Our website is best
viewed in portrait

Please rotate your display

Scroll to top

24h Emergency: 082 911 | General Contact: 0860 002 378

May 15, 2024

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide “are projected to have some degree of hearing loss, and at least 700 million will require hearing rehabilitation” by 2050. The WHO also states that about 15% of adults 18 years and older have some hearing loss. The risk of hearing loss rises as you age, and up to 39% of adults in their sixties have hearing problems.

You’re said to have hearing loss when you’re unable to hear at least 20 decibels in both ears. If you have mild to severe hearing loss in one or both ears, you’re referred to as hard of hearing. In this instance, hearing aids or cochlear implants may help you.

If you can hear very little or nothing at all, you have profound hearing loss. Most deaf people have profound hearing loss.

There are, however, several ways in which you can protect your hearing. Here are a few:

Visit your healthcare provider

Impacted ear wax, fluid in the ear and various ear infections can cause hearing loss. Visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have earache, discomfort and/or discharge from your ear.

Also be sure to visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have sustained a head or ear injury.

Regular hearing tests

Visit your audiologist regularly for a hearing test. It may help to detect possible causes of hearing loss early. This, in turn, may help to prevent unnecessary or further damage to your hearing.


Infections such as rubella, chicken pox, measles, mumps and meningitis can cause hearing loss. Vaccinations to protect your child against these infections are available on Bestmed’s Paediatric vaccine list for children from nine months to twelve years old.

Ear safety

Don’t insert any objects into your ear canal and only use eardrops that are specifically prescribed for you.

Volume control

Prolonged exposure to loud noises above 85 decibels can permanently damage the tiny hairs in your inner ear. These tiny hairs are essential to your hearing and don’t regenerate if damaged.

Keep your cell phone, tablet and/or laptop’s volume at a comfortable level, especially when using headphones or earphones. Many cell phones indicate the volume level that’s dangerous to hearing, while you’re turning up the volume. A good rule of thumb, however, is that your music is too loud if you can hear it over the sound of a lawnmower.

With regard to your radio or television, the volume should not be so high that you can still hear it from another part of your home.

Wear protective hearing gear

Use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones when you’re in an environment with bursts of loud noises or prolonged loud noise (e.g. construction site, DIY projects that require power tools, gardening with a lawnmower or leaf blower, hunting, Formula One event). Even sudden loud noises can damage your hearing.

Use earplugs when attending a music concert (about 120dB) or fireworks event (about 150dB, or if you’re performing loud music (e.g. drumming).

There are several ways in which you may help to protect your hearing. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the cause of your hearing loss, if you have any trouble hearing. In this way, you may receive the correct treatment for your condition and be able to take the right steps to protect yourself from further hearing loss.



Childline South Africa. 2024. Information fir D/deaf children: Signing safe futures South Africa. Available [Online]: https://www.childlinesa.org.za/about/how-we-help/help-for-the-deaf/.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2024. 4 ways to protect your hearing. Available [Online]: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hearing-loss/4-ways-to-protect-your-hearing

National Institute for the Deaf. 2022. Become more deaf aware! Available [Online]: https://nid.org.za/news/deaf-awareness-article-2/.

Victory, J. 2022. What infections are linked to hearing loss? In: Health Hearing. Available [Online]: https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/53352-Infection-hearing-loss-tinnitus-dizziness-viral-bacterial-ramsay-hunt.

Williams, V. 2019. Mayo Clinic Minute: How to protect your hearing. In: Mayo Clinic. Available [Online]: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-how-to-protect-your-hearing/

World Health Organization. 2024. Deafness and hearing loss. Available [Online]: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss.

Related posts