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Author: admin | 25.01.2015 | Category: Relieve Tinnitus

It has been determined that exposure to noise is the most common cause of preventable hearing loss experience in the community. For individuals not experienced with hearing loss it can be very difficult to understand the frustration and difficulties that arise from such an every-day process that we take for granted. A noise injury is mostly acquired gradually as the result of exposure to loud noises over an extended period of time. Repeated or prolonged exposure to loud sounds increases the risk of hearing damage, and the effects are cumulative. Sounds below 75 decibels are unlikely to cause hearing damage, regardless of the duration of exposure. Hearing slowly gets damaged in an almost imperceptible way and it can take many years of exposure for the effected individual to actually take notice.
The loss of hearing through exposure to excessive noise in the workplace is a well documented occupational health and safety (OHS) issue. The main point is that you do not need to be any sort of a noise expert to know if something is noisy.
Steps have been taken through OHS legislation and regulations to limit the amount of noise to which workers are exposed in order to minimise the health risks. Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as supplying ear plugs, ear muffs accompanied by an effective education and training programme. But note that the use of PPE is acceptable only as an interim measure until noise levels can be reduced or if there is no alternate practicable solution.
High levels of noise exposure have traditionally been discussed in terms of workplace noise exposure, with the hearing loss often being referred to as 'industrial' or 'occupational' deafness. High levels of leisure noise can come from more traditional activities such as motor bike riding, shooting, use of power tools, etc, or from more contemporary sources such as pub bands, concerts and personal stereo players. In principle the same preventative action should be adopted even though this may at first seem more difficult when operating in a different social situation when compared to the workplace. If you experience tinnitus or ringing in your ears after a particular heavy concert then be warned, your ears are trying to tell you something. For NASCAR drivers, crew members, staff and fans, the noise and reverberation that are Nascar’s trademark may also be contributing to the most serious health issues fed by extended exposure to the painfully loud roar of four dozen revving engines, blasting around the half-mile oval racetrack at Bristol Motor Speedway. The noise also makes it more hazardous not only for everyone else who spends time at a racetrack during a Nascar event. The first study by NIOSH, the government agency that conducts research on health and safety issues, was published by The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene in August 2005.
The second study, a follow-up that includes other tracks, was not available as it was being prepared for publication. After 32 years of racing everything from go-karts to stock cars, including 14 seasons in Nascar’s premier Cup series, the driver Jeff Burton is a victim, too.
Crew members and other Nascar staff members typically wear communication headsets during races. There have been no studies conducted to determine the proper Noise Reduction Rating for drivers, crew members and fans at Nascar events.
Thais Morata of NIOSH, another co-author of the studies, said it would be up to Nascar, drivers or teams to approach the institute about further research. But Hunter said that Nascar tried mufflers in the 1960s and that they did not have a significant effect on decibel levels. Question: How long can a person endure a certain noise level before hearing impairment occurs?
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Our brain works out what type of sound it is according to the volume and the pitch of the vibrations. The rate at which a sound vibrates is called its frequency and the higher the frequency the higher-pitched the sound, such as a piccolo or birdsong.
Loudness varies from person to person and as such it would help to mention here how loudness is described: inaudible, very soft, soft, moderate, loud, very loud or too loud. Our ears are divided into three parts – the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. The outer ear includes the pinna (also called the auricle), the ear canal and the eardrum (also called the tympanic membrane). The middle ear is an air-filled chamber connected to the nasal and throat passages by the Eustachian tube which equalises air pressure on both sides of the ear drum.
The inner ear is filled with a fluid and consists of the spiral shaped Cochlea, named from the ancient word for the shell of a snail. Whilst there are many reasons for hearing loss, the condition itself falls into two main categories: Conductive and Sensorineural.
It is quite possible for a conductive hearing loss to occur together with a sensorineural hearing loss. A common cause of hearing loss is caused through prolonged exposure to harmful sound (noise) or a sudden brief but intense noise like an explosion to the ear. One way we can prevent hearing loss is by staying in environments with safe sound limits. Occupations particularly at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise include fire fighters, police officers, factory workers, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy industry workers, musicians, and entertainment industry professionals. Your hearing healthcare professional will usually begin by asking you questions about the health of your ears and general health and your lifestyle.
A physical examination of your ears is performed to eliminate any medical problems such as infections or blockages such as wax. Amongst all the tests that can be performed on your hearing, pure tone audiometry is the most common. This piece of specialised equipment produces tones at specific frequencies and levels to each ear independently. At the end of a hearing test you may be told that you have normal hearing or a mild, moderate, severe or profound loss of hearing. How people classify themselves relative to hearing loss is a very personal decision and reflects much more than just their ability to hear. In recent years hearing professionals have seen large changes, not just in what hearing devices can do, but how they are worn. This device is housed in a small, usually curved case behind the ear and the sound is delivered into the ear canal via a custom-made earmould or tubing system.
Along with ITCs and ITEs, CICs are considered to be more modern and cosmetically appealing CICs fit so deep in the ear canal that they are practically invisible.

Tinnitus is actually heard by most people at some point in their lives, even those with normal hearing. Sounds above 90 decibels (dB, a measurement of the loudness or strength of sound vibration) may cause vibrations intense enough to damage the inner ear, especially if the sound continues for a long time.
The chart above represents levels of noise measured in decibels (dB), a measurement of the loudness or strength of sound vibration.
Daily activities such as speech take place in the 60 – 80 dBA range (the GREEN zone) and are safe without hearing loss for up to 12 hours. The dynamic range of music, whether performed by a symphony orchestra, brass band, or at a rock concert, can peak at 95 dBA or above. 130 dBA, the sustained noise of a jet engine from 100 feet away can cause hearing damage in under 5 minutes. Preserve New Orleans’ sounds, the soul of the New Orleans’ cultural heritage and the driving force of our tourist economy. Factory workers who are subjected to sustained noise at high levels are at great risk of developing permanent hearing damage resulting in partial or complete loss of hearing.
Studies point to the fact that a lack of awareness of the dangers they face is a cause of occupational hearing damage amongst factory workers. What this tells us is that the Learning Design of any Health & Safety Training Program for factory workers must include a heavy dose of awareness-raising regarding the dangerswhich exist from sustained noise levels.
While learning the theory through interactive pages is interesting, what can be more valuable is to let the learners listen to the sounds from the factory floor.
All the above examples demonstrate the fact that noise levels on the factory floor can be quite high and if sustained over a period of time can result in permanent damage to the ear. In order to prevent hearing loss, people need to be aware of things that can damage their hearing, and learn ways of ensuring their hearing health.
When preventable hearing loss is further coupled to loss due to the ageing process (presbycusis) it is easily understood why hearing loss is more common in the older age groups.
The loudness of a sound is measured in decibels which is a non-linear scale used for scientific purposes. This noise exposure is a function of loudness and time so if you wish to reduce your exposure you must firstly reduce the volume or loudness and then the time. Noise injury is painless and bloodless and does not rate high on a scale of physical injury such as a broken arm or leg but have no doubt it is a real injury nevertheless.
Many workplaces have the potential for a degree of noise exposure, however, some workplaces are identified as posing a particularly high risk for hearing.
If the noise level is such that you need to raise your voice to carry on a normal conversation then chances are that it is too noisy.
Just as with workplace noise, if you have trouble conversing over the noise level then it is potentially too loud and exposure must be reduced. To the fans, who must shout to communicate, noise delivers the energy that keeps bringing them back for more. That is the finding from two studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, which reports that sound levels at tracks reach dangerously high decibel levels.
Kardous, a NIOSH engineer and a co-author of the studies, said the noise level of 43 cars during a race was equivalent to a jet engine, which is 140 decibels.
But some of the results were presented last fall at a gathering of the Acoustical Society of America. To put that in perspective, noise becomes painful at 125 deciels; even short term exposure to decibel levels at 140 can cause permanent hearing damage. The Nascar spokesman Jim Hunter said officials had not focused on the matter since the 1970s, when noise became an issue primarily among people living near racetracks. The seven-time champion Richard Petty has blamed racing for his hearing loss and now wears a hearing aid.
One of several recommendations from the first report included further studies on proper protection levels for earplugs and headsets. Besides, it would be a hard sell for fans, who prefer to attend practices and races without any hearing protection. The following is a guide to hearing that covers many of the questions I receive on a regular basis about all things hearing. A healthy ear is able to pick up vibrations that are measured in a basic unit of frequency known as Hertz or Hz.
Sound waves travel through each part of the ear to the brain where they are analysed and interpreted into meaning. The passageways of the cochlea are lined with over 15,000 microscopic haircells (called inner and outer hair cells) that convert sound vibrations from the ossicles into nerve pulses which are then sent to the brain. Hearing loss can also be attributed to a combination of both types – a mixed hearing loss. The nature of noise-induced hearing loss is sensorineural, and at present, can only be helped and not cured. Results are instant, and you will know immediately if you do have a hearing problem and what steps to take.
Otoscopy is an examination that involves looking into the ear canal with the cone of an otoscope. The patient will communicate that they have heard the tone by either raising their hand or pressing a button.
If you can hear sounds across a range of frequencies at 0-20dB you are considered as having normal hearing.
This could cause depression or cause people to withdraw from group or social situations due to a sense of lack of control and intimacy with friends and family.
In a digital device, sound is received through a microphone and then converted into electrical signals. These changes can be attributed to a reduction in the size of components, increased durability and cosmetic concerns on the part of the wearer. As tinnitus can be a sign of certain medical complications, it should never be dismissed or underestimated. Sounds above 85 dBA may cause damage to the delicate sensory cells of the inner ear, especially if sound is very loud or if it continues for a long time without a break (more than eight hours).
The roar of a cheering Saints crowd enclosed in the Superdome can peak at 100 dBA or higher. Noise from activities like Welding, Tooling, Sawing, Machining and Cutting (of metal) can at times reach the same sound pressure level as rock music at close quarters or a jet engine of an aircraft during take-off.
Since the danger from sustained noise levels is (a) hidden (deep inside the ear) and (b) not instantaneous (damage happens slowly over time), it tends to get ignored compared to more immediate dangers like fire, burns, bruises, collisions with vehicles, etc.

In an interactive way we can show the different parts of the ear and explain the role they play in hearing. And add to it a small video clip of the surroundings and the learning experience can be complete. So when you develop your training programs for factory workers do include the topic of Noise & Hearing Damage in it. For the purposes of looking after your hearing the most important thing to note is that if you need to use a raised voice to communicate or carry on a normal conversation between two people at arms length then the noise level is potentially hazardous and exposure over a significant time could bring problems.
Noise exposure is cumulative over your life-time, meaning that every over exposure adds up a€“ just like too much UV-radiation or exposure to the sun. This is particularly important if your work requires that you are exposed to this level of noise for significant periods throughout your normal work routine. These regulations set mandated acceptable levels, and the nature of employers' and employees' responsibilities for reducing any exposure above these limits. For this reason controls at the top of the hierarchy are preferable as they remove the hazard and do not rely on changing workplace behaviour for safe working conditions.
But you need to look after your hearing so some action must be taken: remove the noise, reduce the volume or remove yourself. Van Campen, said NIOSH viewed Bristol as a worst-case scenario for noise because of the bowl-like stadium track surrounded by stands that rise 21 stories. The headsets protect the ears but lose some of their effectiveness when the volume is turned up to allow communication among staff and crew. I am constantly adding to the information featured here based on your feedback and questions. The ear converts vibrations into electrical signals sent to the brain, where they are translated into meaningful information such as speech and music. The human ear is designed to be a receiver of sounds but also plays a major role in balance and body position. Sound reaching the eardrum causes it to vibrate, transmitting that sound to the three smallest bones in the body.
The auditory nerve contains thousands of nerve fibres that help our brains interpret these pulses into meaning.
Most of us can sustain noises of 90 decibels for up to eight hours without permanent damage, for example, but at 100 decibels the maximum time is only two hours.
Musicians, for example, wear custom-fitted earplugs that do not distort music or impact performance. A set of headphones is worn over the ears or foam earphones placed in the ear canal; and you may be required to sit in a sound-proof test room.
As the test progresses, the hearing professional will plot results on an audiogram where the frequency is on the horizontal axis and the loudness is on the vertical axis. Hearing impaired people with partial loss of hearing may find that the quality of their hearing varies from day to day, or from one situation to another or not at all. There can also be a negative effect on people’s perceptions of you, which often manifests itself as the idea that you may be somehow less intelligent.
A tiny amplifier increases the loudness of the signals, transmitting them back to sound through a speaker into the ear canal. Individuals can report intermittent episodes that are not very bothersome, to a constant tinnitus that can negatively influence daily life.
It can also happen spontaneously without any reason, and then disappear as strangely as it began.
If you turn up your iPod or car radio to drown out the racket around you, you are actually blasting your ears with a dangerous level of sound. These sensory cells in the inner ear typically do not recover once damaged; once they are gone, they are never replaced.
And with a healthy dose of eLearning videos you could even make the topic fun for the learners.
Chemical and noise exposures were measured at Bristol and at an undisclosed race team shop. Fans who use similar headsets to listen in on scanners of driver-crew conversations face the same loss of protection, Kardous said. Speech, for example, consists of vibrations at different volumes and numerous frequencies and most are between 250 and 8000Hz.
Excessive noise exposure can happen unknowingly at home in the form of music on an MP3 player, for example, or as a by-product of the workplace environment.
Once they have sought that initial help they find the subsequent process straightforward and altogether life changing. Once each frequency has been tested and plotted, the points are joined by a line so that you can easily see your results and compare them to what is considered to be within normal limits. Other signal modifications can also be done within the digital chip to improve the sound quality, particularly of speech sounds. BTE designs have become smaller and smaller over the years, and the introduction of so-called receiver-in-the-canal products have contributed to this development. Although the lower level controls have the potential to be effective, they are less reliable, relying on individual workers to take steps to protect themselves.
These tiny ossicles amplify the vibrations and direct the waves of sound into the inner ear. But you are not alone - although aging causes our ears to deteriorate, 20% of all 40 to 60 year olds also have some form of hearing loss. The good news is that if you are worried about a hearing loss, solutions that will enable improvements are now available. It is when tinnitus starts to negatively affect one’s life that further consultation may be necessary.
Our ears are most sensitive at the 2000-5000Hz range which is important for speech and where continuous exposure to noise causes the most damage. However, a lack of knowledge and social stigma prevent many from being helped by simple, effective solutions.

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