Earplugs

Bose's New Sleepbuds Touted for Tinnitus

Photo Credit: Bose

Photo Credit: Bose

Bose recently launched noise-masking sleepbuds™, tiny wireless earbuds designed for comfort that deliver soothing sounds to help you sleep. Bose markets the sleepbuds to everyone who has trouble falling or staying asleep due to unwanted noises like snoring and traffic (or for those who have partners who are bothered by standard noise machines). But, SoundGuys published an article a few days ago identifying another group who might benefit from these earbuds: those with Tinnitus. Since many of our patients suffer from Tinnitus, and we understand how it affects their sleep patterns, we were intrigued enough to look into this and share.

The new sleepbuds only work with the Bose Sleep app, meaning you can't listen to music or other forms of entertainment. The sleepbuds provide 10 soothing sounds you can choose from - ranging from beach settings to campfires - to help you fall and stay asleep. Some sounds are better suited to help mask unwanted noise, and some are designed purely for relaxation.

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The rechargeable batteries last up to 15 hours at max volume which, according to the SoundGuys, measured at 74dB. (We don't recommend more than 8 hours of exposure to sounds over 80dB due to noise-induced hearing loss.) The earbuds are charged in the battery case, which holds them in place magnetically. Another great feature is the ability to set an alarm that only you can hear. 

We visited the Bose community page to see what those with Tinnitus had to say about the sleepbuds. Users had some great recommendations, including partnering with other Tinnitus-relief apps and allowing users to adjust the frequency of sounds emitted from the sleepbuds. You can view some of these comments here

The earbuds retail on the Bose website for $249.95. 

Tinnitus is a condition most commonly known as "ringing in the ears;" however, the "ringing" can also be in the forms of whistling, buzzing, hissing, clicking, and roaring, among others. Take a closer look at Tinnitus' causes and management in our August 2017 blog post

It's Noisy Out There: Protect Your Hearing

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. As audiologists, we see the effects that noise has on our patients' hearing on a weekly, if not daily, basis. It's not just our patients: approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-69 have hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises. 

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in our 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, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss. 

How Loud is Too Loud?

The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85 dB, or by a one-time, intense exposure to a noise like an explosion. ƒTo give you some perspective:

  • Normal conversations are around 60dB.
  • Hair dryers and blenders are 90dB.
  • Concerts, car racing and sporting events are 110 dB
  • Ambulance, police and fire sirens are 130 dB.
  • Gunshots and fireworks are 140 dB.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone an arm's length away, the surrounding noise is too loud. If you hear ringing, buzzing or experience temporary hearing loss when leaving work or a concert, the noise is too loud. Parents - if you can hear sounds from your child's headphones or earbuds while standing next to them, the volume is too loud.

Occupational Hazards

The risk for noise-induced hearing loss is especially high among factory workers, transportation workers, military personnel, construction workers, musicians and entertainers, those who work frequently with heavy machinery, and first responders. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers implement a Hearing Conservation Program if workers are exposed to an average noise level of 85 dB or higher over an 8-hour work period. According to OSHA, Hearing Conservation Programs require employers to measure noise levels, provide free annual hearing exams, free hearing protection, provide training, and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use unless changes to tools, equipment and schedules are made less noisy and/or worker exposure to noise is less than the 85 dBA.

Hearing Protection Solutions

If you are attending a sporting event, concert, parade, fireworks show, or any other type of event, you should always pack a set of earplugs that can be purchased at your local pharmacy. This is especially true for children. 

For people who are exposed to loud noises on a daily basis, we offer custom-molded earplugs, made from medical-grade silicone. Our earplugs offer a level of comfort and protection that you won't find in standard, generic earplugs. These earplugs are vented to allow sound to pass both ways, so you don't get that "plugged up" feeling. 

If you're often having to speak over the noise in your work or leisure environments, call us for a hearing protection consultation.