Ear Protection for Shooting

Your parents may have warned you that listening to loud music could damage your hearing, but they probably didn’t tell you that it’s important to protect your ears from the sound of gunshots. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, any sound above 140 decibels can permanently damage your hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can emit a noise around 140 decibels, while larger rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 decibels. But unfortunately, only 58.5 percent of Americans use ear protection every time they fire a gun (source). So if you’re a recreational shooter, check out our overview of the types of ear protection for shooting. Ear Protection for Shooting Types of Ear Protection Earmuffs and earplugs are two types of protective hearing devices, and both can be electronic or nonlinear. Electronic earplugs and earmuffs make softer sounds louder, but they immediately shut off when there is a loud noise. These protective hearing devices are perfect for…


Things That Make Tinnitus Worse

While tinnitus is rarely a sign of a more serious condition, the phantom chirping, ringing, and buzzing you hear is undeniably bothersome. It’s also incredibly common. The Mayo Clinic reports that tinnitus affects about one in five people. There are numerous causes of tinnitus – frequent exposure to loud noises, a buildup of ear wax, old age, medications, etc. – and there are also many things that make tinnitus worse. What Is Tinnitus? Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. That means the buzzing or clicking sound you hear is just an annoying phantom.  Tinnitus is not a condition itself; it’s actually a symptom and can be the result of something as common as age-related hearing loss. While tinnitus is bothersome, it’s rarely a warning sign of something serious. There are two kinds of tinnitus: Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only you can hear and is the most common version of the ailment. Objective tinnitus is tinnitus your doctor can actually hear during an…


Exploring the Function of Cerumen

Once upon a time, the artists tasked with illustrating medieval manuscripts used cerumen (more commonly known as earwax) in their paints (source). While that was a creative use of a substance many people consider an embarrassing nuisance, earwax does have an important purpose. Believe it or not, the primary function of cerumen is to protect the health of the ear. Exploring the Function of Cerumen Cerumen is misunderstood. Like mucus, it’s a substance produced by the human body that many people consider gross despite the fact that it plays an important role in defending and maintaining the body’s health. Where Does Cerumen Come From? Only part of the ear is readily visible. The external auditory canal, which is sometimes called the outer ear canal, connects the visible outer part of the ear with the ear drum. Contaminants like dirt and dust can sometimes make their way inside this space. Dead skin cells also accumulate as the skin that lines the ear canal continually renews itself. To…


Hearing Conservation

In many cases, a person’s ability to hear fades so slowly, it goes unnoticed. You may think that your friends are mumbling more, that your spouse needs to speak up, or that you ought to buy a better phone. As long as you still hear some sound, you might assume your hearing is fine. But as hearing loss progresses, you may become more and more cut off from the world of speech and sound. It’s important to start practicing hearing conservation now, even if you don’t think it’s happening to you. What Causes Hearing Loss? Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following: Advanced Age: This is the most common cause of hearing loss. Researchers don’t fully understand why hearing declines with age. They speculate that it could be that lifetime exposure to noise and other damaging factors slowly wear down the ears’ delicate mechanics. Your genes are also part of the mix. Noise: Exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss, especially if your exposure is prolonged…


How to Treat Tinnitus

There are few things more annoying than having an irritating ringing noise in your ear. It’s persistent, it’s distracting, and it feels like it will never let you sit in silence again. What you’re experiencing is tinnitus, and it isn’t any fun. Learn how to treat tinnitus, so that you can get back to the life you love without that annoying sound pestering you all day. How to Treat Tinnitus What Is Tinnitus? Tinnitus is the Latin word for “to ring” or “to tinkle.” And how appropriate — the term refers to hearing a constant ringing or buzzing sound when there’s no such noise actually occurring. Many people experience mild tinnitus after going to a concert or being in an especially loud public place. This kind of tinnitus might last for a few hours or a day, but anything longer can be much more frustrating and serious. What most people don’t know is that tinnitus is generally caused by a problem within the ear or hearing system. That means it itself is not a disease; it’s the symptom of…