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Author: admin | 10.02.2014 | Category: Tinnitus Hearing Loss

The onset of hearing loss is often a gradual process, so people are sometimes not aware that their hearing is deteriorating. They are also designed to make soft sounds audible, and loud sounds comfortable, as they are your personal amplification system.
Symptoms that result from hair cell damage include loss of loudness, loss of clarity, particularly in background noise, and tinnitus. If we identify that your hearing loss is conductive in nature, we will refer you to one of the ENT's (Ear, Nose & Throat) Specialists that are located close to you.
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you would benefit from contacting a hearing healthcare professional for a full assessment of your hearing status. Disruption of IHC stereocilia and loss of OHC in the basal turn of the cochlea following noise exposure (90 dBA noise for 8 hours) 6 months earlier. Disruption of OHC stereocilia following administration of the aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin. With the advancement of medical science over the last few decades, one would think that we would be abe to explain the reasons for each individual's hearing loss, unfortunately this is not the case.
Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when there is a problem in the outer ear or the middle ear, such as ear wax, fluid behind the eardrum, or middle ear infection. During prolonged exposure to noise at work, the noise passes through the earlap, ear canal and ear drum of the outer ear and enters into the middle and inner ears.
The middle ear consists of three tiny bones, or ossicles, that are suspended in an air-filled space. In the inner ear, the cochlea is susceptible to damage from continued exposure to high-level noise. Situated on top of the moving membrane are thousands of small hairlike structures with nerves connected to each hair cell.
If the hair cells in a particular region of the cochlea are destroyed, the nerves will not fire and the brain will not receive any information.
Typically, hair cells are damaged or destroyed when their supporting structures are overworked. Even though we cannot see sound, it is a force with real dimensions and three definite properties: intensity, frequency and duration. The ear is a remarkable organ, responding to sounds ranging from dripping water to amplified music (Table 1). The other end of the scale is known as the threshold of pain (140 dB), the point at which the average person experiences pain.
Frequency is the number of sound waves (high and low pressure areas) produced by a noise source passing a given point per second. One of the first signs of loss is the inability to understand people (especially in a crowd) or other sources of voice communication such as the television or radio.
The average person can be exposed to a sound source producing 90 dBA for a maximum of eight hours a day. Physiological effects: noise-induced hearing loss or aural pain, nausea and reduced muscular control.
The ears provide two warning signs for overexposure to noise: temporary threshold shift (TTS) and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). This temporary hearing loss was taken into consideration in the exposure limits listed in Table 2. Hearing usually returns almost completely in 12 to 14 hours if there is no more noise exposure. People who have damaged their ears permanently from overexposure to noise often have constant ringing in their ears. The permanent damage that occurs from overexposure to noise results in a hearing loss that is most annoying and deceptive. The ability to identify the source of sound is greatly reduced and the listener seems inattentive. When there is background noise, the listener with a high-frequency hearing loss cannot separate one voice from another.
With noise-induced hearing loss, hearing aids can help, but they do not totally restore the quality of hearing that was present before the loss.
The psychological effects of noise are more difficult to describe than the physiological effects.
Noise-induced hearing loss is a major problem because people are unaware of its warning signs and effects until it is too late. Engineering controls, when practical and economically feasible, are the most effective ways to reduce noise exposure because they reduce sound level at the source. Replacing worn, loose or unbalanced machine parts to cut down on the amount of vibration generated. Making sure that machine parts are well-lubricated to cut down on noise exposure created by friction.
Installing a good, high-quality muffler on all engine-powered equipment to reduce vibration produced by airflow. To get information on the sound levels of various tractor models, write to: Tractor Testing Laboratory, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583. Reduction of noise exposure on new tractors is only a part of the total noise problem in agriculture.
Altered work schedules are a second alternative to prevent noise-related problems by reducing the amount of exposure to high sound levels on farms.
For example, for a tractor that produces a noise level of 95 dBA, the safe exposure is four hours per day per person.
Personal protection equipment is the final alternative for farm workers who wish to cut down on noise exposure.


Earplugs are available as preformed inserts made of rubber, plastic or foam and hand-formed inserts of disposable materials such as wax or Swedish Wool. Preformed earplugs may be cheaper, but because of differences in the shape of each person's ear canal, trained personnel should fit each individual for plugs. Operators who have suffered previous hearing losses may find that they are unable to detect certain sounds necessary to ensure proper machine operation when they are using ear protection. If you are continually exposed to high sound levels, you should have a hearing test periodically. If you allow your ears to be exposed to the invisible dangers of agricultural noise or other sources of high sound levels, the result could be a permanent loss of hearing.
The inner ear consists of a series of fluid-filled passages within the ear, responsible for both hearing and balance.
Hearing loss often affects the high pitch sounds first, so loudness is often normal, but clarity is impaired. The inner ear is made up of rows of hair cells (see to the left) which provide clarity and sharpness to sounds, particularly in background noise. Depending upon dose, drug administration can cause either a temporary or permanent threshold shift. Almost half are under the age of 65 and 54% of the population over the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. Many times this type of hearing loss may be corrected by medical or surgical treatments.Symptoms of Hearing Loss.
It is caused by prolonged exposure to noise at work which results in the damage of the nerve cells of the inner ear. This is due in part to the many potential sources of loud noise on the farm: tractors, combines, grinders, choppers, shotguns, conveyors, grain dryers, chain saws, etc. The cochlea (Latin term meaning snail shell) is a fluid-filled hydraulic system driven by the piston action of the last ossicle. When a hair cell is bent because of membrane motion, the nerve fires and the message is transmitted to the brain. If part of the hair cells are destroyed, the brain may receive a distorted message that it cannot interpret. When the microscopic structures are damaged, there is no way to repair them to restore reasonable hearing. With continued exposure to high-level noise, the membrane motion is great and the cells that support the hair cells swell. The normal range of hearing begins at about 0 decibels, a level at which a person with excellent hearing is able to detect a sound. A noise-induced hearing loss first causes the loss of the ability to hear sounds at 4,000 Hz.
This is because a large number of sound waves are transmitted to the ears with a force greater than they can tolerate. In Table 2, the right-hand column lists various high sound levels and the left-hand column indicates the length of exposure that is safe for the corresponding noise level during a day. For example, if you purchased a tractor with a 95 dBA rating, you would be risking a hearing loss after four hours of exposure. After leaving a noisy area or piece of equipment, many people commonly experience both of these symptoms. For example, should you be exposed to a noise level of 100 dBA for two hours, the remaining 22 hours of that day's exposure should be at a noise level below 90 dBA. Any amount of hearing that does not return becomes a permanent threshold shift (PTS), or permanent hearing loss.
In general, most noises damage the hair cells near the base of the cochlea, where high-frequency information is processed.
Thus the level of a sound must be high before it is understood, but if it is slightly higher, it may be intolerably loud.
Psychological effects such as depression and nervousness are a result of the ear's inability to adjust to sound.
Did you ever try to communicate with someone while a tractor was running or around a grain dryer without yelling? Since there is strong social pressure to have normal hearing, an individual rarely admits to having a hearing problem until the effects are very substantial. In recent years, farm machinery manufacturers have designed cabs that reduce noise level exposure to safe limits. Additional noise engineering must be done on grain dryers, combines, pickers, elevators, chain saws, shellers, grinders, mixers, pulverizers, snow blowers, conveyors and grain roller mills, to name just a few. When practical, arrange work schedules so that farm workers do not exceed the allowable exposure limit to a high noise source. Try to arrange work schedules to let farm workers exchange work activities so that no one person is exposed to the noise for more than four hours. The attenuation (noise reduction) provided by earmuffs varies widely because of differences in size, shape, seal material, shell mass and type of suspension.
For agricultural use, wax and Swedish Wool have little value from a sanitation standpoint because they must be changed daily and must be shaped by hand before inserting and because of their lower attenuation level.
Cotton cannot block out high-frequency sound and will provide no protection from high sound levels.
In these cases, it may be necessary for the operator to remove the ear protection to check for these sounds.
You can make the difference between a life with all the joys of sound or a life of silence by following the safe work procedures outlined in this guide.
Problems within the the inner ear vary from person to person, but are usually typified by dizziness, nausea, hearing problems or ringing sounds in the ear.


It can be a symptom of ear or sinus infection, fluid build-up, or noise damage in the inner ear.
This can occur as a result of acoustic trauma, an inner ear infection, or the natural aging process. It is often due to the inflammation resulting from infection, or a build up of excess fluid in the vestibules.
Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in our adult population, following only high blood pressure and arthritis.
With this type of hearing loss the hair cells in the inner ear (Cochlea) have become damaged or less effective.
If you recognize any of the following symptoms of hearing loss, please contact one of our offices or your personal physician to have your hearing professionally evaluated. Prolonged exposure to excessive noise can cause permanent hearing losses unless noise control measures are taken. The ossicles function as a mechanical lever system that delivers sound from the ear canal to the inner ear. The vibrating motion of the ossicle produces a wave motion in a membrane that runs the full length of the cochlea.
Hair cells near the base transmit information about high-frequency, or high-pitched, sound, while those at the apex provide information about low-pitched sound. Typically, a person begins to identify sounds when a level of 10 to 15 dB is reached; this is the threshold of hearing.
Then hearing loss proceeds until the ear cannot hear frequencies between 500 and 3,000 Hz, a range crucial to understanding conversation. These figures have been determined after years of research on noise-induced hearing loss and are accepted as the standard for allowable noise level exposures. If the tractor had a 90 dBA rating, you could use the tractor for eight hours before reaching the same risk level.
Unfortunately, normal-hearing people expect that if speech can be detected, it can be understood. Social functions and group meetings become a chore, and the individual begins to avoid them.
Early awareness and corrective action are essential to eliminating noise as a hearing hazard. Many of the new tractor cabs may reduce an operator's noise exposure by at least 10 to 15 dB.
Manufacturers supply attenuation data for their product, so you can evaluate their effectiveness. When purchasing earplugs, follow the directions closely so that a snug, tight fit is obtained in the ear canal when the plug is inserted. Machinery sounds different when you are wearing ear protection, but with continuous use, you can learn the new sounds and still be able to determine whether the machinery is operating properly.
But remember to properly replace the ear protection to protect against further hearing loss. If hearing loss is noted, take the necessary steps to reduce exposure and eliminate further damage to your hearing. On average, once a person determines that they have a hearing loss, they wait over seven years before seeking assistance.The impact of a hearing loss can be far reaching and involve many aspects of one's life. Noise does not affect the middle ear unless there is an impact sound or pressure so great that it dislodges or fractures the ossicles. If the vibrations are fast (high-frequency sound), the membrane has its greatest motion at the base of the cochlea near the vibrating ossicle. Only a few hair cells may be lost at a time, but with repeated exposure over days, months and years, the cumulative effect can be substantial. Your ears should not be directly exposed for any length of time to sounds greater than 115 dBA.
This recovery period varies, depending on the individual, the severity and length of exposure.
Since some people are more susceptible to noise damage than others, one person may experience more tinnitus or damage than another with exposure to the same noise.
Hearing impaired individuals may have difficulty localizing sounds, understanding speech in busy environments, and participating in everyday normal conversations. When a person works in a noisy environment, the damage caused to his hearing will be in direct proportion to the intensity of the noise and the duration of exposure time. If the vibrations are slow (low-frequency sound), the maximum membrane motion occurs at the tip, or apex, of the cochlea. Subconscious frustrations can result when noise is endured, but the body system cannot adjust to it. Other symptoms that may accompany hearing loss include ringing tinnitus, dizziness or balance disturbances. This can lead to social isolation, confusion, frustration, tension, anger, stress and depression. Recent studies also indicate that untreated hearing loss negatively affects one's overall health, quality of life and happiness.Causes of Adult Hearing Loss.



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