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Irish Independent - Health & Living - - MIND YOURSELF -

WE get our eyes tested, our blood pres­sure checked and our choles­terol mon­i­tored. Our hear­ing health, on the other hand, is of­ten over­looked. Ac­cord­ing to the Ir­ish So­ci­ety of Hear­ing Aid Au­di­ol­o­gists, a quar­ter of a mil­lion adults in Ire­land will have a per­ma­nent hear­ing im­pair­ment — and ad­vanc­ing age is just one of the causes.

Noise-in­duced hear­ing loss is on the rise in Ire­land — es­pe­cially among young peo­ple.

Re­cent re­search com­mis­sioned by Hid­den Hear­ing found that 17pc of Ir­ish young adults (18-24) are lis­ten­ing to mu­sic on their smart­phones at max­i­mum vol­ume, while 42pc have ex­pe­ri­enced ring­ing and buzzing in their ears —which can be an early in­di­ca­tor of hear­ing loss.

The ear is an ex­tremely sen­si­tive or­gan, and the first line of de­fence is learn­ing how to take care of it. Hear­ing loss can’t be cured, but it can be pre­vented. Here’s how… Deci­bel X, Sound Me­ter and Too Noisy Pro. For con­text, a rock con­cert will mea­sure around 110-120 dBA, a pneu­matic drill is 120 dBA and a drum solo is 130 dBA.

FOL­LOW THE 60/60 RULE

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mates that al­most half of teenagers and young adults (12-35-year-olds) are ex­posed to lev­els of sound that could dam­age their hear­ing at sport­ing events, con­certs, and even while lis­ten­ing to mu­sic on a per­sonal de­vice. Their ad­vice? Wear ear pro­tec­tion if you’re ex­posed to loud mu­sic, and fol­low what ex­perts call the ‘60/60 Rule’: when lis­ten­ing to mu­sic through head­phones, turn the vol­ume no higher than 60pc, and lis­ten for no longer than 60 min­utes be­fore tak­ing a break.

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