According to the 2020 data from World Health Organization, around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss. Sad to say, 34 million of these are children. Sixty percent of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.
We can’t always prevent hearing loss because sometimes it’s just part of getting older. However, hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises is completely avoidable. There are some simple things you can do to help stop loud noises from permanently damaging your hearing, no matter how old you are.
That’s why during “Deafness Awareness Week”, we from Village Pipol would like to share five practical ways to prevent hearing loss:
Avoid staying long in places with loud noises
This is the best tip we can give to prevent hearing loss due to noise pollution. Basically, noise is damaging enough if you have to raise your voice to converse with others. Likewise, you can’t also hear what people nearby are saying. It’s also alarming if the noise already hurt your ears or you feel a ringing sensation. NHS said that any sound over 85 decibels can be harmful.
Be careful when listening to music
One of the biggest risks to your hearing is playing loud music through earphones and headphones. If you’re using a noise-canceling audio device, do not crank the volume up to drown the ambient noise. And even it’s tempting, avoid turning the volume more than 60 percent of its capacity. There are smartphones that automatically sets the volume to a comfortable level and pop up a warning if you go beyond that.
Take a break for at least 5 minutes every hour if you often use earphones for work, study, or leisure.
Protect your hearing during loud events and activities
To take your hearing during loud activities and events such as at nightclubs, gigs, or sports events, you can stay away from the sources like loudspeakers or boom box. After the loud event, give your ears 18 hours of peace and rest to recover.
Practice safety measure at work
If you’re exposed to loud noises through your work, you can talk to your human resources (HR) department or manager. In this way, the employer may provide you protection like ear muffs or earplugs. He/she can also allow you to switch to quieter equipment if possible.
Get your hearing checked by a professional
Have a consultation or test as soon as you can, especially if there’s a worry about losing it. The earlier [hearing] loss is diagnosed, the earlier something can be done about it. You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks like once a year if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
What other tips you can suggest for avoiding loss of hearing?
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.