While watching the History Channel a few weeks ago, we came across a series called "Forged and Fire". It's a challenge for blacksmiths, bladesmiths and the like to create weapons and blades. The contestants are judged on creativity and durability of their workmanship. The audiologist in me is thinking, "Where are their earplugs? Why aren't they wearing ear protection?" These men and women are banging on steel. Their ears must be getting a workout. And not in a good way.
Even while watching the folks cutting lumber at the local hardware store, I've noticed that many times it's done without the use of ear protection. Eye protection, check. Ears are wide open. If it's me in line, beware, I'll give the lecture about using ear protection and show them how to properly insert their earplugs.
In my younger days, I stopped construction workers, lawn care services or anyone I noticed who was killing their hair cells one by one. I always had a box of earplugs in the trunk of my car.
If you know anyone who works with power tools, uses a lawnmower, leaf blower, or goes to loud sporting or music events please tell them that protecting their ears today will save their ears from damage down the road.
Yes, I harp on this repeatedly because most of our patients tell us they wish that someone gave them this advice years ago. We need you to spread the word. Better to wear ear protection now than hearing aids later.