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.
High Risks of Hearing Loss for laborers in Oil and Gas Extraction, and Mining
Those who work in the oil and gas extraction (OGE), and mining have a higher risk of hearing loss than employees in other industries.
From 2006 to 2015, researchers studied the audiograms of 1.9 million workers in every industry. These included 9,389 individuals from the mining industry, and 1,076 who conduct oil and gas extractions. In this research, they estimated the prevalence of hearing loss and risks compared to couriers and messengers from every industry combined, and the mining, OGE sectors and subsectors.
Hearing loss was prevalent in mining and OGE at 24 percent and 14 percent, compared to 16 percent in all of the other industries combined. The most common cases of hearing loss were in the construction sand, gravel mining, and natural gas liquid extraction industries at 36 percent and 28 percent. More research needs to be conducted to identify the exposures these employees encounter while on the job.
Get Help for Your Hearing Loss
Remember to wear hearing protection while on the job.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced hearing loss because of a job, or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We have a variety of hearing aid options for a wide range of hearing loss needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many people tend to ignore or deny that they have an issue with their health. This is especially true when it comes to hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually and may be undetected when it initially begins.
Most individuals have a high chance of having some range of hearing loss, and being young is not exemption. Here are some myths about hearing loss:
Myth #1: Only elderly adults suffer from hearing loss.
Fact: Any individual of any age can have hearing loss.
Myth #2: There is no prevention of hearing loss and it is unavoidable with age.
Fact: Although not all hearing loss can be avoided, most types of hearing loss can be prevented with changes in your lifestyle.
Myth #3: Infants and children do not need a hearing test.
Fact: All infants and children regularly need a hearing test.
Myth #4: Some people believe they can hear fine, and do not think they have hearing loss. Therefore, they do not believe that they need hearing aids.
Facts: Hearing loss happens gradually, and can be difficult to recognize. Typically, family members will recognize your hearing loss before you do.
Myth #5: Hearing aids are just like contact lenses or eyeglasses, and will correct your hearing loss.
Facts: Contact lenses and eyeglasses immediately correct your vision to 20/20. Hearing aids do not correct your hearing in the same manner. Your brain needs time to adapt to the sounds coming in contact with the hearing aid device, rather than the ear.
Myth #6: There is only one type of hearing loss, and it affects both ears in the same way.
Facts: There are three primary types of hearing loss subtypes. These include: conductive, mixed, and sensorineural. A fourth type that is more rare is known as auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Hearing loss can affect each ear in a different way.
Myth #7: Hearing loss will not harm your overall health
Fact: Hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline, which can effect on your overall health.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing changes in your hearing abilities, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Poor Blood Circulation Weakens the Ear's Sensory Cells
When there is poor blood circulation in the body, some sensory organs may become deteriorated over time. This is particularly true for parts of the inner ear that are more sensitive. A weak circulatory system can cause a lack of nutrients that help the ear’s sensory cells, which can affect your hearing.
Poor oral hygiene can cause these problems. If gums or other parts of the mouth become infected with bacteria, arteries and blood vessels get narrow, resulting in a restriction of blood flow to the body. Since the mouth is located near the ears, this may stop blood flow from reaching the ears.
3 Tips For an Oral Hygiene Routine
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. If you are in need of hearing aids, we offer a wide selection of hearing solutions at discount prices!
Wearing earplugs to bed can be very helpful for those who sleep lightly, or live where constant noise interrupts daily life. There’s a dispute over how safe it is to wear earplugs while you sleep each night.
Advantages of wearing Earplugs
Sleeping with earplugs boosts the quality of a restful night, in addition to the amount of sleep that you get. Blaring sounds could wake you from a state of deep sleep. There are long lasting effects, even if you are only awoken for a few seconds. Your body needs time to go back to a state of deep sleep that is necessary to function for an entire day.
If you have poor sleeping conditions over a long period of time, that increases your risk of:
Possible Disadvantages of using Earplugs
Generally, earplugs are safe to use. In some instances, if you use them on a daily basis, there can be some side effects.
After a while, earplugs can actually push ear wax further into your ear canal, which can result in earwax buildup. As a result, you may have brief loss of hearing and tinnitus. To clear out the wax, it is advised to use ear drops to soften it or have it removed by a hearing health professional.
Ear infections can be caused by earplug usage. Usually, ear infections are caused by earwax buildup, but bacterial growth on your earplugs can also cause ear infections. Ear infections are generally painful. If it is not treated there are long-term complications, such as hearing loss.
The Best Earplugs for Sleeping
There are generally two types of earplugs: vented and non-vented.
Vented earplugs contain a small hole. This helps equalize the pressure felt in your ears. These earplugs are best used when flying and scuba diving, but not for sleeping.
Non-vented earplugs work best when sleeping.
Here are some earplugs that are useful when sleeping:
If you suffer from any range of hearing loss, or tinnitus, please contact us a Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Having a hearing impairment, a range of deafness, or hearing loss involve complete or limited ability to hear. Indications of these could be mild, moderate, severe, or serious.
Individuals who suffer from mild hearing impairment could have issues with comprehending speech, particularly if there are a lot of surrounding noises. Those who suffer from moderate deafness could benefit from using a hearing aid.
Those who have severe deafness may engage in lip-reading as a means of communication, while others with profound deafness and the inability to hear anything at all are completely dependent on lip-reading or using sign language.
Causes of Deafness:
The inner ear has some of the most delicate bones in the body. Any damage caused to the eardrum or middle ear could cause a range of hearing loss or deafness.
Hearing Loss and Deafness
Hearing loss is defined as a diminished ability to hear in the same way as those who have normal hearing.
Deafness occurs when an individual can’t comprehend speech through hearing, even with amplified sound.
Profound Deafness is defined as a complete absence of hearing. A person who suffers from profound deafness cannot recognize sound at all.
How severe one’s hearing impairment is can be classified by how much louder volumes must be set at in order for them to identify a sound.
Some characterize profoundly deaf and completely deaf in the same manner. On the other hand, some characterize being diagnosed with profound deafness as being the end of the hearing spectrum.
What is the Process of Hearing?
Sound waves penetrate the ear, make their way down the ear or auditory canal, and come in contact with the eardrum, which then vibrates. The vibrations from the eardrum pass through three bones - the ossicles - located in the middle ear.
The ossicles intensify the reverberations, and are then gathered by small hair-like cells located in the cochlea.
These hair-like cells move when they come in contact with vibrations, and that movement data is transferred through the auditory nerve towards the brain. The brain will then process the data, which is then interpreted as sound.
3 Categories of Hearing Loss
1. Conductive Hearing Loss - This is when reverberations do not pass through the outer ear and into the inner ear, specifically the cochlea. This type of hearing loss can happen due to:
Ear infections could leave behind scar tissue, which may reduce the function of the
Eardrum. The ossicles could be harmed due to infection, trauma, or becoming fused
Together by a syndrome known as ankylosis.
2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss - Hearing loss can be caused by an impaired inner ear, cochlea, auditory nerve, or brain damage.
This type of hearing loss is generally caused by hair cells that are damaged in the cochlea. As people age, the hair cells lose function, and hearing abilities worsen.
Continuous exposure to loud noises, particularly high-frequency sounds, is an additional cause of hair cell damage. Damaged hair cells can’t be recovered. There are researchers currently considering the use of stem cells to produce new hair cells.
Total deafness in relation to sensorineural hearing loss could happen due to congenital deformities, inner ear infections, or trauma to the head.
3. Mixed Hearing Loss - this is a merge between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Persistent ear infections could damage the eardrum and the ossicles. In some cases, surgery might restore one’s hearing, but it is not always sufficient.
4 Degrees of Deafness or Hearing Impairment
Treating Different Ranges of Hearing Loss
There are resources to help those of every type of hearing loss. The treatments depend on the cause and severity of the deafness.
There is no cure for sensorineural hearing. If the hair cells in the cochlea are destroyed, they cannot be repaired. There are different treatments and methods to improve a person’s hearing health.
There are a variety of hearing aids that come in all shapes, sizes, circuitries, and degrees of strengths.
Hearing aids cannot cure deafness. They intensify sounds for the listener to hear more clearly.
Hearing aid devices have an amplifier, a battery, loudspeaker, and microphone. Modern hearing aids are small, discreet, and fit inside the ear canal. Today’s hearing aids can help wearers differentiate between background and foreground noises.
Hearing aids would not be appropriate for someone who has profound deafness.
Custom made hearing aids can be created by taking an impression of the ear to make sure the device has a snug fit to the ear. It will be adjusted according to an individual’s auditory needs.
Types of hearing aids include:
These hearing devices have a dome known as an earmold, and a case that links one device to the other. The case rests behind the outer region of the ear, and the connection to the dome goes down the front of the ear. The sound travels electrically or acoustically to the ear.
BTE hearing aids typically last longer than other hearing devices. This is due to the fact that electrical elements are found outside of the ear, which causes less damage from earwax and moisture. These hearing aids are commonly used by children who need a durable device that is simple to use.
These hearing devices fill the outer part of the ear canal and are visible. Ear inserts that are soft and generally made of silicone, are used to keep the loudspeaker inside the ear. These hearing aids fit most wearers immediately and tend to have better quality of sound.
Completely in the canal (CIC)
These are small, discreet hearing aids that are not recommended for those who suffer from severe hearing loss.
Bone conduction hearing aids
These hearing aids amplify sounds for those with conductive hearing loss, in addition to those who cannot wear traditional hearing aids. The device has a part that vibrates and it is held against the mastoid using a headband. The vibrations travel through the mastoid bone, towards the cochlea. These hearing aids can be painful or cause discomfort if they are worn for an extended period of time.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from any range of hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices.
Losing your hearing abilities can be caused by aging, it may be hereditary, or it can come from being exposed to noises in your daily environments.
There is less familiar type of hearing loss, known as cooking bite hearing loss. A cookie bite hearing loss is unusual because particular sounds that a person will hear is altered. It progresses slowly and is more difficult to detect than other types of hearing impairments.
Define Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
“Cookie bite” refers to the image of an audiogram that is taken from a patient who has this condition. Rather than displaying a smooth line, these individuals have audiograms that show a dent in the center that resembles a cookie bite, hence the name. This dent has severe repercussions for an individual.
In most cases, those who have this condition will struggle to hear sounds located in the middle of the frequency range, but they are able to recognize low and high frequencies. The middle frequencies allow those with normal hearing to recognize music and speech, as a result the effects of cookie bite hearing loss can be serious. For example, these individuals may have the ability to hear the sound of a door shutting or someone playing a guitar, but cannot hear if someone is talking in front of them.
The Development of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
As aforementioned, this hearing loss progresses slowly. Anyone who has this issue will begin to observe struggles to hear common noises when they are in their 20s. It will then become more severe when they are in their late 30s and, for some, in their 40s. People generally postpone seeking treatment due to the fact that the condition develops slowly and is difficult to identify in the early stages.
Experts believe the cookie bite hearing loss is primarily genetic in its nature. It is also known as a sensorineural condition, which indicates that it attacks the auditory vestibular nerve located in the inner ear. This is an additional reason as to why it is so difficult to diagnose. Patients will discover that they have cookie bite hearing loss after getting an audiogram. Young people do not typically get this exam, so the problem may get worse if they don’t get it treated.
Repercussions of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
Social interactions can sometimes go awry with cookie bite hearing loss. Those who suffer from this condition may have difficulty in engaging with others during a conversation. In a job setting, problems may arise if they cannot comprehend instructions, presentations, or questions during an interview. It can become more difficult to listen to music. Messages that warn people of potential danger can be missed in public areas, and alarm systems or sirens can feel painful to the ears if an individual suffers from cookie bite hearing loss.
Although hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing for those with cookie bite hearing loss, they can alleviate symptoms. These devices have a feature that cut down on low and high frequencies, which will level out the amplification and focuses on amplifying the mid-frequency range. Amplifying the mid-frequency range is needed to help your hearing. Hearing aids can be adjusted by a hearing instrument specialist, and tailored to each person’s hearing ranges.
If you suffer from cookie bite hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, you should focus on how to protect your ears and hearing health. Knowing what types of ear protection are available for you to take into consideration is important in your decision process.
Ear Protection Devices
Some of the primary options for protecting your ears are:
Is Your Job Dangerous for Your Hearing Health?
Many job professions expose employees to loud noises for extensive periods of time, if not for the majority of their shift. In these occupations, your hearing may become impaired. Notably, carpenters, construction workers, and gardeners may observe deterioration in their hearing while on the job. Frequent banging noises in a workshop, or high decibels emanating from a sizable lawn mower can cause hearing loss.
How to Distinguish Whether Noises Are Too Loud
If you need to raise your voice to speak to someone who is only a few feet away, that’s an indication that the noise around you is too loud. This is probably a typical scene when you are at a concert. If you need to yell into someone’s ear just to talk to them, think about bringing earplugs along with you in case the setting is too loud.
If you notice any changes in your hearing abilities, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about the best options available for you. We offer a variety of hearing aids at discount prices!
The Fourth of July is coming up, which should not only be a concern for those who already suffer from some degree of hearing loss, but also those who have healthy hearing abilities.
Fireworks can produce sounds that may reach between 150 to 175 decibels. Every year, people experience deterioration to their hearing health as a result of hearing fireworks displays.
2 Things to Consider when Seeing and Hearing Fireworks
What can Happen if You are exposed to Loud Sounds?
Wear Ear Protection
Whether you are watching professional firework displays, or firing them off in your own backyard, it is strongly encouraged that you wear protection for your ears. There are two types of ear plugs that can be purchased from a local drug store, grocery store, or sporting goods store:
Even though watching a fireworks display is entertaining, be careful of the dangers they present to your hearing heath.
If you believe that you are experiencing changes in your hearing due to fireworks, or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids from top brands, and for any range of hearing loss, at discount prices!
Studies have shown that exposure to extreme noises can damage your health in more than one way.
How can Loud Environments Affect Your Hearing Health and Well-being?
Frequent exposure to powerful noises has been linked to cardiovascular issues, like high blood pressure. One study discovered higher rates of hypertension and high cholesterol from individuals who were routinely susceptible to loud noises in the workplace. This indicated that for at least four hours each day, several days per week, these employees had to speak louder than normal to be heard by someone who stood a few feet away.
Researchers came to the conclusion that 14 percent of cases involving hypertension and 9 percent of cases involving high cholesterol were likely caused by the stress from working in a loud environment.
The body reacts to stress in different ways, which include an increase in heart rate, and an increase in blood pressure.
Feeling irritated at the sound of loud noise in your environment might affect your health. A study from 2018 discovered that people who were bothered by the sound of a rumbling car, construction vehicle engines, and horns were at a higher risk of atrial fibrillation - which is an abnormal heartbeat that could cause blood clots and stroke.
Loud noises in your surroundings may also disrupt your sleeping patterns.
Poor sleeping habits have been associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other health problems.
Passing the time in noisy environments may lead to unhealthy diet choices.
The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, scientists determined that patrons in restaurants and grocery stores purchased healthier foods when noise levels were low, and purchased unhealthy foods when noise levels were higher. Other researchers found that louder music may lead to greater alcohol consumption at bars and restaurants.
Noise Exposure to Children
Children may notably be sensitive to loud noises. Studies have shown that there is a connection between increased exposure to noise and weaker cognitive abilities in children.
In a classic study from 1978, researchers analyzed children who resided in a middle-income housing project that was built over a bustling New York City highway. They discovered that children who lived on lower, noisier floors that were adjacent to the highway had worse reading test scores than children who resided on higher, quieter floors.
In 2018, the World Health Organization analyzed 34 studies that associated exposure to noise with low reading comprehension, standardized test results, and long-term memory.
In addition to noise as a distraction, just like in adults, scientists believe that noise may cause stress in children.
Preserve Your Hearing Health
Limit how much noise you are exposed to. Being around noise levels exceeding 85 decibels (dBA), for over eight hours on a daily basis might damage your hearing. When noises are louder, less time is taken to cause harm.
A noise level reaching 100 dBA (the near equivalent of a car horn blasting from a few feet away, or a sporting event) can result in damaged hearing after 15 minutes.
If you cannot leave a noisy environment by moving to a quieter neighborhood or environment take these into consideration:
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
Swimmer's ear - also known as otitis - is an infection in the outer ear canal. This is an area that extends from the outer ear to the eardrum. Moisture gets trapped in the outer ear space, leading to bacterial growth, which can harm the skin of the ear canal.
Swimmer’s ear can be caused from debris or moisture that gets stuck in the ear canal from bathing, swimming, showering, or being in other wet environments. This should be taken seriously by getting treatment so that it doesn’t lead to hearing loss or become further infected.
What happens when someone gets swimmer’s ear?
With treatment, swimmer’s ear can quickly heal. If left untreated, it can be potentially dangerous and painful, especially for those with immune system irregularities or diabetes.
What are the complications?
Hearing loss, recurring infections, or cartilage and bone damage can occur with untreated swimmer’s ear. Infections can spread to the cranial nerves, brain, or base of the skull, especially in diabetics and the elderly.
If you suffer from swimmer’s ear, get an exam to make sure the eardrum is not perforated. A perforated eardrum may allow infection to spread to the middle ear. The ear will be cleaned and antibiotic ear drops will be dispensed if the eardrum is intact. Oral medication may also be prescribed for more serious infections. Other medications can be given if the infection does not clear up in three to four days. The ear must stay dry during the recovery process.
You can prevent swimmer’s ear by keeping water out of the ear. The best solution is using earplugs when coming in contact with water. You can get over-the-counter earplugs or custom earplugs from a hearing instrument specialist.
Maintain proper skin health. Cracked skin can be a pathway to infection. Another form of prevention is to protect your ears from chemicals, like hair dye or hairspray, with earplugs or cotton balls. Also, keep your ears dry after swimming by tipping your head each way to the side to let water drain out of each ear. Don’t use cotton swabs. A towel or tissue is okay.
Maintain proper earwax hygiene. Too much or too little can be problematic. Earwax helps to protect the outer ear canal, but too much earwax buildup can become impacted. Using cotton swabs or ear candling can damage the ears, which can lead to infection.
Consider using over-the-counter ear drops to prevent swimmer’s ear when you go swimming. Do not put anything in the ear canal if you suspect you have a perforated eardrum! A physician will be needed to assess the condition of the eardrum.
If you suffer from hearing loss due to swimmer’s ear, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Just about everyone wears earbuds or headphones these days. Unfortunately, the easy access comes at a cost. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion adolescents around the globe are susceptible to hearing loss because of their use of earbuds or headphones.
Hearing Loss Due Headphone Use
When anyone frequently uses headphones or earbuds for an extended amount of time, at high volumes, vital sections of the ear that are needed for hearing can be destroyed. Each ear has 18,000 cilia, which are microscopic hair cells that transfer sounds. These hair cells are an important part of the process. They transmit an electrical signal to the brain, which interprets it to a sound that can be distinguished by an individual.
Noise or any music that is played too loudly, can destroy these hair cells. Damage from this ultimately cause the cells to die off. As a result, the hair cells are unable to regenerate. This is what causes noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
How Earbuds Can Cause Hearing Loss
Earbuds are basically miniature speakers that stream music directly into your ear canals. Most earbuds have poor quality, and cannot block ambient noise. They are also poor at transmitting bass sounds. This may cause listeners to increase the volume.
Out-side-the-ear headphones would be a better choice, rather than earbuds that stream music directly into the ear. They are able to support a shield between the music and the ear canal.
Better Substitutes to Avoid Hearing Loss from Headphones
There are two different types of headphones that prevent ambient noise, while preserving your hearing health to let you listen to music at safe levels:
Knowing You Safe Listening Limits
When using earbuds or headphones, you should listen to sounds at a safe level. It is recommended to listen at a maximum of 85 decibels (dB) for no longer than eight hours a day. Since most people do not own or have access to a decibel meter, they can use the 60/60 rule. Listen to music for only 60 minutes at a time, at no higher than 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume.
The loudest that most devices can reach is 115 dB. This volume can cause permanent damage to your hearing in eight to 15 minutes.
The WHO (World Health Organization) also advises people not to listen to anything with headphones on the same day they are planning to be exposed to loud noises, like at a concert or movie theater.
On Children Using Headphones
Avoid letting your children use headphones when possible. Only allow them to use headphones that give warnings about the risks for hearing loss. Parents should supervise their children to make sure they do not turn up the volume to unsafe levels. There are some devices that may have parental controls, to let adults manage the volume level of the device.
Dizziness that is caused by Meniere’s disease
First, let’s define Meniere’s disease. This is a syndrome where membranes and structures in the inner ear hold too much fluid and become swollen. Although the cause of the disease has not been thoroughly explained, Meniere’s disease has a three symptoms:
In some instances, patients encounter feelings of fullness in the affected ear. Typical cases if vertigo with Meniere’s disease are not linked to how the head is positioned, like with BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - a prevalent type of vertigo related to the ears.). The attacks can happen with no warning, and may last over 20 minutes on each occasion. Each attack may cause serious bouts of nausea and vomiting.
Dizziness that is caused by BPPV
Vertigo associated with BPPV occurs when lying your head down, turning your head in a specific direction, or hanging your head upside down. Small crystals of calcium become loose inside your inner ear, and when you get in or stand up out of bed, or even if you slant your head, you may feel those crystals becoming loose. It is common among those who are over 60 years of age. This problem can be relieved by engaging in special exercises for the head and neck. These exercises include the Epley Maneuver, the Semont Maneuver, the Half-Somersault or Foster Maneuver, and the Brandt-Daroff Exercise.
Treatments for Meniere’s disease and BPPV
The Epley maneuver is a treatment where the head is moved in a particular set of positions in order to attempt to force the displaced crystals out from the semicircular canals.
Those who suffer from Meniere’s disease can find relief through a pressure pulse generator known as a Menniett Device, or even prescribed anti-dizziness medication. Patients are also encouraged to lower their consumption of salt and take diuretics to lessen the amount of fluid stored in the inner ear. Hearing loss that is linked to Meniere’s disease can be improved by wearing a hearing aid in the ear that is affected.
So the answer as to whether there is a link with Meniere’s disease and BPPV is, no. There is a possibility that someone can have both afflictions occurring at the same time, but there isn't necessarily a correlation between the two.
Studies have found that in Meniere’s disease, hearing loss may become progressive and could result in permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, or uneven pressure in one ear. Some individuals who suffer from these symptoms found that wearing hearing aids, which balances hearing in each ear, can diminish problems with vertigo. Hearing aids can also alleviate the effects of hearing loss that are linked to the disease.
Communication and being able to have a connection with others is the key to a full experience in this world. Unfortunately, for some individuals, it is difficult to communicate because of hearing loss or speech limitations. Over 48 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss, and 1 out of 10 Americans have a communication disorder.
Here are 6 Things You can do to Raise Awareness about Hearing and Speech Problems:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss or any other problems associated with your hearing, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids!
Hearing loss can affect anyone, but one group of people are more likely to suffer from hearing loss than another.
Men have a higher chance of developing hearing loss than women. A study from 2008 by Johns Hopkins University discovered that the risk of hearing loss in men is five times more likely than it is for women. An individual’s age and race were taken into consideration as part of this data. The disparity among men and women typically starts around age 30, with white men exhibiting the highest pervasiveness of hearing loss.
Men with Work-related Hearing Loss
This distinction does not have anything to do with biological differences. Take into consideration the types of jobs that are commonly carried out by men. Most of those careers include daily exposure to loud noises from their equipment and surroundings.
By law, employees are required to wear protection for their ears when they are working in loud environments. Most men continue to disregard the health of their hearing and do not take necessary precautions.
Behavior Patterns can Risk Your Hearing
The average man and woman have the same level of hearing capacity when they are born. As a conclusion, it is evident that the differences in men and women’s behavioral patterns are what cause the disparity in their hearing loss. Smoking and health problems, like high blood pressure or heart disease, have been proven to cause loss of hearing. Men are more likely to have these issues, which explain the results of several studies. Also, regular users of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and painkillers, like aspirin, could induce early hearing loss for men under the age of 60.
Discussing the Stigma of Men with Hearing Loss
Even with the evidence of these risks, men are still less likely to get fitted for hearing aids than women. This might be due to the shame that some feel from having to use the hearing instruments. There should not be any shame in correcting your hearing loss, in the same way that those with vision problems use eyeglasses to help with their vision.
Early hearing loss detection and alleviation is known to help prevent or slow down early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also protect you from falling, feeling anxiety and depression.
There are many different types of hearing loss. Some people are unable to hear high frequencies, and others tend to only hear muffled sounds or lower frequencies. Men who suffer from hearing loss usually stop hearing high-frequency noises first, while women typically stop hearing low-frequencies first. As a result, men have difficulty comprehending words with consonant sounds that have higher pitches. Women have difficulty comprehending deep, round sounds in vowels. This is an informative reason as to why many couples have communication problems!
Reach Out for Help
Men with hearing loss have an opportunity to change the course of their hearing health. If you, or a loved one, have noticed a decline in your hearing capabilities please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.