Did you know that the lifestyle you lead could be contributing to hearing loss? It isn’t just listening to loud music with headphones that can cause problems for your ears. Many people are discovering they now require hearing aids because of certain lifestyle choices they’ve made. If you are having trouble with your hearing, click here to take a quick interactive test and see if you can correctly identify different sounds.
Noisy social environments largely to blame
According to the Guardian, noisy environments are largely to blame for hearing problems later in life. Young people are constantly surrounded by a lot of noise these days. Festival goers and those who attend regular parties with loud music are particularly at risk of damaging their inner ear.
Have you ever noticed a ringing in your ears or that your hearing is muffled after being in a loud environment? This can last several days and it is a sign that the hair cells within the inner ear have been damaged. While it does typically wear off in a few hours, if you regularly expose your ears to loud music, the effects can be long term.
A good way to protect the ears while going to a festival or party is to wear ear plugs. They cancel out a lot of the noise, yet still enable you to hear the music. The trouble is, once damage has been done to the inner ear, it cannot be reversed. Therefore it is definitely worth taking precautions to prevent damage in the first place.
Workplace noise also causes problems
Many workplaces pose a health and safety risk to workers in terms of noise pollution. Those most affected include mining, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and transport workers. If you work in an environment where you need to raise your voice to talk to those around you, your hearing could be suffering if you don’t use adequate protection. National Acoustic Laboratories has some excellent information on how to reduce workplace noise.
Lifestyle noise damage
As well as social environments and workplace noise, some leisure activities you partake in can also cause damage to the inner ear. Some activities that could be putting you at risk include shooting, motorbike riding and the frequent use of power tools. Shooting can be particularly bad for your hearing as it can cause instantaneous damage.
Before your ears suffer damage, it would be a good idea to look at noise reduction techniques. Are there any ways you can lower your exposure to the amount of noise you are faced with on a daily basis? Obviously turning your music down while listening with headphones on is a great start. However, the use of ear plugs and protective equipment should also be used if you work within a noisy environment. If your employer doesn’t supply adequate safety equipment it would be a good idea to invest in your own ear plugs.
Overall noise damage can be serious and the problems caused are irreversible. It is vital that you start to protect your hearing as early as possible as the signs of damage might not show for many years to come.