Hearing loss isn’t just for seniors — in fact noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age, and the effects are often permanent.
“Hearing loss affects ten per cent of all Canadians — it’s the fastest growing chronic health problem among Canadians today,” says Kim Galick, owner of Ears Hearing in Langley.
When you’re exposed to a noise that’s too loud, too close or too long, the hair cells in your inner ear can be damaged. That affects their ability to pick-up and transmit sound to your brain, and can result in noise-induced hearing loss.
Do you have noise-induced hearing loss?
People exposed to a very loud noise like an explosion or gunshot will often notice they’ve lost some hearing right away. But in most cases hearing loss develops gradually and is harder to perceive. Possible signs of noise-induced hearing loss include:
- Trouble hearing in group settings, or noticing that people around you seem to be mumbling
- Ringing, whooshing, roaring or buzzing sounds in your ears, also known as tinnitus
- “Your family may notice that your TV volume is turned up too high, or you’re speaking loudly,” Galick says.
- Pain in your ears, especially when exposed to loud noises
Noise-induced hearing loss isn’t just about volume
- Too loud: Turn down music and other loud sounds when possible, or install sound-absorbing materials to reduce noise.
- Too close: Step back from motors, power tools and other loud sounds so they’re farther away.
- Too long: The length of time you’re exposed to a sound also affects your hearing. “Sometimes a single exposure to an excessively loud sound can damage your hearing in an instant, but often it’s prolonged exposure over time,” Galick says. “Whenever possible, reduce the length of time you’re around loud sounds.”
What you can do:
- Identify potentially loud sounds at work or at home: “It may not be possible to avoid an activity altogether, but you can reduce your exposure by moving farther away from the source of loud sounds, once you’ve taken the time to identify them,” Galick says.
- Use hearing protection: Choose ear plugs or over-ear protection that’s appropriate for the job, comfortable, compatible with other safety gear and allows you to hear alarms or essential communication from coworkers. Ears Hearing offers custom hearing protection for a more comfortable and effective fit.
- Seek professional assessment: Consult with a licensed hearing care professional, especially if you suspect hearing loss. “Noise-induced hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected, but a hearing professional can help you with hearing aids and other technologies to improve your ability to communicate,” Galick says.
For help with noise-induced hearing loss and to learn more about a no-obligation free hearing aid trial, contact Ears Hearing at 20568 56 Ave. in Langley. Email email@example.com or call 604-427-2828 to schedule an appointment.