Thursday the 17th of November saw Valencia play host to the inaugural meeting of Audioforum. Organised by GAES, a hearing aid manufacturer, Audioforum is a national discussion forum with the aim of transferring knowledge and tips for the future of professionals working with hearing aids. Valencia was the first city to host this event, which will travel from city to city across Spain. Each session will discuss different informative topics related to the world of audiology, given by specialists in the field.  Speaking to a live and online audience were; Dr. Ignacio Pla (Specialist Doctor in otorhinolaryngology), Elisa Vicedo (Paediatrician and Speech Therapist at Aspas Valencia), Ramón Peral (Industrial Engineer and Dr. of Acoustic Engineering) and Korina Nicolau (Audiological Trainer at Amplifon).

In its first session Audioforum spoke on noise at elevated levels and how it affects a person’s cognitive abilities. It is estimated that in Spain more than 9 million people daily live with noise levels above 65 decibels, the maximum level recommended by the Occupational Medical Service (OMS).

The experts delved into the effects high levels of sound can have on our physical and mental health, how damage to the eardrums manifests itself and the impact of modern life and its many noises, on our audiological health. Ramón Peral gave the example of a young man who kept hearing a high pitched whine in his house and was complaining it gave him headaches. Sound engineers were brought in and could find no noise emissions in the house that corresponded with what the man had described. Yet the man still could hear the noise. He was taken to an anechoic chamber, a room where there is no background noise and no noise can enter from outside and the man still complained of the noise. He was taken for a scan and found that he had severely damaged his eardrums during his career as a DJ.

There was also special attention paid to the needs of children with hearing in schools, naturally very noisy and sometimes chaotic places, and how schools can engineer and equip their classrooms with the best installations and techniques to ensure that these children are not overwhelmed by the noise around them.

This was an interesting and informative event and anyone in the audiological field should keep an eye out for the next event, which is available to attend in person or via streaming.

Report by Danny Weller

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

Photo copyright Danny Weller/ ’24/7 Valencia’


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