Audiologist Ranked as #8 ‘Least Stressful Job’ of 2016

“Audiologist” was rated as #8 in the least-stressful job list of 2016 among 200 jobs tracked by, a career guidance website. The site gives Audiologist a “job rated stress score” of 9.30 (on a scale of 1-85), and reports that the median annual income for audiologists is $ 73,060, and the growth outlook for this career is 29%.

While this year’s job ranking article didn’t include detailed explanations regarding the nature of the job or how each specific job earned its stress ranking, the description of the audiologist role as described in previous years stated that “The job is not typically physically demanding or stressful, but it does require a keen attention to detail and focused concentration.” Given that in previous years Audiologist held the #1 position for “least stressful job,” it would have been helpful to see more information explaining why the ranking has moved down seven places in the list. The good news is that Audiologist continues to place in the top 10.

Although detailed explanations outlining each job and its particular stressors are absent, the article does explain that the ranking system for job stress compares 11 different factors that can reasonably be expected to cause stress, including travel required; growth potential; deadlines; working in the public eye; competition in the field; physical demands; environmental conditions; hazards encountered on a regular basis; own life at risk; life of others at risk; and meeting or interacting with the public at large.

Based on this list of factors, the 10 least-stressful jobs for 2016, as rated by CareerCast, are:

1) Information Security Analyst (job rated stress score: 3.80)
2) Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (4.00)
3) University Professor, tenured (6.94)
4) Hair Stylist (7.47)
5) Medical Records Technician (7.55)
6) Medical Laboratory Technician (8.98)
7) Jeweler (9.10)
8) Audiologist (9.30)
9) Dietition (10.23)
10) Librarian (10.58)

For comparison with those same stress factors in mind, here are the 10 most-stressful jobs for 2016, as rated by CareerCast:

1) Enlisted Military Personnel (job rated stress score: 84.78)
2) Firefighter (60.59)
3) Airline Pilot (60.46)
4) Police Office (53.82)
5) Event Coordinator (49.93)
6) Public Relations Executive (48.46)
7) Senior Corporate Executive (47.46)
8) Broadcaster (47.30)
9) Newspaper Reporter (46.76)
10) Taxi Driver (46.33)

To see the complete slideshow listing of least stressful jobs, visit the CareerCast website.

Source: CareerCast

Image credit: © Monkey Business Images |

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Let’s talk tinnitus – East Lothian News

Many of us will have experienced the sensation of hearing sounds that seem to be coming from nowhere other than deep inside our own heads and ears – perhaps a high-pitched ringing, or hissing sound.

Thankfully for most of us, these sounds will be nothing more than a mild and temporary irritation – but for some people, tinnitus can become a significant problem.


Not everybody who experiences tinnitus will be severely affected, but in some cases, the relentless noise can have a big impact on quality of life and psychological wellbeing, causing distress and difficulty sleeping and concentrating, in turn affecting work and relationships and, as the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) points out, can be linked with anxiety and depression.

However, while there’s currently no cure, Tony Kay, head of Audiology Services at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool and a member of BTA’s Professional Advisers’ Committee, is keen to highlight that support is out there – and there is hope.

“The first thing is not to be alarmed, but if you think you may have tinnitus, you should see your doctor, who will check your ears and offer general advice. You may also get referred to a tinnitus clinic,” he explains.

“It’s also important to clarify that while tinnitus is not curable in most, it does tend to get less annoying over time for the majority. Anybody with tinnitus that is troublesome should seek a referral to a tinnitus clinic via their GP.”


Often, when ‘hidden’ problems are causing us distress, the simple step of talking to a doctor, or anybody with an understanding of your problem, and having it openly acknowledged that it’s getting you down can be a massive weight off the shoulders.

Kay, who also facilitates the Aintree Tinnitus Support Group, notes that a number of things can really help with managing tinnitus.

“In the vast majority of cases, tinnitus is managed rather than cured, and modern therapies are effective for most,” he explains. “Using background noise to reduce the intrusiveness of tinnitus, relaxation, keeping active and socialising may improve things.

“Studies have shown that over time, tinnitus becomes less intrusive as the brain loses interest in it; this process is called habituation.”

There’s lots of information on the BTA website too, and local support groups, Kay adds, “will probably be beneficial”.


Tinnitus is actually considered a symptom, rather than a single disease, “related to changes in activity or connectivity within the hearing system and brain”.

Although often seen as something that affects older people, anybody can experience tinnitus, even children. However, it’s far more common in older age groups, affecting around 10% of UK adults. “The prevalence of tinnitus generally increases with age, affecting males and females more or less equally. The main risk factor is hearing loss,” adds Kay. “Exposure to loud noise, ear infections, certain medications, stress and head injuries are some of the other risk factors.”

Where infections, or blockages with wax, are involved, treating these can relieve tinnitus. The link with stress is more complex, but it’s generally recognised that stress and anxiety may act as a ‘trigger’, or make people more acutely aware of tinnitus – a pattern that’s seen across a range of health issues.

Exposure to loud noise, however, is a major factor – and one we can all try to prevent, by being aware of what amounts to ‘dangerous’ noise levels and taking steps to protect our hearing, by using ear guards and earplugs. This can be particularly important for people who regularly work in noisy environments, but is something everybody should be aware of, as even the volumes of our TVs, and listening to music with headphones, could be putting us at risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.


“Prevention is better than cure, so being ‘sound aware’ should be your aim,” stresses Kay. “We’re not saying avoid – just be more aware of the potential hazards of loud noise. Our ears tend to be tough in most cases, but we only have one pair, so looking after them will enable us to go on enjoying music for a long time.

“Don’t turn it off but turn it down and protect, is the general rule of thumb.”


The British Tinnitus Association is highlighting the need to protect hearing with its Plug’em campaign, raising awareness of when and why we could benefit from protecting our ears with earplugs. To find out more, visit

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Audiometry Manual Provides Instruction in Clinical Techniques

Audiometry Learning ManualPlural Publishing has released Basic Audiometry Learning Manual, Second Edition, which is designed to provide students and beginning clinicians with instruction in the art and science of clinical audiometry techniques.

According to the publisher, the book presents well-defined learning outcomes, an overview of concepts, observation exercises, guided practice, and review materials that serve as catalysts for active learning of concepts and provide opportunity for utilization of fundamental audiometry methods. The comprehensive content of the learning manual encompasses the breadth of audiologic evaluation, including history taking and patient communication, ear canal assessment and management, immittance, pure-tone testing, masking, speech audiometry, otoacoustic emissions, patient counseling, and report writing. This text is designed to cultivate the successful learning of students and entry-level professionals.

Each chapter in the manual’s second edition has been updated to reflect current standards of practice. Additional updates include two new chapters on physiologic measurements, including otoacoustic emissions, and common challenges and pitfalls of the new clinician; enhanced information on audiogram interpretation and auditory pathology; more detailed information on acoustic reflexes; enhanced information on reporting, and further delineation and clarification of masking concepts.

Author Mark DeRuiter, MBA, PhD is director of graduate studies and clinical programs in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Campus, where he earned his doctorate. He oversees the Julia Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center and teaches coursework in counseling and professional issues. Virginia Ramachandran, AuD, PhD, is a senior staff audiologist and research coordinator in the Division of Audiology, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.

The second edition of Basic Audiometry Learning Manual is available on the Plural Publishing website.

Source: Plural Publishing


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Hearing loss a common health condition

Hearing loss is among the most common health conditions. It is estimated that one of every 10 Americans report hearing loss. For many aging adults, hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions after arthritis and high blood pressure. Men have to deal more with hearing loss than women. Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises are significant factors that contribute to hearing loss. The latter is likely the reason that men report more hearing loss than women, as they often are the ones exposed to noise at work, at play (think hunting and trapshooting) and when doing yard chores.

What are the most common signs of hearing loss? Typical complaints include accusing others of mumbling, difficulty understanding speech in restaurants and other noisy places, ringing in the ears, difficulty remembering, turning up the TV or radio in the house and family members complaining they frequently have to repeat.

Where to begin when you suspect a hearing loss? Retired Oshkosh audiologist Juliette Sterkens and hearing loop advocate for the Hearing Loss Association of America recommends you and the person who is complaining about your hearing each take the paper and pencil hearing test found on the web at

“A questionnaire like that helps you hone in on the problematic situations,” she said. “I also suggest that consumers read the fact sheets on hearing loss available to consumers on the website.”

“The first step, acknowledging that there could be a problem, is usually the hardest one,” Sterkens said. “This doesn’t mean you have to like it, but denying the hearing loss is not going to make it magically go away.”

Find a hearing health care professional who can do a comprehensive audiological evaluation (hearing test). An audiologist is a healthcare professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the hearing and balance system portions of the ear. Most audiologists also dispense hearing aids. The other professional who can sell hearing aids is a hearing instrument specialist.

An evaluation should include a battery of tests to determine the degree of hearing loss, type of hearing loss you have and whether a referral to a physician for medical treatment is indicated. Hearing loss is affected by many causes, and it is important that serious medical issues be ruled out. Testing should include a thorough medical history, an evaluation of your hearing in a sound treated booth and a speech-in-noise evaluation. Experts in the field of audiology agree that the speech-in-noise test is among the most important tests out there, as it will tell the professional what kind of solutions are in your best interest.

It is your hearing care provider’s job to make sure that you hear and understand in as many listening environments as possible. While hearing aids have improved significantly in the last decade, they do not restore hearing to normal. For those with or without hearing aids, lip-reading and auditory training, a form of physical therapy for the ears that can be done on a home computer, may be helpful. Some hearing aids come with a wireless microphone for better hearing in the car or restaurant. And be sure to ask your hearing care provider about a telecoil in your hearing aids. The telecoil will give you access to venues equipped with hearing loops and other ADA-mandated assistive systems. Loops are appearing in many venues in northeast Wisconsin and will help you hear in those places, but they require your hearing aids have this low or no-cost telecoil feature.

Need some extra help getting used to hearing aids? Consider joining a local hearing loss support group.

“So often people think they are the only one struggling with their hearing loss and hearing aids. You can learn so much from others’ experiences. How do they handle traveling, meetings, appointments, going to the hospital, telephone conversations, hearing in theaters and difficult family members or work associates?” Sterkens said. “Plus a great benefit? They meetings are also good for your sense of humor—an essential ingredient for coping with a hearing loss!”

Molly Yatso Butz is the community health and wellness director for the Oshkosh Community YMCA.

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Special Video Created for World Hearing Day, March 3

Today is World Hearing Day, an initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the impact of hearing loss. MED-EL, a provider of hearing implant systems, is supporting World Hearing Day with the launch of a new video, “Through the Ears of a Child.”

The WHO estimates that around 360 million people (or approximately 5% of the world’s population) live with disabling hearing loss; of these, nearly 32 million are children. This year’s theme “Childhood hearing loss: act now, here is how!” aims at raising awareness about public health strategies that help to reduce the prevalence and impact of hearing loss in children.

The video from MED-EL highlights the potential advantages of treating childhood deafness or hearing loss at an early age, when children are first exploring the world around them and learning to engage with their peers. The video is also being backed by HEARRING, the global network of hearing implant experts.

“The focus of this year’s World Hearing Day on children strongly supports our HEARRING vision that early identification and intervention through implantation can help children with severe hearing loss,” said Paul Van de Heyning, chair of the Scientific Committee at HEARRING. “Treating children with hearing loss early gives them a better chance of reaching their full developmental potential. Together as health professionals, we must work globally to reach as many children as possible and restore the gift of hearing to them.”

The “Through the Ears of a Child” video brings to life the different ways that young children experience the world when they are struggling with hearing loss, and how their life can be transformed when their hearing becomes restored.

Research shows that children, whose hearing is profoundly impaired before they learn to speak, are more likely to benefit from treatment with a hearing implant if it is given at a young age.  These children start to receive auditory information at a time when their brain is especially ready to learn language. Therefore, their hearing and speech has an opportunity to develop in a manner similar to that of their normal hearing peers.

View the special video from MED-EL here to learn more about the ways in which childhood hearing loss may be prevented and treated.

Source: MED-EL 

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People with Hearing Loss Have Better Memory and Speech Functions with Hearing Aids

Aliso Canyon Gas well blowout Is Largest Methane Leak in U.S. History

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