Roughly two years into the pandemic, and the world is still adjusting to the “new normal.” At the start, many of you went from commuting back and forth to the office to commuting back and forth down the hall to a home office. Such a drastic change like that affects more than just your daily routine. It could also have affected your hearing.
Many offices have a certain hustle and bustle and with that comes a certain amount of noise exposure. However, with many of us working remotely, you may have been introduced to sounds that you weren’t normally exposed to all day long. Washing machines or dishwashers knocking, TV’s playing in the background or the laughter of children playing in the next room during a break from virtual learning are all nontraditional office sounds. And depending on where you live and your home environment, these sounds may be louder or softer than your normal office.
In addition, when you usually would have had a meeting in person, you now have many virtual meetings which may have forced you to use your headphones more often than usual. While headphones are great for reducing the ambient noise around you and helping you focus on the tasks at hand, an excessive use of headphones could be damaging your hearing.
Another thing you might not have paid much attention to is the reintroduction to sounds you have not been around for a least a year. Many people are gearing up for concerts and festivals, going back to shopping at the mall, and eating in restaurants, and contrary to popular belief, your ears do not get used to loud noises.