If you are a cyclist who has developed hearing impairment, you may experience some challenges related to your hearing impairment. Here are three examples of such challenges and what you can do to mitigate them.
Wind Noise May Worsen Your Hearing Impairment
According to research, the wind noise experienced by cyclists can cause hearing loss. The risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss increases with the volume of the noise, which means cycling into headwinds or cycling at high speed can be especially dangerous for you. This noise can damage the hearing of cyclists with good hearing, so you can imagine what it can do to you if you are already dealing with impaired hearing. Regular exposure to such noises, especially for prolonged periods, isn't good for you.
You May Not Hear Sounds from Other Road Users
Another complication of cycling with hearing loss is that you may not hear sounds from other road users. Emergency vehicles, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and other road users usually generate noise that gives you clues on the happenings around you. For example, you know you need to get out of the way when you hear sirens, but this may not be easy if your hearing is impaired.
You May Find It Difficult to Engage with Fellow Cyclists
Some people enjoy cycling as a solo activity while others consider it a social activity. If you enjoy cycling as a social activity, then you may find it difficult to continue enjoying this if you have a hearing impairment. Your hearing impairment, coupled with the noise generated by the wind, can make it difficult to join in your cycling group's banter.
Coping with the Problems
The complications above don't mean that you need to stop cycling if you develop hearing impairment. You can continue cycling as long as you know how to cope with the noise. Here are some coping mechanisms to try.
Hopefully, these tips will help you improve your safety while cycling and also make you enjoy it more. However, if you haven't heard your hearing impairment diagnosed, it's time to make an appointment with an ENT. You might just be lucky enough to find that your impairment is treatable.
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