November 27, 2006

The full tinnitus story

Tinnitus [tin-night-us] is the medical term for noise that originates within the ear rather than from the outside environment. Tinnitus is also called "ears ringing," also can be gentle buzzing sounds, loud humming, roaring noises like a waterfall, sounds like a train whistling, and/or clicking like noises. You can experience the ear ringing from tinnitus in one or both of your ears and the intensity will vary dramatically.

Tinnitus is a condition, not a disease. It's a symptom that can be caused by a number of medical conditions can also include infected middle ear bones; meniere's disease is also a major cause of cochlear damage and tinnitus,. It is a little known fact that most prescription drugs list tinnitus as a side effect.
The phantom noises tinnitus that sufferers experience manifest in the main in the inner ear, the middle of the head, the middle ear and the outer ear. Quite separate from the tinnitus, people may also experience dizziness, pain or a sense of fullness in the ears, and headache.

Most tinnitus stems from damage to the microscopic endings of the inner ear hearing nerve. We have literally millions of these auditory nerve cells in the inner ear that are charged electrically. Minute hairs cover the surface of each auditory nerve cell. The cilia (the microscopic hairs) ripple in time to the pressure of sound waves.

It is this movement that triggers elecrical impulses through the auditory nerve cells. The resulting electronic discharge reaches the brain in a microsecond which then tells you that you have just heard a sound.

If the delicate microscopic hairs become damaged, they move randomly and can no longer hold their electrical charge. Electronic impluses are then generated on a random basis and sent down the auditory nerves, which your brain figures out to be a noise.

Old age is a major cause of auditory nerve damage, nevertheless the leading cause of tinnitus results from exposure to loud noise. People who are very stressed or individuals who are in the military are far more likely to develop tinnitus.
Not all tinnitus is a ringing sound, some sufferers experience pulsing sounds. The ringing ears tinnitus type is tonal tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus produces sounds that are intermittent, continuous, or pulsating in unison with the heartbeat.
  • Tinnitus is not a chronic condition, but hearing loss is and is permanent.

The great majority of tinnitus sufferers also have high frequency hearing loss. It is recommended that for a correct tinnitus diagnosis to be made, that a hearing test be made A common concern of people with tinnitus is that they may become completely deaf; however, tinnitus does not cause deafness.

November 18, 2006

Call Centers Are Dangerous Places...

Further to my theme of detailing the dangers of working in the modern era, I thought I would do some research on call centers.

This might sound crazy but I would bet that not many potential call center employees are warned of the dangers they will be facing every day as they answer their calls.

Dangerous... What could be dangerous about working in a call center?
  • You don't get to see the people you keep on hold for the weekend on a face to face basis...
  • The call center location could actually be in a different continent to the main client base they are forcing through navigation hell (you know, press 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for this and that, 4 for something else, etc, etc, etc.

The danger I am talking about is not physical danger to your person but rather the danger of acoustic shock. What the dickens is acoustic shock I hear you muttering.

Well acoustic shock is hearing condition that you will experience if you are exposed to an unexpected loud and sudden noises.

Now for call center operators this is a daily occurrence.

I found the following definition of acoustic shock in an article at the Guardian

Acoustic shock is caused by exposure to a sudden increase in noise levels,
but people who are already anxious or under stress appear to be particularly
prone to it.

If the sound is made maliciously, such as someone screaming at the
caller down the line, it appears to increase the risk of damage. The noise
itself does not have to be particularly loud: around 90 decibels of sound -
equivalent to the sound of a lawn mower - is enough to create a response.

The crucial factor is its unexpectedness, which can leave the listener with muffled
hearing, dizziness and a constant ringing in the ear.

I think it is obvious that call center operators get shouted at on a regular basis, perhaps once a day, and in addition to the electronic screeches and noises they habitually have to put up with, it may become a little cleared to you why I contened thst these are dangerous places...

You see the damage sustained by being exposed to acoustic shock is permanent!

Many call center operators are left with an extreme sensitivity to any type of loud noise, hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of the dangers of their jobs...

Most call cernters are NOT warning their operators of these dangers for fear of claims. The report in the Gaurdian also states:

The number of people affected has not been measured, but the vast majority
are thought to be call centre workers who spend up to eight hours a day using
the telephone, often wearing headsets. At least 700 employees in the UK are
known to have reached an out-of-court settlement with companies since 1999,
after claiming they have suffered acoustic shock, leading to an estimated £3m in
payouts. A further 300 cases are pending, nearly all of them against call centre

Can you see why these call center operators are not warning their operators about these dangers?

Unfortunately many thousands of call center employees are at risk around the world and are ignorant of the risks they are facing everday and furthermore could be left permanently scarred and left to live a life struggling with tinnitus, hyperacusis and loss of hearing.

Nuff said?

November 17, 2006

Tinnitus from loud noises

A little known fact is that there are literally millions of minuscule cells deep inside the ear that get very stimulated by the pressures of sound waves.

As and when sound is noticed by your ear and these auditory hairs undulate, impulses go streaking through the nerve which your brain figures out to be a sound.
Agition then causes moving of our dainty hair, reminisent of to a wheat field agitating in time to the wind blowing.

The diminutive cells and the teeny-weeny auditory nerves are very easily damaged when exposed to sudden loud noises. The damage is even intensified if you have worked in a noisy environment for extended periods.

These sensitive organs can also be damaged because of a bad blow to the head. The little hairs bend out of shape or even broken off and then randomly send electric pulses directly to the brain which interprets them as a sound, even though there might be a complete absence of sound.

Cochlear damage of some sort leading to a hissing in the ears can also be caused by earwax treatments gone wrong, ear candling, diving accidents, playing sports, dental work and can also be caused by middle ear infections.

Hearing loss is irreparable but the tinnitus remedies have helped thousands of tinnitus sufferers at lowering the tinnitus levels from cochlea damage.

November 06, 2006

Tinnitus - What is Major Cause Of Tinnitus?

It would seem to me that much like everything else in the commercial world, the dangers people are exposed to at work are often hidden away in the name of the almighty dollar! (or Yen, Pound or Euro)

Being someone who is involved with tinnitus on a daily basis and who answers hundreds of tinnitus related questions every week, it has really become clear to me that most people are getting the hearing loss that causes the tinnitus from exposure to loud and sudden noises and that often this noise occurs at the workplace!

  • Because of costs involved in the proper training as well as the actual cost of the hearing protective gear, this is often an area where employers are taking shortcuts and their employees end up with tinnitus.
If you work in a situation where you could be in danger of sustaining hearing loss, do something about it immediatley.!

  • Demand protective equipment to ensure that you don't end up with that dreaded hearing loss and tinnitus.