Your Guide To Personal Hearing Protection

Providing hearing protectors and managing their use

The Noise Regulations require you to: provide employees with hearing protectors and make sure they use them fully and properly when their noise exposure exceeds the upper exposure action values; provide employees with hearing protectors if they ask for them, and their noise exposure is between the lower and upper exposure action values; identify hearing protection zones – areas of the workplace where access is restricted, and where wearing hearing protection is compulsory.

To make sure protectors are worn fully (all of the time they are needed) and properly (fitted or inserted correctly) will require you to have systems of supervision and training. Also consider the use of spot checks and audits. Selecting suitable hearing protectors.

You should take account of the following in selecting the hearing protectors you provide to your workers: choose a suitable protection factor sufficient to eliminate risks from noise but not so much protection that wearers become isolated; consider the work and working environment, eg physical activity, comfort and hygiene; compatibility with other protective equipment, eg hard hats, masks and eye protection. You should only supply CE-marked hearing protectors.

You must consult with workers and their representatives over the types of protector provided. You have a duty to maintain hearing protection so that it works effectively. Factors that affect the level of protection, such as the headband tension and the condition of seals, should be checked as part of your system of maintenance. Employees have a duty to report any defects in hearing protection. This duty should be explained to them, as well as how to identify defects, as part of their training. Information, instruction and training. employees should be provided with training so that they understand the risks they may be exposed to, and their duties and responsibilities.

Where they are exposed above the lower exposure action values you should at least tell them: their likely noise exposure and the risk to hearing this creates; what you are doing to control risks and exposures; where and how to obtain hearing protection; how to identify and report defects in noise-control equipment and hearing protection; what their duties are under the Noise Regulations; what they should do to minimise the risk, such as the proper way to use noise- control equipment and hearing protection; your health surveillance systems. Employee and safety representatives: Consulting with trade union-appointed safety representatives or other employee representatives is a legal requirement.

Discuss with them your risk assessment and plans to control risk, including any proposal to average exposure over a week, selection of hearing protection and your health surveillance programme. Health surveillance: Providing health surveillance, You must provide health surveillance for all your employees who are likely to be frequently exposed above the upper exposure action values, or are at risk for any reason, eg they already suffer from hearing loss or are particularly sensitive to damage.

Consult your trade union safety representative, or employee representative and the employees concerned before introducing health surveillance. Health surveillance usually means regular hearing checks, conducted annually for the first two years of being exposed and then at three-yearly intervals (although this may need to be more frequent if a problem with hearing is detected or where the risk of hearing damage is high). The hearing checks need to be carried out by someone who has the appropriate training.

A suitable doctor, nurse or audiologist needs to review the results and ensure that employees with poor hearing or rapid hearing loss are referred for further medical advice. You should receive results including information on an employee’s fitness to continue working in noisy environments. However, you should only receive information on any hearing damage an individual employee has if that employee has given consent. You will also need to see anonymised, grouped health information, which should be made available to employee or safety representatives.

Where any hearing damage due to noise is identified you should prevent further harm to the individual, taking account of the medical advice you receive on fitness. On the basis of both individual and grouped information, you will need to consider what action you need to take; this should include reviewing your risk assessment, any control measures you have in place and your health surveillance procedures. You will need to keep health records containing information on the outcomes of health surveillance and fitness for work. Health records must be kept separate from any confidential medical results.

Loud Noises Can Affect Your Hearing

Huh? I’m sorry what? Have you constantly been saying this? If so you may have a chance of hearing damage, according to U.S Department of health and human services center it is said that “loud sound can be harmful when they are too loud, even for a brief time, or when they are both loud and long-lasting.” Being aware of that it has been proven that listening to loud noises such as music can affect your hearing temporarily or permanently. But don’t fear! There are many ways to prevent your hearing loss, such as listening to music at lower volume in your earphones or protecting your ears with hearing protection devices when going to concerts or anywhere with loud music or noises in general. Being able to take care of your hearing well can help you in the future otherwise you’ll lose your hearing in the future.

Considering the fact that, hearing is one of your senses no one would like to lose it because our ears detect sound waves that are sent to the brain to evaluate what a person or sound is saying or doing. But when the noise is really strong a lot of pressure goes into and along with the sound wave that can possibly damage your eardrum or behind your eardrum, the middle part of the ear. Beware that noise is not the only thing that can damage your hearing but ear infections which are more likely for younger kids to get rather than adults. Also, it is not recommended that you clean out your own ear wax without a doctor’s consultation but excessive ear wax can also damage hearing or make it difficult especially because the wax is pressed hard against the eardrum.

In a similar manner, caring for your ears should be a priority and should not be neglected. Here are some tips and cautions on how to care for your ears:

1. When at home, at work, or just enjoying your days, use hearing protection while being exposed to loud levels of noise.

2. Ear buds are the most common way someone gets temporary hearing damage because it is direct noise to the eardrum, and loud noise can hurt your ear and cause pain. Keeping your music at a low level is the best way to listen to music. In my personal opinion, it can be more peaceful.

3. Reducing the risk of ear infection by treating the upper respiratory tract such as the ears, nose, and throat promptly.

4. Some medications can affect hearing, meaning medications should be taken only as directed and consult a doctor if any changes in the hearing pattern are happening.

According to Cleveland Clinic, there are many ways to care for your ears and many possibilities to lose your hearing if the proper things are not being done right. Always care for your ears.

In conclusion, giving these points it is your own decision whether or not you are willing to care for your ears or ignore these key factors of your health. But you are now aware that listening to loud noises such as loud music can affect your hearing temporarily or permanently, ear infections, mistreating your ear, not properly caring for your ear, piercings, etc. they are all effects of hearing loss or damage. But on the other hand, there are many ways to care and keep your ears working and healthy. Take this advice and tips for your own good and health so you won’t be saying What? in the future.

5 Great Things to Experience With Hearing Aids in the Redding Area

No one should allow hearing loss keep them from experiencing Redding, California. This town offers so much to the senses. Enjoy music, dining, and nature again. “Hearing impaired” is a state of mind. Your family will love you for donning your hearing aids and experiencing this wonderful area with them. Don’t let your ears keep you from enjoying what your town has to offer. Check out these five sounds you can experience with the right hearing aids offered by your local audiologist.

1. Cascade Theatre
Located just minutes from downtown, the Cascade Theatre hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year. Home of the North State Symphony, performances are stunning and give your senses a glimpse of music’s past. String, woodwind, brass, and piano bring the classics to life in the antique setting of the Cascade Theatre. Get out and enjoy the music.

2. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Picture the serene beauty of a national park: Birds chirping and the wind brushing against the trees. This seems peaceful on the surface, but just beneath lies nature’s fury. The sound of bubbling mud pots, boiling springs, and the rush of steam vents will overload your senses. The blast of the outdoors is just up the highway from downtown. Go find out what all the noise is about.

3. Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum
Nature continues its melody at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum. The stunning views of the Sundial Bridge and the serenity of outdoors are breathtaking. The park is often overwhelmed with the sounds of children playing and birds singing along a multitude of nature trails. Don’t feel like a hike? Enjoy a family picnic along the lapping banks of the Sacramento River.

4. Big League Dreams Sports Park
Play ball! This sports facility features exact replicas of three famous baseball stadiums: Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium. The sights and sounds of baseball fill the air year-round in this family-friendly atmosphere. It’s not just about baseball. The sports park features indoor roller hockey, outdoor volleyball, and a children’s play area. You will find the sounds of joy in this full-service family adventure.

5. Redding Civic Auditorium
Hearing loss patients are offered exciting events at the Civic Auditorium. Host to the annual Broadway in Redding and the Shasta Community Concerts Association, music comes to life on the banks of the Sacramento River. Built for comfort and audience participation, a visit here will become music to your ears. Don’t miss a trade show, exhibit, or convention. The auditorium screams entertainment throughout the year with musicals and Off-Broadway plays. Go relax and have a listen. Your mind will thank you for it.

In summary, Redding offers a variety of cultural, social, and outdoor events. What’s keeping you inside? Hearing loss? Embarrassment? Put in your hearing aids so you can spend time with your family and experience the Redding area together. Get back to living again with the sounds of children playing and the joy of nature. Your ears will thank you.

The Emotional Side of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is commonly associated with mental and emotional health. Realising that you are gradually losing your hearing and may not be able to listen to your favourite music, communicate with your loved ones and engage in one-on-one or group conversations can leave you in a shock.

It often takes a long time, sometimes 4-5 years for some people to realise that their hearing is impaired. From the onset of the condition to finally getting it treated, the sufferer undergoes varied emotional stages, which manifest their sentiments about their condition.

IGNORANCE

Hearing loss in many people goes undetected and untreated because they keep ignoring the signs. While young children are usually unable to realise their hearing impairment until they are clinically assessed, many adults tend to overlook significant signs that indicate towards hearing loss.

Not getting the right help in the right time can cause permanent damage to your ears and affect your quality of life.

DENIAL

Why are you mumbling? Can you turn down the background music so that I can hear you guys better? Can you please repeat what you said? The audio of the TV must be set too low, I can’t hear fine what they’re saying properly?

Denial is a natural reaction to hearing loss but a temporary stage that occurs due to the fear of embarrassment. It seems convenient for some people to alter their environment to compensate their hearing loss.

ANGER

The phase of denial advances and lead the sufferer to a stage where they start blaming others out of frustration and anger. Family members or near ones may mock or laugh at their inability to hear clearly, which annoys the person with impaired hearing and they lash out in anger to defend their inability.

WITHDRAWAL

Eventually when temporary defence (the stage of denial and anger) is replaced with partial acceptance, the sufferer begins to cut themselves out of family gatherings and social events to avoid embarrassing situations.

They start to evade one-on-one interactions and group conversation in the fear of having people know about their hearing issue.

DEPRESSION

All the stages together automatically cause the person suffering from hearing loss to isolate themselves, ultimately leading to depression.

Isolation and the loss of social activity and interaction create a feeling of low self-esteem, which prevent the sufferer from getting help and care they need.

ACCEPTANCE

After all the ignorance, denial, frustration and isolation, there comes a phase when the individual with impaired hearing gets tired of missing out on things they once use to enjoy.

The stage leads them to seek professional help and find a suitable hearing device to improve their hearing and the quality of life.

A visit to an experienced, reputed audiologist is the first step in the stage of acceptance. A hearing specialist examines your hearing to determine the cause and degree of your hearing loss so that they can offer a solution that best suits your condition and needs.

Many hearing centres and clinics offer a free introductory hearing assessment to their clients followed by a full hearing evaluation. The results of these hearing assessments help the audiologist suggest a suitable treatment for your hearing impairment.

Furthermore, using a digital hearing device for the first time can be a bit challenging initially. The wearer will hear sounds they haven’t heard for a long time, which may feel unusual and strange in the beginning. Remember that it will take some time for your ears to adapt to the new hearing device.

Remember that success with hearing aids relies largely on personal care and motivation. A positive attitude and a little effort on the user’s part can go a long way to speed up the adaption process and improve the listening experience. It is advisable to learn about care and maintenance of your hearing device and hearing aid batteries to get the most out of your device and experience.

Being a Parent With Chronic Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis

Having children whilst battling chronic labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis can be extremely challenging. It throws another dimension into your recovery – especially if you have young children who are still completely dependent on you. The simplest of tasks can feel like climbing Everest when you are dizzy 24/7. You don’t have time to take the rest you need. You can’t take time out of life to get yourself better. Even if your vestibular illness is in the background, a sudden flare up when little people are depending on you can be disastrous. You might have made plans to take your children to the park for example and, without warning, your head is spinning or you’re so fatigued you can’t fathom even getting up from the couch. Suddenly screen time is the only option you have for them but the guilt can be all consuming.

One vestibular patient and full time mother describes waking up with the all too familiar ‘full’ sensation in her head. She says ‘I wake up feeling dizzy. My eyes hurt. My heart sinks. How am I supposed to be a mother today? I hear my young child calling for me to play and I know I am too fatigued. I plaster a smile on my face and sit down beside her hiding my tears, thinking of the 12 hours ahead of me without a break’.

Another sufferer described how sometimes while caring for his two children his symptoms can come on suddenly. ‘It can be very frightening when it happens. One time I was on my own with the two children playing when my head just started spinning. I needed to lie on the floor. I literally couldn’t move and had no family living close by to call on. I had to keep them close to me pretending everything was OK until the dizziness passed’.

A sufferer and working parent describes coming home from work feeling exhausted from looking at the computer screen all day ‘all I want to do is come home and lie down after a 10 hour shift. I am usually dizzy and have a headache from looking at the computer but I need to be in mom mode. I miss my kids so much during the day and as soon as I get home I’m too sick to enjoy them’.

When vestibular symptoms flare up, stimulation from children’s toys – the bright colours, lights or music; can be a sensory overload on the weakened system. Children cannot sit still so their constant running or crawling, jumping on furniture or climbing stairs can be too much for our vestibular system to process. All we want to do is lie down but we have responsibilities. We can feel like we’re on a rollercoaster that we can’t get off.

There is hope to recover from chronic Labyrinthitis and VN symptoms, it is advisable to perform daily Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy exercises (as laid out by a trained physiotherapist after a consultation). Attending talk therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help with anxiety and depression associated with the illness.

The best selling book ‘Recover from Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis – Finally!’ contains much more information on how to recover from chronic labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, maintain your health and methods for coping with this illness.