Boulder, CO (PRWEB) March 06, 2013
Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory disability around the world, with more than 275 million persons in the world deaf or hearing impaired. With this past Sunday marking the World Health Organization’s International Day for Ear and Hearing, Sophono, Inc., offers a look at the facts on hearing, and three tips to protect hearing health on a daily basis.
“Nearly 20 percent of adults in the United States alone report some degree of hearing loss, and thousands of children experience hearing difficulties of some type,” says Jim Kasic, president and CEO of Sophono, a medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, abutment-free, bone conduction hearing devices. “While we can’t control some factors – such as genetics, aging and certain illnesses – everyone can take steps to protect the hearing they do have.”
1. Protect ears at work. In certain jobs – such as farming, construction and factory work – loud noise often is a regular part of the environment. To avoid or minimize damage inside the ear, workers can wear specially designed earmuffs, or earplugs that are foam, pre-formed or custom-molded.
2. Protect ears in recreational settings. Exposure to loud noises, particularly if they are repetitive over time, can cause permanent hearing loss. Exposure to explosive noises, such as from firearms and fireworks, can cause immediate hearing loss. Other recreational activities with high noise levels can include snowmobiling, motorcycling and hunting. Wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise during loud recreational activities can do a great deal to protect the ears. Individuals should turn the volume down on music, and be especially careful to do so if tempted to turn the volume up enough to drown out the sound of other loud noises (such as those from a lawn mower).
3. Understand other risk factors. Hearing loss that occurs gradually with age is common. According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated one-third of people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 75, and close to one-half of those older than 75, have some degree of hearing loss. In addition, some drugs can damage the inner ear. Temporary effects on hearing can occur with high doses of aspirin, other pain relievers, anti-malarial drugs or loop diuretics. In addition, diseases or illnesses that result in high fever, such as meningitis, may damage the cochlea.
"Individuals who work in a loud environment would be wise to consider regular hearing tests administered by a licensed audiologist," says Kasic. Regular testing can provide early detection of hearing loss, and a path to prevent further hearing loss. Individuals who experience sudden or significant hearing loss, or ear pain, can visit an otolaryngologist (ENT) or otologist.
"For individuals with severe hearing loss, more help than ever is available today," says Kasic. His company manufactures and markets a system that helps both children and adults suffering from conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness. The Sophono Alpha 2™ System – the only abutment-free, implantable bone conduction hearing system on the market – can help children with aural atresia and microtia, individuals with chronic inflammation or infection of the ear canal, and others unable to wear traditional hearing aids. “ENTs and audiologists have tremendous tools available today to help many individuals experiencing significant hearing issues,” he says.
Sophono, Inc. (http://www.sophono.com)
Sophono, Inc., is a medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, abutment-free, bone conduction hearing devices. The company’s products are designed for individuals suffering from severe to profound hearing loss or impairment. The Sophono Alpha 2™ System is the only abutment-free, implantable, bone-anchored hearing system available today. Treating those with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-ear deafness, the FDA-cleared Alpha 2 device eliminates the problematic abutment of devices by using magnets to affix external sound processors.
Sophono corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations reside in Boulder, Colo. The company maintains an office in Germany, works with more than 20 distributors, and is actively selling in more than 30 countries.