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Have You Heard?

blank Ed Norton
Audiologist Mariah Menichino with iPod aids—custom-made ear molds from the Hearing Center.
Sometimes it seems like everything good can be bad for your health. Take iPods, for instance. Turns out these trendy devices, and other MP3 players, can damage your hearing.

This May, in honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month, the Hopkins Hearing Center is offering free hearing screenings to employees at the Outpatient Center, Green Spring Station and Bayview Medical Center.

iPods can produce volumes of up to 110 decibels—the equivalent of a rock concert. And with more people, including children, plugged in for long periods of time and at loud volumes, hearing loss could become increasingly common. Even prolonged and frequent use of headsets and cell phones set at loud volumes put hearing at risk.

The Hearing Center has custom-made ear molds designed specifically for iPods. They snap onto the devices’ ear buds and help block out background noise, explains clinical audiologist Colleen Ryan-Bane. An impression of the ear is taken so the ear molds suit its size and shape.

Ear molds at the Hearing Center are custom designed not just for iPods but for a variety of purposes. Some are used for hearing amplification; others block out sound entirely. There are ear molds for swimmers, musicians and even anesthesiologists to use with their stethoscopes for better monitoring of heart-beats over prolonged periods of time.

The hearing tests take 10 minutes, and if hearing loss is detected, more comprehensive tests can be scheduled to determine what type and how much has occurred.

“Most people haven’t had their hearing tested since grade school,” says Ryan-Bane. “It’s important to get a baseline hearing test as an adult so that you can get a hearing intervention and protect your quality of life.”

Lydia Levis Bloch

where to pray

May 2–30: Free Hearing Screenings

For Hopkins employees with ID. First come, first served; no appointments necessary.

Hearing Center, JHOC 6
May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 8 to 10 a.m.
Info: 410-955-6153

Green Spring Station, Pavilion One, Suite 360
May 1 and 15, 8 to 11 a.m.
Info: 410-616-7101

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Outpatient Services, 1st floor (ENT)
May 3, 10 and 17, 9 to 11 a.m.
Info: 410-550-2368



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