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July 1, 2013

Hearing Loss up, North Americans are not protecting their ears enough

With the number of people listening to headphones way too loud, it is a wonder more teenagers are not going deaf or suffering hearing loss from listening to loud music.

Instead the biggest contributors to hearing loss is people who have very loud professions. Jobs like construction work, mining, military, plumbers, carpenters, agriculture, firefighting, or manufacturing.

* I wish I could find statistics for hearing loss for musicians.


What I can tell you is that the percentage of people who are suffering hearing loss is going up - and is predicted to keep going up.

Why?

A multitude of reasons, including:

#1. Increased ignorance of how much damage loud noises can do - people choosing to ignore the damage being done to their ears, thinking that they don't need ear protection.

#2. Inadequate ear protection. Sponge ear protectors don't protect your ears enough when using heavy machinery or firing large guns (during military training exercises). People need to be using more powerful ear protection.

#3. Louder machinery. Call it an advancement in technology if you want. Machines are getting bigger and bigger, more powerful, and likewise louder. Thus machinery that did a smaller job back in the 1950s vs bigger machinery that is faster, stronger, and LOUDER are doing more damage to people's ears.

Thus it is clear that people (and companies / governments) should be doing more to protect the ears of their employees and soldiers. It is amazing that people suffering from hearing loss are not suing the company for not providing better ear protection - and ear protection training.

FACT - One in ten North American adults suffers from mild tinnitus due to their working conditions. What is worse, that statistic goes up the closer to retirement they get. It is not their age however causing it, it is their loud working conditions destroying their hearing over decades. Thus by the time they reach 65 many people who developed mild tinnitus during their youth are suffering from major hearing loss when they reach retirement.

If you think you are suffering hearing loss due to your work conditions, try contacting an audiologist or getting a hearing test. You can even get a free hearing test if you live near Vaughan, Ontario, or similar places that offer free hearing tests. The Omni Hearing Centre in Vaughan is just one of many places in Ontario that offer free hearing tests.

Thus you have nothing to lose by getting your hearing checked by an audiologist.

And if your hearing is going down due to your work conditions, that is grounds for a class action lawsuit for all of the employees working there. If other employees get their hearing checked and they are all suffering hearing damage then it is clear the company is providing inadequate ear protection.



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