Around this time each year we’re bombarded with Sun Smart campaigns and Play It Safe By The Water ads, and rightly so, but no one says a word about being ‘Hear Healthy’.
Summer is an especially hazardous time for hearing health; we’ve got the mower and the power tools out, we’re traipsing about on motorised recreational vehicles (like jet-skies and motorbikes), we go to concerts and outdoor festivals likely to have fireworks. Some of us are even target shooting. Rather than restricting ourselves of these essential Summer activities, there are measures we can take to reduce their impact on our ears:
– Use ear plugs. Disposable ear plugs are available at most pharmacies. Customised versions ensure superior protection. The right ear plugs are not counter-intuitive to music events (see here).
– Limit the amount of time you spend in a loud environment. For every hour of loud sound you’re exposed to it’s good to allow yourself at least ten minutes of complete quiet.
– Maintain a safe distance from the source of loud sound. Leave the fireworks to the professionals!
– Turn it down! Your music is too loud if you can’t clearly understand someone talking at a normal level from an arm’s length away.
– Avoid swimmer’s/surfer’s ear by wearing swimming ear plugs and/or a neoprene hood or swimmer’s cap. Always drain your ears thoroughly after water immersion.
So, go forth and enjoy this wonderful weather – just not at the expense of your hearing.