The thing is, Michigan is a state with more potential hearing risks than most. For one thing, it was the birthplace of the automobile industry (not to mention a hub for steel and engineering industries). That means millions of Wolverines have worked for prolonged periods of time in noisy factories or as professional drivers, exposing their ears to potentially dangerous levels of noise.
And if you’re one of them, you might not even realize how badly your ears have suffered. Studies have found that almost half of active factory workers tend to suffer from hearing loss, while three-quarters of them report “excellent hearing”. But factories aren’t alone in threatening Michigan’s hearing. Even driving the highways for decades can gradually damage the nerves in your auditory system, while packed sporting venues like Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium can generate over 140 decibels of noise (when 85 decibels is generally seen as a dangerous level).
And shooting is another common hearing risk in the Great Lakes State. Over 600,000 residents have concealed pistol licenses, while some 580,000 Wolverines report hunting at least once a year. Gunshots average between 140-190 decibels, and many hunters fail to wear ear protection, so it’s not surprising to find that hunters experience hearing loss in greater numbers than the general population. It’s just another area where Michigan’s rich social life poses risks to the state’s hearing.