Dr. Emily Martinson, AuD, PhD

In honor of Halloween, let’s talk about something that inspires fear in the heart of every audiologist and hearing care provider… noise-induced hearing loss!  Much scarier than any ghost, goblin, or weekend spent with your mother-in-law that you can run away from, noise-induced hearing loss can be permanent.   Although often you can be prepared for noise exposure, sometimes noise damage, like (yet another) Twilight movie, can strike without warning.  Here’s how to be prepared this Halloween.

Haunted houses are notorious for ear-damaging loud sounds.  They are filled with chain saws, ghosts jumping out and yelling “Boo!”, and obnoxiously screaming teenagers.  Make sure to put on ear protection before going into the haunted house. If you already have a hearing loss, you are at an even greater risk of further damage from noise exposure, as the damaged hair cells in your ears are more susceptible to further damage.  That is scarier than the prospect of your favorite movie from the 80s being remade (again)! If you wear hearing aids, they likely have an automatic “shut off” that will stop amplifying sound if it is above a certain decibel range.   That being said, hearing aids will not protect you from sounds that are already too loud, so beware!

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