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August 11, 2023

Aussies are neglecting their hearing health – but your headphones could actually help

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 10:08 am

Aussies are neglecting their hearing health, according to a new survey that revealed a staggering 88 per cent of people over 40 were more concerned about their eyesight fading, than experiencing hearing loss.

“It’s clear that Australians aren’t aware of the very serious daily impacts of hearing loss, or of the potential long-term health conditions associated with not managing it,” Lauren McNee, Audiologist and Clinical Trainer at Audika, said. “It’s a scary thought given how common hearing loss is.”

One in two Australians over the age of 60 are estimated to be affected by hearing loss, and it is estimated that 879,700 people aged between 26-64 are living with un-diagnosed hearing loss in Australia.

READ MORE: The ‘only two positions’ you should be sleeping in

Close-up Of A Woman Trying To Hear With Hand Over Ear
88 per cent of people over the age of 40 were more concerned about their eyesight, than hearing loss. (iStock)

“As one of our five senses, the quality of our hearing is incredibly important to our overall health and wellbeing,” McNee said.

“It’s not something that should be neglected and can be easily checked. With greater awareness of the impacts of hearing loss and the modern solutions available to treat it –we can all be more proactive with our hearing and live healthier lives.”

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How your headphones are impacting your hearing

If you overload your ears with excessive noise, like working near high-powered sound equipment or even listening to music too loudly, you could actually cause semi-permanent ear damage.

Dr Elizabeth Beach from the National Acoustics Labratories and HEARsmart knows all about the damage people can do to their ears, and she recommends the best practice is to keep the volume at sensible levels.

“If you use headphones to listen to music when you’re out for a run or a walk, be mindful of the volume level – keep it below 80 percent of full volume, and limit your listening time to around 1.5 hours per day,” Beach previously told 9Honey Coach.

Young Caucasian pregnant woman with headphones listening to music at home while relaxing on the sofa, drinking coffee/tea, and using a smartphone.
Headphones can impact your hearing health if you listen too loudly. (Getty)

But have things changed?

Thanks to new technology however, your headphones could actually help you keep an eye of your hearing health.

“We know that when noise levels reach 85dB or above, damage to our hearing health can occur. Once that level is exceeded, especially paired with prolonged or repeated exposure to noise above this range, the potential for damage to hearing can increase,” Mark Heard, Engineering Manager Dyson, tells 9Honey Coach.

So when developing the brand’s new Dyson Zone noise-cancelling headphones (available in Australia this week), teams looked at how they could combat that.

“It was important for us to put protective features in place against hearing damage. As such, we’ve enabled owners to set a safe hearing limit of 85dB via the MyDyson App so they can enjoy pure and immersive listening experience to help avoid hearing damage.”

READ MORE: How many bananas can I eat in a day? 

dyson zone active noise cancelling headphones
Dyson’s headphones can set a safe hearing limit and help monitor external sound as well. (Supplied)

The trick is also to look at the impact of external sound, not just the music or podcast you may be listening to.

“While people can control the volume of what they are listening to, external sound exposure can be challenging to limit,” Heard tells us.

“More than half of the world’s population live in cities and this is expected to rise to 7 out of 10 people by 2050. The growth of urban populations is accompanied by an increase in associated infrastructure, all of which have an impact on the environment in which we live including generating noise pollution.”

In the app, users can also monitor their daily noise exposure by accessing data that tracks their surrounding environment in real-time, helping them understand noise pollution levels and adopt healthier habits.


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