Consider Hearing Protection in Your Activities

Consider Hearing Protection in Your Activities


Hearing is not a renewable resource. Once you damage your ears and begin experiencing hearing loss, it is not something that can grow back or repair after time. The first step towards preserving this resource is making sure you get an up-to-date hearing evaluation each year at Hearing Consultants. If you feel some experience may have damaged your hearing recently – get a test, even if it hasn’t been a year. A hearing test will give you important information on your hearing abilities and ensure that you are treated if a hearing loss is found.

Noise is everywhere

While there has been a lot of emphasis on workplace noise and noise induced hearing loss, you should be protecting your ears during what may seem like routine activities. The U.S. Department of Labor enforces regulations to protect the hearing of Americans who work in noisy places, but there is no enforcement body for Americans who don’t wear ear protection when they should during daily activities.

Recreational activities

Since the 1800s there have been reports of people losing their hearing after exposure to gun shots. Competitive shooting, skeet shooting, and trap shooting are all hobbies Americans indulge in and those activities involve guns and shooting. Some occupations require range practice and ear protection is supplied, but many Americans forgo ear protection during “hobby” activities involving fire arms. That’s a bad idea. Invest in some good protection and get into the routine of carrying it with you.

In terms of decibel range, anything over 85 decibels is starting to get you into the range of a sound that can damage your ears. The energy of a single shot of a high-powered rifle or shotgun is a sharp 90 decibels. So, exposure to one gunshot without ear protection is the equivalent of one week of noise exposure at a workplace. Looking at it in another way, a target shooter can amass a year’s worth of hazardous hearing exposure in just a few minutes at the range without ear protection.
Another recreational activity with a high noise ratio is rock concerts. The average decibel rating of a rock concert is 103.

You can recover from audio exposure from a rock concert after a few hours, or, sometimes, a few days – but ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones would let you enjoy the concert at a more respectable decibel level. If that’s not an option, consider taking a break somewhere away from the noise during the concert and then going back. Many young people are damaging their ears without realizing it when they blast their personal stereos or iPhone music at a loud level for a prolonged period of time. Some personal stereo volumes can go up to 120 decibels.

Ear protection

The two most common kinds of ear protection are ear plugs or earmuffs. Ear plugs come in a lot of styles and sizes. They are relatively comfortable, low cost and portable. They are available in sporting good stores and even at some larger drug stores and retail stores. They should be thrown out when they start losing their shape and elasticity. Ear plugs should be rolled to a smaller size and then inserted into the ear canal. They then expand to fill the space. They should be stored in their original case to keep them clean and dry.

Earmuffs fit over the ear. They are heavier and offer more protection than ear plugs. They should fit snugly over the ear forming a seal which acts as a noise barrier. They are available in fashion colors and in several different styles and weights, so it isn’t difficult to find one you – or a child – would like. There are a couple of types that will limit the volume of a personal stereo so if you have a child that keeps their stereo volume louder than you would like, this would be helpful. If you are investing in earmuffs it is good idea to find an electronics store that has a selection on hand for you to try out.

If you are a musician, you should be using ear protection because of the constant barrage of sound that is part of your profession. There is special ear protection designed for musicians and at Hearing Consultants, we can help you with that. If you are unable to find ear plugs or earmuffs that work for you, don’t hesitate to call and we can work out custom ear protection. Ear protection as well as a current hearing test from Hearing Consultants will help you protect your “resources.”

To protect your hearing, contact us at Hearing Consultants today.

Common Questions About Hearing Loss

Common Questions about Hearing Loss

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there about hearing loss and hearing aids. The best thing to do is get a hearing test at Hearing Consultants and that will determine if you have hearing loss. We can answer all your questions and make sure you are 100% confident about your treatment plan. Have you heard these mis-statements about hearing loss and hearing aids?

Here’s some up to date information to correct common myths about hearing loss:

Myth #1: Surgery can fix it

The most recent statistics show surgery is an option to correct hearing loss in adults in only five to 10 percent of cases. The best treatment for hearing loss is a correctly fitted and adjusted pair of hearing aids – we’ll even let you test drive a set before you buy!

Myth #2: I only need one hearing aid

Age related hearing loss occurs in both ears. If you think one “hears” better than the other, you tend to favor it and tell people to talk to you in your “good” ear. Two hearing aids will adjust your hearing, so you have two good ears. Sound comes from all around you and you need both ears processing the sound and translating it. Both ears process the sound into one thought might be a simpler way of putting it. You probably don’t even realize you are carrying on conversations tilting your head to one side or constantly turning your head because you believe you can hear better in that “good” ear.

Myth #3: Hearing loss only affects old people and I’m not old

Hearing loss affects all age groups Two-thirds of those with hearing loss are younger than age 64. Six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 in the United States have some hearing loss and more than 1 million school-age children have hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss, that occurs if you have been subjected to a barrage of loud noise like at work, can occur at any age.

Myth #4: Hearing loss is normal as you get old

Yes, but so is vision issues. You don’t mind wearing glasses or contacts to correct your vision. Why shouldn’t you wear hearing aids to correct your hearing loss.

Myth #5: Hearing loss can’t be corrected

That’s only true if there’s been significant nerve damage. About 95 percent of those experiencing hearing loss can be helped with hearing devices and if tinnitus or ringing in the years is an issue, that, too can be helped with hearing aids. Many hearing aid models come with phone apps and small pocket remotes that will help with tinnitus.

Myth #6: Everybody is going to be staring at those big hearing aids

People are going to be staring at you if you keep asking them to repeat themselves. People are going to wonder if you answer a question in appropriately because you didn’t’ hear it. They are going to wonder why you’ve got the TV turned up so high.
Hearing aids aren’t bulky like those molded hunks of plastic your grandparents might have had to wear. They are tiny miracles of technology that fit inside your ear canal and no one will know they are there but you. Or, they tuck flat behind your ear. Or, they have a tiny clear receiver that many people mistake as a high-tech Bluetooth device. If they are outside the ear canal they contour to the back of your ear and can be ordered in a number of flesh colors or colors to match your hair. Or, if you desire, you can get them in designer colors.

Myth #7: Everything is too loud with hearing devices

Not true. They have miniature microprocessors that adjust to sound levels. It isn’t necessary to turn them up or turn them down, they will even self-adjust! If you enjoy the outdoors, there are even special hearing aids that modulate wind noise. They even “remember’ if you had to adjust the sound and the next time you are at that same location, they automatically adjust to the setting you found comfortable.

Myth #8: I’m worried about the cost

At Hearing Consultants we can show you models and options to fit your needs and your pocket book and remember, there’s a trial period for the hearing aids so you aren’t going to get one that you will wear once and then put away. Don’t delay, call Hearing Consultants today for a hearing test.

Tips for Students with Hearing Loss

Tips for Students with Hearing Loss


Help your child, or your college-bound student do the best they can in an educational setting by reviewing some of these tips. At Hearing Consultants, we are always happy to help you with issues that might come up during the busy back-to-school time. Remember, the best thing you can do for your student is to have an up-to-date hearing test!

Back to school

There are more than 70,000 children in the public school system that receive services to help with hearing loss issues, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. These services are critical for your child because children learn to talk and set up sentence structure by listening to others talk. Children with hearing loss can find it difficult to learn vocabulary, grammar, word order and other components of verbal communication.

Let everyone know what is going on

Help your child, if he or she is old enough, to talk to teachers and fellow students about their hearing loss. A confident matter-of-fact approach will make other students approach the hearing loss the same way. It sends a message it isn’t a disability or something weird, just an issue that needs to be dealt with – like some children need glasses, some need hearing aids, some are allergic to peanuts or bee stings.

Make sure to explain to bus drivers, aides that might ride the bus as well as school monitors that they need to speak clearly to your child and it is best to stand in front of them and talk to them.

Remind your child it is perfectly fine to ask questions during class, at the appropriate time, if they don’t understand something or they can approach the teacher after class.

Set up an IEP

An Individualized Education Plan is a legally binding program that sets up a common understanding between you, your child, the teacher and the school on how your child will be taught including accommodations to deal with hearing issues.

Public schools, by law, must adhere to the IEP. It’s a basic guide on what essentials are needed to help your child succeed. It’s a good idea to review it every year and get a new one if your child moves to a different school.

Get the proper tools in place

Some children have an easier time listening in class if they have a personal listening device like an FM system. Teachers wear the device around their neck to amplify their voices in your child’s hearing aids. Your child will have to expend a lot less energy listening and focusing if they are hearing at a level they find comfortable.

If you child struggles taking notes and keeping up because there is some extra sound processing time that is needed, you can ask for a note-taker. Some schools just hire someone to take notes and others pick a student that is a good note-taker and have them duplicate their notes.

After school activities

After a hard day of listening, sports or musical after school activities will help them keep being a kid. A short chat with a coach or music teacher about hearing loss and your child and let them blow off some steam.

University students and hearing loss

By law, public universities – and any facility that is financed by public funds – needs to make allowances for the hearing impaired. College lecture halls can have poor acoustics, so some universities employ sing-language interpreters. Very often even non-academic functions have sign language interpreters available.

Professional note-takers are also sometimes utilized, and lecture notes are uploaded directly to the web. Some universities have a screens with text displays of the lectures. Professors also use personal listening devices during lectures to make sure if they are facing a blackboard or white board, everyone can hear what is being said.
Prior to the start of the school year, you should find out what student services are available for the hearing impaired and where the student services office is located. Communicate via e-mail with your instructors about your hearing loss and what needs you must be successful. Plan for safety at your residence hall by taking to the residence hall director about emergency exits as well as a personal alert device.

Find a hearing health provider

Hearing Consultants will help you out with what you need before you leave for school and if you need to find a closer provider, we can help with that. Remember to have an undated hearing test before you start school in case your hearing aids need to be adjusted.