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Preventing hearing loss

While it can be easy to take your hearing for granted, it is one of your most valuable senses. Being able to hear clearly makes it possible for you to communicate, build relationships and unite with your friends and loved ones. Learn what you can do to protect this precious sense.

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3 simple rules to help prevent hearing loss

While age-related hearing loss cannot be prevented, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.
There are a few simple rules you can follow to help protect your hearing health, regardless of your age.

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1. Protect your ears
If you must be in noisy environments, wear ear protection – no matter if you are home, at work, or at a concert.
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2. Follow the 60/60 rule
When you listen to music, do not exceed 60% of your device’s maximum volume for more than 60 minutes a day.
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3. Take a break
As well as wearing ear protection, take regular breaks when attending concerts or festivals where the sound levels are much higher than normal.

How loud is too loud?

Sounds are considered harmful when they exceed 85 dB SPL, which is similar to the loudness of heavy traffic. Sound levels can soar to harmful levels in our everyday lives more often than you might think. Here are some noise comparisons (in dB SPL) for reference to help you limit your exposure to loud noises and thereby prevent hearing loss:

  • Normal conversation: 60 dB
  • Busy street: 75-85 dB
  • Lawn mower: 90 dB
  • Chainsaw: 100-120 dB
  • Heavy truck at seven meters' distance: 100 dB
  • Loud music playing on a smartphone: 112 dB
  • Loud car horn: 110 dB
  • Rock concert: 120 dB
  • Ambulance siren: 120 dB
  • Jet engine: 140 dB
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How to prevent hearing loss from getting worse

Do you suspect that you already have some degree of hearing loss?
It is important to seek help as soon as possible since hearing loss can deteriorate over time. We recommend that you book a free hearing test when you recognize the early signs in order to help reduce the risks of unmanaged hearing loss.

When to seek help

Protect your hearing in loud environments

You can protect your hearing by limiting your exposure to loud sound environments - or by wearing hearing protection (such as ear plugs or earmuffs) when you know you'll be exposed to loud sounds.

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1. Loud background noise
Any environment where you need to shout to make yourself heard over background noise
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2. Industrial noise
An environment where the noise hurts your ears or makes them ring
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3. Live music
Concerts or festivals where the sound levels are much higher than normal
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Loud noise and tinnitus

The most common cause of tinnitus is due to loud noise that damages the sensory hair cells in the cochlea (a shell-like organ in the inner ear where sounds are converted into electrical signals). Damage to the hair cells in our ear can cause both tinnitus and hearing loss.

Some people with tinnitus may also experience some degree of hearing loss, but many tinnitus sufferers are not aware that their hearing may be suffering too.

Tinnitus
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