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As a society we do not do enough to protect our ears from loud noises. You need to take extra care to protect your hearing because noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible. And this is not just aimed at older people! We are all at risk! Luckily, there are many inexpensive ways for you to protect your hearing.

Hearing protection that closes the auditory canal

There are a few simple things you can do to help stop loud noises from permanently damaging your hearing, no matter how old you are. You can protect your hearing with the following:

  • Earplugs
  • Earplugs with frames
  • Earmuffs
  • Wadding
  • Custom Ear moulds

Hearing loss can’t always be prevented – sometimes it’s just part of getting older. But hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises is completely avoidable.

How are noise levels measured?

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the number, the louder the noise. Any sound over 85dB is harmful, especially for long periods of time.
Here is quick guide to indicate how loud certain noises are:

  • whispering is more or less 30dB
  • conversation should be about 60dB
  • busy traffic is between 70 to 85dB
  • motorbike is 90dB
  • listening to music on full volume through headphones is between 100 to 110dB
  • plane taking off is 120dB

You get smartphone apps that measure noise levels, but make sure they’re calibrated properly for an accurate reading.

How does it work when your hearing gets damaged?

There are lots of tiny fibres inside your ear that help you hear. Over time, loud noise can damage these fibres and once they are damaged, they cannot ever be fixed. Therefore, we are so serious about you protecting your hearing. Therefore, the time to start is now !

Warning signs of hearing loss

For the most part not a lot of people experience warning signs such as pain or ringing in your ears until their hearing is already damaged. Do not just think your ears can get used to the noise, because that is not true! You are already in trouble if loud noises do not bother you as much as they used to. Strauss Audiology can assist with hearing evaluations to determine your hearing ability.

Is there a way to know if noise is hurting your hearing?

Firstly, if the noise is so much that you need to talk extra loud to your friends when they are still fairly close to you, it’s probably hurting your hearing. Secondly, bring out the earplugs or go somewhere quieter! You do not have to feel embarrassed about it!

Hearing is delicate and prone to damage, even from everyday activities and environments. Whatever level of hearing you have it is crucial to do everything you can to preserve it.

Manage the sound environment at your home
  • Familiarise yourself with the decibel levels of common everyday activities such as mowing the lawn or blow drying your hair.
  • Optimise your house to absorb sound such as soft furnishings, carpets and curtains.
  • If you enjoy doing some DIY projects, be aware of the noise levels of power tools such as drills, hammers, circular saws etc. It is important to protect your hearing with either earplugs or ear defenders.
  • If you’re an avid gardener you need to be mindful of the noisy equipment such as mowers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. Also, be aware of debris or seeds that could land up in your ear canals and cause irritation and infection.
  • Be aware of your car noise. This affects how loud you turn up the radio’s volume. Spend some time setting the balance of your speakers for the best listening environment.
Protect your ears when swimming

Avoid getting water into your ears if you swim regularly in cold water or rough seas by investing in custom swim plugs.
Ear care

  • Do not just poke anything in your ear canal – ever!
  • Ensure your GP is aware if you have hearing loss. It must be documented on your medical records. It is especially important to remember this when you are prescribed any medicines. Ask your GP to check that they are not ototoxic (toxic to the ear).
  • Let us at Strauss Audiology check your hearing annually. We work with you to keep your ears healthy and free of wax.
  • Be vigilant of any change in your hearing or existing tinnitus symptoms and ask us for advice if you have any concerns.

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance that you keep your hearing protected and visit an audiologist like us at Strauss Audiology regularly so that you know what to do should your hearing deteriorate.

About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 13 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.

Want your hearing tested? Need a solution for hearing loss?