There are three categories of hearing aid devices: pre-programmed hearing aids that are customized based on the user’s hearing test results, programmable hearing aids that can be adjusted by the user, and there are amplifiers.
Amplifiers and Hearing Aids
You might not be able to immediately distinguish the differences between an amplifier and a hearing aid when you first see them. Each of them are small and can rest around or inside your ears. The volume controls can be tuned to improve the hearing of the user. The technology is similar, but they are individual devices that have different functions.
The main difference between the two is that amplifiers are not approved by the FDA. In 2009, the FDA released a statement to notify consumers that amplifiers, which are also referred to as Personal Sound Amplifying Products (PSAPs), are not to be used by individuals who have any form of hearing loss. Amplifiers are to be used by those who want to increase the volume in particular environments.
If you have hearing loss and want to use a PSAP rather than hearing aids, this may actually result in more hearing loss. The volume levels of a PSAP are unlimited, therefore they can become too loud, which can cause more damage to your hearing.
In other cases, an amplifier might not be powerful enough for your degree of hearing loss. The sounds may become louder, but not to the level that you need in order to hear.
Hearing aids have much more advanced technology than amplifiers, and require programming for your individual needs. For example, if you need to increase the volume in a TV show, the amplifier can turn up the overall volume, but a hearing aid has the ability to concentrate on the dialogue in a movie. Amplifiers are typically a first step towards wearing hearing aids, due to the low-cost and the fact that people can make a direct purchase for themselves. Many companies, like Pure Sound Hearing Aids, offer hearing aids at discount prices. We have a wide variety of options that can work for you.
Programming Your Hearing Aid Devices
When you go to your hearing instrument specialist, you will have your hearing tested. Your results will show up on an audiogram, which is just like a prescription for eyeglasses. The condition of your hearing loss will be revealed, and the audiogram is used to customize your hearing aids.
You may buy generic hearing aids and program them yourself, but it’s best to let a professional hearing instrument specialist program them. They will be able to adjust the hearing aid device accordingly to suit your needs.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of getting hearing aid devices programmed, please schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
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Protect Your Hearing Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month is recognized every October. This is a good way to remind you, and your loved ones, that hearing care is very important.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as the third most prevalent chronic health problem that one out of four American adults suffer from.
NIHL may occur after a single exposure to a short and powerful sound (an “impulse” sound), and from being continuously exposed to blaring noises for an extended amount of time.
The volume of a certain sound can be determined through its decibel level (dB). Any dB that reaches 85 and more may cause NIHL. When exposed to a louder sound, it will take a shorter amount of time to develop NIHL.
Any setting that you frequent each day can be responsible for NIHL. Be mindful of the decibel levels that you are in on a regular basis. You may not realize that these places are exposing you to potential hearing loss.
Here are some ordinary environments where NIHL may occur:
The CDC has stated that occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. Approximately one out of five American workers have experienced hazardous noise on the job. Those who work in the construction or public transportation industries are vulnerable to loud noises. Musicians who play classical music for a long period of time can be in danger of exposure to high decibel levels.
The best ways to protect your hearing health is with industrial grade ear plugs or ear muffs. It’s also important to reduce the amount of loud noise you encounter when you are not at work.
Consumer Reports and Zagat have studied surveys and found that excessive noise is one of the primary criticisms from patrons. Noise levels ranged between 80 dB to 90 dB.
There is a great way to determine whether a restaurant, or any place, is too loud: If you need to yell in order for the person right in front of you to hear, it’s a good indication that there is too much noise exposure.
If you want to find a good venue for a date night, but are worried about being able to hear your partner in the restaurant, you can use SoundPrint. This app allows you to choose quieter places in your area from lists that are available in the app. The lists are created by others who also want to protect their hearing health. If you do not see a quiet place that you frequent, you can add it to the list!
Cities can expose you to sounds ranging between 60 dB to 110 dB. The main source of these city noises come from ambulance and police sirens. A five-year study started in New York City, the largest city in the U.S., to oversee sounds in Manhattan. This study is going to help pinpoint unhealthy noise levels.
When researchers discover more information about noise-induced hearing loss, they will be able to work with the city’s employees and planners to construct a safer hearing environment for city-dwellers and workers. There are cutting edge creations currently being used, such as “longitudinal cuts” into paved roads. This new type of concrete is helping to reduce road noise for drivers and homeowners in the surrounding area.
Your Own Backyard
Lawn maintenance and home improvement projects use various types of loud machinery. Leaf blowers are known to produce 100 dB of noise. NIHL can be easily prevented.
It’s important to wear protection for your ears, and reducing your amount of noise exposure when taking care of your home.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced hearing loss due to NIHL, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Databank on Children with Hearing Loss
A databank has published the Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Data bank (VicCHILD) to help researchers around the world learn why some children, who have a hearing impairment, are able to adapt and develop more easily than other children. The data that was collected demonstrates how children with hearing loss have a slower development in language and speech than children with a normal hearing abilities, even when there was progress made with earlier detection and intervention within the last 10 years.
Data that was gathered over eight years has been published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers will be able to use this databank to provide feedback on childhood hearing loss. VicCHILD is a databank that is available for every child who has permanent hearing loss in Victoria, Australia. The collection of data began in 2012. By 2020 it is anticipated that over 1000 children will be enrolled in this databank, and will become the largest hearing databank on earth.
Hearing Screening and Treatment
Newborns are being given hearing screenings, and hearing loss is being recognized at an earlier age than it was in the past. Typically, hearing loss can now be identified within the first few weeks of an infant’s life.
Children who have hearing loss can get early treatment by using hearing aids. As a result, these children will be given the same opportunity as their peers to learn and grow. This makes a huge impact in their quality of life from being able to comprehend language to learning. Education, as well as future employment opportunities may be affected.
There is no guarantee that an early diagnosis and intervention for children with hearing loss will make their cognitive health outcomes equally as good as someone with normal hearing abilities, but it is helpful to detect hearing loss at its early stages in order to prevent further hearing loss. This will reduce the chances of other problems that may arise as a result of their inability to hear well.
If you have a child, or grandchild, who is experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
The use of Hearing Aids for Age-related Diseases
According to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (a journal for clinical aging research), it has been proven that using hearing aids can help to defer the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, dementia, depression and falls in elderly adults who have hearing loss.
Statistics on Being Diagnosed with Age-related Diseases for Hearing Aid Wearers
Data from adults aged 66 and older from 2008 to 2016 discovered that the likelihood of being diagnosed with any of the aforementioned health problems within three years following a hearing loss diagnosis was 18 percent, 11 percent, and 13 percent lower for individuals who wear hearing aids, than for those who do not wear hearing aids.
Research has shown that there is a link between using hearing aids and lowering the risks of cognitive and physical decline. There are still more studies needed to discover whether the association is a random occurrence.
Hearing Aid Usage Based on Sex, Race and Ethnicity
It was also noted that there were vast differences in hearing aid usage based on sex, race and ethnicity. About 11.3 percent of women use hearing aids, whereas 13.3 percent of men wear hearing aids. About 14 percent of people who are of Caucasian descent use hearing aids, 9.8 percent of people who are of African descent use hearing aids, and 6.5 percent of people who are of Hispanic descent use hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, dementia, depression or falls, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
The Struggle of Watching TV with Hearing Loss
Watching TV with your family, or significant other, after a long day can be relaxing and nice. You can cry, laugh, be engrossed by the flutter of the show or movie on television. In some instances watching TV with others can raise disputes over the volume level. You may not be able to hear any of the dialogue, while others tell you to turn the volume down. If this is the case in your household, perhaps it’s time for you to get a hearing test.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
By the age of 65, there is a one in three chance that a person will encounter hearing loss. By the age of 70, only 30 percent of people will actually benefit from the use of hearing aids. One of the most common signs of hearing loss is raising the volume on your television. If the volume is normally at 25 percent, but you need to increase it up to 50 percent, there’s a possibility that you need hearing aids.
Other suggestions that indicate you may need hearing aids include the need for others to repeat things during conversation, decrease in socializing, and difficulties with hearing in certain surroundings. Wearing hearing aids can show mental, physical, and social improvements. You can also turn the volume on your TV to a lower setting, so that everyone that you watch with can hear at a convenient level.
Assistive Listening Devices for Your TV
Based on how severe your hearing loss is, there are some alternative methods to watch and hear your TV. You may use:
If you, or a loved one struggles with hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a variety of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
The only type of hearing loss that is avoidable is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL occurs when you lose your sense of hearing due to exposure to loud sounds.
You may be able to adapt to loud noises, but your ears and your brain will not be able to do so. Your hearing cannot be recovered after losing it through NIHL. This type of hearing loss slowly progresses, so it’s usually too late to prevent damage to your hearing by the time it becomes evident.
Here are ten tips to protect your hearing health:
1. Always wear protection for your hearing when you are exposed to loud sounds. Getting foam earplugs are a cost-effective solution, or you could even invest in a pair of custom earplugs as an even better way to block out noise.
2. Reduce the amount of your time spent exposed to loud noises.
3. Lower the volume on your T.V., radio, music, or any other entertainment devices.
4. Stay away from noisy or loud activities/areas, whenever possible.
5. When you listen to loud sounds (e.g. concerts, music, fitness classes, etc.) take quiet intervals between the noises.
6. Distance yourself from the loudest source that is emanating sound (e.g. fireworks, speakers, etc.)
7. Give your ears a break, so they can recuperate after being exposed to the loud noises.
8. Do not place anything that is smaller than your elbow into your ear (e.g. bobby pins, cotton swabs, keys, paperclips, or any other instruments you use to clean or scratch your ears.).
9. Keep yourself in moving! Exercising maintains proper blood flow throughout the body, including your ears. Exercising keeps the internal components of your ears healthy.
10. Get a hearing test conducted, specifically if you encounter any changes in your hearing, any ringing sensations, or feeling of fullness in your ears that lasts more than 24 hours.
Whether you notice any changes in your hearing or not, it's important to get a regular check-up to test your hearing health. Please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of devices from top hearing aid brands!
Hearing Loss Statistics
It’s important to get tested regularly for your hearing health. Here are some signs that you should notice for yourself and a loved one.
Each day more than 48 million Americans are dealing with the effects of hearing loss. Many people are affected, including some very young people. Men are twice as likely as women to suffer from some extension of hearing loss. On average, most people will wait until 15 years after they believe they have hearing loss and seven years after being diagnosed to do anything that would help them hear better. This suggests that many people suffer from hearing loss, but few will acknowledge the fact.
4 Warning Signs
1. Have you turned up the volume on your phone or T.V.? It’s not the most obvious sign, but it’s indicating that you are having problems with hearing. Consistently raising the volume, even if it’s only a minor increase, is most likely a sign that your hearing health is getting worse. This is a reason why so many are in denial with their hearing loss. They have the ability to control this to their comfort level, so they do not rush to get the help they need. Eventually a family member or roommate will tell you to turn the volume down because it’s too loud.
2. The other undeniable symptom of hearing loss is asking people to repeat themselves. This causes a big strain in personal relationships, professional relationships at your job, and even when you are out in public interacting with strangers.
3. Hearing muffled speech is another sign. Many people who are in denial about their hearing loss, believe that most people who are speaking to them simply need to speak louder, more clearly, and stop mumbling. When it’s difficult to hear high tones, words are not as sharp and simple to comprehend as they were before. These individuals have more loss in clarity than just hearing loss. It becomes especially difficult to hear when you are in large groups. Individual voices, speech, and noisy crowds are not easily distinguishable from one another.
4. The final warning sign to notice would be any differences in your routine or behavior as a result of your hearing loss. You may not talk as much because it’s so difficult to communicate with others. Your personality may also change because of your hearing loss. You might be less inclined to put yourself in a situation where you need to interact with people, whether it’s at a restaurant, a party, or a movie theater.
This final warning sign is normally the point when most would say, “Enough!” This is the moment when you finally get your hearing tested. You’ve done everything you can, but it’s come to the point when it is now affecting their daily lives.
Ask yourself if any of these warning signs apply to you, or a loved one. Do not wait to get help for your hearing loss. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
There are specific medications that can affect your body and disturb your hearing capabilities, which could cause brief or enduring hearing loss.
In addition to having an active and healthy lifestyle to maintain your healthy hearing abilities, you should be informed about medications and treatments that could cause loss of hearing in some patients. These types of medications are categorized as ototoxic, which means it is harmful to your ears. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are over 200 of these medications that are being sold to the public.
If you, or a loved one, are using a medication and experienced signs of hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo, talk to your health care professional to avoid additional damage and consider different options.
Here is a list of popular medications that are known to cause hearing loss:
Keep Your Hearing Health in Mind When Taking New Medication
There are so many factors that result in hearing loss, so it is vital to document any changes in your hearing health when you start to take a new medication. You can have a hearing test done before and after you begin your medication treatment to determine any hearing loss that has occurred.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, or tinnitus, as a result of taking any of the medications listed above, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists to determine the best option for you.
Loss of Hearing in Newborns Due To ANSD
Hearing loss is a prevalent issue in newborn babies. This problem is due to Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), which is a complication that arises during the transportation of sound from the inner ear to the brain.
It is not known what the causes of ANSD are, but prematurely born infants or those who have a family history of this disorder have a higher risk of contracting it. Symptoms can begin at any age, but generally children who have ANSD are born with it and have it diagnosed within the first few months after they are born.
As more research has developed ANSD has been detected more often. There have been more frequent cases that were diagnosed, which make up 10% to 15% of hearing loss cases.
Luckily, children who have ANSD can develop solid communication and language skills with the help of assistive listening devices, therapy, and visual communication techniques. It is important to have the right diagnosis, along with early intervention.
How Does Hearing Work?
To better understand ANSD, it’s helpful to know how your ears hear noise. Hearing starts out with sound waves that journey through the air come in contact with the outer ear (the pinna), or the part of the ear that is visible. These sound waves are carried through the ear canal and into the middle section of the ear - this includes the eardrum (a fine layer of tissue) along with three small bones known as the ossicles. The eardrum reverberates when it comes in contact with sound. These vibrations become amplified by the ossicles and transport them to the inner ear.
The inner ear is composed of the cochlea (a snail-shaped chamber), which is filled with fluid and interlined with four rows of microscopic hair cells. The outer hair cells contract back and forth to amplify sound when vibrations move through the fluid. When the vibrations reach the right size, the inner hair cells convert them into electrical nerve impulses in the auditory nerve, which links the ear and the brain to each other. When the nerve impulses come in contact with the brain, they are understood as sound.
What is the effect of ANSD on Hearing?
Sound penetrates the ear in a normal manner for someone with ANSD, but due to damage in the inner row of hair cells or the synapses located halfway through the inner hair cells and the auditory nerve, or auditory nerve damage, sound will not accurately be carried from the inner ear to the brain.
The outcome of this causes sound waves that travel to the brain to become disorganized in a way that the brain is unable to comprehend. When it is disorganized, in some situations it never reaches the brain. In some instances, ANSD is caused by a complication with the auditory nerve.
There has only been a better understanding and diagnosis about ANSD in recent years. There is still more information that needs to be studied about it. Not every hearing screening for newborns can recognize ANSD, and as a result, there are many children and adults who have it but went undiagnosed.
There are mild to severe symptoms of ANSD. Some children who suffer from ANSD have the ability to hear sounds, but have difficulty figuring out what the sounds are. Other people hear noises that all sound the same, similar to static or white noise. For example, someone’s voice may sound just like running water, a barking dog may sound just like a car horn, or a chirping bird may sound like a clanging pans.
For some, ANSD gets better after some time. For others, it might stay the same or worsen.
Causes of ANSD
The causes of ANSD are unknown. There are some risks that may influence whether a child is susceptible to the disease, which include:
Even if a child passes a newborn hearing screening, the symptoms of hearing problems might now be noticed for years.
Have you noticed any of the following symptoms:
There is no cure for ANSD, but an assistive listening device (ALD) can be helpful for children who have ANSD make sense of the sounds around them and develop skills for language. Getting treatment for ANSD depends on the severity of the disease and how old a child is when they are diagnosed.
To make any of these devices effective, continuous therapy with a speech-language pathologist, who specializes in aiding children with hearing loss and develop speaking and hearing abilities.
If your child is in need of hearing aids or an ALD, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
If you feel distressed about any deterioration in your hearing abilities, or may be noticing some hearing loss, here are five exercises to help improve the health of your hearing.
1. Solve puzzles to preserve hearing - Your brain has a huge role in processing sound and information our ears receive. Studies have indicated that there is a correlation between hearing loss and anxiety or depression. This may be due to atrophy in the brain. This is when brain cells and connections are reduced or impaired.
Just like muscles in your body, your brain needs to engage in exercises to remain strong and active.
It’s a good idea to solve an array of puzzles such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or word searches each day or week. You could also socialize with friends by playing bingo or cards games to give your brain a workout.
2. Yoga can improve your hearing health - Yoga exercises can help with your hearing by circulating blood flow to your ears and brain. Having more circulation helps to increase nerve function and expels toxins and waste.
Yoga poses that can help with blood circulation are cobra, lotus, tree, and triangle pose. Yoga can also help with tinnitus.
3. Engage in exercises every day to help with your hearing - A healthy body is vital to
keep your ears and brain healthy. Maintain a strong blood circulation by walking, jogging,
doing yoga, gardening, or housework.
Do not exercise while wearing headphones, earbuds, or near any loud music. Frequent exposure to loud noises may damage ear hairs, which cannot be restored. If you choose to exercise while listening to music, keep the volume at a low level that’s comfortable to listen to.
If anyone around you can hear the music from your headphones or earbuds, your music is too loud.
4. Enhance your hearing abilities through meditation - As an exercise, meditate outside
in a park, or other public space where you will be surrounded by various noises. While
meditating, deeply inhale and exhale to circulate your blood. This will build up oxygen
levels throughout your body. Focus in and away from each sound nearby and try to determine the location of each sound.
This exercise is meant to help you hone in on interpreting sounds in loud environments
and finding out where the sound is emerging from.
5. Train yourself to focus on and locate sounds in order to sharpen your hearing - By
engaging in hearing exercises, you can pinpoint where sounds are emerging from and
who or what is making the noises.
You can put a speaker or radio in one section of the room, and play music at a volume level that is comfortable. Place another source of sound in a different section of the room and increase the volume until both sounds produce a noisy atmosphere.
Have somebody move around the room while reading sentences or reciting phrases.
Shut your eyes, repeat what that person said to you, and try to locate the area where they are reading or reciting from.
Even though these tips are meant to promote health for your hearing, anyone who suffers from hearing loss should get a hearing test as soon as possible. Hearing loss that goes untreated may result in more serious hearing loss that is irreversible. This may affect your cognitive, health and mental well-being.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists!
Inflammation in Brain and Tinnitus Symptoms
A new study that was published in PLOS Biology, a monthly peer reviewed scientific journal that covers every aspect of biology, discovered that inflammation in the brain’s sound-processing area mediates tinnitus symptoms of mice that have noise-induced hearing loss. Research was conducted to study the neuroinflammation in the brain’s auditory cortex after suffering noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and its function in mice who suffer from tinnitus.
Research showed that NIHL is linked to an increase in levels of molecules known as pro-inflammatory cytokines and activated non-neuronal cells - microglia - located in the primary cortex.
Mice who had NIHL showed that a cell-signaling molecule, known as a tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), mediates neuroinflammation, tinnitus, and synaptic imbalance. A decrease of microglia blocked tinnitus in mice with NIHL. Researchers of this study believe that neuroinflammation may, so far, be the best target to treat tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss.
Get Help for Your Tinnitus
Although it is too early to draw conclusions of these results from mice in humans, this is a start to acknowledging that neuroinflammation may be a component in causing tinnitus.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer tinnitus relief and solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.
Detection of Protein Helps with Hearing and Balance
After 40 years, Harvard Medical School scientists have identified a protein known as TMC1. This protein transfers sound and head movements into electronic signals, which are utilized by the brain to preserve balance and hearing.
Earlier research indicated that mutations in TMC1 resulted in deafness, and was the first revelation of a link between hearing and balance. That research studied the impact of proteins that allow ions such as calcium and potassium to enter the inner ear cells. This helps the cells translate sounds and head movements to send signals to the brain. Limited information was known about which proteins helped ions enter the cells. The latest discoveries fill in the missing link.
The researchers discovered that their studies showed proof that TMC1 is an important molecular sensor that transforms motion and sound to electrical signals that can be comprehended by the brain.
An Experiment with TMC1
An experiment - using a model of protein TMC1 - was conducted by the researchers. They discovered that there were 17 amino acids that may affect the way the protein functions. The acids were put into TMC protein in mice and observed the effect of movement of charged ions through the pores when reacting to sound.
They discovered 11 that shifted the movement of ions. Five had a substantial effect, which decreased ions by 80%. There was one amino acid that obstructed all of the calcium ions. This indicates that none of the nerve signals had reached the brain.
This took many years to discover because the cochlea is not easily accessible. There are also 16,000 hair cells in the ear, so that makes it difficult to examine them.
The Link Between Hearing and Balance
A recent study conducted by Washington University School of Medicine discovered that hearing was vital to maintaining one’s balance. They tested the balance of those who were hard of hearing - once with their hearing aids on and once with their hearing aids out. The participants had poor performances without their hearing aid devices.
Another study by the National Institute of Aging discovered that those who suffered from mild hearing loss were three times more likely to fall than those without hearing loss. For every 10dB that is lost, they are 1.4 percent more likely to fall. Researchers had previously believed that the imbalances were ‘cognitively demanding’. What they did not realize was that the imbalances were caused by TMC1.
Hearing loss alone is not the cause of imbalance issues. It can be caused by a previously existing lack of balance, which is partly responsible for falls. In addition to processing sound, the ear has a vestibular system to help the body preserve its balance.
Further Studies Needed
Scientists will need to focus on TMC1 and how it affects sound-to-signal conversion process. This could indicate possible treatments for some types of hearing loss, which were formerly known to be permanent.
This would transform the lives of 460 million people across the globe. It would have a bigger impact on the 24,000 children who are born with hearing loss in America. Linguistic development is closely related to your hearing health. Helping to cure hearing loss in children at an early age can allow them to learn how to speak as they grow up.
As great as these developments are, if you or a loved one have been or are currently suffering from hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation.
Our Digital Media Assistant, Vi, is researching and writing an article about Mild Hearing Loss.
If, you or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
How can you determine whether or not you suffer from mild hearing loss?
Mild hearing loss may not sound like a serious problem, but it is. Any hearing threshold between 25-40 dB is considered mild hearing loss.
Those with mild hearing loss can usually hear speech sounds when a person is talking near them, as long as they are in a quiet environment. They have difficulties when there are sounds that are competing for their attention, such as noise and speech that happen at the same time. They have the ability to hear people who speak loudly, but in some of these instances they tend to hear people mumbling. Most people who have mild hearing loss described a sensation of having an ear full of earwax, and could hear like normal as soon as it was cleared out.
Some consonant sounds are difficult to understand
Consonant sounds like f, k, s, sh, have a soft noise. As a result, individuals who have mild hearing loss will have problems with identifying those sounds. They may assume that people are not verbalizing their words clearly.
Fortunately, for those who suffer from mild hearing loss, hearing aids can help amplify those soft sounds. Hearing aids can also help with better speech comprehension, especially when there are noises competing for your attention.
In the past, most people did not bother to get treatment for their mild hearing loss because it wasn’t considered a serious matter. There is research being done to indicate that getting help for mild hearing loss can restrict additional damage to your hearing. There have been other studies that insist hearing aids can delay cognitive decline in elderly individuals.
If you, or a loved one, may be experiencing mild hearing loss or any other form of hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Research on Hearing Loss and Reading Skills for Children who had Brain Tumors
According to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, researchers have discovered why severe hearing loss causes children who are survivors of brain tumors, to have difficulty with reading.
An analysis was conducted on 260 children and adolescents who survived a brain tumor. This study included 64 individuals who had severe hearing loss. They were tested on how they performed in their reading skills, which included the speed in which they processed information, their working memory, letter-word identification, and phonological skills (including the capability to use sound units to decipher words).
In comparison to other survivors, children who suffered from severe hearing loss had significant declines while they were treated. Children who had severe hearing loss had the most difficulty with phonological skills and slowed processing speed.
It takes time to learn how to read. Reading is a skill that everyone depends on in order to learn for the rest of their lives.
The study implies that there should be more focus on developing language-based and neurocognitive skills, such as processing speed and phonemics before learning about more complicated things like reading comprehension.
Young children, many under 7 years of age, were specifically susceptible to failing in skills that are essential to become proficient in reading. These children would benefit the most early interventions.
Brain tumors and its Link to Hearing Loss
The most prevalent types of cancer in children are brain and spinal cord tumors. They make up about 1 in 4 newly diagnosed pediatric cancers each year.
According to a recent study by St. Jude’s, 32 percent of patients who have a brain tumor develop severe hearing loss within many years of treatment. Hearing loss may even occur regardless of treatment with a prescription medication, amifostine, which is used to preserve hair cells located in the inner ear that are necessary for hearing.
The study included individuals between the ages of 3 and 21 who had medulloblastoma (a cancerous tumor that begins in the region of the brain closest to the base of the skull) and other embryonal brain tumors. Each patient was part of a research trial and treatment which included surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. They all received neurocognitive and hearing tests at least twice, in the beginning and during a later point in the treatment.
The test proposed many factors which included nerve damage to a patient’s hearing - that was caused by the tumor - which disrupt reading capabilities for children who survived brain tumors and have severe hearing loss. This implies that there is a possibility to improve a patient’s quality of life by creating more effective interventions.
More research is necessary to discover how and when to get involved to improve a cancer patient’s proficiency in reading. This includes studying how hearing aids may affect reading and neurocognitive skills in young cancer survivors.
Hearing loss can go undetected for longer periods of time. This study emphasizes the need to get your hearing health checked annually, and seek treatment as soon as possible in order to intervene and possibly prevent more health concerns.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Wearing both hearing aids and eyeglasses can be a concern for some people. There’s a feeling of uncertainty when it comes to comfort, or having a problem with either the hearing device or the eyewear.
There are four general categories of hearing aids:
In-the-ear (ITE) - This type of hearing aid is placed in the opening of your ear canal. There is nothing that rests behind the ear.
In-the-canal (ITC) - This hearing aid is similar to the ITE device, but it rests deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) - This type of hearing aid goes into the ear canal and is not visible at all.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) - This is an earlier hearing aid style, but a modern version has more advancements. The main part of the device fits right behind the ear, and has clear tubing that attaches to an earmold which rests in the opening of the ear’s canal. Open-fit models are similar, but they do not have the earmold.
If you wear eyeglasses, it’s recommended that you wear the ITE, ITC, or CIC hearing aids. If you frequently remove your glasses, BTE hearing aids could cause more problems.
3 Distinct Features
It’s best to base your choice of hearing aids on the features available in each hearing device, rather than the shape. Hearing aids are constantly changing, therefore features also change. Here are some of the typical features:
1. Directional microphone: This helps identify the sound you need to hear if you are in a noisy environment. For example, if someone is speaking to you in a crowded restaurant, you will be able to clearly hear them talking even with the noise happening around you.
2. Noise reduction: This feature sifts out the background noises by intensifying the sound of one channel to improve speech.
3. T-coil: This feature allows wearers to hear more clearly as they speak on a land-line phone. T-coils help you to hear people that are talking through a speaker or intercom.
Focus on how these features will help you in your daily life, then you can choose the best style of hearing aids.
Eyeglasses and BTE Hearing Aids
If you do not want to wear ITE, ITC, or CIC hearing aids, it is possible to comfortably wear both BTE hearing aids with your eyeglasses. It’s important to properly put on each of these accessories in order for them to fit well. Here is some advice:
If you, or a loved one, wear both eyeglasses and hearing aids and are in need of a hearing aid solution, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists!
Advancements in Hearing Better with Hearing Aids and other Devices
People who have hearing loss want to hear noises better, not necessarily make sounds louder. Advancements in the signal-to-noise ratio for hearing aid devices has developed quickly within the past few years. Most of these advancements include applicable and practical combinations of hearing aid devices, internet, smartphones, GPS, a multitude of wireless protocols, and more in order to customize your hearing care.
Statistics on Hearing Loss
The leading issue that is raised among 37 million Americans who suffer from audiometric sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is their incapacity to comprehend speech-in-noise (SIN), not the need to hear sounds at a louder level.
Additionally, 26 million people who do not suffer from audiometric hearing loss also have difficulty hearing and/or difficulty with SIN. Instead of just making sounds louder, those who have SIN complications require hearing aids, which now have many new advancements that can improve a wearer’s ability to better comprehend SIN.
What You can do to Hear Better
In order to improve the ability to comprehend SIN, the best thing that can be done for someone with SNHL is to assist the progress of an improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Some elements that have been integrated into hearing aids to advance SNR include adaptive, non-adaptive, and beamforming (a process that allows you to focus your WiFi signal) directional microphones, along with a variety of noise reduction algorithms. These algorithms improve SNR of 3 or 4 decibels (dB) in acoustic environments when it is used via open-canal fittings, or if speech babble is surrounding the wearer (like in restaurants).
There are tools like digital remote microphones or FM systems that wirelessly connect the individual speaking to the individual who is listening. Loop systems and telecoils (t-coils) can be used as a way to connect a person who is speaking to many listeners. FM and telecoils help diminish background noise and improve 12-15 dB in SNR for users.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from SNHL or have difficulty comprehending speech-in-noise, get in touch with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Whether you have a hearing impairment, or not, many are opting to watch movies or television with subtitles.
Twitter Viral Response on Subtitles in Theaters
Recently, via Twitter, people have publicly expressed their interest in having subtitles in movie theaters.
“Subtitles aren’t just for deaf people. Lots of my hearing friends use them, too. If you’re hearing and using subtitles on Netflix and TV, and would quite like them at the cinema, please retweet to help normalise their presence.”
The post from @deafgirly (A.K.A. Deafinitely Girly) had a viral response with over 74,000 likes and several replies.
The 30-year-old blogger and advocate from London, who prefers using her Twitter name, discovered the worldwide support while at lunch with her mother.
Deafinitely Girly noted that there was so much encouragement around the globe, from people of all ages. Individuals who have expressed that they are not exactly fans of captions at movie theaters, stated that they would tolerate them if it meant that those who are deaf and hard of hearing could go to more screenings.
Subtitle Usage Surges Among People of All Hearing Abilities
The deaf and hard of hearing are not the only people who need subtitles. If someone is watching a movie or TV show from a foreign country, even if it’s in the same language, the accents are sometimes difficult to understand.
In a study from 2006, out of the 7.5 million UK TV audiences who used subtitles, approximately 1.5 million had some degree of hearing impairment. Although that estimate was conducted 13 years ago, the use of subtitles surged when more viewers watched shows or videos during their commutes.
Social media manager, Christina McDermott, observed the awkward moment when someone was watching a video in a quiet area, only to click on a video that turned out to be very loud. Having subtitles can grab a casual viewer. There are up to 85% of videos on Facebook that are viewed without sound, therefore subtitles are necessary.
In order to capture an audience’s attention, the methods that were used in silent films are being used today.
On social media, a humorous screen grab with a caption, or a meme, can garner some popularity.
Subtitles Reduces Isolation for the Hard of Hearing
Anna Gryszkiewicz, a Swedish engineer, who was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss when she was in her 20s, uses captions. She views the popularity of captions as something positive, because she now notices that it’s easier to find or request captions as opposed to 15 years ago. Gryszkiewicz expressed that those who are deaf or hard of hearing “have such an advantage living today”, but she is concerned about the quality of subtitles, for example, in computer auto-captions.
Gryszkiewicz emphasized that we should not forget about the social aspects in regards to hearing loss. Communication, language, and interacting with people socially are complex. Being deaf, or having hearing loss is different than what those with normal hearing assume it is like - and the effects on how one communicates is usually underestimated.
“I understand that good captions and other accessibility features are expensive and it’s not unreasonable to look into technology to reduce costs, but I hope our opinions are taken seriously when we try to explain what kind of accessibility is helpful and what isn’t,” said Gryszkiewicz.
Deafinitely Girly explained that her deafness is sometimes very isolating.
“You miss out on jokes, on social media videos, viral clips don’t mean anything, and you can’t follow the latest news that’s being live tweeted,” said Deafinitely Girly. “Subtitles being universal would change that massively.”
If you, or a loved one are hard of hearing, suffer from sensorineural hearing loss, or any other type of hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
There have been several studies that connect the loss of hearing to severe conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, heart disease, etc. These correlations are known as comorbidities, which is the simultaneous presence of two or more chronic conditions in an individual.
Here are seven comorbidities that are known to be associated with hearing loss:
The loss of hearing can be an indication of other chronic diseases, and it’s important for anyone who is affected to see a professional. To avoid becoming a statistic, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation.
Woodstock Attendees still Affected by Concert
It’s been 50 years since Woodstock, and concert attendees are still living with the consequences of listening to loud rock and roll music for hours and hours at a time.
According to a Harris Poll that was authorized by Oticon, a hearing aid manufacturing company, 47 percent of adults between the ages of 65 to 80, who said that they listened to loud or very loud music in their teens and 20s, reported that they have experienced hearing loss. For this generation of music lovers, 71 percent stated that music was one of the most significant things to them during their youth.
For some, the music that they listened to during that time is denying them the freedom to listen and enjoy music today. In an online survey conducted this past June, over 1,000 American adults acknowledged:
The survey also showed that the Woodstock Generation suffers from hearing loss in other aspects of daily life, unrelated to music. This includes:
A Lack of Care for Hearing Health
There are 48 million individuals who suffer from hearing loss, but only 4 million people buy hearing aids each year.
Even though they have hearing loss, most members of the Woodstock Generation haven’t done anything to take care of it. About 70 percent have never talked to a professional about their hearing health. Approximately one in 10 (or 12 percent) currently wear hearing aid devices, or have in the past.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss due to attending concerts or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids at discount prices!
According to a study, there are some antibiotics that can save your life, but they may also cause hearing loss. Lab mice were studied, and it was concluded that inflammation was a key factor in the loss of hearing abilities. Ion channels from the sensory hair cells located in the inner ear become more absorbent to antibiotics - or aminoglycosides - which make the cells become more sensitive to the harmful effects of the drugs.
Common aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, are used by many people because they work efficiently on a wide range of bacteria. They are occasionally used to treat the microbes that may resist a multitude of other antibiotics.
Aminoglycosides are helpful when treating infections if the microbe cannot be identified.
Advantages for Newborns
Newborns have a huge benefit if they are treated for infections with aminoglycosides, because these diseases can be fatal within a day or two - it is too soon for test results to disclose the microbe that is culpable for the disease.
It has been proven that aminoglycosides, such as gentamicin, are linked to hearing loss. As a result, babies who are in neonatal intensive care units, where aminoglycosides have been used, are prone to a higher rate of hearing loss. In fact, they are six times more likely than a healthy full-term baby to have loss of hearing.
Lab mice - who could hear - were tested for the effects of gentamicin and its correlation to hearing loss.
Researchers discovered that infections and inflammation made ion channels, located in sensory hair cells, to be more absorbent to the drug. This caused more of the drug to be used by the sensitive hair cells located in the cochlea. The toxic results of the drug on the cells had increased.
Inflammation throughout the Body
Researchers discovered that one specific protein found in ion channels, known as TRPV1, expedited the entry of gentamicin into the hair cells, when an inflammation or immune response was present. The lab mice that were not bred with functioning TRPV1, were protected from hearing loss that was caused by gentamicin, even when there was body-wide inflammation.
Researchers suggest that healthcare providers should use antibiotics that do not raise the risk of hearing loss with infection throughout the body, if possible. If aminoglycosides are the only available alternative, healthcare providers can now be more alert, at a faster rate, for those who may need aftercare auditory rehabilitation.
This is crucial for children who are learning how to talk and listen. If there is any postponement in diagnosing hearing loss, there can be repercussions which include a delay in acquiring speech, difficulty in academics, and decreased income.
New approaches can be used to classify microbes that are responsible for infection at a faster pace, therefore doctors may not be as dependent on a vast range of antibiotics to prescribe to newborn infants.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss due to the use of antibiotics or any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation to find out if we have a solution that will work for you.
Low-frequency hearing loss is associated with “conductive” hearing loss, which happens when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear.
To understand low-frequency hearing loss, it’s important to have some general knowledge of each type of hearing loss to compare the differences.
Hearing is connected to three main components of the ear:
What are three types of hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss may be caused by calcium build-up on the middle ear bones, which is also known as otosclerosis.
The name conductive hearing loss comes from the fact that sound is not properly being conducted, or sent, to the inner ear. Normally, low frequencies are damaged first. This can worsen to the point where all frequency ranges are affected. There is medical treatment available for most types of conductive hearing loss, with little to no lasting effects on your hearing health. There are alternative causes of low-frequency hearing loss that can be derived from the inner ear and the brain, but these are usually less common.
3. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural hearing loss and conductive
Causes of low-frequency hearing loss
Low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. This affects deep, or low-pitched noises. This type of hearing loss is also referred to as “reverse slope audiogram”. It indicates that an individual who has low-frequency hearing loss might still have the ability to hear higher frequency sounds. In many cases, those who suffer from low-frequency hearing loss are still able to comprehend speech.
A study from the Kresge Hearing Research Institute showed that an altered gene, WFS1 (Wolfram Syndrome gene) can result in low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. This mutation is known as Wolfram Syndrome 1. Other origins of low-frequency hearing loss are Meniere’s disease, Mondini dysplasia (a cochlear abnormality), sudden loss of hearing, viral diseases, renal failure, and pressure changes that would contribute to a fistula (for example, intracranial hypertension), or following spinal anesthesia.
Diagnosing low-frequency hearing loss
Low-frequency hearing loss tends to be looked over, due to the fact that there are typically no symptoms. There is not much information about low-frequency hearing loss as there is with higher frequencies in hearing loss, therefore those who have the ability to hear in the middle and high frequency ranges use what can be heard in those frequencies to compensate for what cannot be heard in lower frequencies. This covers up the hearing loss. Speech and language development is typically normal in an individual with low-frequency hearing loss. One of the few indications that someone has low-frequency hearing loss is if the person has a hard time hearing people in a group setting, or a noisy environment.
This type of hearing loss is normally detected during a routine hearing test.
Treating low-frequency hearing loss
Treating low-frequency hearing loss depends on the problems that you are having. In some circumstances, you might not need any treatment. There are hearing aids available that can increase low frequencies without amplifying the areas where a person usually hears from.
If you know of any family history of low-frequency hearing loss, schedule a free hearing test with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Studies have indicated a link between smoking cigarettes and hearing loss, but how about vaping, which is also known as smoking e-cigarettes?
Although the research is inconclusive, vaping appears to show similar risks to smoking cigarettes. Chemicals that are in the vape juice flavoring, could be more unsafe.
No FDA Regulation
E-cigarettes, vape pens, and mod boxes are all devices that allow users to inhale vapor with nicotine, and other substances. These are powered by batteries and use an element to heat a substance known as “e-juice” or “vape juice”, which is kept in a cartridge. The vapor releases and is inhaled by the user.
With over 500 brands and thousands of vape juice flavors available, there is almost no regulation from the FDA. Because of this lack of regulation, it is uncertain as to how vaping affects your general health and your hearing health.
How does Nicotine Restrict Blood Flow?
Nicotine is an addictive substance that can constrict blood vessels, including the blood vessels located in the ears. The oxygen’s blood flow is restricted from the inner ear. This causes damage to the small hair cells located in the cochlea, which converts sound vibrations into electrical catalysts for the brain.
Some e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine, but others do have varying amounts of nicotine.
Unperceived Dangers of Vape Juice
Even zero-nicotine e-cigarettes with vape juice should be closely examined. The vape juice is the “flavor” ingredient in the e-cigarettes. This ‘flavor’ ingredient contains a substance known as propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol contains alcohol and has been studied in products like ear drops. Researchers have concluded that using propylene glycol externally is ototoxic, meaning it’s harmful to the inner ear.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing sudden loss of hearing, blockage, pressure in the ears, or tinnitus due to vaping, stop vaping immediately. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if you would like a free hearing test. One of our hearing instrument specialists can discuss the best options that are available for you.
The AAO-HNS suggests that hearing aid users get their ear canals examined for impacted ear wax every three to six months. If you have issues with ear wax buildup, here are five safe tips:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss due to using any of these techniques to remove earwax, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.