Hearing hazards at work

We’ve all heard that it’s dangerous to listen to extremely loud music, but lots of people are exposed to dangerous decibel levels every day at work. According to the Better Hearing Institute, the most risky professions for hearing loss include firefighting, farming, construction, military, entertainment, and factory work. All of these jobs require frequent exposure to loud noise or music, often in close proximity. For instance, many factory workers are positioned next to loud machinery for hours at a time.

This kind of exposure, over long periods of time, has been proven to cause hearing loss or even deafness. To prevent damage to your hearing, it is wise to always wear ear plugs when exposed to high noise levels. A good way to determine dangerous levels is to try to carry a conversation through the noise. If you cannot easily talk to someone without shouting, then the noise is too loud and can potentially cause hearing loss. If you work in a profession that could compromise your hearing, talk to your doctor about prevention techniques. Steps taken now could result in many more years of good hearing down the road.

Could your child’s toys negatively impact his hearing?

Walk around your local toy store and you’ll see millions of different toys for your child to play with. Many of them include a sound component, which, in addition to being annoying to parents, can also pose a risk to a child’s hearing. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, some children’s toys – like sirens or squeaky rubber toys – can actually emit sounds of 90 decibels. To put that in perspective, adults experiencing that level of noise at work would have to wear ear protection!  Worse, when held up to a child’s ear during play, these toys can actually reach up to 120 decibels – a painful level that can result in permanent hearing loss.

The Association suggests that some of the most dangerous toys for hearing include cap guns, vehicles with sirens, walkie talkies, vacuum toys, and even talking dolls. Before buying a new toy, be sure to test out its sound component; if you already have dangerous toys at home, take out the batteries to ensure they stay quiet. Healthy hearing practices begin at a young age, so start protecting your child at all times – even during play time. Talk to a doctor in your True Dental Discounts hearing plan if you have any questions or concerns about toys around your house.

Solutions for hearing loss around the home

Most of us take for granted that we can talk to someone over the phone and open the door when we hear the door bell chime. But for people with hearing loss, these tasks are not so simple. Fortunately, technology has now made it possible for hard-of-hearing people to “hear” the door bell and other alerts in the home, as well as carry on a conversation over the phone. For instance, telephone amplifiers can be coupled with a person’s hearing aid to improve the person’s ability to hear a caller.

For people who still cannot hear well enough for a conversation, they can use Voice Carry Over, which is used with a telephone relay service. In these cases, the operator translates what the other person is saying by converting their words to text on a screen. When it comes to “hearing” the door bell, people can install systems that pick up the signal and cause lights to flash, fans to spin, or a small device to vibrate. The same goes for sleeping alarms, fire alarms, and more. Talk to your True Dental Discounts hearing specialist about the best options for your home to find out more information.

Growing up with hearing loss

Children with hearing loss frequently experience special difficulties in their social and academic development, particularly children who lost their hearing early in life. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the academic gap between children with hearing loss and other children widens as school becomes more difficult and advanced. It is imperative that parents employ the help of an intervention professional to set their child up for success.

A specialist can work on a child’s academic and social development, the latter being key because many children with hearing loss feel isolated from their peers, especially if the child does not know many other children with hearing loss. The good news is that research shows children with hearing loss who get help very early in life can develop language skills at the same level as their peers. The important thing is to start seeing a specialist as soon as possible and involve the entire family in the program. Talk to your True Dental discounts plan audiologist to find out more information on child hearing loss – timing is critical.

Think before ordering hearing aids online

Although it is possible to purchase hearing aids online or by mail order, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association advises people not to order their hearing aids through these methods. Instead, ASLHA recommends that people with hearing loss schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Audiologists, like the ones available to you through True Dental Discounts, offer professional care and a host of services that mail-order companies cannot provide. For instance, patients who talk to an audiologist can learn how to properly use their hearing aid in different circumstances.

They also have access to an audiologist’s repair and rehabilitation services and the follow-up care that is often required when facing issues of hearing loss. Finally, in some cases, patients with hearing loss require medical treatment, and an audiologist can give the proper referrals for those treatments. Hearing loss is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, as a True Dental Discounts member, you have access to quality audiologists at a significantly reduced rate. Take advantage of that opportunity!