Untreated hearing loss has been linked to serious health problems such as depression, elevated heart pressure, stroke, and an increased risk of dementia.
It’s estimated that 3 million Australians have some degree of hearing loss, but many are suffering in silence.
The most common barriers to better hearing are proximity to care providers and the excessive cost of most good quality hearing aids. I founded Blamey Saunders hears with Professor Peter Blamey to reduce these barriers.
I’ve put together a list of things you can do to protect and improve your hearing health.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noise
Hearing hazards are everywhere. The sound of lawn mowers, loud restaurants, and the daily train travel can wreak havoc on your hearing. Studies have shown that even thin-faced titanium golf clubs produce noise loud enough to damage your ears.
Damage can be accumulative or occur from one time exposure to excessively loud sound. As a general rule, the higher the noise level, the shorter the length of time your ears can tolerate the strain.
It’s not always possible to avoid loud noise altogether, but you can limit your exposure. Giving your ears a break is as simple as walking away from the sound source for at least ten minutes.
2. Use hearing protection
Consider using good quality ear protection when you know you’re going to be around loud sound.
Customised ear plugs offer the best protection, and can be ordered through most hearing clinics. You can purchase plugs designed to filter out excessive loud noise without drowning out normal environmental sounds.
3. Turn the volume down
If you need to raise your voice to be heard over a noise source, it’s probably doing you damage. Be kind to your ears; drop the volume of your personal music player, radio or TV to a safe enjoyable level.
4. Practice safe ear hygiene
- Don’t dry wet ears by poking anything into your ear canals. Tissues should be safe, or you can gently dry around your ears with a towel or use a hair dryer on the lowest setting.
- Treat respiratory tract infections and allergies quickly to reduce your risk of ear infection.
- Think twice about flying with sinus problems. A burst ear drum is very painful and can lead to lasting balance and hearing problems.
5. Get regular hearing check ups
Identifying a hearing problem is the first step to finding a long term solution. Getting a hearing test is your best first step. Please don’t be one of the many people who ignore their hearing problem for the better part of seven years, risking serious health consequences.
Blamey Saunders’ Melbourne and Sydney based clinicians can help identify any hearing difficulties you might have, and work with you to find a customised solution.
You can make a booking online, or call us on 1300 443 279.
We’ve also made our clinically-validated Speech Perception hearing test available for free online. It’s designed to give you an accurate report of the real-world speech sounds you can and can’t hear. Take it now!