People often associate hearing loss with old age. It’s no surprise that wax, frequent ear infections, autoimmune conditions or trauma to the ears can also cause hearing problems. But did you know that overexposure to noise is the number one cause of hearing loss and is preventable? According to the Hearing Foundation of Canada, research is discovering that younger and younger people are experiencing hearing loss because of too much noise.
Damage to hearing from noise is cumulative and permanent. It can occur after just one exposure to a very loud sound, like an explosion, but most often it’s caused by regular, long-term exposure to loud noises like music or industrial machines. Sometimes all it takes is 15 minutes of exposure for permanent damage to occur. It’s difficult to prevent old age, no matter how hard the beauty industry tries, but overexposure to noise is within your sphere of control.
You know that ringing or buzzing sound in your ear after a concert or a night out on the town? That’s a warning sign of overexposure to noise. Muffled sounds or having to yell to be heard are other signs. As a general rule, an environment is too loud if you have to shout to be heard from a metre away. It’s smart to bring ear plugs to noisy places, like bars, arcades and fireworks. Cut back on the amount of time you spend in loud places and speak out about noise. For example, write a letter to the manager of the theatre that plays movies too loud, or talk to your child’s school about the volume at school dances.
Personal music players are estimated to be one of the biggest sources of hearing damage, so keep them low.
If you need help with hearing protection, or if you suspect you require a hearing test, Kawartha Hearing Care Inc. is your go-to expert when it comes to hearing health. In addition to selling and repairing hearing aids, they offer custom earplugs for swimmers and music lovers, specialized ear molds for Blue Tooth hands free, sleep plugs and industrial noise protection. Visit the website for more information at www.kawarthahearingcare.com.