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Noise isn’t something many of us think actively about until it interrupts our routine somehow, such as when a car alarm wakes us from a sound sleep, or hours of persistent cacophony from construction work makes it hard for us to concentrate or relax. Even if you know to avoid getting too close to the speakers at concerts and practice safety measures around fireworks, gunshots, etc., you are still not safe from the effects of noise. Noise has also been blamed for increased hostility, antisocial behaviors, and accident rates within the workplace, along with hearing loss in the elderly, which may be less endemic to aging than we previously believed.
As silence is “the think tank of the soul,” you never know what you may discover about yourself when you clear the clutter of background noise from your mind and embrace the peace of the deep woods, seashore, or gently waving grasslands.
Symptoms include loss of hearing possibly combined with frequent and painful ear infections. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis in our office – no hospital visit and patients can go home the same day. We simply take a certain level of noise for granted as one of the unavoidable pitfalls of civilization, and assume it’s a largely harmless phenomenon.
We have not evolved to tolerate the elevated levels of noise we are currently being exposed to, and noise can and does impact human health.
Even deep changes within the body, such as alterations in the function of the immune system and birth defects have been attributed to chronic noise exposure.


But, are there any truly quiet places left, outside of inhospitably remote locales like the Antarctic or high in the Himalayas? The Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada, has been called one of the last great quiet places, and is known for its serene landscapes, including prairies, valleys, badlands, and buttes. Alavi is the only physician in Ventura County who is an expert in a minimally invasive procedure that uses a micro-chisel via the ear canal reducing the patient’s recovery time and leaving no scars behind the ear. It is usually not too painful following surgery and that most patients return to work within 2-3 days. The Muir Woods in California are also wonderfully quiet, and the Great Basin National Park in Nevada is reportedly so hushed that one can hear the wings of birds flapping as they fly by. The most common cause of exostosis is repeated exposure to cold water and wind which causes the bone surrounding the ear canal to thicken to defend the inner ear. During recovery, water can not be allowed to enter the ear canal – meaning no swimming or surfing.
Sounds above 85 decibels tend to cause hearing loss in humans and immediate pain is generally caused by 110-130 decibels, with anything over that running the chance of being fatal. There are other parks, such as the Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and Marconi Beach in Massachusetts, that also have a great reputation for being free of noise pollution.


This creates constriction in the ear canal, sometimes to the point of complete blockage (known as “occlusion”) which can lead to hearing loss. The ear canal is packed to prevent any moisture from reaching the surgery site, this is removed one week after the surgery on your followup visit. Surfers and swimmers aren’t the only ones at risk, an exostosis growth can result from any activity that exposes the participant to cold water or wet conditions and wind. Traditionally the surgery has involved an incision behind the ear and a surgical drill to chisel out the excess bone growth. Surgery is the only known option for this condition and left untreated the patient may suffer irreparable damage and hearing loss. After recovery, ear plugs should be worn to prevent future exposure and overgrowth of the bone tissue.



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