His knowledge in communication disorders has helped a wide range of patients, including both adults and children with hearing loss. He provides screenings, hearing tests, aural rehabilitation and has an extensive knowledge of both conventional and digital hearing instruments.
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Falling leaves, cooler temperatures and winter sports are all things we look forward to in the later part of the year. However, they bring additional risks for your hearing. You may not have noticed a problem with your hearing, or you may already be wearing a hearing aid. Regardless, it is important to take extra steps to protect your hearing in the fall and winter.
Hearing loss is a big problem. Exposure to loud noises is a major cause of hearing loss and, unfortunately, it can be permanent. Even short-term exposure — the kind that causes ringing in your ears (tinnitus) — can become permanent if it happens frequently. During the colder months, you’re often exposed to seasonal sounds that could affect your hearing.
Seasonal sounds are louder than you think.
A certain sign of autumn is falling leaves. If you choose to use a leaf blower to rid your garden of leaves rather than a rake, the sound registers 85dB — and can cause hearing loss. Actually, exposure to sounds over 80dB can cause hearing loss. Even if you’re still mowing the grass at that time of year, you’re risking your hearing, with the sound registering 100dB.
If you’re also a hunter, a rifle firing is another source of noise exposure.
During a snowy winter, you’ll want to get the snow blower (92dB) out to clear away accumulation of snow. When the weather is really bad, lorries may pour salt to clear the roads. They can add to the noise level. Perhaps you want to indulge in some wintertime sports. Snowmobiles can reach a level of 78dB, and that’s almost a damaging level.
How to protect your hearing
There are several steps you can take to protect your ears and help prevent hearing loss in autumn and winter — and still enjoy the outdoors. You can purchase simple foam earplugs from any chemist or pharmacy for minimal cost. They can reduce the noise level by as much as 30dB and can protect against noise-induced hearing loss, as well as the ringing and aching that loud and consistent noise often cause. Noise-reducing earmuffs and headphones —although more expensive — can also help.
If you’re out in the cold, even wearing a warm hat with earflaps, earmuffs or headband-type ear warmer, or a coat with a hood can offer minimal help. Keeping your ears warm can also help prevent earaches.
Do you already wear a hearing aid? Consider wearing noise-reducing earmuffs or headphones, too, when you know you will be exposed to noise. Your hearing aid amplifies sound, and the extra protection helps prevent further damage.
Hearing loss is always a possibility as we age, but there’s no need to hurry the process. Taking care of your overall health is important and can slow down the process of hearing loss. Eat right and exercise to keep your immune system strong and the blood flow going well (important for hearing health).
Concerned about your hearing? Contact Hidden Hearing free on 1 800 818 808.