Hand Dryers: For Kids, Beware the Noise

Hand Dryers: For Kids, Beware the Noise

It’s no secret that hand dryers installed in public bathrooms can seem rather loud, but we were blown away by a young scientist’s findings when she put the volume levels of 44 automated machines to the test in restrooms across Alberta, Canada.

Turns out some of those volumes can do a number on kids’ ears — which are more susceptible to noise-induced hearing problems — by reaching sound levels well beyond the danger zone of 85 decibels. Several of the various brands measured above 100 decibels when in actual use for hand-drying, and one was even greater than 120.

The study, by then-9-year-old Nora Keegan, has captured international attention, with coverage by the New York Times, CNN, Canada’s CBC, and other media outlets. Now 13, Keegan is likely one of the youngest researchers to have her work published in the journal Pediatrics & Child Health. …

Read More
May Is Better Hearing Month!

May Is Better Hearing Month: Spring Into It With Less Noise, More Joy

Ahhh, spring! As power tools whir, ball games bloom, and concerts sprout, are your ears protected from the louder sounds of the season?

Some noises pack a bigger punch than your ears should take, so for Better Hearing Month this May, we’re sharing three quick tips to keep harmful volumes at bay.

TURN DOWN THE SOUND

Planning a hearty run in the fresh air with favorite tunes in your ears? It’s tempting to crank up the beats, but MP3 players can reach an ear-splitting 105 decibels. Better bet: Enjoy the sounds but turn them down to 50 percent maximum volume or lower.

GUARD YOUR EARS

Cutting that spring grass can feel so satisfying, but the noise of a gas mower can blow past the danger threshold of 85 decibels. Hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs help soften loud sounds and can be customized to your ears, …

Read More
Warm Ears Are Healthy Ears - Protect Your Hearing This Winter

Warm Ears Are Healthy Ears

Winter can be a wonderful season filled with holiday cheer, cozy sweaters, hot cocoa, snowball fights, and thrilling sports like skiing and ice skating. Unfortunately, our ears are particularly vulnerable to the cold (especially if hearing aids are worn), so protective measures must be taken to enjoy the season safely.

 

Preventing Cold-weather Damage to Hearing Aids

Low temperatures affect the functioning of nearly all battery-powered electronics (many smartphones will actually turn off when exposed to extreme cold), so always keep extra hearing aid batteries on hand during the winter months. Hearing aids are somewhat protected by your body heat but still need to be cared for properly when worn outside. To prevent damage from moisture such as snow, sweat, and condensation, wipe down the battery compartment with a warm, dry cloth at least once a day, and store your aids in a dehumidifier overnight.

 

Cold, Windy Weather and …

Read More
Invigorating exercise + happy ears = win-win.

Making Moves — and Protecting Your Hearing, Too

Planning to bust some moves at the gym as part of your 2019 goals? You’re not alone. As a tried-and-true strategy for losing weight, feeling more fit, or simply stepping up physical activity for overall wellness, working out is a perennially popular New Year’s resolution, and exercise classes can be a fun way to fit the bill.

The catch? Whether it’s cycling, kickboxing, step aerobics, dance, or another high-energy track, these classes often crank up the music to harmful levels — well above the danger threshold of 85 decibels — giving your ears a workout you didn’t bargain for. It can lead to instant or gradual hearing loss that could be permanent.

To protect your hearing while getting into the exercise groove, here are four things you can do:  

Speak Up

Turning down the volume in the first place goes a long way toward reducing the risk of …

Read More
How to keep your ears safe on the job

Noise Hazards on the Job: Protect Yourself!

Clang! Slam! Rizzz! Vroom!

From engines running and car doors closing to sanders whirring and air compressors humming, workplace noise comes with the territory at auto shops, and some of it can prove damaging to a mechanic’s ears and hearing health. An estimated 22 million American workers across various industries experience dangerous sound levels, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), yet excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.  

Did you know?

Four million Americans work amid hazardous noise levels every day. Occupational noise is a key culprit in hearing loss that occurs in adulthood. Workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability amounts to about $242 million each year. Some 34% of those exposed to workplace noise report that they skip hearing protection. More than 31 million Americans ages 6 to 69 have permanent hearing damage due to noise. Loud noise …

Read More