Just a few days ago, I was stopped at a traffic light at a busy intersection, when a slightly modified muscle car pulled up beside me. A hole had been cut through the car’s hood and some air intake piece had been installed. The motor was making a loud, horrific noise as if we were at the starting line at the drag strip. Above all the noise, two teenaged male occupants had the radio cranked up so loudly that the thumping vibrated the windows in my Buick LeSabre. I’m sure all of you reading this have experienced a similar situation. The two imitated the playing of drums on the steering wheel and the dashboard. I figured they were not taking any musical requests from the public, nor any other requests, for that matter.
As much as it was sort of entertaining and humorous to watch the two “jamming” to the music, I started thinking how they have taken their precious gift of hearing, for granted. Have they ever thought what life would be like should they lose that gift? What if the ringing in their ears over the next few years diminished their ability to clearly understand communication? How would their lives change?
Isn’t the ability to hear a miraculous wonder? However, many people do things on a daily basis that may damage their hearing. I know of one man who as a teenager, worked alongside his dad and siblings on what’s called a “buzz rig”, which is a device attached to the back of a tractor and long tree limbs and logs are placed on a moveable table. When the table is tiled forward, a huge blade cuts the wood into chunks for the fireplace or wood stove. The loud, “screaming” sounds of the saw blade passing through the log caused so much ear damage that many members of that family lost their hearing before the age of 21. I know that family well.
Think of the athletics, and casual users, who seem to be abusing their hearing on a daily basis by using ear plugs to amplify the sounds into their ear canals. Many parents have requested that their child use headphones when they listen to the music at home so the rest of the family doesn’t have to be subjected to the abuse of “Twisted Sister”, but are they aware of the damage that may be taking place?
Last week, I took particular notice at the gym of almost everyone with some sort of listening device shoved into their ear canal. Because of this, many people with perfectly good hearing are damaging this gift of hearing. Loud noises are known to damage a person’s ability to hear with 100% accuracy, and as the years pass, there will be more and more individuals who realize a severe decrease in their ability to comprehend what’s being spoken to them.
Young people often have this idea that their hearing is indestructible, but those who have abused their hearing by listening to loud music, or by being subjected to loud noises, will tell you otherwise.
Safeguard YOUR ability to hear!! There are MANY reasons for a person to be deaf or hard-of-hearing, but subjecting yourself to loud noises does not have to be one of them. Exploding loud music directly into the eardrum is not only dangerous, but it is downright foolish.
The next time you see somebody at the traffic light with the music blaring; it may not be because he likes to play it loud. It could be that he has lost his precious gift to hear at the normal volume. Perhaps you would like to print this article and place it in the door, or on the windshield, of someone you love while there still is time.