Graphic representing loud noise that requires hearing protection

Are You Protecting Your Hearing?

Fireworks and concerts might come to mind when pondering ear-busting sounds, but power tools and even some livestock can reach dangerous decibels, too. Let’s talk hearing protection, which can go a long way toward keeping harmful noise at bay.

Types of Hearing Protection

At home, work, or play, the world can be an exciting but noisy place, putting your hearing health at risk. How? Loud sounds — especially those in the danger zone of 85 decibels or higher — can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, or both.

It’s helpful to avoid loud environments in the first place. That’s not always practical, however, especially if the job you love, favorite hobbies, and other important activities bring joy — and add some noise — to your everyday life.

Let’s talk about different types of hearing protection that can help keep you and your loved ones listening — and living — your best. …

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Illustration of a mom and dad holding their two children, with grandma and grandpa in the background - all with big smiles on their faces

Protect Your Family’s Hearing This July

If you live in Canada or the U.S., you’ll be celebrating in early July. But you’ll also be in preparation mode: Those burgers aren’t going to grill themselves, the chairs need to be set out early for this year’s parade, and the kids need their patriotic outfits. To help out, we’re going to make this easy yet essential to-do for you: Protect your family’s hearing this holiday.  

What You Need to Know About Fireworks and Your Hearing

The amount of damage that fireworks cause to your hearing depends on:

The distance you are from them The intensity of their explosion How old you are

The bangs and booms from fireworks can cause serious hearing damage, with sounds reaching 150 decibels (dB) at 3 feet.

For adults, the recommendation from the World Health Organization is not to be exposed to more than 140 decibels …

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5 Tips to Keep Your Better-Hearing Resolution Going Strong

From spending more time with family and friends to taking classes at the local gym, almost everyone makes at least one New Year’s resolution. The catch? Just 8% of resolvers stick to their goals, per a Forbes story referencing University of Scranton research.

No worries: If you’re aiming to hear your best in 2020, we’re sharing five tips to help boost your stick‑to‑itiveness for the new year and beyond!

BE REALISTIC WRITE IT DOWN VISUALIZE SUCCESS TELL A FRIEND SET BENCHMARKS

No matter your new-year goals, we’re committed to helping you reach them with the power of better hearing. So don’t delay. Contact our caring team for help that’s tailored to your communication needs today!      

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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. …

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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, …

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Warm Ears Are Healthy Ears

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, your ears are particularly vulnerable to the cold (especially if hearing aids are worn), so protective measures must be taken to enjoy the season safely.

1. Bring Batteries

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.

2. Keep ’Em Dry

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.

3. Ward Off …

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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 noise-induced …

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4 Things to Know About Swimmers’ Earplugs

Hitting the Water? Don’t Forget These Little Gems for Ear Protection!

You’ve packed the swimsuits, floats, safety vests, caps, goggles, kids, and snacks for a summer afternoon at the lake or neighborhood pool, but what about the earplugs?

These small accessories can make a big difference in keeping the good times going during family fun in the water. Before you go, here are four things to know about swimmers’ earplugs:

They Help Protect Against Ear Infection

Ears and moisture don’t always mix. Otitis externa, an outer-ear infection also known as “swimmer’s ear,” is typically caused by bacterial or fungal growth when the skin in the ear canal potentially becomes irritated from activities such as swimming. Though treatable, the condition can lead to temporary hearing loss and other problems, so prevention matters. Using quality, properly inserted earplugs helps keep the water — and the threat of infection — out of your ears.

They Can Be Off the Shelf or Customized

It’s always …

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Noise Is Bad for My Heart? How Noise Pollution Affects Your Health

Health Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise is just noise, right? You learn to tune it out and, unless it’s really loud, you don’t worry about it. You definitely wouldn’t worry about its effects on your heart — would you?

As far back as 1972, awareness of the adverse health effects of noise pollution was so strong that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Noise Control Act to establish “a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.” This naturally leads to the question, “How bad can noise pollution really be?”  

What Is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution isn’t just rush-hour traffic, living near an airport, or working near a long-standing construction site. To truly understand noise pollution, let’s try a little experiment, either in real life or in your imagination:

Go to your favorite spot in nature. Keep your headphones packed away …

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Celebrate Lawn & Garden Month by Protecting Your Hearing

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

Celebrate by Protecting Your Hearing

Spring has sprung, and so has the annual spring cornucopia of sounds: birds singing, children laughing, neighbors chatting — and lawn equipment.

Maintaining your burgeoning plant life is a noisy affair. Once you’ve used the mower, leaf blower, chain saw, and string trimmer, your ears have put up with quite a racket.

With noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affecting one in four U.S. adults ages 20 to 69, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it might be worth exploring the question, “But how dangerous is all that noise, really?”  

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing happens when the hair cells in your inner ear convert sound signals to electrical signals, and these electrical signals get sent to your brain to be interpreted as sounds. Every hair cell that gets damaged, therefore, means a reduction in your ability to hear. NIHL, then, is hearing damage …

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