Industrial sector and metropolitan traffic is a feat of cities like Karachi. The factories here with heavy machinery that will go on noisily for hours and hours, you need to watch out, as Karachi is already a hotspot for noise pollution. These noisy machines will highly affect your hearing. According to CDC, around 40 million people in the US, above the age of 20, are affected by noise-induced hearing.
It is better that start taking precautions, before you get old and experience hearing loss or getting permanently deaf. Consulting a good ENT specialist in Karachi will guide you better on this.
Things you should be asking yourself about your hearing
Hearing loss is getting more common day by day. The noise pollution increasing due to Karachi’s traffic also plays a big role in this. Especially when you’re riding a bike. So, a few things you should be asking yourself about hearing loss before anything bad happens.
How loud are YOU?
When you’re working with heavy machinery, exposed to loud traffic and other such noises
- You should take intervals as a precautionary measure.
- You need to avoid loud noises it altogether
- If you’re talking to someone standing at close proximity and you have to talk loud
- You can’t understand what they say
then it’s time you need to look out for hearing loss prevention.
Are you taking breaks?
When you’re in a noisy environment you need to take breaks between 5 mins and 15 mins. If you’re using earphones or headphones, then it’s essential you take breaks. Otherwise it will be harmful for your hearing. You should use earplugs to muffle the sound.
Are there any disturbances?
If you’re hearing ringing sounds or your ears are hurting when you hear a loud noise this can be an alarming issue.
If you’re working jackhammers, or your office is near an airport with lots of air traffic or using headphones a lot on a daily basis, then there are few precautions that you can take in order to lower any risks of worsened hearing loss.
6 basic Preventions
1. Know your symptoms and using plugs
First and the foremost thing is knowing what is troubling your hearing. If you’re in a noisy environment then you probably talk loud, which in return make it a habit and it will affect your hearing as well. The noise might cause ringing in your ears or might end up hurting your ears. Earplugs are a helpful tool for these situations. If you’re working as a DJ or work around loudspeakers and heavy machinery, reusable musician earplugs are best for you.
2. Avoiding loud noises
It’s very helpful to take breaks or intervals during loud and noisy environments. A noise level of more than 85dB is the limit after which the sound becomes harmful for you. Decibels or dB is the measure for noise levels.
You can measure dB from mobile apps. It’s best you know how much noise is your surrounding filled with. By using these apps you can get easily away from all that noise.
A simple traffic can go louder than 85dB. If you’re a regular biker or use local transport you can use noise reduction headphones
3. Headphones or Earphones
Many job requirements need long intervals of using headphones. A simple 5 mins break after every hour is the best precaution possible. Recent smartphones are equipped with noise level warning and optimization. They warn you when you go more than a particular level, often 60-70% volume in Samsung phones, and give you a pop up warning. A smart choice is to reduce noise from outside your headphones and earphones, for this use noise reduction earphones are godsend. Using them you will not need to higher the volume too if you’re a music lover. But it is recommended to not use earphones for more than an hour.
4. Protection during loud events
When you go to marriage ceremonies or concerts the sound system placed there is top-notch, playing high bass and loud music. As much as it’s entertaining and fun, it is as much harmful. It takes about 16 hours of complete rest for its effects to wear off. It is best for you to not go near the source, if you need to then use plugs. They will not entirely stop it, they can muffle it and also help you save your hearing. Another thing that should be done is taking 15 mins break after every hour is a possible escape.
5. Keep away from eerie noises at workplaces
It often happens at your workplaces that there is a problem in a vent near you, your neighbours are using heavy machinery, some whacky printer is making too much noise. You should take action by either fixing the things or ask your HR to get it fixed. It often becomes white noise without you realizing and becomes a handful problem to your ears.
6. Consult a doctor
If you’re having different symptoms like buzzing sounds, slow or no recovery after one short session of loud noise, hurting ears or hearing louder than you usually do, then it’s time you go to a doctor. Otherwise , you’ll be permanently losing your good hearing.
It gets hectic as noise pollution is on the rise in every metropolitan city. Karachi is a hub to too many businesses, so a lot of traffic can be seen. Hearing loss may lead you into a difficult life. Not only will it affect your personal life, it will affect your work and social life too. It’s better to be careful than totally going deaf. If you can’t take measures or you’re already late to do so and your symptoms are showing, then it is very important that you consult an ear specialist.