Ears are perfectly formed to capture sound, but the incredible efficiency of their design means they can sometimes capture too much.
This can become a major problem, actually damaging your hearing and leading to permanent hearing loss. Tiny hairs within the ear are flattened when they come into contact with loud noises and if they fail to ‘unflatten’ then hearing is affected.
So here are our top tips on how to keep your ears safe, and protect your hearing and avoid causing irreversible damage.
Use Ear Plugs
Ear plugs are incredibly useful when it comes to giving your ears extra protection, so they can be handy tools when you’re around loud noises.
Take regular breaks
If you work in an environment where loud noise is the norm (e.g construction) it is important to give your hearing an opportunity to ‘reset’. Just 10 minutes away from loud noise will have the desired effect.
Turn It Down!
If you enjoy listening to music, make sure you don’t have things turned up to 11. If you wear headphones and cannot hear anything other than your music, it is too loud. Likewise, if you wear headphones and other people can hear your tunes, it is too loud. A good rule of thumb is the ’60:60 rule’. This means using only 60 percent of your music device’s volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
Headphones, particularly noise cancelling headphones, are much better than ear buds when it comes to protecting your hearing. They drown out background noise more effectively allowing you to keep the volume relatively low. Again, take regular breaks, even when using noise cancelling headphones.
Use PPE where necessary
PPE (personal protective equipment including ear defenders) help to reduce noise. Use of this type of protection is especially important if using power tools such as drills or sanders.
Make people aware of a noise issue
If you find that your working environment is too noisy, speak to your boss or the HR department and ask how best to combat the problem. It may be they were unaware of the issue.