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Noise Hurts: My International Noise Awareness Day Message

By Susan Edelman, CHC Board Member


Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, yet preventable!


I wish I had known that years ago. I learned too late how important it is to care for your hearing. But I have the opportunity now, as a CHC Board member, to help get the word out that noise hurts. Here's my story.


My Story


CHC advocate Barry Edelman with his sons Alex (l) and Zach (r)
Alex (l) with his dad, Barry, and brother Zach

I was introduced to the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) when my nephew Alex, who is now 26 years old, was in need of services. He had a cochlear implant at the age of two–and-a-half years old, and we were introduced to CHC (then the League for the Hard of Hearing) at that time.


Alex was participating in some of the many services offered, several times a week, and at the same time my brother Barry was getting to know more about CHC as an organization. He became actively involved in fundraising and supported events as often as possible becoming not only a very active parent, but an all-around advocate and champion for CHC in many ways. 


My brother passed away suddenly in 2007 when Alex was 8. At that time Alex was receiving fewer services at CHC, but the family was still connected to the community through several social events and fundraising. 


My Hearing Loss Journey


Susan Edelman with nephews Zach (l) and Alex (r) at CHC Gala 2023.
Susan w/ nephews Zach (l) and Alex (r) at CHC Gala 2023.

It was a year after my brother died that the family created a fund within CHC to raise money and continue my brother's legacy. We kicked off Barry's Gift with a fundraiser, which was successful, and then life's challenges kept us away from continuing with our mission. That same year I had my first hearing test which showed that I had a hearing loss, putting this important cause back on my radar. 


My hearing loss had been previously diagnosed, but I had chosen not to take any action. I was in denial about it and told myself, "Well, you know, it's borderline, it's fine.”


In 2018, however, I read an article in The New York Times by Jane Brody that highlighted the link between Alzheimer's and hearing loss. Researchers found that untreated hearing loss in adults 50 or older increased the risk of developing dementia by 50%. As someone with two parents who have dementia, I found this scary fact incredibly motivating and, finally, saw my audiologist to get fitted with hearing aids.


My decision to treat my hearing loss was easy once I learned about the negative impact of hearing loss on brain health. I share my story in the hopes it inspires others to take similar action.


Noise Hurts


So I am now a wearer of hearing aids. The cause of my hearing loss is noise exposure, which brings me back to the topic of noise.


Today is the 29th Annual International Noise Awareness Day (INAD). When I learned about INAD, which CHC founded in 1996, and the following it has around the world, I saw the opportunity to leverage this platform to get the message out about protecting your hearing from noise.


The message I want to get across today is that noise hurts. Repeated exposure to noise, over time, can cause permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, yet preventable.


Check out CHC's Safe Listening infographic to learn about the daily sounds in your life that could pose a risk to healthy hearing and discover the simple steps you can take to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.


I’m grateful for CHC’s shared commitment to public education and hopeful that, working together, we can make a difference.



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Nicholson Percy
Nicholson Percy
27 minutes ago

I learned to stand up for myself and my doodle jump needs as time went on.

Gilla
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