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Preventing hearing loss

It can be easy to take your hearing for granted, but it's one of your most valuable senses. Being able to hear clearly makes it possible for you to communicate, build relationships and connect with your friends and loved ones. Learn how to protect your hearing.

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3 simple rules for preventing 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 protect your hearing health as much as possible, whatever your age.

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1. Protect your ears
If you have to 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
Take regular breaks when attending concerts or festivals where the sound levels are much higher than normal.
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Self-assessment: Do I need a hearing test? 

Just answer the four questions below to see whether you should consider getting a hearing test.

Question 1 – Around the table
Do you have trouble following conversations when there are four or more people present?
Have your family or friends suggested that you get your hearing tested?
Do you ever struggle to understand what others are saying because you cannot hear them properly?
Do you find yourself turning up the TV or radio, even when the volume is loud enough for others?

Your Result:

You would benefit from a hearing test

Your answers indicate that you experience symptoms of hearing loss. We strongly recommend booking a hearing test in one of our clinics.

The result is an indication. An in-person hearing test can determine if you have a hearing loss.



Book your free hearing test:

Your Result:

It seems you’d benefit from a hearing test

Your answers indicate that you experience some symptoms of hearing loss. We recommend booking a hearing test in one of our clinics.

The result is an indication. An in-person hearing test can determine if you have a hearing loss.



Book your free hearing test:

Your Result:

It cannot be determined whether you’d benefit from a hearing test

Your answers do not indicate that you experience symptoms of hearing loss. However, if you experience trouble hearing, we recommend booking a hearing test in one of our clinics.

The result is an indication. An in-person hearing test can determine if you have a hearing loss.




Book your free hearing test:

How loud is too loud?

Sounds are considered harmful when they exceed 85 dB, 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 for reference to help you limit your exposure to loud noises and thereby prevent hearing loss:

  • Normal conversation: 60 dB
  • Busy street: 7585 dB
  • Lawnmower: 90 dB
  • Chainsaw: 100–120 dB
  • Heavy truck 7 m (23 feet) away: 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 think that you might already have some degree of hearing loss?
It's important to seek help as soon as possible since untreated hearing loss can deteriorate over time. We recommend booking a free hearing test when you recognise any early signs so you can reduce the risks of untreated hearing loss.

When to seek help

Protect your hearing in loud environments

You can protect your hearing by limiting your exposure to loud sounds – or by wearing hearing protection (like ear plugs or ear defenders) when you know you'll be exposed to them.

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

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 your ear can cause both tinnitus and hearing loss.

In fact, more than 80% of people with tinnitus also experience some degree of hearing loss, but many tinnitus sufferers are not aware that their hearing is suffering too.

Take the online tinnitus test Tinnitus

Sources

1. Beck D.L. (2012) British Academy of Audiology. Podium presentation.