Farmers are no stranger to hard work and sacrifice.
Those concepts have been part of their heritage for generations. Every time a meal is put on the table – we can thank the dedication of a farming family!
When it comes to hearing loss, we see a definite pattern specific to most rural communities. Exposure to consistent noise, such as tractors and the many loud pieces of equipment that farmers use, can cause hearing to decline. Over time, hearing loss can creep up on an individual before they even realize it.
Sound is measured in units called decibels (db). Here are the average decibel ratings of some familiar sounds:
Sounds at or below 70db, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss. However, extended, or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85db can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for noise induced hearing loss to happen.
Trina Almond-Atchley, a Miracle-Ear hearing instrument specialist, cares for patients from a mostly rural area.
She says farmers often think they do not have a hearing issue. However, they have trouble understanding their wives, grandchildren, and hearing well in a restaurant or other noisy settings.
It’s easy to brush off the problem by believing a loved one is not speaking clearly, or the room noise is simply too loud to hear conversation.
“They can hear a car coming down the gravel road. They can hear gunshots during deer season, and they can hear their farm equipment just fine,” Atchley said. “They just can’t make out clear speech and they are having their loved ones repeat themselves without realizing it. The reality is they are experiencing a specific type of hearing loss that creates muffled sound.”
If any of those examples sound familiar, we encourage you to make an appointment for a hearing evaluation. Miracle-Ear’s exclusive hearing testing is free and there is never an obligation to purchase anything.
Impact On The Ears
Tens of thousands of hairlike nerve cells in the inner ear are responsible for picking up sound and are in the cochlea. The cells have specific pitches they are responsible for. High pitches are picked up in the outer portion. Low pitches are picked up in the inner portion.
The cells in the outer portion of the cochlea are most at risk to noise exposure. This is the first area to receive stimulation from noise and the first to deteriorate more severely and more quickly than other areas.
High Frequency Hearing Loss
Noise Induced Hearing Loss is common and involves damage to the outer portion of the cochlea. The higher-toned pitches become less audible. However, the higher-toned pitches are important for the understanding of speech. This issue is not related to volume as lower toned pitches, such as gunshots being fired or vehicle tires on a gravel road, continue to be easily heard.
When it comes to speech, the lower-toned pitches are consistent with vowels. The higher-toned pitches are consistent with consonants. It becomes an issue for the clarity in speech. This type of hearing loss is easy to dismiss as thinking the other party is mumbling.
A Few Signs Of Hearing Loss:
- Asking others to repeat themselves or to speak more slowly.
- Listening to the TV or media devices too loud for others.
- Trouble hearing higher frequencies, such as the voices of women and children.
- Issues hearing in crowded spaces, like restaurants and social events.
- Thinking others are mumbling.
- Difficulty hearing on the phone.
- Frequently unsure of what direction a sound is coming from.
- Difficulty hearing sounds, like a car’s turn signal, beeping of timers, or birds chirping.
- Ringing in the ears or symptoms of tinnitus.
If you are experiencing signs of hearing loss, Miracle-Ear can help!
Choosing Miracle-Ear offers local access to top-quality service and numerous benefits!
Miracle-Ear advantages you can expect to receive:
- Highly trained, caring, and knowledgeable Hearing Care Providers
- Access to over 1,500 Miracle-Ear locations nationwide.
- A variety of hearing aid options and financing available.
- All insurance plans accepted.
- Access to the Miracle-Ear Foundation which helps individuals without the financial means to afford help.
Schedule Your FREE Hearing Evaluation Today!
Don’t wait until it’s too late, let us help you take care of your hearing health. You don’t want to miss one precious word with family and friends, or the sounds of the nature and outdoor lifestyle!