Earth Day 2019

April 22, 2019

“In nature, nothing exists alone.”
— Rachel Carson, 1962

Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.
The good news is that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we work together now to build a united global movement of consumers, voters, educators, faith leaders, and scientists to demand immediate action.

Earth Day Network is asking people to join our Protect our Species campaign.

The goals are to:

  • Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
  • Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
  • Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
  • Encourage individual actions such as adopting a plant-based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.

Custom Protect Ear Carbon Footprint

By purchasing any of our hearing protection products, you are helping us give back to the community. dB Cares™ is a Custom Protect Ear (CPE) initiative created to address the impact our doing business has on the environment and to help support the people and community where we live and work. We are also committed to making a difference in the battle against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. There is more to CPE…

dB Cares™ For The Planet

CPE is committed to becoming more sustainable by working to eliminate or offset any adverse effects our business may have on the planet. Some of the programs we initiated are:

  • Reducing energy consumption and by purchasing strictly green power: generated from renewable resources. bullfrogpower.com
  • Reducing landfill waste by making our protectors with a 5-year life span, and by reusing, recycling or reclaiming waste materials whenever we can.
  • Making all marketing materials available in digital formats that can be supplied over the internet; and when printed, only on post-consumer papers with environmentally sensitive inks.
  • Refining our production processes to engineer out any adverse effects on the environment.
Protect Ear

From all of us at Custom Protect Ear – Happy Earth Day, do your part.

 

 

Solving the Hearing Loss Epidemic – One Ear at a Time

April 16, 2019

Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss, and each year approximately 30 million people in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise in the workplace.

According to OSHA, “Loud noise can create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals,” the agency states, adding that noise-induced hearing loss can impair a person’s ability to understand speech and communicate.

Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. In 2009 alone, BLS reported more than 21,000 hearing loss cases. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss.

Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noisy area. However, exposure to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. The effects of hearing loss can be profound. Noise induced hearing loss limits your ability to hear high frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairs your ability to communicate. Learn more about the symptoms of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

What are the warning signs that your workplace may be too noisy? Noise may be a problem in your workplace if:

  • You hear ringing or humming in your ears when you leave work
  • You must shout to be heard by a coworker an arm’s length away
  • You experience temporary hearing loss when leaving work.

Sound Advice on Hearing Protection

Technology

Advances in technology allow employers to provide workers with hearing protection that doesn’t disrupt situational awareness. This includes the addition of FT filters embedded in medical grade silicone custom hearing protection, called dB Blockers. The proprietary frequency tuned filter allows communication without removal of the ear plugs. People can communicate in noise better while wearing their dB Blocker™ hearing protection, then if they were to remove them. A dB Blocker Hearing Loss Prevention Program will enhance productivity.  Workers can communicate without having to remove their hearing protection, preventing hearing loss and avoiding mistakes due to miscommunication.

How to Wear

Just because you own hearing protection does not mean you are wearing it correctly. If hearing protection isn’t worn the way it’s designed to be worn, workers are more vulnerable to injury. This may seem straightforward, yet, a large percentage of users don’t take the time to wear hearing protection properly.

Another common problem is overprotection. When workers use hearing protection that prevents any sounds from being heard, a worker may be considered “functionally deaf” and this is a safety issue.  If a worker has trouble communicating with co-workers, or can’t hear emergency signals, back up signals or dangerous noises this may lead to injury or death.

Fit check surveys continue to imply numerous employees are not wearing their options properly. Most companies in the industrial sector have gone above and beyond to ensure that in-house hearing protection meets the occupational standards, but if workers are not complying and educating themselves – we will not solve the hearing loss epidemic.


Don’t take your hearing for granted, we don’t realize we have hearing loss until it is too late.


SOURCE:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/healtheffects.html

https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2007/10/Fit-Testing-of-Hearing-Protectors.aspx

Why earplugs should be at the top of your packing list

April 9, 2019

Festival season’s coming up, and it’s time to start prepping. For some, that might mean investing in some new earplugs. Our Team is committed to harm reduction on all fronts, including hearing loss prevention. We want to make sure you’re on the dance floor with us for a long time, so here are some tips to keep your ears in top shape.

 

Concert goers

What are some signs that I should wear earplugs?

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association warns that anything above 85db can permanently damage your ears. Chances are your favorite concerts measure 100 db or above. If you know you’re going to be at a concert, you should always wear them. As a rule of thumb, it’s too loud to go without earplugs if you need to raise your voice to talk to a friend. If they’re within three feet of you and you can’t understand them, put in earplugs right away. Other surefire signs include muffled hearing and tinnitus when you move into a quieter space. Your ears are telling you they’re under too much strain.

What factors lead to hearing loss?

The most obvious factor is the noise level of a sound, but proximity and duration also play a role in determining if you’re at risk for hearing loss. You can listen to sounds at 85 db without hearing loss for 8 hours, but after that, you’re at risk. An especially loud noise can cause hearing loss instantly. If you go hard at the rail when you’re at shows, you’re in the most dangerous range for hearing loss.

What kind of earplugs should I get?dB Blockers Music

Your hearing is worth investing in, so we recommend some high-quality earplugs that will filter harmful noise but still allow you to enjoy the show. It’s helpful to check the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) to get a general idea of how well they protect your ears but look at descriptions and reviews to see what they’re best for. Some earplugs won’t protect you against the full range of frequencies even if the NRR is high. 

At Custom Protect Ear we have the dB Life™ Sweet Tones Musicians Earpieces

These are hearing protectors that reduce all frequencies equally by 9 dB, 15 dB or 25 dB with corresponding Flat Attenuation Filters. It is designed for musicians or concert goers who want to hear music without distortion but with less volume.

A steep price-tag for hearing protection can be hard to swallow, but we all want you to keep listening to the music you love as long as possible. Hearing loss continues to be a major issue in the US, and youth are particularly susceptible. We hope you’ll take the plunge and spread the word to protect yours’ and your friends’ ears. Learn More about Hearing Protection


SOURCE:

Original Article: http://dancemusicnw.com/make-sure-to-pack-earplugs-festival-season/

Definitive Guide to Hearing Health

March 21, 2019

Article by Amy Andrews, Earpiece Online. 

We all understand how important our ears and hearing are to our everyday life, particularly for people that use radio earpieces. But have you ever thought about how you can keep your ears healthy?

As the old saying goes, ‘you should never put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear’. It sounds reasonable until you consider the size of cotton buds, biros, earphones and pinkie fingers. If you think about it, there are a lot of things we put into our ears – and all of them, by default, are smaller than our elbows. …But those things are all safe, right? I mean, how much damage could the corner of a towel really do?

Well, as it turns out, quite a lot.

In fact, most earwax blockages result from the improper use of a simple cotton bud. That got your attention, didn’t it? Cotton buds are not actually designed to go inside your ear canal (or anybody else’s for that matter – this isn’t limited just to you). Often, shoving a cotton bud into your ear simply compacts the wax that’s already in there. Making a kind of, I don’t know, SUPER WAX, which then needs to be removed by professionals.

So, if you are, shall we say, ‘delving too deeply into the unknown’, the wax you are trying to get OUT of your ears can slide even further INTO your ears. Pushing against the tide of migrating cells, where it all compacts and accumulates like, um, a great big ball of ear wax (I didn’t have a good simile there. Sorry). Anyway, that’s how regular use of cotton buds and other ear-bound items can have a fairly bad effect on the health of your ears

Even going as far as to affect the quality of your hearing. So you see, there is a lot of truth to that old saying about elbows and ears!

K, so your inner ear is itchy, getting out and that paperclip on your desk seems as good a tool as any. Perhaps it would be OK to give it a quick scratch? Just for a few seconds of blessed relief? No. No it wouldn’t. In fact, your ear won’t get nearly as itchy if you follow these simple tips…

  • Leave it Alone! The ear is actually self-cleaning, so if earwax isn’t the problem, you’re actually better off leaving it alone. Interrupting the process only makes things worse, hence all the itchy. Earwax (or cerumen) is a normal part of the ear’s function. It helps to protect and lubricate your ears. It even has antibacterial properties. Without the mighty wax-wizard Cerumen, your ears would be itchy, dry and uncomfortable all the time.
  • Of course, we all need to ‘clear the neighborhood’ on occasion. The safest way to do this is by taking a damp cloth and gently cleaning the outer areas of your ears. Cotton balls are also good here, provided you don’t insert them into your ear canal.
  • Earwax softener is widely available and can make the process of cleaning your ears considerably easier.
  • Talk to your doctor about removing any waxy build-ups during your exam/check-up/social event that you’re both attending (My doctor never had any problems with it. Sadly, I was told that he unexpectedly moved to Peru right after I asked him about earwax at his Niece’s Bat Mitzvah. Shame that).
  • No Sharp Objects! – Never use sharp or pointed objects in your ears. Also, avoid ear candles (while we’re at it, never try to make your own candles from ear wax – they smell funny).
  • You might also want to irrigate your ears with a syringe. This process involves gently rinsing out your ears with saline solution. For best results, use a wax softener about 15 – 30 minutes beforehand.

It may seem obvious, but the level of care and attention you give to your ears directly affects the quality of your hearing. So, it is definitely worth looking after your ears.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: 

 

Westone Acquires North America’s Largest Custom-Fit Industrial Hearing Protection Manufacturer

March 12, 2019

For Immediate Release

Westone

 

 

Westone Laboratories
2235 Executive Circle
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
www.Westone.com

Westone Acquires North America’s Largest Custom-Fit Industrial Hearing Protection Manufacturer

Colorado Springs, CO – February 14, 2019 – In partnership with their principal investment group, HealthEdge Investment Partners, Westone Laboratories, Inc., a market leader in custom earpieces, high performance in-ear monitoring technology and hearing protection, announced it has closed on its acquisition of Custom Protect Ear, the largest custom-fit industrial hearing protection manufacturer in North America.

Zubin Meshginpoosh, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Westone shared, “We are delighted to join forces with Custom Protect Ear, the most trusted brand in custom-fit hearing protection used by hundreds of industrial clients across a wide variety of industries.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, Chairman, and CEO of Custom Protect Ear added, “Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is an epidemic in the workplace, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate it. This partnership with Westone allows us to expand our geographic reach, increase the pace of innovation and have a positive impact on more lives.”

Custom Protect Ear’s management team and operations will remain headquartered in Vancouver, BC with an operating subsidiary, ProtectEar USA, based in the United States.


About Westone

Established in 1959, Westone Laboratories is celebrating 60 years of delivering custom earpieces that protect and enhance hearing, facilitate communication, and support hearing healthcare professionals. The largest manufacturer of custom earpieces in the world with both hearing healthcare and music specialists on our research, development and production teams, Westone is recognized as a leading innovator across the custom earplug, hearing protection, and music industries. Westone is a proud partner of the United States Military providing specially designed communication-enabled and hearing protection earpieces for service members and first-responders around the world. It is our people, our experience, and our products that truly make Westone “The In-Ear Experts®.” For more information, visit Westone.com or contact Jeff Ipson at (719) 540-9333.

About Custom Protect Ear

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Custom Protect Ear was founded in 1976 and provides effective, verifiable, and noise level matched industrial hearing protection to over 4,500 corporate clients worldwide across a wide range of industries including distribution, manufacturing, machining, energy, packaging, public safety & security, transportation, and food. CPE is a certified and compliant ISO 9001 manufacturer that incorporates both traditional handcrafted manufacturing processes and leading-edge 3D printing technology. Known for their product quality and customer service, CPE utilizes a custom fitting process performed by highly trained technicians to personalize every protective earpiece to each user then backs it with a ‘FitRight Guarantee’ and industry-leading warranty program. For more information, visit ProtectEar.com

About HealthEdge Investment Partners

HealthEdge Investment Partners, LLC is an operating-oriented private equity firm founded in 2005 that focuses exclusively on the healthcare industry. HealthEdge seeks to achieve superior returns by investing in businesses that benefit from the knowledge, experience, and network of relationships of its partners. HealthEdge’s partners have more than 100 years of combined operating experience in healthcare as CEOs and investors. For more information on HealthEdge, please visit HealthEdgepartners.com or contact Elizabeth Breslin at (813) 490-7104.

What’s in your Ears ? “The 4 Must Haves”

March 5, 2019

What’s in your Ears – The 4 Must Haves…

Working in a loud, noisy environment can be detrimental to your hearing. Many industrial, service and construction workers are exposed to over 85 decibels over a long period of time. But that’s not the only place where we are exposed to sound and noise.

“Every day, we experience sounds in our environment, such as the sounds from television and radio, household appliances, and traffic. Normally, these sounds are at safe levels that don’t damage our hearing. But sounds can be harmful when they are too loud, even for a brief time, or when they are both loud and long-lasting. These sounds can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).”[1]

According to the US Department of Health and Services, NIHL can be immediate or it can take a long time before it is noticed. It can be temporary or permanent and can affect one or both ears. Even if you can’t tell that you are damaging your hearing, you may have difficulty hearing in the future, in situations such as failing to understand others when they talk; especially while on the phone or in a noisy room. Regardless of how it might affect you, one thing is certain: noise-induced hearing loss is something you can prevent.

Custom Hearing Protection

Custom Protect Ear has the smartest hearing protection in the world and has been protecting thousands of people who are exposed to NIHL.  We wanted to share our top 4 of the “Protector Must Haves” workers have been wearing to protect themselves from NIHL in the workplace.

 

  1. dB Blocker™ Convertible Vented: The dB Blocker™ Convertible Vented is by far the most versatile. The protector offers the convenience of a detachable cord and a filtered vent for conversation in noise. It also attaches easily to various radioHearing in cold weather cords for seamless integration with many radios while conserving hearing.The dB Blocker™ Convertible Non-Vented Offers the same hearing protection as the dB Blocker™ Classic Non-Vented but has a removable cord. It is particularly suited for industrial applications where there is high air movement (wind noise) which may cause a whistle in the vent.
    Learn more.

 

  1. dB Blocker™ Classic Vented; Great protection with a permanently attached cord. The dB Blocker™ Classic Vented is a filtered hearing protector (earplug) for situations where the interpersonal conversation in noise is required without removing the protector. The dB Blocker™ Classic Vented offers the greatest protection where communication is required. Complete with a permanently attached cord, it is custom fit to the individual wearer for maximum comfort using Skinsoft™ medical silicone.
    Classic Vented both.
    The dB Blocker™ Classic Vented is particularly suited for industrial applications where interpersonal communication between individuals is necessary. Learn More
  1. dB Blocker™ MD Vented; Ideal food and pharmaceutical industry. The dB Blocker™ Metal Detectible (MD) Vented hearing protector (earplug) is ideal in food-based situations where conversation in noise is required. The Metal Detectible dB Blocker™ is heat and cold resistant and has been successfully tested with a wide range of metal detection equipment.
    The Metal Detectible dB Blocker™ is ideal hearing protection for those working in the Food and Pharma Industry. Learn MoreFood Industry
  2. The dB Com™ Communicate Ear™ allows in-ear radio reception as well as exceptional hearing protection. It is custom fit to the individual wearer for maximum comfort using Skinsoft™ medical silicone and is suited to anywhere two-way radio communication is used. As it is dual vented, the dB Blocker™ Communicate Ear will enhance interpersonal communication in noise as well. Learn More.dB Blockers for Industrial

In addition to the “4 must haves” when working in a loud, noisy environment, Custom Protect Ear also has communication and individual custom hearing protection available for all of life’s purposes. Check out dB Blockers™, dB Com™, and dB Life™ to learn more.


Noise-Related Hearing Loss 

 


Source :

https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss

[1] https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss

 

NIOSH updates Sound Level Meter app

February 20, 2019

NIOSH has released an updated version of its free Sound Level Meter app, designed to measure noise exposure in the workplace. The update includes new information on how to conduct a noise survey and select proper hearing protection. The agency also has improved the app’s help screens, NIOSH announced Jan. 23 via Twitter.

Along with sharing and reporting data, the app has the capability to calibrate an internal or external microphone.
The NIOSH Sound Level Meter is available to download from the Apple App Store. For Android users, the agency states that because of the large number of available Android devices and models, “testing and verification of the accuracy and functionality of an Android-based app in our laboratory is not currently possible.”

 

NIOSH APP

About the Sound Level Meter App NIOSH Sound Level Meter App

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app combines the best features of professional sound levels meters and noise dosimeters into a simple, easy-to-use package. The app was developed to help workers make informed decisions about their noise environment and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.

Key Features

  • Developed by experienced acoustics engineers and hearing loss experts.
  • Tested and validated (accuracy ± 2 dBA) according to standards in a reverberant chamber at the NIOSH acoustics lab – the only proper method to validate accuracy.
  • Meets Type 2 requirements of IEC 61672:3 SLM standard when used w/ external microphone.
  • Provides the most relevant metrics found in professional sound instruments today. Averages such as LAeq and TWA, Max and Peak Levels, Noise Dose and Projected Dose according to NIOSH and OSHA standards, and all three major weighting networks (A, C, and Z).
  • Capability to calibrate either internal or external microphone. Reporting and Sharing data.
  • Up-to-date informational screens on what noises are considered hazardous, how to conduct a noise measurement, how to properly select a hearing protector and guidelines for preventing hearing loss.
  • Technical support is available directly from NIOSH hearing experts.

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter App is excellent for measuring noise exposure in the workplace; but how about measuring the attenuation of an earplug.

FITCHECK SOLO

So now that we KNOW that the work in the environment is deemed “noisy” then how do we know the hearing protection is blocking out the allowed exposure of noise?

The answer is simple: FITCHECK SOLO™.  FitCheck Solo™ will measure any earplug from any source. No additional special devices are needed. Just the same earplugs they now use or even ones they are considering using. Learn more about Field Attenuation Estimation Systems. 


Source:

https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/18007-niosh-updates-sound-level-meter-app

5 safety and hygiene practices to double-check in 2019

February 12, 2019

Now is the time for occupational safety professionals to check that the safety and hygiene practices in place at their workplaces are compliant with regulatory bodies — like OSHA — and will safeguard workers’ wellbeing.

Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that workplace accidents show a prolonged downward trend, but that’s no reason to get complacent.

 

Here are five things safety managers should verify in 2019

1. Equipment and behaviors to minimize falls

Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries. On January 17, 2017, OSHA enacted new rules regarding workplace surfaces and reducing falls as well as ways to prevent falls that happen when workers perform tasks at dangerous heights. One of those recent stipulations involves letting employers choose their fall protection systems by selecting from approved options.

Plus, occupational safety personnel should remind workers to exercise caution on slick and wet surfaces, use signs to warn others of hazardous surfaces and employ handrails or floor mats to further reduce risks.

2. A process for ill workers — especially those handling food

When people come to work sick, they could make their colleagues and members of the public ill too. That risk is particularly apparent among food service workers. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 20 percent of workers completed at least one shift while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. They could pass their illnesses on to people they interact with on a given day as well as the individuals who eat the foods they serve.

One of the best ways to discourage people from showing up sick is to create a procedure for them to follow for notifying supervisors of their illnesses so that those managers can find coverage when necessary. The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code stipulates that ill food service employees with certain symptoms must notify management.

3. Reasonable access to restrooms

Amazon recently came under fire after allegations that its employees urinated in bottles to boost their chances of meeting performance targets and not having to go to the faraway restrooms. Of course, Amazon denied that claim, asserting that all of its employees could easily access facility restrooms.

Regardless of the legitimacy of the claim, the situation is a reminder that all companies must provide appropriate restroom access. For example, it’s unlawful to make assembly line workers delay using the bathroom to keep productivity and safety levels high. As an alternative, the employees could tell line overseers that they need bathroom breaks.

It’s also crucial that there are enough restrooms to serve the number of employees at an organization. Otherwise, their level of access may be considered unreasonable due to lengthy wait times.

4. Hearing Protection supplied to appropriate employees

Millions of people who work in jobs associated with exposure to noise that may impair a persons hearing. Proper hearing protection will prevent workers from getting long term hearing loss. Hearing Protection can consist of disposable hearing plugs, ear muffs and or custom (molded) hearing protection similar to CPE’s dB Blockers™. dB Blockers™ offer superior hearing protection while enabling workers to communicate clearly with each other. Learn More 

dB Blocker

5. Awareness and education for seasonal dangers

Seasonal dangers also exist that could pose safety risks. Fortunately, OSHA regularly issues updates to provide the necessary guidance, just as the organization did during hurricane season to give recommendations for blue roofs, or the practice of installing blue tarps over the affected areas of buildings with damaged roofs.

If workers have to endure extreme temperatures, employee safety means considering how to keep workers protected from the elements, such as by requiring them to wear clothes to protect them from frostbite during the winter or staying adequately hydrated during intensely hot days.

Fatigue can also be a workplace danger, especially during the busiest seasons of a year. A stockroom employee might work overtime at a retail facility during the holiday season and find that tiredness increases their risk of accidents.

Statistics from a National Safety Council survey found that 90 percent of employers recognize that fatigue impacts their organizations. Most workers feel tired at work, but less than three-quarters of them see fatigue as a safety risk. Fatigue is not only a risk during busy periods, of course, but organizations must be exceptionally aware of it during such times.

Check practices at least annually

It’s a good idea for organizations to assess the recommendations outlined here at least every year, making improvements as needed.

 


Original Article: https://www.ishn.com/articles/109896-safety-and-hygiene-practices-to-double-check-before-2019

How to protect your voice and hearing from damage at the Super Bowl and other loud events

February 7, 2019

You are vulnerable to hearing loss at any loud event — even bars and parties.

 

After winning Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrated on the field with his 1-year-old son Baylen.

The young Brees was wearing a pint-size headset. It was more than just a fashion accessory — the football star was protecting his son’s hearing from the deafening noise of a 70,000-person stadium.

Fans at this Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta would do well to follow his example.

ABC News spoke to two experts — Bernard Rousseau, Ph.D., chairman of the department of communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, and Catherine Palmer, Ph.D, director of audiology and hearing aids at UPMC — about ways to protect your voice and hearing at the Super Bowl and other loud events.

Exposure to high volume levels can damage hearing

Cheering, booing, air horns, music … there are many sources of noise at an event as large as the Super Bowl.

“Large sporting events, by nature, end up producing sounds that can injure your hearing. Everybody participating should be thinking about that,” said Palmer.

The type of stadium matters too.

“Super Bowls are usually in domed stadiums and that can help generate even more sound,” she added.

Palmer warns that even one loud event can cause damage.

“There are levels of noise that, over time, are going to produce gradual hearing loss,” she said. “You may not even notice for a couple of years … but there are also levels of noise, which are achieved at an event [like the Super Bowl], that can actually damage your hearing immediately. I think it’s important to understand that it’s permanent damage. A lot of people don’t realize that.”

At a stadium, people may not able to remove themselves from dangerous levels of noise. So earplugs are key, she said.

 A Philadelphia Eagles fan reacts prior to Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images, FILE)  A Philadelphia Eagles fan reacts prior to Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.

Loud noise exposure also causes more than just hearing loss.

“This kind of damage produces distortion in your hearing, sometimes ringing in your ears, and you can start to get a sensitivity to loud sounds. There are more things that go wrong than just the hearing loss,” Palmer noted.

And one is vulnerable to hearing loss at any loud event — including bars and parties.

“If you’re somewhere where they really have the music up loud, or the crowd is making lots of noise, wearing hearing protection in those situation makes good sense as well. Or move away from the noise,” she said.

Hearing aids, however, are not a fix-all solution to hearing loss.

“Although hearing aids help people tremendously, they do not fix the hearing loss,” Palmer said. “So you still have all that distortion in the system, which means even though hearing aids will help you, you’re still going to have trouble hearing in noise, even in regular noisy situations, like family parties or work situations. So there is no easy fix for this.”

She continued, “There are things called musician earplugs, which are nice because they reduce sound across all frequencies, so you can still hear accurately. But the key is to wear some kind of ear plugs.”

For little ones, an earmuff headset is the best solution.

 New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates with his wife, Brittany, and son, Baylen. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17, Feb. 7, 2010, in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images, FILE)  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates with his wife, Brittany, and son, Baylen. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17, Feb. 7, 2010, in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Technology and earplugs to the rescue

Palmer suggests using a phone app to measure noise levels when at big events.

“The rule of thumb is that over 85-90 decibels (Db), we worry about you if you’re exposed for about eight hours,” she said. “But those are averages. Some people will have damage sooner and some people will be able to go longer without damage.”

She went on, “Once you’re above 110, we start to worry about more instant damage. Those are levels that are generally pretty uncomfortable. But if you’re involved in the game, or you’re having a drink, you may not notice those things as soon, so you really want to go prepared with hearing protection.”

Ask us how you can protect your hearing at Loud Events like the Superbowl!

Read Full Article! 

 

Hearing preservation should be part of music education

January 20, 2019

For several years ProtectEar has been outfitting stars and musicians with custom molded hearing protection.

From Oscar-winning actors to top box office stars and Grammy-winning musicians, those who value their hearing the most wear custom hearing protection by Custom Protect Ear. See Celebrities. 

In essence, all musicians should value their hearing and understand the long term ramifications of being exposed to high-frequency noise over long periods of time. Hearing Health and Preservation is an important part to Music Education.

blackstone2Music Noise Exposure

Studies suggest musicians are four times more likely than others to experience hearing loss due to their repeated exposure to loud, prolonged rehearsals and performances.

Dr. Greg Horton, an audiologist at Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, understands this from his own experience. He’s played drums and bass for various bands over the past twenty years. He remembers attending a Ramones concert when he was 17.

“My ears were ringing for a week afterward and I felt like I had cotton stuffed in my ears,” he said. “I saw other people at the show wearing earplugs and I thought, ‘Hey, that’s probably a good idea,’ but nobody told me that was what I should do.”
Horton stresses that education is a key component of hearing preservation. He encourages music educators, those who give lessons, teach in schools or organize music camps, to incorporate information about it in their curriculum.

db life sweet tones

For instance, musicians may reject the idea of wearing earplugs because they don’t want to hear a low-quality version of what they’re playing.  What they may not know is, there are earplugs specifically designed to filter music while maintaining the fidelity like the dB Life™ Sweet Tones Musicians Earpieces. ThedB Life™ Sweet Tones reduces all frequencies equally by 9 dB, 15 dB, 20 dB or 25 dB with corresponding Flat Attenuation Filters.

This hearing protection is designed for musicians who want to hear sound without distortion but with less volume. Also recommended for those with some hearing loss for use as hearing protection in the 20 dB style. Learn More 

“So, for example, my band…we’re a pretty loud band,” Horton explained. “At practice, I use the strongest filters – meaning they will attenuate, turn down, the most. And then, when I play live, I switch out my filters and I play for a shorter period of time and I like to hear a little bit more of the music but it still keeps me safe.”

Hearing Loss Prevention

It’s much easier to prevent hearing loss than it is to treat it, and Horton says it’s not just musicians who’ve been playing a long time who should be aware of this.

“Because we’re seeing that this generation of young adults is having far more incidents of hearing loss than the previous generations for the same age group,” he said, “and it’s all about recreational noise exposure, whether it’s going to concerts, going to clubs, and definitely from all the excessive earbud use.”

He suggests that musicians give their ears a rest once in a while and also recommends a baseline hearing evaluation and annual follow-ups with a licensed audiologist.“We’re an industry that’s not regulated,” Horton said. “We don’t have OSHA coming in saying, ‘Oh, you’re a drummer in a rock n’ roll band? You have to wear your hearing protection,’ so it’s really up to us to do it ourselves.”


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https://www.wxxinews.org/post/hearing-preservation-should-be-part-music-education