May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Is Technology Causing Hearing Loss?

Modern technology has helped make our lives much easier- from futuristic voice recognition devices to top-of-the-line snow blowers and lawn mowers. But is all this technology causing people ages 20-69 to suffer from hearing loss? Well, the answer is “yes”! Our current sources of entertainment and machinery, designed to do most of the heavy work, is causing most Americans to lose a significant amount of hearing.

According to a new 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 40 million Americans under the age of 70 have a measurable type of non-job-related hearing loss. This means that the majority of hearing loss attributed to harmful noise exposure is no longer related to loud workplaces.  Instead, hearing loss from loud noise could be due to concerts, loud personal music players, motorcycles, recreational shooting/hunting, race car driving, power tools, and other loud hobbies.  Even our city can be too loud with all the traffic and trains!

How Can We Protect Our Hearing?

“Ear plugs or earmuffs are a great way to protect our ears from loud noises, especially if we are going to be outside this summer cutting your grass or exposed to any loud noises,” says Brittany Beeg, Au.D., CCC-A, audiologist at ChicagoENT.  Other hearing protective methods include:

  • Turning the volume down on loud devices.
  • Walking away from the loud noise.
  • Taking breaks from the noise.
  • Avoiding loud, noisy activities and places.
  • Using hearing protection.
  • Keeping children away from loud music or equipment at home.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss:

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you may have hearing loss caused by loud noises:

  • Speech and other sounds seem muffled.
  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds (e.g., birds, women and children’s voices, doorbell, telephone).
  • Difficulty understanding conversations when you are in a noisy place, such as a restaurant
  • Difficulty understanding speech over the phone.
  • Trouble distinguishing speech consonants (e.g., the difference between /s/ and /f/, between /p/and /t/, or between /sh/and /th/in speech).
  • Asking others to speak more slowly and clearly.
  • Asking someone to speak more loudly or repeat themselves.
  • Turning up the volume of the television, radio or telephone.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Hypersensitivity to certain sounds.

If you have any signs of hearing loss, call our office at 773.296.5500 to immediately schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified otolaryngologists.

ChicagoENT Can Help You Hear Better Again

More adults and children turn to Chicago ENT for the most advanced surgical and medical therapies available.  Our audiology team is trained in the finest schools across the county and have been carefully selected by Chicago ENT’s medical director and founder, Dr. Michael Friedman. From diagnosing all types, degrees and configurations of hearing loss, to treating ear infections and balance disorders, Chicago ENT and Chicago Hearing Associates boast the perfect combination of expert physicians and fully-equipped, on-site testing facilities.

We pride ourselves on our ability to educate patients about their hearing loss and provide treatment using the latest technologies and research.  Our goal is to optimize our patient’s hearing, allowing them to communicate with family, friends and the world around them.

In addition, we are the only ENT specialty center that lets you schedule your appointment whenever you want – even in the middle of the night – thanks to our 24/7 appointment desk. To schedule your appointment with one of our multi-disciplinary teams of ENT and audiology experts, please call us at 773.296.5500 or schedule online 24/7-click here!