WPI & UNC collaborate on CAOHC class offering- Still have openings!

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The NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center part of the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina and Workplace Integra in Greensboro, NC have gotten together to offer a Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) class in VA.

The CAOHC class will be part of the UNC Summer Institute offering July 27-29, 2016 in Portsmouth, VA.  Attendees would sign up with the NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center here.

Workplace Integra will provide the Course Director and replicate the CAOHC course outline offered in Greensboro, NC and other locations.  The Initial students will attend the 2.5 day (20 hour) class having any Refresher students join the class for 8 hours on the second day, July 28.

For more information or to sign up see here.

In-Ear Device That Translates Foreign Languages In Real Time

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by James Gould-Bourn  on boredpanda.com

Most of us have found ourselves in the awkward situation of trying to communicate in a foreign language. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. And sometimes it’s downright disastrous. But thanks to a new translation device that easily fits into your ear, the days of struggling to speak the local lingo might soon be a thing of the past.

The device is called The Pilot system and Waverly Labs is the company behind this brilliantly simple yet potentially groundbreaking idea. When it hits the shelves in September, the system will allow the wearer to understand one of several foreign languages through real-time in-ear translation. A handy app will allow you to toggle through the languages you want, and the selection includes French, Spanish, Italian, and English. It’ll retail for $129, and you can pre-order one here. Or you can just keep talking to people really loudly and slowly in English. Good luck with that.

The gadget comprises two earpieces that easily fit into your ears.  It will allow real-time in-ear translations in French, Spanish, Italian, and English.  “The Pilot” will hit the shelves in September and retail for $129.00.

See full article here.

Workplace Integra to attend 2016 NC Statewide Safety Conference

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The 86th Annual NC Statewide Safety Conference will be held May 10-12, 2016 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC.
To register or for more information click here.

Workplace INTEGRA will be in exhibit booth 40, stop by to see INTEGRAfit, Workplace Applications Software, and enter to win a door prize.  Here is a list of all exhibitors.

See you in Greensboro!

Heading to a concert? Don’t forget your earplugs

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By Morgan Manella, Special to CNN

Updated 5:29 PM ET, Thu April 7, 2016

(CNN) — Listen closely, concertgoers. Next time you go to a music festival, you might want to pack earplugs. A new study found that they can prevent temporary hearing loss immediately following loud music exposure.

Researchers assigned 51 normal-hearing individuals attending an outdoor music festival in Amsterdam to wear earplugs or not. During a four-and-a-half hour window, 25 wore silicone earplugs and 26 did not. The time-averaged, sound pressure level experienced during the festival was 100 decibels, according to the the study, published Thursday in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Participants, who were an average age of 27, took a baseline hearing test before the concert.

After the concert, they were tested again to show whether there was a loss in hearing. Researchers found that the group wearing earplugs had a temporary shift in hearing of 8%, while the group without earplugs had temporary shift of 42%.

See full article here.

Workplace Integra to attend AAOHN in Jacksonville, FL

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Workplace INTEGRA, Inc. will be attending the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Conference being held in Jacksonville, FL, from April 11-14, 2016.  The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, FL.

Please stop by booth number 519 in the Exhibit Hall to review our featured products, Workplace Applications health & safety data management software and INTEGRAfit-quantitative fit testing for hearing protection.  Of course you can stop by to say hello and enter your name into our drawing for an Apple iPad mini!

Hope to see you in Jacksonville!  Still time to sign up to attend!

How We Hear

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Source: Better Hearing Institute
Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, New Jersey Medical School, NEWARK, NJ

The Hearing System

The anatomy of the hearing system can be divided into four components for our convenience in remembering the parts and associating these parts with their function. These divisions are the:

1.outer ear
2.middle ear
3.inner ear
4.central auditory pathways

The Outer Ear (1)

Several structures comprise the outer ear. The most readily seen is the pinna, also called the auricle. The pinna is made up of a frame of cartilage that is covered with skin. The pinna has obvious folds, elevations, depressions and a prominent bowl – all of which vary somewhat from person to person but a basic pattern in these features is fairly universal among all people. The pinna acts as a funnel to collect and direct sound down the ear canal. It also serves to enhance some sounds through its resonance characteristics. Finally, it helps us to appreciate front-back sound localization.

The other structure of the outer ear is the external ear canal. The outer two-thirds of this canal has a cartilaginous framework, and the inner one-third is bony. The skin of the external ear canal is continuous with the skin of the pinna. The ear canal is curved, almost “S” shaped and averages about 1 inch in length in adults. The skin of ear canal has hairs (more prominent in some people) and glands that produce wax called cerumen (also more prominent in some individuals than in others). This hair and cerumen serve a protective function for the ear canal. In addition, cerumen helps to lubricate the skin and keep it moist.

See full article here.

Consequences of Hearing Loss

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Source: Better Hearing Institute

Many people are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help. Perhaps they don’t want to acknowledge the problem, are embarrassed by what they see as a weakness, or believe that they can “get by” without using a hearing aid. And, unfortunately, too many wait years, even decades, to address the effects of hearing loss before getting treatment.

But time and again, research demonstrates the considerable effects of hearing loss on development as well as negative social, psychological, cognitive and health effects of untreated hearing loss . Each can have far-reaching implications that go well beyond hearing alone. In fact, those who have difficulty hearing can experience such distorted and incomplete communication that it seriously impacts their professional and personal lives, at times leading to isolation and withdrawal.

Studies have linked untreated hearing loss effects to:
•irritability, negativism and anger
•fatigue, tension, stress and depression
•avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
•social rejection and loneliness
•reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
•impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
•reduced job performance and earning power
•diminished psychological and overall health

See full article here.

 

Types of Hearing Loss

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Source: Better Hearing Institute

A comprehensive audiologic evaluation must be completed in order to determine the types and severity of hearing loss to make appropriate recommendations for each patient. Pure tone and speech audiometry as well as the immittance test battery must be completed, in addition to any additional assessments necessary for an exhaustive profile of the hearing system. A balance test called electronystagmography (ENG) might also be needed if dizziness or imbalance is also a complaint. Some patients who are bothered by tinnitus only might have a complete tinnitus evaluation. Finally, the audiologic data provides a clinical foundation for recommendations on hearing aids and other assistive devices suitable for treating the types of hearing impairments listed below.

In general terms, there are two types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural. A combination of both is also seen as a mixed hearing loss. Each is discussed below.

HEARING LOSS TYPES

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is caused by any condition or disease that impedes the conveyance of sound in its mechanical form through the middle ear cavity to the inner ear. A conductive hearing loss can be the result of a blockage in the external ear canal or can be caused by any disorder that unfavorably effects the middle ear’s ability to transmit the mechanical energy to the stapes footplate. This results in reduction of one of the physical attributes of sound called intensity (loudness), so the energy reaching the inner ear is lower or less intense than that in the original stimulus. Therefore, more energy is needed for the individual with a conductive hearing loss to hear sound, but once it’s loud enough and the mechanical impediment is overcome, that ear works in a normal way. Generally, the cause of conductive hearing loss can be identified and treated resulting in a complete or partial improvement in hearing. Following the completion of medical treatment for cause of the conductive hearing loss, hearing aids are effective in correcting the remaining hearing loss.

The audiometric profile that indicates a conductive hearing loss is the presence of air-bone gaps (better hearing by bone conduction than by air conduction), excellent word recognition at a comfortable listening level, and evidence of a middle ear dysfunction on immittance. For situations where a blockage is noted in the external ear canal, hearing testing is deferred until the canal is cleared.

See full article here.

Too Much Noise: Bad for Your Ears and for Your Heart

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Source: Better Hearing Institute

We’ve long known that too much noise — too loud and for too long — damages our ears and our ability to hear.

But did you know that it also may pose a risk to your heart?

That’s right. A growing body of research shows that people with long-term exposure to loud noise may be more likely to develop heart disease.

So what else do our heart and ears have in common?

Many studies show a tie between cardiovascular disease and hearing loss. In fact, researchers from Wichita State University conducted an analysis of 84 years of work from scientists worldwide on the connection between cardiovascular health and the ability to hear and understand what others are saying. Their work, which reviewed 70 scientific studies, confirmed a direct link.

In a separate study, researchers went as far as to conclude that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered.

“The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body,” according to David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, as quoted in a 2015 BHI press release.

See entire article here.