A group of young people chatted on the street, and suddenly there was a mobile phone call. Everyone was watching their mobile phone. Only the real owner kept talking on his own, until someone reminded him that the phone was ringing. Be careful! At this point he may have had a loss of hearing loss.
A study published in the American Journal of Pediatrics for more than 5,000 teenagers aged 6 to 19 years has shown that up to 12.5% of adolescents have a hearing impairment threshold (NITS). . This change means that they have been exposed to excessive noise that is harmful to hearing at least once, some of which are temporary, but some may be permanent. The study also found that 4.9% of adolescents had moderate to severe permanent hearing impairment. This provides a major warning to health care professionals and adolescent parents that noise-induced hearing loss is not just a patent for adult occupational injuries. In recent years, social progress and changes in lifestyle have given children and young people more opportunities to be exposed to excessive noise and not conscious – electric playgrounds, KTV, PUB, computer games, walkman headphones and firecrackers. . These are very different from the noise that causes occupational injuries, such as factories, sirens, explosives, airports, shooting ranges, etc., but they even neglect the influence of these noises and neglect the importance of noise protection.
Although no studies have shown that children’s inner ear structures are more fragile and more susceptible to noise damage, in fact, noise damage to the inner ear is a cumulative result. The sooner the inner ear is hurt, the more likely it is to have hearing impairments that affect the quality of life in the future. Personal clinical experience has also found that in addition to the hearing impairment caused by long-term occupational noise exposure in middle-aged and older people, more and more young people have typical noise-induced hearing impairment. Investigate the reasons, including long-term or even overnight use of headphones, like the PUB, DISCO killing time and the highest possibility of working in a high-noise environment. The most frightening thing is that this kind of noise-induced hearing disorder is very mild in the early stages, and sometimes it may be only subtle tinnitus, blurred hearing, or less sensitive to the sound of the pager and the mobile phone. If you ignore these warnings and continue to be exposed to noise, once the permanent damage of the inner ear is formed, it will not be able to return to normal. In severe cases, even a hearing aid should be worn to maintain normal communication and life. This is a damage that can be prevented but not treated at all. Therefore, the problem of noise and hearing impairment among adolescents is an urgent task for physicians, public health education units and parents.
Common sense and problems of noise protection
Q: What are the sources of noise?
A: It can be roughly divided into professional noise and entertainment noise. High-noise occupations include police officers, factory employees, construction workers, farmers, military personnel, airport workers, heavy industry and rock band musicians. High-noise entertainment venues such as electric toys, popular concerts, KTV, karaoke, PUB, festive fireworks, sports venues, etc.
Q: How much louder will it hurt the inner ear?
A: The condition of injury to the inner ear depends on the intensity of the noise exposed and the length of time. The unit of sound intensity is decibel. The minimum volume that can be heard by a normal human ear is set to 0 decibels, which increases logarithmically every tenth of the intensity. It is generally accepted that when the continuous volume reaches 85 decibels, it is sure to cause more or less damage to the inner ear. To put it simply, when you have to shout loudly to let a person who is normally audible to you understand what you are talking about, the background noise has already caused damage to the inner ear. If you shout in the ear and still can’t hear clearly, the advice of the conscience, for your ears to continue to serve you for a long time, quickly leave the noise environment.
Q: How is noise-induced hearing damage produced?
A: The direct effect of noise on the inner ear is damage to the inner ear hair cells. Inner ear hair cells are important transducers for converting external sound waves into human auditory nerve waves. A normal person has more than 10,000 normal working hair cells in one ear. As the age ages and the cumulative increase in noise exposure, the quality and quantity are also decreasing day by day. This is also one of the important reasons for the so-called degenerative or senile hearing impairment. Excessive moments with high decibels (such as explosions) or continuous exposure to noise (such as factory noise) can cause accelerated damage to the inner ear hair cells. Some of these injuries are temporary, and rest will recover for a while; some are permanent injuries, but the symptoms are not obvious, because the remaining hair cells are enough to cope with the need for hearing, but there may be subtle tinnitus or blurred hearing. The phenomenon of noise level auditory threshold change (NITS).
Q: What are the early warnings? Since it is not cured, do I still need to see a doctor?
A: When you really cause permanent hearing loss, you can’t treat it. You can only do rehabilitation. But most of the noise-induced hearing damage, if early warning, early prevention, can slow down the rate of deterioration. At the same time, correct consultation and education, to avoid the frost on the already damaged inner ear is very important. The habit of Chinese people seeking medical treatment is often only for the treatment of medicine. It ignores the part of consultation and education. It is afraid that asking questions will cause doctors to be unhappy. In fact, individuals believe that this kind of disease can only prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Proper diagnosis, regular tracking and more correct protection information are far more useful than vitamin prescribing. In addition, the otologist will arrange a series of assessments of hearing energy to determine the extent of the injury and schedule regular tracking.
The following isNoise hearingEarly warning of injury
1. Tinnitus that occurs immediately after noise exposure
2. After leaving the noise environment, the voice is still blurred and it is impossible to understand what others are saying.
3. Voice recognition is difficult – I can’t understand the sound.
Q: What is noise protection?
A: Noise protection can be divided into active and passive aspects.
On the one hand, it is the initiative to improve or leave the noise environment. Such as reducing the noise volume, avoiding high-decibel noise environment in a confined space for a long time, avoiding the use of headphones for a long time, and providing sound insulation devices such as soundproof doors and soundproof walls.
On the other hand, if you are unable to actively improve or leave the noise environment for any reason, you must use noise protection gear such as earmuffs or earplugs. The earplug refers to a barrier noise device that is inserted into the ear canal; the earmuff refers to an appliance that isolates the entire outer ear shell. The materials and design are different, and the effect of blocking noise is also different.
Q: I am used to noise and do not need noise protection.
A: The ear won’t adapt to the noise, it will only change, and the worst is that the ear with noise-induced hearing damage seems to be more adaptable to noise. However, this does not mean that you have better resistance to noise and further damage. It will only make you more unconsciously exposed to noise for a longer period of time without knowing it, and it will accelerate the noise-induced hearing damage.
Q: I have already had noise-induced hearing damage after checking. Why do I need noise protection?
A: With noise-induced hearing damage, it is impossible to prevent noise from causing further damage to the wreckage. And the initial noise-induced hearing damage is in the higher frequency range. If you don’t do noise protection, it will gradually affect the low frequency of the voice recognition.
The use of noise-protective protective gear can not restore the damaged hearing, but it can prevent the noise from further damage to the wrecking hearing, otherwise the fate of the hearing aid will not be escaped.
Q: I know that noise protection should be used, but it is very uncomfortable and inconvenient to communicate with colleagues.
A: The use of noise-protected protective gear can cause temporary inconvenience and discomfort, but it can avoid the inconvenience and discomfort of wearing a hearing aid permanently. Especially when starting to use, it is like wearing new glasses or wearing new shoes. It takes a period of adaptation, and often there are problems of different sizes or poor materials, which need to be adjusted and replaced. Don’t waste your food.
As for the inconvenient communication, the actual situation is that when the background noise reaches 85 decibels or more, wearing noise protection protective gear will be more clear because of the excessive burden of the ear and the distortion of the voice. This situation is a bit like wearing sunglasses under the sun, not only can not see clearly, but because it blocks the excess light and sees more clearly. Of course, if you don’t need sunglasses in the darkroom. The only exception is that if there is already a hearing impairment, the protective gear may indeed block communication, but it is necessary to protect them from further loss of hearing.
Q: I heard that using earmuffs to block noise is better than earplugs. Can I use swimming earplugs to block noise?
A: Not necessarily, it is not good to be big. The most important thing about using protective gear is the tightness and design between the protector and the user. Well-designed earplugs are sometimes better than the earmuffs to block noise.
Commonly used earplug materials include foam <PVC or PU>, silicone <Silicone>, airtight sponge or wax wrapped cotton. Under different humidity, there are different physical characteristics, it is difficult to compare better and worse. Basically, as long as it can be worn tightly and soundproof, it will not fall off or be uncomfortable.
As for swimming earplugs, if you are referring to the one that you buy from the frog mirror, its design is only waterproof, and the sound insulation effect may not be ideal.
Q: I heard that common earplugs can cause inflammation of the ears. When I was shooting as a target, the squad leader taught us to smash it with toilet paper or put it in with cotton and cigarette filters.
A: According to research related to industrial noise control in the United States, the chances of using earplugs alone to cause otitis externa are minimal. Because the skin of the normal ear canal is not so easy to be inflamed by the soft material of the earplug. But if you have otitis externa or have diabetes or other skin that is susceptible to infection, it’s a different matter.
Toilet paper, cigarette filters and cotton have been tested to show that the effect of blocking noise is very poor. Please do not consider it as a protective gear. Of course, when there is no other thing available, it is better than nothing. In fact, when there is no use, it is an ideal method to tightly insert the tip of the index finger into the ear canal, but it may not be possible to target.
Q: The factory where I go to work is a noisy place. I wear music on my headphones and protect my ears while enjoying music.
A: This is the wrong approach. Generally, the foam earphones of the Walkman have no effect of blocking noise. Even the entire hard earphone that surrounds the ear shell has the effect of reducing the high frequency by about 20 decibels. Instead, these headphones can emit about 100 decibels. So when you want to cover the background noise with music, you are already exposed to a higher decibel volume. Not only is there no protection effect but it is even worse.
Q: My son is working at KTV. He must wear a radio headset and often complain that his ears are not comfortable. Is there any way to help him avoid ear damage?
A: Because the work must be earphones and one ear to communicate with the guests, the best way to protect them is to wear earplugs and continue to use the radio headphones. This approach can partially block external noise, while reducing the volume of the radio headphones and reducing the damage. In addition, it is best to exchange headphones and earplugs for a while. Avoid excessive load on one ear. As for how to communicate with the guests, if you can’t hear clearly, you can temporarily remove the headphones, although it is not convenient, it is very important.
Work in a noisy environment, have ear discomfort, please consult the doctor as soon as possible. If damage has occurred, consider switching to a low-noise work environment.
Q: Will it be too deep to pull the earplugs or pull too fast to break the eardrum?
A: The sensitivity of the normal ear canal is more sensitive to the inside, so the chance of hurting the eardrum is very small when you rub your ears. On the contrary, the parents clear the earwax for their children, or the eardrum is hurt when the male and female friends rub the ear wax. It’s the truth when you hear it. Therefore, when you put the earplugs into your ear canal, the chance of hurting the eardrum is small. Standard earbuds will not exceed 2.2 centimeters. More likely is the problem of earwax. If you are prone to earwax, remove it first, or consider using an earmuff. In order to prevent the earwax from being pushed into the inside by the earplugs, it is not easy to remove.
Be careful when removing earplugs, as sudden pressure changes can most likely damage the eardrum. So slowly remove when you remove, and let the pressure gradually balance. Foam earplugs are less likely to cause these problems because they are not completely airtight.
Q: I am still young, don’t worry about hearing loss, just like wearing my glasses for myopia, anyway, I can wear a hearing aid anyway.
A: This is the most terrible concept. It seems that I will wear glasses soon after myopia. In fact, myopia is only refractive error, not optic nerve cell damage. Noise-induced hearing damage may be a permanent loss of nerve function. In addition, the hearing aid is not a panacea, it only amplifies the volume, helps the hearing to a certain extent, and the amplified sound is sent to the wreckage of the auditory cells. The effect is not as satisfactory as the effect of the glasses. And just to not wear protective gear less than eight hours a day, willing to endure the wearing of hearing aids for more than 12 hours a day, the phrase of young people, this is really cool.
Link：Adolescent noise hearing impairment and preventionREF: Hearing Aids, BTE Hearing Aids, Hearing Aids Types
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