Symphony of Silence
“My noblest faculty has greatly deteriorated.”
“How sad is my lot, I must avoid all things dear to me.”
“I am resolved to rise above every obstacle, but how will it be possible.”
That is what the great composer Beethoven wrote to his close friends when his deafness became more and more inevitable.
“For two years, I have avoided almost all social gatherings. Often I can scarcely hear someone speaking, the tones yes but not the words.”
As a composer who devoted his life to music, Beethoven tried to keep his affliction a secret. He tried all kinds of remedies-hot baths, cold baths, almond oil, tonics. Nothing helped. Unfortunately in Beethoven’s time, no hearing specialist existed. The doctors could only guess as to what was causing the ailment.
Beethoven died in 1827, having lived most of his life in either partial or complete deafness. Was deafness caused by syphilis, common at that time; was it caused by a virus; or was it caused by the loudness of the music he surrounded himself with? The doctors didn’t know.
Today we know a lot more about deafness. We know that exposure to loud noise over time can harm your hearing. Don’t take a chance. Always wear the right hearing protection every time you must enter or work in a noisy environment.
Improvised hearing protection doesn’t work. Putting cotton in your ears or wearing headphones won’t protect you from noise. You need to use approved hearing protection.
The type of hearing protection you use depends on the level of noise exposure. Earmuffs give you the greatest protection available from excessive noise. Another choice is earplugs. They seal the ear canal and come in a variety of sizes. Yet another choice is canal caps. These are soft pads on a headband and they seal the entrance to the ear canal. Make sure you use the proper hearing protection and make sure you get a good fit for maximum protection.
Noise destroys your ability to enjoy the wonderful sounds of life. Beethoven suffered from long periods of horrible depression because of his deafness. Even though he gave the world some of its most beloved music, he was dejected and miserable for most of his life. Don’t risk your hearing. The simple act of using the right hearing protection on the job will ensure that you can hear all that life has to offer for many years to come.
USE IT OR LOSE IT!
NOISE RELATED HEARING LOSS IS PREVENTABLE
*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B-203