Among the most recognizable sounds of summer in Canada are the noises of activity that come from the water. Whether it's splashing in a lake or the soft sounds of a canoe paddling through a stream, we find great enjoyment being out in the water for recreation.
When the weather heats up, Canadians also love to power up their boats. According to government statistics, more than 12 million Canadians (approximately 35% of the population) went boating in 2012. Meanwhile, 4.3 million boats are owned in the nation and boating accounts for $5 billion in economic activity and 67,000 jobs, the National Marine Manufacturers Association says. That means there is some serious sailing going on in this country.
Setting out on a fishing boat, motorboat or commuter ferry is one of the most popular water activities for Canadians. One location that's full of boats is Lake Okanagan, the British Columbia attraction that is home to Kelowna and several other communities. Boat motors, however, can be awfully noisy. So much so, in fact, that they can pose a threat to your hearing health. One sure way to protect your ears is to wear noise-dampening headphones when powering up the motor and to keep earplugs on you to use when the boat speeds up.
"The decibel level of motor boats can be dangerously loud. Active boaters and even those in the vicinity of marinas or piers need to realize that noise-induced hearing loss is one of the fastest-growing conditions in North America," says MJ DeSousa, our Director of Professional Practice. "If you're heading out on the water this summer, wear earplugs, and if you're an active boater, you should get your hearing tested to ensure you stay connected to the sounds and people you love."
Boating is a joy in summer, especially in Canada and on its many beautiful waterways. But it's also a pursuit that requires some precaution. If you've been boating consistently for many years or simply feel something is amiss with your hearing, visit a Connect Hearing clinic near you for a complimentary hearing test.