Worried your hearing isn’t quite what it used to be? Although you may pretend you just have selective hearing, chances are you may actually be experiencing some hearing loss. We gather some tips and tell you what you need to know and what you can do to minimize your hearing loss.
Although genetics, aging and injury can all affect a person’s risk of hearing loss, studies show that 23% of all men and women suffer from some sort of hearing loss and 60% of those adults are men. Why? Because men tend to have louder hobbies than women, such as car racing, and using power tools. Men also tend to have louder jobs (construction worker, mechanic etc).
So how does hearing loss happen?
When you are exposed to louder frequencies over a longer period of time, you lose the sensory cells in your ears that transmit information to the brain. The first sign of hearing loss is when you are unable to hear higher frequencies. Asking a female to repeat what she said, or turning up the TV louder is an indication that you may be suffering some loss of hearing.
So what can you do?
Lower the volume
Turn down your blaring iPod or blasting TV and listen to these devices at a lower level. Chances are you have done enough damage to your hearing in your younger days by standing close to the speaker at your favourite concert or turning up your radio to drown out the sound of your younger sister’s voice. So do yourself a favour and give your ears a break. If you MUST listen to your music on full volume, at least try to cut back to maybe once a week or once a month instead of listening to music at the same volume every day.
Don’t be afraid to wear noise cancelling headphones or earplugs when you are in loud places. Wearing them may not be the most appealing thing to you, especially if you are in public, but your ears will thank you in the long run.
Studies show that smoking tobacco can actually increase your chances of hearing loss as it prevents proper blood flow to important hearing vessels in your ear. The same works for second-hand smoke, so ask your smoker friends to butt out when you are around or leave smokey-filled areas.