Loud noise is a potent cause of permanent hearing loss. Loudness level and duration of noise are directly related to the damage it does to the ear. Furthermore, it is not only the ear that the loud noise affects. Regular loud noise is also known to cause chronic stress, heart problems and tinnitus-all of which can have a huge effect on your personal and professional life.
Sources of loud noise:
1. Occupational noise: If you work in a particularly noisy industry, whether that involves music, DIY or building work-you need to think about the risk of permanent hearing loss due to loud noises.
2. Recreational noise: Loud music through ear phones is a potential cause of permanent hearing loss. In fact, various independent studies done on thousands of teenagers in Europe and America have shown that persons listening to loud music through a portable music device (iPod, iPhone or android phone etc.) had worst hearing than their peers.
3. Other sources: Sometime your surrounding is too loud because of where you live e.g. if you live in close proximity of a train station, airport, a major road or even a building site- loudness level in your house can be exceeding the acceptable level. A study by a researcher in University College of London showed that people who travel in London tube for more than 30 minutes- can develop at least a temporary hearing loss in one travel.
One other rather common source of loud noise is a snoring partner. Research has shown that snoring noise can exceed the acceptable level easily (especially because the source of the noise is just next to you). If you are exposed to this level of noise for few hours in the night, every night- it can potentially cause symptoms such as hearing issues, stress, sleep deprivation, and other bodily issues.
Prevention is the best cure for noise induced issues. If you can minimise your exposure to loud noise- that is the best solution. If you cannot- it is imperative that you use protection and caution.
The range includes from the small ear plugs that you can get in a supermarket, which are definitely better than nothing. You can get special ear defenders, which resemble big headphones (please contact us for more information on suitability and price). Perhaps the best form of ear protection are customised ear plugs. These are made by taking an impression of your ear with a silicon putty. The putty is syringed into your ear by the audiologist, which settles in about three minutes to give us the exact ‘negative’ of your ear. This negative is then sent to a lab who will put it in plaster of paris-to get a positive out of it. Appropriate mould material is then poured into the positive to make you the right ear plug. Ear plugs come in different models depending on your individual noise exposure
You can have different customised ear plugs for following industries:
– Music industry (singers/musicians)
(you can have musician’s ear plugs, which let you hear your own voice or instrument perfectly well but selectively attenuate the very loud noises that are harmful for your ear and your body)
– Aviation etc
– Sleeping plugs
(It is amazing how little things like sleeping plugs can help your relationship. We have case studies where partners who were stressed and slept in different rooms due to issues with snoring, got back together after the prescription of sleeping plugs. One such happy client of ours likes to call them -back-in-the-bed-with-your-partner plugs!)
Sleeping plugs are special ear sleeves for people whose partners snore at night. Sleep is absolutely vital for your health and well being. Most people do not have much of an option to cure their snoring. Therefore, if your partner’s snoring has really been bothering you-you no longer need to struggle with your sleep due to that. There is some budding evidence that exposing yourself to loud snoring noise can even give you a permanent hearing loss and possibly tinnitus. So, if you want to do something about it-ear sleeves are the best solution!
The ear sleeves are easy to use, comfortable and customised ear plugs for dampening the snoring noise.
Swim plugs- splash in the water with confidence!
If you are prone to get ear infection and/or dry skin in the ear after jumping into the ‘treated’ water of the swimming pool, we can make you an ear plug, which will help you keep your ear completely dry. Some people wear the swim plugs during bath/shower also, especially if they have hole in their ear drum/s or infection in the ear.
Customised ear phones- keeps your ear phones in!
If you like listening to iPod while jogging and in the gym (never too loud though!)- you will know how it is a trouble to make sure the phones stay in your ear. Customised ear phones are ideal solution to this. We can make you special plugs with fitted phones-that will fit perfectly well in your ear. This helps in:
– preventing the earphones slipping out of the ear
– reducing the ambient noise around you (noise cancellation kind of effect)
– and keeping the bass intact in your music (bass or the low frequencies in music can easily escape from your ear when it is not completely blocked)
A note on music from personal listening devices
Loud music from personal ear phones or loudspeaker, can be very harmful for the ear. Various European and American studies have shown irreversible changes in teenagers’ hearing who listened to loud music for everyday via their iPod etc. Loud noises cause a permanent ear damage. The slightly more alarming part that we do not usually realise is that they cause permanent changes in the chemical composition of nerve cell causing a wide range of effects on the body. There is a strong body of evidence suggesting that loud noises affect the brain, heart, stress level and general wellness.
Most clinicians will suggest that you do not increase the level of the volume in your device above 60%. However, in noisy situations (in trains, buses and other public places) with 60% volume, you will not hear music properly. Therefore, noise cancelling headphones are a good option. They will not only cup the ears and cut off some of the noise but also, digital noise cancellation will reduce some amount of noise from the surrounding too. Headphones are better than ear phones, unless you get specially customised ear phones made from your ear impression-covering the whole of the ear from the noise.
Also, as a rule of thumb, if the person standing next to you can hear the song that you are playing in your ear via the earphone- it is too loud for you. If you listen to music via earphones every day, try this:
6 Steps to save your hearing from loud music:
Step 1: Go in the quietest area of the house
Step 2: Put the music app on your device and plug the ear phones in your ears
Step 3: Set the volume to a comfortable level that is acceptable to you
Step 4: Ask a normal hearing person in the house, if they can hear the song you are playing from 2 feet
Step 5: If they can-reduce the volume and follow step 4. If they can’t-
Step 6. Lock the volume level of your device to this level.
The temptation will be to increase the volume in noisy environment (bus, train, tubes etc.). That is what you have to get used to if you really want protect your hearing and wellness.