It's almost the end of the year which means many people are headed to music concerts. While flocking to a music concert is a great way to spend some free time, it’s important to know that noise levels at concerts can exceed 135 decibels, which is equivalent to a jet at takeoff – a level that can contribute to hearing loss.
More than 70 percent of Nigerians know that exposure to loud sounds can cause hearing loss; however, just 50 percent correctly recognized that both one-time exposure to a loud sound and cumulative exposure to moderately loud sounds can harm hearing health.
Hearing loss affects more than 38 million people nationwide, and it could become even more widespread in the coming years: more than 1.1 billion young adults worldwide are at risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study by the World Health Organization.
This is a reminder for people to take note of their hearing health – and that of their loved ones – to help prevent the condition or, if necessary, obtain treatment. Hearing health is crucial to overall health, as research shows hearing loss is associated with social isolation, dementia, depression and increased risk of falls.
To help encourage better hearing health, consider these tips:
Reduce exposure to loud noises: You should limit your exposure to loud sounds, such as music, machine equipment, etc to no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you’re attending a sports game or music concert, wear ear buds to protect your ears. These precautionary measures should be especially emphasized for young people, children’s ears are more susceptible to harm caused by exposure to loud sounds. While hearing loss is more common among older Nigerians, younger people can also be affected: about 20 percent of people over age 12 experience some level of hearing loss.
Choose noise-cancelling headphones: One contributing factor to the increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss is the growing popularity of earbuds. People should consider over-the-ear headphones – especially models with noise-cancelling – as those are generally considered a better option than earbuds. When using earbuds, try to use them for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at no more than 60 percent of the player’s maximum volume. If someone else can hear your music while you’re using earbuds, it’s an indication of excessive volume.
Talk to a health professional and schedule a hearing test: Common signs of hearing loss include turning up the volume on the TV or radio to levels that others find too loud, having trouble hearing people on the phone, and difficulty following conversations in noisy environments.
Follow these easy tips to protect your hearing.