Workplace INTEGRA Mobile Units on the road!

WPI Mobile Unit 15 on the road in KY- Jan 2016
WPI Mobile Unit 15 on the road in KY-

 

Pictured is one of Workplace Integra’s Mobile Units in KY, January 2016.  The Van Technician looks at a slight delay caused by Winter Storm Jonas.    He cleaned off the van and arrived on-time at the clients site, ready to test!

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Leisure Noise and the Hearing Health of Young People

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Source: Williams, Warwick PhD
The Hearing Journal, Volume 68, Issue 12, pp 28, 30

The possibility of leisure activities—especially listening to music on portable music players—causing hearing loss in young people never fails to excite the press. The many stories on this topic seem to reflect genuine concern in the population about this issue.

As this article by Warwick Williams, PhD, shows, however, this concern does not seem well founded for nearly all young people. This is not to say that leisure noise cannot cause hearing loss, but it certainly does not seem to be very common.

There are two caveats: First, recent analysis of the extensive data discussed by Dr. Williams has shown a significant relationship between total leisure-induced noise exposure and the occurrence of tinnitus, so it seems that noise exposure is indeed having some effects on the ears of some young people, even if it is not reflected in their hearing thresholds. These effects seem to occur even with accumulated noise doses much lower than those that would occur in a workplace with average daily levels of 85 dBA.

Second, the study that Dr. Warwick describes was carried out before we realized the importance of looking for the symptoms of “hidden hearing loss”—the loss of high-threshold nerve fibers that have no effect on hearing thresholds but probably contribute to the accurate analysis of sound at moderate or high noise levels. A new, large-scale study is now under way to explicitly look for these symptoms, one of which may well be an increased prevalence of tinnitus.

Although the study was done on an Australian population, ears are the same everywhere, and the types of devices that people use for music are international, so it seems likely that the results would apply to other populations. If so, then the safety message we have so far for other countries is that the most dangerous leisure noise activities seem to be dance parties.

For just a very small proportion of young people, the combination of high sound levels and exposures of several hours per outing repeated weekly for several years is certainly sufficient to provide noise exposure sufficient to damage hearing, even if the number who receive this much exposure is small.

—Harvey Dillon, PhD

Director

National Acoustic Laboratories

See full article here.

 

 

Teen Invents Headphones That Prevent Hearing Loss

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By Conner Carey on Sun, 10/04/2015

Aegis Acoustics headphones were designed by 16-year-old Kingsley Cheng as a stylish-but-safe way listen to music. “The American Academy of Audiology reports that approximately 12 percent of all children ages 6–19 have noise-induced hearing loss. We’re here to change all that and make listening safe,” said Kingsley in a recent press release.

Together with his father, Rayman Cheng, who has over 25 years of experience in consumer electronics, Kingsley founded Aegis in an effort to make headphones that look good and feel good. Their headphones ensure your volume remains in safe decibel range (under 85dB) while utilizing noise cancelling technology to provide clarity.

See full article here.

Afraid of Shark Attacks? Selfies Are Deadlier

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By Conner Carey on Wed, 09/23/2015

Next time you go to take a selfie, make sure your life isn’t in danger first. According to the Telegraph, there have been 12 selfie deaths in 2015 alone. Compare that number to the eight people who were killed by a shark. Is this what Darwin meant by survival of the fittest?

In July, a woman was killed by a bison when she tried to pose for a selfie with it. In January, three students died by oncoming train when trying to take a “daredevil” photo. A man in California was hospitalized for five days after snapping a picture with a rattlesnake. There’s even a Wikipedia page listing selfie-related injuries and deaths. Meanwhile, selfie deaths are rampant enough in Russia that the government released a guide on “how not to die while taking a picture of yourself”.

See full article here.

10 celebrities with hearing issues.

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AARP.org posted an interesting list of celebrities with hearing loss.  They’re all talented, famous and among the 48 Million Americans coping with this problem. How many did you know about?

by Margery D. Rosen, October 8, 2014

1.  Rob Lowe

Undiagnosed mumps when he was a baby left Lowe totally deaf in his right ear. “Really loud restaurants drive me ballistic,” Lowe told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I live in a mono world. I wish I could [hear in] stereo. But other than that, I don’t think about my hearing loss.’’

2. Bill Clinton

Like many boomers, Clinton ignored his hearing difficulties for years until doctors diagnosed him with high-frequency hearing deficiency, the most common form of hearing loss. Described as an inability to distinguish sounds in noisy, crowded situations with a lot of background chatter (such as restaurants, theaters or political rallies), it’s linked to aging and exposure to loud noise. Clinton now wears two in-canal hearing aids.

3. Halle Berry

A victim of domestic violence some 20 years ago, Oscar winner Halle Berry lost 80 percent of her hearing in her left ear when an abusive boyfriend struck her repeatedly. She often speaks about her hearing loss to raise awareness and help other women break the cycle of violence.

4. Stephen Colbert

The political satirist and Emmy-winning talk show host was in elementary school when doctors discovered a tumor in his right ear. In order to safely remove it, they also had to remove Colbert’s eardrum, leaving him deaf in that ear.

5. Rush Limbaugh

In 2001, Limbaugh announced that he was virtually deaf. At the time, he said doctors had diagnosed autoimmune inner-ear disease, a rare condition. But according to CBS News and other news sources, his use of opioid painkillers may have contributed to his hearing loss. With two cochlear implants, he’s regained some hearing.

See full article here.

Apple Watch heart monitor saves teen’s life

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by: Evan Killham, September 18, 2015  Cultofmac.com

A teen sought medical attention after his Apple Watch heart monitor gave him persistently high readings, and that decision saved him from an untimely death.

Paul Houle, a 17-year-old football player, bought Apple’s wearable a few days before he started pre-season training at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass.  After two practices in one day, he noticed that his heart rate was sitting around 145 beats per minute, even hours after he’d stopped exercising.

He wouldn’t know until later, but he was experiencing a potentially life-threatening condition.  “It was the first day of pre-season,” Houle said (via Cape Cod). “The first practice was from 10 until 12 and the second practice was from 3 to 5.

During my second practice, I started to have problems breathing and I had pain in my back, which turned out later to be my kidneys failing.”

See full article here.

Famous People with Hearing Loss, Hearing Problems

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Source: www.hearingreview.com

Published on May 8, 2015

This May, in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), The Hearing Review has drawn from several sources to round up a list of famous people who suffer from hearing loss or a related issue. This compilation is intended to help illustrate how hearing loss and communication disorders can affect people of any age, and from all walks of life.

Famous Musicians with Hearing Damage

This list of well-known musicians with hearing loss was created by Andrew Mendelson at ListVerse.com, whose article highlighted the issue of noise-induced hearing loss:

Neil Young

Ozzy Osbourne

Phil Collins

George Martin (producer of The Beatles, known as “the fifth Beatle”)

Will.i.am

Brian Wilson

Jeff Beck

Eric Clapton

Pete Townshend

Ludwig von Beethoven

Celebrities with Hearing Issues

The AARP created this slideshow of notable people who have experienced hearing problems:

Rob Lowe

Bill Clinton

Halle Berry

Stephen Colbert

Rush Limbaugh

Jane Lynch

Robert Redford

Holly Hunter

Jodie Foster

Famous People with Hearing Loss

The list from EarQ, a nationwide network of independent hearing healthcare providers, included:

Helen Keller

Julia Brace

See full article here.

Reverse parking: A better way to park in parking lots.

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You’re Parking Wrong

Why it’s almost always better to back into a space than pull into it head-on.

By Tom Vanderbilt

www.slate.com

There are myriad moments in everyday life when some common behavior can be performed in one of two ways, thus cleaving the world into two bitterly feuding camps, capable of using strongly held convictions, pseudo-scientific explanations, and rough psychological profiling to denigrate or dismiss the other side. The most notorious instance: The great “under” or “over” toilet paper roll debate.

On my blog, I was recently reminded of one of these almost-invisible, yet strangely polarizing, social behaviors, this time from the world of traffic. A reader named Jeff wanted to know:

What makes some people back into parking spaces rather than pull straight in? Is this a regional thing (in the south)? I’ve always thought that it takes much longer to back into the space and pull straight out than it takes to pull straight in and back out of the space.

See full article here.

 

Cleaning audiometer headsets

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By: James J. Jerome, Senior Occupational Audiologist

While conducting an annual hearing conservation plant visit for one of my customers, I ran into a situation of what NOT to do when cleaning an audiometer headset.

Before conducting a calibration, I always perform a listening check. I clean the headset jacks at all three connection points (starting from the back of the audiometer), and listen to a 1000 Hz continuous tone to ensure that the earphones are producing an uninterrupted tone when the earphone cords are flexed. In this case, all was well. After setting up my calibration equipment and mounting the first earphone onto the coupler, I noticed that the output was off by 2-3 dB for all of the frequencies. This is highly irregular for any audiometer. Fortunately, I was able to adjust the output and bring it up to ANSI specifications…until I got to 6000 Hz. As much as I tried, I was not able to adjust the output beyond a certain point. I ended up telling the customer what I found and said that the audiometer was going to have to be sent in for repairs (if necessary) and calibration.

Out of curiosity, I decided to call the manufacturer with the thought that there might be something I missed or that there might be a “field fix.” After telling my point of contact the problem I found, he stated that, in the course of cleaning the headset, any liquid that gets on the diaphragm of the earphone (past the black grid) can over time “clog” the diaphragm and affect the output of the audiometer. He stated that this affects the output particularly at 6000 and 8000 Hz. The only fix for this would be to replace the earphones and recalibrate the unit. Cost. . .several hundred dollars!

After my phone call, I asked the customer if she cleans the headset regularly. She said that the headset is cleaned after each use. When asked how she cleans the headset, she stated that she takes a can of aerosol disinfectant, and sprays the entire headset. That was my “AHA” moment! I relayed to her the conversation I had with the manufacturer and what she was going to have to do.

Thus, the following reminder: ALWAYS CLEAN THE HEADSET BY HAND USING A WET WIPE, ENSURING THAT NO LIQUID ENTERS THE CENTER GRID OF THE EARPHONE!