases, it’s important to have some form of hearing protection. This can include earplugs or earmuffs that shield your ears and dampen the sounds around you. You should always wear hearing protection even if it impacts your ability to work. Your employer should be more than happy to offer you protection for your ears. If they don’t, then it’s an important matter that you should be very concerned about.
If you have habits that could damage your hearing then it’s important to get your ears checked at least once a year. For example, if you have listened to loud music in the past or if you didn’t wear hearing protection while you worked in a loud environment, you should absolutely go for a hearing test to see if your hearing has been impacted. This will help you determine if you have hearing loss and how severe it is. If you have minor hearing loss then you can still continue to protect your hearing to avoid it getting worse. However, severe cases of hearing loss may require you to wear a hearing aid.
Hearing loss is, in many cases, a completely preventable condition. If you experience hearing loss, you may be able to treat it if it’s being caused by an underlying condition. For example, an ear infection or impacted earwax could be the reason for your hearing loss, thus making your condition treatable. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone and it’s far better to focus on prevention methods than attempting to treat your hearing loss.