Concepts in Hearing

4 Signs You Need Ear Protection

Elderly Woman with Earplugs

The ears are very delicate and sensitive, and prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause severe, long-term damage. With noise-induced hearing loss an increasingly common problem, it’s more important than ever to think about whether you need ear protection. If you’re unsure if you would benefit from ear protection, or you’re concerned about the risk of hearing loss, here are 4 signs that you need to protect your ears.

1. You have to shout to be heard

If you work in an environment, which requires you to shout to be heard, this is a clear indication that you would benefit from wearing ear protection. If your colleagues or customers cannot hear you without you raising your voice, this suggests that the level of noise is sufficient to demand protection. If you work on the runway at the airport, for example, you couldn’t possibly be heard over the noise of engines in the background.

2. You have tinnitus

If you regularly leave work with a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears, this is symptomatic of tinnitus. Tinnitus occurs when you hear noises that are not produced by an external source. Temporary tinnitus is very common after exposure to high-volume sound, for example, going to a concert, but if you’re subjected to loud noises over a period of time, it can become chronic. To prevent tinnitus, use ear protection on a daily basis. This will help to preserve your hearing and eliminate unpleasant symptoms like whooshing and ringing in the ears. If you suffer from tinnitus on a regular basis, or your symptoms have got worse, it’s advisable to see your audiologist.

3. Your ears hurt

Loud noises can hurt the ears. If you work in a noisy setting or you have hobbies that involve exposure to loud noise, and you find that your ears hurt, it’s crucial to invest in ear protection. This is a sign that the intensity and level of sound are damaging your ears.

4. You can’t hear properly for a period of time after work

Working with power tools, heavy machinery, musical instruments or vehicles that generate a lot of noise can cause permanent damage to your ears. Initially, you may find that you can’t hear properly for a short period of time after you leave work, but you might notice that the time period increases in length as your hearing deteriorates. Using ear protection can help to prevent hearing loss and is particularly beneficial for those who are exposed to very loud noises on a regular basis.

How can I find out more about ear protection?

If you’re worried about your hearing, or you’d like to take steps to protect your ears, consult your audiologist for advice about ear protection. Your audiologist will be able to recommend ear protection options based on your job and your individual needs.

It’s so important to protect your hearing as best you can, especially if your job or your hobbies carry a risk of hearing loss. Call your audiologist to find out more about ear protection and see which option is best for you.