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Occupational and Routine Life Hearing Loss (Pt 4 of 4)

Posted on August 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Occupational and Routine Life Hearing Loss (Pt 4 of 4)
PREVENTING NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS
 
Humans, Noise, Deafness

Different types of noise and sounds 
can equally damage one's hearing. For example, your ears may sustain the same amount of damage after you have enjoyed a concert and after you have spent an hour close to a construction worker handling a jackhammer. Basically, every sound, regardless of where it comes from, if it contains the sufficient amount of intensity, appearing repeatedly and continuously, can easily lead to hearing damage, ringing in the ears, partial or complete hearing loss, dizziness and numerous other health problems.



Today, more than 10 million Americans suffer from hearing loss or damaged hearing triggered by excessive exposure to noise. Therefore, noise is considered to be the main culprit behind both temporary and permanent hearing loss .

Acoustic Trauma and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Acoustic trauma is a condition which manifests once a great amount of sound energy strikes the inner ear of a human being, such as when one goes to a loud music concert. After the concert, he/she may hear ringing in the ears for several hours or may be bothered by a temporary decrease of his/her hearing function. If the symptoms linger for a couple of days, the sufferer may have oral steroids prescribed in order to stimulate the regeneration of the inner ear. Unfortunately, if the medications fail to help, hearing loss may be permanent and the noise threshold of the ear shifted beyond repair.

Moreover, if the sound is excessively loud and sudden, it may lead to hearing loss or even a ruptured eardrum. Hearing loss in this case may take place hand-in-hand with dizziness. Then, a surgical intervention may be a must.
 
Risk Factors regarding Hearing Loss

Certain factors such as duration of exposure and closeness of the sound source may amplify the amount of damage done. Namely, since portable music devices such as MP3 players have taken the world by storm, there has been a significant increase in hearing impairment due to the proximity of the earphones to the eardrum.

Also, shooting guns without protecting your ears may have the same effect. Finally, people with blue eyes, light skin, history of hearing loss in the family, diabetes mellitus, Meniere's disease, iron and vitamin A deficiency, old age, atherosclerosis and a tobacco smoking addiction are all in danger of losing this sense more easily than other people.
 
How to deal with noise emergency

We live in a modern world which is constantly advancing. However, we rarely think about the fact that all our means of advancement are quite noisy. Namely, all the construction machines, means of transportation, many devices we use in our household and many others out there, all generate quite high levels of noise. All this has an influence on our well-being as well as the well-being of our planet as a whole. Recent studies have realized that birds in large cities sing in a higher-pitched tone nowadays, since they are unable to conduct their message due to all the background noise cities have. If birds are having problems, imagine what we, people are going through. Silence, for us, has become obscurity, since; we are so rarely exposed to it. When two people are together and are saying nothing, it is awkward to us. Moreover, when a person who lives in a city visits the quiet countryside, he or she feels strange and uncoordinated due to the lack of wild noise. All in all, our noise has changed us drastically, even more than we are capable of perceiving.
 
Is Noise a Problem?

Researchers conducted in Europe claim that one quarter of the whole population of this continent lives in such noisy surroundings, that their health is impaired by the noise. Loud and high-pitched sounds are constantly in our ears, whether we are at home or at work. 

What is more, in all our free time in between, we listen to loud music from our player's earphones, go to clubs where the music is so loud that we cannot possibly hear each other or indulge into some other, unavoidably noisy activities. This results in numerous diseases and conditions like depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory problems, and others. All these, in the long run, evolve into something more serious. Thus, we need to protect our precious ears from noise so as not to expose our lives to greater threats. City noise is also one of the main causes of high blood pressure in people.
 

Possible Solutions
Simply, no noise is better than noise. Thus, we need adequate sound isolation in our households and offices. This way, at least while we are working and resting, we will not be exposed to this damaging factor. As for noisy factories and similar object, noise isolation would take them out of the whole lot of annoying buzzing, screaming, roaring, screeching and other noises we are exposed to daily. Just as pollution filters are important and obligatory, so should sound filters be. This way, we will ensure better health of our ears, as well as our whole selves.
 
What to expect from a complete hearing evaluation

A hearing evaluation performed by a specialist, such as us at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service, is needed in order to asses one's hearing abilities and to confirm or rule out hearing loss. 








The evaluation can also provide with information whether hearing loss is conductive, sensorineural or a combination of the two. Hearing evaluations are performed by an audiologist or a licensed hearing aid fitter, such as Mark and Matt at Stone's Hearing Aid Service.
 
What Happens First?

Once the person has come to the audiologist or fitter's office, a professional first asks specific questions regarding the condition and patient's medical history. 

The history of hearing loss is also investigated. For example, a person may be asked if he/she has been exposed to noise, what medications he/she was or is taking and whether he/she has had any ear infections or been operated.
 
Complete Hearing Evaluation

The person is placed in a soundproof room and given headphones. The first of several further tests includes a series of sounds administered via headphones. The sounds are of different pitch and quality. The person is asked to indicate each time he/she hears a tone. Conformation is achieved either by raising a hand or pressing a specific button. This is a pure-tone hearing test. After pure-tone hearing test a person undergoes SRT test. This test determines the lowest level a person can repeat half of the words he/she was asked to repeat by the examiner.
 
MCL test determines the level at which a tested individual feels comfortable to hear sounds. And finally, UCL test gives insight in the loudest level one could tolerate when it comes to listening sounds. Any sound beyond the level determined with UCL test leads to painful sensations.
 
Final part of hearing exam includes a test with a small oscillator. The oscillator is placed on the bone behind the ear and stimulated. By doing so the examiner evaluates the bone conduction of the sound. This type of sound conduction can be increased or decreased and the results can help the examiner determine the actual cause of such changes.
 
Hearing aids are devices designed to help people dealing with loss of hearing. These devices are able to help patients suffering from temporary or permanent damage to the hearing, to percept the speech and hear many other sounds around them.
 
People with mild to moderate hearing loss, especially in both ears are those who should use hearing aids. Also, if there is some communication problems caused by the loss of hearing, patients are advised to use hearing aids. These are not devices recommended for people who suffer from minor hearing problems, and they won’t be of much help to someone with a severe loss of hearing, too. Therefore, wearing hearing aid makes some sense if you have mild hearing loss. For more difficult cases, seeing a doctor who specializes in hearing loss is suggested. Doctors usually suggest BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) or cochlear implants, depending if the problem persists on one or both ears.
 
Hearing Aid Types


Every hearing aid should enable the patient, who is wearing it to hear the speech correctly. Also, it should not catch too much of the background noise or be too loud. At the same time, the device should provide both audible and physical comfort and be cosmetically acceptable. It should be of reasonable price and its size should be adjusted to the ability of the patient to manipulate small objects with his or her hands.
 
There are many types of hearing aids. Some of the most common include: hearing aids worn on the body, behind the ear (BTE) or in the ear (ITE). There are also hearing aids with receiver in the canal/ear or mini canal, and those which remain invisible in the canal. Additional types of hearing aids can be: extended wear hearing aids, open-fit, programmable, disposable and BAHA devices, as well as some eyeglass hearing aids.
 
How to Choose Hearing Aid

Hearing aid is selected after an evaluation, which can diagnose the type, degree and frequency slope of the hearing problem. This evaluation is also very helpful to estimate the benefits the patient should have from some hearing device. There is also some otologic evaluation, used to establish the possibility of some medical or surgical therapy, because about 5 to 10% of all hearing problems can be sort out either medically or surgically.
 



 Stone's Hearing Aid Service offers FREE hearing evaluations by appointment or walk-in as Your Hearing in Our Concern as we have been Family Owned and Operated since 1885 serving the Pottstown and surrounding communities. 

 

 






Our patients are Our first concern and priority. That is why we at Stone's offer FREE on-site visits with our portable Audiometer for thorough evaluations (Homes, Retirement Communities, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes) 

Please always feel free to call us or visit



Categories: Buy local By local, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss

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103 Comments

Reply Amy Jecson
11:20 AM on September 11, 2013 
Today most of the people are suffering from hearing loss and the main reason of hearing loss is prolonged exposure to loud noise. It is always essential to wear ear protection aids to protect your ears from loud noise. Wearing ear aids is one of the easiest and best things you can do for ear protection. Hearing aids also protect your ears from short-term discomfort, such as tinnitus, or ringing in your ears, and stress from listening to loud noises.