Being hearing impaired already causes enough difficulties in a casual, conversational setting. But the noise and chaos of a big city results in exponentially worse complications, often adding further hearing damage to those who are exposed to the city for a long time. Young people who live in a particularly noisy city could see their hearing decline long before it’s naturally expected. And those who already have some damage may require hearing aid devices after being exposed to all of the loud music, cars, motorcycles, and construction around them.

One artist from Australia, Trish Adams, experienced this very situation after moving to Melbourne, and was inspired to create two multimedia art pieces that represented her struggle with hearing loss. The project- Disconnections, shows the viewer how difficult it is to understand conversations, as well as the harmful combination of noises and pitches one experiences in the city. Adams’ hearing loss had started in her twenties and eventually led her to wear hearing aids- but living in Melbourne only made everything worse. This is the case for many city goers around the world.

Understanding conversations and communicating to others is one of the hardest parts about having hearing loss, especially in a noisy area. Straining to hear others can even cause more pain for those with hearing loss, including tinnitus, and a painful symptom called recruitment. This occurs when the brain perceives sounds to be increasing in volume and speed, and only happens to those with sensorineural hearing loss. Communication in general becomes a major problem if you have any type of hearing damage, and straining yourself to hear over the noise of a big city can cause you further pain and difficulty. If you’ve been in a big city for long periods of time, or an otherwise noisy area, you may want to see an audiologist. Any symptoms of hearing loss could be escalated by being exposed to the chaotic sounds around you.

If you feel like you are having difficulty hearing other talk or hearing other noises or have to turn the volume up on devices to listen, visit your audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner for help.

Take our online hearing test to see if a visit to an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner will benefit you.