Hearing loss is experienced by one in every six Australians. Most cases result from repeated and lengthy exposure to loud noises which could’ve been prevented with ear protection. With daily use of headphones and festivals that go for days, the danger of hearing loss in today’s world is greater than ever before.
Music lovers and concert goers have long understood the dangers of spending a few hours in front of large speakers, but the vast majority are still not taking the necessary measures to protect themselves by wearing earplugs.
How Loud is Too Loud?
An average concert, whether at a club or a festival, generates sound levels of around 100 dB to 120 dB. Sounds above 90 dB can cause permanent hearing damage after 30 minutes of exposure, while sounds above 110 dB can damage your ears in just 2 minutes.
It’s common to feel pain in your ears, ringing or temporary deafness, which usually go away after a while. But these are signs of serious damage to your hearing. With repeated loud concerts and constantly listening to a music device, the potential for hearing loss is very real.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in any physical pain or discomfort for permanent damage to be occurring. The damage can be subtle and unnoticeable until you suddenly notice a significant loss of hearing. This often occurs in middle age, when noise-induced hearing loss combines with the natural loss of hearing. By this stage, it’s too late.
Repeated exposure to loud music can also lead to a permanent ringing in the ears, something you are twice as likely to experience without using ear protection. At its worst, this condition can severely affect concentration, lead to sleep deprivation and cause extreme distress.
Common reasons for not wearing earplugs include discomfort, thinking it will reduce sound quality, self-consciousness about how they look and underestimating the risk of exposure. But in reality, ear protection technology has advanced to a point where these concerns are no longer an issue.
Audiologists can create custom earplugs fitted to the shape and size of your ear, allowing you to wear them all day without discomfort or irritation. These earplugs, used by most musicians, filter sounds rather than blocking them out. Most are made of a clear silicon material, allowing for a subtle, comfortable look.
By removing dangerous frequencies and evenly reducing the sound, you can actually enjoy the music more with a better-balanced tone. Custom earplugs can even be designed to protect against specific frequencies of your choosing.
Want to know more about custom earplugs?
If you’d like to find out more about custom earplugs for concerts in Perth, get in touch with Hearing & Audiology by calling 08 (08) 9388 8003 or enquiring online. We specialise in creating custom earplugs for a variety of situations to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Visit one of our two audiological clinics in Perth – Duncraig and one in Subiaco, and Geraldton.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HEARING AND AUDIOLOGY
New Years is a noisy time of year with fireworks, noisemakers, bars, yelling and screaming crowds, and other loud sounds piercing the environment. Fireworks and firecrackers have been found to register noise levels of 162 dB and 150 dB, respectively. To avoid experiencing hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud noises this New Year’s Eve you should adhere to these tips:
1. Invest in a set of inexpensive foam earplugs, available at local Pharmacy’s. These can reduce noise by as much as 30 db.
2. Hearing aid users should adjust their program memory settings for noise reduction or a reduced level in the music setting. If their instrument doesn’t have this feature, a pair of noise-reducing earmuffs can be of benefit.
3. If children are joining you at New Year’s celebrations make hearing protection a family affair. Talk to your kids about the importance of wearing hearing protection.
These precautions should help prevent people from damaging their hearing or developing a temporary case of tinnitus. It’s not just the excessive noise of football stadiums, but also some of the most routine celebratory events that can be damaging to ears.
Have a Careful, Noise Reduced, New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year from Hearing And Audiology.
Keeping your pet safe from hearing aid hazards
Contributed by Lauren Clason, staff writer for Healthy Hearing | Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Some dogs will eat anything they can get their paws on: your child’s box of crayons, a forgotten Pop-Tart, the baseboards, or the grease can underneath the grill. Needless to say, their diet isn’t always what it should be, so it’s important to recognize the hazards hearing aids and hearing aid batteries pose to your pet’s health.
Hearing aids are easy enough to swallow and the batteries can pose a significant health risk to anyone or any animal that ingests them. Dogs have been known to chew on and swallow hearing aids, particularly if they’ve shown any interest in or annoyance from the whistling or electronic sounds that a hearing aid emits. Cats could mistake them for a toy and bat them around the house.
If your pet has swallowed hearing aid batteries, there are several symptoms to look for:
•Red and raw tongue, or whitish-gray from dead skin,
•Heavy drooling or vomiting,
•Unusually quiet behaviour or crying, and
•Refusal to eat or extremely slow chewing.
These symptoms can be delayed up to twelve hours. When a dog or cat punctures a battery, the corrosive liquid inside can damage its throat and oesophagus. Charlotte Means, a veterinary toxicologist with the ASPCA, says small amounts of milk can help dilute the liquid if the ingestion was recent. Too much, on the other hand, can cause diarrhoea.
The safest course of action, of course, is to take your pet to the vet. If there are pieces of the hearing aid or battery present in the stomach, surgery may be necessary. Alkaline batteries can cause burns on the tongue, throat and stomach lining. Immediate action is necessary once you’ve discovered your pet has swallowed a battery.
Besides the health risks, there are financial factors to consider. Hearing aids are expensive enough without throwing in the cost of a veterinarian bill; each one can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. That’s expensive catnip!
Be sure not to leave your hearing aids or batteries out where your pet can get them. Store hearing aids in a secure place out of reach of your pet. Proper storage includes drawers, cabinets and other containers that are closed and inaccessible to both pets and children. Do not leave them out on counters or nightstands where they could be easily knocked off or gobbled up by a furry friend.
Also, make a point of disposing any old hearing aid batteries properly once you replace them. Some businesses offer battery recycling programs. Keep them away from extreme heat and do not dispose of them in a fire, as they could explode and release toxic material.
Due diligence will prevent your pet from a lot of pain and an unwanted trip to the emergency room. While hearing aid manufacturers strive to make their products as safe as possible for everyone, including children and pets, the devices are still small and contain hazardous materials. The majority of batteries today do not contain mercury, but they are still dangerous if swallowed.
If your hearing aid is properly stored, your dog won’t have to learn the hard way that batteries aren’t treats.
Tradies National Health Month – Industrial Deafness.
August 2015 has been declared as Tradies National Health Month. Noise hazards on the job can be a real threat to the wellbeing of the workforce. Industrial deafness and ongoing issues with Tinnitus are the consequence.
Industrial deafness, occupational deafness and noise induced hearing loss are phrases which are used to describe a deterioration of a person’s hearing as a result of his or her working environment.
A person does not have to lose his or her hearing completely to be classified as deaf, and in fact there are varying degrees of deafness:
•mild deafness – this can often cause difficulty following speech, hearing the television, particularly in environments where there is background noise. This is the most common form of industrial deafness
•moderate deafness – people who suffer moderate deafness may not be able to hear without the use of a hearing aid
•severe deafness – those suffering with severe deafness often rely on lip-reading despite using a hearing aid. Such people may also use sign language as their preferred means of communication
•profound deafness – the most serious form of deafness. Sufferers of this type of deafness will usually rely on lip-reading and sign language
If you have worked in a noisy environment, being exposed to noisy machinery or tools and have noticed that you cannot hear the television or doorbell as well as you used to, are struggling in social environments where there is background noise, or are noticing that you are having to ask people to repeat themselves, you may be suffering from industrial deafness.
At Hearing & Audiology, all our audiologists are accredited by WorkCover to perform baseline, full audiological and subsequent testing. Our booths are WorkCover approved for both baseline and full audiological tests. Anyone working in a designated noisy area requires a baseline hearing test on commencing work. Hearing tests over the working life can notify us of any hearing loss. If this is the case a compensation scheme is in place if there is a 10% hearing loss compared to the original baseline test from noise in the workplace.
Your employer is responsible for arranging and paying for all WorkCover hearing tests.
Our Testing Range
Our clinics specialise in offering comprehensive hearing tests in consultation with WorkCover. This range of tests includes:
•Baseline and subsequent air conduction testing
•Full audiological assessment
•Subsequent full audiological assessment
Book an Appointment Today
For more information about our hearing healthcare services, please give us a call at (08) 9388 8003
If you’re like most people, you’re used to thinking of hearing as something that happens in your ears. What people often don’t think about is what happens between their ears, in the hearing part of their brain. That’s where sound becomes information that has meaning. Your brain has to work hard to make this happen.
When the sound signals from your ears are compromised, your brain has to work even harder to fill in the gaps. This extra effort can take its toll. In fact, studies have shown that, over time, hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression.
That’s why it makes sense to take care of your hearing health the same way you care about the rest of your health: There’s a lot more riding on it than just your hearing.
Hearing affects everything b etween your ears.
What happens when you have a hearing challenge? The natural relationship between your ears and brain is disrupted.
It takes more effort to follow what is being said.
You feel more tired at the end of the day.
Hearing Care is Health Care.
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Hearing loss can be tiring. The less ‘sound’ information your brain receives…the harder it has to work!
It’s your brain that hears, not your ears. The sounds your ears receive are sent to your brain where they are translated into meaning. If you suffer from hearing loss, your brain tries to fill in the gaps of sounds you don’t hear. This can be difficult and exhausting, and it makes it harder for you to participate in what is going on around you.
Oticon hearing aids feature BrainHearing™ technology, designed to support your brain and help it make sense of sound, with less effort. This powerful approach enables you to:
- Organise sounds and orient yousrelf with your surroundings
- Hear better in challenging environments
- Understand speech, engage in conversations and switch your focus
- Listen according to your personal preferences
BrainHearing technology is based on four key features:
Speech Guard E– superb speech recognition
Speech Guard E protects speech clarity and details for you to easily understand what is being said – even in noisy surroundings.
Spatial Sound – locate the sources of sound
Spatial Sound supports your brain’s natural ability to sense where sounds are coming from – even in noisy situations. This helps you know where to focus your attention.
Free Focus – zoom in on what’s most important
Free Focus consists of automatic zoom functions to help you easily focus on the most important sounds. It helps you shift your focus from one conversation to another.
YouMatic – shape the sound to suit you
The way you hear is as unique to you as your DNA. YouMatic is a tool to personalise your hearing instruments to your unique and personal hearing preferences and needs.
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