In a recent NYTimes article titled “What Causes Hearing Loss,” journalist Jane Brody dove into the world of hearing loss uncovering the real culprit of hearing damage – Noise! Many people are surprised to find out that noise, not age, is the leading cause of hearing loss. We’ve discussed in past entries to permanent hearing loss damage adults and school-age children already have from every day noises.
“While there are myriad regulations to protect people who work in noisy environments, there are relatively few governing repeated exposure to noise outside the workplace: portable music devices, rock concerts, hair dryers, sirens, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, vacuum cleaners, car alarms and countless other sources.” says Brody.
We live in a noisy place, and everyday it’s getting noisier. From daily traffic sounds, to the earbuds blasting music in our ears, and the loud noise at restaurants, our ears are constantly battling a noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Our ears take every sound around us and process the sound waves through an intricate and fragile system. With overexposure to sound, or excessive lengths of time of sounds at any level can begin to breakdown the delicate system, resulting in NIHL. Usually, sensitivity to high-frequency sounds is first to go, followed by an inability to hear the frequencies of speech.
The only way to protect yourself against NIHL is by protecting the delicate system with ear protection, limiting time exposure and being aware of the sounds going into your ears. In addition getting regular hearing tests (recommended once a year) will ensure that you are continuing to protect the hearing you have by maintaining a baseline of your current hearing levels. If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing please do not hesitate to contact us.