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Author: admin | 22.03.2015 | Category: Relieve Tinnitus

What causes hearing loss?Losing your hearing is a normal and inevitable part of the ageing process. Action on Hearing Loss: Enjoy the sparks but avoid the ringing in your ears this bonfire night.
Michael Rothschild, MD, director, pediatric otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health.
To provide even greater transparency and choice, we are working on a number of other cookie-related enhancements. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a terrifying global report warning that more than 1 billion young adults and teenagers are facing the risk of hearing loss caused by loud music.
If you’re wondering what the cause might be for such an atrocious number, it is very simple.
WHO also blames nightclubs and bars, another source of damaging levels f sound providing noisy entertainment for the young people. Standard unsafe levels of sounds can be either exposing yourself to 85 decibles (dB) for eight hours or to 100dB for 15 minutes. At the same time WHO experts have compiled a few simple preventive actions which are designed to allow people to keep enjoying themselves without the risk of losing their hearing. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can lead to temporary hearing loss or tinnitus, a disease which makes your ears “ring”.
According to the WHO recommendations, workplaces should not be allowed to expose their employees to levels of noise over 85 dB up to a maximum of eight hours per day.
WHO advises teenagers and young people to take care of their hearing by listening to music (or anything else for that matter) on lower volumes on their audio devices. The most drastic recommendation is to limit one’s daily use of audio devices to less than one hour, taking regular listening breaks and restricting the time spent engaged in noisy activities. WHO urges young people in particular to get regular hearing check-ups, before they start experiencing warning signs of hearing loss (sensation of ringing, muffled hearing).
There is a second party that plays a significant role, besides what each individual can do to protect themselves from the destructive effects of loud sounds. A common effort can be achieved by parents, physicians and teachers by educating young people about the importance of safe listening. March 3rd marks the celebration of International Ear Care Day, and this year, WHO is setting in motion the “Make Listening Safe” project, an initiative meant to raise awareness about the dangerous effects of unsafe listening and promote safer habits. The global organization has partnered with several collaborators worldwide in a massive effort of alerting young people and their families about the real risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Experts have estimated that half of all the worldwide cases of hearing loss could have been avoidable; 360 million people today are experiencing moderate to profound hearing loss, caused by complications at birth, chronic ear infections, noise, genetic conditions, aging and the use of particular drugs.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Hearing by bone conduction occurs when sound waves cause the bones of the skull to vibrate which directly stimulate the hearing organ (cochlea) resulting in hearing. Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when sound waves cannot be transmitted properly from the external environment to the cochlea. Obstruction in the external ear canal caused by wax, foreign body or infection (otitis externa). Dislocated, damaged or fi xed ossicles (malleus, incus, or stapes) – from trauma or chronic diseases that erode the ossicles over time or otosclerosis that cause the ossicles to be fixed.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when there is damage to the hearing organ (cochlea) or hearing nerve (auditory nerve). Acute and chronic exposure to loud noise can cause damage to the sensory cells in the cochlea.
Acoustic neuroma - a tumour of the vestibular nerve, which lies in close proximity to the auditory nerve and affects its function. Ototoxic drugs – Some drugs can damage the nerves involved in hearing or the sensory cells in the cochlea.
The affected person usually complains of diffi culty in holding a normal conversation, especially in a noisy environment. There may be associated symptoms like tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or vertigo (spinning sensation). A complete history, ENT examination and relevant investigations are necessary for a diagnosis. A hearing test (audiogram) will be performed to confirm the presence and indicate the severity and type of hearing loss.
For presbycusis (hearing loss due to old age) no treatment is needed although the affected individual will be advised to protect his hearing and evaluated on whether hearing aid help is needed. Conventional hearing aids are amplification devices that detect environmental sounds and present and amplify them into the external ear canal.
The side effects from wearing hearing aids include occlusion effect (sense of blockage of the ear), feedback and a propensity for ear infections. The louder the sound, the less time you can safely listen to it. Just because a sound isn’t annoying doesn’t make it safe. Noisy occupations, such as working in factories or on roadworks, used to be the most common cause of hearing problems.
Nowadays it’s recreational loud noise that’s the main problem, especially from MP3 players, such as iPods, as well as noisy clubs and music gigs.
You can lose some hearing after being exposed to loud noises for too long, for example by standing close to speakers at a nightclub.
If you work or frequently spend time in a noisy place or listen to loud music a lot, you could be losing your hearing without even realising it. The best way to avoid developing noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noise as much as you can. Experts agree that continued exposure to noise at or above 80-85dB over time can cause hearing loss. You’ve been listening to a noise that's too loud or for too long if you have ringing in your ears or dull hearing after listening to loud music. The louder the noise and the longer you're exposed to it, the greater the chance of damaging your hearing. Don't listen to your personal music player at very high volumes and never to drown out background noise. If the music is uncomfortable for you to listen to, or you can’t hear external sounds when you’ve got your headphones on, then it's too loud.
To enjoy music from your MP3 player safely, listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. All MP3 players bought within the EU have a 'smart volume' feature, so use it if you have one. When listening to your personal music player, choose noise-cancelling headphones, or go retro with older muff-type headphones.
If you’re experiencing noise at work, talk to your human resources (HR) department or your manager and ask for advice on reducing the noise and getting hearing protection. Wear ear protectors (earplugs or earmuffs) if you are using noisy equipment such as power drills, saws, sanders or lawn mowers. In workplaces, staff are protected by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which stipulate that hearing protection must be worn if the daily average noise levels reach 85dB. But remember, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations don't apply outside the workplace, so it's up to you to safeguard your own hearing at clubs, gigs and wherever else you listen to loud music.

SoundMeter+ provides accurate sounds levels and noise exposure readings to help prevent hearing loss.
Play It Down is a free iPhone and iPad app that allows users to assess their hearing ability and noisy environments.
School hearing tests cannot effectively detect adolescent high-frequency hearing loss, which is typically caused by loud noise exposure, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The Pennsylvania Department of Health mandates school-administered hearing screens for children in kindergarten to third, seventh and 11th grades. Deepa Sekhar, assistant professor of pediatrics, compared the results of a special hearing screening designed to detect noise-related high-frequency hearing loss with the results of the standard Pennsylvania school hearing test. One in five adolescents experiences hearing loss, and most of this is high-frequency hearing loss related to continued exposure to noise hazards. Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) says more than 70% of people over the age of 70 have some degree of hearing loss. It is intended for general information purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
Young people have integrated listening to music at unhealthy levels as a normal part of their lives.
After conducting several studies in middle- and high-income countries, WHO found out that nearly 50 percent of the teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years are exposing themselves to unsafe levels of music coming from personal audio devices. Etienne Krug, WHO Director for the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, young people should be more aware that hearing is not coming back once lost.
When choosing your music, you should take into consideration the intensity, duration and frequency of listening. In cases of loud, regular and frequent exposure, the ear’s sensory cells can be permanently damaged, and the outcome is irreversible hearing loss. For example, patrons of nightclubs, sporting events and bars are often exposed to noise levels of 100 dB, a level which is safe for no more than 15 minutes. Smartphones apps which allow you to monitor your listening levels and warn you when you have exceeded them can be a very good assistant toward a better listening habit. WHO encourages governments to develop and enforce stricter regulations for the levels of recreational noise, while also launching public information campaigns for raising awareness for the high risks of hearing loss. WHO is a strong advocate for the involvement of governments in this issue, urging them to step in and give greater attention in order to prevent hearing loss generally.
In air conduction, sound waves travel through the external ear canal to vibrate the eardrum.
The problem could lie in the external ear canal, eardrum, middle ear bones or middle ear space. There may be complaints from others around that the person does not respond when called or speaks louder than normal. People who work with heavy machinery or in the construction industry should use proper ear protection when working around loud noises, especially when working for prolonged periods.
The ENT physician will perform a thorough head and neck examination, particularly of the ear canal and tympanic membrane. Treatment may range from observation and reassurance to medications and a discussion on surgical options. The ENT surgeon will insert the electrical electrode of the implant directly into the cochlea and directly stimulate the nerve endings in the cochlea so as to bypass any problem in the cochlea.
But with the tightening of health and safety rules, working in a noisy industry should be less hazardous to your hearing, provided you wear the correct ear protection.
Or hearing can be damaged after a short burst of explosive noise, such as gunshots or fireworks. Without noise measuring equipment it is impossible to tell what noise level you are being exposed to. Protect your ears with ear protectors – earplugs or earmuffs – and get away from the noise as quickly or as often as you can.
Even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing.
They’re widely available at many live music venues and shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the music. According to Action on Hearing Loss, you need at least 16 hours of rest for your ears to recover after spending around two hours in 100dB sound, for example in a club.
An audiologist explains the possible causes and effects it often has, such as stress and anxiety, plus how to deal with them. Researchers administered both the statewide school screening and a high-frequency screening.
However, while many of us will experience gradual loss of hearing over the years, noise exposure at home, work or leisure can also cause impairment.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Their habit is constantly fed by the proliferation of personal audio devices, which are getting smaller and more practical with each generation.
Another 40 percent are damaging their hearing by frequently participating at events with high levels of sound at entertainment venues. WHO encourages manufacturers who create personal audio devices to add information about safe listening on their products and packaging, and also design them with built-in safety features. Vibration of the eardrum is transmitted to the hearing organ (cochlea) via three small bones (ossicles) in the middle ear. They should also undergo regular hearing tests to ensure that their hearing is not worsening.Youngsters should not use earphones or visit discotheques.
Radiological imaging studies such as CT scans or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) may be ordered to detect an acoustic neuroma. If the cause of hearing loss is due to wax and foreign body in the ear canal, it can be removed under a microscope by the ENT surgeon. Surgical repair of the ear perforation may be necessary if the perforation persists for more than three months or there is a problem of recurrent ear infections with ear discharge. The modern aids vary from very small completely-in-the-canal to the traditional behind the ear hearing aids.
Middle ear implants are used in people who have tried hearing aids but are unable to use them or fail to benefit from them.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says noise levels above 105dB can damage your hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes each week.
So, a handy rule of thumb is that if you can’t talk to someone two metres away without shouting, the noise level could be damaging.
Ear-bud style headphones and in-the-ear headphones are less effective at drowning out background noise.
This is because each increase of 3dB represents a doubling of sound energy (and halves the time you should listen for). This is logical for young children, who are more likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss due to fluid in the ear after a bad cold or an ear infection. The screening for noise-related hearing loss tests the ability to hear higher pitches, up to twice the frequency of the Pennsylvania school screen. Of the 282 participants, five failed the Pennsylvania school test and 85 failed the noise-related test.

It's estimated that 10 million people in the UK – that's one in six - have some level of hearing loss. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the BootsWebMD Site. This stimulates the sensory cells in the cochlea which then sends impulses to the hearing nerve (auditory nerve) and on to the brain. If the cause of the hearing loss is due to medication, the medication will be stopped or changed. But lower levels, such as between 80dB and 90dB can also cause permanent damage if you're exposed to them for hours every day.
As an example, being on a dance floor for 15 minutes at 100dB delivers the same amount of noise energy to the ear (and therefore potential damage) as being on a slightly less noisy dance floor at 95dB for 45 minutes. Adolescents, however, are more susceptible to high-frequency hearing loss, usually brought on by exposure to loud noises, but the same tests are used on adolescents and young children. Of the group of 48 students returned for testing by an audiologist in a soundproof booth, nine were diagnosed with hearing loss. Loud noise at workExposure to continuous loud noise during your working day can make you permanently hard of hearing in the long term. It comprises of a transducer that is attached to the ossicles or directly to the round window (part of the cochlea). A small reduction in volume makes a big difference to the length of time you should listen for. Jobs that are hazardous to hearing include construction, the military, mining, manufacturing, farming or transportation. The Health and Safety Executive says employers have a duty to protect employees from hearing loss. Injury damage or pressure changesTrauma to the head can impact the ear and cause permament hearing loss. Sudden pressure changes, like scuba diving or flying, can also harm the eardrum, middle ear or inner ear. While eardrums may take a few weeks to get better, serious inner ear damage may require an operation.
These are called ototoxic drugs, which may cause damage to the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss, balance problems and tinnitus. Antibiotics linked to possible permanant hearing loss include: gentamicin, streptomycin and neomycin. Chronic diseaseSome chronic diseases that are not directly linked to ear issues may trigger hearing loss. Some types of hearing loss are also linked to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. How you hear – anatomy of the earSound causes the eardrum and its tiny attached bones in the middle part of the ear to vibrate. The spiral-shaped cochlea in the inner ear transforms sound into nerve impulses that travel to the brain.
The fluid-filled semicircular canals attach to the cochlea and nerves in the inner ear and send information on balance and head position to the brain. Growths and tumoursHearing loss can be caused by benign, non-cancerous growths, such as osteomas, exostoses or polyps that block the ear canal. A large neuroma can cause headaches, facial pain or numbness, lack of limb coordination and tinnitus. Loud bangs!Remember, remember the 5th of November – but also remember to take care of your ears on Bonfire Night! Exposure to loud noise over 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss and while fireworks are lovely to watch, some can break that sound limit with a searing 155 decibels.
Gunshots and other explosive noises also pack a punch to your ear, in some cases rupturing eardrums or causing damage to the inner ear.
Loud concerts and tinnitusThat loud buzzing sound in the ears after a loud concert is called tinnitus. The average rock concert exposes you to sound as loud as 110 decibles which can do permamant damage after just 15 minutes. Other noises that break the 85 decibel range and risk permanent hearing loss include power tools, chain saws and leaf blowers. Prevent tinnitus and potential hearing loss, which can last days, months or years by using earplugs and limiting noise exposure.
Personal music playersIf other people can hear the music you're listening to through your earphones, you may be at risk of permanent hearing loss. A recent survey revealed that over 92% of young people listen to music on a personal player or mobile phone. Recent EU standards limited the sound on these devices to 85 decibels, but many listeners plan to override the new default volume – saying they want to wipe out background noise. Action for Hearing Loss suggests using noise-cancelling headphones rather than pressing override and risking lifelong damage to your hearing. EarwaxIt may be yucky and unsightly but earwax does serve a useful purpose, protecting the ear canal from dirt and bacteria. However, if earwax builds up and hardens, it can dull your hearing and give you an earache. If you feel your ears are clogged, see your GP or nurse who may suggest olive oil drops to soften and disperse the wax. Don't be tempted to do it yourself with a cotton bud – or any other implement - which only risks damage to the ear.
Childhood illnessChildren are susceptible to ear infections, which are among many childhood illnesses that can cause hearing loss.
Usually, infections that fill the middle ear with fluid cause only temporary hearing loss but some may cause harm to the middle or inner ear and lead to permanent hearing loss. Illnesses linked to hearing loss in children include chickenpox, influenza, measles, meningitis, encephalitis and mumps.
Born with hearing lossIn the UK, one or two babies in every thousand are born with significant hearing loss.
Although congenital hearing loss often runs in families, it can also be triggered by an infection in the mother during pregnancy. Hearing loss can also develop after lack of oxygen or trauma at birth, or if a newborn is premature.
AgeRegardless of how you protect your ears, getting older reduces your hearing as you gradually lose inner ear hair cells. If you are struggling to hear and it is affecting your quality of life, go to your GP or NHS clinic to arrange a hearing test.

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