NOISE AND MP3 PLAYERS
The ear can usually cope with sounds of up to 80 dB without risk of damage; this is equivalent to a street with lots of trucks going by. At 85dB the exposure time before risk of damage is 8 hours (or approximately a standard workingday) so if you are in a work environment where the noise level is higher than this then you need to be wearing hearing protection.
At 100 dB the exposuretime is only 15 minutes before possible damage. Personal music players generally have a maximum volume of 100db (depending on the model). Turn down the volume!
Even a small reduction can help you protect your hearing! If you can hear the music through someone’s headphones then they are listening at too loud a volume. If someone two metres away has to shout for you to hear them, then the noise levels are way too high. After a night out, if your ears are ringing, this could indicate that damage may have occurred. In this case it is a good idea not to go anywhere that's too noisy for a few days to give your ears time to recover.
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With sensible precautions you can maintain your amazing hearing system for years to come!
TEN TOP TIPS
1. If you have problem ears, keep them dry!
2. Never poke anything into your ears – including cotton buds.
3. Protect your ears from loud noise.
4. To keep ears clean – wash the visible part of the ear (the pinna).
5. Rinse hair in fresh water when bathing.
6. Put a drop/spray of olive oil into each ear once a week if you have dry, itchy ears.
7. Avoid the common problem of ear pain when flying by chewing gum, swallowing water or yawning regularly, particularly while the plane is descending.
8. Don’t ignore an ear problem.
9. If you suspect your hearing is not what it used to be, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
10. Don’t be afraid to discuss any concerns you might have about your ears with a health professional.
If you think you may have a problem with your hearing, contact Deafness Research UK’s Advisory Service on 0808 808 2222