More and more people are suffering from hearing loss, and it’s affecting younger generations too. The problem is the primary cause of this influx in hearing loss is preventable, yet many of us don’t do much to prevent it and are suffering the consequences of this.
The common cause of hearing loss is a noise-induced hearing loss, and if you haven’t noticed, our world is becoming a noisier place daily. Everywhere you go, there is loud noise, from walking down a city street to eating in a restaurant.
The danger level of sound is 85 decibels. An alarm clock is around 80 dB and a subway train is 90 dB, just to put that into perspective.
The World Health Organization calls environmental noise an “underestimated threat.” Nearly one in four Americans show some sign of noise-induced hearing loss and all-cause hearing loss is the number three most common chronic health condition.
Noise-induced hearing loss rarely happens overnight, and it involves years of being exposed to loud sounds, which means you have the time to try and reduce your risk of any irreversible damage. Yup, that’s right, the damage caused by noise is irreversible.
Many of us wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, and many of us don’t smoke to prevent smoking-related complications, yet we aren’t proactive enough to protect our hearing.
But unless you’re proactive, you will experience some changes in your hearing. Maybe not now, but in the years to come, you will notice changes in your ability to hear.
There are apps you can download that use your phone’s microphone to detect sound and give you a reading of the noise decibels. This could be an eye-opening experience to visually see the level which you hear noise around you. This would hopefully prompt you to want to try and reduce your exposure to noise too.
Also read: Temporary hearing loss (temporary threshold shift): Causes and treatments