and the facts are frightening. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s (CDC) current issue of Vital Signs focuses on the dangers of noise on hearing health. Among other things, the report states that:
- 40 million Americans aged 20-69 years old have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the US, and almost twice as many people report hearing loss as report diabetes or cancer.
- 1 in 2 American adults with hearing damage from noise did not get it exposure to noise at work. Noise outside of work can be as damaging as workplace noise.
- Too much loud noise, whatever the source, causes permanent hearing loss.
- 1 in 4 Americans who report excellent hearing have hearing damage. You can have hearing loss without knowing it.
- The louder the sound, and the longer you are exposed to it, the more likely it will damage your hearing permanently.
- Continual exposure to noise can cause stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other health problems.
This fascinating if distressing report comes with easy to understand graphs and charts that clearly explain the dangers of noise exposure, who is most at risk, the high cost of hearing loss, how hearing loss occurs, and, most importantly, what can be done to prevent NIHL. Because, in the end, one point is crystal clear: noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable.