Adolescent Tinnitus

Adolescent Tinnitus

Adolescent Tinnitus At Crisis Levels Experts Report

Adolescent Tinnitus And Hearing Loss Infographic

Adolescent Tinnitus And Hearing Loss Infographic

Excessive exposure to loud music, via headphones, mobile devices and live music venues, may be associated with an alarming level of adolescent tinnitus among adolescents, according to recent research in Scientific Reports.

“The levels of sound exposure that are quite commonplace in our environment, particularly among youth, appear to be sufficient to produce hidden cochlear injuries,”

Larry E. Roberts, PhD, of the department of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University, said in a press release.

“It’s a growing problem, and I think it’s going to get worse. My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing.”

Roberts and other researchers studied a cohort of 170 adolescents (61.1% boys) aged 11 to 17 years in Brazil. Study participants were administered a survey related to prior instances of tinnitus, exposure to risky listening habits and sensitivity to ordinary sounds. The researchers also gathered psychoacoustic measurements by testing study participants in a sound booth.

tinnitus-1

Adolescent Tinnitus

Study results showed that 54.7% of participants reported experiencing tinnitus, while 28.8% displayed measurements of persistent tinnitus in the sound booth. The investigators noted that the measurements of tinnitus recorded in the sound booth were consistent with adult chronic tinnitus.

They also found that risky listening habits were nearly universal within the study cohort. Among participants who experienced both tinnitus and loudness discomfort levels, 95.6% reported use of earbuds or earphones, 89.1% reported attending loud music venues, and 95.6% reported use of mobile phones for listening purposes.

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“Exposure to high levels of recreational sound appears to be increasing among children and adolescents and is a likely factor contributing to an increasing incidence of hearing loss which has been reported in Western industrialized countries,” Roberts and colleagues wrote. “Longitudinal studies involving cohorts such as those examined here will be needed to evaluate risks to future hearing health posed by tinnitus and reduced sound level tolerance experienced in adolescence.”

David Costill

Are Earplugs The New Rubbers?

Are Earplugs The New Rubbers?

Earplugs are being used as prophylactics or the new rubbers

Loud Rock Concert

Loud Rock Concert

I remember the first time I saw someone wearing earplugs casually. My friend Christa and I were at a rock concert at Pacific Standard Tavern, which boasts New Haven’s most modern sound system outside of College Street Music Hall, when I noticed two blue cones protruding from her ears.

My first response was alarm. Christa went to more concerts than anyone I knew. I felt betrayed, as though the earplugs were an admission that Christa really was not there for the music, just for the scene.

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You have something in your ears, I told her.

She turned and said, “I know.”

I barely heard her with my naked ears. I realized I hardly heard myself. But she had heard me.

From small clubs to big theaters, music shows have been getting louder for at least a generation. But earplug use hasn’t caught up. Is it starting to? Are they the new rubbers?

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In between songs, music fans are having that debate.

typicalsoundlevelscrAccording to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, hearing protectors enhance speech comprehension in loud places the way sunglasses enhance vision in extreme brightness. The rule of thumb is that noise damages your hearing if you are at arm’s length and have to shout to make yourself heard.

So basically, every rock, rap, or electronic concert I have ever been to has subtly chipped away at my inner ear.

Christa started wearing earplugs after a music festival friend of hers developed a nasty case of tinnitus, a constant ringing in your ears that makes it nearly impossible to sleep without some sort of white noise — an open window, a television humming — to mitigate the high-pitched whine in your head.

ear-defense-packaging-265x415Studies haven’t conclusively documented the benefits or earplugs, but do suggest that they do eliminate at least some short-term hearing loss, according to this report from Reuters. One key factor: Using them right.

In an interview with the Independent, Dr. Elias Michaelides, director of theYale Center for Hearing and Balance, confirmed research indicating that as many as one in five teens suffer from hearing loss, and those numbers are only getting worse. The latest study, from JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, concludes that loud music at live events is at least partly responsible for that loss.

“We don’t know if younger ears are more vulnerable,” Dr. Michaelides said, “but when you are young you still have a hearing reserve so you might not notice the damage at all.” Damage can be caused by the cumulative effects of loudness over time, not just noise trauma. The inner ear never regenerates.

Michaelides explained exactly what is happening when your ears start ringing.

“Essentially, the cochlea of your inner ears contain long rows of haired cells,” he said. When these hairs pick up vibrations from sound waves, those are converted into nerve signals. Really loud sound damages the cell hairs through over-stimulation. The eardrum only tears when it pops, which is unusual unless you are standing close to a grenade or smacked directly in your ear.”

It’s not hard to understand how these cell hairs get overstimulated. The distortion in the sound in this video from a (really good) Mates of State show at BAR is because of the sheer volume of the music, and this video was shot from behind the house’s speaker, not in front of it.

Michaelides regularly sees the worst cases, those who come in after days or weeks of constant ringing. His patients often admit that the last show they went to was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Hearing protection is a valid medical preventative precaution,” he said.

Ear_Defence0006

Medical plans rarely cover earplugs; if musicians declare their creative income, earplugs should be tax deductible. Prescription earplugs can range into the hundreds of dollars, but many are happy with what they’ve gotten. The over-the-counter versions are cheaper — a pack of 14 pairs of foam earplugs runs about $5 at Walgreens — but they are possibly too effective. Alternativeky, a really good pair of earplugs can be purchased from Amazon.

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Quick Tips To Avoid Hearing Loss

Quick Tips To Avoid Hearing Loss

Do You Know How To Avoid Permanent Hearing Loss And Damage?

Hearing Loss

Loud Rock Concert

With concerts in abundance during the annual Burlington Jazz Festival, parents have been making a lot of noise about whether the loud music their children listen to at concert or simply through their ear buds as they listen to music on their smart phones or other devices can be damaging to their ears.

Well, my rule of thumb is, if the noise around you is so loud that you have to shout to be heard — there is a chance that the hearing mechanism inside your ear could be experiencing injury from the loudness and temporary hearing loss can ensue.

Well, my rule of thumb is, if the noise around you is so loud that you have to shout to be heard — there is a chance that the hearing mechanism inside your ear could be experiencing injury from the loudness and temporary hearing loss can ensue. Initially with brief loud noises, hearing will return to normal but over time you can lose your hearing permanently if constantly exposed to loud noise or music — a condition referred to as noise-induced hearing loss.

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loud-concert

loud-concert

How can you tell if you or your child are experiencing hearing loss? Acutely, you may hear ringing in your ears or a feeling of fullness muffling sounds such that speech you are hearing seems not clear or mumbled and you only hear parts of conversations when people talk.  You may find your child or teen asking people to repeat what they said or your kids are being told by their friends that they don’t hear well.

The best solution for this problem is prevention so that the hearing loss does not become permanent. For example, teach your children to turn down the volume especially if they are wearing headphones or ear buds. Be aware that earbuds have tighter seals than headphones so sound transfer may be more efficient and increase the risk of hearing loss if > 80 decibels, decibels being how we measure sound, are blasted through the ear bud especially if this level of sound persists for more than 60 minutes a day.

A rock concert or even noise through headphones played at 110 decibels can damage a youngster’s ears in just 30 minutes.

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EAR-Defence-1Encourage your kids to wear earplugs to a concert especially if they are going to be near big speakers. They’ll still be able to hear the music, but with less injury to the ear.

If you suspect your child or teen may be experiencing noise induced hearing loss, talk to your child’s health care professional to make sure it’s not an infection or clogged ear which can be easily treated.

Your child’s health professional can also test your child’s hearing to see if the damage is permanent and if a referral to a hearing specialist for further treatment like hearing aids is warranted — which would be unfortunate given how preventable noise-induced hearing loss can be..

Hopefully you’ll listen well to tips like these when it comes to protecting your child’s ears, as well as your own, from the dangers of overexposure to loud music on your ability to hear.

Loud Music Can Damage Your Child’s Hearing

Loud Music Can Damage Your Child’s Hearing

Protect Your Child’s Hearing. New Research Shows How Children Are Suffering Permanent Hearing Damage

loud-music-damaging-child-hearing

loud-music-damaging-child-hearing

Exposure to loud music has increased the number of teenagers suffering from hearing defects as well as heightened their risk of deafness in adulthood, finds a new research. There is a need to protect your Child’s Hearing.

The findings revealed that young people engage in “risky listening habits” at parties, clubs and on personal listening devices.

Also, more than a quarter of them are already experiencing persistent tinnitus — a ringing or buzzing in the ears that more typically affects people over 50.

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“It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse,” said Larry Roberts from McMaster University in Canada.

girl-listening-music-on-headphones

girl-listening-music-on-headphones

Teenagers who experienced tinnitus were more likely to have a significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise which is a sign of hidden damage to the nerves that are used in processing sound.

When the auditory nerves are damaged, the brain cells increase their sensitivity to their remaining inputs, which can make ordinary sounds seem louder.

Perception of increased loudness is an indication of nerve injury that cannot be detected by the audiogram — the standard clinical test for hearing ability.

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Such “hidden hearing loss” caused by exposure to loud sounds in the early years deepens over the life span, worsening one’s hearing ability later in life, the researchers explained in the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“It’s common after listening to loud music to experience a ringing in the ears for the next day or so,” Roberts added, warning that this brief tinnitus is an early warning sign of vulnerability to the injurious effects of noise exposure.

headphones1While some other forms of hearing loss can be repaired, such nerve damage cannot be undone. The only sure solution, he says, is “prevention”.

For the study, the researchers performed detailed hearing tests on a group of 170 students between 11 and 17 years old.

At least 28 per cent of the participants had developed persistent tinnitus

Exposure to loud music has increased the number of teenagers suffering from hearing defects as well as heightened their risk of deafness in adulthood, finds a new research.

The findings revealed that young people engage in “risky listening habits” at parties, clubs and on personal listening devices.

Also, more than a quarter of them are already experiencing persistent tinnitus — a ringing or buzzing in the ears that more typically affects people over 50.

Buy Your Ear Protection From Amazon Now.

“It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse,” said Larry Roberts from McMaster University in Canada.

Teenagers who experienced tinnitus were more likely to have a significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise which is a sign of hidden damage to the nerves that are used in processing sound.

When the auditory nerves are damaged, the brain cells increase their sensitivity to their remaining inputs, which can make ordinary sounds seem louder.

Perception of increased loudness is an indication of nerve injury that cannot be detected by the audiogram — the standard clinical test for hearing ability.

Such “hidden hearing loss” caused by exposure to loud sounds in the early years deepens over the life span, worsening one’s hearing ability later in life, the researchers explained in the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“It’s common after listening to loud music to experience a ringing in the ears for the next day or so,” Roberts added, warning that this brief tinnitus is an early warning sign of vulnerability to the injurious effects of noise exposure.

While some other forms of hearing loss can be repaired, such nerve damage cannot be undone. The only sure solution, he says, is “prevention”.

For the study, the researchers performed detailed hearing tests on a group of 170 students between 11 and 17 years old.

At least 28 per cent of the participants had developed persistent tinnitus.

Buy Your Ear Protection From Amazon Now.

Student Parties Are Too Loud!

Student Parties Are Too Loud!

Student parties too loud and can cause permanent hearing loss in teenagers

Student PartiesThat is the plea from irate residents who are fed up with rowdy students that have “infiltrated” the area.

Karen Morewood, the spokesperson for a local community group named ‘Help Scottsville’, said she was forced to call the police to intervene when students became unruly late at night at one of the student parties.

“We cannot sleep at night and our area is no longer safe. We have had students parked outside our homes, drinking alcohol and playing loud music until the early hours of the morning,” she said.

If You Go To Parties Like This Then You Should Use Earplugs

Morewood said she believed that most of the “students” that hang around in the area “do not even live here”.

“There are house parties almost every weekend and students who probably do not even live here attend the parties. We cannot sleep and rest in peace because of the noise,” she said.

Noisy Student Parties

Noisy Student Parties

Morewood said she represents more than 30 families who live in roads around the University of KwaZulu Natal and other tertiary institutes. “The number of families living in Scottsville has reduced drastically. In Pepworth Road there are just two families who live there and the rest are student digs. When it is time to oppose digs being built we are outnumbered,” Morewood said.

If You Go To Parties Like This Then You Should Use Earplugs

She said families had reported the excessive noise, litter, outdoor drinking and burglaries that besieged the area since the increase of student digs.

“My husband and I bought in Golf Road in 2008 and it was going to be our ‘long-term’ home until our children finished school. We are now forced to reconsider our situation, as we feel we are being forced out of the area by constant noise, filth and increased crime. This was not part of our long-term plan,” Morewood said.

The Help Scottsville group said they feel the municipality has “dropped the ball” with regard to enforcing the by-laws.

Another resident from the group, who asked not to be named, said they would do whatever they could to avoid the establishment of more student digs.

“We do not want our children to grow up in this environment,” he said.

If You Go To Parties Like This Then You Should Use Earplugs

“While one understands that the university has a severe housing shortage, it is not the responsibility of the ratepayers of Scottsville to have to put up with the noise and mess that goes hand in hand with a digs or boarding house,” said another resident.

Msunduzi municipal acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they were aware of the issues relating to student accommodation in Scottsville.

“There are mechanisms in place to address this, as contravention notices are issued for the illegal usage of houses for student accommodation,” she said.

Madonda said the municipality are also in the process of developing a policy that will guide the establishment of student accommodation throughout the municipal area.

“Interested and affected parties together with the general public will be involved in this process in due course,” she added.

Kailene Pillay

If You Go To Parties Like This Then You Should Use Earplugs

More Teens Suffer Permanent Hearing Loss

More Teenagers Than Ever Are Suffering Permanent Hearing Damage And Hearing Loss

noisy-damaging-environments1The noisy world today is easily tuned out as the headphone generation plugs in, often times morning to night.

“I listen to music every day, anything I’m doing,” said Daniela Garcia, an Edina High School senior.

Osseo High School senior Emma Vervair agrees, estimating during the school year she wears headphones up to six or seven hours a day and even falls asleep listening to audiobooks.

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ear-defense-packaging-50-percentKnowing the modern headphone habits of teenagers, Starkey Hearing Technologies launched a new campaign aimed towards young people called “Listen Carefully” to quiet what it calls a new epidemic.

“We are seeing in the MP3 world today is almost 20 percent of kids and teenagers have measurable hearing loss today, for preventable reasons,” said Dr. Dave Fabry, PhD, Starkey Vice President of Audiology.

Dr. Fabry admits you wouldn’t think the country’s largest manufacturer of hearing aids would focus on prevention, but he calls hearing loss a cradle to grave affliction affecting 10 percent of the world’s population.

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Starkey research finds teen hearing loss has increased 30 percent in the past decade, an irreversible but preventable affliction.

tinnitus-1“The challenge is the ear really doesn’t care whether it’s noise or music. All the ear cares about is the intensity of the exposure, intensity of the sound, and the duration of the exposure,” said Dr. Fabry.

He tests the headphone levels Garcia and Vervair frequently listen to with equipment that measures the intensity of sound in ear canal, in decibels.

Dr. Fabry hopes to find a safe level, 90 decibels, which can be listened to eight hours a day without permanent damage to hearing.

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Garcia listened to a Justin Timberlake song peaking at 95 decibels, which was louder than recommended.

Dr. Fabry says sound at 93 decibels can only be listened to for four hours, 96 decibels can be listened to for two hours, and 99 decibels for one hour. For comparison, 100 decibels is similar to listening to a lawnmower, which is only considered safe for one hour before possible hearing damage.

“My general rule of thumb was if you stood at arm’s length away and your child was listening on MP3 player and you could identify the song they were listening to, it was probably too loud,” said Dr. Fabry.

Dr. Fabry says safe listening levels can depend on the type of music or style of headphones when you consider the rising popularity of custom earbuds, or the Beats brand headphones.

“They isolate the sound really well, so you can crank the volume up on these a long ways and no one would know what you are listening to. My old rule of thumb went out the window,” said Dr. Fabry.

So, as Garcia swaps Apple headphones for Beats, her volume level rises to 96 or 97 decibels, which Dr. Fabry says brings twice the risk.

“You are safe for two hours before potentially causing permanent damage,” he says.

“I’ve never looked at it at that standpoint, so I’m glad I’m more aware now,” said Garcia.

Prevention can be as easy as buying acoustic limiting headphones; many come in styles for kids or by changing volume settings on your phone. On an iPhone, you can go to settings, scroll to music and then volume limit, where you can set a volume output.

Dr. Fabry says lock in an acceptable level, with the headphones you most often use, which is key.

Emma Vervair tests out her beloved Bluetooth headphones while listening to one of her favorite bands, 21 Pilots.

“You see, it’s just cresting at 90 decibels so you are right on the fringe and could listen to this level eight hours a day,” Dr. Fabry told her.

Just in case, she also limits the volume on her Android phone. For both teens a simple reminder speaks volumes, and awareness alone brings resounding change.

“It was never even in the back of my mind. And now that I listen to music all the time, it will be in the back of my mind. I think maybe I should turn it down a notch,” said Garcia.

Lindsey Seavert

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