The team of audiologists in store has pulled together a Q and A to explain more about hearing loss.

 Q: How do we lose our hearing?

A: There are various ways that hearing can get worse. Exposure to very loud sounds or prolonged and repeated exposure to loud noise can cause permanent damage. Everyone’s hearing will deteriorate at some stage. Typically it’s the higher frequencies we lose first, making it difficult to distinguish speech from background sounds. Initial signs of hearing loss can include ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.

Q: At what level can noise damage your hearing?

A: Sound is measured in Decibels. Noise levels exceeding 105 dB can damage hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes. Here are some examples of the noise levels we experience in our day-today lives: 60dB - Normal conversation 85dB - Heavy traffic 110dB - Disco, nightclub, car horn or shouting in the ear 112dB - Personal music player (on loud) 115-120dB - Chain saw 120dB - Rock concert or ambulance siren

Q: How can I care for my ears?

A: Firstly, it is really important not to put anything in your ear unless your GP has recommended treatment. People often use cotton wool buds, which just push wax onto your eardrum and can cause damage, pain and deafness in extreme cases. You should also avoid fingers or towels as these carry infection and can damage the skin of your ears. The main message is leave the wax and your inner ears alone as they keep clean and healthy without any help.

Book a free hearing test at your local Specsavers Hearing Centre