World Hearing Day is on 3 March 2022. This year’s theme is to hear for life, listen with care! It focuses on the importance of safe listening as a means of maintaining good hearing across people’s lives.
What is safe listening?
If you look after your ears, you’re more likely to have good hearing throughout your life. Listening safely can prevent hearing loss; read on to discover five ways to achieve this.
In 2021, WHO (World Health Organisation) launched the World report on hearing. The report highlighted the increasing number of people that live with and are at risk of hearing loss. Noise control was identified as one of the seven key hearing interventions. It also stressed the importance of reducing exposure to loud sounds.
Ways to prevent hearing loss
Aging can cause hearing loss but a reduction in hearing due to loud noise exposure can be avoided.
1. Avoid loud noises
This may seem obvious but avoiding loud noises does prevent hearing loss. How do you know if a noise is loud enough to damage your hearing? A noise is loud enough to damage your hearing if you must raise your voice to talk to others, it hurts your ears, you can’t hear what people close to you are saying or after exposure to the noise you have ringing in your ears or muffled hearing.
2. Take care when listening to music
Do not listen to music at more than 60% of the maximum volume because listening to loud music through earphones and/or headphones is one of the biggest threats to your hearing. Using noise-cancelling earphone or headphones also prevents you from turning up the volume to block out background noise. If you listen to music for more than an hour at a time, make sure to take a break for at least five minutes every hour.
3. Protect your hearing during loud events and activities
If you go to a nightclub or concert, it’s important to move away from the source of the loud noise, like speakers. While at the event, try wearing earplugs that reduce the volume but don’t muffle the sounds. After exposure to lots of loud noise, give your ears about 18 hours to recover.
4. Take precautions at work
Sometimes exposure to loud noise is unavoidable, especially if you’re exposed to loud noises through your work. However, your employer is obliged to make changes to reduce your exposure to loud noise by providing hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs. You could also request they switch to quieter equipment.
5. Get your hearing tested
Having your hearing checked once a year is a good idea if you’re at higher risk of hearing loss due to loud noise exposure. For more information on World Hearing Day, visit World Hearing Day 2022
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Published on 03 March 2022