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Practice Update

We will be moving late September or early October:
Our New Address will be:

6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite 210
Carlsbad, CA. 92011

Pacific ENT of San Diego County's Solana Beach * Treating Sinusitis * Sinus Surgery * Sleep *  Snoring * Sleep Apnea * Allergies * Ear Hearing & Balance * Voice * Head & Neck Surgical Care Allergist ENT Sinus Doctors of San Diego County California

Ear, Hearing & Balance

We are pleased to provide advanced care for your ears, hearing and balance disorders.

Some common disorders include:

Ear, Hearing & Balance at Pacific ENT of San Diego County's Solana Beach


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Custom Ear Molds

We offer custom silicone ear molds that can be used as swim molds, ear molds, or noise protectors. These ear molds are in the office and can be picked up 48 hours after the mold has been set and sealed with a protective layer.

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Can IPods Hurt Your Ears?

On December 8, 2006, Dr. Davis was interviewed by Sasha Foo of KUSI News Station for her feature titled “Listen up! Is you iPod causing Hearing Loss?” Dr. Davis discussed the possible risks of listening to loud music for prolonged periods of time and the potential damage to one’s hearing from use of MP3 players such as iPods. A study presented by a University of Colorado at Boulder and a Boston audiologist in October of 2006 at the National Hearing Conservation Association conference was the reason that the News Station became interested in presenting this topic.

In short, iPODs and other MP3 players allow you to listen to music for hours at a time. Because of the design of the earphones, your ears may be exposed to unsafe levels of sound that may cause permanent hearing loss over time.

Decibels Sound

150 Firecracker
120 Ambulance Siren
110 Chain saw, rock concert
105 Personal stereo system at maximum level
100 Wood shop, snowmobile
95 Motorcycle
90 Power mower
85 Heavy city traffic
60 Normal conversation
40 Refrigerator humming
30 Whispered voice

Safety standards on noise levels that cause hearing loss have been established in the workplace. In general, noise levels under 85 decibels (a typical vacuum cleaner emits 85 decibels) are considered safe. Listening to noise levels of 90 decibels for 8 hours is probably safe, at 95 decibels for 4 hours and 2 hours at 100 decibels. Most iPODs and MP3 players are capable of producing noise levels of over 100 decibels. That means that your hearing may be damaged even with as little as 5 minutes of play time at the 100% volume level (see chart).

OSHA Permissible Noise Exposures 1910.95b (2)
Duration per day, hours Sound level dBA slow response

8
6
4
3
2
1 1/2
1
1/2
1/4 or less

90
92
95
97
100
102
105
110
115

The type of earphone used also changes your noise exposure. The isolator type earphones that block out background noise, are able to produce higher sound-levels than earphones with so-called “earbuds”. Conversely, “supra-aural” earphones that are placed over the ears rather than inside them can be used for longer periods of time. (See chart)

What levels of volume are then safe? In general, listening to levels at 50% volume probably poses no risk; however listening to 70% volume should be limited to 4.6 hours and only 5 minutes at 100% volume. If you can hear someone else’s music from 3 feet away, then it is too loud.

Remember that when you listen to your MP3 player when there is background noise, such as when you are driving in the car or airplane or even at work, you will often raise the volume to override that background noise and be exposed to unsafe noise levels.

The type of music does not influence the potential damage to hearing. Beethoven at 95 decibels is equally dangerous as hard rock.

So enjoy your music but protect you hearing by listening to your MP3 player at safe volume levels.

http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/

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