How to Protect your Hearing – by Christine Pitts

A recent article in our local newspaper, Bournemouth Echo, said that there are around nine million people in the UK suffering from some degree of hearing loss, the majority of those being older people.  However the charity: ‘Action on Hearing Loss’, believe there are around four million young people at risk of damaging their hearing due to listening to loud music and they need to learn how to protect their hearing.  Regular and repeated exposure to loud noise can damage the 15,000 auditory hair cells in our ears which are unable to re-grow so once they are gone so is our hearing.

Those of us who are older understand the difficulties and frustrations hearing loss brings and so we are in a good position to teach younger people how to look after their hearing.  Some suggestions are:  try to avoid loud noise or   make sure you are not exposed to it for long periods of time; if going to a noisy nightclub or concert take a break from time to time by either going to a quieter place for a while or wearing ear plugs, high energy dance music with lots of beats affects your hearing; vary what you listen to and make sure you give your ears plenty of resting time; where there is a lot of background noise use ear plugs; in very noisy places use noise cancelling headphones which fit over the ears and are more comfortable than ear plugs and block out most noise.