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Can Wearing Ear Plugs Cause Hearing Loss

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Correct Use Of Ear Plugs

Hearing Protection: How to Use Pre-Molded Earplugs

Although both single-use and reusable ear plugs are available, disposable foam ear plugs are most popular due to their low cost, comfort and ease of use. According to the CDC, proper steps to use these foam ear plugs are as follows:

  • Using your fingers, roll the ear plug into a small, thin snake-like shape.
  • With your opposite hand, pull the top of your ear up and back so that your ear canal is straight.
  • Slide the snake-shaped ear plug into the ear, and hold in place with your finger for 30 seconds, allowing the ear plug to expand and fill your ear canal.
  • Test your ear plug by ensuring your voice sounds muffled. If sounds are much more muffled when you cup your hands tightly over your ears, the ear plug may not be sealing properly. Take the plug out and try again.

If you need to wear ear plugs often, due to occupational exposure or your preference for loud music, higher quality options are available. Custom-molded plugs, with a personal fit and noise-cancelling technology, and high-fidelity ear plugs — which decrease sound and maintain music quality — are becoming more popular. These plugs will come with specific use instructions which should be followed for safe use.

Don’t Risk Hearing Loss From Your Hobby

The key to prevention, Terry advises, is to be aware of how loud your environment is and wear hearing protection when sound levels are dangerous.

The best advice I can give is to be safeand part of being safe is protecting your hearing, she said. Most people think ‘its not that loud,’ but people dont have a concept for what is loud and what is too loud. Consider adding a sound level meter app to your smartphone. It will tell you how loud an environment is so when you encounter an environment thats louder than you thought, you can wear hearing protection.

Hobbies are important to good quality of life and so is healthy hearing. Regardless of how noisy your hobbies are, make your hearing health a priority by protecting your ears in noisy environments and scheduling annual hearing evaluations. Visit Healthy Hearings directory of verified consumer-reviewed clinics to find a qualified hearing healthcare professional in your community.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Causes

Causes of eustachian tube dysfunction include the common cold, or infections of the throat, nasal, ear, or sinus. Thick mucus or a blocked nose from the common cold or an infection may cause the eustachian tube to become blocked. This occurs when the infection causes the lining of the tube to come swollen or infected, which usually occurs during the common cold. These symptoms can last up to one week. It is caused by trapped mucus and inflammation, which takes a while to clear even after the germs causing the infection have been removed.

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Think You May Have Hearing Loss

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, get your hearing tested and consult your physician. Dont ignore the problem! While hearing loss is often permanent, modern medicine, audiology, and hearing aids have ways to maintain your quality of life.

If your hearing loss is sudden, contact your doctor right away. You may have a more serious injury.

Want more professional guidance? Contact us! Soundwave Hearing Care encourages all clients and visitors to learn about hearing loss, hearing aids and audiology in Calgary, Grande Prairie, High River, and Lethbridge by getting tested today.

Youre Waiting Too Long To Get Your Hearing Checked

Is your hearing loss due to work?

You know you should get your teeth checked every year and your colon every ten. Add your hearing to your list of necessary exams especially if youre noticing any changes. Be sure to get your hearing checked from an audiologist if you notice that you are suffering from hearing loss, says Trine. The average person waits seven years before seeking help due to the cost and stigma associated with hearing aids.

Recommendation: According to Trine, telltale signs that your hearing might be starting to decline are: constantly turning up the volume on the TV or radio, asking people to repeat themselves often, having trouble hearing in noisy environments like parties, restaurants, cars or planes, difficulty hearing on the phone, signs of tinnitus , and having to see a persons face when theyre speaking in order to understand better. Hearing loss also comes naturally with age, he notes. Forty-eight million Americans a shocking 14 percent of those between the ages of 45-64 suffer from disabling hearing loss.

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How Can You Safely Use Earplugs

Whether its a restful night sleep or safeguarding your ears, theres still a strong upside to wearing earplugs. Using them in the right way and using the correct kind is the secret to success. Foam earplugs are the least expensive, which is good because you really should not reuse them, the cushy, porous material is a germs haven. Dont put silicone or wax earplugs back in your ears until they are totally dry after utilizing warm water to completely clean them. Accumulation of moisture can cause mold and bacteria so keep your earplugs in a well ventilated container.

If you need or want to use earplugs regularly, you may want to talk to us about having custom-made earplugs. Theyre comfortable since they are made from molds of your ears and theyre reusable. But its essential not to forget, good earplug hygiene can prevent hearing damage.

You Work With Loud Machines

Research indicates that prolonged exposure to noises above 85 decibels can damage hearing permanently, says Kouri. This is the level of noise from heavy traffic. If you work in a factory or in construction around loud tools, chances are youre doing permanent hearing damage close proximity to a jackhammer is 120 decibels, and the noise from a semi truck is 90 decibels.

How loud is 85 decibels, anyway? You can measure the noise around you with a smartphone app like the well-reviewed .

Recommendation: Protect yourself by wearing earplugs while working in loud environments, says Kouri.

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Apply Pressure/create A Vacuum

Sometimes, gravity isnt enough. Another way to get rid of fluid in the ears is by using pressure and creating a vacuum in your ear canal. With your head tilted to the side, you can press, push, or cover your ear with your hand, which will help create a vacuum. Remove your hand quickly, and the trapped water may drain. As well, gently tugging on your earlobe can sometimes open up your ears enough to allow the water to come out.

You Underestimate Ambient Noise

Protect Your Hearing: How to Use Earplugs

Not to make you paranoid, but the world around you is conspiring to ruin your hearing. Hearing damage is a common issue for many of my patients. In fact, people are often surprised to learn that its not uncommon to develop hearing loss from simple daily activities, whether youre at home, out in the yard, at the office, or just out and about, says Christopher Dietz, MD, area medical director for MedExpress Urgent Care in Charlottesville, Virginia. Remember that any noise over 85 decibels warrants the use of protection. A noisy restaurant or heavy traffic, for example, is usually about 85 decibels and can cause hearing problems if youre exposed to it for long periods of time.

Recommendation: Limiting the amount of time spent in noisy environments is an easy way to take a proactive approach to prevent hearing loss, says Dietz. If youre in an environment thats about 85 decibels, for example, you should limit your exposure time to that noise to about eight hours. For every three decibels over 85, you should reduce your time spent by one-half. So if youre in a space thats at about 91 decibels, you should limit your time there to two hours.

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How Is Otitis Media With Effusion Diagnosed

If you think your child may have otitis media with effusion, make an appointment your childs doctor. He or she will look in your childs ears. They will look at the eardrum for signs that there may be fluid behind it. They may order a test called tympanometry. It can diagnose otitis media with effusion. It can also help tell the amount and thickness of the fluid that is trapped. They may also want to do a hearing test on your child.

How To Prevent Hearing Loss

Here are some things you can do to help prevent hearing loss:

  • If the sound level at work exceeds 85dB, reduce the noise level or wear hearing protection.
  • Lower the volume of your television, stereo and phone.
  • Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine.
  • Wear custom ear plugs if you go to rock concerts or nightclubs, and dont stand near loudspeakers.
  • Wear noise-cancelling headphones if using noisy equipment.

It is recommended that you get your hearing tested annually, so you make certain that no problem is developing over time.

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How To Listen To Music On Your Ipod Or Mp3 Player

The small ear bud style headphones do not block outside sounds. Users tend to turn up the volume to block out other noise. Using noise-cancelling earphones may help you keep the volume down because you can more easily hear the music.

If you wear headphones, the volume is too loud if a person standing near you can hear the music through your headphones.

Other tips about headphones are:

  • Turn down the volume. Listening to music at level 5 or above for just 15 minutes per day may cause long-term hearing damage.
  • Do not raise the volume past the halfway point on the volume bar when using headphones. Or, use the volume limiter on your device. This will prevent you from turning the sound up too high.

Using Ear Plugs Side Effects

Earplugs &  Earmuffs: Two is Better than One

Whether you are wearing earplugs while sleeping or regularly for your job, prolonged and improper use of earplugs can cause side effects. More often than not, we only consider the positives of wearing earplugs. Yet, many people face struggles with wearing them.

In this article, I will cover several common side effects of using ear plugs from wax build leading to ear pain to how earplugs can cause vertigo or tinnitus. Earplugs, when improperly used, create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria in your inner ear. Incorrectly wearing earplugs can lead to several painful side effects you should take into consideration.

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Can Wearing Earplugs Cause Vertigo

Although earplugs are not the direct cause of vertigo, they can lead to conditions that make you higher risk of vertigo. As mentioned earlier, improperly wearing earplugs can lead to ear infections, which are a leading cause for a type of vertigo called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo .

In short, an ear infection caused by dirty earplugs can lead to BPPV. This occurs when calcium particles embedded in your inner ear are moved to another section of your inner ear while moving your head position. People who wear earplugs while they sleep are susceptible to this type of vertigo more than others. In addition to ear infections, prolonged bed rest, ear surgery, and blockage of an inner ear artery can cause BPPV.

Causes Of Fluid In The Ear

Fluid in ear can build up due to many reasons. It is a mucous like liquid which usually gets collected in the middle ear. This trapped fluid may result in many other bacterial, viral and fungal infections which in severe conditions may even cause hearing loss. Following are some of the causes of fluid in the ear which will help you to avoid such situations or get them diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

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How Headphones Damage Your Hearing

To block out other sounds, the volume can be turned up to dangerous levels. To give you an idea of how loud this actually is, lets do a comparison. A motorcycle engine operates at 100 decibels, and a chainsaw works at about the same volume. These are loud, unpleasant noises that can hurt our ears and cause ringing for hours afterwards.

In comparison, a music player working at 70% volume is playing sounds as loud as 85 decibels. These sounds are played directly into your ears, intensifying this effect. If youre on a noisy bus or an airplane, you turn up the volume to make the music stand out from the background noise. If the background noise is 75 dB, you might increase the volume to 90 dB to hear it clearly. The problem is, that the ear doesnt care why you turn the volume up. To the ear 90 dB is 90 dB.

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Do Earplugs Help Your Ears

Who, What, When, Where and Why of Hearing Protection â Audio Description

by Audiology Associates of DFW | Jun 12, 2019 | Hearing Loss Articles

Earplugs can be beneficial if youre subjected to loud noises, like, something as simple as a spouse who is snoring, or a lawnmower in your yard, or going to a concert at an arena. In the first two situations, they can help safeguard your ears by turning down the volume. In the last situation, they reduce the sound levels plus help save your sanity by permitting you to get a good nights sleep. But are these ear protectors, actually, causing damage to your hearing?

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Can Earplugs Cause Hearing Damage

Youve likely used earplugs at least once before. Seeing as hearing loss is among the most frequently occurring chronic health issues nationwide, it makes sense that youd want to protect those ears. A pair of silicone or even custom-molded earplugs can be a great way to reduce hearing damage at a noisy concert. Or perhaps you regularly sleep with foam earplugs in to cut down on noise from your loved ones or roommates.

You may have heard that they can actually exasperate hearing loss or lead to all manner of additional problems. The bottom line is that earplugs can prevent hearing loss, as long as theyre properly used. Lets break down some of the risks.

Earplugs can be a great way to prevent hearing damage. But, if used improperly, they can actually make things worse.

Ear Pain After Using Ear Plugs

There are a lot of reasons you might need to wear earplugs on a daily or nightly basis. Whether you are sleeping next to a snorer, live in a major city or work in a loud and distraction environment, getting a little silence is critical for your health. However, you mightve noticed already that this daily use is causing ear pain after using earplugs.

Dont be alarmed!

This is actually very common and is typically related to improper insertion of the earplug, build-up of earwax or the growth of harmful bacteria. To be sure, you should always see your doctor for their diagnosis. Furthermore, focus on cleaning your ears on a regular basis in addition to cleaning reusable earplugs or use a new, disposable pair each month. The rule of thumb is that using a set daily will last you up to 3 months. However, for as cheap as they are you can toss them each month to be safe.

The moment you notice disposable foam earplugs getting dirty or no longer expanding after ear insertion, throw them out.

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Why Use Earplugs In The First Place

The case for earplugs is pretty simple: Properly used, earplugs can help protect your hearing by minimizing your exposure to excessive decibel levels. After you leave a loud placesay you walk past a construction siteyouve probably noticed that your hearing seems different, and you may experience symptoms of tinnitus. This happens because those super-loud noises actually bend the tiny hair cells inside your inner ear. It often goes away within a day or two, because the hair cells have recovered.

But if youre exposed to excessive decibels constantlysay you work on a construction crew or at an airfieldthe aural assault on those tiny hair cells is relentless. Instead of bending and then recovering, the cells are damaged permanently. Youve got about 16,000 of those tiny cells inside each cochlea, but up to 50% of them can be damaged or destroyed before your hearing has changed enough for the deficiency to show up in a hearing test.

How Can You Use Earplugs Safely

How to Wear Ear Plugs

Earplugs still have a strong upside, whether its protecting your hearing or getting a good nights sleep. You just need to be sure youre using the right kind and using them the right way. Foam earplugs are the least expensive, which is good because you really shouldnt reuse themthe soft, porous material is a germs paradise. Wax or silicone earplugs are reusable, but you need to keep them cleanuse warm water and mild soap to wash them, and dont put them back in your ears until theyre completely dry.

If you want or need to wear earplugs regularly, you might want to talk to a hearing specialist about having custom-made earplugs. These are a little more expensive since theyre made from unique molds of your ears, but theyre reusable andsince theyre fitted to your earscomfortable. Again though, to prevent any potential hearing damage, its important to practice good earplug hygiene!

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Surprising Reasons For Hearing Loss

In a world full of noisehonking vehicles, amplified music, power mowers, and jackhammersits important to take steps to safeguard your hearing. But some of the sounds youll want to protect yourself from might surprise you.

For example, you probably expect your ears to ring after a rock concert, but they might do the same after a fireworks display. In fact, hearing experts say just one exposure to a typical pyrotechnics show can permanently damage your hearing.

And according to the CDC, having a dog barking in your ear can harm your hearing in just a couple of minutes.

Loud bursts of noise arent the only problem, however. Over time, even sounds that may seem innocuous, such as the constant hum of a loud window air conditioner or refrigerator, can cause damage.

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