Construction and Traffic and Noise, Oh My!
Walking down the street to our Coxwell and Danforth office, one cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the sound of jackhammering as contractors do roadwork. This is one noisy corner, but it’s not the only one. From sirens to traffic, noise levels are getting louder and louder. Anyone can tell you – if you can get their attention over their headphones or earbuds, now turned up to a new high, to drown out the increasing environmental noise.
Although there are plenty of regulations in place to protect those who work in a noisy environment, there are few regulations for those of us repeatedly suffering from noise outside the work place. Construction equipment, MP3 players, sirens, concerts, household appliances and more are unregulated sources of assault on our ears. Perhaps without knowing it, we are exposing ourselves to a threat that, with minimal effort, could be reduced or eliminated.
The problem with loud noises or even with chronic exposure to a loud sound that may not seem intolerable is that it does damage to the hair cells in your ear and your body cannot replace or repair them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
So, what is one to do?
First, consider wearing earplugs. If you’ve struggled with the typical foam type from the drug store, we’ve spotted a great video online that shows you the correct insertion method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S6dthcSVIM Nine times out of ten, when we’ve had clients complain about foam earplugs, their problems are resolved after a quick tutorial.
Second, if you’re worried about missing out on conversation, consider a filtered earplug. We carry the ETY Plug by Etymotic Research. When wearing an ETY Plug, you bring sounds down to a safe level while still being able to enjoy conversation.
Third, if you find both of these earplug options uncomfortable, consider a custom solid or filtered earplug, molded to fit your ear perfectly.
Any of these options can be used when out in traffic, operating your lawn mower, or riding the subway. As a last resort, if you find yourself without hearing protection, using your fingers to plug your ears when a siren goes by can make a difference.
We know what you’re thinking: “But then I can’t listen to my music!” We know it’s not cool but, you need to know that the maximum output of many MP3 players leave even occupational safety levels in the dust and are equivalent to the noise produced by a jet engine. Wearing earbuds rather than headphones can make the damage even worse. One of the joys of hearing is enjoying music so consider enjoying it at a moderate volume for the rest of your life, rather than rocking out now and tuning out later.
We’re not just here to sell you hearing aids once the damage is done. We are committed to helping you preserve the hearing you’ve got for as long as possible.
Feel free to contact us with any questions. We’d be delighted to hear from you.