GRWellness Health News for June, 2016

listening to loud music

Exposed to loud noise? Science has a reason that earplugs matter


What are people doing?

Listening to loud noise without ear plugs.

 Why do they do that?

Loud and low frequency sound stimulates the sacculus, a tiny organ in the inner ear that has a neural connection to those parts of our brain associated with reward and pleasure.  It’s why people love to blast their music. According to electrical engineer and author, Dr. Barry Bessler, “Raising the loudness of the music elevates the intensity of the experience.”

What they should be told

Hearing loss doesn’t just happen to old men who use power tools.

It can strike at any age if you don’t protect your hearing. The argument is that the majority of kids and their parents- who should be modeling how to protect their hearing-  don’t wear earplugs when they go to concerts. What parents and kids should be told is that exposure to loud noise is the most common reason that 1 out of 10 Americans today have trouble understanding normal speech.

What it takes to lose your hearing

Very little. So hear this: sound pressure in air is measured in decibels (dB’s). The lowest sound is barely audible, almost silent and measured at zero dB A whisper is 30 dB. Talking to a spouse? 60 dB, on a good day.

Every 10 dB increase is heard ten times louder than the sound before. So prolonged exposure to anything over 85dB starts to become damaging to your ears. For instance, maxing out your MP3 player at 105 dB, or sitting in a sports crowd or rock concert is a blast at 120-129 dB

Don’t try this at home.

Acoustic trauma and permanent hearing loss can occur from short-term exposure to 140 dB or more from noises not more than 100 feet away, such as rock music at its peak.

 How will you know your causing damage?

People rolling up their car windows while stuck listening to your music at a stoplight could be a clue. But the truth is that you may not know until it is too late.

According to The National Institute of Health (NIH), “Noise-induced hearing loss is cumulative, invisible, and permanent. It’s cumulative because the damage can start when we are young and get worse over time. It’s invisible because it can happen without even noticing it until it’s too late, and it’s permanent because, unlike a broken arm that gets better over time, we can’t “heal” our hearing. Once it’s damaged, it’s damaged for good.”

What can be done to help?

Turn it to the left. Turning down your music to 60% of the maximum volume is a guideline recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Wearing ear plugs can prevent hearing loss and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. If you are regularly exposed to loud noise, keeping a set of ear plugs handy in the glove compartment of your car or your wallet is one way of making sure you always have ear protection.

For parents of rock-stars in the making, Listen to Your Buds, is a campaign to educate both parents and kids on safe listening habits when using personal audio devices.

And If you think you may have a hearing problem, get evaluated by a certified audiologist.

One more time, please repeat that?

Ok…Again, people are not aware of the benefits of earplugs. If they were, we would have fewer people shouting, “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”

Look up in the sky! 13 genetic superheroes could lead us to life-saving cures, for real.

super power person


Who should you call for help when Batman is busy?

A superhero with good genes. Scientists are now studying people who have “super powers” that mean they stay healthy despite the disease-carrying genetic cards dealt to them. In other words, they have a genetic mutation that could lead to a particular disease, but they never get the disease.

Plain dumb luck? Perhaps. But maybe more than that. Researchers have found that these people inherited a gene that produces a protein that protects them.

What planet do genetic superheroes live on?

Not ours, apparently. But scientists, after searching the DNA of over half a million people, have found 13 individuals who are resistant to fatal childhood genetic diseases that they have inherited. The researchers hope that studying what’s unique about their special protein-producing abilities could lead to life-saving cures.

Genetic disease? What do you say to a friend who can’t remember high-school genetics?

You got this. Remember that monk and those yellow and green pea plants? Uh-huh. All 13 superheroes were carrying genes for the disorder according to Mendelian genetics. Which means that the genes occur in families through the inheritance of a single defective gene. Conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s chorea, and fragile X syndrome reflect the inheritance pattern that is known as Mendelian.

Why won’t the 13 superheroes phone home?

The 13 don’t know they possess superpowers.

And researchers are unable to contact them due to rules around protecting anonymity of people whose DNA is stored in data banks.

“The researchers could not re-contact the majority of resilient individuals for further study because of a lack of necessary consent forms.” Dr. Daniel MacArthur, from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US said. Which means that basically, the study is hamstringed.

“Finding genetic “superpowers” will require other kinds of heroism – a willingness of participants to donate their genomic and clinical data, and a commitment by researchers and regulators to overcome the daunting obstacles to data-sharing on a global scale.”


Health Tip for Week of June 13

drinking lemon water


Drink 16 oz. of water with freshly squeezed lemon as soon as you wake up in the morning. Water not only re-hydrates you, but it fires up your metabolism, increases your energy levels, and will help your kidney’s flush out toxins first thing in the morning.


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