Hearing loss is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. Don’t be next!
From going to loud concerts to walking by a construction site, there are many instances in which our ears can take some pretty nasty abuse; however, over time these sounds can take a serious toll on our hearing. And if you work in a rather loud environment, it’s vitally important that you take the necessary precautions you need to protect your hearing for the future. Find out how to protect your ears and whether your workplace warrants protection.
Assess Your Workplace’s Noise Levels
Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you work in a loud environment:
- Do you leave work with ringing in your ears?
- Do you experience temporary hearing loss after leaving your workplace?
- Do you have to shout at coworkers who are close by just to be heard?
If you’ve agreed with most or all of these questions, you are most likely working in an environment in which your ears need protection.
Protecting Your Ears on the Job
Here are some ways to protect your precious hearing from a loud workplace:
- Talk to your ENT doctor about earplugs or muffs that you can wear to protect your hearing. Not all ear protection is created equal, so you’ll want to find ones that are strong and durable enough to provide the ultimate protection.
- Get annual evaluations from your otolaryngologist to make sure that your hearing isn’t being impacted by your workplace. Through these evaluations, we can check the health of your ears and provide you with tips for how to better protect your ears.
- Try and operate any noisy machinery on shifts where there are fewer people working.
- Limit an employee’s exposure to certain loud noises and offer noise-free areas that workers can go to get relief.
- Make sure that machinery and equipment are well oiled and maintained. Make sure there is a sound barrier such as a wall that can be used to separate workers from the machinery whenever possible.
- Opt for using low-noise machinery.
- It’s important that if your hearing is being affected that you work with your employer to make sure some of these options are implemented so that you can protect your hearing while on the job.
Hearing is so very important and any ear, nose and throat doctor will agree. If you want to be able to hear crystal clear for many years to come it’s important that you implement specific measures now. Protect your ears and they will serve you well in the future!
Is your child experiencing hearing loss? Just ask your Lugoff and Columbia, SC, audiologists.
An estimated 35 million children and adults in the United States have a hearing loss, according to Drs. Kathryn McGee and Kaitlin Dougherty Prizzia. Untreated hearing loss is embarrassing and causes social stress, tension and fatigue.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss (according to the CDC):
Isn't startled from loud noises and does't turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age
Delayed, or unclear speech
Does not follow directions, or respond to their name, which is mistaken for not paying attention, or just ignoring
Hears some sounds but not others, and turns TV volume up too high
Your Lugoff and Columbia audiologists determines the best course of action by conducting comprehensive hearing evaluations, such as tinnitus evaluations, hearing aid fittings (a time to orient to new hearing aid), hearing aid checks (usually scheduled every six months), and hearing aid evaluations to ask questions and discuss expectations.
Hearing aids are designed to improve hearing. The goal of amplifying sounds at specific frequencies where there's hearing loss can improve overall quality of life, such as the listening environment, especially when you're placed in a noisy place. Hearing aids amplify sound to make speech more intelligible, ease communication so it's less tiring, and preserve nerve networks in the brain.
Types of Hearing Aids:
There is a variety of hearing aids that are rechargeable, have android and i-phone compatibility, automated programming to ease use, discreet, remote programming and suitable for patients with an active, casual, and/or quiet lifestyle.
Here are a few:
- Middle ear implant
- Extended wear
Hearing loss is difficult to deal with, but you don't have to be alone. The audiologists at Lugoff, SC, and serving Columbia, SC, can help you deal with your hearing loss dilemmas and improve your way of life by offering different types of hearing aids.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% of American adults over age 18 experience some form of hearing loss, and roughly 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with the condition in one or both ears. There are different types and degrees of hearing impairment/loss, as well as a number of treatment and management options available for both children and adults. The audiologists at Carolina Hearing Institute in Columbia, SC, offer a range of treatment options for congenital, acute, partial, and full hearing loss.
Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Disorders in Columbia
An audiologist provides diagnosis and treatment for balance and hearing disorders in both children and adults. While hearing loss is typically more common with age, it can still affect children and adults at any development stage. Even mild or partial hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and professional, social, and academic interactions and performance. If you or your child are experiencing signs of hearing loss, an audiologist will perform a comprehension evaluation and exam to help determine the cause and extent of the problem and determine treatment and management options.
An audiologist specializes in identifying hearing and balance problems and prescribing treatment plans and devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Signs You or Your Child May Need to See an Audiologist
Sudden or persistent issues with hearing or hearing loss should not be ignored. Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist if you or your child has suffered from an injury or trauma to the ear, or if you are experiencing difficulty hearing or following conversations. Other reasons that you should see an audiologist include:
- It's Time For Your Annual Checkup: Scheduling regular checkups with an audiologist is the best way to protect your child's hearing and catch potential problems before they have a chance to progress
- The Presence of Impacted Wax: The overproduction of ear wax and common home cleaning methods like cotton swabs and other objects in the ear canal can lead to buildups and blockages that may temporarily affect hearing
- Tinnitus: This is a condition in which you experience periodic ringing in the ears without the presence of outside stimuli, and it could be the result of larger problems.
- Balance Problems: Pervasive balance problems could be the result of issues with the inner ear.
Find an Audiologist in Columbia, SC
For more information about the diagnosis of hearing disorders and treatment options, contact Carolina Hearing Institute by calling 803-736-3277 to schedule an appointment with an audiologist today!
Discover some easy steps you can take to protect your hearing.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20 percent of Americans have some form of hearing loss (that’s about 48 million people!). By the time someone reaches the ages of 65, one in three have hearing loss. While hearing loss does often happen as we age, there are many other factors that can affect our hearing. Here are some helpful ways to protect your hearing for years to come courtesy of your ENT professional, ENT in Lugoff, SC.
Listen to Music Safely
If you wear headphones to listen to music it’s a good idea to listen to the music at 60 percent of its maximum volume for no more than one hour a day. Listening to music at high volumes, while fun, can certainly damage your ears. If you find that you can’t hear sounds around you while listening to music then the music is much too loud. Same rule applies if others can hear your music blasting from your headphones.
As you can probably already imagine, being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time can damage your hearing (think concerts, festivals and racecar events). Make sure to bring earplugs with you and take 10-minute breaks away from the sound whenever you can.
Prevent Occupational Hazards
While those working on construction sites and factories used to experience a lot of trouble with their hearing, safety regulations have been put in place to protect workers’ hearing. However, you should make sure you are still using the proper equipment and hearing protection at all times. If you are concerned about your hearing while at work talk to your boss about ways to keep everyone safer.
Be Aware of Your Hearing
It’s important to always be on the lookout for any changes to your hearing. Do you notice that it’s becoming more and more difficult to hear those around you? Do you find that you have to keep turning the volume up on the TV or radio just to hear it? Do you ask people to repeat themselves often? If you are noticing changes then it’s time to see your Lugoff, SC otolaryngologist or audiologist for a hearing evaluation.
If you have questions about hearing loss or are having difficulty understanding those around you then it’s time you called your ENT doctor in Lugoff, SC today to find out the extent of your hearing loss and what can be done to treat it. Start being part of the conversation again.
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