Man and woman walking on the city street covering her ears concept of noise pollution image

Our Own Dr. Fligor, Audiology Expert, Talks to The Washington Post

From career opportunities and the social scene to arts, entertainment, green spaces, and more, city life offers a wealth of amenities. It also packs its share of loud sounds, which can lead to hearing loss — a chronic health issue that’s on the rise.

When a study published by University of Michigan researchers showed that 1 in 10 riders are exposed to dangerous noise levels from transit in New York City, the Washington Post newspaper turned to experts including our own Dr. Brian Fligor.

One of the study’s biggest surprises? Among five typical sources of excess city noise, MP3 players and stereo use accounted for the lowest fraction of total annual hours but were the main generators for most of the residents and workers sampled.

Since the Post’s 2013 article hit the internet, smartphones and streaming services have replaced the ubiquity of MP3 devices for music-playing, but the hazards remain. In fact, dangerous listening practices are putting over a billion young folks at risk of irreversible hearing damage.

Of course, excess noise isn’t just an urban problem. Whether from occupational and recreational activities or other sources, rural communities can also have a high prevalence of hearing loss. A study released just this year, for example, found that hearing loss is more common in rural areas.

No matter where you live or work in Massachusetts, where about 1 in 5 people have some level of hearing loss, it’s important to help protect one of your most crucial senses. One easy step is to avoid listening to audio players at their highest volume.

As Dr. Fligor, our audiologist-in-chief and president at Tobias & Battite, advised in the article, a good rule of thumb when using earbuds is to keep the sound no higher than 80% of the maximum volume for 90 minutes a day. And make sure regular hearing checkups are part of your health routine.

Has it been a while since your last hearing evaluation? Do you work with heavy machinery, musical instruments, or other potential sources of loud sounds? Our audiology experts can help you enjoy your craft and live your best with healthier hearing. Book an appointment today!


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