29 Nov 2011
It's well documented that age can contribute to hearing
loss, but did you know other factors such as lifestyle choices and
noises we experience in our day-to-day lives can too?
It is known that attending loud concerts and festivals and
listening to music at high volume through headphones can all result
in deterioration of our hearing and now scientists have discovered
that how we travel may also have some impact.
An article published earlier this year in theJournal of the
Acoustical Society of Americaexplores how motorcycle helmets worn
by bikers may contribute to hearing loss because of the way they
channel air and noise.
The article "Aeroacoustic sources of motorcycle helmet noise"
discusses how the sound of air whooshing over bikers helmets can
exceed safe levels, even when they travel at legal speeds,
potentially causing damage.
Researchers from the University of Bath and Bath
Spa University worked together to replicate the pressures
experienced by riders by way of an experiment that involved placing
microphones at different points on a helmet mounted on a mannequin,
which was then placed in a functioning wind tunnel. The effect of
helmet angle and wind speed on the loudness of noise experienced by
riders was also investigated.
The study discovered that the area underneath the helmet
and close to the chin bar is "a significant source of the noise
that reaches riders' sensitive eardrums." It is hoped that future
research can be conducted on real-life riders in road situations,
with the information being used to design quieter helmets to
protect bikers' hearing.
If you think you may have a hearing loss why not take our
online hearing check questionnaire or make an
appointment to have a hearing test at your nearest
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