Covid 19 Hearing Loss

COVID-19 — Suddenly a Quieter World.

Calm and serenity: A silver lining?  

Like everybody else, I do not enjoy social distancing. After all, I love doing my Safety and hearing loss presentations in person, with actual people! Feelings of isolation? As a person with hearing loss, I have my share of those already. 

What I do enjoy about this virus-imposed quarantine is that life is a lot more peaceful. Unrelenting noise is stressful for all but especially for those who are already hearing damaged and sound intolerant. 

Although there is plenty to worry about, I have a calmer and more rational attitude towards the new realities. Overall, I sleep better and have less tinnitus, which I consider a blessing. I even hear the birds in the backyard – at least some of them – now that they do not have to compete with the daily environmental cacophony caused by droning planes, thundering motorcycles and never-ending traffic noise. 

While it is bad for one’s hearing to live in a place that is too quiet or totally devoid of sound, there is a balance that must be struck. Yes, ears do need sound exposure but at reasonable volume settings. Even during a pandemic, it is important for those with hearing loss to keep hearing alive. 

Ears getting a break

Our ears might actually catch a well-deserved sound break as insanely loud gathering and entertainment places are on hiatus. Here one might think of the decibel assaults that people go voluntarily in search of, such as insanely loud movies, live concerts, ear-wrecking sports events and more. It is so easy to forget about the damage that such exposures cause to hearing and quality of life. 

For now, unless we turn the home stereo to the last notch until the walls shake or blast the delicate hearing structures with MP3 din, we might just be cutting our ears and hearing some slack. Will we go back to bad habits once the quarantine is over or will we be motivated to preserve the hearing that we have? What choices will we ultimately make? 

And so, at least for now I enjoy the welcome respite that this quieter world provides and I can’t help but wonder if this atmosphere of calm and serenity might be the overlooked silver lining for hearing and health amid so much upheaval?


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