This article is By Johnathan Sanders
Everyone has seen the caricature image of an elderly gentlemen struggling to understand what is being said due to poor hearing. This maybe used in amusement on newspaper cartoons and billboards, however within today’s high tech environment it is even more important to practice good ear care.
Prior to the invention of the personal stereo, generally most peoples contact within loud sounds would come from visiting pop concerts or at the work place. However within the advancement of technology, it is now not uncommon for mobile phones to also have incorporated within them a radio or music playing device.
Also nowadays a considerable amount of time is spent in front of a PC. Although highly educational and entertaining, the noise levels generated by computer games and online music videos over a prolonged period of time can actually have a harmful effect on your hearing.
Damage to hearing is actually caused by a combination of both the loudness measured in decibels as well as the length of time subjected to the sound level. Therefore it is quite easy to cause permanent hearing damage by listening to very loud music on your personal stereo after only a few hours listening.
Another cause for concern is the popularity of in car entertainment systems. These devices are designed to produce very loud levels of sound and are a common feature in cars owned by the younger generation. Whilst listening to music is far from a bad activity, as mentioned above, it is the level of the sounds and length of time that causes concern.
Hearing protection should be given more importance as once damaged it is not possible to cure the damaged hearing. To this degree it would be advisable for anyone subjected to loud sounds to make use of cheap ear plugs. For professionals, such as musicians and people who enjoy shooting as a sporting activity, there are custom ear plugs available that are specially designed to help block out the harmful noise levels without effecting the overall enjoyment of the activity. These types of ear plugs are actually custom made with a mold of the ear being taken prior to manufacture. The advantage of this process is that they offer optimal levels of comfort making them ideal for anyone who has to wear hearing protection for prolonged periods.
A possible improvement to educating people on the dangers of loud sounds could be the inclusion of such information on audio purchases, such as mp3 players and car audio equipment. It is not only the leisure industry that needs to be mindful of such issues. Within the work environment there is actual legislation here in the UK and the rest of Europe that is designed to help protect the hearing of employees whilst at work. Anyone found not confirming to the new laws can find themselves being subjected to heaving fines or possible law suits from employees.
The important of ear protection can also be seen by the negative impact of continuous sounds that famous musicians have been subjected to. Quite a few rock stars complain about suffering from Tinnitus after many years of concert playing. Therefore it makes perfect good sense to invest in a pair of cheap earplugs or alternatively reduce the amount of time spent listening to music.
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