woman & home South Africa|June 2020
They may be two of the smallest parts of our bodies – in fact, they each contain the smallest bone in the human skeleton, the stapes, but they’re two of the most important organs. Our ears provide us with one of the crucial five senses – our hearing – which helps us socialise, work, and communicate, and even warns us about potential dangers. And we’d simply be lost without it. According to Wits University, about 10 million people in SA are living with reduced hearing – around 20% of the population. And it’s not just a ‘granny’ condition. Hearing issues are more common once we hit middle age, with many over-fifties experiencing some level of age-related hearing loss. Even more worryingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that millennials are most at risk, and likelier to lose their hearing before their parents.
Like smoking, hearing damage isn’t obvious and the effect is cumulative – you usually only notice once the damage is done, and there’s rarely a fix. So what can we do to protect our ears? The experts reveal their sound advice...
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