Start hearing care sooner rather than later
Post on 21st October 2020
Listen up. Hearing loss is not confined to older people; it can strike at any age.
Worryingly, an estimated four million people are at risk of hearing damage from loud music according to the charity Action on Hearing Loss, now known as RNID.
It makes sense to look after this vital sense as permanent damage to the ear can happen in minutes. There is also the cumulative effect of experiencing loud noise over the years which can cause harm.
Once the damage is done it can’t be undone, so please don’t wait until your hearing starts to deteriorate but take action now.
Here are some top tips to help protect your hearing.
Avoid loud noise whenever possible
A noise is probably loud enough to damage your hearing if you have to raise your voice to talk to other people, you can’t hear what people nearby are saying, the noise hurts your ears or you have ringing in your ears or muffled hearing afterwards
Wear hearing protection in noisy work environments.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines state that noise levels above 150dB (decibels) can damage your hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes each week. However lower levels – 85dB to 90dB – can also cause permanent damage if you’re exposed to them for hours every day. For example, a chainsaw is 115-120dB and a forklift truck is 90dB.
Keep to the 60:60 rule
If you listen to music – especially with headphones – try to keep the volume under 89dB and reduce the length of time you listen to it. As a guideline, stick to the 60:60 rule – 60% of your device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
Invest in quality headphones
Pay the difference and buy noise-cancelling headphones for your mobile device, so you don’t have to turn your music or podcast up to hear it over background sounds.
Plug your ears
When clubs and live music events return, invest in high quality ear protectors or earplugs which enable you to hear the music without damaging your hearing. It takes at least 16 hours of quiet time for your ears to recover from two hours in 100dB sound.
Turn the TV down
Take heed if friends and family tell you the TV is turned up too loudly. It could mean that you are already in the early stages of hearing loss and should get your hearing checked.
Take care cleaning your ears
It’s very easy to damage the delicate inner ear so putting fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissues into your ears could harm your hearing.
If you are concerned about your hearing please call into your nearest branch for advice. We recommend an annual hearing health check for anyone over 50 to identify any changes and see what action is needed.
We provide a free NHS hearing service for people who are eligible and have been referred by their GP.