Posts tagged preventative strategies
Picture being surrounded by loud music and thousands of screaming fans. Sounds like a good time, doesn’t it? However, loud music can lead to extensive hearing loss. While we might enjoy experiencing our favorite band or artist live and in-person, how do we prevent the damage that is done to our hearing? A new study finds that ear plugs may be the key to rocking out at a concert and protecting your ears at the same time.
The Rise of Hearing Loss
More and more people are suffering with hearing loss. According the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the number of adolescents with hearing loss has increased by 31% over the last two decades, since 1988.
The ongoing theory among scientists is that social events such as concerts, festivals, and nightclubs are the reason for the increasing number. These events are known to produce sound pressure levels of up to 110 decibels for several hours. The CDC states that hearing loss can occur from being exposed to any sound louder than 85 decibels for extended periods of time.
Research Into Ear Plugs and Loud Music
Wilko Grolman, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, and his colleagues tested over 51 individuals attending an outdoor music festival. Twenty-five of the participants wore earplugs to the concert, while the other 26 participants did not. The concert lasted 4.5 hours and the average noise level reached 100 decibels.
The volunteers were tested using an audiogram to determine their state of hearing. They found that those who wore the earplugs were affected far less than those who went to the concert unprotected. Of the participants who suffered from hearing loss, only 8 percent were in the earplug group, compared to the 42 percent within the unprotected group. The results are similar for those who had tinnitus after being exposed to loud noises.
Authors of the study are confident in the results. They state, “This RCT [randomized clinical trial] adds evidence that earplugs are effective in preventing temporary hearing loss during high recreational music levels. Therefore, the use of earplugs should be actively promoted and encouraged to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.”
Hopefully, the research will help music lovers continue their recreational activities and protect their ears from hearing loss in the future.
Healthy Sinuses: A “How To” Guide
Sinus infections, congestion, and other symptoms can make this time of year miserable. The good news is there are some things you can do to develop and maintain healthy sinuses. Moreover, if you do get sick, the same strategies that keep your sinuses healthy will also help you heal faster.
Drink up. This is important, as drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, can be one of the best preventative measures for our sinuses. When you stay hydrated, it will help to thin mucus discharge. This, in turn, will help prevent congestion and the miserable symptoms associated with it. Drinking water will also keep your immune system strong. Both of these factors are important in fighting off infection and keeping sinuses clear.
Another way to help keep sinuses well lubricated is to use a humidifier. In drier climates, or when a heating system is used (wood heat in particular), mucus membranes will dry out. This can leave you open to congestion, irritation, or infection. Adding humidity to the air also helps you sleep better at night and also helps to keep your skin from drying out.
Limiting alcohol intake and not smoking are proven to help keep sinus passages clear and healthy. If you do smoke, quitting can be hard. It is worth the effort, however, as the health benefits can be seen almost immediately—and this is especially true when it comes to the sinuses.
Traveling can expose you to a number of things. Developing congestion because you are tired and your immune system is weakened, or being exposed to other people with cold and flu infections, are common features of traveling. By a nasal spray before your trip and keep it on hand. Nasal sprays aid in clearing the sinuses and preventing congestion or blockage. Also, avoiding certain allergy triggers will help ensure your nasal passages are not inflamed. Again, drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your trip will help keep your body strong and your sinuses healthy.
No one enjoys the cold and flu season, but by following a few simple guidelines, you can get it through it with healthy sinuses. ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, may be a cliché, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Taking care of some basic health needs, and having the right tools on hand, can go a long way to keeping your sinuses at their best.