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allancurran

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 #1 

HI Dr Nagler

I know from reading your posts that you do not recommend overprotecting the ears.

However, can I ask....certain house hold items i.e. the hoover; a hairdryer; the shower come in at anywhere between 80db and 90db.

Here in the UK, if sound reaches between 80 and 85 db you must offer an employee ear protection and anything over 85db is mandatory.

I do understand that the calculation of noise exposure is complicated and just because a sound may be over 85db it doesn't mean you will instantly get hearing damage, exposure time length is factored into it.  Action on Hearing Loss did a nice little video on Facebook the other week highlighting that you'd have to listen to a food blender for 8 hours before you were at risk.

But for people like us, people whose auditory system is somehow compromised, would it be advisable or not to protect ourselves from sound we know we are going to encounter that's over 80 db?  Even for say the 5 minutes it takes to hoover a living room?

I measured the sound level with a mobile app and I do appreciate these arent calibrated and arent 100% accurate.

 

Thanks

Dr. Nagler

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 #2 
My recommendation is to follow Dr. Jack Vernon's Rule of Thumb. Go to my Tinnitus 101 article and take a look at "Message Number Four."

Hope this helps.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
http://www.atlantatinnitus.com

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allancurran

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 #3 

Thanks for the quick response.

As the rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to be heard by someone standing next to you,  well I personally would not hear someone clearly over the sound of the hoover [if its me doing the hoovering] or hair dryer.  My wife, who does not have hearing issues, turns the hairdryer off when I attempt to speak to her as she does her hair.  Should she wear ear plugs as she dries her hair, with a hair dryer that's omitting 90 db of sound for 10 minutes next to her lugs????  I don't know!

The other day I was on a course in a room filed with 15 loud talkative people, all chatting amongst themselves and my colleague sat next to me said that he felt he was shouting to be heard.

Some people might call these 'everyday noises' which is what an audiologist said I shouldn't protect against but when these noises are topping 90 db in some instances where do you draw the line?

Dr. Nagler

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 #4 
Perhaps I did not understand your question. My apologies.

Are you asking me how to be 100% certain of avoiding any chance whatsoever of damaging even one additional hair cell by virtue of noise exposure?

Or are you asking me what I consider to be reasonable guidelines for auditory protection given the realities of life in the 21st century with the understanding that overprotection tends to aggravate tinnitus and predisposes to hyperacusis?

Please clarify. Thank you.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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 #5 
The second statement. I don't want to over sensitise my hearing or turn up the gain but conversely I don't want to make my Tinnitus worse.

Knowing when it's best to use protection would be so much easier if we were able to say anything over 85db.

The message seems a bit mixed in that people use the yardstick of shouting to be heard to a person next to you but you need to do that when hoovering but you could also say hoovering is an everyday sound, so what do you do for the best?
Dr. Nagler

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 #6 
Quote:
The second statement. I don't want to over sensitise my hearing or turn up the gain

Got it. I am glad it's the second statement and not the first.

Quote:
but conversely I don't want to make my Tinnitus worse.

I have told you on a number of occasions what I think you should do regarding your tinnitus. You don't want to follow my suggestion in that regard, and that's fine with me. Seems to me, though, that your current strategy has you marching to the beat of your tinnitus. Had you followed my suggestion and started working directly with Dr. McKenna, you would likely be much better by now.

Quote:
Knowing when it's best to use protection would be so much easier if we were able to say anything over 85db.

I gave you the protection guideline that makes the most sense to me. It is very simple and moreover does not require keeping a decibel meter in your back pocket.

Quote:
The message seems a bit mixed in that people use the yardstick of shouting to be heard to a person next to you but you need to do that when hoovering but you could also say hoovering is an everyday sound, so what do you do for the best?

What you do is use earplugs when vacuuming for more than a minute or two. That's what everybody should do. I confess that I do not do it. But I should!

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
 

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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 #7 
Ok - got it, thanks very much Dr.
Dr. Nagler

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 #8 
Glad to help.

All the best with it.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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