Many of us take our hearing for granted, but once your ears are damaged they will never be the same again. In today’s digital world, our hearing has never been so challenged; our ears are constantly switched on and, for many, plugged in. It is estimated that 66% of people listen to music louder than 85 decibels, which means they are risking permanent tinnitus and hearing damage. Therefore we must protect our ears!

Personally, I have been involved in drum and bass music production for many years and when I am not manning the front desk at AHS, I am busy producing music. Now, as you can imagine, my ears have to cope with a lot and as I went to school with Kate’s brother, I have been aware of the importance of protecting my ears for a long time. Little did I think though that I would be advising others on the subject!

If you think your lifestyle might be damaging your ears, you might like to ask yourself the following questions: have you ever hit the pillow after a night out and had a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears? Have you ever taken out your MP3 player earphones and you can still hear the bassline? Can your friends hear the music from your headphones when sitting next to you? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these you may have already damaged your hearing.

One of the most common signs of damage to the inner ear is tinnitus, which can happen to anyone at any time in their life. It can be caused by exposure to loud noise, hearing loss, a side-effect of medication, an ear or head injury, ear infection or emotional stress. Tinnitus sufferers are the only ones to hear the ringing sound, which can also be described as a whistling, hissing or roar. It can be particularly intrusive and disturbing in quieter environments. There is only one way to manage or avoid tinnitus, and that is to protect your ears from loud noise.

At Aston Hearing we always encourage a pro-active approach to hearing. We want people to protect their ears before they have a problem, and then, if some damage has occurred, to protect against future deterioration. We therefore offer custom-made ear plugs, which for the best possible fit are made bespoke by taking a simple, painless impression of your ear. We have a range of different types of ear plugs for different situations, from music to industrial environments. We also supply custom-moulded swim plugs for adults and children which can help avoid the lesser known condition called ‘surfer’s ear’, caused by long-term exposure to icy wind and cold water – not only essential for surfers but also windsurfers, open water swimmers and kayakers.
So please remember to protect your ears and ‘prevention is better than cure’. One of my main roles at Aston Hearing is to advise on noise and ear protection. For further information, please come and see me at the Front Desk or take a look at our website, under ‘Protecting Your Hearing’.