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How loud is your life?


As a musician and Artistic Director of an a cappella ensemble hearing is a very important part of my life. I’ve been playing the piano for 33 years and a singer for 26 years. I spend a lot of time trying to take care of my hearing.

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How much time do you spend thinking about overexposure to noise? If you’re like most people – the answer is probably not a lot. According to a study from the American Medical Association’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one in five American teenagers has some degree of hearing loss. This is an increase of 31 per cent over the last survey conducted 10 years ago.

Noise-induced hearing loss occurs over time when our hearing is exposed to sounds that are too loud, for too long. Many culprits are less obvious than others. Most people are aware that music players, power tools, concerts and sporting events are risks, but did you know that you can even experience hearing loss from things like TV, video games and even noisy school and work environments?

Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. One of the reasons I chose to work for TELUS is because they are committed to causes I believe in; causes that empower youth and provide them with the tools they need to succeed. Since 2002, TELUS has donated more than $290,000 in support of programs offered by the Hearing Foundation to encourage people to “take care of your hearing, so you can hear the things you love!”

How do you create a quieter, safer environment for your family?

  • Turn down the volume on music players, TVs, and video games; if you have to shout to be heard, it’s too loud!
  • Reduce time spent in noisy environments.
  • Avoid competing noise sources in the house.
  • Close doors to workshop, laundry and other noisy areas.
  • Choose quieter toys for children, putting electronic toys on the lowest volume setting.
  • Wear earplugs at concerts, sporting events, school dances, noisy workplaces, and when working with power tools. Keep the activity enjoyable, but safe.
  • Make sure all family members understand the value of good hearing and how to protect it.

If someone in your family is experiencing ringing in their ears, or speech that sounds muffled, talk to your doctor and arrange a hearing test with an audiologist. In fact, it’s a good idea for everyone to have their hearing checked.

On May 22, for the third year in a row, TELUS team members and volunteers from the Hearing Foundation handed out ear plugs to commuters in downtown Toronto as a part of our TELUS Day of Giving. Recipients were encouraged to “Practice Safe Listening” and protect their hearing.

The Hearing Foundation of Canada is committed to eliminating the devastating impact of hearing loss on the lives of Canadians.

Find out more at hearingfoundation.ca; info@hearingfoundation.ca and @hearfdncan on Twitter.

 

Jennifer Kirner,

Senior Manager, TELUS Community Investment