Monthly Archive July 2013

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How to Protect Your Ears?

In the United States alone, there are about 32.5 million people that suffered hearing loss. This number is increasing as the years pass. But research shows that 30% of all hearing losses are caused by excessive exposure to loud noises and is very much preventable. So, how exactly do we protect our ears? Here are some ways that will help you protect your ears.

  1. Avoid too much loud noises. Noise is measured by decibels and there are certain decibels of sound that a human can tolerate but too much exposure to it can cause serious and even permanent damage to your ears. Experts say that prolong exposure to noises 85dB or above can cause hearing loss. 85 decibels is comparable to the sound produced by a lawn mower, or when you are in a heavy traffic.
  2. Do not use earphones or headphones over a long period of time in high volumes. Our ears need to rest also just like the rest of our body. Observe the 60/60 rule when using headphones or earphones. It states that the volume of your device must 60%, and every 60 minutes, you need to have a “quiet time” or rest for your ears. It is advisable that you use the smart volume feature of your music player when it is available.
  3. If you cannot avoid exposing yourself from loud noises, you must wear proper ear protection such as ear plugs. Especially if the nature of your work requires you to be exposed to noise 85 decibels and higher for a long period of time, your ears must be well protected.
  4. Rest your ears. When you are in a bar for about 2 hours and your ears are exposed to 100 decibels of sound or higher, then chances are the sensitive bone structures in your ears may be damaged. A study conducted by a renown research organization states that your ears must have at least 16 hours of rest when exposed to 2 hours of 100dB noise level.
  5. Be careful when using cotton bud when cleaning your ears because it can sometimes damaged the inner parts of the ears. Do not push it too much inside the ear; just clean the outer parts of the ear with it.

On a final note, remember that your ears are a very vital part of your body. It must be taken care of just like the other parts of the body.

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Speech Rehabilitation Services

http://www.embracerehab.com

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Auditory Steady-State Response

Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) is an objective test used for evaluation of hearing ability in children too young for traditional audiometric testing. Most children are referred for ASSR after a newborn hearing screen in the hospital indicates the possibility of hearing loss. Early intervention strategies, such as hearing devices or cochlear implantation, are necessary for development of speech and language skills in a child with hearing impairment. The results obtained from ASSR testing can be used to estimate the behavioural pure-tone audiogram. This information is essential in the management of children with hearing loss. (http://www.californiaearinstitute.com/audiology-services-assr-bay-area-ca.php)

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Auditory Brainstem Response

Auditory brainstem response (ABR) Audiometry is a neurologic test of auditory brainstem function in response to auditory (click) stimuli. First described by Jewett and Williston in 1971, ABR Audiometry is the most common application of auditory evoked responses. Test administration and interpretation is typically performed by an audiologist. (Neil Bhattacharyya, MD, Jan 21, 2009, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/836277-overview)

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Otoacoustic Emission

The primary purpose of Otoacoustic emission (OAE) tests is to determine cochlear status, specifically hair cell function. This information can be used to (1) screen hearing (particularly in neonates, infants, or individuals with developmental disabilities), (2) partially estimate hearing sensitivity within a limited range, (3) differentiate between the sensory and neural components of Sensorineural hearing loss, and (4) test for functional (feigned) hearing loss. The information can be obtained from patients who are sleeping or even comatose because no behavioural response is required. (Kathleen C M Campbell, PhD, Dec 18, 2009, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/835943-overview)

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Tone Decay

This test involves the presentation of a continuous tone to determine whether the threshold for the tone has changed (becomes poorer) over time. The test helps differentiate sensory from neural hearing loss, and is used in the diagnosis of cochlear versus retro cochlear lesions and eighth nerve tumours. While this test is still in use, the auditory evoked potential test is largely used in place of the tone decay test.

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Play Audiometry

Behavioural test methods include Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA), Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA), and Conventional Audiometry. The goal of all testing is to determine the softest levels of tones and speech that a child can hear. The softest sound a child can hear 50 percent of the time, is called a “threshold”.

  • Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA): Generally done in children approximately 5 months to two years old. The child sits on a parent’s lap in the test booth, and is trained to look towards (orient to) a sound presented via a speaker. When the child looks toward the correct speaker, he/she is rewarded by briefly switching on a lighted, moving toy. Using this technique, thresholds can be reliably measured for tones of various frequencies (pitch) and for speech. Many children can be tested with small earphones placed in their ears, using the same technique.
  • Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA): Generally done in children approximately two to five years old. The child is trained to perform a play activity each time a sound is heard. Activities might include putting a block in a bucket, placing a peg in a hole, etc. Using this technique, thresholds can be reliably measured for tones of various frequencies. Speech thresholds are typically obtained by having the child identify pictures and body parts.
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Tympanometry

Tympanometry is a test used to detect disorders of the middle air. Air pressure in the ear canal is varied to test the condition and mobility (movement) of the ear drum