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.