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One major explanation given is the insurgency's use of a fearsome weapon the Pentagon did not fully anticipate: powerful roadside bombs. Also, much of the fighting consists of ambushes, bombings and firefights, which come suddenly and unexpectedly, giving soldiers no time to use their military-issued hearing protection. In addition, some servicemen on patrol refuse to wear earplugs for fear of dulling their senses and missing sounds that can make the difference between life and death, Hoffer and others said. Hearing damage has been a battlefield risk ever since the introduction of explosives and artillery, and the U.S. The military has responded over the past three years with better and easier-to-use earplugs, greater efforts to educate troops about protecting their hearing, and more testing in the war zone to detect ear injuries. The results aren't in yet on the new measures, but Army officials believe they will significantly slow the rate of new cases of hearing damage, said Col. Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say.
The number of servicemen and servicewomen on disability because of hearing damage is expected to grow 18 percent a year, with payments totaling $1.1 billion annually by 2011, according to an analysis of VA data by the American Tinnitus Association. Given today's fearsome weaponry, even the best hearing protection is only partly effective — and only if it's properly used. Some Marines were issued a $7.40 pair of double-sided earplugs, with one side designed to protect from weapons fire and explosions, the other from aircraft and tank noise. The Navy and Marines have begun buying and distributing state-of-the-art earplugs, known as QuietPro, that contain digital processors that block out damaging sound waves from gunshots and explosions and still allow users to hear everyday noises. The Army also has equipped every soldier being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan with newly developed one-sided earplugs that cost about $8.50, and it has begun testing QuietPro with some troops. In addition, the Navy is working with San Diego-based American BioHealth Group to develop a "hearing pill" that could protect troops' ears.
And for the first time in American warfare, for the past three years, hearing specialists or hearing-trained medics have been put on the front lines instead of just at field hospitals, Hoffer said.
Marines and soldiers are getting hearing tests before going on patrol and when they return to base if they were exposed to bombs or gunfire. Prolonged exposure to high noise levels above 90 decibels can be dangerous to your hearing.
FanComm personnel have measured the noise levels at most of the NEXTEL tracks and have found the noise levels to be between 90 and 120 Decibels. Do you remove yourself from conversations or social situations because it is difficult to hear what is being said? One in 10 Americans has a hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. A ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, commonly occurs after noise exposure, and it often becomes permanent. Habitual exposure to noise above 85 dB will cause a gradual hearing loss in a significant number of individuals, and louder noises will accelerate this damage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in its Hearing Conservation Amendment of 1983, requires hearing conservation programs in noisy work places. When noise measurements indicate that hearing protectors are needed, the employer must offer at least one type of earplug and one type of earmuff without cost to employees. Gun muzzle blast, jet engine; noise causes pain and even brief exposure injures unprotected ears. Earmuffs fit over the entire outer ear to form an air seal so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked, and they are held in place by an adjustable band. Just as sunglasses help vision in very bright light, so do hearing protectors enhance speech understanding in very noisy places. If you have any of these symptoms, you may have nothing more serious than impacted wax or an ear infection, which might be simply corrected.
Reprinted with permission of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, copyright © 2006.


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Otolaryngology Medical Web Site Design & Medical Website Marketing by Vital Element, Inc. Here’s the issue: repetitive exposure to any sound in excess of 85 decibels can induce irreversible hearing loss. All sound is not created equal—The sounds of speech are much different than the sounds of background noise. Sound is dynamic—specific frequencies necessitate different handling, and volume shouldn’t be lowered by too much or by too little.
So, for an earplug to be effective, it has to 1) reduce the volume of sound, but not by too much or too little, and 2) manage assorted types of sounds, or frequencies, differently. As you’ll see, custom earplugs accomplish these two feats better than foam earplugs and have the advantage in three vital areas: sound quality, comfort, and cost. Custom-molded earplugs, in contrast, come with advanced filters for a precise, even level of noise reduction (attenuation). Foam earplugs, to be effective at reducing volume, have to form a deep, tight seal within the ear canal, producing a sustained feeling of pressure, and this “plugged up” feeling is nearly universal.
Custom earplugs, however, are cast to the contours of each patient’s ears by a hearing professional, creating a secure, natural fit without the feeling of constant pressure. Not to mention that by wearing the same custom earplugs for four years, you’ll eliminate the waste associated with discarding over 1,000 pairs of disposable earplugs.
Custom hearing protection and foam earplugs will both decrease volume and protect your hearing, but that’s where the similarities end. 1 disability in the war on terror, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and some experts say the true toll could take decades to become clear.
Their blasts cause violent changes in air pressure that can rupture the eardrum and break bones inside the ear. Others were not given earplugs or did not take them along when they were sent into the war zone. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
Ryan Kelly, 27, of Austin, Texas, the noise of war is still with him more than four years after the simultaneous explosion of three roadside bombs near Baghdad. But the Marines were not given instructions in how to use the earplugs, and some cut them in half, while others used the wrong sides, making the devices virtually useless, Hoffer said. While damage can occur at 80 to 85 decibels — the noise level of a moving tank — the best protection cuts that by only 20 to 25 decibels. An early study in 2003 on 566 recruits showed a 25 to 27 percent reduction in permanent hearing loss. These funnel through the ear opening, down the ear canal, and strike your eardrum, causing it to vibrate.
Evidence suggests that loud rock music along with increased use of portable radios with earphones may be responsible for this phenomenon. Some people react to loud noise with anxiety and irritability, an increase in pulse rate and blood pressure, or an increase in stomach acid. For unprotected ears, the allowed exposure time decreases by one-half for each 5 dB increase in the average noise level. Our physicians bring the best in care through our expert centers - The ENT Facial Surgery Center, Physicians Hearing Services, and the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Pavilion. Without even being alert to it, the sounds we expose ourselves to might be causing permanent hearing loss that accumulates irreversibly year after year.


City traffic registers at about 80, a rock concert at 100, a sporting event at 105, a power saw at 110, and a shotgun blast at an earsplitting 145.
That’s the reason why hearing protection is particularly essential for musicians, concert-goers, hunters, and construction workers.
Most of us are unwilling to quit our careers or forgo attending concerts just to make certain that we can hear better when we get older.
The earplugs can be customized to reduce volume only by the necessary amount, and can filter certain kinds of sound more than others, preserving the quality of speech and music. Custom earplugs are also developed with soft, medical-grade material that doesn’t shrink or change shape.
Seeing as custom earplugs are specially shaped for each patient, variations in ear size and shape create no problem whatsoever.
The majority of custom earplugs cost under $100, so your total cost after four years is less than half the cost of the disposable earplugs—and you’ll get greater sound quality and comfort in return. Custom earplugs have better sound quality, are more comfortable, and cost you and the environment, in the long run, much less. Ryan Kahlor listens for sounds as his hearing is tested at Balboa Navy Medical Center in San Diego, Feb. Nearly 70,000 of the more than 1.3 million troops who have served in the two war zones are collecting disability for tinnitus, a potentially debilitating ringing in the ears, and more than 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss, the VA said. And some Marines weren't told how to use their specialized earplugs and inserted them incorrectly.
But the sheer number of injuries and their nature — particularly the high incidence of tinnitus — came as a surprise to military medical specialists and outside experts. What I remember was my ears ringing," said Kelly, whose leg was blown off below the knee in 2003. The hearing damage ranges from mild, such as an inability to hear whispers or low pitches, to severe, including total deafness or a constant loud ringing that destroys the ability to concentrate. That is not enough to protect the ears against an explosion or a firefight, which can range upwards of 183 decibels, said Dr.
The vibrations are passed to the small bones of the middle ear, which transmit them to the hearing nerve in the inner ear. This means that as decibel intensity increases by units of 10, each increase is 10 times the lower figure. What you might notice is a ringing or other sound in your ear (called tinnitus), which could be the result of long-term exposure to noise that has damaged the hearing nerve.
The only resolution is a compromise: safeguarding our hearing by limiting the volume of the sounds we’re subjected to. World War II was a different kind of war, waged to a far greater extent by way of vast artillery barrages, bombing raids and epic tank battles. Ben Balough, a Navy captain and chairman of otolaryngology at the Balboa Navy Medical Center in San Diego.
They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit individual ear canals and can be custom made. Or, you may have trouble understanding what people say; they may seem to be mumbling, especially when you are in a noisy place such as in a crowd or at a party.
But even cap guns and firecrackers can damage your hearing if the explosion is close to your ear.



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