We live in a world of sound. From the moment we hear the alarm clock in the morning, we are subjected to sounds that direct us through the day and help us to interact with the world around us. Imagine the length of your list if you were to journal an entire day of sound sources. From the sounds of water in the shower and the whistling of the kettle to the hum of fluorescent lighting, vehicle traffic, and the chirp of your smartphone, sounds are an integral part of communication. We use sounds to gauge distance, direction, and the intensity of the activities that happen around us. Now imagine a day without all those important cues. Hearing loss has an isolating effect, and the absence of sound also means a reduction of mental stimulation.
Some studies show an increase in hearing loss among the young, due in part to the increased use of personal listening devices and prolonged exposure to loud sounds. According to a study published on the Hearing Foundation of Canada website, there is a significant shift in hearing loss which is not just limited to older adults. Hearing loss is affecting young adults at an increasing rate. The neurological nuances of all hearing functions are not fully understood by the medical community which makes hearing loss prevention a very sensible and practical approach.
Although hearing aids are helpful in coping with hearing loss, they don’t cure it. The consequences of hearing loss are irreversible, so it’s worth examining your listening habits to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk. Even the sounds we like hearing can be too loud. By limiting your exposure to loud sounds, reducing the amount of time spent using personal listening devices to 90 minutes a day and keeping the volume at 85 decibels or less, you can reduce the risk of hearing loss. Don’t forget to give your ears time to recuperate from listening with periods of quiet.
Hearing loss isn't limited to seniors. Having a hearing test will document the condition of your hearing so that you can monitor changes over time. Having an annual hearing test will let you know if there are significant changes and if you ask your doctor for a referral, you can get a hearing test at Beltone at no cost.
Call the Beltone Hearing Care Centre nearest you for a hearing test appointment. You’ll find locations in Campbell River, Comox, and Powell River, as well as Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Duncan, Parksville/Qualicum, Victoria and Sidney.