Despite the amount of evidence showing that teenagers are increasingly at risk of NIHL, there are currently no safety regulations existing for recreational noise exposure. NIHL is 100% preventable and you can plant the seed for prevention by adopting some of the following suggestions:
- Turn the volume on your personal music player down to only 50% of its maximum volume. When listening through earphones, you should be able to hear someone talking one metre away from you.
- Move away from loud noises, including music speakers at a rock concert.
- Limit the time you are exposed to loud environments, such as nightclubs. Wear earplugs- No earplugs, no enter!! You might laugh but this can prevent NIHL in the future.
- The best type of earplugs to use is over-ear plugs, not the earphones that fit into your ears (that usually come with personal music players).
So start today and spread the word of wisdom about NIHL and how it can be prevented!! Every journey starts with a single step and it only takes one person to start a change!! Be the change you wish to see in the world!!!!
Indicators of noise induced hearing loss
Symptoms of NIHL usually increase gradually as NIHL becomes more severe. Here are some common signs to look for:
- Sounds may become distorted or muffled
- You may experience difficulties hearing and/or understanding other people
- Difficulties hearing higher pitched sounds (e.g., the telephone, birds singing, the /f/ and /v/ in the English language etc), leading to loss of clarity and comprehension
- Consistent ringing in your ears over a long period of time (tinnitus)
- Feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear
What to do if NIHL is suspected
- Do not ignore pain or consistent ringing in your ears- this may be an indicator that you are NIHL’s next victim! Visit your doctor for advice as soon as possible.
- Your doctor may refer you to an audiologist or ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist if your hearing is of concern
- The audiologist will carry out a hearing test in order to identify, measure and treat any hearing loss