FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Hearing Loss

Mar 14, 2014
2014 / April 2014

We often take our hearing for granted until it is affected. There are 38 million people in the United States who are partly or totally unable to hear sound in one or both ears. Hearing loss seems to be accepted as a part of aging, but the leading cause of hearing impairment is exposure to noise.

Adults, adolescents and children are commonly exposed to loud music through earbuds connected to iPods and MP3 players or while attending live concerts. Many of us also risk noise exposure in the workplace — firefighters, police officers, factory workers, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy industry workers, airline ground maintenance crew, musicians, sound crew, recording engineers and entertainment professionals.

The human ear is fine-tuned for hearing. The outer ear collects sound waves and sends them through the ear canal that leads inside the ear. At the end of the ear canal, the eardrum (tympanic membrane) vibrates when sound waves strike it. It divides the outer ear from the middle ear and attaches to three tiny bones in the middle ear: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes). The bones pass vibrations to the cochlea in the inner ear, a coiled structure like a snail shell. The inner ear is filled with a thin fluid that transmits pressure changes throughout the cochlea. Inside the cochlea, tiny hair cells pick up vibrations from the fluid and change sound into electric signals. The auditory nerve carries the message to the brain, which it interprets as sound. The inner ear’s tiny hairs are easily damaged by loud sounds, especially repeated exposure to loud noise and loud music over time.

Symptoms of hearing loss include certain sounds that seem too loud, voices that sound mumbled or slurred, difficulty following conversations when two or more people are talking, difficulty hearing in noisy areas, difficulty distinguishing high-pitched sounds (such as “s” or “th”) from one another and less trouble hearing men’s voices than women’s voices. Other symptoms include a feeling of being off-balance or dizzy, pressure in the ear (fluid behind the eardrum) or a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus).

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider for a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist. A hearing assessment may include a hearing test by an audiologist, a CT scan of the head or an MRI of the brain. The goal of treatment is to prevent further hearing loss, improve communication using any remaining hearing and develop coping skills such as lip reading. Hearing aids and cochlear implants have improved over the years, and most devices are not noticeable when worn.

Noise harms more than our ears. It is a significant source of annoyance that can cause fatigue and headaches, make us tense and stressed, and increase aggression. Studies correlate noise exposure with elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular changes, digestion disturbances (noise increases gastric emptying and esophageal contraction) and mental health issues including increased anxiety and sleep disturbances. Those with hearing loss may not hear the smoke detector or fire alarm go off or an ambulance while driving. Not being able to hear conversations can lead to social isolation and cause depression. Hearing loss may cause a person to avoid leaving home.

The decibel is a unit to measure the level of sound. The softest sound you can hear is 0 decibels. Normal speech ranges between 40 to 60 decibels. Sounds above 80 decibels may cause vibrations intense enough to damage the inner ear, especially if the sound continues for a long time. A rock concert measures between 110 to 120 decibels or as high as 140 decibels in front of the speakers. Headphones are 110 decibels. The risk of damage to your hearing when listening to music depends on how loud the music is, how close you are to the speakers, how long and how often you are exposed to loud music, headphone use and family history of hearing loss.

Generally, if you need to shout to be heard, the environmental sound is in the range that can damage hearing. The noise of a large truck five yards away is 90 decibels. Motorcycles, snowmobiles and similar engines range from 85 to 90 decibels. A jackhammer about three feet away is 120 decibels. A jet engine about 100 feet away exposes you to 130 decibels. In the United States, the maximum job noise exposure is regulated by law, considering both the length of exposure and the decibel level. If the sound is equal to or greater than the maximum levels recommended, protective measures are required.

Know which noises cause damage and protect your ears. Wear ear muffs, earplugs or other hearing protection devices when involved in a loud activity such as shooting a gun, operating machinery, driving snowmobiles, listening to music or attending a concert. Whenever possible, turn down the volume and limit exposure time to loud music. Decrease the amount of time you use headphones and turn down the volume; it is too loud if a person standing near you can hear the music. People not only have the right to peace and quiet, their health and hearing depend on it.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jun 30, 2022

London’s Historic Wiltons Celebrates 280th Birthday with Exclusive Dining Experience

First opened in 1742 by George William Wilton, a seller of oysters, shrimp and cockles near Haymarket in London, Wiltons continued drawing diners with its delicious food for more than two centuries. This summer, Wiltons celebrates its 280th birthday and its place as one of London’s most beloved fine-dining establishments with a unique dining experience.

8 Reasons to Press the Green Button and Visit Ireland

Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.

Daily
Jun 30, 2022

New EDITION Reykjavik Offers City’s First Luxury Lodging

Resting on the edge of Reykjavik’s Old Harbour next to the soaring, sparkling glass edifice of Harpa concert hall and conference center, the brand-new Reykjavik EDITION brings a new level of swish lodging to Iceland’s capital city. Steps from Laugavegur — the city’s main shopping street — and an easy walk to a wide selection of museums, restaurants and cafés, the newly opened hotel delivers high on luxury and service in a location ideal for becoming fully engaged in the energy of this spirited capital city.

Daily
Jun 30, 2022

OMNIYAT, Dorchester Collection Break Ground on AVA at Palm Jumeirah

Recently, more than 345 million people globally watched OMNIYAT light up the sky for the launch of AVA at Palm Jumeirah, Dorchester Collection, Dubai thanks to more than 500 drones. Now, OMNIYAT will once again illuminate the sky with one light to signify the groundbreaking of AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, Dubai.

Discover a Journey Filled with Wonder in 2022

ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.

Daily
Jun 29, 2022

Luxurious Getaway at Ocean Casino Resort

Enjoy a relaxing getaway at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Whether your visit is for business or leisure, the resort offers a variety of amenities and programming.

eFlyer Deals
Jun 29, 2022

Sip & Savory Offer at Palacio Provincial in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

In time for summer, the recently opened Palacio Provincial hotel in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, launched a new exploration-driven offer. The Sip & Savory Summer offer includes a mixology tour for two adults, a sweet or savory welcome amenity and a hotel-branded gift.

United’s 100 Percent Green Commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.

Daily
Jun 29, 2022

Monticello NY Opens Art Space Center in Former 1940s Buick Showroom

Monticello, New York, population 6,400, is an old Catskill town in Sullivan County that thrived from the 1950s–70s, with hundreds of country resorts. Although the town lies just a two-hour drive from Manhattan's cultural attractions, Monticello always seemed light years away in terms of cultural ambiance.