Modern life can be hard on our ears, especially over time. There are plenty of ways we can damage our hearing if we aren’t careful. Just think about the hazards we encounter every day in Washington State. If you’re a resident of an urban area around Puget Sound, you’ve experienced the noise caused by highway and street traffic: from engines and horns, to the sounds of heavy machinery used by road crews.
Years of living in cities like Tacoma or Seattle cause hearing damage to build up – something many of us aren’t aware of until our hearing starts to fade. And that damage can be exacerbated by other sources of loud noises. For instance, Seattle is famous for its thriving music scene. If you’re a frequent patron of concerts or you’ve worked at local venues, you’re more likely to experience hearing loss.
Work is another prime source of noise: from jackhammers pounding at construction sites, to airplane noise at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. But rural areas aren’t without their own risks as well. The lumber industry is one of the noisiest around, and workers in the lumber yard tend to report hearing loss more than average. Additionally, hunting is another major hazard— just one close gunshot can cause permanent hearing damage!
One 2016 study found that 95% of American hunters had not worn any ear protection in the previous year. As you can see, it’s very easy to sustain hearing damage in Washington State.