Despite being a preventable condition, noise-induced hearing loss impacts many Australians.
Particularly common in the construction, music and manufacturing industries, noise-induced hearing loss occurs after harmful exposure to noises that are too loud. It permanently damages sensitive structures in the inner ear and can potentially cause a range of issues from tinnitus to significant deafness.
Being aware of how you engage in other everyday activities – such as listening to music through headphones, mowing the lawn or going to a live concert – is also critical.
“Just like your eyesight, hearing loss can occur at any age, and often goes unnoticed as it slowly affects the way you interact with your friends and loved ones,” said Hear and Say Head of Audiology, Julie Decker.
“For people who work in noisy work environments like a construction site, factory or music venue, there is an even greater chance of hearing loss through exposure to excessive noise over time.
“It’s especially important to ensure you’re proactively staying on top of your hearing, wearing ear protection such as noise or musician plugs wherever possible, It’s also beneficial to know what technology options, for example hearing aids, are available if hearing loss is identified.”
One simple check you can do to test the noise in your workplace is by applying the one-metre rule. If you require a raised voice to speak with someone standing one metre away, you can assume background noise is at an unsafe level (Safe Work Australia, 2020).
With research suggesting that a staggering one in two people know someone with a hearing loss, Georgia said clients often felt hesitant about having their hearing checked and many were unaware of the modern features available with today’s hearing technology options.
“Not being aligned to any one manufacturer or brand means that when someone visits Hear and Say, we work with them to best match the type of hearing technology with their medical history, lifestyle and goals,” said Julie.
“There are a lot of new features in hearing aids that people may not be aware of, including Bluetooth streaming for media such as music and the TV; rechargeability and tinnitus relief technology.”