Hearing Loss Prevention NHCA conference

March 14, 2013

Hearing Loss Insights by Jeffery Goldberg

Hello from the world of hearing loss prevention. Some updates on recent happenings for the ear geeks” who really care abouthearing loss.

The “big show” with regarding to hearing loss prevention is the annual NHCA Conference . Annually it brings together researchers who have spent the past 12 months or more looking at some aspect of preventing people from loosing their hearing.  Their research findings forms the content for papers delivered at the conference (PowerPoint on steroids).

Some of the most interesting research about Hearing Loss (to me) was:

Dr. John Casali hearing protector research

hearing loss in warehouse

Dr. John Casali has researched the characteristics of hearing protectors and determined that a measure of ones ability to localized sound sources with certain protectors should be developed. Dr. Casali suggest that like the measure of attenuation (NRR), a measure of the capability of the wearer to localize sounds sources would direct certain users to a safer protector if they are in areas where moving dangers exist (like a distribution warehouse with forklifts)

Hearing Protection for Musicians

In a session on hearing protection for musicians, Meed Killion and Kris Chesky looked at issues with regard protecting the hearing of musicians.  While both of these presenters have different viewpoints, they confirmed there is still much more to do.

Otoprotectants (Protect Against Noise)

There is a class of compounds known as Otoprotectants. These are substances that it is hoped, when ingested, enhance the ability of the ear to process noise. One of these compounds is currently starting Class 3 clinical trials which might be complete by 2015.  For organizations like the US Military, that sometimes can predict when their personnel will be exposed to noise, the development something that will protect against noise is certainly welcome.  Imagine if you are going to Bruce Springsteen concert tomorrow and it’s going to be loud.  You take you otoprotectant tonight so the sound won’t hurt your hearing tomorrow.

As I said, this is the stuff ear geeks enjoy. An additional piece of information came out of the conference.  There’s some
ear-geek-research that has indicated that having anything in your ears can prevent hearing damage.  Although it is too soon to draw conclusions, early reports show that the problem of hearing loss from noise might be related more to unprotected exposures than we ever imagined. Stay tunes for further developments.

If you have any topic that you’d like to direct us to, please send it along to me, Jeff Goldberg at hear@protectear.com . We’d love to hear from you.

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