Hearing difficulties often arise when there is too much sound information, making it hard for the ear to distinguish between various sounds and tune into a specific signal. If this was to happen while watching TV, for example, a natural response would be to turn up the volume. This, however, doesn’t always help as our ability to differentiate sounds is often worse at high volumes, which can also further damage the ears and their ability to distinguish sounds. 

Instead, improving the conditions of the sound environment should be addressed by eliminating unwanted noise to optimise listening conditions. A good headset with both active and passive noise cancellation will help, alongside software and a microphone that enable better and clearer signals.

Temporary and permanent hearing damage can be prevented by becoming aware of exposed sound intensities and safe listening levels. When it comes to gaming, players might have picked up bad habits that have detrimental effects on their hearing, for example, listening to loud uptempo music before an important match to get them psyched up and in a better mental state to perform. This is common for athletes across various sports. However, such exposure can cause an effect in the auditory system called “fatigue”, whereby we become less sensitive to softer sounds presented afterwards. And so, to maximise hearing sensitivity, it is better to avoid exposure to intense sounds altogether.

Maintaining and improving the function of the auditory system can be done in several ways.