Study: Millions of People Don’t Protect their Ears
Wearing earplugs or earmuffs is like wearing sunscreen: we all know we should wear sunscreen if we’re stepping foot outside, but do we do it? For most of us, the answer is not as often as we should. The same goes for our ears. We know that when we are participating in loud activities we should protect our ears but do we? No. A recent study should be a warning to all of us that not wearing proper hearing protection can have serious consequences.
Harrison Lin, an ear surgeon at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center and his colleagues recently did a sweeping analysis that revealed many people know they should wear earplugs when mowing the yard or at the club, but rarely do they actually wear them. Furthermore, they found that a large number of individuals who work at very loud jobs do not protect their ears. 33% of people who are exposed to very loud sounds at their workplace for up to 4 hours per day, never wear hearing protection. This is very concerning given safety guidelines. About 63% of people exposed to very loud sounds during recreation do not protect their ears. And 21% of those who shoot guns do so without protection, even when a single shot can cause permanent hearing loss.
The study also found that one in five people in their 20’s is already experiencing hearing loss. This is most likely due to cranking up the volume while wearing earbuds, loud concerts, and other deafening aspects of modern life. Noise is almost unavoidable and our ears are just not made to handle such trauma.
Whether it’s mowing the lawn, turning up the stereo, turning on the food processor, or sitting at a sporting event. All of these activities can cause permanent damage to our hearing, yet we continue to do them without protection and this can cause serious, permanent damage to our hearing. Wearing proper hearing protection should be of utmost importance.