Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Classroom and much more... These are all common terms floating through our homes replacing once used common phrases such as "we have to get to school now" or "make sure you pack all your books before we leave for school today!"
The world has changed and in its very essence, it's asking us to file away routines and rewrite the way we do everything. We are at home. Our children are at home. School, work, church and sports training is now completed in a virtual classroom, online boardroom, e-sanctuary or FaceTime training facility. Our ears are being exposed to direct input for longer periods of time. As schedules and learning platforms are adjusted, so must the methods by which we protect the resources necessary to participate in this new virtual lifestyle.
We have to accept it until we don't. As your hearing health charity, it's our job to continue to remind of the importance of hearing health. Right now, you could be at risk if you're not aware of the risks themselves.
Like you, our team sits with AirPods, headphones or cell phones to our ears for an entire work day. Our children are connected to a computer between 8-3 pm and then they even have sports training, Zoom team practices and more.
My daughter actually is the least at risk. She's deaf. She has cochlear implants. The damage has already been done to her hair cells. They don't work. I'm not upset about that anymore. She's an example. Her life's journey to go from deafness to hearing and speech is why I'm so passionate about YOU keeping your hearing healthy.
Even more so, I've met over 26,000+ Americans and over 65% have some level of decreased hearing. A majority of those mild, moderate, severe or profound results are due to exposure to unnecessarily loud volumes and decibels over time.
SIMPLY PUT, it's time to think about how dependent you are on your ears to be healthy as ever. Ask yourself, without healthy hearing, fully-functioning ears and preserved brain health, would I be able to work and learn like this every day? Well, then, it's time to get serious about protecting these important resources!
Today, we're going to focus on what you and your family members CAN do to PREVENT DAMAGE of your precious tiny hair cells in your cochlea. These microscopic hair cells help you hear. They are critical, actually. They send sound waves into your hearing nerve which is connected to your brain. You see, our ear and all its magnificent parts, HEAR. However, it's our BRAIN that LISTENS. Without these healthy hair cells, soundwaves will be distorted or simply won't allow you to hear. When the ears don't hear well or at all, guess what happens to the brain? It can't LISTEN. It can't receive information. It can function properly. You're not giving it the FUEL it needs for success.
Please note, this is our own research and none of these listed below paid any fees to be mentioned.
SAFE LISTENING TIPS:
1. Volume-limiting & Sound Meter App
Decibel X: dB Sound Level Meter
"Decibel X" is one of very few sound meter apps on the market that has highly reliable, pre-calibrated measurements and supports frequency weightings: ITU-R 468, A and C. It turns your phone device into a professional noise meter, precisely measures the sound pressure level (SPL) all around you. This extremely useful and beautiful tool will not only be an essential gadget for many uses but also bring you a lot of fun. Have you wondered how quiet is your room or how loud is a rock concert or sport event? "Decibel X" will help you answer all of those." ~ Google Play
(Adults) Office Related - Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700 (more expensive) $345
(Adults) Office Related - Sennheiser HD 100 with Noise-Cancelling (inexpensive) $40
3. Phone Volume Limiting Settings
Tap the Volume Limit option from under the PLAYBACK section, and move the MAX VOLUME slider to the left or right to adjust the maximum volume level you want set for the device. Tap Settings > General > Restrictions
How to set a volume limit on your Android
First, go to Settings. You can do this by swiping the notification panel down from the top and hitting the appropriate icon or manually finding the app in your drawer.
In settings, click on Sound > Volume. ...
In this module, you'll notice that there are different volume controls for different functions on the phone.
4. 20/20 RULE
Hope this helps everyone! This is an essential part of maintaining healthy ears and brain health. If you're concious of the amount of screen time, make sure you're also limiting exposure to repeated noise/volumes. We like the 20/20 rule ... for every 20 minutes of listening, your ears/brain needs 20 minutes of listening rest!