An end to daylight savings time and a return to standard time by pushing the clocks back an hour causes a necessary readjustment to eating and sleeping habits. An hour shift may not seem like a lot, but it has effects on the body’s internal clock. Your body’s internal clock produces a circadian rhythm, dictating how awake or sleepy you feel in a day’s time. This mechanism accounts for why you wake up with the sunrise, sleep when it is dark out, or feel sluggish after finishing lunch. Research suggests that disruption to this natural process not only affects your overall health, but also impacts your hearing. The disruption occurs all over again when pushing the clocks forward.
An increase in ear sensitivity at night
The impact from time changes on the circadian rhythm is usually minor. Adaptation to these changes usually occurs in roughly a week. However, more dramatic disruption to the circadian rhythm occurs with people who work at night. Excessive noise causes more harm to night workers’ ears than day workers’ ears.
Excessive noise at night impacts mice differently at nighttime compared to daytime exposure, according to a 2014 study. Excessive noise during the day results in a full hearing recovery with mice, but permanent hearing damage results with exposure to excessive noise at night. More recently, a study on humans has found that those people who alternate between day and night shifts suffer permanent damage over those people who only work day shift. The more current study shows the hearing of both mice and humans are equally as affected.
For safer hearing at all times
People who work in air travel, medical emergency services, manufacturing, or any other industry at night are subject to permanent hearing loss, according to evidence on how your circadian rhythm affects your hearing. A greater need for regulation is vital to protect hearing health. Some jobs are necessary to perform at night, but more can be done to regulate exposure to higher decibels of workers at night, so that hearing safely occurs at all times. For more information, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.