On Tuesday 19 November 2019 Nick Parkyn from Bloom Hearing Specialists spoke about hearing loss or, more importantly, how to keep what we still have.
Nick Parkyn and the Shed's Owen Curtis at the Health Talk
Hearing loss is related to exposure to noise energy over time. The national workplace standards define the maximum allowable noise exposure as 85dBA for 8 hours. 85dBA is approximately the sound level of a hair dryer. If the noise energy is doubled the dBA increases by only 3 dBA and the exposure must be halved to remain compliant. It's important to note that double the noise energy will not sound twice as loud, it is a modest but noticeable increase in volume.
There are a number of ways to reduce the noise energy reaching the ears, the most obvious one in our control is hearing protection. In a work situation there are rules and the foreman enforcing use of hearing protection. In the shed, or at home, it's up to us to exercise the discipline of maintaining our hearing. There was some discussion on how to manage this at the NMS, i.e. how to warn others that you are about to operate loud machinery. No conclusion was reached other than we don't want to be too prescriptive but rather let members take on the responsibility themselves.
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a common complaint among the more mature crowd common in the shed. This is an indication of hearing damage and a simplified explanation is the brain increasing the sensitivity to make up for the hearing loss causing the background ringing sound. In some cases use of hearing aids will allow the brain to reduce the sensitivity back to normal levels reducing the tinnitus.
Nick covered a number of other topics including hearing aids and cochlear implants, however the main thrust was emphasizing that loss is permanent and we need to protect what we still have. He left a number of resources for further information including a fact sheet called Noise, Hearing Protection and You. Additional information is also available on the Bloom Hearing website.
The award of $35,000 to Noosa Men’s Shed will allow the development of a Men’s Health Annexe adjacent to the Woodshed.
The successful application focused on provision of a dedicated First Aid Room, Health and Wellness area suitable for education and activity sessions and inclusion of a space for emerging technologies such as 3D printing.
The Construction Team at the Shed have been developing strategies to clear the proposed area, relocate a container and the build the Health Annexe. It should be in service for our members early in 2020.
A survey of members conducted earlier in the year indicated that about 30 members were interested in attending a fitness program,
Physical activity, are you doing enough? What stops you doing more?
Health studies have shown that physical activity is paramount to healthy ageing;
however, less than 15% of older adults (> 65 years) are meeting the recommended
physical activity guidelines.
Research is now being conducted on what the barriers are to physical activity in
Australia. You are invited to be part of this research by completing a 3 minute online
survey. All responses are confidential and anonymous.
In previous years the Noosa Men's Shed has recognised Men's Health Week with the Spanner in the Works program through AMSA. This year we stayed local and invited three specialists in their fields to talk to the members on topics related to men's health.
Dr Ian Curley (Consultant Surgeon) has operated on a number of our members who all speak highly of his efforts to improve the quality of their lives. Making extensive use of videos he gave a top down and bottom up (literally) look at the gastrointestinal system. Along the way he gave explanations on the threats and how to avoid them pitched at a level easily understood by the members.
As we age it's easy to indulge in self pity as various parts of the body show their wear and tear. However, Dr Curley ended his presentation with some very sobering statisics:
Stefan thanking Dr Curley for a very informative and relevant presentation.
Craig Allingham has developed a deep interest in supporting men who are living with Prostate Cancer, this being a very relevant topic to the major age demographic of the shed. His entertaining and engaging style as he covered the basics of the 'plumbing' and what happens with Prostate Cancer covered a delicate topic is a manner appropriate for the audience. He has applied his extensive knowledge in publishing two books, one focused on those still with a prostate gland and how to keep it healthy, even if cancer has been identified, and the second on those facing, or recovering from, removal of the prostate.
Having covered such indelicate topics as incontinence and erectile dysfunction he finished on a high note with treatments that could "...make it difficult to roll over in bed...".
It is well worth visiting Craig's website.
Craig Allingham holding the undivided attention of the NMS, some of whom still have their prostrate glands.
The final presentation was from Assoc Prof Chris Askew (University of Sunshine Coast) and the benefits of exercise on defending the body against various diseases. Chris is extensively involved in research and provided a number of resources for members to learn more about using exercise to improve their health and quality of life.
A big thank you to Eden Private Hospital in Cooroy who specializes in rehabilitation, a topic much related to the presentations, for supplying lunch.
Fellow shed member, Dr Crosby Rechtin will provide information to our members about common injuries to the skin, injuries that we are likely to come across while at the Shed.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 2.25 sq metres. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. When injured or damaged by Cuts, Lacerations, Burns and Bites, or worn by an older person, or has skin diseases, the protective capabilities are reduced and we are at increased risk.
Come along and learn what to be of aware of in managing skin injuries as we age, and how we can protect this very important organ and limit damage when injuries occur.