Hearing Damage

6 Things That Could Damage Your Hearing

By Chrissy Hughes on 21st August 2015

This week I’ve compiled a list of 6 things that could damage your hearing. As always, please let us know if you have any to add to the list and we would be happy to share your tips! You can contact us in the comment section below, on Twitter or over on Facebook.

Cotton buds

The ear is sensitive and the ear drum in particular, is delicate. The old saying ‘don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear’ is a good rule of thumb here. By using Q-tips or cotton buds or any small objects to clean or scratch the ear you are at a higher risk of perforating the eardrum. This is painful and can leave lasting damage to your hearing.


Did you know that certain medicines can damage the ear and cause hearing loss? These are called ototoxic medicines. If your hearing loss is caused by ototoxic medication it can come on quite suddenly and the first symptoms are usually tinnitus and vertigo. Your hearing should return to normal when you stop taking the medication but some can cause permanent hearing damage to the inner ear. (source)


Certain substances in cigarettes, such as nicotine, are also ototoxic and can cause tinnitus, cause damage to your hearing or affect your balance. Many statistics over the past few years have shown that a shocking 70% of smokers are more likely to develop some form of hearing loss compared to non-smokers. It’s time to kick the habit!

Ear wax

Wax buildup is actually one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Some of the symptoms include: fullness, tinnitus and partial hearing loss. Eardrops can help loosen and soften the earwax which may help it work it’s way out. If this doesn’t work for you, we would recommend that you visit your GP who will check your ear for a large buildup of earwax and then a treatment called ear irrigation may be recommended.


According to the World Health Organisation, the single considerable cause of preventable hearing loss is loud music. When listening to music through headphones it is important to remember that you should always be able to hear what is going on around you, otherwise it is too loud. The louder the volume the shorter your listening time should be. If you’re listening to music at 60% you should only do so for a duration of 60 minutes a day, and at maximum volume you should only listen for about 5 minutes a day. (source)

The Movies

A report by the Ear, Nose and Throat journal on the noise exposure in movie theatres is shocking. It shows that the three highest maximum sound levels were recorded during the showings of Transformers (133.9 dBA), License to Wed (129.1 dBA) and The Simpsons Movie (128.6 dBA). What’s so shocking about this is the fact that two of these films are geared towards a younger audience and 130 dBA is equal to the sound of a jet engine!

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