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Are You Protecting Your Hearing?

Fireworks and concerts might come to mind when pondering ear-busting sounds, but power tools and even some livestock can reach dangerous decibels, too. Letís talk hearing protection, which can go a long way toward keeping harmful noise at bay.

 

Types of Hearing Protection

At home, work, or play, the world can be an exciting but noisy place, putting your hearing health at risk. How? Loud sounds ó especially those in the danger zone of 85 decibels or higher ó can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, or both.

Itís helpful to avoid loud environments in the first place. Thatís not always practical, however, especially if the job you love, favorite hobbies, and other important activities bring joy ó and add some noise ó to your everyday life.

Letís talk about different types of hearing protection that can help keep you and your loved ones listening ó and living ó your best. Added bonus: Many of these options can be customized for a secure fit and maximum comfort.

 
CONCERT PLUGS
Rock out to your favorite artists without the dangerous decibels that can do a number on your hearing. These plugs are also ideal for machinists, airport and airline staff, dentists, music instructors, and others working in high-noise environments.

MUSICIAN PLUGS
Give it your all on stage without hurting your ears. Musician plugs can offer a high-quality audio experience that helps deaden external noise, provides clear sound, and helps achieve consistent performances.

HUNTING PLUGS
When it comes to hunting, you want the shot ó not the hearing loss. Hunting plugs help keep out intense, harmful sound while allowing you to easily hear conversations, warnings, and other critical conversation.

SLEEPING PLUGS
Nothing beats a good sleep. Uninterrupted rest is even easier with plugs that help block out unwanted sounds and stay in place as you sleep. Especially recommended for light sleepers and those who work alternative shifts.

SWIMMING PLUGS
Not quite noise-related but still an important issue. Excess moisture in the ear from sweat or swimming can lead to otitis externa or ìswimmerís ear,î an outer-ear infection typically caused by bacterial or fungal growth when the skin in the ear canal potentially becomes irritated from water activities. Appropriate-fitting swimming plugs can help reduce this risk.

PET PLUGS
Itís true: Fur babies need help, too. During fireworks, noisy home repairs, or other super-loud situations, a quieter space may not be an option for the doggo or kitty. Earplugs and earmuffs made especially for pets can help soften intrusive sounds. Whether your pet will wear them, however, might be another matter!

 

Hearing protection is important and available for just about every member of the family. For solutions tailored to your or your loved oneís specific hearing-protection needs, contact our knowledgeable team today.

5 Tips to Keep Your Better – Hearing Resolution Going Strong

From spending more time with family and friends to taking classes at the local gym, almost everyone makes at least one New Year’s resolution. The catch? Just 8% of resolvers stick to their goals, per a Forbes story referencing University of Scranton research.

No worries: If you’re aiming to hear your best in 2020, we’re sharing five tips to help boost your stick‑to‑itiveness for the new year and beyond!


  1. BE REALISTIC

  2. Though hearing loss can be permanent — some cases caused by noise exposure, for example, can be irreversible, hence the importance of hearing protection — nearly all types can be effectively managed with solutions such as today’s sophisticated hearing aids. Understanding the power of hearing technology, including what it can and cannot do, can go a long way toward shaping attainable goals.
     

  3. WRITE IT DOWN

  4. With the potential ability of hearing loss to take a heavy toll on relationships, self-esteem, social engagement, brain health, and so much more, it may seem surprising that a written reminder is in order. When it comes to self-care, however, it’s not uncommon for people to put themselves last. Put your better-hearing goal in writing — even setting a weekly electronic reminder — to help stay on track.
     

  5. VISUALIZE SUCCESS

  6. Did you know? Improved hearing is associated with lower odds of depression, a reduced chance of dementia, a greater sense of independence, and other important facets of quality living. What counts even more, however, are the reasons better hearing matters to you. Visualize a world — at home, work, and play — in which you hear the sounds that mean the most, and keep that motivation top of mind.
     

  7. TELL A FRIEND

  8. Sometimes it’s a little easier to feel accountable to someone else, so consider sharing your better-hearing goal with a friend, relative, or other confidant who’s willing to back you with reminders, encouragement, and check-ins. Knowing that someone else wants you to succeed may be just the push you need. You could even take them to your appointments for support and additional perspective.
     

  9. SET BENCHMARKS

  10. You’ve heard the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” (Full disclosure: We don’t eat elephants here!) Your better-hearing goal can work the same way. Break your resolution into small bites set to reasonable deadlines — for example, writing it down, listing the benefits, telling a friend, making a hearing‑check appointment — and reward yourself with each milestone accomplished.

 

No matter your new-year goals, we’re committed to helping you reach them with the power of better hearing. So don’t delay. Contact our caring team for help that’s tailored to your communication needs today!

Hand Dryers: For Kids, Beware the Noise

It’s no secret that hand dryers installed in public bathrooms can seem rather loud, but we were blown away by a young scientist’s findings when she put the volume levels of 44 automated machines to the test in restrooms across Alberta, Canada.

Turns out some of those volumes can do a number on kids’ ears — which are more susceptible to noise-induced hearing problems — by reaching sound levels well beyond the danger zone of 85 decibels. Several of the various brands measured above 100 decibels when in actual use for hand-drying, and one was even greater than 120.

The study, by then-9-year-old Nora Keegan, has captured international attention, with coverage by the New York Times, CNN, Canada’s CBC, and other media outlets. Now 13, Keegan is likely one of the youngest researchers to have her work published in the journal Pediatrics & Child Health.

Per an NPR story, the Calgary student was inspired by the ringing in her ears and other kids’ reactions to hand-dryer noise to get to the bottom of just how loud the dryers — a common presence in public washrooms around the world — can be and whether they might negatively impact hearing ability.

Her research, published this past summer after an approximately 15-month investigation, interestingly noted that some of the automated machines’ higher readings surpassed the legal limit of 100 decibels for peak loudness of children’s toys in Canada.

A few other notable findings from this timely research:

  • “Not all hand dryers are equal in their hearing safety.”
  • Various dryers are potentially louder than some manufacturers’ claims.
  • Dryer noise is “much louder at children’s heights than at adult height.”

According to Keegan, the study’s “results can be used to guide regulators, builders, and landlords in making decisions about which dryers to install in public facilities.” The investigation also highlights “the importance of measuring dryer loudness at the location of children’s ears” — versus that of adults, who are typically taller.


What’s the big deal?

Noise exposure, one of the most preventable risk factors, is a leading cause of hearing impairment — second only to aging. Over a billion children and adults are vulnerable to recreational noise-related hearing impairment alone, per the World Health Organization, making it essential to keep the volume down.

One of the most effective actions you can take is to prevent or limit your child’s exposure to excessively loud noise. Keeping hearing protection on hand — including custom earplugs, headphones, or earmuffs to help temper loud sounds, can also go a long way toward preserving your child’s hearing.

May Is Better Hearing Month – Spring Into It With Less Noise, More Joy!

Ahhh, spring! As power tools whir, ball games bloom, and concerts sprout, are your ears protected from the louder sounds of the season?

Some noises pack a bigger punch than your ears should take, so for Better Hearing Month this May, we’re sharing three quick tips to keep harmful volumes at bay.


TURN DOWN THE SOUND

Planning a hearty run in the fresh air with favorite tunes in your ears? It’s tempting to crank up the beats, but MP3 players can reach an ear-splitting 105 decibels. Better bet: Enjoy the sounds but turn them down to 50 percent maximum volume or lower.

GUARD YOUR EARS

Cutting that spring grass can feel so satisfying, but the noise of a gas mower can blow past the danger threshold of 85 decibels. Hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs help soften loud sounds and can be customized to your ears, so keep them on hand when using power equipment.

LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE

Spring concerts, sports, and festivals abound, so help keep your hearing sound by wearing hearing protection and taking breaks from the festivities. Permanent hearing loss can result even from a single exposure to loud noise, making it important to give your ears a helpful rest from excess volumes.


Did you know?

  • An estimated one-third of hearing loss among children and adults worldwide is connected to noise exposure.
  • Excess noise can destroy the inner ear’s tiny, irreplaceable hair cells, which are crucial to healthy hearing.
  • Loud sounds can lead to tinnitus, a common and potentially debilitating problem of buzzing, humming, or ringing in the ears.
  • Quality hearing protection can curb noise intensity while letting music and other audio sound just as good.

As the season showers you with sound, make this the month to start protecting your hearing. Contact our caring team today to learn more about custom hearing protection for the whole family.

Get That Gym Workout — Without Hurting Your Ears | Protecting Your Hearing

Making Moves — and Protecting Your Hearing, Too! Planning to bust some moves at the gym as part of your 2019 goals? You’re not alone. Excess noise and good hearing health don’t mix. Read on for four easy tips.

Planning to bust some moves at the gym as part of your 2019 goals? You’re not alone. As a tried-and-true strategy for losing weight, feeling more fit, or simply stepping up physical activity for overall wellness, working out is a perennially popular New Year’s resolution, and exercise classes can be a fun way to fit the bill.

The catch? Whether it’s cycling, kickboxing, step aerobics, dance, or another high-energy track, these classes often crank up the music to harmful levels — well above the danger threshold of 85 decibels — giving your ears a workout you didn’t bargain for. It can lead to instant or gradual hearing loss that could be permanent.

To protect your hearing while getting into the exercise groove, here are four things you can do:

Speak Up

Turning down the volume in the first place goes a long way toward reducing the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. If the music seems too loud, consider asking the instructor before class begins or during a cool-down break to lower the volume. Better yet, explore different gyms and fitness studios and their approach to noise management before choosing the facility for your needs.

Wear Earplugs

Keeping earplugs in your car or gym bag helps ensure you’ll have a pair on hand. They’re small enough to fit in your ear but effective enough to help soften the loudest sounds while still allowing you to hear. Inexpensive varieties are available at most pharmacies. Consider a customized set from your local audiologist to help ensure a secure fit during high-intensity exercise.

Keep Your Distance

The closer you are to the sound source, the bigger the burden on your ears, so try to pick a spot as far away from the speakers as possible. That can be harder to do in a smaller room — especially if speakers are along the wall and the ceiling, too — but every bit of space between you and the epicenter of the noise can make a difference.

Take a Break

Keeping your noise exposure to 15 minutes or less amid 100-plus decibel levels and no more than a minute amid 110-plus decibel levels — per public-health recommendations — might seem a tall order during your favorite aerobics session. Frequent or prolonged noise exposure, however, increases the chance of lifelong hearing damage, so consider leaving class for a water break or an alternate activity during the loudest moments.

We’re here to support you in your wellness goals. For custom hearing protection or more tips on keeping your hearing safe while working out, contact our caring team today!

Are Portable Music Players Putting Your Ears at Risk?

Turn the Music Up, Dude — But Not Past 85 Decibels

You probably use your tablet or smartphone often to stream music, TV shows, or movies. In fact, many websites these days auto-play videos regardless of whether you want them to.

Smartphones, tablets, and other types of portable music players (PMPs) are now commonplace, as are earbuds and headphones. But if your PMP is turned up too loud while wearing earbuds or headphones, you can damage your hearing quickly. Let’s look at why.

NIHL

This isn’t some new sports league — NIHL stands for noise-induced hearing loss, and it’s the second-largest cause of hearing loss worldwide.

You’re able to hear because of hair cells in your inner ear. These cells convert sound signals to electrical signals and send them to your brain, where they’re interpreted as sounds. But loud sounds can actually damage or destroy your hair cells.

Every time a hair cell gets damaged, you lose a little bit of your ability to hear, and that damage can’t be repaired. The result is NIHL.

How Headphones Hurt Your Hearing

Navigating noise is all about the decibels (a measure of sound pressure). You’re safe if the sound in question stays below 85 decibels (dB); above that, you’re in the action zone — protect your ears or risk hearing damage.

For comparison:

  • A clothes dryer = 60 dB
    No need for hearing protection
  • A gas lawn mower = 91 dB
    Exposure can damage hearing in 2 hours
  • A tractor =100 dB
    Exposure can damage hearing in 15 minutes
  • A chain saw = 112 dB
    Exposure can damage hearing in less than 1 minute

Some PMPs can generate 112 dB — in other words, if you like to listen to your PMP at full volume, you’re likely pumping a chain saw’s worth of noise at your ears from centimeters away.

Why Protecting Your Hearing Matters

Hearing loss is connected to overall health in surprising ways. It’s been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, dementia, and other health concerns.

But it’s not just a concern for later in life: One study found that any degree of hearing loss early in life increases a child’s risk for language and learning problems.

Considering that one study of PMP use in 9-to 11-year-olds reported that 9 in 10 children and teens use some form of audio-streaming device for education or recreation, PMPs pose a considerable hearing health risk at all ages.

Indeed, that same study found that 14 percent of the children had measurable hearing loss. In addition, if a child listened to their PMP only once or twice a week, it doubled their chances of hearing loss compared to children who didn’t use a PMP.

What You Can Do

  • Enforce the 60/60 rule. Don’t turn the volume of your PMPs up past 60 percent of full volume, and turn the device off completely after listening for 60 minutes so your ears can have a break.
  • Use headphones instead of earbuds. With earbuds, you pick up background noise, which often leads to turning up the volume on the PMP to hear the audio better. Headphones that surround the ear keep the background noise to a minimum, allowing you to leave the volume at or below 60 percent. Even better, invest in noise-canceling headphones.
  • If you must use earbuds, make them in-ear earbuds. With these earbuds, the earpiece sits inside the ear canal, rather than just outside it. The sleeve around the speaker blocks out background noise and keeps your audio from escaping the ear canal.
  • Use the sound limiter built into the PMP. Many devices allow you to limit how loud the volume goes, or the device has a built-in alert telling you you’re risking hearing damage by pushing the volume higher.
  • For kids, get volume-limiting headphones. Though there are many child-friendly options for headphones that will keep the volume from going over 85, it’s best to read up on whichever pair you choose to buy. Research by Wirecutter found that, of more than 30 brands tested, almost half were not effective at keeping the volume below 85 dB.

Hitting the Water? Don’t Forget Your Swimmers’ Earplugs for Ear Protection!

You’ve packed the swimsuits, floats, safety vests, caps, goggles, kids, and snacks for a summer afternoon at the lake or neighborhood pool, but what about the earplugs?

These small accessories can make a big difference in keeping the good times going during family fun in the water. Before you go, here are four things to know about swimmers’ earplugs:

1. They Help Protect Against Ear Infection

Ears and moisture don’t always mix. Otitis externa, an outer-ear infection also known as ìswimmer’s ear,î is typically caused by bacterial or fungal growth when the skin in the ear canal potentially becomes irritated from activities such as swimming. Though treatable, the condition can lead to temporary hearing loss and other problems, so prevention matters. Using quality, properly inserted earplugs helps keep the water ó and the threat of infection ó out of your ears.

2. They Can Be Off the Shelf or Customized

It’s always nice to have options, and swimmers’ earplugs are no exception. They come in disposable, reusable, and custom-fit varieties and can be made from silicone or putty. Off-the-shelf earplugs are often readily available at local drugstores, but your local audiologist can create a better-fitting, washable set tailored to your unique ears. Take heed: Swimmers’ earplugs are not the same as hearing-protection earplugs and should be used only for water protection.

3. They’re Not Just for Swimmers

Earplugs can be your best friend when it comes to protecting your ears in water, but did you know they’re not just for swimming? That’s right! Folks who work outside in the heat all day, for example, can also use earplugs to keep the sweat away, so it’s good to have a couple extra pairs at home, the job site, or other convenient storage spots. Remember: If your ears have a chance of getting wet, protective earplugs are one of your best bets.

4. They’re a Solution for Adults and Children

You might think swimmers’ earplugs are just for grown-ups. Not so fast! Water in the ears can also pose a problem for kids, who are typically more vulnerable to ear infections than adults. Inserting earplugs before a swimming session or at bath time, keeping your child’s ear canals clean, and drying the ears after any amount of time in the water or other moist environment can help curb the risk of infection. And remember: Always use clean hands when inserting earplugs into your or your child’s ears.


Are you concerned about protecting your or your loved ones’ ears? Contact our caring team to schedule a complimentary hearing-protection consultation today. We’re happy to help with solutions for the whole family!

How Noise Pollution Affects Your Health & How to Protect Yourself

Noise is just noise, right? You learn to tune it out and, unless it’s really loud, you don’t worry about it. You definitely wouldn’t worry about its effects on your heart — would you?

As far back as 1972, awareness of the adverse health effects of noise pollution was so strong that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Noise Control Act to establish “a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.” This naturally leads to the question, “How bad can noise pollution really be?”

What Is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution isn’t just rush-hour traffic, living near an airport, or working near a long-standing construction site. To truly understand noise pollution, let’s try a little experiment, either in real life or in your imagination:

Go to your favorite spot in nature. Keep your headphones packed away (or better yet, leave them at home). Now turn off your smartphone. Just be there, and note what you hear. Water? Bugs? Maybe your dog sniffing something “interesting”?

Odds are, the silence is almost overwhelming. You’re exposed daily to even more noise than you realize. Appliances, computers, traffic, the constant hum of the furnace or air conditioner — that’s just the environmental component. Use of headphones for video games and music as well as the din of socializing in public spaces contribute, too; so much so, in fact, that researchers consider them a separate category: social noise.

So what is noise pollution? It’s any sound that reduces your quality of life. That simple definition, however, has more packed into it than you might suspect.

How Does Noise Pollution Affect My Health?

Hearing loss

The most obvious effect is noise-induced hearing loss. Any noise above 85 decibels (dB; a measurement of sound intensity) can damage hearing. Everyday life is full of noise above 85 dB: a gas lawn mower (91 dB), hair dryer (94 dB), headphones turned too loud (100 dB), and a plane takeoff (120 dB) are just a few commonplace noise sources that can damage your hearing. At 85 dB, hearing damage occurs after about 8 hours of exposure, but at 91 dB — only a 6-dB increase — damage occurs after about 2 hours.

Reduced brainpower

It is well established that environmental noise pollution reduces learning outcomes and cognitive performance in children. The more consistently a classroom is exposed to noise from aircraft, road traffic, or trains, the poorer the children’s reading ability, memory, and standardized-testing performance compared to children not exposed to noise at school.

Cardiovascular problems

Noise pollution has long been linked to cardiovascular disease, and a recent article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology offers a suggestion as to why: Noise triggers a stress reaction that includes the fight-or-flight response of the nervous system and an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol. Over time, this repeated flooding of the system with stress hormones can damage the cardiovascular system.

Sleep problems

Other than hearing damage, it’s been established that sleep disturbance is the most harmful effect of environmental noise pollution. Short-term effects of poor sleep are mood changes, daytime sleepiness, and decreased cognitive abilities. One significant long-term effect of poor sleep is cardiovascular disease.

Psychological stress
A study in the Journal of Sound and Vibration found that those in homes exposed to road traffic on one side — even at a maximum of 68 dB, about the noise level of average TV audio — experienced annoyance and a reduction in daytime relaxation and psychological well-being. But those ill effects were reduced significantly if residents moved to the side of the home not exposed to the road-traffic noise.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Hearing protection

Whether you choose inexpensive, all-purpose, drugstore disposables or custom-molded earplugs, you can find hearing protection that fits your budget or needs. Usually there is a noise-reduction ratio (NRR) number associated; the higher the number, the better the softening of sound should be. Here are some common situations for which you can find over-the-counter or custom hearing protection:

  • Sleeping
  • Shooting (range or hunting)
  • Listening to live music
  • Playing music
  • Flying
  • Kids’ safety (use earmuffs, as they are safer and easier for kids to use)

Another form of hearing protection? Simply turn down the TV or music, whether you’re listening with headphones or speakers. A general rule is to listen to your music device for no more than 60 minutes at 60 percent volume.

Personal technology solutions

Masking. Depending on the source of the noise, this could be ideal. Masking is when one sound is used to draw focus away from other, less pleasant sounds. White noise, classical music, and nature sounds — all at low volume — are just some examples of masking using headphones or speakers. Plus, there are plenty of white noise and nature-sound apps available for your smartphone.

Noise-canceling headphones. Many apps that are labeled as noise-canceling apps are actually masking apps. True noise canceling can only be achieved with a combination of a microphone, circuitry, and a speaker, so true noise canceling is only found in noise-canceling headphones. They identify problematic noise and create a sound that neutralizes the incoming, problematic sound. In essence, it truly cancels sounds. In addition, the headphones are made with more sound-absorbent materials than traditional headphones.

How Can I Reduce the Noise Pollution Around Me?

Sound waves can be absorbed — use it to your advantage! Here are just a few ideas to help you look at your home a little differently. How else could you set up your living space to soundproof it?

Floors. Do you have hard floors? Consider installing carpet — the shaggier the better. For a simpler, more affordable solution, get area rugs to put in rooms that generate a lot of noise — think TV, laundry, and exercise rooms.

Furniture. Is your furniture out in the middle of the room? Push it up against the walls to absorb the sound waves that make it through the wall. The more overstuffed your furniture, the more sound is absorbed. Add accent pillows, drape throws or blankets — anything tasteful that absorbs sound.

Bookcases. Put bookcases against walls that get a lot of noise exposure. The bookcase absorbs sound like a second wall, and the paper from the books absorbs plenty as well.

Curtains. Even thin curtains will absorb sound. Already have curtains on all the windows? Swap them out for heavier ones to add extra absorption on sides of the house that get more outside noise.

Appliances. If possible, close the door when running loads of laundry. Start the dishwasher when you won’t be in the kitchen for the rest of the evening. If larger appliances are in unfinished areas — think laundry in an unfinished basement — hang old blankets, towels, or clothes on the walls to act as sound absorbers.

Contact us today to schedule a hearing-protection consultation!

Working in Your Lawn this Spring? Remember to Protect Your Hearing!

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

Celebrate by Protecting Your Hearing

Spring has sprung, and so has the annual spring cornucopia of sounds: birds singing, children laughing, neighbors chatting , and lawn equipment.

Maintaining your burgeoning plant life is a noisy affair. Once you’ve used the mower, leaf blower, chain saw, and string trimmer, your ears have put up with quite a racket.

With noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affecting one in four U.S. adults ages 20 to 69, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it might be worth exploring the question, ìBut how dangerous is all that noise, really?î
 

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing happens when the hair cells in your inner ear convert sound signals to electrical signals, and these electrical signals get sent to your brain to be interpreted as sounds. Every hair cell that gets damaged, therefore, means a reduction in your ability to hear. NIHL, then, is hearing damage caused by exposure to loud noise, which damages your hair cells.
 

Your Loud Lawn

You might be thinking, ìYeah, but how loud can all my lawn gear actually be?î Well, your hedge trimmer alone can damage your hearing after 7 or 8 minutes of exposure.

The key to navigating your loud lawn is decibels, the basic unit of sound intensity. Sounds below 85 decibels (dB) are safe for unprotected human ears. At 85 dB and above, you’re in the action zone: Take steps to protect your ears or risk hearing damage.

Let’s take a look at some common yard-care machines and the decibel outputs they inflict on your unprotected ears. For comparison, a typical indoor conversation is about 60 dB.

  • Push or riding lawn mower. At 90 dB, hearing damage can occur in 2 Ω hours.
  • Edger/string trimmer. At 96 dB, hearing damage can occur in 38 minutes.
  • Leaf blower. At 99 dB, hearing damage can occur in 19 minutes.
  • Pressure washer. At 100 dB , just one more decibel than a leaf blower , hearing damage can occur in 15 minutes rather than 19 minutes.
  • Hedge trimmer. At 103 dB, hearing damage can occur in 7 Ω minutes.
  • Chain saw. At a whopping 110 dB, hearing damage starts at 1 Ω minutes.

Hearing Protection

With output like that, it’s no wonder NIHL is so common. But that prevalence hides an important fact: NIHL can be easily and inexpensively prevented with hearing protection.

Hearing protection is a proven, effective way to minimize the risk of hearing damage, and it doesn’t have to mean a muffled, plugged experience for the wearer. You can get earplugs for as little as a few dollars for 20 pairs at a pharmacy, but there are also over-the-counter options that allow conversation to come through but block loud noises. You can even buy custom-fit earplugs that match the contours of your ears for maximum comfort.

Lawn care doesn’t have to hurt your hearing , contact us to set up a hearing protection consultation!

During Football Season, Local Audiologist Makes Noise About Hearing Protection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2017

During Football Season, Local Audiologist Makes Noise About Hearing Protection

Bartlesville, OK — This October is the American Academy of Audiology’s National Audiology Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about audiology and the importance of hearing protection. Making this topic relevant and timely to the community, Advanced Hearing Care reminds football fans (and arena-sports fans alike) that the best offense against hearing loss is a good defense.

“Your hearing is a key element to fully enjoying your time at the game. Ironically, the things we love — from cheering and jeering to the halftime performance — are all things that could hurt our hearing. The better you protect your hearing, the longer you’ll be able to experience the things you love,” says Stephanie Moore, Audiologist, of Advanced Hearing Care

Loud stadiums have become a source of pride for fans and teams across the country, but with stadium noise exceeding safe decibel (sound pressure) levels, it’s also a source of hearing loss. Cheering fans can push decibel (dB) levels well into the hundreds. At these levels, it only takes 1 to 15 minutes for the sound to damage your ears.

“Cheering while the away team is in a huddle gives football fans the opportunity to get in on the action, but football isn’t the only sport that puts fans at risk. From vuvuzelas to referee whistles and fireworks, loud noise at sporting events is something all spectators should be aware of,” says Dr. Moore. “The more awareness we raise about noise-induced hearing loss [NIHL], the more people we can help.”

NIHL is damage done to the ears by exposure to loud noise; the amount of damage is dependent upon the decibel level and the length of time you’re exposed. Repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. Rather than not being able to hear at all, high-frequency sounds are usually the first to go, meaning you may be unable to hear s, f, sh, ch, h, or soft c sounds.

National Audiology Awareness Month encourages regular hearing checkups combined with hearing protection to preserve hearing health. The focus includes helping those living with untreated hearing loss by offering educational pieces around technological advances in hearing aids.

Press Contact:
Stephanie Moore, AuD
Advanced Hearing Care
918-333-9992
info@drstephaniemoore.com, www.drstephaniemoore.com
About Advanced Hearing Care- Advanced Hearing Care is a full-service audiology practice proud to be bringing better hearing to the people of Bartlesville for 11 years. From Bartlesville our AudigyCertified™ hearing care practice has helped thousands of patients with their hearing, tinnitus, and balance disorders — and offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and expert fitting of hearing technology.