Hearing loss can be a solitary experience. You often miss the punch line of the joke and look around in confusion while everyone else is laughing. You are embarrassed to ask your friend to repeat herself for the third time so you just nod along and pretend you heard her instead. Significant concentration is required to follow conversations, leading to hearing loss exhaustion and general fatigue. Sometimes people with hearing loss decide socializing is not worth the effort and choose to isolate themselves. They start to avoid parties and intimate time with friends and family. This was the case for me.
Those who haven’t lived it can only imagine how difficult work must be for someone with severe hearing impairment. Whether you’re sitting in a desk all day, standing behind a counter, or operating heavy machinery, hearing is essential to any job.
Which is safer? Ear buds or over-the-ear headphones? It’s a debate that has raged on since the Apple iPod took the world by storm in the early 2000s. Although in-ear headphones had been around for over one hundred years before then, they weren’t a hit with consumers until Apple released its iconic white iPod ear buds.
I have a question for you. How many of your patients would you estimate know that the brain translates impulses from the ear into sounds we know and understand? Or that it also discriminates relevant sounds from background noise and turns up our own speech? I would guess not very many. Frankly, I didn’t know until I started working in the industry.
Ever wonder exactly how loud your favorite band is? How about those sporting events you frequently attend to see the teams you love play? Both may be way noisier than you think.
Hearing hazards are a part of normal, everyday life. From jackhammers to emergency vehicle sirens, there seems to be loud noises everywhere we turn these days. But how much is too much? And do the threats to our hearing health deserve as much attention at home as they do away from home?