About The Headphones
Used For Berard AIT
Headphone Guidelines After Berard AIT
Noise Cancelling Headphone Use
Headphones Allowed After AIT
Headphone Use After Berard AIT
Hearing Problems And Headphone Use
About The Headphones Used For Berard AIT
The AirFit Headphones - AirDrives INA99001 Headphones Earphones - Blue
These are not high quality sound but they are good for use after AIT because of the way the earbuds sit outside the ear.
They do not force the sound into the ear canal and hit the eardrum, but rather, sit against the bone to conduct the sound, hence the perception of lower sound quality.
These are what are called “open-back” headphones.
sit over the ear, but they have openings in the back of the earphone
that allows some of the percussion of the music to escape. It is
important to remember that even though these allow some music to escape,
turning them up to loud volumes would still cause too much vibration so
they should only be used at low to moderate volume levels.
Another kind is a sports model headphones that allows the speaker to clip on the shoulder: Clip-On Personal Speakers for MP3/iPods
Noise Cancelling Headphone Use Before And After AIT
We recommend to parents that they do what they need to do until AIT, but then wean the child OFF the ear plugs or noise canceling headphones, except in situations where we would want to protect any normal listener such as during loud performances, fireworks, etc.
From what we know about the low levels of the brain, mainly the brain stem level systems for noise suppression, is that in the case of noise cancelling headphones, they are kept functioning by minute-to-minute daily use. For example, using earplugs to damping noise so we can sleep.
But it is a little like a muscle: use it or lose it. The best research along these lines is for much more severe auditory deprivation than mere addiction to noise suppression gear. Research is done on children with severe, chronic, long standing middle ear (conductive) hearing loss.
It has also been studied in lab mice that were purposely deprived of sound for crucial days of development. In the mice where one could look at structures, many brain stem cell systems were under-developed compared to the normal-hearing mice.
With hyperacusis or hypersensitive hearing, we have the added problem of the person's damping defense against noise which means the stiffening of the cochlear hair cells to temper the sound coming in, which causes the depressions in the audiogram or Listening Test or "greater hearing loss", when not using the ear protectors.
Ron Eavey, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary states:
"Using earphones for hours at high volumes basically causes '"shock and awe" to delicate hair-like cells deep within the inner ear that help the brain process sound... After years of abuse, those structures won't function anymore."
Dr. Berard stressed that headphones for loud music should not be used after doing his AIT method.
Headphones are typically used for personal listening, while the average listener plays the volume too loudly. Dr. Berard's concern remains with the health of the middle ear, the quality of the headphones - and most of all the intensity of the sound coming from the headphones.
Dr. Berard describes the impact as follows: "After AIT, excessively loud volume delivered by headphones may cause a disruption in the balance established. Without headphones, the ear canal works like a shock absorber. The eardrum is the second shock absorber, and the ossicles are the third shock absorber, all protecting the cochlea. With headphones, sounds go directly to the eardrum, thereby taking away the first protector, allowing sound to attack the cochlea more directly. The headphones per se, do not cause regression after treatment. The intensity level of the excessive volume input from the headphones causes the impact on the acoustic reflex, which in turn directly impacts the cochlea."
"From the moment I became interested in the problems of hearing, I have been aware of the studies by the health organizations concerning hearing deficiencies caused by wearing headphones for certain occupations.
The statistics were related to telephone operators, translators, and musicians, and even though I cannot exactly quote the results now, I remember that the people whose hearing had been impaired through occupationally-related causes could obtain an official pension. Thus, it was officially recognized that wearing headphones to listen to speech or music could lead to some hearing damage. Afterwards I was asked by several lawyers to evaluate the percentage of hearing loss of these individuals. This percentage was very different for each person, probably because of differences in the physiological and physical resistance of each person.
If it was admitted that wearing headphones to listen to speech or music could lead to some damage to normal individuals, it is obvious that someone who had been treated with AIT, who had some problem of hearing, would be more sensitive to all hearing aggressions, including wearing headphones. This is the reason why I forbid the use of headphones, or at least, if people have to do this because of their work, to minimize the amount of time for this use."
Hearing Problems And Headphone Use
Normally, when you hear sounds, such as music, talking, noises from your own behavior, songs of the birds, as well as thunderclaps, any kinds of engines or of explosions, they reach your tympanic drums after passing through a large quantity of atmosphere. This air works as a shock absorber to diminish the intensity of the impact on the eardrum.
However, when you are hearing sounds coming directly from the membrane of the headphone to your tympanic membrane, through the one square centimeter of air included in your outer ear canal, the impact is practically direct, without any possibility of easing this aggression.
This constant aggression is transmitted to the ossicles, then to the inner ear. This explains why many of people working with headphones have a trough, or drop on 4000 Hertz on their Audiogram or Listening Test, similar to that of people working in noisy factories.
On the other hand, wearing headphones eliminates all the sounds coming from outside, increasing the sounds coming from your own body, your own voice, creating a sort of echo. This aspect of the problem is more important for people wearing earplugs placed directly in the outer ear canal close to the eardrum. Then there is no more air to help the vibration of the tympanic drum and all your own sounds lead directly to the cochlea and the brain, which is not satisfactory, physiologically or psychologically.
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