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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Those who suffer from severe to profound hearing loss experience the ability to hear sounds, but the inability to comprehend what is being said. Oticon’s Dynamo will allow you to have a more thorough hearing experience.
A very powerful hearing aid may have difficulty helping you comprehend high-frequency sounds. The Dynamo allows you to experience a fuller range of sounds, while catching more details in speech.
This hearing device features BrainHearing™ technology, which helps make spoken words easier to comprehend. It protects the clarity of speech, and carries sound in a process that your brain is able to understand it.
Oticon’s Dynamo is powerful, yet small and discreet. It is available in seven colors, so you can choose which hearing aid looks best on you.
If you suffer from profound hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists to find out if Oticon’s Dynamo is right for you. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices!
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.
According to a 2018 study from Finland, children who wear cochlear implants may be able to clarify their hearing abilities, especially in noisy surroundings.
An analysis of “speech-in-noise” abilities in children who had cochlear implants was conducted. For over a year, two different groups of children (aged 4 to 13) who wore cochlear implants were tested on how well they were able to comprehend speech under noisy circumstances. A study was conducted for a controlled group of children who had normal hearing.
The children were categorized into groups which depended on their daily singing routines. The researchers followed up on accounts of informal singing, which included singing along with songs from movies, nursery rhymes, YouTube, or the radio.
During the tests, the subjects were asked to point at images that depicted the words and phrases that they heard through a loudspeaker over a consistent stream of background noise. The children who had normal hearing displayed an improved understanding of speech than those who had cochlear implants. Each group showed improvement during the second round of testing. The children who sang and had cochlear implants performed better, and also had better concentration abilities than children who did not sing. They were also better at catching on to rhythms in songs, which imply that they were better at comprehending speech patterns.
Difficulties of background noises
The team from Finland discovered that children with cochlear implants, who frequently sang, had parents who sang to them early in their life. Parents typically sing facing their children, which allows the children to see lip and mouth movements. Children who wear cochlear implants use the visual cues of lip reading. According to their study, singing to these children may provide similar advantages.
Users of cochlear implants have difficulty deciphering speech in loud environments. This is due to the fact that the implants cannot support the audio range needed in order to hear noises that occur simultaneously.
This makes situations more challenging for implant users who are very young, because background noise is a part of everyday life in daycare, schools, and homes.
The inability to hear can lead to problems with hearing conversations, or hearing speech aimed at children (especially instructions from teachers or parents) can undermine how they learn.
Children are unable to fully comprehend speech noise until they reach the ages between 11 and 15. The loss of education and interaction could have lasting damage of confidence in addition to their relationships with others.
Background noises could also make it difficult to hear sounds of vehicles or people approaching, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations.
What is the Connection between Music and Speech?
The study shows that playing or singing music may help enhance a person’s vocal pitch and intensity, along with their speech rhythms. Singing has the ability to reinforce the link between speech and hearing. Because songs have a small amount of words, and lots of repetition, those who are listening have a longer amount of time to process what they’re hearing.
Clear and regular rhythms, slow tempos, singing alone, face-to-face singing with parents, a lot of repetition, and finding some enjoyment in singing are all elements that help bolster the link between music and speech.
To no surprise, musicians have been shown to have better speech and hearing perceptions than those who are not musicians. A small study conducted on adults who have hearing loss showed that it supported brain stem response in sound processing.
Music is Important for all Children
The results indicated that singing and music are valuable for children who suffer from hearing conditions. Schools, day cares, and families should incorporate music into a child’s education and every day learning situations. This especially rings true for children who wear cochlear implants or have difficulties with hearing.
Regardless of age, hearing loss can affect your life and health. If you, or a loved one, have concerns about hearing loss, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
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.
At least 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. There is no cure for this ringing sensation, which is caused by an audiological and neurological condition. Those who suffer from this ailment are forced to find what relief they can. Some individuals have turned to cannabidiol, or CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is just one of several chemical combinations that can be derived from the Cannabis plant’s buds, flowers, and leaves.
CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive drug in marijuana. CBD users do not experience a high. CBD can be turned into gels, oils, tinctures, or sprays.
The Acceptance of CBD
In 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act was passed by Congress, which withdrew hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. This allowed the non-narcotic elements of the plant to be marketed to the public.
Today, many companies advertise CBD claiming it has medicinal benefits such as relieving pain or treating conditions which include acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and tinnitus. Accurate research from the medical field is currently missing for the treatment of these conditions. The omission would be two rare types of epilepsy, both which can be treated with a drug that contains CBD known as Epidiolex. This drug has been approved by the FDA.
A Study on Tinnitus and CBD
CB1 and CB2 are two receptors found in the brain that react to CBD being present. These two receptors have been shown to possibly be responsible for restoring balance and hearing. These results have led some to speculate as to whether CBD may help those who have hearing disorders like tinnitus. So far, that information remains unknown.
On Trying CBD
Since tinnitus patients typically suffer from high amounts of mental distress, due to the consistent ringing in their ears, anything that would relieve the ringing would tempt them to try it.
One man documented his experience of using CBD to treat his tinnitus. He had doubts that the CBD would help him. After his first dose of CBD, he felt the effects in just 30 minutes. His anxiety was gone, and he had no feeling of being sedated, high, or impaired.
Results May Vary
It would be advised to do research before consulting your primary care physician, and then use a small dosage if the doctor believes it would benefit you.
Everybody has a different reaction to CBD. Some may notice an immediate effect, while it may take at least a week for others to notice a difference. Some may not have a reaction to it at all.
Please be cautious when using CBD. There are no tests that CBD products need to pass in order to be considered effective. The laws are vastly different for each state, and the FDA does not regulate the compound. This means that the condition of supplements with CBD are not verified. It is important to determine whether CBD can be legally obtained where you live before buying or ingesting products that claim to have the compound, and talk with your primary care physician about any concerns that you may have.
It would be best to arrange an appointment with a hearing health care professional who specializes in tinnitus. They will most likely suggest a range of solutions. This may include hearing aids that can conceal tinnitus and help you feel some relief from your symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus and would like to use hearing aids as a solution, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Approximately 360 million people suffer from hearing loss. Half of congenital hearing loss is genetic, with over 400 syndromes associated with hearing loss, and at least 100 genes - that are known to us - list hearing loss as the only scientific explanation.
Regardless of these alarming numbers, it is crucial to obtain a specific origin of the disease for an individual’s genetic hearing loss because it essentially affects the way a practitioner advises, oversees, and cares for each patient. Fortunately, there have been new developments in fast and affordable genetic testing technology (i.e. next generation sequencing), enhanced data analysis, and prevalent usage of electronic health records (EHR).
Hearing Loss at Birth and Genetic Mutations
Congenital hearing loss is typically diagnosed shortly after birth through a newborn hearing screening (NBHS). Yet, several instances of hearing loss only become evident later on in life - to those who are genetically predisposed - because the appearance of late-onset hearing loss mutations. It can also occur after using antibiotics, or suffering from a head trauma. Associations of hidden and delayed diagnoses demonstrate the possibility of improvements, which grant a great opportunity to take advantage of the latest tools of genetic testing.
A mutation that causes hearing loss will be present before and at birth, no matter if the hearing loss is progressive or delayed. It would be effective to run a genetic screening panel that includes a population’s common hearing loss genes to test newborns, to improve the amount of time to diagnose and treat each patient. There are panels who provide rapid and relatively affordable screenings of common hearing loss genes.
Syndromic Hearing Loss
Syndromic hearing loss is linked to other health problems such as eye diseases and cardiac abnormalities. Those who have non-syndromic hearing loss, and no other symptoms, do not need costly workup for non-ear related diseases. Parents can save themselves from avoidable expenses and concern, while guiding the efficient workup and proper treatment of hearing loss by becoming informed about specific genetic causes of hearing loss. This can also allow parents to be informed in regards to the risk of hearing impairment with future offspring.
A genetic analysis can aid in predicting a hearing aid wearer’s response to cochlear implantation. For example, those with the GJB2 mutation have an outstanding response to cochlear implants, as opposed to those who have genes that affect the cochlear nerves experienced worse post-implant performance. This knowledge can help guide the wearer’s expectations of the post-implant auditory function.
Mutations can cause someone to acquire hearing loss, combined with exposure to various environments. Genetic tests and studies open the possibility of curing certain types of hearing loss. Early intervention in genetic hearing loss could prevent certain hearing impairments.
If you have a family history of genetic hearing loss, go see your primary care physician or hearing health care professional to get checked out. If you or a loved one currently suffers from hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s allergy season. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are common this time of year. Hearing healthcare professionals say that allergies may also be a cause of hearing loss. Some symptoms include fullness in the ear, itching, vertigo, or swelling.
Allergies and Hearing loss
Antibodies, which release histamine, are formed. When histamine is released, it causes an allergic reaction. The result of this allergic reaction is itching, sneezing, and congestion. This raises the amount of mucus that a person produces, which may cause hearing loss.
What is conductive hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss develops when fluid or earwax block sound waves from streaming through the ear, towards the small bones in the middle of the ear. There is a remedy for conductive hearing loss, but you will most likely have temporary difficulty hearing. Conductive hearing loss can be taken care of with standard or bone-conduction hearing aids - implantable devices that are anchored to your bone - or middle ear implants. Assistive listening instruments, such as amplified telephones or headphones used with your television, could be a solution to your hearing loss.
It is not recommended that you attempt to scratch an irritation by placing anything in your inner ear canal, like a cotton swab. As an alternative, gently clean your ear with a warm washcloth that has been wrung-out, and completely dry it. If this does not help, please see your doctor. You healthcare provider will be able to sterilize the ear and examine it to determine the cause of the itching.
What are three types of hearing loss caused by allergies?
Each of the three main sections of your ear can be affected by allergies.
The outer ear hearing loss: Skin reactions caused by allergies, may cause itching and/or swelling for both the outer ear and ear canal. Some allergies that affect your skin may come from earrings, perfumes, laundry detergent, or household pets.
The middle ear hearing loss: Inflammation may obstruct the opening to the middle of your ear, causing the Eustachian tube not to properly siphon out fluids. These fluids, along with pressure, can build up. This can give your ears the feeling of being full in the ear that is affected, and unfortunately arranges an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and eventually an infection. The buildup of fluid may cause balance issues, like vertigo, or the sensation of dizziness.
Inner ear hearing loss: Allergies can also be partially responsible for Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disease that generally only affects one ear. The result of this ailment can cause ear pressure or pain, serious instances of vertigo, loss of hearing, or tinnitus. It is a chronic illness with no cure, but there are remedies that can decrease the effect on your daily life and alleviate symptoms. Sudden dizziness after experiencing tinnitus or muffled hearing are common with Meniere’s disease. Some may have one occasional attack, while others may experience attacks that last several days.
Allergies and Hearing Aids
Not only do allergens cause irritation, but they may also block up the microphone ports in your hearing aids. This will alter the way your hearing aids operate. The covers on your microphone port can be replaced, but it is advised to regularly clean your hearing aids, especially during allergy season.
Some wearers have had allergic reactions when wearing their hearing aids. If this happens, speak to your hearing healthcare professional. The allergic reaction could be the result of a poorly fit hearing aid, moisture in the ear, dry skin, an accumulation of earwax, or a sensitivity to the material that makes up the earmold. Most hearing aid manufacturers have alternative options for those with sensitivity in the ears, such as hypoallergenic shell materials or various coatings that can provide relief.
Typically, allergies and the challenges of hearing are usually temporary. Your normal hearing abilities come back once your symptoms decline or the infection goes away. If your hearing loss continues well past your allergy season, please see your hearing health care provider.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound when there actually is no external sound that is being made. This is the most prevalent disorder that hearing healthcare professionals have encountered with their patients. Even though tinnitus is often lumped together with hearing loss, having tinnitus does not automatically mean that you also have hearing loss.
In order to hear, sounds are channeled through the outer and inner ear. Almost undetectable hair cells located inside the inner ear, transmit sound through auditory nerves and into the brain. Hearing loss may develop at any phase of this process.
Tinnitus can also develop at any phase of that same process. For instance, tinnitus can be caused by wax that impacts the ear canal. This can be the result of ear diseases affecting the middle ear, like fluid or Meniere’s Syndrome. It can be caused by damaged hair cells located in the inner ear, or improper firing of nerve cells in the brain.
Whatever is causing your tinnitus, is also probably what’s causing your hearing loss
Hearing loss and tinnitus are caused by the same impairment in our auditory system. There’s a high probability that if you have tinnitus, you also have hearing loss. It is commonly seen, but not in every patient.
This is because there are other causes for tinnitus that are not caused by complications associated with the ears. For example, medications (especially with high doses of aspirin), high blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause tinnitus.
If you, or a loved one have symptoms of tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Some people who have average hearing capabilities, still tend to have difficulties with understanding speech noises. It may be labeled under the phrases auditory processing disorder, or hidden hearing loss. Even with significant efforts in research, there is still little information explaining this hearing experience.
Predictions and Test Subjects’ Results
The theory of hidden hearing loss predicts that if adults who experience normal hearing standards but struggle with hearing noise, may indicate that the primary ear-to-brain connections have deteriorated. This theory was tested on 194 adults who have average hearing capabilities, or audiograms.
First, a common measurement of hidden hearing loss - known as ABR Wave I - was conducted, in addition to surveys about each participant’s past exposures to noise and hearing. They also analyzed subjects on the QuickSIN (a Quick Speech in Noise test) to measure the ability, or inability, to comprehend speech with background noise. They concluded that there was no evidence that Wave I measurements were dissimilar between test subjects who reported a significant noise exposure and those who did not. They also did not find data supporting any parallels between speech-in-noise and Wave I amplitudes.
Another hypothesis, which asked why listeners have difficulty hearing noise, was tested for those with poor high-frequency hearing. This theory argued that damage in hair cells beyond the bounds measured by a standard audiogram weakens speech comprehension under difficult listening environments. There are indications that very high-frequency speech cues contribute important repetitions to speech in loud atmospheres. The test subjects indicated that listeners exposed to noise had marginally poorer high-frequency hearing thresholds, and there was no link to speech-in-noise efficiency.
The test subjects had sought out help from an audiology clinic, so they were more likely to suffer from one or both of the theories. But the conclusions agree with many other extensive reviews of hearing-in-noise abilities that recommend dismissing external factors.
This conclusion suggests that hidden hearing loss and high-frequency hearing loss do not jeopardize hearing-in-noise capabilities in a general population.
Which factors control hearing-in-noise difficulties?
The central nervous system for auditory encoding and general cognitive abilities may be a factor that controls hearing-in-noise difficulties. Take for instance listeners who have better hearing-in-noise capabilities. They have stronger abilities to convert important speech characteristics such as harmonics, pitch, and timing. Exercises to improve hearing also increases the elements of auditory encoding. Cognitive abilities, like attention and working memory, are associated with hearing. These cognitive abilities process sound for us to understand.
A functioning auditory periphery is needed to hear. Basic elements in the neural development of sound, in addition to cognitive abilities, most likely control speech-in-noise awareness. With that said, these should be important considerations during clinical assessments and rehabilitation procedures.
If you, or a loved one, have difficulty hearing noise or understanding speech, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
ReSound’s ENZO 3D hearing aid, gives precision and control to those who suffer from severe-to-profound hearing loss.
In addition to intensifying surrounding noises, users of the ENZO 3D will notice clearer sounds. This hearing aid uses Binaural Directionality III, which give the users an awareness of where sounds are coming from.
The ENZO 3D also provides the highest amplification in the hearing industry, with a lack of feedback noise.
Wearers will experience surrounding sounds with 60% more clarity!
There is also 60% of better speech comprehension.
You can bid farewell to those challenges faced when speaking on the phone! The ReSound ENZO 3D is the only hearing aid device, for those with severe-to-profound hearing loss, that is made for Apple®. Android users may stream their hearing aids with the ReSound Phone Clip+.
Wearers may also use the ReSound Smart 3D app to customize and control their sound experience by using their smartphone. They may adjust the volume, bass, and treble.
By using the FaceTime® app for video chats, ReSound ENZO 3D will enhance your speech comprehension by 70% in comparison to an acoustic phone program. Phone calls or music can also be directly streamed into the hearing aids. You can even stream the appropriate volume level of the TV for yourself, while everyone around you can listen at the volume that is most comfortable for them.
If you, or a loved one, would be interested in ReSound’s ENZO 3D, get in touch with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids today! We offer affordable hearing aids!
Studies have linked diabetes to hearing loss. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 70 percent of diabetics between 50 to 69-years-old have high-frequency hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is twice as common in those people with diabetes than those without it, according to a 2008 study by the National Institute of Hearing.
Researchers suggest that poor circulation is the main culprit. High blood sugar levels can harm blood vessels and minimize blood flow to various parts of the body. Such damage could also reach the delicate parts of the inner ear and cause hearing loss.
If you have diabetes, what can you do to reduce the risk of hearing loss?
If you, or a loved one, suffers from hearing loss due to diabetes or any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices!
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD) is the most prevalent cause for ears that feel clogged or plugged. The Eustachian tube attaches the back end of the nose to the middle of the ear. It protects, airs out, and removes liquid from the middle ear to maintain the same amount of air pressure on both sides of the eardrum. It typically remains closed unless we are chewing, swallowing, or yawning.
ETD occurs when something blocks the Eustachian Tube from opening and closing. The symptoms of ETD may consist of a feeling of fullness inside the ear, faint hearing abilities, and/or irritation caused by a variation of air pressure between the middle section of the ear and the ear canal.
The causes of Plugged Ears
There are various explanations for ETD: feelings of congestion from a cold, allergies, earwax build up, ear infections, inflamed sinuses (or sinusitis), enlarged adenoids, altitude changes like flying in an airplane or when driving up to mountainous regions, or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder - a disorder which may cause aches in your jaw joint and muscles that control the movement of your jaw.
Symptoms and Solutions for Clogged Ears
The symptoms of ETD consist of aural fullness faint/muffled hearing and/or discomfort.
Different ways to open the Eustachian Tube include: chewing gum, yawning, the Toynbee Maneuver (swallowing while the nose is pinched closed), and the Valsalva Maneuver (lightly blowing the nose as it is pinched shut with the mouth closed). The objective is to balance the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum. You will know that the Eustachian Tubes open, when you hear a popping sound or feel a popping sensation in your ears.
If ETD lingers for a couple more days, or you notice other problems, for instance abrupt differences in hearing, dizziness, vertigo, pain, fever, liquid draining from the ear, or tinnitus please make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can.
For more information in regards to hearing issues, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
One of the primary concerns that those with hearing loss have is the ability to hear people, but not comprehending what has been said.
This complaint comes up often among those who suffer from sloping high-frequency hearing loss.
What is Happening and why do so many People have this Issue?
The ears and the brain are both affected by hearing loss. Sound waves are deciphered by the ears and translated into words that make sense. The loss of hearing can come in various degrees and in a range of frequencies. One of the more common versions of inner ear hearing loss is sloping high - frequency hearing loss.
Hearing loss is typically measured from 250 to 8000 Hz (Hertz - a derived unit of frequency, defined as one cycle per second.). Those with high-frequency hearing loss do not have a loss of frequencies under 1000 Hz (lower pitched frequencies), but have abnormal results in a range of 1000 to 8000 Hz (higher pitched frequencies).
Diverse Speech Signals Create Diverse Frequencies
In human speech patterns, there are low-pitched sounds (or vowels) and high-pitched sounds (or consonants). The ability to hear vowels that have lower pitched frequencies provides people with the sensation of hearing speech, but the inability to hear higher pitched sounds. This is what gives us the ability to understand complete words. This is also what gives some people the capacity to hear, but not understand what is being said.
It’s easier to determine the differences between words with high-pitched frequencies, which have consonants. Those with high-frequency hearing loss, lose the ability to hear consonant sounds and distinguish the difference between words like ‘bat’ or ‘cat’.
When Important Sounds and Letters are not Heard Clearly
Imagine a book that has every Ch, Sh, Th, F, H, K, P, and S removed. You can still read parts of the book and comprehend some of it, but you won’t be able to understand most of the significant words and phrases. This makes it difficult to understand the overall subject matter. This is what people who have high-frequency hearing loss experience. Part of the message can be heard, but the loss of the ability to hear high-frequencies removed the vital sounds or letters necessary for word comprehension and recognition.
Fortunately, you can get help for high-frequency hearing loss with the appropriate diagnosis and proper amplification.
Do you, or a loved one, have difficulty hearing or understanding what others are saying and need help? If so, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation to discuss the best options that are available. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices!