By: Valerie Valcour
How often do you think about your ears? Do you protect your ears from the sun and loud noises? If you do, good for you! I’ve become increasingly aware of my ears after attending a local Farm Health and Safety training sponsored by the Vermont Farm & Safety Task Force.
Regarding hearing loss, the Farm Health and Safety training emphasized that hearing loss is preventable. I did not realize that being exposed to noises above 85 decibels such as noise from a lawnmower, shop tools or a chain saw for more than 2 minutes can cause permanent hearing loss. Check out these fact sheets for more information about protecting your ears:
- Have You Heard? https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-176/pdfs/2007-176.pdf
- They’re Your Ears – Protect Them https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-175/pdfs/2007-175.pdf
- Hearing Loss Prevention http://www.agrisafe.org/hearing-loss-prevention-resources.
Sun safety is another way to protect your ears. I am getting better at putting on sunscreen before going outside, but I still have to remind myself to apply it to my earlobes! According to the Vermont Department of Health Cancer Control Program, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and Vermont. Melanoma is the least common, but most serious, form of skin cancer. Vermont has one of the highest rates of melanoma incidence in the United States. Most cases of skin cancer are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Sunburns, especially during childhood, significantly increases an individual’s melanoma risk. It’s important to use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, even in the winter – and don’t forget your earlobes. Here are more Sun Safety Tips to keep you and your family safe from sunburns.
For more information about health promotion and disease prevention visit the Office of Local Health, Morrisville District website.
Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.