ADA Convention Raises the Stakes in Las Vegas, November 6-9

ADA2014-BannerWhere can you find speakers who include Frank Lin, Pawel Jastreboff, Kathleen Campbell, Barbara Weinstein, Larry Humes, Barry Freeman, Brian Taylor, Amyn Amlani, Doug Beck, Dave Fabry, Ron Gleitman and A.U. Bankaitis? At the 2014 Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) Convention entitled “Raising the Stakes: Going All in for Audiology!” which will be held at the Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, from November 6-9.

According to the Academy, this year’s convention schedule is packed with dynamic sessions designed to provide the latest technology and trends to help your practice achieve explosive growth. You’ll find innovative tools and ideas from the first session to the last exhibit.

The events at a glance are listed below (please check ADA website and final program for updates and changes):


Preconvention Workshops and Courses:

  • 8:00 AM – 3:15 PM: Evaluation and Management of Vestibular Disorders*, by Sam Bittel, AuD
  • 8:00 AM – 11:15 PM: Interventional Audiology, Part 1: Building Bridges to the Physician Community: Co-Morbidity Marketing Workshop*, by Brian Taylor, AuD, and Bob Tysoe
  • 12:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Interventional Audiology, Part 2: Product Dependence: Is It Co-Opting Our Efforts to Become Limited Licensed Providers?*, by Barry Freeman, PhD, Amyn Amlani, PhD, Brian Taylor, AuD, Ian Windmill, PhD
  • 8:00 AM – 3:15 PM: Taking Care of Business* [an all-day super-session], by Sam Rotella, Kevin St Clergy, MS, Steve Woodward, Brendan Ford
  • 8:00 AM – 3:15 PM: ADA Future Audiologist Workshop
  • 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM: CAOHC Professional Supervisors Course

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: “Game Changer” General Session: The Role of Pharmaceutical Agents in Hearing Loss Management and Prevention, by Kathleen Campbell, PhD

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM   Opening Reception in Exhibit Hall


7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Welcome and President’s Address, by Brian Urban, AuD

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Keynote Address: Hearing Loss and Aging: Consequences, Implications, and Creating Better Outcomes through Alternative Models of Care, by Frank R. Lin, MD, PhD

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break in the Exhibit Hall

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: “Game Changer” General Session: Hearing Loss and Aging—A Mandate for Intervention and Innovation. Moderator: Dave Fabry, PhD, with Frank Lin, MD, PhD, Larry Humes, PhD, Barbara Weinstein, PhD

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Seminars

  • Utilizing Benchmarking in Your Practice, by Mike Lowery
  • Hearing and Healthy Living: The Audiologist – Primary Care Physician Relationship, by Brian Taylor, AuD
  • Ear, Brain, and Hearing Aid Amplification, by Douglas Beck, AuD
  • Ear-Level Instrumentation in the Treatment of Tinnitus, by Pawel Jastreboff, PhD

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM:   Break in the Exhibit Hall

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Seminars

  • Know What Marketing Works and How Well It Is Working: Taking the Guesswork out of Marketing Decisions, by Mark Sanford, MS, Mark Harned Cathy Howard
  • Building on a New Healthcare Landscape to Grow Your Practice: Illuminating Co-Morbidities for Effective Physician Outreach, by Alina Urdaneta Tish Ramirez, AuD
  • Ear, Brain, and Hearing Aid Amplification, Part 2, by Douglas Beck, AuD
  • Improving Patient Experience—On the Phone and in Your Office, by Heather Sager Carl Cook


7:30 AM – 8:30 AM: Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM: “Game Changer” General Session: Understanding the Speech-Understanding Problems of Older Adults, by Larry Humes, PhD

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Live Business Plan Competition

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch in the Exhibit Hall (Exhibit Hall closes at 1 PM)

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Seminars

  • How to Evaluate and Value Your Business, by Ronald Gleitman, PhD
  • Selling Techniques for Different Personality Types, by Erin Wright, AuD
  • Three Simple Steps to Awesome Aural Rehab, by Dusty Jessen, AuD
  • Who Are We Really Working For? The Complex New Relationship between Audiology and Industry, by David Smriga, MA

2:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Seminars

  • Beating Big Box Retailers at the Price Game: Winning a Fight No One Says You Can Win, by Al Turri, AuD Kevin St Clergy
  • Management of High Frequency Hearing Loss in a Co-Managed Patient Care Model with a New Implantable, by George Cire, AuD, Doug Backous, MD, Michele Fusco, MA
  • Comparing and Contrasting Modified TRT Counseling and Psychological Intervention Within Audiology, Part 1, by Timothy Atchison, PhD, Leslie Dalton, Jr, PhD, Gary Byrd, PhD
  • Exit Strategy Succession Planning, by Andrew Hebert Clifford Carey

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Seminars

  • Transitioning Your Practice to a New Owner, by Craig Castelli
  • A Time-Efficient Form for Documenting Hearing Aid Benefit, by Ron Leavitt, AuD Nikki Clark
  • Comparing and Contrasting Modified TRT Counseling and Psychological Intervention Within Audiology, Part 2, by Timothy Atchison, PhD, Leslie Dalton, Jr, PhD, Gary Byrd, PhD
  • 24/7 Hearing for Your Patients: The New Reality with Provocative Challenges, by Helena Solodar, AuD


Seminars (included with convention attendance fee, but preregistration required)

  • 8:00 AM – 9:30: Audiology With a Purpose Game Show, with Tabitha Parent Buck, AuD Douglas Beck, AuD
  • 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM: CAPD: The Elephant in our Heads (Some Assembly Required), by Michael Webb, MS
  • 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM: What Every Audiologist Needs to Know About Asset Protection Tax Reduction and Estate Planning Strategies, by Larry Oxenham
  • 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Women Unite, by Natalie Phillips, AuD, Gyl Kasewurm, AuD, D’Anne Rudden, AuD A.U. Bankaitis, PhD

 *Separate registration required

 Note: Schedule subject to change. Check final program and ADA website for latest updates.

To register for the convention, visit the ADA Convention website. Regular registration starts on Jul 08, 2014 and ends on Oct 07, 2014. Late registration starts on Oct 08, 2014.

 Next year: ADA 2015 will be held November 12-15, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.


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Beltone hearing aids enhance quality of life

“Enhancing the quality of life for those with hearing loss through expert care and customized solutions.”

At the Beltone Hearing Aid Center in Defiance, that’s not just a slogan. It’s a daily event.

“We treat every patient like a dear loved one,” said Jeff Sager, hearing care practitioner and office manager. “We tailor each hearing solution to your lifestyle, preferences and hearing needs.”

The Beltone center is located inside the Northtowne Mall Sears store at 1500 N. Clinton St.

“This is a regional store and we serve a multi-county area,” said Sager. “We were selected as recent winner of the 2013 Circle of Excellence award for patient satisfaction. The company has been around for more than 70 years and we are truly the world’s leading hearing aid company.”

The store has a huge array of tiny hearing aides and Sager said there is a perfect fit for everyone.

“Our products are designed to seamlessly adjust to your changing surroundings as you move through your day. We have all types including in-the-ear, behind-the-ear and open-fit. We have a wide variety of products from TV to church to phone enhancements, so we can improve your environment wherever you need it.”

Sager strongly encouraged area residents to contact the office for a free hearing test, especially with the holidays coming up.

“We realize many people are reluctant to take the first step and get tested. It’s much like a root canal, you really don’t want to do it but you really can’t afford not to do so. With so many family activities and gatherings over Thanksgiving and Christmas, you really can’t afford to miss what’s happening and what is being said.”

Sager invited the public to visit the Beltone office for a free “test drive.”

“We offer you the opportunity to sample a hearing aid in the office before you buy it to see what it sounds like in a variety of listening situations. Beltone has the best hearing instruments in the industry and they can simulate the closest thing to normal hearing.”

By taking an early step to diagnose hearing loss, you can even avoid or prepare for the future need for hearing aids.

“Hearing loss develops gradually, you may not know you have it,” said Sager. “Because hearing loss is often permanent, it’s best to find out as soon as possible. Treating hearing loss can stop it from becoming worse and preserve good hearing for life. It can also help prevent certain medical conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

With many current and retired factory workers in rural northwest Ohio, the potential for hearing loss is greater than many other areas of the country.

“Working in loud environments over an extended period of time is bound to affect your hearing,” said Sager. “We strongly advise making an appointment for a free hearing test with one of our licensed Beltone Hearing Care professionals. The hearing test will tell you what you’re hearing and what you are missing.”

For additional questions about hearing loss or more information about the services and products of the Beltone Hearing Center in Defiance, call 419-782-2332 or visit the company website at:

“Our company and its hearing care network has received patient satisfaction ratings in the 96th percentile for products and service,” said Sager. “That’s because we treat every patient like a dear loved one.”

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Consumerization of healthcare: why the hearing aid market might be the next to …

Image: Motorola

We went to see an elderly family friend this weekend. The first thing we noticed upon entering her house was the decibel level. She was watching a game show on TV, and the volume was set so high it was like being hit by a fire hose of sound.

Think of it as Google Glass, but for the ear.

She’s in her 80s and uses a hearing aid. Unfortunately, she told us her $ 3,000+ hearing aid doesn’t work worth a darn, insurance won’t cover a replacement, and so she listens to the TV at a level that makes the shingles on the roof vibrate.

I didn’t know much about hearing aids, but I learned a lot talking to our elderly friend and my wife, who’s an RN.

The hearing aid business is huge. According to The Hearing Review, nearly 3 million hearing aids were “dispensed” in 2013, a full 20 percent of which were distributed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This market usually grows at about 2-4 percent per year, but last year it grew by 4.8 percent.

With hearing aids starting at about $ 1,400 each and going up and up and up in price, the hearing aid market is at least worth $ 5 billion. Now, it turns out that, as with many medically-dispensed devices, hearing aids come in a huge variety, based on patient need — from those that just sit behind the ear and magnify sound to those that are surgically installed inside the ear for a direct tech-to-bone connection.

This is a huge market even if you ignore the most medically complex devices. 52.2 percent of all hearing aids dispensed in 2013 were like my friend’s — a behind-the-ear device that pumps sound into an earplug either via a wire or — like those nasty headphones on airplanes — by air pressure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about consumer electronics and health-related devices ever since the Apple Watch announcement. My wife has an Android Wear watch that connects to her phone, and we’ve been nosing around an upcoming device called the Moto Hint.

The Moto Hint is a very tiny Bluetooth earphone that fits inside the ear and, in addition to answering the phone and letting you talk, it can send Okay Google (and, presumably Siri) queries to a linked smartphone. Now, rather than just answering the phone, you can actually talk to your phone through just the device mounted in the ear.

Think of it as Google Glass, but for the ear.

This got me thinking about my friend. As a consumer device, the Hint is a little pricey: $ 149 for a Bluetooth earphone is a bit much. But $ 149 for a replacement hearing aid is disruptive, 1/20th of the price that my friend had to pay — and then couldn’t replace.

As it turns out, there’s a category of devices that help hearing but aren’t allowed to be called hearing aids. According to the FDA (which is the agency that regulates hearing aids in the United States), these are Personal Sound Amplification Devices (PSADs). A 2009-vintage Web page on the FDA site describes “Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplifiers: Know the Difference.”

According to Dr. Eric Mann, Deputy Director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, And Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices, “Hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPS) can both improve our ability to hear sound. They are both wearable, and some of their technology and function is similar.”

Remember, though, that this was posted on October 20, 2009. This was iPhone 3GS vintage. The iPad hadn’t even been released yet. Bluetooth 3.0 had just been adopted as a standard. There was no low-energy, long-lasting Bluetooth. Inductive chargers were rare. Windows 7 was still two days from being released to the general public.

You get the idea. A lot has changed in the consumer technology world since the FDA last updated its advice on hearing aids.

The FDA site goes on to give some very sound advice from Dr. Mann, which I’ll pass along to you (and then criticize):

Mann notes, however, that the products are different in that only hearing aids are intended to make up for impaired hearing.

He says consumers should buy a personal sound amplifier only after ruling out hearing loss as a reason for getting one. “If you suspect hearing loss, get your hearing evaluated by a health care professional,” he adds.

Choosing a PSAP as a substitute for a hearing aid can lead to more damage to your hearing, says Mann. “It can cause a delay in diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. And that delay can allow the condition to get worse and lead to other complications,” he says.

Clearly, any discussion of anything medical should include the suggestion to see your doctor. So I dutifully remind you that I’m not a medical professional and suggest that you go see your doctor.

All of this is a given. But in a world where insurance rules, sometimes seeing a doctor won’t solve the problem. My elderly friend is a good example. She’s in her 80s, knows quite well she has hearing loss, and has been prescribed (and has paid for out of her limited fixed income and dwindling savings), a hearing aid that no longer works.

Also, a lot of people who have been diagnosed with hearing loss and told they need a hearing aid avoid getting one for fear of looking old. This isn’t an issue of simple vanity, it may put careers and potential relationships at risk, especially in markets where age is a prejudicial issue. By replacing the hearing aid with an exciting new Bluetooth headset, wearers no longer have to appear “old and out of touch”. Instead, they’ll fit in by looking just as dorky as anyone else with a Bluetooth headset.

In a perfect world, my friend would be able to get another hearing aid and be done with it. But we don’t live in a perfect world — and hearing aids have certain limitations that Bluetooth earphones do not.

For example, with a hearing aid, she has difficulty bringing her Moto X up to her ear and listening, because the hearing aid gets in the way. So she uses the Moto X on the other ear, which means she’s always shouting into the phone and can’t hear anyone on the other end.

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She’s also not yet used to the idea of carrying her phone with her everywhere she goes. When she goes from her living room to her bedroom (using a cane or a walker), she often leaves her phone in the other room. She has her hearing aid on, but it doesn’t do much good, which is why the TV blares at such a high volume.

On the other hand, if she had a device like the Moto Hint, she could theoretically leave her phone on its charger and still answer calls. She could tell the Hint who to dial (“Call my son”) and it send that request to Okay Google. Okay Google, running on the Moto X, would dial the phone, pumping sound directly into her ear in via the Moto Hint earpiece.

Let me note now that I haven’t looked at the Hint yet, so I’m just working off the marketing literature. This is all assuming it works as promised. Given how nice the Moto X and the Moto 360 have turned out to be, I’m guessing the Hint might be all it promises, as well.

But what about listening to TV? Well, with something like a Bluetooth earpiece, she could theoretically bind the TV to her earpiece and listen to it in her ear without all the ambient sound pollution. Not all TVs have a Bluetooth output, but there are many Bluetooth transmitters that can solve this problem for under $ 100.

Finally, what about talking to people in the room and, you know, hearing? I typed “hearing aid” into the search box on the Google Play store and it turned up scroll after scroll of apps that promised to take ambient sound, amplify it, and pump it to a Bluetooth earpiece.

All of this falls into the category of consumerization of healthcare, but with the extreme costs and unhelpful insurance companies, patients are taking matters into their own hands. Clearly, the $ 149 cost of the Moto Hint and the various free or $ 0.99 hearing aid apps don’t come with an audiologist consult, but for struggling, abandoned patients like my friend, this new crop of small, highly sophisticated Bluetooth headsets might be a game changer.

What other fields are ripe for disruption? TalkBack below.

By the way, I’m doing more updates on Twitter and Facebook than ever before. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz and on Facebook at

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A recent study discovered that coffee may help tinnitus.

(TRFW News) Coffee… Some people love it, while others hate it. It appears that there is a 50/50 balance on the number of people that drink coffee. According to Statistic Brain, approximately 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume coffee on a daily basis and 35% of them like it black. Additionally, 65% of the people consume the beverage during breakfast hours. (1)

Is coffee good for you?

I personally don’t like coffee and cringe when my friends want to hang out at Starbucks for the risk of reeking coffee for the rest of the day. Despite of my preferences, coffee does have some health benefits when consumed moderately. For example, the coffee beans have good sources of antioxidants, bioflavonoids, vitamins, and minerals that work together to promote health. (2)

It also appears that there are many studies that show the benefits of coffee for various ailments. According to JAMA, researchers found that higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease. (3)

In another study conducted in 2011, nearly 50,000 men drank 6 cups of coffee per day. Researchers found that these men had a 60% lower risk of prostate cancer. Those who consumed 3 cups per day had a 30% lower risk. (4)

The list goes on and many studies found that coffee can help liver, kidney, and colorectal cancers; as well as heart rhythm problems, strokes, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal flora. (5)

Some of our other article publishing found that coffee could decrease the overall cardiovascular mortality, as well as boost athletic performance and prevent muscle loss.

New study found that coffee might actually help tinnitus.

According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. It is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” although some people have reported hearing sounds such as hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus in some degree. (6)

Tinnitus is typically not a serious condition, however, it can significantly impact your quality of life. It may also get worse as you age or be a symptom of an underlying condition such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or circulatory system disorder. (7)

Interestingly, new research found that women who drank higher amounts of caffeine in the form of coffee were less likely to have tinnitus. (8) More specifically, women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine per day were 15% more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed between 450 to 599 milligrams per day! (9)

What researchers found is that caffeine can help reduce tinnitus risk, however, they weren’t exactly sure why. Past research did find that it might be a result from a direct effect on the inner ear or the stimulation of the central nervous system. (5)

Sources for this article include:


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Chinstrap harvests chewing energy for hearing aids

The Canadian inventors of an energy-harvesting chinstrap say it could enable hearing aids to be powered by chewing and talking.

Researchers from École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Quebec created the chinstrap from piezoelectric fibre composites (PFC) that produce electricity as they are stretched.

They say the device could remove the need for batteries in a number of small-scale implantable or wearable electronic devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, electronic hearing protectors and communication devices.

‘The only expensive part of the energy-harvesting device is the single PFC layer, which costs around $ 20,’ said Aidin Delnavaz, co-author of a paper on the chinstrap published in the Institute of Physics journal Smart Materials and Structures.

‘Considering the price and short lifetime of batteries, we estimate that a self-powered hearing protector based on the proposed chinstrap energy-harvesting device will start to pay back the investment after three years of use. Additionally, the device could substantially decrease the environmental impact of batteries and bring more comfort to users.’

So far the device has only produced a very small amount of power – 10µW with the chinstrap worn in an optimum setup while the user chewed gum for 60 seconds.

‘Given that the average power available from chewing is around 7mW, we still have a long way to go before we perfect the performance of the device,’ said Delnavaz.

‘The power level we achieved is hardly sufficient for powering electrical devices at the moment; however, we can multiply the power output by adding more PFC layers to the chinstrap. For example, 20 PFC layers, with a total thickness of 6 mm, would be able to power a 200 µW intelligent hearing protector.’

He added: ‘We will now look at ways to increase the number of piezoelectric elements in the chinstrap to supply the power that small electronic devices demand, and also develop an appropriate power management circuit so that a tiny, rechargeable battery can be integrated into the device.’



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New Patient Advocacy Group Sounds Off on Common Hearing Aid Scams

Los Angeles, CA / ACCESSWIRE / September 12, 2014 / A new patient advocacy group, Exposing Hearing Aids, has uncovered retailer and provider scams that target consumers seeking to purchase hearing aid devices online. The organization has unveiled a wealth of information that patients should know, including the hidden costs and risks associated with purchasing hearing aids online, how to spot misleading verbiage in provider contracts, and what to expect from an initial visit with a reputable clinician.

Community Outreach Director, Mike Daniels, shared recent cost comparison data that demonstrates how online hearing aid purchases measure up to the cost of purchasing though providers. The data shows that a particular brand of hearing aids purchased online for $ 1795 can amount to a $ 2945 price tag after three years of necessary maintenance. After an initial payment of $ 2580 to a licensed audiologist for the same make and model, that maintenance would be covered for free by contract.

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“People are usually shocked by the high price tag that comes with new hearing aids, and end up falling for the deceptively lower prices that they see online without realizing the extra cost of adjustments and maintenance that could otherwise be covered through the right provider. It’s one of the reasons why 95% of people who purchase their first hearing aid online end up going through a clinician for their second set,” said Daniels.

However, Daniels warns that not all clinicians offer their patients the best deal, either. For example, provider contracts that detail “free servicing” won’t necessarily offer “free repairs,” and an honest provider should address the difference with his or her patients. In addition to highlighting retailer scams and “red flags” of provider care, Exposing Hearing Aids arms consumers with the knowledge of what a reputable provider should be doing, including initializing any new patient with a formal hearing evaluation, providing a 30-60 day trial contract for new devices, and never indulging in high-pressure sales for a particular model.

“People don’t count on losing their hearing. It’s just not something people usually plan for. So when it happens, they’re not prepared,” explained Daniels. “But statistics from the [National Institute of Health] show that around 12% of the American population do suffer from some form of hearing loss. That’s a huge number of patients searching for information in an industry that’s riddled with a lot of scams, a lot of false advertising. We just want to help by showing them that there is a standard for hearing loss treatment, and purchasing hearing aids is something that can be done securely and with confidence.”

About Exposing Hearing Aids

The team that fuels represents a collective 70 years of experience in the industry, and founded the organization with the mission of helping hearing impaired patients across the country find the simplest, safest, most cost-effective route to better hearing. Their website equips patients with the knowledge they need to confidently embark upon their first hearing treatment, and offers provider ratings and a clinician match-up tool.

Exposing Hearing Aids connects patients with local providers that can help. If you would like a free, no-obligations consultation with a trustworthy clinician, visit: or call (888) 445-9748.


Mike Daniels
5405 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
[email protected]
(888) 445-9748

SOURCE: Exposing Hearing Aids

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Johnson Law Solicitors – industrial deafness and tinnitus

Date published: 11 September 2014

Johnson Law Solicitors – industrial deafness and tinnitus

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Johnson Law Solicitors are working to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive noise in the workplace.

They warn that one million people in the UK are at risk of developing deafness and tinnitus, and that employers should be aware of the risk.

David Johnson from Johnson Law said: “If your job consistently exposes you to noise levels of 80dB or more, then you are at risk of developing industrial deafness or tinnitus, and your employer has a duty to minimise this risk.”

Call centres, night clubs, bars and factories are among the loudest places to work, and those in the construction industry are also susceptible, with widely-used tools such hand drills and chainsaws reaching up to 115dB.

David Johnson added: “If you feel you’re at risk of deafness or tinnitus at work, raise the issue with your employer and take preventative steps to protect yourself.

Wear appropriate ear protection such as earplugs, and give your ears time to recover. This means 16 hours of quiet if you’re exposed to 100dB of noise.”

Unfortunately there is no cure for tinnitus, but if you suffer from it, listening to relaxing sounds is often a helpful distraction. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help manage symptoms.

Johnson Law Solicitors
29-31 Knowsley Street
T: Freephone 0800 130 0699
F: 01204 520 777
E: [email protected]  

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