Important Things You Might Not Know About Your Hearing
Our sense of hearing is provided by a complex system of organs and structures. It can also be greatly misunderstood! While hearing loss is a common condition, there are many misconceptions about hearing and our ears that still persist
The auditory system is one of the major systems in the human body. It is also one of the most sensitive. We depend on its function every single moment in our lives. And when there’s damage, there is a big adjustment and transition. There is no guarantee that one’s ability to hear can be restored to normal, although there may be options for treatment and management of hearing loss.
Provided below a few things about hearing that you may not know.
Things You Should Know About Your Hearing
1. Your ability to hear can deteriorate within 7 seconds
Hearing damage can occur within 7 seconds of loud noise exposure. Hearing damage is determined by two connected factors: how loud and how long. The louder the noise, the less time it takes to cause noise damage. Sounds that are 120 dB, the approximate loudness of a rock concert, can cause hearing damage within 7 seconds. Interestingly, however, the full effect of this noise exposure is often not detectable until years after exposure.
Many people will experience some ringing in the ears or a shift in their hearing immediately after exposure but will recover and feel like their hearing is back to normal. However, noise damage may then be detectable in their hearing years or even decades later. Even at lower levels of noise exposure, noise damage can occur from slightly longer exposures. A good rule of thumb is that if you have difficulty hearing a person speaking standing one metre away, hearing protection should be worn. There are a number of protective ear plugs that can reduce your noise exposure.
Related article: Protective Earplugs
2. Most people with hearing loss are under 65 years old
It’s not true that hearing loss only comes with aging. In Australia, nearly half of all people with hearing loss are of working age (15-65 years old). There are several factors that contribute to auditory malfunctions at a very early age. Hearing loss can occur due to occupational or recreational noise exposure, ear infections, genetics, certain medications and infections, and many other medical issues.
3. Earwax clean-up does not have to be done regularly
Ear wax occurs as a natural cleaning mechanism of your ear. It exists to lubricate your ear canal with oils to keep the skin healthy, and the natural movement of ear wax out of the ear canal helps move dust, debris and foreign bodies out. If you do not have auditory abnormalities, it is usually not necessary to clean your ears. In some cases, overproduction of earwax can cause infection and/or temporary deafness and temporary tinnitus If you believe this may be the case, you can consult your GP or audiologist.
Also read: What causes tinnitus?
4. Your earphones increase bacteria in your ears
Using ear-buds (or in-the-ear style headphones) for over an hour multiplies bacteria in the ears 700 times, according to recent studies in microbiology. It is possible that this increase in bacteria could cause outer ear infections in some people. Furthermore, the ear-bud can act as a ‘stopper’ which prevents ear wax from naturally moving out of the ear canal. It is recommended that people use anti-bacterial wipes on their earbuds regularly to prevent the introduction of bacteria into the ear canals.
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To read more about the auditory system and the science of one’s ability to hear, check out our websites to access our articles. Our team’s common goal is to provide right information about auditory health and to provide help to those who need it.