Tinnitus In Dentists

The One Hearing Protection: Guaranteed Tinnitus and Hearing Loss Prevention

Often, dentists receive physical consequences from their own practices. In addition to minor hand injuries and torn muscles from operating on teeth, dentists experience continuous exposure to unhealthily loud noises. The sources of the noise they experience originate from the tools they work with and the environment they work in on a daily basis. Tools like the hand-pieces dentists use generate a lot of noise. With continued exposure, dentists risk hearing loss. The number of dental professionals who have noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus grows every year. There is a solution to this: The One dental earplug.

Tinnitus In Dentists

The One is a customized earplug designed specifically for dentists. These earplugs prevent exposure of the ear to excessive noise from both the machines and the natural environment of dentistry operations. The One functions with two filters. There is the primary filter on the outside and the secondary filter in the inside. The primary filter filters general noise from the environment and machines. The secondary filter filters the unwanted noise.

Importance of Using The One Dental Earplug

The major difference between The One dental earplug and any other form of filtered or vented earplug is that our earplug allows for a specific limit of noise exposure. The two filters work simultaneously, thereby controlling the type of noise that ends up in the inner ear.

The secondary filter ensures only the natural voices access the inner ear. Additionally, it only allows up to 85 dB of sound. This implies that only the allowed noise pressure can penetrate the earplug. As for The One dental earplug, the allowed noise includes natural sounds such as of the patient and the surgery crew. This earplug pinches off sound pressure that can damage the sensitive inner ear sensory hairs.

Also, the dental earplug regulates the intensity of the noise that reaches the inner ear. This standardized feature does not discriminate between noise sources. Therefore, even if the noise comes from the natural source, the secondary filter will filter it out. For instance, the earplug cancels noise from the turbines of high pitched hand drills that would otherwise dose the dental professional with noise pressures exceeding 85 decibels. On the other hand, the earplug allows any other natural sound with pressure below 85 decibels into the eardrum. 

Tinnitus In Dentists, a risk associated with loud noise exposure

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5 out of 10 retired dentists experience tinnitus. In the same study, the CDC discovered that only a third of the people suffering from tinnitus seek medical assistance, which can prove quite expensive. With this already expensive medication, only two out of five tinnitus patients successfully recover using this medication while the rest remain in an irreversible state.

Patients with tinnitus hear a constant ringing that is not experienced by others. Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. Tinnitus prevention using our earplugs is much cheaper and much more successful.

How Tinnitus In Dentists develops

Several factors cause tinnitus in dentists. However, the major cause is prolonged exposure to of the ear to sound that exceeds 85 dB. This exposure leads to inner ear hair cell damage. Exposing an ear to high-intensity sound causes the delicate inner ear hairs to move in the direction of the sound waves. This triggers the ear cells to produce an electrical signal through the auditory nerve to the brain. The signals sent to the brain translate the waves into sound. In cases where the inner hairs in the inner ear break or bend, the result is a random electrical signal sent to the brain that results in the vast array of sounds that individuals with tinnitus hear.

Tinnitus In Dentists symptoms

The main symptom of tinnitus is the hearing of imaginary sounds not actually present in the environment. Some of the phantom noises associated with tinnitus include the following:

    • A ringing sound, which may become louder or lighter with time.
    • A frequent buzzing sound 
  • A roaring sound.
  • A hissing sound

These sounds may occur in one or both ears. In some cases, the noise may become so loud that it interferes with a person’s concentration. The sound may be irritating, hindering afflicted people from hearing actual sounds in their environment.

Causes of Tinnitus In Dentists

  • Exposure to loud noise

Noisy equipment such as dentists’ hand-pieces can cause tinnitus. Such equipment produces excess levels of noise to the ear. Continuous use of the same equipment by the same dentist without adequate hearing protection puts them in greater danger of developing tinnitus. 

Other causes

  • Age-related causes

As a person ages, they become vulnerable to presbycusis. Such a condition occurs when a person nears the age of 60. The more a person exposes themselves to damaging sounds, the more that person experiences ear damage and a higher potential of developing tinnitus. 

  • Earwax blockage

Earwax protects the ear canal by trapping dirt and other foreign substances, preventing them from entering the inner ear. Ear Wax also prevents bacterial development in the ear. However, when earwax over-accumulates in the ear canal, it may cause ear loss or irritation in the ear canal, which can cause tinnitus. 

Tinnitus causes for dentists

Several scientists have hypothesized different possible causes of tinnitus. Some relate tinnitus to head injuries, acoustic neuroma, blood vessel disorders, and medications like antibiotics and aspirin. In all their arguments, scientists appreciate that the major legitimate cause of tinnitus in dentists is exposure to noise. 

The nature of the working environments of dentists ensures that they cannot avoid exposure to noise without leaving their office. They continuously expose their ears to excessive noise from the equipment they use and in their normal exposure to sounds in their environment. The materials in their laboratories produce a high volume of noise. When exposed to this noise for long periods of time, tinnitus may be triggered, hindering dentists’ performance.

Complications that come with tinnitus

Tinnitus affects every person differently. According to research by the Department of Health and Human Services, a person suffering from tinnitus may experience the following complications:

a. Fatigue

People with tinnitus experience frequent fatigue and may feel unmotivated to complete even the slightest of household chores.

b. Stress can develop from the worry caused by tinnitus. Continued stress will develop into depression. 

c. Sleeping problems

d. Difficulty concentrating

e. Irritability

f. Depression 

General tinnitus preventive measures
  •  Long-term exposure to loud music through headphones can increase an individual’s chances of developing tinnitus. For music listeners, reducing music volume may help reduce chances of tinnitus. However, this preventive measure fails to apply to dentists. They cannot turn down the volume of noise produced by their machines. But they can reduce exposure to noises outside their offices through strict dedication to protecting their hearing. This includes limiting their exposure to sounds that are within their control.
  • Tinnitus can be prevented by routinely taking care of cardiovascular health. Prevention of blood disorder-linked tinnitus achievable through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Dental professionals who have hobbies that are loud, like motorcycle-riding, listening to loud music or spending hours outdoors may find themselves at greater risk. Limiting exposure to sounds over 85 decibels while partaking in these hobbies will reduce the risk dentists being dosed by dangerous decibels outside of the office.

Protecting yourself as a dental professional may seem like a lot of work. It is, however, protection can ensure that you continue working into your golden years. It is imperative that you develop an individualized hearing conservation solution that works for you, whether that includes wearing hearing protection in and outside the office, or if you prefer to wear hearing protection in the office and monitor exposure to sound during recreational activities.

As a last reminder, both to dentists and all people, we leave you with this: tinnitus is permanent until death. Once you develop tinnitus, you cannot repair it. So act accordingly. And choose the best hearing protection.

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