Hearing loss is common, and will affect about 90% of us in our lifetimes. Acting early can add to your life, and can help you communicate better with family and friends and enjoy social situations much more. Not all types of hearing loss can be prevented, but by following the advice below you may reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss:
- Don't have your television, radio or music on too loud.
If you can't have a comfortable conversation with someone who is two metres away from you, turn the volume down. You shouldn't have dull hearing or ringing in your ears after listening to music.
- Use headphones that block out more outside noise, rather turning up the volume. You can buy add-ons for your existing headphones that block out more outside noise.
- Use ear protection equipment such as ear muffs or ear plugs if you spend time in a noisy environment or at noisy events, for example a pub, nightclub, a garage workshop or on a building site.
- Don't insert objects into your ears. This includes fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissue.
- Be aware of the symptoms of common causes of hearing loss, such as ear infections and Ménière's disease (see www.nhs.uk)
- Visit your GP if you are experiencing hearing problems.