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Tag Archives: hearing damage

  • Protecting your children’s hearing

    A child’s hearing is highly sensitive and prone to damage from loud noises. Children are particularly vulnerable because damage to their ear drums at an early age will inhibit development in later life; the risk of this happening is every parent’s nightmare.

    Despite these problems being fortunately confined to the few, developments in technology and changes in cultural norms are creating more risks than ever before.

    Parents therefore need to be aware of these risks and be able to identify circumstances which might put their child in danger. They can then develop strategies which prevent hearing damage from becoming a reality.

    As illustrated below, the risks associated with hearing loss depend on the level of noise and the exposure time. 85db is the threshold for safe or dangerous noise and an increase of 10db is equivalent to being twice as loud. Sustained amounts of loud noise can be just as damaging as a sudden burst of sound and it is often the former that goes unnoticed by parents over a long period of time.

    Protect Your Child's Hearing

    For younger children, the risks are more often associated with unexpected sources of loud noise. Fireworks, particularly when used in the setting of a back garden, can be particularly dangerous for the ears, producing a maximum exposure of 140dB. Care should be taken to ensure that children are far enough away from the source.

    Noisy toys, football matches and watching motorsports can also create short-medium blasts of sound which should be limited to periods of two hours or below, along with exposure to industrial noise from road works, loud vehicles or machinery.

    MP3 players are clearly the hottest current topic of concern. Around 76 per cent of children between the ages of 8-18 own an MP3 player and 25 per cent of people using such a device do so loud enough to cause long term hearing damage. Maximum noise levels can reach 115db, which is deemed a safe level of sound for the equivalent of about five Justin Bieber hits.

    Parents are advised to monitor children’s use of MP3 players and adjust the maximum volume limit to remove louder settings. Limit periods of listening to shorter periods with breaks in between.

    Other musically related risks can be associated with instruments, gigs and festivals. Teenagers attending music concerts will put their ears at risk the closer and longer they stand near speaker systems, with sound levels ranging from 110-120dB. Restraint should be encouraged with regular breaks and ear plug use. Instrument use should also be limited to one or two hour exposure, or fifteen minutes for the clarinet or trombone.

    Fortunately there are safe activities which children can still perform without damaging their ears. Washing machines and vacuum cleaners are fine, so why not encourage housework now and again?!

    In reality, for older children, it becomes more and more difficult to monitor and influence their behaviour all of the time. However, through adequate education they will develop a firm platform with which to make responsible decisions.

    Permission to go to a gig should go with the caveat of wearing earplugs when noise is considered dangerous. Children do not need to give up the pastimes they enjoy to help mitigate risks, just encourage that they take precautions; don’t make an enemy out of yourself, make noise the nemesis instead.

  • Ministry of Defence Is Sued For Noise Induced Hearing Loss

    Hearing lossA former Suffolk Army cadet has won over £27,000 after a firing drill left her with permanent hearing damage. Officer Cadet Storm Rae, 23 has been left reportedly with the hearing of an 80-year-old and has had to give up her Sandhurst scholarship as a result. The incident that left Miss Rae with ear damage took place in Norway in 2008 where a training exercise was stationed.

    Miss Rae was supplied with insufficient ear protection and as a result suffered from permanent and constant tinnitus. However, the Ministry of Defence claimed that they were not in the wrong, but agreed to settle for £27,500, reflecting on the impact that that firing drill had on her future career.

    Miss Rae said: "When I got into Sandhurst I was delighted, it is the peak of Army training and everyone dreams of going there.

    "I was just completely devastated when I found out that I had suffered permanent damage and would no longer be able to go to the academy or even enter the Army at all."

    David Johnston-Keay, a solicitor and industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: "Regrettably, Miss Rae is not the only person to have come to us with significant and preventable hearing damage as a result of exposure to gunfire.

    "The MoD has been providing hearing protection for soldiers, sailors and airmen for many years and there are procedures in place to ensure staff are properly protected. However sometimes those safeguards fail."

    We at Earplugshop.com urge employers to ensure their staff are always provided with sufficient hearing protection such as these work ear plugs. They are available to bulk buy, saving you time, money and your employee’s hearing. Permanent hearing damage such as tinnitus is an extremely painful condition and any form of hearing loss or deafness can have a hindering effect on all walks of life. It is stated under the Health and Safety Act that employees must be provided with ear protection when noises at the work place exceed the safe level of noise. It reads:

    “The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (Noise Regulations 2005) require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too. The Regulations require you as an employer to:

    • Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work;
    • Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
    • Provide your employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods;
    • Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
    • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training;
    • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.”

    Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/index.htm

  • Justin Bieber Is Being Sued As Fan’s 'Frenzy of Screams’ Damage A Woman’s Hearing

    Concert crowdA mother of a Justin Bieber fan is suing the singer for $9.23 million as the concert has allegedly caused permanent hearing damage. According to Newser.com, Stacey Wilson Betts took her daughter to see Justin Bieber in concert back in 2010 without bringing ear plugs and has since been suffering from tinnitus and other hearing damage.

    The lawsuit claims that at the concert, Justin "created a wave-like effect of screaming by pointing into various sections of the arena. He then enticed the crowd into a frenzy of screams by continuously waving his arms in a quick and upward motion.” Ms Wilson Betts thought that the screams were bad enough, but did not imagine what effect the metal gondola would have. The report continued to state that the gondola acted as a "sound conductor creating a sound blast," which in turn left her with permanent hearing damage in both ears.

    Stacey Wilson Betts now suffers from tinnitus and other hearing-related damage and is suing Justin Bieber, the singer’s record label, the concert promoter and the Portland arena.

    Music concerts can reach extremely high volumes, which is why we here at Earplugshop.com urge people who are not only attending these concerts, but those who work behind the scenes also, to come prepared with hearing protection.

    It isn’t just us who are urging music fans to wear ear plugs. Many of the industry’s favourite stars have come together in aid of Action on Hearing Loss to share their stories concerning tinnitus. Plan B, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Gary Numan among many other popular singers have come forth to encourage their fans to come to their concerts wearing ear plugs.

    A vast range of musician ear plugs can be found at Earplugshop.com along with a collection of kid’s ear defenders to ensure children’s hearing is always protected.

  • Noise Pollution

    Noise pollution is everywhere we go, we can never escape it, but not all noise pollution is bad, it all depends on the level of which the noise is omitted. Safe sounds are measured up to 85dB (decibels), anything above that can have serious effects on your health. Noise pollution can cause not only hearing problems such as tinnitus and hearing loss, but can have an effect on sleep, aggression and stress levels, which in itself has damaging health effects.

    High noise levels can have damaging effects even when exposed to the sound for a short amount of time, according to Hearing Loss and Coronary heart disease by S. Rosen and P. Olin during an eight hour period blood pressure can rise by five to ten points, which can rise even more if stressed.

    Many people who reside in urban areas where there is a lot of noise pollution (maybe they have an airport situated close by) according to a study undertaken in 2005 approximately pay 4 Euros per decibel per year for noise reduction. However, there is a simpler way to protect your hearing and health when it comes to noise pollution and that is wearing a pair of noise reduction ear plugs. They are cheaper and can be taken everywhere you go, whether you decide to attend a music concert or are travelling.

    It is scary how easily our hearing can be damaged, but it is even more reassuring that it can be protected just as easily, if not more so.

  • The importance of hearing

    In today’s hi-tech environment and the demand for everything, bigger, better and louder it is becoming increasingly more important to make sure you have the right hearing protection. We are used to the sounds omitted, but now we have the sounds coming from video games on various game stations, PCs and now our phones. Through this because we are growing around technology it is quite hard to realise the effect it has on our hearing, making hearing protection incredible important to our everyday lives.

    Not only is the growth of technology increasing our risks of hearing damage and potential deafness, but also some working environments can have a serious effect as well as leisure sports and even holidays.

    This however, can easily be combated; with the simple use of ear plugs that are especially design for a certain activity you will be protecting your ears effectively from damaging sounds. You will also be pleased to know there are ear plugs that have special filters that allow you to block the damaging noises and let the sounds you want to hear in.

    When it comes to ear plugs there is a great range to choose form, depending on the brand you prefer and the activity you are going to wear them for. For instance if you will be going on holiday for Christmas flying ear plugs would be ideal for you as they will balance the pressure out, preventing your ears from popping and feeling ill when on the plane. Then there are ear plugs for children, designed specifically for smaller and more sensitive ears.

    Take a look at the full collection of ear plugs today to see which ear plugs fit your preferences.

  • How Will Hearing Loss Affect Your Relationships?

    I mentioned this a few blogs ago: Earplugs now or hearing aids later! I’ll add to that: Ear plugs now or divorce later? Studies show that marriages are negatively affected by hearing loss. Though there may be times you wish you couldn'’t hear your spouse, consider how important communication truly is in a marriage.

    Many marital problems have everything to do with a lack of communication between spouses. Feelings of resentment might build when emotions are held back. Frustration may build when one spouse feels the other is ignoring requests. So, when communication is thwarted with an actual physical inability to hear the other person, you can imagine how much this augments the situation. Continue reading

  • How Can Golfing Damage Your Hearing?

    Crikey! Golfing can damage hearing? How can that be when golfing is a sport known for “sideline” whispers and dainty golf claps to avoid distracting the golfers? Well, apparently, the risk lies with the new-fangled titanium golf clubs.

    The noise the titanium clubs make when they whack the ball down the course (and hopefully not in the grove of trees to the right… slice!), has been said to create a sonic boom. While this may be an exaggeration, the fact remains that the noise could cause damage over repeated exposure. One 55-year-old claims his hearing has been partially damaged after using the titanium clubs 3 times a week over the last 18 months. Continue reading

  • Hearing Protection for Tweens?

    Tweens are kids who are in between childhood and "teenhood" ages 8-12. My daughter falls in this category (almost 11). It's a difficult age as they transition from playing with toys to thinking about boys. And the boys are very much over the "girl's are icky" stage as well. It's at this time when we start worrying about the big talks as well as other soon-to-be issues such as avoiding drug use, alcohol etc. We still want them to wear their bike helmets, even though they are more concerned about how the helmet will mess up their hair. Do we really have the time to worry about yet another issue such as hearing loss?

    Well, we'd better because with all the noise in their world, many of our tweens could end up with irreversible noise-related hearing loss. They have iPods and other portable music devices, handheld video games and gaming consoles hooked up to surround sound. They will soon be attending more gymnasiums to watch sporting events that can reach very high decibel levels. Rock concerts may be a bit in the future, but with more and more musicians targeting this age group, you may be closer to a Miley Cyrus concert than you think! Continue reading

  • Turn It to The Left?

    Hearing loss information from overseas! The American Academy of Audiology has begun a “Turn It to the Left” program to try to convince parents and children to mind the decibel levels of various audio devices and toys.

    According to the New York Times article, as many as one in eight children have noise-induced hearing damage, which means that over 500 million children have a disability that could have been prevented. Continue reading

  • Can You Hear Me Farmer Joe?

    Apparently, farmers are being told to wear hearing protection due to the noise level of pigs during feeding. The little oinkers squeal to the tune of 100dB or more while being fed! Remember that hearing can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes at 100 dB, so I guess if Farmer Joe wants to keep his hearing, he’s going to need some protection.

    According to the NASD (National Ag Safety Database, United States), farmers have more hearing loss than other occupations. If you think about it, farmers are independent and therefore not governed by the usual safety laws that protect employees in an industrial setting by forcing compliance. So, even though many of the noises on a farm are at decibel levels high enough to cause hearing damage in a short time, the farmer may or may not protect his or her hearing or that of the hired help. Continue reading

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