Earwax Removal – How you’re doing it wrong

Friday, September 26th, 2014

No one likes earwax, yet it serves an important function in the health of your ear canal. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable because it can build up and cause hearing loss as well as look unsightly. Perhaps you remove it on your own every day, but you could be doing irreversible harm by doing so. Maybe you stick your finger in there, use bits of paper towel and even a cotton swab. What you don’t realize is that this cleaning technique is doing your ears more harm than good. Check out these dangerous ways in which you are cleaning your ears improperly. The bottom line is that it’s best to seek out a professional for this personal grooming chore.

Ear Candle

By far the most dangerous way of removing earwax is to use ear candles, which are comprised of a special fabric coated with wax. You basically light the long wick and create a flame, which works to create a vacuum in the ear through the built-up heat. What does this do? It draws out the earwax, with many people reporting it makes their ears feel clean and fresh. On the other end of the spectrum, though, these candles can’t create the required suction, thus leaving you with burns from the wax or the flame. There is an additional risk to setting your clothes or hair on fire.

Ear Drops

Ear drops form the store may seem fairly harmless but think again. There are many of these products on the market, all of which are designed to keep earwax from getting to an unacceptable level. You probably even use them on a regular basis. They work by dripping the liquid into each ear, then tilting the head till the liquid – and earwax – comes flowing out. However, everyone is different, with different sizes and orientations of ear canals, making it difficult to have reliable results each and every time. These differences in earwax composition can keep these types of products from working well.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs are marketed toward cleaning out wax from ears, but this is a dangerous proposition. You risk doing major damage to your ear canals when you stick a cotton swab in there. While you may love cleaning your ears in this manner after a shower every day, truth is, you can hurt yourself and even cause future discomfort. When you stick your ears with a cotton swab, the swab may catch the superficial earwax and remove it, but the rest can get stuck and get  pushed farther into the ear canal. Impaction of earwax as well as temporary hearing loss are the two main results of this practice.

Professional Ear Care

It’s best to head to a professional audiologist when you want to maintain periodic cleaning of your ears. Trained in the use of a variety of safe tools along with experienced hands, your doctor can easily clean out the impacted ear wax that’s accumulated in your ears. You’ll not only hear better but you’ll look and feel better as well. These professionals can examine your eardrum to check if any damage has been caused by the earwax. Use this opportunity to schedule recurring future appointments to keep up with your ear care for the long-term.

How Noisy Workplaces are Causing Hearing Loss

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Many people wake up each day and head to work eager to take on a rewarding and fulfilling day. Most people can experience something positive from their jobs no matter what their occupation is, from saving lives as a doctor to manufacturing important equipment. While fulfilling, many work environments pose a threat to your hearing health due to the extremely loud noises inherent in daily operation. Hearing damage is a common work injury in certain industries, especially those exposed to loud noises day after day. This article will explore some of the noisiest job positions that pose a potential negative impact on your hearing health. It’s possible, though, to avoid permanent damage through protective head phones.

General Construction

Contractors work amidst chaos and loud noises daily, from hammering and sawing to the operation of big trucks like backhoes and diggers. This noisy job environment can take its toll on the hearing health of construction workers due to exposure to high levels of acute noise trauma each day. This is why you may see them wearing ear plugs or noise dampening headphones while on the job.

Miners

Miners provide a valuable service to everyone when they work hard to find raw materials used in other processes we may take for granted. However, they pay the price in the form of hearing damage over time, as they’re exposed to small spaces and loud machinery – not a good combination in terms of hearing health. The heavy equipment miners use can generate loud sounds, posing a negative effect on workers’ hearing.

Farmers

Agriculture, another valuable industry on which many people rely for sustenance, unfortunately exposes farmers to daily noises generated by plows, tractors and other machines that equal and exceed the 85 decibels that can bring on hearing loss. While farmers may derive great satisfaction out of growing their own crops to feed the masses, a unfortunate side effect of daily farm operation is hearing damage.

Airport Ground Workers

Working as part of the ground crew at an airport is truly a loud job – one that requires the use of noise-cancelling head phones for the best in ear protection. Thanks to the deafening roar of full-sized jets taking off from the runway, hearing loss can occur from the high amount of decibels involved – more than double the minimum limit of 85 for hearing damage. The potential for hearing damage is increased when working on the grounds for commercial and military plane services.

Military Personnel

Loud and distractive noises can be found all over a military base or war zone. There’s constant construction, guns, machinery and explosives going off that make the military possess one of the noisiest work environments ever. The incidence of hearing loss is great in this field because many in the armed forces are subjected to the sounds of weapons training and the rumbling of tanks. Veterans often come home from war or training with acoustic trauma and hearing damage.

Night Club Employees

While you may enjoy heading out to the club for a few hours on a weekend, those who work there can’t escape the heavy pounding of the music and screaming of the patrons every single night. This often leaves DJs, servers, security personnel and bartenders with hearing loss of some kind.

Closed-Captioning Glasses allow people with hearing loss to enjoy the the movies!

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

People who hit the movies without a second thought don’t realize that those with hearing impairments don’t have that same luxury. It’s not so easy to see a new movie because the closed captioning features aren’t usually added until well after the movie’s initial release. The hearing impaired will be excited about a new technology that’s emerging to help them view the latest movies in the form of closed-captioning glasses. They’re available at select movie theaters currently, with the ability to allow those with hearing impairments to enjoy the latest releases with ease. What prompted this change and where can you find these glasses? Let’s explore that and more in this article.

A Design Years in the Making

Access Glasses were designed by Randy Smith, the chief administrative officer of Regal Cinemas, who worked to present this new technology as a joint venture by Sony and Regal Cinemas. These closed-captioned glasses have been through rigorous testing programs to ensure their optimal success, with implementation at 6,000 screens by the end of this summer.

Comfort and Appeal

Featuring a streamlined design that easily fits over your existing glasses, this product is perfect for anyone, regardless of age, shape or size. While they may look like an oversized pair of glasses, they have the ability to display captions in front of your face so you can read along with the movie. The print is easy to read, which makes it comfortable to see what’s in front of you. No more exhaustion after a movie. You can now fully enjoy the latest release with ease!

Where do I Find Them?

Currently, you can find these glasses for hearing impaired people available at Regal Cinema theaters throughout the United States, on a trial basis. How long the testing phases will take remains to be seen, but they may be implemented at even more movie theaters if they meet with success. This is highly dependent on how well the glasses are received by deaf or hearing impaired people at the movie theaters.

How the Glasses Operate

There are several benefits to these glasses for people who suffer from hearing loss of some kind. You can adjust them for the optimal brightness according to your comfort level, which allows for ease of reading under optimal conditions. In addition, you can manually adjust the glasses to help you better see the film and captions from your vantage point. This will depend on where you are sitting in the movie theater — with the best views, according to initial feedback, coming from the middle of the theater.

Once you have made the proper adjustments to your glasses and the movie has started, a special data transmitter will send signals to the sensors on either side of the glasses to interpret and display the captions. You’ll be amazed as the words seem to float about 10 feet in front of your eyes so you can easily read the captions and view the movie concurrently without any problems.  This makes for an incredible movie-going experience for the hearing impaired, indicative of major developments in the industry.