Reducing The Risk Of Suffering Hearing Loss
Action on Hearing Loss estimates that around 1 in 10 adults in the UK experience hearing loss to a degree that they would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Hearing is such a precious sense and while sometimes, it is impossible to prevent hearing loss from occurring, there are often steps that can be taken to protect your hearing and reduce the risk of suffering hearing loss. Many of us would admit that we take our hearing fro granted and it’s never too early to think about your ears and adjust your day to day life to reduce your risk of losing your hearing. Here are some top tips to help you protect your hearing for as long as possible:
Test your hearing: even if you think that you have perfect hearing and you haven’t experienced any problems related to your ability to hear, it’s still a really good idea to test your hearing on a regular basis, as changes may be gradual and hard to detect. Action on Hearing Loss offers a short, simple and quick online hearing test, which may help to determine if you have problems; although the test cannot diagnose issues with hearing, it may help you to decide whether you need to have further tests.
Take action: it can be easy to ignore hearing problems, but it’s always best to act early. If you start to notice that your hearing isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be, you find yourself turning up the TV or radio constantly or you’re struggling to hear people in conversations or over the telephone, it’s advisable to book a hearing test or see your GP. If you are having issues with your hearing, tests can be carried out to determine a cause and a plan of action, which will help you to hear more clearly going forward.
Protect your ears: your ears are designed to capture and convert sounds so that you can hear them, but there are factors, which increase the risk of damage to your ears, which may affect your hearing. One of the main dangers is exposure to loud noises on a frequent or prolonged basis. If you work in a noisy environment, your job carries a risk of industrial hearing loss or you listen to very loud music, your hearing may suffer.
If your job carries a risk of hearing loss, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your hearing while you work. Examples of jobs, which may expose you to an elevated risk of hearing loss include:
- building and construction
- working in agriculture
- music production and DJ’ing
- working in events
If you are at risk, it is important to follow health and safety guidelines, which should legally be enforced by your employer, such as wearing ear defenders.
You should also take care when listening to music at home, going to nightclubs, festivals or other music events or using a portable music player; if you listen to music too loudly, this can cause permanent damage to your ears. Listen to music at a low volume, especially if you are using headphones; generally speaking, if the music can be heard by people around you, the volume is too high and you could be damaging your ears.
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