In many cases the use of hearing protection is essential for protecting yourself from loud and potentially dangerous noise, but there are many different types of hearing protection available for many different scenarios. Knowing which type of protection is the most appropriate for you is important, the guide below should help you to make a more informed decision about which to be using and when.
Have you ever covered your ears with your hands to protect yourself from loud noise? That’s the closest to natural hearing protection that we’ve got, but just how much does it reduce the sound pressure level reaching your ear? And what’s the best method? This experiment aims to find out.
The World Health Organisation states that loud noise is the single biggest preventable cause of hearing loss in the UK. Due to advances in portable media player technology, users are now able to store and play music for much longer. Due to this, there is a huge potential risk for overexposure to noise using these devices. It is now estimated that over 4 million young people in the UK are suffering with the effects of noise induced hearing loss from listening to amplified music in the UK.
Around 10% of all adults in the UK suffer from tinnitus, with some reporting depression, sleep deprivation, and anxiety, which are having a considerable negative impact on their quality of life. There is currently no direct cure for tinnitus, most treatments are for other medical conditions that may be causing tinnitus as a side effect, or using relaxation techniques and noise masking to block its effects temporarily. Although for many patients tinnitus can dull over time, for some the condition only gets worse with age.
It may be common knowledge that cupping your hand around your ear can help to amplify sounds, making speech more intelligible or making a distant whisper just a little louder, but what does the hand do to the ear to make it easier to hear these sounds?
To better understand the difficulties of living with various types of hearing loss we have created this simple comparison using a piece of music and an audiobook, that explores the differences between broadband hearing loss, notches (or noise induced hearing loss), old age, and tinnitus.