According to the CDC, a New Vial Signs study shows that millions of people with hearing damage perceive their hearing as excellent.
According to a new study by JAMA, older US adults who wear hearing aids are hospitalized less than those who don’t.
Elham Mahmoudi of the University of Michigan, the lead study, hypothesized that “the use of hearing aids helps individuals with severe hearing loss to communicate better with their physicians and to have a more active lifestyle compared with those who do not use hearing aids”.
Poor communication caused by hearing loss can result in less compliance with prescribed treatments and medications.
If you or a loved one have the symptoms of hearing loss, call Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test.
There are many kinds of hearing aids out there. There are different features, sizes, styles, brand names, and manufacturers. To cut down on the confusion in what to look for when buying hearing aids, here are some tips:
You can never ask too many questions. Be sure to explore all your options for your listening needs. There’s a lot of technology to comb through, so contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids today for more information.
Hearing aids are more and more high-tech every day. Typically you can get 3 to 10 days out of a single hearing aid battery, depending upon how much how much you engage in streaming, use the hearing aids, and get hearing aid maintenance. However, there are steps you can take to maximize the life of your hearing aid batteries.
Here are 10 tips to get more mileage out of your hearing aid batteries:
Hopefully, these 10 tips will be useful to you in maintaining the life of your hearing aid batteries. Contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for any additional information that would useful in preserving your hearing aids.
Selective serotonin rebuke inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.They increase serotonin to the brain to relieve symptoms of depression.
Recently, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) found that the part of the brain where tinnitus occurs was impacted negatively by using SSRIs. Specifically, they noted, that hypersensitivity and hyperactivity to stimuli in relation to serotonin occured. Therefore, using SSRIs may worsen tinnitus. If you have tinnitus, make sure you talk to your physician before taking common antidepressants.
Talk to a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for more information on hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Springtime often brings about allergies, with symptoms including sore throat, itchy eyes, and runny nose. But are you aware that seasonal allergies may also affect your ears? The symptoms may include pressure, tinnitus, itching, dizziness--and even hearing loss. The hearing loss may only be temporary, but such an occurrence can certainly be frightening. So, how do you tell if your hearing loss is associated with allergies or, instead, a more serious condition?
Allergies and hearing loss
A form of conductive hearing loss is from allergies. The transmission of sound is hindered during its travel from the outer or middle ear to the inner ear. How is this so? If allergies cause a reaction on the skin like swelling or itching on the outer ear or in the ear canal, it can keep you from hearing normally. Fluid can also build up in your inner ear, blocking your Eustachian tube--just like when you get congested from a cold. Your ears will feel clogged or full, causing some amount of hearing loss. Your hearing can be further impaired with a fluid buildup, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. An ear infection may result.
The inner ear is less likely to be affected by allergies. However, if the inner ear is infected, it can cause symptoms like pressure, tinnitus, and dizziness. Also, one of the potential triggers for Meniere’s disease is allergies, even though the specific cause of it is unknown. It focuses on the inner ear, causing an allergic reaction, and can increase the chance of hearing loss.
Hearing loss shouldn’t be ignored
Hearing loss is a serious issue. Don’t just brush it off; it affects your overall health and well being. If your hearing seems unclear all of the time; have it checked. Waiting around could make it worse. For a hearing checkup, consult your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
According to Katie Holly, in her SELF column, she woke up woke up with a cockroach in her ear that horrifyingly tortured her for nine days. She had bought a new home with her husband in Florida and made sure she got a professional to spray for cockroaches, but one got in her ear anyway while she was sleeping. It took nine days and three doctors to retrieve it.
She said it felt like “a chip of ice” in her ear. She got part of it out with a cotton swab, and then her husband tried tweezers and got more. She had to go to the emergency room for the rest. They tried a numbing agent to kill the bug. The medicine killed the bug, and then the doctor supposedly removed the remaining pieces. She was sent home with medication, but needed to go to her family doctor for four ear flushes, since she was still experiencing pain. More pieces came out. He then sent her to a specialist and more pieces were discovered and completely removed. Finally, the entire bug was gone, but the psychological horror lingered.
If you feel something crawling in your ear, contact Pure Sound Hearing Aids for an otoscopic inspection today.
Think about standing in a crowd of friends, chatting excitedly, waiting with anticipation as the venue goes dark, the stage lights come up, and the first note of your favorite song electrifies your soul. It’s an exhilarating moment to behold. But imagine not being able to listen to live music at all anymore because you have hearing loss or tinnitus due to attending too many concerts without hearing protection. It’s something to think about before it happens.
Sorry... concerts are loud
Obviously concerts will be loud, but that doesn’t mean you have to destroy your hearing in the process of listening. The average concert is about 100 dB A or louder, depending upon the type of music and venue acoustics. The dB A, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is a weighted scale that describes the relative loudness of sounds as perceived by the human ear with a correction for frequency. Fifteen minutes is the amount of time you can listen to 100 dB A or louder before it can cause damage to your auditory system. So, if you want to continue to enjoy music, protect your ears.
An affordable solution to the excessive noise is to wear disposable foam earplugs. You can still enjoy the music--just at a reasonable sound level. Nowadays you can get them right at the concert for a small amount of money. When inserted correctly, they deliver 22 to 32 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), depending upon the specific brand. But most people complain that the music doesn’t sound as intense that way.
There is an answer to the complaint about earplugs destroying the intensity of the music. Get the best earplugs for listening. They are called musician plugs. It’s not that they provide more protection than regular earplugs, it is that they preserve music fidelity in the process of protecting your hearing. Standard earplugs have sound distortion, but musician plugs don’t.
Music is minimally affected as it goes through musician plugs into your ears. They are custom fit plugs and have filters inside that flatten the frequency response. There are three different filters designed by Starkey Hearing Technologies for music listening. They are: ones for singers or string music, which are 10 dB; ones for jazz, bars or stadiums, clubs, or acoustic music, which are 17 dB; and ones for heavy metal, very loud DJs, or rock concerts, which are 26 dB.
Whether it is the conventional type of hearing protection or the custom kind, select something. For clarity and comfort, the musician plugs are best. With musician plugs, you can choose based upon your music preference or get multiple filters and switch back and forth. Custom plugs naturally cost more, so purchase the over-the-counter ones if cost is a concern. In getting custom earplugs, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to get an ear impression for custom devices. You’ll be thankful you protected your hearing.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new driver, an experienced driver, or an older driver, you need to take lots of precautions for your safety and that of others on the road. Others may have misconceptions about your ability on the road, if you have hearing loss. However, people with hearing loss often drive more carefully than those without, according to a Swedish study. Even forward-thinking businesses want hearing-impaired drivers because they have belief in them. Below are four tips for drivers with hearing loss to help you become more vigilant on the road and even safer than the average normal hearing individual.
Many people try to multitask in the car, like with everything else these days. But it is a really dangerous idea to get distracted with other things in the car, whether or not you have hearing loss. Keep your eyes focused on the road, and look for sudden changes in others’ actions or in road conditions. In addition, please do not text while driving--it is not only deadly, it is also unlawful in many states.
Look for visual cues
In having hearing loss, you probably rely heavily on your vision for safe driving. Make sure you constantly look for traffic lights and road signs to make driving less difficult. Also, use your rear-view and side mirrors often. Visual cues are your friends when you have hearing loss.
Block out excessive noise
Listening to excessively loud music in the car is dangerous for anyone. Turn the music down. With hearing loss, it is even more difficult to concentrate with loud music playing. Your concentration is knocked out of whack with loud music, and any hearing you do have for driving is dampened. Also, keep up the windows up to block out road noises, like wind from driving on the highway. You need to be able to hear external alerts like ambulance sirens and honking horns.
Get checkups for your hearing aids and ears
To make sure everything is on target with your hearing aids and ears, get regular checkups. You are not a bad driver when you have hearing loss; you just need to make sure everything is in working order. For advice, a check on your hearing, or maintenance for your hearing aids, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids today.
Certain health conditions that threaten your hearing and overall health are unavoidable, but others can be stopped. A good preventative measure is to take steps to make sure all of your vaccinations are still good. Get new vaccinations or boosters as prescribed by your physician. Below are six common conditions that put your hearing at risk and can be prevented by getting the proper vaccinations. Consult your physician for more details.
1. Pneumonia (pneumococcal disease) and hearing loss
More than just your lungs can be affected by pneumonia. Pneumococcal bacteria causes more than half of all middle ear infections. The worst forms of the bacteria are responsible for permanent hearing loss. Thirteen forms of the bacterial infection are avoided with the conjugate vaccine. For adults 65 years or older, or for those under 65 with a weakened immune system, the PCV13 vaccine works well as a preventative tool. Protecting you against 23 forms the bacteria is the PPSV23, and this vaccine is for adults 65 or older with a higher risk of getting the infection.
2. Meningitis and hearing loss
Hearing loss can be caused by the bacterial form of meningitis. Inflammation to the cochlear nerve can damage it. The cochlear nerve conducts sound from the ear to the brain for processing. Meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B are two vaccines recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to protect at-risk adults. Consult your physician to see if you are at risk for meningitis if you are entering the military, planning to travel overseas, or diagnosed with an immune deficiency. However, contracting meningitis is not limited to these groups.
3. Measles/mumps/rubella and hearing loss
Partial or complete hearing loss can be caused by the measles. Rubella, also known as the German measles, can cause women, during the early stages of pregnancy, to pass the virus to the fetus. It can lead to birth defects, including deafness. Conversely, damage to the inner ear or cochlea can occur with the mumps viral infection and can lead to hearing loss or deafness in one or both ears.
The vaccine recommended for children between the ages of 12 and 15 months, with a second dose at ages four to six months, is the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) type. Adults who were born in or after 1957 who were never vaccinated should get one or more doses of the MMR vaccine, unless there is certainty the vaccine was received as a child or all three diseases were contracted at some time. It is important to talk to your physician about the MMR vaccine, especially if you are planning to travel abroad.
4. Whooping cough (pertussis) and hearing loss
Whooping cough can cause irreversible hearing loss. The first round of the five-dose DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine should have been given to you at the ages of two, four, six, and 15. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) is a booster available for adults and adolescents who didn’t get the DTaP series vaccine. Also, the Tdap vaccine should be given to pregnant women between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. In addition, a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccine should be given to adults every 10 years, even if the DTaP and Tdap vaccines and boosters were given.
5. Chickenpox (varicella zoster) and hearing loss
The hearing of both children and adults can be damaged by the chickenpox virus. The resurfacing of chickenpox as the shingles or Ramsay Hunt Syndrome in adults who had chickenpox in their childhood years could cause hearing loss. For children, adolescents, and adults, two doses of the varicella vaccine are recommended. Ask your doctor if you got the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine between the ages of one and 12 years old. If you are over 60 years old, regardless of whether or not you had the chickenpox, the shingles vaccine (brand name Zostavax®) is recommended.
6. Flu (influenza) and hearing loss
The flu can cause temporary hearing loss due to congestion, but you will recover from the hearing loss once you are better from the flu. But if the virus attacks the ears directly, it can result in sudden and sometimes permanent hearing loss. There are many types of the flu. The H1N1 virus (swine flu) and H3N2 (dog flu) are just two types of the various strains of the flu. The CDC calculates the risk of contracting certain types of the flu each year, recommending the proper vaccinations. Basically, though, a flu vaccination should be given to everyone six months or older at the beginning of every flu season. The flu season starts in the fall and goes through winter. A single shot consisting of quadrivalent and trivalent is often available to combat multiple flu viruses.
All of the conditions above are a concern in terms of potential hearing loss. Consult your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for more details.
Part 1: Determining if there is a hearing loss problem
Someone with hearing loss commonly refuses to acknowledge the problem before anyone else. Close friends, children, and siblings are among the first ones to identify the problem. If you suspect someone close to you has signs of hearing loss, below are some ways you can tell if there’s a serious problem.
Just a challenge or signs of hearing loss?
Don’t be caught off guard if your loved one, friend, or co-worker denies there is a problem with a difficulty in hearing. However, don’t let the subject go; hearing loss is life changing on many levels. Social isolation may occur, which may lead to depression or dementia. It may also affect your loved one’s job, if he or she isn’t already fired. Also, be cognizant of the fact that the hearing loss may be an indicator of some underlying problem like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. It is imperative that you don’t just brush off the symptoms of hearing loss or let your loved one do that, either.
Part 2: Time to get hearing aids?
Above, the discussion was about determining if hearing loss is a factor in your loved one’s life. Now, it is time to discuss how you can gently discuss your loved one getting an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist to have his or her hearing tested. Here’s what you should do:
If you suspect a loved one has a hearing loss problem, please have him or her contact a hearing aid instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for help.
Whether from children laughing, birds singing, or enjoying your favorite tunes, the world is full of lovely sounds. However, sound can also be unpleasant, loud, and bothersome. While prolonged exposure to loud sounds can be damaging to your ears, some people use sound as a weapon to hurt others.
Hearing loss reported by U.S. diplomats
At least 24 U.S. diplomats working at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba allege that warfare involving sonic sound was used to harm them, just to give one recent example of how others can utilize sound as a weapon. Reported were mysterious illnesses with symptoms including nausea, blood disorders, hearing loss, and headaches.
These acoustic attacks were carried out, allegedly, using sonic devices, such as ultrasound (above audible range) and infra-sound (below audible levels). These devices were supposedly directed at the diplomats’ houses, as thought by many people. Other theories include viral infections, electromagnetic pulses, and weaponized chemicals. But, then, the illnesses could have been simply caused, unintentionally, by having close proximity to wind farms in Cuba. Despite these allegations, an unknown cause of hearing loss definitely occurred.
Increasing the volume
In trying to detain Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989 for major drug crimes, the U.S. Army tried sound weaponry. Noriega was holed up at the Vatican Embassy in Panama City when the U.S. Army utilized a method of psychological warfare to force him out and surrender. Blasted was music, such as “Panama” by Van Halen, “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, and “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. Although the attempt was halted at the request of the ambassador serving as an intermediary, Noriega did surrender. It is uncertain, however, how much blasting extremely loud music, continuously, affected Noriega’s decision to surrender.
Using sonic crowd control
Police sometimes use sonic weapons to break up groups of protesters. Another example of a sonic device is the LRAD sound cannon. It’s a long-range acoustic device, and it was used at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, in Missouri in 2014, and North Dakota in 2016. By causing headaches, this non-lethal device breaks up crowds and drives people away. But a controversial side effect is that it can cause hearing loss in people closest to the device.
Dispersing pesky youth
Loitering teenagers can be a problem. Customers are often deterred by them, so a method of dispelling them from a storefront is by using The Mosquito. It’s a high-pitched device that projects sound audible only to young people under the age of 20. However, youngsters and babies, who can’t obviously leave voluntarily, can unintentionally be affected, as well. Teens will no longer loiter, but the potential ramifications of hearing loss to innocent children makes the use of the sound cannon controversial.
Using sonic weaponry may or may not be the best idea. Not much is understood concerning the long-term impact on individuals not targeted. While the effectiveness of the use of a sonic weapon during the Noriega incident is somewhat questionable, the power of sound is a fact. The only problem remaining is the serious damage and hearing loss that can happen with sound technology. The ethical debate of using powerful sound tactics is ongoing. If you suspect you have a hearing loss, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Hearing a conversation at the dinner table can pose a challenge with hearing loss. It also frustrates your loved ones, often leaving you feeling depressed and isolated. Missing conversations, especially with your immediate family during nightly meals or during major holiday gatherings is wearisome. You feel left out with jokes and family stories. Therefore, to help you hear better at the dinner table, try these five tips below.
Reduce the music’s volume
Music in the background while dining is nice, but it may be too loud and drown out conversations. Turn the music down. Competing sounds, including the television, only aggravate a situation. Turn off the music or television completely if possible.
Fix the lighting
Reading lips is a way someone with hearing loss adapts to hearing conversations. But poor lighting will make it more difficult to do. Change the angle of the lighting fixture or turn up the light at the dinner table to better view your family’s lips moving.
Put your back to the wall
Your placement at the table can determine how well you hear what’s being said. Keep your back to a wall to block out any excessive background noise.
Vocalize your needs
Ask your family to repeat things, instead of just going along with what’s being said. If you are a guest at someone else’s house, tell them you have hearing problems in advance. You can then inform them of what ways they can make sure you can hear.
Schedule a hearing test
If hearing is a problem, schedule an appointment to get your hearing tested. A hearing specialist can determine your hearing levels and find you the best hearing aids, so you can enjoy conversations again. Even normal hearing is challenged by all the noise during holiday gatherings, but a struggle to hear on an everyday basis is a cause for concern and is a call to action. The five tips above, in the meantime, can help you hear the important things. However, to be sure you have the best hearing, contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for more help.
Cardiovascular disease, which is heart disease, includes, collectively, a number of conditions caused by blocked or narrowed blood vessels. Heart disease contributes to stroke, chest pain, or heart attacks. Heart attacks cause about 610,000 deaths in the U.S., and each year 735,000 people suffer from heart attacks. A healthier lifestyle can dramatically reduce these numbers.
American Heart Month occurs in February, so during this time focus on lessening your risk of developing heart disease and learn to identify the risk factors. Surprisingly, paying attention to your hearing is one sure way to protect your heart.
Cardiovascular disease and hearing loss
There is a well known link between heart disease and hearing loss. Compared to the general population, 54 percent of people with heart disease are more likely to experience a hearing loss, according to a Harvard University study. This means hearing loss occurs more often in people with cardiovascular disease than the general population, making heart disease a comorbidity of hearing loss. Understand that both conditions often occur together. The reason is that the tiny hair cells in the inner ear that conduct sound to the brain are vulnerable to poor blood flow, which results from narrowed blood vessels. Failure to get enough oxygen through the blood to the tiny hair cells can cause damage to them permanently and, therefore, cause poor hearing. Poor blood circulation affects hearing, so this sign could mean you have an issue with heart disease.
Heart health and hearing
You can take steps to protect your hearing by having a healthy heart. A list of three initiatives are:
One part of the body often affects another. Hearing loss may be an indicator of heart disease, so speak with your physician if you think there may be a connection. Also, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to get your hearing tested.
Hearing loss can be traumatizing, and it changes the way you interact with the world at large. Even more, hearing loss may be an outcome or symptom of some other more serious condition, which makes it a co-morbidity. The word “co-morbidity” refers to the simultaneous existence of two conditions or diseases in someone. Problems associated with hearing loss range from mental conditions to physical disorders. The first sign of other health issues in conjunction with hearing loss may be one or more of five disorders, namely cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, dementia, or depression.
The condition of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease can be a physical manifestation of hearing loss. Poor cardiovascular health includes coronary artery disease, strokes, and heart attacks. However, one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease is blood vessel injury to the inner ear. Damage to fragile hearing nerves induced hearing loss. So, cardiovascular disease is often a co-morbidity of or coupled with hearing loss.
The condition of diabetes
Diabetes is a second, physical manifestation of hearing loss. Twice as likely to have hearing loss are individuals with the condition of diabetes over those without it. Diabetes patients often experience tingling in their toes and fingers because of nerve damage. High blood sugar from diabetes can result in hearing loss, due to damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear.
The condition of thyroid disease
Thyroid disease is a third manifestation of hearing loss. The body’s metabolism is regulated by hormones produced by the thyroid. A thyroid condition can affects other areas of the body. Hearing, energy level, and heart rate are examples. Thyroid disease, such as Pendred Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Disease, and Grave’s Disease are connected to hearing loss, although the exact link is still being researched.
The condition of dementia
Dementia refers to mental decline. A co-morbidity of mental decline is hearing loss. Straining continuously to understand and hear speech wears out the brain, inhibiting the brain from functioning at an optimal level. In addition, frustration and embarrassment occur with social interactions, causing individuals with hearing loss to withdraw. Mental decline accelerates under these conditions.
The condition of depression
Loss of hearing can induce clinical depression or negative emotions, taking an emotional toll on someone with hearing loss. Depression is a mental condition that can be linked to hearing loss. Not hearing so well anymore can trigger depression. Alienation, anxiety, and stress result when someone with hearing loss has to constantly ask people to repeat themselves.
The five conditions above speak to how they can be a co-morbidity of hearing loss. Understand how these conditions might affect you and know the signs, so that you can take action to protect your health. If you think you might have a hearing loss, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to get your hearing tested and discuss the co-morbidity risks that may exist.
As it gets warmer out, you might be ready to tackle the dirt and clutter that have amassed over the wintertime. In no time, you will be spring cleaning your basement, purses, wallets, car, and garage. But don’t forget about optimally cleaning your hearing aids, since you wear them every day. Below are ways to sanitize them on a higher level, besides using your normal cleaning routine.
Dehumidify your hearing aids
Rather than just air drying your hearing aids, per usual, go to the next level and dehumidify them once a year, such as in the spring. Water intrusion and sweat can be damaging to the delicate mechanisms inside. Routinely, you probably dry them out by putting them on a towel overnight with the battery compartment open, which is fine. But to extend the life of your hearing aids, use a dehumidifier made specifically for them, instead. Doing so is more effective than just airing them out. Please take note of the list of options for dehumidifiers which are available for hearing aids:
Clean out the dirt buildup and wax
Using a soft cloth to wipe your hearings aids on a daily basis is fine. But do a more thorough cleaning once a year to clear out wax, dust, dirt, and other contaminants. A quick rubdown all the time is not enough. So, use the cleaning kit supplied to you when you bought your hearing aids from your hearing instrument specialist. The tools are:
These tools will help you clean out every tiny opening, like the vents and microphone. Earmolds, if you have them, can be removed and washed, occasionally, in mild, soapy water. Be careful, though; you may need a professional to do this to avoid damage. Day to day, however, the earmolds can be wiped with a soft cloth. If you experience significant earwax buildup, you may need specialized cleaning cloths or tools from your hearing instrument specialist for your kind of hearing aids. If you are unsure, you might need to call a professional hearing instrument specialist for cleanings, instead.
Make a service call
Don’t just dehumidify and thoroughly clean your hearing aids. Also make a service call in spring. Your hearing instrument specialist can look over your hearing aids and see if any maintenance needs to be done beyond your own efforts. The hearing aid specialist can assess whether or not your hearing aids are in good working order. It might include replacing plastic tubing and microphone screens. They can also run an ANSI test to be sure your hearing aids are running up to spec. Such efforts will certainly extend the life of your hearing aids. However, your hearing aids can get so they are near the end of their life-cycle and require replacement. Contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for quality checks on your hearing aid devices.
Spring is coming! Everyone in states where the seasons change is scrambling to get outside. Hearing aid wearers are no exception. Nature’s sounds are truly invigorating, especially if you formerly missed out on them without hearing aids. However, frustration can still arise with hearing aids when trying to hear sounds outdoors, while others talk at the same time. Below is a look at some of the benefits and challenges of wearing hearing aids outdoors. There are, however, some improvements to hearing aids you might not know.
The good: the sounds of spring
Feeling the warmth of spring is a top contender in life, but you will enjoy springtime even more when all of your senses are fully engaged. Spring can engender a feeling of rebirth, with the sight of crocuses poking through the soil and trees filling with green leaves. Likewise, smelling the scents of blooming flowers and fresh air is dazzling. Tasting the salt from sea breezes and the flavors of seasonal food at little cafes is also pleasant, just as is hearing plays, birds singing, and children laughing. Sounds are significant in enhancing your life. It is important to know that hearing aids can detect even the softest sounds to fully engage your senses. You might want to consider them to enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.
The challenge: the noise outdoors
Understandably, hearing aid wearers often have complaints about wearing their hearing aids outdoors. The problem is that it can be hard to hold a conversation when, say, the wind is whistling across your hearing aids at a golf course. The wind may drown out others’ speech. Another example could be a boat ride, where you are enjoying the sounds of the waves, but your friend has asked the same question repeatedly without the success of you hearing his or her words.
Because of such problems, there are “smart” hearing aids to control situations of wind or noise. So, know there is a good end in sight. With the golf course scenario, these hearing aids will figure out the wind is blowing more strongly against the right side of your head and reroute your friend’s voice to the other side. With the boat scenario, the hearing aids will automatically detect the other person’s voice, amplify it, and suppress the sound of the ocean waves. So, know that you can enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest. For more information on hearing better in Spring, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Fifteen percent of all people are thought to suffer from tinnitus--humming, phantom ringing, or buzzing in the ears. The range of severity with tinnitus differs from person to person, being mild to disabling. Tinnitus has no real cure, despite its prevalence. But the effects can be reduced at home without inconvenience or cost.
Don’t linger in silence
Your mind will focus on the internal noise without competing sounds. What you can do is listen to white noise, music, or nature’s sounds to block out the ringing. You can also try listening to a podcast or audio book to lessen the discomfort.
Utilize meditation and breathing exercises
Feel peaceful by meditating carefully to fight the inner noise. In addition, breathe slowly and deeply to combat any tension and stress associated with tinnitus.
Stay in motion
Tinnitus effects will lessen with movement. Exercise eases stress, improves overall health, and creates positive feelings. Blood circulation also improves. Some tinnitus sufferers experience a low blood supply, so exercise will increase blood flow to the cells of the inner ear. Also, such a distraction as movement will help you from focusing on buzzing sounds.
Get a better night’s sleep
Tinnitus can be irritating and interrupt sleep, but there are ways to get a better night’s sleep. At night, avoid utilizing stimulants such as nicotine or caffeine. Reading a book, instead, can help your mind relax. However, don’t resort to too much time with the phone, television, or computer. Staring at screens can further aggravate sleeping difficulties. A soundscape of relaxing sounds is a pivotal way to accomplish healthy amounts of sleep at night.
Although there’s no cure for tinnitus, the four steps above can improve your comfort levels. However, such methods may not benefit everybody. If tinnitus is agonizing, discuss it with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. They have hearing aids tuned to the exact pitch of your tinnitus, pushing it to the background.
The word associated with a drug having a harmful effect on the hearing nerves and hearing organs is “ototoxic.” Medications, chemicals, and drugs can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. With hearing loss becoming more prevalent among all ages, it is important to be aware that what you consume may increase your risk of hearing loss.
Over-the-counter drugs, as well as prescription drugs, can contribute to tinnitus and hearing loss. Therefore, an addiction will compound the issue. You might be unaware that the four common items found below could be in your home and be ototoxic.
Not only is drinking in excess risky, but hearing loss can occur. The small hair cells in the inner ear that create hearing can break down or be obliterated by too much drinking. Balance difficulties may then occur when alcohol absorbs into the fluid of the inner ear, changing the fluid’s density. Conversely, binge drinking impairs the auditory complex, which is the part of the brain responsible for sound.
Sources of caffeine
You might be surprised to learn that even though doses of caffeine are desirable and stimulating enough to keep you going on a daily basis, caffeinated products, such as tea, soda, or coffee, can impair your hearing health. In particular, your body becomes limited in recovering from temporary exposure to higher decibels, so the result is that caffeine makes recovery much slower.
Not only is smoking bad for your total health, but it also endangers your hearing. Nicotine in chewing tobacco, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cigars constricts blood vessels and decreases oxygen levels in the blood, possibly resulting in permanent hearing damage. With the use of such products, the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear may be adversely affected. Tinnitus may also occur with nicotine use.
Increased damage to hearing can be caused by everyday pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Although large doses are usually the culprit, taking any of these pain relievers two or more times a week can alter hearing levels. Men under the age of 50 comprise the biggest risk for such use. According to a recent study, men using acetaminophen on a regular basis almost doubled their risk of experiencing hearing loss. Stopping regular use of pain relievers, however, can reverse hearing loss, according to studies.
Know and understand the risk of regularly using any of the aforementioned ototoxic drugs, despite large amounts being the greatest risk factor in developing problems. Consult with a hearing aid specialist for an evaluation and assistance if you suspect a problem with your hearing from an overabundance of ototoxic drugs. If you suspect ototoxic drugs are affecting your hearing, contact Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing screening.
Hearing health is affected by the condition of the thyroid gland. It is well known that the thyroid is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Thyroid problems can cause symptoms such as weight loss or weight gain, among other things. But the thyroid can also impact one’s body in other ways. Chronic fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, and even hearing loss can occur. So, be cognizant of how important it is to protect your hearing from thyroid problems.
It is also good to know that the National Thyroid Awareness Month is every January. During this time, professionals study the link between hearing loss and thyroid problems. They work diligently on how you can preserve your hearing by keeping your thyroid in working order.
What constitutes the thyroid?
A butterfly-shaped gland located below your larynx and at the front of your neck, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system. It secretes hormones that affect the way the body uses energy. Two hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, which are known more casually as T3 and T4, respectively, use iodine from food to be produced. Thyroid disease is caused by an overabundance or deprivation of T3 and T4. The side effects listed above will, therefore, occur if there is too much or too little of these hormones.
Thyroid disease and hearing loss
A link exists between hearing loss and thyroid diseases, despite the link’s mysterious cause. Hashimoto’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, and Pendred Syndrome contribute to or cause hearing loss. Another condition with a more direct connection to hearing loss is thyroid cancer. Hearing loss may arise from radiation used to treat thyroid cancer or other cancers of the neck and head. Conversely, cisplatin, a chemotherapy medicine for thyroid cancer, is ototoxic, being harmful to hearing.
Maintaining a healthy thyroid
Despite the potential for anyone to get thyroid disease, there are four ways to maintain your health and keep your thyroid in good working order. One way is to have healthy eating habits. A healthy thyroid can be maintained by consuming foods high in antioxidants, such as squash, tomatoes, and blueberries. However, it is good to reduce consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli. Studies indicate that eating raw vegetables in large amounts can negatively impact your thyroid. Also, consume more wholesome foods, rather than junk food because junk food contains starches and refined sugars.
A second way would be to increase your exercise to better promote thyroid health and overall general health. Getting regular exercise is a good way to promote optimal health for anyone. But improved blood circulation and the production of T3 and T4 are more positively regulated with moderately intense aerobic exercise. Exercising 30 minutes per day, five days a week will successfully bolster your health. Also, exercising will boost your metabolism, which will counteract the risk for thyroid disease.
An essential mineral for the production of thyroid hormones is iodine. The third way you can help your thyroid function is to increase your intake of this mineral. Your thyroid might produce less T3 and T4 if there is an iodine deficiency. Goiters and hypothyroidism can result. Iodized salt, seaweed, dairy products, eggs, and seafood are fortified with iodine. However, too much iodine can cause adverse effects, so speak with your doctor about whether or not you have proper iodine levels.
The last way you can increase your thyroid health is to take other supplements. Vitamins and other minerals, not just the mineral iodine, can lead to a healthy thyroid. Specifically, Vitamin D, selenium, Vitamin A, and iron will help to ensure a healthy thyroid. But don’t forget to speak with your doctor to find out if you have a deficiency and if you should, therefore, take certain vitamins and minerals.
The association between hearing loss and thyroid disease is clear, despite the many factors that can lead to hearing loss, so it is important to protect your ears by keeping a healthy thyroid. If thyroid disease is already a reality for you and you are concerned about your hearing, contact a hearing aid specialist to test your hearing and recommend a course of action.
Because of extensive advances of medical technology in recent years, assistance devices can further help patients manage their health in new ways. Hearing aids are an example. Bluetooth® connectivity, remote access to a hearing specialist, and wireless streaming increase patient convenience and assistance in hearing. But is there a risk? Credit card information, servers, emails, and more are hacked on a daily basis. Of course your financial information should be a cause for concern, but should you worry about your hearing aids being hacked, too?
Concerns with new technology
Cyber security with hearing aids and other biomedical devices, such as insulin pumps and pacemakers, which are linked to the internet, may engender some legitimate concern in patients. Although it may seem surreal, hacks on hearing aids can be a serious cause for worry. Hackers listening to patients’ conversations could possibly happen. The severity of concern is exemplified by a potential national risk, such as digital leaking of information to which the patient former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had access. A security clearance for his Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids was necessary to prevent the possibility. But privacy is not the only issue; hackers can disrupt the volume and settings of hearing aids, causing more hearing damage. A hacker may even demand a ransom to continue use of internet-connected hearing aids. Digital life is a reality in many ways, one of which affect may hearing aid users.
The good news
Hearing aid hacks have not yet happened to hearing aid wearers, nor have hacks on other medical devices occurred. The Food and Drug Administration offers help to prevent cyber security breaches of hearing aids throughout their entire time of use of the devices. As well, there is a standard to which manufactures must adhere. Hearing devices that don’t meet the federal bylaws established are blocked from disbursement. So, rest assured; despite any real concerns, major manufacturers, like Signia, Rexton, Starkey, and Phonak for instance, are diligent in removing potential hacks. These companies are committed to cyber security through encryption and secure wireless technology, they make sure your hearing aids are perfectly functional as intended and protected from security breaches. Contact a Pure Sound Hearing Aids specialist with any further concerns about hearing aid safety.
Body and mind require sleep to feel rested and recharged. Without a good night’s rest we can expect to feel spacy, exhausted, and sluggish. Insomnia can cause these symptoms every day, along with a higher risk of side effects, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and depression. Be aware that insomnia can lead to hearing loss and increased tinnitus.
Cardiovascular health risk
The cardiovascular system depends on getting enough sleep because sleep deprivation leads to hearing loss. Not getting enough sleep will cause insufficient blood circulation in your body, affecting your ears. Hearing loss comes about when a weak blood flow causes the tiny hair cells in your ear to function improperly. The hair cells detect sound and signal the brain. Damage to these fragile cells will permanently damage your hearing.
Sleep apnea and hearing loss
Besides poor cardiovascular health, sleep apnea can also affect hearing. Roughly 43 percent of the population experience this problem. Trouble breathing and frequent bouts of waking up are the symptoms of sleep apnea. Large amounts of plaque in your blood vessels correlate with having sleep apnea. It may lead to hearing loss, due to the constriction of blood.
Effects on people suffering from tinnitus
Insomnia hurts your hearing, but it also worsens tinnitus, which is the humming, whistling, buzzing, and phantom ringing you may hear in your ears. According to one study, tolerance of tinnitus may decrease, taking an emotional toll. Difficulty sleeping can arise by focusing on tinnitus and lack of sleep can worsen tinnitus. It is a frustrating circular pattern. Seeking treatment for insomnia is imperative to prevent further damage. Talk to your doctor about this serious problem and its effects, so you can find ways to get a better night’s sleep. If you already have hearing loss or tinnitus, contact a hearing care specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to address your needs.
Is recognizing speech like riding a bike? Is it a skill that never goes away once you’ve learned it? Or, can adult onset hearing loss negatively impact speech recognition?
Researchers have been asking that question for a long time. Three different studies — in 1984, 1987 and 1999, respectively — resulted in evidence that suggests auditory deprivation does have speech recognition consequences.
All three studies focused on people with bilateral hearing loss, who only wore a hearing aid in one ear. The findings showed signs of reduced speech recognition in unaided ears, suggesting that if we don’t use it, we may indeed lose it.
If you are not hearing as sharp as you used to, contact Pure Sound for a free, no obligation, hearing screening.
Gelfand, S.A., Silman, S., Ross, L. (1987). Long-term effects of monaural, binaural, and no amplification in subjects with bilateral hearing loss. Scandinavian Audiology, 16, 201-207.
Hurley, R. (1999). Onset of auditory deprivation. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 10, 529-534.
Silman, S., Gelfand, S., & Silverman, C.A. (1984). Late-onset auditory deprivation: Effects of monaural versus binaural hearing aids. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 76(5), 1357-1362.
Starkey Hearing Innovation Expo's are always amazing and inspirational learning events. The events are designed to invigorate the hearing provider community to fulfill our mission of helping people hear better in the best possible way.
The events are very large, with over 3,000 attendees from over 40 countries, and are held in Las Vegas, NV. Keynote speakers range from Astronauts and neurologists to former US presidents and Super Bowl champions. Speakers this year included:
Here are a few of the behind the scenes pictures we took from our phones along with details for each one.
Here we are, Chrissy and Sean from Pure Sound with our Starkey reps, Michelle and Carrie from Starkey.
Bill Austin, Starkey Founder, is an inspiring philanthropist who share the following with us:
George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Former US President and British Prime Minister
These former heads of state spoke of leadership during tough times, as well as other topics. They were very entertaining and provided many insights, such as the importance of a leader having a vision and sticking with it. It was an unbelievable experience to see these two historic individuals in person.
George Blankenship, Executive at Apple, Tesla, and Gap
As an executive at Gap Apple and Tesla, George Blankenship reported directly to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. He spoke about the importance of constant product improvement and delighting your customers along the way. His speech was both informative and invigorating.
Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO, LinkExchange Founder, New York Times best selling author, and Harvard Grad
Tony has led the effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. He spoke about the importance of community involvement and the best ways to get involved. He also spoke about “delivering happiness” to the customer by creating a great company culture.
Daymond John, FUBU founder, co star of ABC's Shark Tank, and Starkey hearing device wearer.
Against all odds, Daymond John built a $5 billion global fashion powerhouse from his mother's house in Hollis, Queens. He shared insights from his all-American journey and how to achieve your goals.
Dr. Michio Kaku, World famous Theoretical Physicist, and TV personality.
Dr. Kaku provided insight into Artificial Intelligence and how it will completely reshape our world in the very near future.
Captains Mark and Scott Kelly are American astronauts and identical twin brothers. They gave us an inspirational talk about the importance of teamwork and determination.
They both struggled in flight school, but were determined to overcome their deficiencies through hard work and practice. They not only became attack and fighter pilots, but went on to become astronauts.
Additionally, one brother commanded and piloted the space station while the other has logged the most time in space.
Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice has a long list of accomplishments. She served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. She was also the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor. She is currently professor of Political Science at Stanford University, and was voted the most powerful woman in world by Forbes.
Dr. Rice grew up in segregated Birmingham. Alabama. She spoke about how her parents attitude and motivation helped her overcome obstacles. She also spoke about American exceptionalism and how American businesses, like Starkey, are naturally inclined to help those in need around the world.
Dr. Rice also made the following point:
Michael Strahan co-hosts ABC’s Good Morning America and serves as an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday. He is an Emmy winner and Super Bowl Champion.
He was here to talk about attitude. He shared the following points:
Chrissy, our Pure Sound Specialist from Mount Joy, being interviewed on camera about Starkey’s new products and this year’s expo.
Brandon Sawalich is the president of Starkey Hearing Technologies. He hosted the expo and spoke about Starkey's future, as well as the bright future of the hearing technology industry.
Dr. Achin Bhowmik came to Starkey from Intel, where he was vice president of Perceptual Computing. He joined Starkey because he felt he could apply his experience with enhancing machine perception to augment the human experience through hearing devices.
Dr. Martin McKinney, Starkey Principal Research Engineer, and Chris Howe, Senior Software Product Manager, explain how new aids will use machine learning algorithms to improve hearing aid performance.
In this classroom training we learned:
Carol Olson, from Starkey, spoke about the importance of the human experience with a hearing professional compared to the over the counter approach to fitting hearing aids. Studies show human interaction is required for better outcomes across the medical industry. Starkey is committed to supporting hearing device providers with the best resources and training so Starkey wearers have the best hearing experience possible.
Dr. Sara Burdack, Au.D., Starkey's Chief Audiology Officer, lectures on how to best facilitate the collaboration of healthcare providers and patients, when the provider is considered a colleague or advisor.
In this lecture we discussed the best ways to help the digitally empowered patient:
Lisa Richards is in charge of the customer experience at Starkey.
She shared key insights on the keys to delivering a great customer experience.
We learned so much from this event and were honored to be invited. Starkey is a company with a soul and truly care about their providers and those who are fit with their devices.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Starkey Hearing Technology can help you or a loved one, please contact Pure Sound today.