Top tips to prevent hearing loss

Post on 8th June 2015

There is no magic wand to cure hearing loss, so taking care of it is something each and every one of us should make a priority.

Hearing aid technology is improving all the time, but let’s face it prevention is the best option. More than half of people aged 60 and over are affected by hearing loss, and nearly 10 million people of all ages across the UK have varying degrees of hearing loss.

So here’s a six step hearing care guide:

1. Noisy workplace

If you work in a noisy environment – such as construction, manufacturing or a music venue – your employer should make sure that you have hearing protection. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines state that noise levels above 150dB 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.

2. Keep to the 60:60 rule

If you listen to music – especially with headphones – try to keep the volume under 85dB 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.

3. 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.

4. Plug your ears

If you go to clubs or live music events, purchase 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.

5. Turn the TV down

If friends and family tell you the TV is turned up too loudly, then you should take heed. It could well mean that you are already in early stages of hearing loss and should get your hearing checked.

6. Avoid cotton buds

Although the most popular way of cleaning our ears, cotton buds are far from ideal as it’s very easy to damage the delicate inner ear.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care’s Hearing Aid Audiologist, Stuart Spencer, said: “Hearing loss is on the increase and affects people of all ages. Once damaged there is no miracle cure and yet people still ignore or trivialise what is a serious health condition. If ignored it can lead to reduced employment opportunities, social Isolation and there is growing evidence of increased risks of dementia. By taking these simple measures we can enjoy good hearing for longer.”

If you think you suffer from hearing loss or have not had your hearing checked please visit your nearest Scrivens branch for a free consultation and test.