Hearing Wellness: Protecting your ears in 2024

For many of us, self-care has become an essential component of our daily routine. In 2024, more people than ever are looking to incorporate habits that improve their physical health, mental well-being and emotional balance. However, one component that’s often overlooked is hearing wellness.

Our hearing health has an astronomical impact on many other areas of our lives that extend far beyond the quality of the sound we hear. It can impact our mood, social activities, sensory processes and brain activity. That’s why it’s crucial to incorporate practices that protect and maintain this vital sense.

We already know that not enough people are getting their hearing checked which raises concerns that many also aren’t taking appropriate action to care for their ears in day-to-day life.

Let’s take a look into the significance of hearing wellness as a self-care act and what you should incorporate into your regime.

Self-care to prevent hearing loss

Self-care is more than just a trend that’s emerged over recent years, it’s an important part of making healthier lifestyle choices. From exercise and nutrition to reading and learning a new skill, there are many different ways to look after your mind and body – but what about ear care?

In 2015 The World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report which forecasted that 1.1 billion people are at risk of experiencing permanent, avoidable hearing damage in their lifetime.

Keeping your ears healthy is crucial when it comes to preventing hearing loss. Our ears and our hearing are precious, they help us to stay in touch with friends and family, enjoy music, warn us of danger and allow us to participate in life. The onset of hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on all of the above and more, ultimately reducing an individual’s quality of life.

The importance of regular hearing tests can’t be underestimated as a way to accurately diagnose and treat hearing loss before it gets worse. However, there are additional proactive steps we can take to protect and enhance our hearing and it all comes down to protecting our ears when they need it the most.

hearing aid fitting and instrument consultation

The rising trend of ear protection

We’re living in an era of constant connectivity and audio overload which can damage our ears over time. Whether it’s a concert, a sports game or a social gathering, exposure to loud noises is a common occurrence in our modern lives.

Unfortunately, repeated exposure to high decibel levels can lead to the development of tinnitus and irreversible hearing damage. To combat this, we can use ear protection.

In the same way that hearing aids have transformed over recent years and the stigmas around wearing them are fading out, hearing protection is now considered a necessary accessory for all ages when attending loud events.

For musicians, hearing protection has always been a non-negotiable to prevent hearing loss, and this should be no different for those watching in the crowd. Regardless of how often you attend live performances, the level of noise produced can be incredibly damaging to your ears. Even just one very loud concert could cause permanent damage.

The best and most effective way to protect your hearing whilst still hearing the music is to invest in custom-made hearing protection.

Custom-made hearing protection for events

Modern custom-made hearing protection allows you to discreetly protect your hearing, while not compromising the sound quality. You can even hear clearly enough to have a normal conversation when you are wearing them whilst listening to the music around you.

Designed to fit the shape and size of your ears, custom-made ear plugs are superior to off-the-shelf versions as they offer suitable protection with filters. The moulds are made of soft durable silicon and are tailored to your own unique ear shape, giving the ultimate fit for ear comfort and noise isolation. What’s more, with Musicians’ Pro Ear Plugs you can either have them as clear or choose from a variety of colours from opaque black to neon pink.

Harley Street Hearing and Musicians’ Hearing Services offers a range of custom-fit hearing protection for various requirements and activities including sleeping, swimming, shooting and custom earphones. We can provide you with safe and comfortable earplugs to protect your ears from damaging loud noises and reduce your chances of hearing loss. To find out more, contact us.

musicians ear plugs

More ways to protect your hearing

Aside from wearing hearing protection, what else can we do to protect our ears from damage?

1. Keep the volume down

If you find yourself often wearing headphones or listening to loud TV shows, it’s important to be aware of your volume control. Turning the volume down is a great way to limit the damage to your hearing from noise exposure.

To help reduce the incidence of avoidable hearing loss, Make Listening Safe Campaign UK have released their first petition to the government to manage noise exposure from headphones. Click here to learn more and sign the petition.

2. Stand back

Along with wearing hearing protection, try to distance yourself from the source of loud noise at any event as much as you possibly can. Standing further away from the speakers or at the back of the crowd will protect you from too loud noise exposure.

3. Take regular breaks

If you have to be in noise for long periods, for example at work, take regular breaks to ensure that you allow your hearing time to recover.

4. Get your hearing tested

Whether or not you are concerned about your hearing, you should commit to undergoing regular hearing tests to diagnose any potential issues. It is better to know if there is a problem, and with modern technology, there is almost always something to help you.

Research shows that if you have a hearing problem, it is better to get started with hearing devices early rather than waiting until you can’t manage any more. It also shows that most people wait up to ten years before they seek professional advice, preferring to “soldier on” rather than do something about it.

Recent research, however, shows that if we ignore a hearing problem the hearing mechanism suffers from lack of stimulation, rather like an underused muscle that wastes away. Keeping your ears stimulated with sound helps to maintain a healthy auditory (hearing) pathway to the brain and helps you understand speech as clearly as possible.

If you are experiencing any issues with your hearing, such as problems communicating in background noise or needing to turn up the volume on the TV, come and see us. Our audiologists will perform accurate but easy tests, which will identify any problems quickly. Then, if your hearing is not as it should be, we will explain the results and provide clear, independent advice about the options available to get you back on track and participating fully in life.

audiologist explaining hearing aid options after a hearing test


5. Let your ears look after themselves

The ears have a natural cleansing mechanism to ensure that cerumen (or wax) does not build up. Earwax is a good thing, as it helps to keep the ear canals healthy and prevents debris from reaching the eardrum. Never be tempted to put anything into the ear, not even cotton buds. The skin in the ear canal is very thin and sensitive and is easily grazed, so putting cotton buds into the ear simply pushes any wax closer to the eardrum and can also result in infections.

If you would like your ears checked or you think you may need to have wax removed, make an appointment to see one of our highly qualified audiologists. They will provide advice on ear care and can remove wax and other obstructions safely – don’t worry it doesn’t hurt a bit!

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