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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID Monday, May 28, 1973 mm, Tractor noise can cause deafness in 2 days specialist Mrs. Martha Price new world of sound for Taber v By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer The tractor is the major cause of hearing loss in adults in the Lethbridge area, says a local ear specialist. The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, says deafness can strike after one or two days of tractor noise if a person is susceptible. "I had one patient who only operated a traclor for a few hours and tests indicated a definite loss of he said. He lists construction power tools and small airplanes next to the tractor as. major causes of adult deafness in this Small power tools and elec- tric shavers do not reach a high enough noise level to cause harm to the human ear, he added. A constant 70 decibel noise level will eventually cause permanent deafness and the decibel rating (a measure- ment of sound) of most trac- tors is greater than 70. A sudden loud noise such as an explosion will break the ear-drum, but constant loud noises affect the nerve end- ings of the inner ear. A person with inner ear deafness often can hear, but can't understand. The ear spscialist says tractor operators should wear ear-pads. The pads don't eli- minate sound completely, but, they do reduce the noise level far below the danger point. Ear drum perfcra'ion re- sulting from an infection is ihe major cause of deafness in Lethbridge area children, the doctor said. Lack of care and cleanli- ness of the ears is the main reason for ear drum perfora- If a child Is no: treated when an acute infection de- velopes in the middle ear, the ear drum may rupture. Most ear infections subside and the structures of the mid- dle, ear heal completely. In cases where the ear drum fails to heal, a perma- nent hole results. Many children with ear in- fections get treated too late to prevent, a loss cf hearing, the ear specialist said. dren that he treats for ear infection are native. Bad colds and tonsilitis can also cause infection of the middle ear by creating a swelling in the eustachian tube which eliminates the means of equalizing pressure on the ear drum. He says 80 out of a 100 chil- Eustachian tube obstruc- tion occurs in boih cold and hot weather. Summer infection usually originates with swimming and the ear specialist claims ear plugs are useless as a method of prevention. He says the infection is transmitted through' the nose up the eustachian toibe rath- er than by way of the outer ear. Ear care advancements open whole new world A Taber women's hearing is back to normal for the first time in 43 years following a second operation on her ears bv a Lethbridge ear special- Jit. "Suddenly I was in a whole new world." says 72-year-old Martha Price of Taber. my hearing aide I couldn't distinquish voices in larga crowds arid everything ssemd garb'ed. but after the first operation I could under- stand what was bsing said. From 1930 to 1945 Mrs. Price was almost totally deaf. By 1945 technology improved the hearing aide's sound re- production capabilities enough to allow her to hear the human voice. She says her hearing im- proved directly with the ad- vancement cf the hearing fide and then an operation in 1966 at Lsthbridge return- ed, the tearing to her left esr. A second car oosration in February has allowed the hearing to return to her right ear gradually over the past lew weeks. The overwhelming joy show- ed by the ear specialist at the success of the operation me happy just to sse 1he satisfaction it brought she said. Mrs. Price suffered from middle esr deafness which occurs when som5 part of the conductive mechanism breaks clown. The operations on her cars were carried cut to in- sert mechanical pistons to provide for the conduction of sound into the inner ear. The partially deaf usually end ut> avoiding people be- cai'Se it is very embarrassing to a-jtempt to communicate when a person only hears a portion of what is being said, she claimed. "Prior to tha operation I lived in a shell.' Prior to obtaining a hearing that helped her. she says, "I couldn't associate with people and many times I would leave a group of peo- ple and go home and cry.' She was often answering yes to a ques.ion when she should have been saying no. but was too proud to keep asking peo- ple to repeat the question. "After my hearing return- ed I appreciated my family more because I could hear clearly what they were say- ing which made it easier for me to understand their feel- ings.' she said. The deaf not only suffer a communication problem, but are also eliminated from the every day sounds of the en- vironment. The sounds of wind blowing, trains passing by, fire bells clanging, horns tooting and ringing door bells were sim- ply not a part of Airs. Price's life during the years of deaf- ness. Even television, radio, and the telephone were far re- moved from her world. Following the operation and the return of hearing to her hi': ear. Mrs. Price says some sounds took a while to get used to. "When I walked down the sidewalk it sounded as if something was loose in my hips, but it turned out to be just the sound of my feet on the cement." she said. Trying to go to sleep the birds singing. frogs croaking, wind blowing and dogs barking was quite a pro- blem for her during the first few weeks following the op- e ion. "I even enjoy tb? sound of a clog barking." she chuckled. She compared most peo- ple's disinterest in the every- day sounds around them to a well. ''Until the well runs dry nobody appreciates water.'1 she ssid. The best preventive appar- atus is the nose plug, added. Sudden change of altitude ear aches are caused by a narrow eustachian tube channel which prevents the pressure in the middle ear changing as quickly as the aimospheres. Nasal sprays or deconges- tion tablets can prevent the quick change of altitude ear ache, he said. Deafness of old age is a cause of deafness which can- not be prevented. The hear- ing mechanism simply deter- iorates with age as do other complex organs of the body. A brain tumor causing pressure on the ear may be another reason for deafness. Deafness in this case is usu- ally combined with dizziness. CKher causes of permanent deafness include childh o o d diseases such as scarlet fever and measeles.- Accumulation of wax in the outer ear may case temp- orary deafness, but hearing can be returned to norms! if a doctor removes the wax and cleans the ear canal. The specialist claims some people have caused perma- nent damage to their ear cirums by attempting to clean the wax out themselves. "A finger, tooth pick or cot- ion tip will just act as a pis- ton pushing the wax deeper possibV damaging the ear he' said. "Nothing smaller Mian a finger in a wet cltoh towel shrjld be used to clean the ear." Failure to hear the human vole; of.en has nothing to do the mechanical ear. He says about three to four of the patients coming into his office each week hava normal hearing, but don' pay attention to what others ars saying and they blame the lack of concentration on a loss of hearing, he said. Arabian horse show bigger, better Fish derby Copl, unsettled weather ".'as blamed far b sharp drop in attendance at this Fish and Gama Association Fish derby. It wasn't- bad enough, however, to keep these few youngsters from casting off the pier ot Henderson Lake and reel in the odd trout. Local musicians win trophies Five trophies were won by Lethbridge participants in the provincial music festival held in Banff Saturday. Last year Lethbridpe finish- ed empty-handed in ths event which is open to regional win- ners. Wendy Burrows won the Dr. Allan Walker trophy for her vocal solo "Is it a In the musical tha- r re section. Miss Burrows. 20, of 511 12th Si. S.. is employed the Alexander Gait M'iseum. Tvc Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Green Band won the Father Green trophy and was judged the best band in the provincial contest. In the choral section, Teen Clefs of Lethbridge won two events. They earned the Pepsi-Cola and Lieutenant- governor Bulyea trophies. Margaret Horvath, topped the senior accordion class and won the Jacobs arid Mor- ris school of music trophy. Miss Horvath, IfiOfi 13th Avr-. N., attends Catholic Central High School. A former Lethbridge resi- dent, Dean Takahashi, won the Edmonton Kawanis tro- phy and a scholarship for Ms oboe entry in the senior open woodwinds section. Mr. TaliahasM, now an Ed- monton resident, is eligible for the national music festi- val to be held in September at the CNE Canadian Nation- al Exhibition. Only one half-point behind the mark sot. by Mr. Taka- was Margaret Foster, i.'ilV