While most people don’t realise it, noise can be incredibly dangerous. If you use your ears for work or pleasure (we’d be surprised if you don’t), you need to make sure that you protect your hearing from damage. But if you’ve gone through life without wearing ear protectors and still have your hearing, intact and free from any issues, you might be wondering why you need to bother. Here’s why.
Situations are louder than you think
We tend to underestimate just how loud sources of noise are – and their dangerous effects in kind. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention spending time in loud entertainment venues (around 105-110 decibels) can cause hearing loss in as little as five minutes. Even using petrol-powered garden equipment (80-85 decibels) can cause damage within two hours.
Normal conversations clock in at around 60 decibels, so as you can see, the danger can ramp up much quicker than you expect.
Your hearing is fragile
The human ear is an incredibly complex system of sensing organs, miniscule bones, and delicate membranes. When it is exposed to even fairly excessive levels of noise, these systems are put under intense stress and can become damaged very easily. What’s more, as you age, their condition will naturally deteriorate further. If already damaged, this can mean much worse age-related hearing loss in later life.
It cannot be fixed
In today’s age of amazing medical advancement, it can be easy to think that the hearing system is like any other – just take some pills, visit a specialist, and you’ll be fine.
Unfortunately, this – at present – is simply not the case. There are essentially no ways to restore hearing loss after it has been lost, and while using a hearing aid can restore some function, it will be worse quality than your original, natural hearing. You may even be afflicted by tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ears) which also cannot be fixed, and can be a source of constant anxiety or depression.
How to protect your hearing
Due to all these dangers, it’s crucial that you opt for hearing protection when you are in situations which might damage your hearing. If you spend lots of time in a loud workplace like a building site, be sure to opt for ear defenders when in the loud environment.
When going out with friends to nightclubs, gigs, and festivals, invest in a pair of quality noise-reduction ear defenders. And even if you don’t expect to run into excessive noise, keeping a pair of foam ear protectors in your pocket can keep you safe.
Protecting you hearing is crucial, whoever you are and whatever you do in life, and ear defenders of all types are key to doing this. Which do you use? Let us know in the comments section.