A new survey has revealed that exposure to everyday noises can cause loss of hearing. The survey found that food processors, lawnmowers, noisy restaurants, trains and even hair dryers are putting Australians at a risk of hearing loss.
Professor Richard Dowell, director of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic, "Exposure to everyday noises, not age, will be the leading cause of hearing loss in the near future."
This new Cochlear survey comes at a time when several Australians are suffering from hearing loss. The Hearing Care Industry Association has found that nearly one in six Australians suffer from some degree of hearing loss, and this is said to increase to one in four by 2050.
Most often, people think that only loud noises can cause damage to the ears and affect hearing ability, but this new study found that hearing can be damaged by exposure to everyday noises. The survey also found that only a quarter of the Australians surveyed were aware of this and 71 per cent were of the opinion that only loud noises could cause deafness. They thought listening to loud music on headphones, or going to a nightclub could damage a person's hearing abilities.
Professor Dowell shed light on the common belief that if one refrains from attending concerts or any place that exposes them to loud sounds and keeps their presence in such events to the minimum then it would not affect their ears. But he said, that was not true, one's frequency of exposure to loud noises does not determine if the ear would be affected by it or not. He explained, "No matter how seldom you participate in an activity, there is still the very real possibility that it is causing you permanent damage."
It is not just loud sounds, but even a level of sound which is as low as 85dB can cause hearing loss; a sound that is higher than 70dB is considered loud. Vacuum cleaners have a 70dB level, washing machines are at 75dB, blender or food processor produce sounds of 90dB, heavy city traffic produce 85dB, hair dryer are at 85dB, chainsaw and rock concerts produce 110 dB, the most among them is the ambulance siren with 120 dB.
The survey is all the more essential because some parents of 20,000 deaf children a pushing towards a block of the sale of Australian Hearing. This is a Federal Government service that is providing free hearing aids and cochlear implants to thousands of young Australians. They believe that if the hearing aids are made available free of cost then it would result in a low quality and service in country areas.
Health organizations and groups are promoting better hearing health and are giving tips to maintain hearing health as part of Hearing Awareness Week which will run until August 30.