From: BeyondPR
Published: Thu Oct 01 2009

The tips are expected to be useful and informative to teachers, parents and adults, but especially to those people regularly exposed to loud noise like the armed forces and entertainment workers.

Deafness Research UKÂ’s CEO, Vivienne Michael, said: "Our ears are so complex and precious; many people take them for granted, yet when our hearing starts to deteriorate it can be a downward spiral with no way back. With greater care and better awareness of how the ear actually works, people can do a great deal to protect their ears and improve their hearing in certain situations."

The practical top hearing tips from Deafness Research UK, are:

1) Ignore the person you want to hear!
Sound waves travel around your head, but sometimes your head gets in the way, especially if there’s background noise. Try turning your head 45˚ away from the person you want to listen to – it should help you hear them more easily than if you face them directly.

2) Hum if youÂ’re heading for the noise
Your middle ear has its own mechanism to protect you from noise damage. Humming makes it work better, so give it a go as you walk past that pneumatic drill, test that amp or fire your weapon. Hum to defend your ears. Â…/cont

3) Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear
Wax will work itself out using the earÂ’s own cleaning conveyor belt system. Using cotton buds in the ear canal will only poke bacteria and bits of dead insects back inside, making it harder to hear. Try a drop of olive oil instead if your ear feels blocked.

4) Bigger is better
Little ear bud headphones tend to leak sound so you have to turn them up louder to drown out the outside world. Use bigger over-the-ear headphones with your MP3 player on your way to work or when youÂ’re off duty. If you can, get noise-cancelling headphones. TheyÂ’ll protect your hearing for longer because you can listen at a safer volume but still get lost in music.

5) Use your hands, dumbo!
Make like an elephant when youÂ’re in a noisy environment. Your outer ears help catch sound waves, so give them a hand and make them bigger. Sound will get louder when you cup your hands behind your ears.

Vivienne Michael added: "Scientists already know a great deal about the ear, but many people arenÂ’t aware of the basics. There are also still huge gaps in our knowledge about hearing; this is why we are constantly appealing to the good nature of the public to help us out with further funding, that could ultimately lead to cures and treatments for deafness, tinnitus, and other hearing-related conditions."

For information on research into deafness and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at where you can access a wide range of information. People can call the Deafness Research UK freephone helpline on 0808 808 2222, or e-mail

Press enquiries
Jon Gardner, BeyondPR. Direct line 0114 275 6996. Mobile 07930 697773. e-mail:
Ref: DR-UK0156 – Caffeine and tinnitus Sept 2009
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