We added earplugs to the supplies in the VLES designs GO-bag. After some research, and through our own experience, we decided earplugs are an essential tool to help prevent health issues related to loud noise. I am an example of a loud noise victim.
Admittedly, I was somewhat addicted to being a first responder. When those horns sounded or the pager went off in my house, I leapt into action and flew down to the fire house to get on a truck or an ambulance and whisk off to the nearest call for help - lights flashing and sirens blaring. Although the firehouse offered earplugs, I rarely (actually, never) stuck those foamy orange things in my ears. I didn’t have time. It wasn’t cool. I forgot. Whatever the excuse, I am now definitely experiencing hearing loss. I’m lucky. Hearing loss is frustrating but the devastating pain and disturbances others experience as a result of loud noise is far worse.
According to a May 6, 2019 The New Yorker article written by David Owen, “Studies have shown that people who live or work in loud environments are particularly susceptible to many alarming problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, low birth weight, and all the physical, cognitive, and emotional issues that arise from being too distracted to focus on complex tasks and from never getting enough sleep.”
Read the full The New Yorker article here.
Noise is a factor in emergency events - sirens, tools, trucks, generators, people packed into a shelter, etc. The health effects from noise is preventable. Wear your earplugs!