Writer David Owen describes our current age as a deafening one, National Public Radio reports.
In his new book, Volume Control, he explains how the loud noises that surround us are harming our ears.
“When we talk about age-related hearing loss, the assumption is that this is something that happens to old people,” Owen told NPR. “It is something that happens to old people — but it’s something that’s caused by things that we do when we’re young.”
Even small household appliances like food processors and hair dryers can be noisy enough to cause permanent damage, Owen warns. He points out that people who live in places without a lot of background noise tend to experience less hearing loss.
“There have been a couple of studies done with populations of indigenous people who live in places where there is very little background noise, and elderly people in those populations tend to hear as well as infants do,” he notes.
Owen recommends that people carry earplugs with them — and he says they shouldn’t be bashful about using them.