by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This paper in the March 22, 2018, issue of JAMA Otolaryngology reports that difficulty hearing is associated with an increased risk of accidental injury. The study is preliminary because it relies on subject self-report of hearing difficulty rather than measured hearing loss, but it makes sense. Sound provides much information–for communication, for entertainment, and for warning of hazards–and if you have difficulty hearing, you’ll become aware of problems (e.g., an approaching vehicle, a power tool that’s getting stuck, or even just a shouted warning) later than if you had good hearing.
Think about all the accidental injury that could be avoided if people made an effort to protect their hearing. After all, most hearing loss in adults is noise-induced hearing loss which is 100% preventable.
Protect your hearing by avoiding loud noise or using hearing protection, and avoid accidental injury, too.