Each year, the Office of Prevention of Blindness and Deafness of the World Health Organisation organises its World Hearing Day campaign. This event takes place on March 3rd and focuses on not letting hearing loss limit you in your day to day life. But that can be quite hard, since hearing loss and hearing damage impact almost every aspect of your life, from taking part in traffic to doing your job and from going out to enjoying music. That is why we believe that ear protection is key.
First, what actually is hearing loss? We speak of hearing loss when one has reduced or no hearing in one or both ears. Hearing loss can have a wide variety of causes, from old age to infections and from exposure to loud noises to damaged eardrums. Typically, depending on where exactly in the ear the problem presents itself, we distinguish four different types of hearing loss:
Perceptive hearing loss – the most common form of hearing loss where the tiny hairs in one’s ears (cilia) don’t function properly anymore (due to old age, exposure to loud noises, infections, etc.) and don’t convert vibration to sound.
Conductivity loss – sounds aren’t properly transmitted to the inner ear due to an earwax plug, a hole in the eardrum, moisture build-up behind the eardrum, inflammations, etc.
Mixed hearing loss – in this case, the person experiences both perceptive and conductivity loss.
Temporary hearing loss – sometimes, hearing loss is just temporarily caused by illness, loud noises, allergies, infections, etc.
Of course, one can also experience hearing damage instead of loss, which some would say is even worse than losing one’s hearing completely. Tinnitus is such a form of hearing damage. It’s usually caused by long-term exposure to loud noises, but can also be caused by old age, high blood pressure and – there it is again – infections. People who suffer from tinnitus, often complain that they hear a high-pitched ringing in their ears, but they can also experience whistling, murmurs, hums and even banging noises. As you can imagine, this is very distracting and can really affect one’s quality of life.
Prevention & protection
Millions of people in the UK suffer from hearing loss and hearing damage, and sadly, not everything can be cured with a hearing aid or antibiotics. That is why we believe in the power of prevention and that ear protection is the way to go to keep your ears and hearing in tip-top shape. Preventing hearing loss and damage is easy, it’s mostly a case of using one’s common sense:
1. Avoid (long-term exposure to) loud noises of >85 decibels
2. Use ear protection when you know you’ll be exposed to loud noises
3. Never put your volume on max when listening to music over head or earphones
4. Make sure your employer has precautions in place if loud noises are part of your job
5. Go to the doctor as soon as you notice something wrong with your hearing
Even though not all forms of hearing loss and damage can be prevented, a lot of the time, wearing proper ear protection can make all the difference. You can protect your ears by using ear plugs, noise-cancelling headphones and/or earmuffs aka ear defenders. But how do you know if the ear protection that you choose is adequate? Easy! Just check the NRR. All ear protection devices receive a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The NRR determines the effectiveness of hearing protection devices. The higher the NRR, the higher and more effective your ear protection will be.
We offer high-quality, high-NRR ear protection for adults and children in the form of multiple universal filter earplugs and earmuffs for every possible situation. Protect your ears and get a pair today!