Farham Hearing News:

 

Independent Hearing Aid Dispensers Out Perform the High Street for Consumer Satisfaction

The survey conducted by Which Magazine, included High Street shops Boots Hearing Care scoring 79%, Amplifon with 69%, Specsavers with 68% and Hidden Hearing with only 62%.

 

The article also highlighted that a fitth of the people taking part in the survey, felt under pressure to select pricier aids from the range offered and those who used Independent Dispensers were least likely to feel this pressure. On average those using private providers waited just under a week for an appointment while those using the NHS waited just under four weeks, although four in ten waited more than a month.

 

The full article is available here:

 
 
Can my iPod cause hearing Loss?

Many of us use iPods or portable music players on a regular basis without realising how easy it is to permanently damage our hearing. You may think that your music is not very loud, but it can easily harm the sensitive, highly specialised hearing cells in the inner ear that send sound information to our brains. Research has shown that when these cells are overexposed or stimulated at too high levels for too long, they become metabolically exhausted. That’s just fancy talk for saying that they simply become overworked. They temporarily lose their ability to function on the level they should, and our first reaction is to turn the volume up.

 

The good news is that these cells can easily recover after a single loud exposure, but if we keep listening to too loud music often enough, they become so overworked that they end up dying. The bad news is that the cells that die never grow back, which means the hearing damage is usually permanent.

 

How do I know when I have hearing damage?

 

One of the first things you’ll notice is difficulty hearing people clearly when there’s lots of background noise. You may be able to hear conversation when the room is quiet, but when you’re in a busy restaurant or surrounded by noisy shoppers you may find you have trouble hearing people clearly.

 

You may also find that you are constantly hearing noise like wind rushing in your ears (Tinnitus). It’s often associated with hearing loss caused by listening to too loud music. And it can be highly intrusive. Imagine never having a moment of silence to yourself again. Silence will sound like putting your head out the window while you’re doing 60.

 

So what’s the problem with iPods and using earphones?

 

We often listen to music in public spaces where the surrounding noise will make us turn the volume up too high. In addition, many of us also use earbuds that are inserted directly into our ears. These type of earphones are the ones that most commonly ship with portable music players, including iPods, and mobile phones. What most people don’t realise is that their design inherently increases the volume.

 

This is easily demonstrated by shouting in a small space, like a phone booth, versus shouting on an open field. Shouting in the booth can be painfully loud, but shouting on a field sounds considerably softer.

 

Tips for enjoying music without damaging your hearing

 

  • Check the volume. Research indicates that only 70% of the maximum volume is safe
  • Give your ears a break. The longer you listen, the greater the risk of damage. Stick to the 60/60 rule: 60% of maximum volume for 60 minutes daily.
  • Don’t use earphones or earbuds that insert in your ear. These are more likely to cause hearing damage compared to over-ear headphones. Earbuds are up to 9dB louder just because they insert in our ears.
  • Use noise-cancelling head phones. Ambient noise usually makes us turn up the volume. Active noise-cancelling earphones or headphones will use the opposite frequency of the ambient noise to cancel it. They are more expensive, but the benefits far outweigh the extra costs.
  • If you really like to go full blast, make it short and sweet. We all enjoy a great song at maximum volume but this is particularly dangerous. Research shows you should be exposed to this volume for no more than five minutes per day