Health and Beauty - Hearing Health

Hearing health 

Were you (or are you still) an avid rock concert-goer? Hopefully you stay away from the speakers. Sadly, a rigorous study by the British Medical Journal between 2000 and 2021, involving around 19,000 people globally, discovered more than one billion young adults could be damaging their hearing through listening to loud music and using headphones. 

Mild hearing loss 

Tricky questions: ‘do you prefer the television or radio turned up more loudly than others?’ ‘Do you regularly ask people to repeat themselves?’ ‘Is there any ringing or buzzing in your ears?’ ‘In places where there is a lot of ambient or background noise, such as restaurants, do you have difficulty hearing those near you?’ Your answers may mean a visit to an audiologist is recommended. 

Mild hearing loss can be common as people age, but can have an impact on their quality of life. People may struggle to hear others in loud environments or on the ‘phone. An audiologist can help in preventing, identifying and treating hearing problems in children and adults. 


Over-the-ear headphones are actually better than earbuds as they give more distance between loud noises and the eardrum. Booming music can damage hearing over time so, at the risk of being a killjoy, turn down the volume! It is also a good idea to wear earplugs when regularly using power tools, lawnmowers or leaf blowers.  

Researchers have discovered that the use of cotton buds to remove earwax can harm our ears. They can push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Trained ear nurses can safely and gently remove earwax by micro-suction and see clearly into the ear canal as they work. Swimming is a wonderfully beneficial form of exercise but water can, of course, enter the ear canal and cause bacterial problems if it sits there for a long while. The simple solutions include buying earplugs especially for swimmers, tilting your head to one side so that the water drains out, or carefully using a small towel to soak it up. 

Sign language 

During the Government’s Covid-19 briefings, New Zealand Sign Language Interpreters did such a valuable job interpreting and communicating vital information to the deaf community. Most countries have their own sign language, with unique words and grammatical structures. New Zealand Sign Language is one of our official languages. It consists of facial expressions; hand shapes and body movements, and includes Te Reo Māori. If you would like to learn NZSL, visit or

A fruity summer 

This summer there will be a tangy trend in jewellery, and it’s fruit. Look out for colourful, fruit-shaped earrings such as melon slices, lemons, strawberries or juicy cherries. The earrings are stud, drop or dangle and can be custom or handmade; you may even find iconic kiwifruit amongst the collections. This is a fun, creative and adventurous way to jazz up your summer clothes this season. 

And finally…#WorldMenopauseDay. Only humans, gorillas and whales go through the menopause. October is World Menopause Month, a movement created to raise awareness of this stage in a woman’s life when she ceases to menstruate. This year’s theme is cardiovascular disease and, thankfully, there is much more openness about menopause now. Next Wednesday 18th is World Menopause Day:  -Gill Towle