Your Gym May Be Harming Your Hearing

What’s good for your body is not necessarily good for your ears. Loud music is an integral part of many workout activities — spin classes are a prime example. A recent article in the New York Times found that the noise levels in a spin class at Crunch averaged 100 decibels over 40 minutes, and hit 105 decibels in its loudest five minutes. A staffer for the Hearing Health Foundation found that the decibel level at her gym hit 115 decibels. You can …

Are Your Ears Trying to Protect Themselves?

En español |Our senses have warning systems to alert us to possible dangers. A bitter taste warns us away from poisons. A putrid smell alerts us that food may not be safe to eat. Our eyes close automatically when exposed to a flash of light. Pain receptors in our skin warn us to pull away from something hot. But what about hearing? We all know that noise damages our hearing, and most of us have thought of hearing as an …

Tapping Into Help for Hearing Loss by Smartphone

I used to have perfect hearing, although I could select what I didn’t want to hear. But now that I’m getting older, I am becoming more concerned about my hearing. I am also a recent cancer survivor, truly thankful for every day that I wake up. One side effect of my chemo treatment is auditory nerve damage. I can still hear well enough so I don’t need a hearing aid. But it got me thinking: How do you hold a …

Which NFL Team Has Fans Loud Enough to Trigger Earthquakes?

If you’re lucky enough to attend Sunday’s NFL playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, bring your noise-canceling headphones. It might also be a good idea to tie down your valuables before you leave home. Seismographers from the University of Washington have found that the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field is so loud that it generates earthquakes. Minor ones, so far, but this is a big game. CenturyLink Field holds the record for the loudest outdoor …

Hearing Loss? Denial Doesn’t Work. Trust Me.

En español | Boomers and beyond: It may be time to face up to the fact that you probably have hearing loss. An estimated 48 million Americans do, and 55 percent of them are under the age of 60. It’s easy to ignore, but your life will be much better if you don’t.  Like many people, I spent years — decades! — denying that my hearing loss was a problem. It came on suddenly and strongly, so I couldn’t deny its existence. But …

Do Noisy Hospital Rooms Affect Your Recovery?

You would think that hospitals would recognize how important sleep is to a patient’s recovery and would take steps to keep the noise down so people can rest. Yeah, right. Noisy hospital rooms are so pervasive, researchers at the University of Chicago decided to find out if patients’ sleep was suffering because of it. To no one’s surprise, they found that hospital room noise levels are well above recommended levels and can spike to nearly that of a chainsaw. “The …