Protecting one's hearing has always been important

Listen Up or You Might not Hear a Thing

Protecting one’s hearing has always been important, but never has a generation been more at risk for permanent hearing loss than your kid’s.

Many of us can remember our ears ringing after leaving a Bon Jovi concert or maybe Backstreet Boys depending on how old you are and of course what you listened to. Usually the ringing in your ears was gone before too long.

Fast forward to 2018 and the world is a very different place. While we had headphones and portable devices, we did not have them as permanently in place as so many young people do today plugged in to mobile phones.

This is mentioned because hearing loss generally occurs because of two factors – exposure to sound at high volumes for short durations or at volumes that may or may not be considered dangerously high for long durations. Or a combination of the two.

Sadly, many young people do not follow the 60/60 rule. Using ear buds/headphones for no more than 60 minutes a day at under 60% of their device’s maximum volume. The combination of overusing ear buds and then working in noisy environments is very dangerous and certainly can result in permanent hearing loss.

While some jobs require hearing protection – like operating gas powered strap-on air blowers commonly used in landscaping, others are not quite as obvious.

Something as seemingly harmless as washing dishes in a noisy restaurant kitchen can over time, cause hearing loss. An 8 hour shift followed by hours of mobile device earbuds or using headphones at high volume playing a video game can make a bad situation worse.

As a parent, there is something you can do. Ask your child about their working environment. Find out specifics about the equipment they work with and any other sources of noise to which they may be exposed. The tool they are using may not be nearly as dangerous to their hearing as the venting fan on the wall beside them.

Find out if hearing protection is available at their workplace. It’s possible that it may not be in which case they need to discuss it with their managers or you can purchase appropriate hearing protection, for as little as a couple of dollars. It can make a huge difference.

By asking the right questions and doing a little probing you can play an important role in ensuring your child understands the fundamentals of hearing loss and learns skills that will serve them well to protect their hearing throughout their lives.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 07:13h, 25 July

    There is now noise regulation in the Act. Employers need to do their part to make sure workers don’t end up with hearing loss from the job.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:16h, 25 July

    Very good advice – anyone who wears earbuds for a period of time each day (and that is probably the majority of people) should try to protect their hearing in the workplace.