Connect Hearing says Canadians need to take precautions before engaging in holiday routines
For Immediate Release
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (November 14, 2012) — Dining out, holiday shopping sales, office parties.
All are supposed to be occasions for Canadians to look forward to at this time of year, but in recent years studies have shown holiday activities present hazards for hearing health.
The decibel level at restaurants across North America has spiked for several reasons, one of them being a shift to more casual eateries where groups of diners are encouraged to share plates and conversation. Noise also equates to excitement in some people's minds and that can mean more business for restaurateurs and malls as patrons seek out lively scenes in urban centres. Likewise, many office parties create a boisterous atmosphere — often in an area with poor acoustics that puts ears at risk. With many holiday celebrations coming up, a large number of Canadians will be exposed to noise levels that can damage their hearing.
Connect Hearing Director of Professional Practice MJ DeSousa says the noise in many social atmospheres can rise close to or above the 100-decibel level, making these activities a danger. As the holidays approach, the nation's largest network of hearing-health clinics is advising caution.
"We don't expect restaurants and malls to be as noisy as a sports arena or a concert hall, so we don't take the precautions to protect our hearing that we might in situations where we have been conditioned to face excessive noise," DeSousa says. "It's important to always carry earplugs, especially during the holiday season. But better yet, give yourself an early present by getting your hearing checked so you can ensure you stay connected to the people and activities you love."
Restaurant workers are a group that's particularly at risk. By law, employees are supposed to wear hearing protection if they are exposed to excessive noise for hours in a day. The decibel levels in many restaurants can equate to the noise output of a power drill or other construction equipment, reports have shown. Shopping malls are extremely crowded in November and December, leading to tremendously loud activity, and office parties are often held in confined areas where noise can't escape, DeSousa says.
"More and more young people are facing hearing-loss issues, and it's because they're exposed to environments with noise levels that can cause injury," DeSousa says. "Protecting your hearing is essential to maintaining a high quality of life."
Connect Hearing offers complimentary hearing screenings at each of its 112 clinics across Canada and can prescribe the appropriate hearing device for your needs. To learn more, visit Connect Hearing's website at https://connecthearing.ca/.
Deb Morse, Elevation PR