Sometimes, our habits and favourite hobbies can cause serious damage to our ears on a daily basis. Here's 6 simple ways to help you prevent hearing loss.
It's important to remember that live music environments can cause significant damage to your hearing. The number of musicians and celebrities who now suffer from hearing loss or similar conditions such as tinnitus is no random occurrence. Powerful sound systems used at large music and sporting events are designed to reach thousands and can cause harm to listeners' ears. One easy way to reduce harm in such environments is to use earplugs.
Disposable earplugs are easy to find and very affordable - you can find them at most pharmacies and grocers for spare change. If you're looking for reusable product which will ensure audio clarity and comfort, there are several high quality earplug options available. Such products have been specifically designed for live music environments, and allow you to enjoy a concert or nightclub environment whilst also protecting your ears. Worst case, just block your ears like so:
2. Limit exposure and take breaks
Like most things in life, prolonged exposure to sound is best in moderation. Whether you're at a gig or simply listening to music on your own, it's important to give your ears a break. Prolonged exposure to noisy environments and loud sounds can be damage to your hearing. If you're listening through headphones, take a break every hour or so, and if you're at a concert or festival, take a few minutes to get some air and let your ears relax.
3. Volume limits
If you're listening to music through headphones on a mobile device, you can set volume limits which will ensure that you never listen over a certain level. When listening in crowded out environments such as the gym, train or bus, it's a common response to turn up the volume in an attempt to drown out the surrounding environment. In doing so, we often risk causing harm to our ears. Volume limits eliminate this risk by restricting the maximum volume available on a device. Take a look at how to limit your volume on your Apple or Android devices here.
4. Keep a distance from the speakers
If you're at a concert or in a nightclub, it's always best to keep a distance between yourself and the speakers. Keeping a distance is useful for two key reasons. Not only does it help to reduce the harm caused by exposure to loud sounds, but it will also lead to a more pleasurable listening experience. For those of us who've attended a gig and had the misfourtune of standing right by the speakers, you'll know that the quality of audio in these spots is often muffled and distorted. Avoid this by standing at a distance from the speakers where the acoustics are better, and your ears will thank you!
5. Noise-cancelling headphones
Commonly, people will increase the volume in their headphones to drown out surrounding noise. Noise-cancelling headphones negate the need to do this, as they already block out a large amount of the external noise, meaning that you're more likely to listen at a lower volume. As we know, less volume means less chance of damage to your ears. However, when using noise-cancelling headphones, it's important to remain aware of your surroundings, especially as a pedestrian.
Noise-cancelling headphones range in price depending on brand and quality among other factors, however are attainable under almost any budget.
6. Regular Check-Ups
If you're concerned about your hearing loss and are keen to keep an eye on things, be sure to make regular visits to a professional who can provide a better assessment of the state of your hearing on an ongoing basis. Especially if you're experiencing pain or suspect any damage from recent exposure following a loud event, it's best to go and have a chat to a health professional.