Class #6: Beware of the Hearing Loss And Prevent It (With Earplugs)

Hello Everyone! Happy New Year!

You probably noticed that I haven’t posted anything new for a while, but that’s because – as some of you already know – I recently became father and went into “offline” mode to focus on my little one!

Today I’m back but before we continue our Clean Energy Classrooms, I wanted to discuss something important: hearing protection, a rising problem amongst youth (and adults too).

Use EarplugsI am not an expert in the field of hearing protection, but I did my research after I’ve noticed that more and more students wearing earbuds all the time, listining loud music, not hearing anything too much often. I’ve decided to dedicate one of the posts on my blog to this issue and explain how you can prevent hearing loss with just $5 worth pack of the best earplugs, like those.

I hope you’ll find it useful. I feel this is important.

Noise is Killing Your Ears

Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. A single shot from a large caliber firearm, experienced at close range, may permanently damage your hearing in an instant. Repeated exposures to loud music from a concert or machinery  may, over an extended period of time, present serious risks to your hearing. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD):

  • 10 million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise
  • 30 to 50 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.

This problem becomes so widespread because the effects of noise are often underestimated because the damage takes place so gradually, loud noises have become so common in our culture, and there are no externally-visible physical changes (like a wound).

As a result, people have not appreciated the serious impact of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) on their daily living until they’re frustrated by a permanent communication problem or ongoing ringing in their ears. Perhaps a bit too late, they then become passionate about “hearing conservation” in order to save the hearing they still possess.

Doesn’t it make more sense, though, to emphasize “HEARING LOSS PREVENTION”, while you still have a good hearing sensitivity? I’d like to go ahead and summarize how excessive noise can damage the hearing system and how to prevent hearing loss

THE CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS

Beware – I am not a doctor – but just reading the Wikipedia you’ll learn that the ear has three main parts: the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear opens into the ear canal. The eardrum separates the ear canal from the middle ear. Small bones in the middle ear help transfer sound vibrations to the inner ear. Here, the vibrations become nerve impulses, which the brain interprets as music, a slamming door, a voice, and so on.

When noise is too loud, it begins to kill the nerve endings in the inner ear. Prolonged exposure to loud noise destroys nerve endings. As the number of nerve endings decreases, so does your hearing. There is no way to restore life to dead nerve endings; the damage is permanent.

The longer you are exposed to a loud noise, the more damaging it may be. Also, the closer you are to the source of intense noise, the more damaging it is.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR EAR AGAINST NOISES

pack of earplugs
Earplugs like this one (Molde Pura-Fit 6800) can help you focus – and sleep better too!

Wear Earplugs. Actually, no, wear the best earplugs. Especially if you must work in an excessively noisy environment. You should also wear them when using power tools, noisy yard equipment, or firearms, or riding a motorcycle or snowmobile.

Earplugs are small inserts that fit into the outer ear canal. They must be sealed snugly so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked. An improperly fitted, dirty, or worn-out plug may not seal properly and can result in irritation of the ear canal. Plugs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit individual ear canals and can be custom-made.

For people who have trouble keeping them in their ears, the plugs can be fitted to a headband. This small device will definitely save your ears from hearing loss.

It’s just amazing how pack of cheap earplugs can save your ears. Basic earplugs can cost $1, the best ones go for $5-$8. Is this a significant investments? I don’t think so. What do you get in return? Health! So is it worth it? Most definitely yes.

Think about it.

Thanks, and to the next classes!

Colin