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Heard on  Morning Edition


Since 2014, the U.S. Army has gradually been deploying the latest version of a hearing protection system that protects users from loud noises while still letting them hear the world around them.

The system is called TCAPS — Tactical Communication and Protective System — and about 20,000 of the new TCAPS devices have been deployed in the field so far.

Hearing loss is a big problem in the military. According to Defense Department statistics, more than half of all troops returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from some sort of damage to their hearing.

Read more  . .   Smart Earplug



Puro Labs Bluetooth headphones review:
These cans promise protection from noise-induced hearing loss
by Theo Nicolakis
Jan 21, 2016

Hearing is a precious gift. And while everyone’s hearing declines naturally with age, our lifestyle choices can be a key factor in noise-induced hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, as many as 16 percent of teens (children aged 12 to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise—including listening to music while wearing headphones.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise—especially at higher volumes—can cause permanent hearing damage in a surprisingly short amount of time. Puro Sound Labs promises its Bluetooth headphones can reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss while listening to music. The company sent its model BT-2200 (for kids) and model BT-5200 (for adults) for this evaluation.

Read full  . . . . Review



BioScience Technology
February 19,2015
By Marla Paul, Northwestern University

Our hearing has a secret bodyguard: a newly discovered connection from the cochlea to the brain that warns of intense incoming noise that causes tissue damage and hearing loss, according to new research by Northwestern Medicine scientists.

Scientists believe they have identified the ear’s own novel pain system that protects it from very loud or damaging noise. It may be the reason you jam your fingers in your ears when a fire engine or ambulance wails close by. The nerves that normally alert you to pain – like touching a hot burner on a stove – are not present in your inner ear. So, it needs its own private alert system.

The discovery may provide insight into the cause and treatment for such painful hearing conditions as hyperacusis, an oversensitivity and earache in response to everyday sounds, common in soldiers exposed to explosives in the military, and tinnitus, a persistent and uncomfortable ringing in the ears.

The pathway, which scientists named auditory nociception (pain), is different from

Read More  . . . Pain



By eTeligis
Jun 30, 2014 7:31:05 AM PDT
Article Source

WASHINGTON, DC, United States, via eTeligis Inc., 06/30/2014 - - As summertime kicks into full swing, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) ( is urging children, teens, and adults of all ages to protect their hearing, reminding them that permanent noise-induced hearing loss cannot be reversed.

The sounds of summer are among the most cherished and offer wonderful lifetime memories. But summertime also brings loud noises that can permanently harm our hearing. Prolonged exposure to the roar of lawn mowers, power tools, motorized recreational vehicles, target shooting, concerts, loud sporting events, and fireworks all can wreak havoc on our hearing. In fact, the single bang of a firecracker at close range can permanently damage hearing in an instant, making it forever more difficult to hear the subtler sounds of summer.

While many noisy recreational activities are part of summer fun, it is extremely important to take precautions to ensure that these activities do not damage our hearing.

"Hearing is the sense that connects us to each other," says William Hal Martin, Ph.D., Professor of Otolaryngology, National University of Singapore, Program Director MSc of Audiology, Center for Hearing, Speech & Balance, and Co-Director of Dangerous Decibels. "Exposure to loud sounds cannot only destroy our ability to hear, it can cause tinnitus -- ringing in the ears."

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Justin Lipp, Au.D.
Friday, June 27, 2014 • 11:51pm


SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Every July 4th, Americans come together to celebrate the birth of our country with hot dogs, hamburgers, pool parties and then, to cap the day, beautiful but extremely loud fireworks.
Of the roughly 40 million Americans suffering from hearing loss, 10 million can be attributed to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud sound as well as by repeated exposure to high-decibel sounds over an extended period. Damage occurs to the microscopic hair cells found inside the cochlea. These cells respond to mechanical sound vibrations by sending an electrical signal to the auditory nerve. Different groups of hair cells are responsible for different frequencies (rates of vibration). The healthy human ear can hear frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. Over time, the hair-like stereocilia may become damaged or broken. If enough of them are damaged, hearing loss results. The high frequency area of the cochlea is often damaged by loud sounds.
Regardless of age, you’re at risk for inner ear damage from high-decibel explosions like fireworks.  If you’ve already been diagnosed, or simply think you have some degree of hearing loss,  you may be susceptible to further damage. Here are some tips for this Independence Day, and any time you are exposed to consistently loud sounds.
  • Hearing protection can be purchased extremely cheaply at any pharmacy.  Ask for E-A-R plugs (the little yellow ones) or for wax ear plugs. Zounds Hearing in Westfield is also giving them away until the holiday.
  • Custom hearing protection is available with filters. Loud noise will be decreased, but people talking around you will still be clear.
  • If you wear hearing aids, you may want to turn them off, or take them out.
  • If the loud sounds are causing you discomfort or pain, cover your ears immediately and get indoors, or inside a car.
  • Use earplugs for infants and toddlers. Aside from protecting their ears, earplugs will help them enjoy the light show since they won’t be frightened by the loud explosions.
  • If you experience ringing in your ears or a temporary threshold shift (non-permanent hearing loss) that has not dissipated a few days later, see an ear, nose and throat specialist immediately to prevent permanent damage.
  • If you have a history of loud noise exposure and are experiencing difficulties hearing, make an appointment with your local audiologist so a baseline can be determined and to see if you can benefit from amplification.
Have a happy, safe and “sound” Independence Day.