Re: [AUDITORY] How to speak to people about hearing loss and high sound pressure levels ("Long, Glenis" )

Subject: Re: [AUDITORY] How to speak to people about hearing loss and high sound pressure levels
From:    "Long, Glenis"  <GLong@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Tue, 15 Oct 2013 09:38:22 -0400

I want to add another resource developed by people at the VA in Portland, = that is being used in schools in several countries. http://www.dangerousde= Glenis Long On Oct 13, 2013, at 1:09 AM, Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxx> wrote= : > An on-going topic -- very high level [dB] sounds, hearing loss, personal = and societal responsibility. >=20 > Once or twice a year I am invited and go to an event where the sustained = sound pressure [dB] levels will be in excess of 95dB, and often into the 10= 5 - 110+ dB range. I am usually long gone before the levels have drifted up= to this point, however they usually start in the 85-90dB range. I use a co= mbination of Vaseline [petroleum jelly], and water- [spit-] soaked paper ti= ssues / Kleenex, to seal my ear canals. At the last two events I left, abou= t 20% of the people were babies or children under 7-9. They were brought cl= ose to the speaker stacks, and the younger children enjoyed playing in fron= t of the speakers. >=20 > My question is not one about NIHL etc, which is documented, but rather on= e of how to speak to the people responsible, before and/or after the event = about the damage that is being caused by these environments. If this were a= work place, there would be laws, rules, regulations and ways of changing t= he behavior. In these social environments, rules and regulations don't appl= y. And I'm talking 3 or more hours of continuous 105+dB. >=20 > There are currently two students in our university electroacoustic studie= s program who have reported their hearing condition to me in some detail, a= long with audiograms, and possible hyperacusis. Discussing this with many y= ounger people tends towards the "teenage invincibility syndrome" [will neve= r happen to me], and in older people, there is a general ignorance or lack = of understanding, often paired with an attitude that indicates, "if it real= ly is a problem, there would be laws about it". There are. But, in my exper= ience, there is a fundamental ignorance of what happens, and what has been = happening for the past 35 - 40 years. >=20 > As the professionals in the field, what can be done? and how can it be do= ne? Is it a matter of this "silent plague", simply eating up the hearing of= those who are under 40 such that they will not be able to hear in 15 - 25 = years. >=20 > Recently, this appeared: >=20 > Thu, 09/12/2013 >>> Blake Wilson, Graeme Clark, and Ingeborg Hochmair were awarded the Lask= er Award this week for their contributions to the development of the cochle= ar implant. The Lasker Award is essentially the American Nobel prize, and = this is an incredible recognition of not only the importance of cochlear im= plant technology but also a much broader acknowledgment of the importance o= f hearing and communication by the entire scientific community. There will = be several events over the next few months building on this recognition wit= h interviews with the Lasker awardees, a dedicated one-hour show on PBS wit= h Charlie Rose and Eric Kandel on hearing, and finally a two-day workshop s= ponsored by the Institute of Medicine on hearing loss in older adults in Ja= nuary. >=20 > It is noted that this seems to be mostly about cochlea-based hearing loss= in older adults. >=20 >=20 > Other items on stem cell research growing back hair cells have been seen = in the media. However, these reports do not address a major cause of the pr= oblem, exposure to high dB levels. As I understand it, this developing tech= nology may have little effect on tinnitus caused by nerve damage. >=20 > Are there ways to have the media take cognizance of and report on the dan= gerous environments which persist? >=20 > As professionals, is there any individual or group responsibility regardi= ng making this better known and the [likely] consequences more clearly unde= rstood? Is this like the cigarette situation where the 'evil' is not only s= ocially acceptable, but expected so that the event has 'street cred'? Club = owners and Rave organizers want blood-letting levels, "because the customer= s want it". >=20 >=20 > Kevin

This message came from the mail archive
maintained by:
DAn Ellis <>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University