Untreated Hearing Loss Affects Baby Boomers Still in the Workforce

 

Source: The Hearing Journal,Vol. 65 Issue 10

Ernest Hemingway once said, “Retirement is the ugliest word in the language” and in today’s society, it is true. Many baby boomers may yearn for retirement, but uncertain finances and healthcare have influenced the need to stay in the workforce longer. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the percentage of workers between the ages of 65 to 74 is expected to increase by 83.4 percent from 2006 to 2016. (See FastLinks.) But as boomers stay in the workforce longer, untreated hearing loss may sap their incomes and employment.

Research reported by the Better Hearing Institute demonstrated that the use of hearing aids reduces the risk of losing income by 90 to 100 percent for those with mild hearing loss and 65 to 77 for those with moderate to severe hearing loss. (See FastLinks.) Those with moderate to severe hearing loss who use aids are twice as likely to be employed as their peers who do not use.

The verdict seems clear. Boomers with hearing problems “can continue doing their jobs at a satisfactory level if they do obtain hearing aids,” said Robyn Cox, PhD, a professor of audiology at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Memphis.

Then why are baby boomers not having routine hearing checks and, if they do have hearing loss, use hearing aids? Dr. Cox said she believes the problem is innate in current medical care. “Routine hearing checks are not part of the culture,” she said. “We get all types of checks but neglect our hearing. We have not taught people to realize that hearing needs to be checked.”

See complete article here.

 

Workplace INTEGRA Introduces Virtual Audiology Service

 

 

By Sarah Ervin, Au.D., CCC-A

We would like to take the opportunity to announce the launch of a new audiological service that will be the perfect addition to the management of your hearing conservation program.   The service is called Virtual Audiologist Service (VAS).

Have you ever wondered if your Company is doing all it can to be compliant with OSHA Requirements , that your employees are being offered the best protection and the best monitoring of their hearing needs?  By taking advantage of this new service, your Company will be excelling beyond compliance and heading towards excellence.

Virtual Audiologist Service (VAS) provides your company with all the benefits of an On-Site Audiologist Visit, which includes the best consulting and auditing of your hearing conservation program by our knowledgeable staff of audiologist through multimedia technology, but with the convenience of anytime scheduling and eliminated cost of travel.  This also allows for significantly improved access to our services from remote locations.
A summary of what your Virtual Audiologist Service (VAS) would involve is listed below:

• Screening of audiometric medical referrals including record review and/or personal employee interviews for case-by-case determinations of possible OSHA 300 Log recordables.
• Annual comprehensive VAS review of the hearing conservation program and recordkeeping functions.  This includes reviewing prior sound surveys, noise control documentation, required OSHA postings, CAOHC certifications, equipment calibration records, hearing protection inventory, annual hearing conservation training, and the plant’s written hearing conservation program policy.
• On-going consultation regarding hearing protection issues, Standard Threshold Shifts (STS), potential medical issues, and OSHA 300 Log recording.
• Additional telephone consultation on hearing conservation matters as requested.
• A written report with recommendations following each comprehensive VAS visit.

Please contact Workplace Integra for more information to see which services would work best for you, your Company and your employees.

VAS vs InPlant Service

Workplace INTEGRA staffing update

 

It is our pleasure to announce that Sarah E. Ervin, Au.D, CCC-A is back with Workplace INTEGRA as a full time employee.
 
Dr. Ervin started with Workplace INTEGRA as an Occupational Audiologist back in 2002 and remained in that position until 2004. Since 2004, she has continued to work with Workplace INTEGRA in a contract capacity, providing the Professional Review Services for our hearing conservation clients.
 
In Sarah’s new full time position as Audiologist and Customer Relations Facilitator, she will be working with existing and new clients to assist in expanding our service offerings and to ensure that our client’s needs are being met by establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with you.  Dr. Ervin will also continue providing the Professional Review Services for our hearing conservation clients.
 
We are excited to have Sarah back with Workplace INTEGRA full time.
http://www.workplaceintegra.com/staff/ervin.html

Cardiovascular-Hearing Health Link Prompts BHI to Urge Hearing Checks for World Heart Day

Source: Better Hearing Institute article September 2012

 

 

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is raising awareness of the connection between cardiovascular and hearing health, and is urging people with cardiovascular disease to get their hearing checked. Likewise, BHI urges people with hearing loss to pay close attention to their cardiovascular health. A growing body of research indicates that a person’s hearing health and cardiovascular health frequently correspond. BHI’s efforts are in recognition of World Heart Day, September 29.
According to BHI, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers need to take age-related hearing loss seriously. Research not only shows that untreated hearing loss has adverse effects on quality of life, earnings, and a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, but increasingly, studies show that hearing loss is affiliated with a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

The Heart-Hearing Connection
The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow.  Studies have shown that a healthy cardiovascular system—a person’s heart, arteries, and veins—has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.

The authors of a study published in the American Journal of Audiology concluded that the negative influence of impaired cardiovascular health on both the peripheral and central auditory system—the potential positive influence of improved cardiovascular health on these same systems—have been found through a sizable body of research conducted over more than six decades.

David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, has been studying the relationship between cardiovascular and hearing health for years. According to Friedland: “The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that any abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.”  In their study, published in The Laryngoscope, Dr. Friedland and fellow researchers found that audiogram pattern correlates strongly with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease and may represent a screening test for those at risk. They even concluded that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered.  Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, cause 17.3 million deaths each year. For more information about World Heart Day, cardiovascular health, and how people can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke, visit www.world-heart-federation.org.

More About Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk of personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, and diminished psychological and overall health. But the vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. Three out of four hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life due to wearing hearing aids. And studies show that when people with even mild hearing loss use hearing aids, they improve their job performance, increase their earning potential, enhance their communication skills, improve their professional and interpersonal relationships, and stave off depression.

See full article here.

Restaurants Serve Up an Extra Helping of Hearing Loss

  

Source: The Hearing Journal, September 2012 – Volume 65 – Issue 9

 

Noise-induced hearing loss is not limited to construction or factory workers as some might presume, just ask a waiter or a retail employee. Workers in many New York City restaurants and clothing stores are often exposed to loud music, sometimes averaging nearly 100 dBA, according to a New York Times article. (August 2, 2012; see FastLinks.)

“The risk to hearing from hazardous noise exposure is a product of sound level (decibel) and time (duration),” said Deanna Meinke, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado’s Audiology and Speech-Language Sciences department in Greeley. Dr. Meinke was responding on behalf of Dangerous Decibels, a public health campaign designed to reduce the incidence and prevalence of NIHL and tinnitus.

See rest of article here.

 

 

 

 

Bruce A. Dalton dies in Colorado plane crash

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that we have lost a good friend and business associate.  Last Thursday 9/13/2012,  Bruce Dalton was killed in a single, small plane accident in the Colorado mountains.  Bruce was traveling as a passenger on a  single engine aircraft that was piloted by a friend.  Initial reports seem to indicate that the crash happened at an elevation of 12,000 feet.

Bruce has been a friend and co-worker going back to the old days with Health & Hygiene and U.S Health Works.   Bruce was also one of the founding members of Workplace Group, and has spent the last couple of years running OccuHealth.

Bruce will be missed by everyone who knew him.  Please take the time to remember him, and pray for his family.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 3:00pm Saturday, Sept 22 at the St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, NC.

Regards,

David Pinchot, President

More information:

The Herald Sun

CBS Denver

The Pueblo Chieftain

Workplace INTEGRA finalizes 2013 CAOHC schedule

Workplace INTEGRA, Inc has just finalized its 2013 CAOHC training schedule. New locations on the 2013 schedule: Tallahassee, FL, Columbus, GA, and adding a class in New Orleans, LA

 

Here are the dates and locations for the first quarter of 2013:
Certification                           Re-Certification

January 9-11 Toledo, OH    1/10
January 9-11 Greensboro, NC    1/10
January 23-25 New Orleans, LA    1/24
February 6-8 Louisville, KY     2/7
February 12-14 Greenville, SC    2/13
March 6-8 Indianapolis, IN    3/7
March 13-15 Greensboro, NC    3/14
March 20-22 Bloomington, IL    3/21
March 20-22 Tallahassee, FL    3/21

Look for the entire 2013 schedule soon at www.workplaceintegra.com

Hearing Loss by Occupation

Source: Industrial Safety & Hygiene News

Is your job causing hearing loss? Your hearing is an incredibly valuable asset in the workplace. Unfortunately, some workplace environments may be more damaging to your eardrums than others. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 22 million US workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year. Unhealthy noise levels are one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and can lead to shocking statistics in some occupations. If you work in one of these six loudest workplaces, you may want to consider the effects your work environment may be having on your hearing.

Hearing Loss in Manufacturing
Hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing, accounting for 1 in 9 recordable illnesses. The reasons behind these staggering numbers are obvious, with all the large and loud machinery in this line of business. And this problem is all over the nation. Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the U.S., which means hearing loss can spread rapidly. In fact, a study in Michigan reveals that more than half of all cases of permanent workplace hearing loss is caused by the manufacturing sector. Learn about Personalized Hearing Protection for Manufacturing Companies.

Hearing Loss in Construction, Carpentry and Mining
Whether outside your window, on your walk to work or anywhere else on the street, you may be painfully familiar with the extreme noise levels of construction sites. Now imagine working there. For the country’s construction workers, these sounds can be particularly hazardous to hearing health. Long periods of exposure to noise over 85dB is considered dangerous to one’s hearing, yet many of the most common construction tools make noise well above this cautionary value. Let’s consider one the noisiest yet most common construction tools: the hammer drill. This ear-shattering tool registers at nearly 115dB. With these dangerous decibels, whether you are performing construction work at home or for pay, make sure to wear the right kind of ear protection.

Click here for full article.

 

 

Cheryl’s Hearing Conservation Training Tips

 

What should I use for my upcoming Hearing Conservation Training?    What can I use that will educate and motivate employees in a new way?  This may be a question you ask yourself whenever training is on the horizon.  I will be giving you ideas on how to present HC training in fresh and novel ways.  Your employees will exclaim, “Wow, I never knew that about my ears!”  I will present an idea about every 3 months on this Blog.  My first idea is to incorporate a YouTube video  The one I have picked, Auditory Transduction, is a basic anatomy and physiological account of how our ears hear.  Give it a look!  Your employees may walk away with new respect for their ears!

Make sure OSHA’s 3 topics are covered with every annual training:
1) The effects of noise on hearing
2) Purpose and procedure of hearing testing
3) Purpose, selection, fit, use and care of hearing protectors, the advantages, disadvantages and attenuation of various types.

 

 

 

 

Cheryl Nadeau, M.Ed., FAAA
Senior Occupational Audiologist