Sound is everywhere around us. It’s the blow dryer in the morning, traffic on the drive into work and the noise of household appliances when we get home at night. Normally, we hear these sounds at safe levels that do not impact our hearing. However, when we are exposed to harmful noise – sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time – our ears can be damaged, causing noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
You Might Not Hear It Coming
Hearing is a sense which we often take for granted. The scary truth about noise induced hearing loss is that it occurs gradually over time. This means that a person doesn’t realize that they have permanent hearing loss until it is too late. Parents or teachers also may not notice this type of hearing loss until it is quite far along. For these reasons, awareness and early prevention are essential.
What’s At Risk?
The effects of irreversible hearing loss on a person’s life can be quite dramatic. It can be exhausting trying to fill in the words that are missed during a conversation. Some people experience pain or ringing in their ears. Untreated hearing loss can also lead to the disruption of social relationships, stress, loneliness, anxiety and even depression. In children, even a small degree of hearing loss can affect their speech, language comprehension, classroom learning and social interaction. Untreated, it may also impact a young adult’s education and employment prospects.