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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health.
Health Watch: Hearing loss is a 'silent epidemic'
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Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health from GateHouse News Service. Know what the \x34study of the week\x34 means for your health and that of your family, and get plenty of ...
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Health Watch
Information on the latest research and studies, better-health tips, and advice for children's and seniors' health from GateHouse News Service. Know what the \x34study of the week\x34 means for your health and that of your family, and get plenty of fodder to ask your doctor about.
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Dec. 21, 2012 11:25 a.m.



An estimated 275 million people across the globe can't hear clearly all the sounds they love. These people suffer from hearing loss, which the World Health Organization lists as the No. 1 sensory disability in the world.



Some people never had their hearing, as they were born deaf, but the majority had something happen along the way that took it from them. Infectious diseases like meningitis, measles, mumps and chronic ear infections, as well as head and ear injuries, and aging all can contribute to hearing loss.




 




But perhaps the most common cause is excessive noise. Whether it's a one-time exposure to an intense, "impulse" sound, like gunfire, or by repeated exposure to loud sounds over time, like machinery at work, noise has the potential to rob people of their hearing.




 




The effects of hearing loss extend well beyond having to turn up the television. It strains a person's ability to understand conversations, which can cause problems and misunderstandings at work and at home. Hearing loss also leads to isolation from family, friends and the environment.-




 




"The good news is noise-induced hearing loss is preventable," says Dr. Laurie Wells, audiologist in 3M's hearing protection business. "So many people could be spared from it, if they just took a few easy steps."




 




Step 1: Wear hearing protection




 




The most important step to preventing hearing loss is to wear hearing protection.




 




"There are many great hearing protection options, but sometimes it's a challenge to know which to choose and how and when to wear it correctly," says Wells. "Hearing protection is now available that is comfortable, fits well, and includes options to enhance communication - like microphones and two-way radio connections for people who need them."




 




Step 2: Be mindful around the clock




 




Sounds louder than 85 decibels (dBA) are more common than people might think. Prolonged exposure to these high-level sounds can permanently damage your hearing, and cause ringing in the ears, along with other symptoms. Most people don't carry decibel meters, so it's good to know where those sound levels can occur. Some examples include:




 




- Attending a football game (100 to 120 dBA)




- Using a leaf blower or chainsaw (95-120 dBA)




- Riding a motorcycle (80-110 dBA)




- Using a lawn mower (82-103 dBA)




- Attending a rock concert (90-120 dBA)




- Listening to a personal music player (75-114 dBA)




- Shooting firearms (140 to 165 dBA)




- Watching a movie at the theater (72-104 dBA)




 




Hearing these sounds occasionally, for a limited time, isn't a major threat to hearing. But repeated exposure to loud sounds can cause hearing damage over time. Many people - like mine workers, police officers, construction workers, farmers and others, work in noise that is 85 dBA or higher every day on the job. As a result, noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases and the second most self-reported occupational illness, according to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.




 




Step 3: Reduce the volume or increase distance




 




Work-related noise might be unavoidable, but many times, you can be in control of the noise around you. Whenever possible, select quieter vacuums, chain saws, leaf blowers, power tools, etc. Also, be aware that the volume controls on portable entertainment devices can exceed 110 dBA - levels that may be hazardous if you listen for many hours a day. Lower the volume and limit how long you listen to them. If you aren't able to turn down loud sounds you encounter, take a few steps back from the source of the loud sound. Even a few feet of distance between you and a loud sound can lower the decibel levels that hit you.




 




Step 4: Take the hearing pledge




 




Make a commitment to wear hearing protection so you can continue to enjoy all the sounds you love. 3M has launched the Hearing Pledge. Go to www.hearingpledge.com and commit to wearing your hearing protection. Those who pledge can enter a drawing to win a free iPod touch mobile digital device, equipped with audio-limiting headphones that keep the sound level at or below 82 dBA.


-- Brandpoint

New Research

The company 23andme has announced it will now offer a service called Ancestry Composition, according to Medical News Today. Already a leading personal genetics company, customers can now have their DNA analyzed to learn where their ancestors lived up to 500 years ago.

The company can also detail what percentage of the DNA provided comes from each of their 22 reference populations. If the customer's parents also submit DNA, the company can show specific ancestry inherited from each parent. Users can also see a chromosome-by-chromosome analysis of their ancestral history.

With this service released just in time for the holidays, it's possible this service was intended as a gift for the hard-to-buy-for. A paper explaining the company's research and methodology for this new service is available on their website.

Health Tip



Winter workouts don't need to be relegated to the gym. Find an at-home fitness DVD (Pilates, yoga, cardio, etc.) or an on-demand television workout, and do your own in-house boot camp once a week to mix things up.


-- Family Features/Marathon Bar

Number to Know

76.9: Percentage of infants in the United States that are breast-fed at some point.

-- cdc.gov

Children's Health: Traveling safely with your food-allergic child



More than 12 million Americans, including 6 million children, have food allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Many of those children have allergies to foods and ingredients commonly thought of as "go-to" foods for trips and vacations, including milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. These allergies mean convenience foods, fast foods, restaurant and airline meals are often unsafe for food-allergic kids.




 




To ensure your family trip stays safe and is as enjoyable as possible, Mitchell suggests the following seven steps:




 




- Plan meals before you leave home. Prepare heat-and-serve or ready-to-eat snacks or meals for the road. Shop for items that you will need which may not be available for purchase elsewhere, such as allergen-free snacks.


- Carry a sizable cooler or even a portable refrigerator that plugs into the car or hotel outlet to keep perishables cold while you travel.



- Choose hotel rooms that offer microwaves and refrigerators - or even a full kitchenette. This will allow you to reheat your food and safely store it in the hotel room. Often, you can request a refrigerator in your room and many hotels will waive rental fees if you show them a letter of medical necessity from your doctor. Staying in a room with a kitchen also allows you to safely prepare your own meals.


- Purchase individually packaged foods as much as possible. Juice boxes, for example, take up much less refrigerator space than a large bottle of juice.



- Some safe foods, like fruits, will be readily available at any grocery store, so only take items that you might not be able to buy locally - such as peanut-free cookies.


- For extended visits, like holiday trips to a relative's house or a long family vacation, consider ordering food online and having the items shipped to your destination.



- Bring all your medicines, like epinephrine autoinjectors, and consider bringing extra medication in case of emergency.


- Whether you drive or fly, make sure your child's medications are in their original containers with the prescription labels on the package. Consider having your child wear medical identification jewelry on the trip, and carry a chef card that will alert restaurants about your child's food allergies.



To learn more about coping with food allergies, visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.


-- Brandpoint

GateHouse News Service

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