September 26 is being celebrated as World Deaf Day this year. Since 2009, this international event has been observed annually all over the world on the last Sunday of September. Introduced by the UN, the World Day of Deaf is commemorated to raise awareness and acquaint people about the challenges of deaf people, their families; and also their achievements. In its attempt to educate and sensitise the common people, the UN dedicates the entire last week of September to the cause, and terms it as the International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf).
There are almost 360 million people around the world with hearing disability. Speaking of deafness, ahead of the occasion of Day of the Deaf, how about finding out ways to prevent people from turning deaf!
Here are some effective preventive strategies:
I. Protect your ears from loud noises.
i. Wear ear muffs/plugs: You can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by avoiding loud music, loud events (nightclubs, sports events, gigs) which can damage your auditory nerves.
ii. Give 15-minutes break: Step away from noisy areas, if possible for 15 minutes, to give rest to your ear.
iii. Give 8 hours to recover: After you have been exposed to exceedingly blaring noise (85dB), give your ears 18 hours to rejuvenate.
iv. Use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones: To prevent harm to your ear opt for these ear pods. Also, you must refrain from listening to music or anything else using these, at a stretch for more than 1 hour; and don’t raise volume more than 60% of the maximum volume. This will help you decrease the chances of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Here’s a list of sound decibels:
Busy traffic – 70 to 85dB
Motorbike – 90dB
Listening to music on full volume through headphones – 100 to 110dB
You can use the smart phone apps that measure the noise levels to get an idea.
II. Get regular ear checks
You must periodically get your hearing ability tested as a precaution if you are subjected to a noisy work place or have a family history of hearing disability or experiencing hearing discomfort.
III. Improve your lifestyle
Stop smoking, drinking, instead exercise daily, eat healthy, reduce stress, monitor blood pressure, cardiac health, and blood sugar. Have vitamins (B12 is good for ear), potassium, magnesium, iron-rich foods.
All of these preventive measures can certainly alleviate your chances of developing age-related hearing loss or NIHL.
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