Common household activities like using a hair dryer, mowing the lawn, vacuuming and using power tools can contribute to harmful noise exposure. If you do these activities on a regular basis, hearing protection should always be used.
Use noise-cancelling headphones or earphones when listening to music.
Many people turn up the volume of their portable devices to damaging levels when listening to music while commuting to drown out the noise of transport and crowds. Noise-cancelling headphones can cut out background noises and allow for safe listening levels.
Take notice of when the level of noise becomes dangerous.
If you need to shout to your friends who are less than a metre away, the noise is too loud. If you are listening to music through headphones and can’t hold conversations with people who are less than a metre away, then the noise is too loud. Simply by taking note of these hints, you will be more aware of your noise surroundings.
Speak to your employer about hearing protection.
If you work in an occupation with a regular presence of loud noises, you’re at a much greater risk of hearing loss. Jobs such as farming, construction and mining workers, DJs, nightclub workers and chefs, where power tools, hair dryers and other noisy equipments or machinery are in frequent use, are at risk of having hearing problems. Australian workplace health and safety laws make sure that noise levels don’t exceed 85 decibels over an eight-hour period in Australian workplaces. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure these conditions are met, but if the noise levels cannot be maintained, compulsory hearing protection should be in place.
Protect yourself when enjoying live music at concerts and gigs.
Seeing a good band play live is a great way to spend an evening out or an afternoon on the weekend, however, a lot of concerts are played at heightened noise levels which can start to cause hearing loss. The best way to combat this issue is to employ the use of earplugs and stay put, or ensure you are not standing next to the speakers at a concert. This way you will be able to enjoy the music without damaging your hearing.
Be careful when using cotton swabs.
It’s become quite a habit to clean ears with cotton swabs, but it’s important to know that pushing cotton swabs too far down the ear can push ear wax down onto the eardrum causing damage to the ear. Safely and lightly swab the outer ear for a regular clean instead.