Is your hearing as good as you think?
Posted on Jun 1, 2017
An estimated one in four Australians are affected by hearing loss1 – could you be one of them?
While this may seem like a strange question to ask, new research suggests that many people may not even realise they have hearing loss. Here's what you should know.
Hearing loss a subtle change
A new US study has found that as many as 25 per cent of adults who believe they have good to excellent hearing in fact already have some form of hearing damage2.
This comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also found that just over half of the people with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) don't work in a noisy environment2.
It's a discovery that has a number of interesting implications, particularly as many people who don't have a noisy occupation may not realise that they are at risk of NIHL.
Here in Australia, over a third of all hearing loss cases are caused by overexposure to noise3. As noted by the CDC, even everyday activities such as using a leaf blower or lawn mover at home or attending a sports event or music concert can lead to permanent damage2.
How can I protect myself from NIHL?
Noise-induced hearing loss is largely preventable. A few ways you can protect your hearing include2:
- Minimising your exposure to loud noise wherever possible
- Wearing appropriate ear protection (muffs/ear plugs) if you must be in a noisy environment
- Reducing the volume at which you listen to music and watch TV
- Use noise-cancelling headphones where possible
- Take listening breaks if you are listening to music for long periods of time
If you're not sure whether your hearing has changed, one of the safest ways to be sure is to see an audiologist. With a professional hearing test, you'll be able to learn about the state of your hearing, and find out what steps to take next.
To learn more, or for any queries about hearing loss, don't hesitate to reach out to your local HEARINGLife clinic. You can book your no cost* hearing check by clicking here, or give us a call on 1800 030 502.
1HCIA, About hearing loss. Accessed May, 2017.
2CDC, Non-occupational Noise-induced Hearing Loss. Accessed May, 2017.
3Department of Education and Training, Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Accessed May, 2017.