Opinion: Before you think your hearing is good, read this

We tend to think that hearing problems only occur when we work in noisy environments or with age.

However, we are constantly exposed to various levels of noise in the course of our day: blaring horns, work equipment, sound of heavy machinery, life style choices (use of earphones at extreme volume levels, closeness to speakers at parties), loudspeakers on street corners, markets, churches etc.

Noise could be defined as an unwanted sound but the loudness could be a problem whether we want it or not.


Deepak Prasher, a professor of audiology at University College in London and a member of the WHO Noise Environmental Burden on Disease working group, states, “Many people become habituated to noise over time.

The biological effects are imperceptible, so that even as you become accustomed to the noise, adverse physiological changes are nevertheless taking place, with potentially serious consequences to human health”.

There are jobs you would never get if your ears aren’t in good shape. But, it’s not about jobs alone, our ears are important to our overall well-being. Negative health effects on the ears could either be immediate or occur over a period.

Health effects could vary from temporary or permanent hearing loss, annoyance, hypertension, heart problems, tinnitus etc. Hence, there is need to sensitize ourselves and others as elevated noise levels could lead to stress and increase in workplace incidents and accidents.

The environment is noisy if:

  • You have to raise your voice to be heard
  • You get headaches or feel dizzy
  • You experience ringing ears after leaving the environment
  • You have a challenge with hearing normal conversation after work


At this point, you need to call the attention of necessary authority. Control measures need to be introduced into the environment whether at work or in daily life. For the workplace, total elimination of noise, reduction of noise, shift duty, provision of hearing protection could reduce negative effects of noise on our bodies. For daily life, making wholesome choices could improve our well-being. Always use earphones at reduced volumes, stay away from loud speakers at events, reduce the volume of music players in cars and reduce the amount of time you’re exposed to the noise.

Visit your doctor and get an audiogram. Know your ear status and guard it jealously.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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