Have you ever thought about protecting your ears? No? You are certainly not alone in this. Often we don’t even think about the effects that everyday noises can have on our hearing. Not only can constant noise cause hearing loss, but it can also pose many other health risks. Learn more about the effects of noise and how you can best protect your hearing.
Why should I protect my hearing?
Unlike the eye, which can close its lid in a flash, hearing cannot protect itself from noise. We cannot consciously close our ears or turn them off for a moment.
They are always receptive to tones, sounds – and noise. Accordingly, regular or acute exposure to high levels of noise can cause the hair cells inside the ear to suffer and even die. In the worst case, this can lead to hearing loss.
So, in order for us to continue to enjoy the full spectrum of sound in life, we need to do something to protect our most important sense. If not, at some point we will no longer be able to rely on it – whether in conversations or in dangerous situations.
What are the health effects of high noise exposure?
We are often unaware that our hearing is at risk in many situations in everyday life: music that is too loud in discos, concerts, or noise from DIY work can quickly lead to hearing loss, even in young people.
Even constant noise, such as on the main road, with volume values around 80 decibels, is already in the risk range and can put a strain on hearing in the long term. In addition to noise-induced hearing loss, which affects more and more people, loud noises can also lead to tinnitus or acoustic trauma.
However, constant noise not only affects our ears but our entire body. Because every disturbing noise puts the human body on alert. This leads to the release of stress hormones, faster heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and increased breathing rate.
Other consequences of noise pollution can include concentration problems, impaired performance, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and even cardiovascular disease.
With the right hearing protection, you can effectively prevent hearing damage and other health risks.
How can I easily protect my hearing?
To avoid hearing loss, there are a few tips you should follow to protect your hearing. They are easy to apply and will help reduce your ears’ exposure to harmful noise so you can continue to enjoy flawless hearing:
Move away from the source!
Pay attention to how long you are exposed to loud noises and try to take regular breaks of about 15 minutes to give your ears a rest.
Avoid loud situations!
If you have to raise your voice to be heard, it is likely that you are in a situation that is dangerous to your hearing.
Turn it down.
Radio, TV, MP3 player: make sure they don’t exceed a certain volume level, rather turn it down.
Reduce the number of parallel noise sources. Having conversations, listening to music on the computer, and running electrical devices at the same time is stressful for the ears.
Buy quiet appliances!
Washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator: When buying electrical appliances, pay attention to the decibel rating: The smaller the number, the quieter and therefore the better for your hearing.
Wear ear protection!
When performing loud household or recreational activities, such as mowing the lawn or sawing wood, be sure to wear hearing protection. A circular saw can reach 110 dB – that’s just below the pain threshold! If you regularly attend concerts or are a musician, it’s worth investing in custom hearing protection for musicians. Avoid standing directly in front of a loudspeaker or amplifier.
Protect your hearing!
If you can’t avoid a loud situation, protect your ears with professional hearing protection.
Cover your ears!
What is a reflex with children, adults should remind themselves: In acute noise situations, press your hands firmly over your ears and move away from the noise source.
Have your hearing checked every two years, especially if you have noticed a change in your hearing. Your ENT doctor or hearing care professional can give you more tips on how to protect your hearing.