Hearing loss is quickly becoming a national concern. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 48 million Americans, or roughly 20% of the population are struggling with hearing loss! We often take our hearing for granted, but think of how many people you know personally who have hearing loss? This is no longer a concern for seniors, but for people of all ages. Don’t turn a blind eye to this issue, and educate yourself about the causes and protect your hearing.
Modern Day Living and Hearing Loss
Why is there such a rise of hearing loss among Americans? Many are blaming the modern lifestyle for increasing numbers of people struggling with losing their hearing. Loud professions are an obvious culprit, but have you ever thought about your earbuds, or traffic on busy city streets? What about wailing sirens, loud engines, crammed coffee shops, bars, and rock concerts?
Workplace Hearing Loss
Loud professions are common. With out-of-date equipment, huge shop floors that bounce sounds back at you, loud power tools, and heavy machinery with shrill engines, it’s no wonder hearing loss is common in many workplaces. There is a huge lack of education about hearing loss in workplace settings, and many employees and workers aren’t taking steps to protect their hearing. Even after just a few months, exposure to work-place noise can cause permanent hearing damage. The loudest jobs include construction, factory work, flight ground crew, landscaping, farming, and bar staff.
Music in Your Ears
Can you go an entire day without slipping in earbuds? From the daily commute to the gym to having privacy in a crowded place, earbuds have become a huge part of the modern lifestyle. Everyone has a pair in their bag, or draped permanently around their necks. Using iPods and smartphones to blast music into our ears causes much more damage than we are aware of. Think about it. As the distracting background sounds around us get louder, we keep turning up the volume. Before you know it, the person sitting on the opposite side of the bus can hear the music coming from your earbuds. That loud noise is blaring straight into the delicate structures of your inner ear, and will cause damage in just a few hours! To protect your hearing, never listen to music with the volume on full, and take frequent breaks.
Another huge concern in this modern age is loud music in bars, clubs, and concert halls. With new sound equipment that can jack up the volume to terrifying levels, and venues designed with volume in mind, sound levels can be through the roof. Often in excessively loud noise for several hours at a time, you have to scream to be heard by the person next to you. This is far too loud! In this environment, permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 20 minutes, as the fragile hair cells in the inner ear are damaged. Hearing is more at risk today than ever before.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
Did we get your attention? Maybe you are experiencing some of the signs of hearing loss. One of the first signs of hearing loss is having difficulty following conversations, especially in places with background noises. Phone conversations become a challenge, and you’ll find yourself asking your friends to repeat themselves or speak up. Does your family complain that you turn up the TV or radio volume too loud? Can you hear the subtle sounds in your house like the oven alarm, the doorbell, or the birds chirping outside? It’s important to remember that hearing loss is a gradual process, so you might not notice the changes from day to day. Think about what your hearing was like a year ago, and whether you have more difficulty hearing now. It’s high time to realize that hearing loss can affect anyone, and get your hearing tested! Contact us at Gulf Gate for a hearing test today.