Using Earplugs Can Be Cool!

I am pleased to share an excerpt from my most recent article for Healthy Hearing

I remember the battles with my teenage son. He was heading to a loud dance party but was worried about wearing earplugs. He knows better than most of his peers how difficult hearing loss can be and how important it is to protect the hearing that he has, because I have hearing loss. Even so, he resisted wearing them. “My friends won’t be wearing them,” he complained, “They won’t get it. It’s just not cool to wear earplugs.” Despite his complaining, he chose to wear the earplugs and off he went to the loud party.

Like he imagined, he got lots of questions about his earplugs from his friends who were not used to seeing things in his ears. He showed them how loud the music was playing using a decibel reader app on his phone and explained that he wanted to protect his hearing.

What he didn’t expect was that his friends would want to wear them too! The music was so loud it was painful. Luckily he had brought some extra pairs so he could share them with his friends. Wearing earplugs had turned out to be cool after all!

While this story has a happy ending, the perception that wearing earplugs is not cool is a big problem, especially in today’s noisy world.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

How can we make wearing earplugs cool?

1. Encourage influential role models to speak out.

More musicians are wearing earplugs and touting the benefits of wearing them publicly. This includes alternative rock musicians like Chris Martin of Coldplay and classic rock icons like Eric Clapton. At a recent Adele concert, she went out of her way to compliment the children in the audience who were wearing earmuffs for hearing protection. This type of positive feedback from people with influence will help lower stigma and build awareness.

Click here to continue reading on Healthy Hearing.

Living With Hearing Loss is also on Facebook and Twitter!

Never miss a post. Sign up for email alerts below. 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,912 other followers

Hearing Loss — The Forgotten Problem

This week I share a school project written by my son. The assignment was to write about a cause that is important to you and then deliver a speech about it to the class. He is in 7th grade. While not every detail is perfect in his talk, his experience growing up with a mom who has hearing loss shines through in bright detail. I am so proud of his efforts to raise awareness about hearing loss and love his suggestions for how his peers can help. 

I share his speech below, lightly edited.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

The Joys of Noise-Cancelling Headphones

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Hearing Tracker

I love to travel, attend concerts, and live sporting events, but as my hearing loss has worsened, I have become more sensitive to loud sounds. More frequently, the aftermath of a plane flight or visit to a stadium was a long bout of tinnitus and sometimes, even vertigo. It just wasn’t worth it, until I discovered noise-cancelling headphones. I wear them almost everywhere now — on airplanes, at the movies and of course at any concert or loud stadium. Not only do they protect my hearing in the moment, they prevent days of pain and annoyance afterwards.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I first started using noise-cancelling headphones on plane rides. The white noise of an airplane engine can be easy to ignore, but one day I decided to measure it on my iPhone decibel reader. I was amazed to see how loud it actually is! Noise levels ranged from 80 decibels up to 90 decibels on the plane, an unsafe listening level. The rule of thumb is that prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss, and this hearing loss is permanent.

After that flight, I purchased a high quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones and now wear them every time I travel on an airplane. I also don them on long bus and train rides to block out the rhythmic sounds of the world passing by. Rhythmic sounds, even if they are not that loud, can sometimes trigger my tinnitus.

Click here to continue reading on Hearing Tracker.

Living With Hearing Loss is also on Facebook and Twitter!

Never miss a post. Sign up for email alerts below. 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,912 other followers

 

When Wearing Earplugs Turned Out To Be Cool

He had on his new suit and shiny shoes. The card and gift were packed, and so were the earplugs. He was heading out the door to his first fancy school party. For weeks we had discussed the appropriate outfit to wear and the fact that he would need to use earplugs when the band played. Given my genetic hearing loss, I won’t take any chances with my children damaging their hearing. They need to have as much of their own hearing left in case problems arise later through no fault of their own.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

How To Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss In 3 Easy Steps

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Mango Health

About 50 million people in the United States have hearing loss. This includes 1 in 5 teenagers and 60% of returning veterans from foreign wars. But noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable. Hearing health advocate Shari Eberts recommends three simple steps to protect your own ears as well as those of your loved ones.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Noise-induced hearing loss is a pervasive problem, and one that is spreading due to increasing noise pollution. This isn’t only in cities, but also in small towns, too. At our restaurants, sporting events, and concert halls. Even at our schools. I was horrified to clock my daughter’s elementary school talent show at 90 decibels a few years ago, well above safe listening levels.

A 2011-2012 CDC study found that 24 percent of adults (aged 20-69) in the United States may have some degree of noise-induced hearing loss. Researchers also estimate as many as 17% of teens (aged 12-19) may have noise-induced hearing loss in one or both ears. It is a growing problem, and one that deserves our attention.

The good news is that most noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable. Here are three safety precautions I recommend for you and your loved ones:

Click here to continue reading on Mango Health.

Living With Hearing Loss is also on Facebook and Twitter!