News Items from UNC Greensboro

Photo of mannequin to determine safe hearing levelsHomecoming Week offers several ways for the campus community to learn about enhancing and protecting their health.

Thursday, stop by the EUC retail area around noon for a food demo featuring healthier options available on campus. Friday, ActiveU yoga is offered in Foust Park at noon. And if you complete a Personal Wellness Profile during the week, you get a free T-Shirt from Healthy UNCG.

Saturday at Homecoming’s HHS tent, meet “Genie” – a mannequin with an integrated sound level meter that allows you to determine if a person is setting his/her ipod at safe levels.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in the inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, human hair cells cannot grow back, which causes permanent hearing loss. NIHL can result from prolonged exposure to loud sounds of 85 decibels or greater.

Dr. Lisa Fox-Thomas, audiology professor at UNCG, notes, “Damaging levels of sound don’t have to perceived as ‘noise’ and can include sounds we enjoy such as music or the roar of a crowd.” In fact, the prevalence of hearing loss in the United States is rising at an alarming rate. This is due in part to the increased time Americans spend listening through cellphones, iPods, and other audio devices.

Fox-Thomas adds, “Not only are we listening to sounds louder, we are listening longer, which has a direct impact on the damage that is done.” As a result, audiologists at UNCG Speech and Hearing Center are attempting to educate children and adults about the dangers of sound exposure.

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