Noisy hobbies cause Hearing Loss

Is there a difference between a hearing loss from noise at work & recreational loud sounds?

Clay pigeon shooting

Noise can affect anyone at home or at work

NO !

It does not matter where and when you hear loud sounds… if it is too loud the sound/noise will damage your hearing.

It does not matter if you enjoy listening to these loud sounds…eg music…the level of sound will eventually cause a noise induced hearing loss and possible problems with tinnitus and decreased sound tolerance of every day sounds. Too much sound/noise will eventually cause hearing  loss. The rate that a person loses their hearing is an individual response. Some people are more susceptible to noise and lose their hearing more quickly than other people. However, over time repeated exposure will eventually lead to a hearing loss.

It is not a case of …“if you will develop a hearing loss but when you will develop a hearing loss.”

 7 common activities that cause hearing loss

The following recreational activities are well known to cause hearing loss:
• Power tools , chain saws
• Rifle shooting/fire arms
• Garden equipment such as lawn mowers, whipper snippers, blow vacs etc
• Loud music …especially from personal listening devices where the music is concentrated in the ear
• Motor bikes
• Motor boats
• Use of manual tools eg hammering a nail (this is metal on metal and produces impact noise)

Types of sounds that damage your hearing more

Impact noise is more damaging to hearing than steady noise.
What is impact noise?
Impact noise is a short sharp sound that is very intense and quick. This type of sound is more damaging that a regular steady noise such as engine.
Why is this more damaging?
The ear has a protective mechanism to protect against loud sounds. Muscles in the middle ear contract to help protect the ear against louder sounds. If the sound is short and sharp the ear does not have time to activate the protective muscle action. If the muscles do not contract in time the hair cells in the inner ear receive the full blast of the loud sound.

What are examples of impact noise?
Use of fire arms, hammering a nail, staple guns, nail guns all produce impact noise that will damage your hearing. Use of appropriate hearing protection is essential to look after your hearing. There is no such thing as a “quick job”!!
Just one shot too many or hammering in a nail to hang up a picture can be once too much and cause permanent hearing loss.
What are other regular recreational activities that can damage your hearing?
Mowing the lawn, whipper snipping the paths, using a blow vac on autumn leaves, riding a motor bike, the noise from some power boat engines, using power tools and the listening to loud music are just some of the everyday activities that will bruise and damage the hair cells in the inner ear.
Recreational use of hearing protection
Use of hearing protection is just as important at home as at work. Loud sounds damage your hearing. There is no exceptions. Being young, old, male, female, good health or poor health …too much sound will cause a hearing loss.
To prevent hearing loss …the sound must be at a level that does not damage the hair cells in your inner ear. Using the right type of earmuffs keeps the sound at a level that cannot damage your hearing.
What if I can’t hear enough and don’t feel safe wearing hearing protection?
Using effective earmuffs not only protects your hearing from loud sounds…it also reduces your ability to hear speech and what is happening around you. If this is a concern, such as when on a rifle range, the use of communication earmuffs enables you to hear speech and monitor your environment.

Not sure what to do and whether noise is affecting your hearing?
Call Sound Advice and make an appointment for a hearing screen and advice on the best type of hearing protection to protect your hearing.
Phone 03 62 248953