WHO World Hearing Day 2023
World Hearing Day is March 3 2023, and this year’s theme is “Ear and Hearing Care for All”.
We all know how important hearing is. It is a vital sense that allows us to connect with the world around us, and we should do our very best to protect and preserve it for as long as possible.
This year the World Health Organisation is launching a new resource for primary healthcare providers to help them prevent, identify, and manage hearing loss and common ear diseases that can lead to hearing loss.
It is intended mainly for health workers and doctors who work at primary care level and provide services to people either at health facilities or in communities. The manual will be launched on March 3.
But what can we do to protect our own hearing? Hearing loss can occur at any age, so it is especially important to protect your hearing when you are young to prevent long-term hearing loss.
Here are nine ways to protect your hearing, both when you are young and as you age.
- Avoid loud noises: The most obvious way to protect your hearing is to avoid loud noises. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds, such as concerts, motorsports, or construction work, can damage your hearing. If you must be around loud sounds, wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to protect your ears.
- Turn down the volume: When listening to music or watching TV, turn down the volume. Listening to music at a high volume for extended periods can damage your hearing. Try to keep the volume below 60% of the maximum volume.
- Take breaks: If you’re exposed to loud noises for an extended period, take breaks to give your ears a rest. Step outside or into a quieter room for a few minutes to reduce your exposure to loud noises.
- Keep your ears clean: Keep your ears clean to reduce the risk of infection. Clean your ears gently with a washcloth or tissue, and avoid using cotton swabs, which can push earwax deeper into your ear canal.
- Avoid using headphones when you have an ear infection: If you have an ear infection, avoid using headphones or earbuds. The pressure from the earbud can push the infection deeper into the ear canal and cause more damage.
- Be mindful of medication side effects: Some medications, such as antibiotics and diuretics, can damage your hearing. Be mindful of the potential side effects of any medication you’re taking, and speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about the impact on your hearing.
- Get regular hearing check-ups: Regular hearing check-ups can help identify any early signs of hearing loss. This can be especially important as you get older, as age-related hearing loss is common.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can increase your risk of hearing loss. Nicotine can cause blood vessels to narrow, reducing blood flow to the ear and increasing the risk of hearing loss.
- Be mindful of your hearing when using power tools: When using power tools, such as a chainsaw or leaf blower, wear ear protection. These tools can produce high levels of noise that can damage your hearing.
By taking these simple steps, you can reduce the risk of hearing loss and enjoy better hearing for years to come.
Feel free to share this page or download the resources below or the WHO resources here, to help promote this important message.
When the Primary Ear and Hearing Care Training Manual is launched, we will link to those resources here as well.
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