It is very important that you wear a good pair of earplugs if you ride a motorcycle regularly. Noise induced hearing loss is common amongst motorcyclist. This is due to the fact that motorcycle helmets are designed to protect your head against the road, rather than your ears against noise. It can be surprisingly loud on the road. The combination of wind noise from your helmet and the din from passing lorries can be literally deafening. You must wear ear plugs underneath your helmet.
ZenPlugs molded ear plugs for motorcycles from here are great for use under helmets because they do not protrude from the ears. This means that you can put your helmet on and off without pulling your earplugs out of your ears. They are individually moulded to each ear so create a great barrier against the sound.
Noise induced hearing loss is a very important cause of deafness. This is because it is the commonest cause of acquired deafness in the world. It doesn't just damage hearing though, it also causes tinnitus. Thankfully, sometimes it is reversible. If the initial noise is not too loud or for too long then the damage may only be temporary. You may have experienced this yourself having been to a loud club or party and having had people shouting in your ear all night. You may have felt a bit deaf and had ringing in your ears the next day.
Sometimes it unfortunately becomes permanent and irreversible. It is also becoming more common amongst young people due to the increased use of MP3 players. The iPod has a lot to answer for.
If you think you may have an ear disorder then visit your doctor. This article is not a substitute for medical advice.
Dr Toby Bateson