Caring for your hearing
Our ears are made up of delicate, intricate structures which can make them susceptible to damage from everyday activities. However, there are simple measures you can take to make sure your ears are protected from any damage that may cause hearing loss.
While hearing can be damaged by certain drugs, diseases and injuries, by far the biggest culprit is noise. In fact, many Australians have experienced some form of noise damage to their ears.
Yet, damage from noise may be preventable.
Have a think about situations where you may be exposed to high noise levels. Depending on your lifestyle this could be in the workplace, at home or in your leisure time. It is important to minimise exposure as far as you can.
Noise in the workplace
If you work in a noisy environment, such as a construction site where loud machinery is used, equipment such as ear plugs or ear muffs should be readily available for you to use. If you don’t have access to them speak to your occupational health and safety officer. Remember it is both the responsibility of the employer and the employee to keep you safe.
Loud music is a common culprit for noise damage, such as attending concerts and listening to music, particularly through headphones with the volume set high. Always be conscious to set music at a moderate level and try to avoid using music to drown out other noises. For loud concerts, it is a good idea to use earplugs or other hearing protection. While standard earplugs will work well, special earplugs also exist which can lower the volume of music without impacting on its quality.
It is important to take regular breaks from noise and this could mean stopping work for a while or moving to another area. Protecting your hearing should be a priority.
Solvents and toxins
The risk of hearing damage also increases if you are exposed to certain solvents and toxins, as well as if you are taking certain drugs so always speak to your health professional about this.
Caring for your ears
Another important factor in preventing hearing loss is to ensure your ears are kept clean. Ears are mostly self-cleaning so will generally look after themselves, but you can avoid infections by not swimming in dirty water and by treating infections in other areas around the upper respiratory tract so they don’t spread to the ear.
Never try to clean ears by poking anything into the canals. Ear wax is a normal part of your ears’ cleaning process but if you feel there is a blockage, always consult a health professional rather than trying to treat it yourself.
Taking these simple steps will help protect your delicate ears, preventing damage and the common causes of hearing loss.
For more advice, talk to one of our trusted hearing clinician today.