SEATTLE, Sept. 26, 2012 - Swedish Medical Center and Douglas Backous, M.D., medical director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, will host the world’s first live-instagrammed and live-tweeted cochlear implant (hearing restoration) surgery on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (PT).
Swedish to Host World’s First Live-Instagrammed, Live-Tweeted Hearing Restoration Surgery as Part of Month-Long Educational Web Series on Hearing Loss
Noise exposure causes permanent hearing loss, and it is 100% preventable!
Hearing loss from noise exposure can occur at any age. Over 36 million Americans experience hearing loss… an amount over four times larger than the entire population of New York City! Over 18 million of those Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 65.
Today’s modern world is full of everyday objects that emit hazardous levels of noise. Exposure to noise louder than 85 dB is considered loud enough to potentially damage hearing. Consider your exposure to these common sounds that exceed 85 dB:
- 90 dB: Hair dryer, lawn mower
- 100 dB: MP3 Player at full volume
- 110 dB: Concerts and sporting events
- 130 dB: Ambulance
Your hearing can be permanently damaged after exposure from a single event of loud noise. Signs of damage from noise exposure include ringing in the ears, a plugged or “cotton feeling” in the ears and feeling as if others are mumbling while speaking. The use of some medications may make some individuals more susceptible to noise induced hearing loss.
You can prevent damage from noise by limiting your exposure to loud sounds. The following actions can reduce the likelihood of developing hearing loss from noise:
If your child is one of the 304 million people who currently utilize an iPod, they could potentially be damaging their hearing. Research in recent years has demonstrated the startling trend that noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise, especially among children and teens.
Today, one in eight children aged 6-19 years has some degree of noise-induced hearing loss, which is twice the rate as seen in 1971. But noise isn’t a new phenomenon for kids. Historically, children have worked on farms, cut down trees, or fired guns without hearing protection. However, personal listening devices, like the iPod, are one of the most significant changes in our culture in the past 15-20 years, and they are here to stay.
Walk around the local park, ballfield, or school, and you will see numerous children and adults connected to earbuds. The extremely popular iPod has the capacity to produce an output of as much as 115 decibels at maximum volume, which is about as loud as a jet airplane taking off. At that level, it takes less than a few minutes to cause permanent damage. Of course, not everybody listens to his or her personal device at that volume. But in many instances the volume is turned up to combat background noise, and those earbuds placed directly into the ear can boost the volume as much as 6 to 9 decibels.
The damage that noise exposure causes is cumulative, permanent, and totally preventable. So what can we do?
Most of us have heard about the studies that show kids who study music:
● Can score higher on standardized tests, such as the SAT;
● Can help develop problem-solving and math skills;
● Develop their brains in areas that non-music studying kids don’t;
● And a whole slew of other beneficial things...
But music also releases serotonin and dopamine to give us the same sort of feeling of pleasure that come from eating chocolate. It can make us happy. There’s nothing like that good feeling when the perfect song pops up on the radio or on our iPods/MP3s.
This is important in our stressed out world of today. We’re stressed about work, chores, bills, economy, blah, blah, blah.
So how do we get more music into our children’s lives? And how do we cultivate an appreciation for music, not just a rebellion?
Assertive listening strategies for those with hearing loss to share with others to facilitate communication.
Hearing loss is “invisible,” and those around you may not realize that you are missing part or all of a conversation. Acknowledging your hearing loss and educating others about your listening needs will facilitate successful communication. Many are unaware of strategies that can improve communication. Education and gentle reminders to use strategies are helpful to improve communication.
Did you know that portable music players produce sound at up to 100 decibels? That’s approaching the level of a jet plane taking off, which measures 120 decibels. Any volumes higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss if listened to for prolonged periods of time.
May is Better Hearing Month, celebrated by the American Academy of Audiology. It’s a great time to assess the health of your hearing, and recognize its importance in daily life.
Small changes in day-to-day activities can go a long way in maintaining good hearing in the future: