Posts for tag: hearing protection
Protection is Important!
To your ears, that is. Did you know that a sound as loud as a blow dryer or blender can cause hearing loss and damage to your ears? Fun (or not so fun) fact for your Thursday.
Tips for protecting your hearing:
- Wear hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 dB for a long period of time.
- There are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices.
- 85dB is about the sound of your hair dryer, lawn mower, blender or vacuum cleaner!
- Contact your local audiologist for custom hearing protection devices.
- Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through earbuds and headphones. (Visit www.TurnItToTheLeft.com)
- Walking away from the noise.
- And, other than hearing protection, do not put anything in your ear!
Contact your local audiologist for additional expertise on protecting your hearing and preventing noise induced hearing loss!
*Data provided by the American Academy of Audiology
It is widely known that Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” We embrace it, we celebrate it and quite frankly it is one of the best things about living in ATX. At any given time you can find live music of any genre somewhere in Austin.
The spring kicks off festival season with SXSW on March 7th and about a week after SXSW ends I will inevitably receive phone calls from festival goers concerned because their ears are ringing. Our previous blogs on tinnitus, temporary threshold shift and use of hearing protection addressed many of the concerns that I will be hearing. More often than not when I broach the idea of hearing protection to people I am met with resistance. Why? Because they show, they reduce the quality of the music, and they are not perceived to be cool. All of these concerns can be addressed with custom hearing protection.
Recent studies show that Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is on the rise, and not among the population you might expect. It is in our children and the youth. It is estimated that almost 20% of the US population between the ages of 9-18 have NIHL. I’ll take a moment while that sinks in. NIHL is completely preventable, which is the worst part of all. On the way to this year’s Super Bowl stadiums were competing to be the loudest. At one point Seattle was trying to exceed 140dB, a level that causes instantaneous hearing loss and can induce pain. This is also the level used in hearing loss research to deafen chickens to observe how they can regenerate their hearing. As the quest to be the loudest is glorified to our youth they will develop hearing loss, a disability widely associated with age.
To the thousands of people who visit our fair city to enjoy the live music and everything Austin has to offer, please protect your ears. For audiophiles, or those consistently around noise, please have some custom musician’s earplugs made for yourself. Swirl some colors together and let your ears Keep Austin Weird!
They will last for many years, and you will be able to enjoy music into your golden years.
Our office can be reached for custom protection at (512)258-2300.
Paige Peterson, AuD, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA
Dr. Paige Peterson is an Audiologist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX and specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Dr. Peterson is Board Certified in Audiology and is currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.
After walking into our clinic this morning and hearing the sounds coming from one of our staff member's cars I felt compelled to write this blog. It occured to me that everyone could benefit from knowing how to protect their hearing, including the staff of Great Hills Ear, Nose & Throat!
It seems that many people do not think about protecting their hearing. We are exposed damaging noise every day. Concerts, car stereos, iPods set above 50% volume, and in Texas guns provide plenty of potentially damaging sound. Ladies, even your hair dryer is too loud! It is interesting trivia that hair dyers and vacuum cleaners are the leading causes of noise-induced hearing loss in women.
At Great Hills ENT we see many of you when it is too late. The damage has already been done, resulting in tinnitus and/or permanent hearing loss. Wear your hearing protection properly so that you preserve your connections to your world.
If you work around power tools like jack hammers or jet engines you need to double your protection. Ear plugs and muffs are required if your noise exposure is at or above 105dB.
Regardless of which protection you choose, it is of little value if not worn properly. If you wear glasses or sport a Duck Dynasty beard you may not get a great seal with ear muffs. Plugs may be a better choice for protection from routine sound exposures.
Foam ear plugs must be inserted correctly for them to work properly, they should be squeezed and rolled into a very thin cylinder, as small as possible. Pull up and back on your ear, like your mom used to do to you when you were in trouble, with the opposite hand. This opens your ear canal. Then slide the ear plug into your ear canal and hold it there for about 15-20 seconds allowing the plug to expand into your ear. See below for a visual.
If the foam plugs are not an option due to a latex allergy, or if you prefer a more custom solution the Audiology Department is able to make custom hearing protection for you. This requires that a mold me made of your ear and made to fit your ear. If this is something you might be interested in schedule an appointment with Dr. Peterson.
The take home message is this: Protect your hearing. Once it’s gone it doesn’t come back. We can not repair or regenerate the cells in your ear. So you have one of two options: 1) avoid damaging noise 2) use protection in noisy situations .
Prevention is so simple and cheap. An ear plug or muff used now is much smarter than paying for an expensive hearing aid or tinnitus solution later. If you ask me, I’ll take the cheap ear plug.
The Audiology Department at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.
I love listening to live music (if you read my bio, you would know this). I can’t make it to too many shows (with a toddler at home), but I make an effort when I can. I went to a concert last week and was inspired to write a blog about it. No, I am not going to write about the great guitar riffs-But I am going to write about “threshold shift.”
Have you ever been to a loud bar/restaurant/concert and left with ringing in your ears and the feeling that you cannot hear very well. This is called a temporary threshold shift, which occurs when you are exposed to loud noises. Usually, after a period of time to recover, your hearing will return back to normal. Over time and with repeated exposures, this can develop into a permanent hearing loss (called noise induced hearing loss). Rarely, very loud blasts of sound can cause a permanent threshold shift which causes immediate hearing loss.
What can you do to protect yourself? Earplugs!
I know that earplugs don’t look very cool and may not match your concert-going attire. BUT, you have to think about preserving your hearing NOW. Otherwise, you may be wearing hearing aids (which are much more expensive) in order to enjoy the music that you love. Another possibility is ringing in the ears or tinnitus. Tinnitus is kind of like having your own concert in your head, though probably not one you would choose.
If you think ear plugs “dampen” the sounds at concerts and the music just doesn’t sound like it should, you might consider musician’s ear plugs, which can be custom made at our office. Protect your ears so you can continue to enjoy your favorite bands in the future. And if you take kids to loud music events, make sure to protect their ears, too.
Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.