Can Restaurant Venues Be Harmful For Your Hearing??
We've talked a lot about noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and it's effect on our hearing. In our inner ear inside the structure called the "cochlea", we have thousands of hair cells. These are what get damaged, causing permanent hearing damage.
An analogy I always use is, you can think of those hair cells as grass. You can only step on grass so many times before it dies, or breaks right?
In the same way, the hair cells can only take so much loud sound, before they damage or potentially die.
While noise induced hearing loss is something that can happen in an instant; say from a really really loud noise, like a gunshot to an unprotected ear. It can also happen gradually over time; like the constant use of heavy equipment, listening to really loud music, constant use of hair dryers, snow blowers or lawn mowers. It can also happen when visiting loud restaurant venues. When the venues ambient noises are so loud, that can cause noise induced hearing loss! Here is a great rule of thumb; if you need to raise your voice, it's probably too loud in there.
A new app has been developed, called "SoundPrint" which help to evaluate venues, helping you to discover when things can be harmful and perhaps other places you can visit to be able to enjoy conversation differently.
This was an interview done by Jeff McArthur of Global Toronto with a colleague from Toronto, Kathy. Give it a listen... at an appropriate sound level of course ;)