Exposure to loud sounds for an extended period can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Whether it’s noises you don’t like, for example, construction noises or noises from city traffic, or noises that you enjoy like a concert, your hearing is at risk.
The Loudest Instruments: A Study
Researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney conducted a study to determine which musical instrument was most likely to cause hearing loss.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published the results in 2013. They studied 143 professional French horn players. The musicians who were 40 years of age and younger were 18 to 33 percent more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss. Just 18 percent of professional musicians wore hearing protection.
About 81 percent of those who wore hearing protection, only wore them ‘sometimes’ and 50 percent responded that they use generic foam earplugs or other substandard forms of hearing protection.
A professional French horn player and doctoral researcher from the University of Sydney discovered from their research that they still need to educate horn players, their mentors, and hearing healthcare providers about protecting their hearing and the best way to accomplish this while not interfering with their ability to play.
Everyone should take hearing loss seriously. Musicians, and anyone who is repeatedly exposed to loud noises, should get regular hearing tests. Any loss in the hearing range can make distinguishing different pitches difficult, cause tinnitus, or make some sounds abnormally loud. This can affect their performance and their musical career.
Instruments and their Decibel Levels
The French horn is the loudest instrument, but it’s not the only instrument that produces dangerous sound levels. Here are some common instruments and their decibel ranges:
Protect Your Hearing
By wearing proper hearing protection, you can continue playing your favorite instrument while preserving your hearing abilities. Musicians can get custom earplugs that allow them to still hear the music while keeping their ears safe.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Power tools are noisy and annoying to anyone within a certain radius. There are ways to curtail the noise, but understanding why they are so loud can help you discover a good solution. In some cases, a loud power tool may be a signal of mechanical problems but most of them are naturally noisy.
The Reason Why Power Tools are so Noisy
Power tools create so much noise because they feature loud fans that prevent overheating. Metal gears whirr while making the motor louder. Drill bits that get dull, motors that deteriorate, unlubricated gears, and higher RPMs (Rotations Per Minute) cause the power tool to be louder than usual.
We’ll go deeper into why power tools are so loud.
1. Metal gears make the motor louder. Most of the noise from your power tools comes from the gear train. Multiple gears rotate around one another, creating a loud grinding noise. These movements generate vibrations and produce power and direction for the tool.
2. Power tools feature loud cooling fans. Every electric tool needs to cool off. Friction between metal pieces produces heat. If fans were not part of the tool, they would be too hot to handle, and the motors would be damaged within minutes of usage. The pricier tools have fans that are quieter than cheaper tools.
3. If there isn’t any lubrication, the internal components will scrape against each other and screech. Just like ceiling fans, lubricants are applied to avoid overheating. Lubrication can be found where moving parts come in contact. The gears need to be pre-lubricated to prevent the tools from being worn down, otherwise grinding sounds will be heard.
4. Dull bits can make your tool loud. When the bits are worn down, they will vibrate more frequently. Drill bits need to be replaced whenever they get dull. The metal that they are comprised of will affect how long they last. For example, low-quality aluminum will chip, vibrate, and become dull very quickly.
5. A motor that’s failing or if it runs at high RPMs will make more noise than usual. The more power that the tool creates, the louder it will sound. High RPMs make everything function at an accelerated speed, including fans. A defective motor can overheat, grind, and create irritating noises.
How Loud Can Power Tools Get?
Power tools can get loud enough to harm your ability to hear based on how long you are exposed to the noise, as well as the distance between you and the noise source. Wear hearing protection whenever you use power tools.
Power tools and decibel output
Table Saw: 93 dB
Belt Sander: 94 dB
Router: 95 dB
Hand Drill: 99 dB
Circular Saw: 101 dB
Chain Saw: 109 dB
Hammer Drill: 114 dB
Steady exposure to any noise that reaches at least 70 dB can start to harm your hearing.
How to Muffle the Noises from Power Tools
As mentioned, the main reasons why power tools are so noisy are because of vibrations, metal rubbing against each other, and overheating. To reduce noise from power tools:
1. Fasten the project you are working on to reduce excessive vibrations.
If possible, anchor the material onto a solid surface. An unclamped board will move around, making the tool struggle to work and the material will produce a loud noise.
2. Get a new bit set that is sharper and made of high-quality materials.
Cheaper materials will become dull and won’t remain steady. High-quality drill bits are sharp and sturdy, so they should last longer, drill with precision, and be less noisy.
3. Regularly clean your power tools. This will prevent the fan from overheating.
Inspect the vents to make sure there isn’t any dust or debris causing an obstruction. This makes them work harder. Use an air compressor to clear out anything that can’t be reached with a soft cloth.
4. Lubricate gears in tools, if possible.
Some tools cannot be opened. Check your manufacturer’s guide. If the gears on a power tool are in an enclosed case and do not feature screws, you’ll have to wear hearing protection to deal with the noise. Enclosed gearboxes are usually lubricated and infrequently need to be replaced.
Should You Use Cordless Tools?
Batter-powered tools are less noisy if you don’t want to deal with noisy power tools.
The most powerful tools are often the loudest, but a high-quality, battery-powered tool can make up for it. Here’s why cordless tools make less noise than corded tools:
1. Most cordless tools are not as powerful.
The majority of power tools that use a battery are quiet because they don’t feature RPMs. The fewer RPMs there are, the less likely you’ll be able to tackle challenging projects. This may not be a problem for your tools or needs.
2. There isn’t as much pressure put onto gearboxes as corded power tools.
Weaker power equals fewer cracks caused by friction, less grinding, and less weathering. Some cordless gearboxes are made to withstand the force, and others were made to make less noise by being coated in lubricant.
3. Traditional drills with cords do not feature modern cordless technology.
You may notice that your oldest tools make more noise than battery-powered ones. These power tools were not designed to be quiet due to the material that was available. It was naturally loud, so there’s not much you can do to muffle the noises like today’s cordless tools.
If you want quieter tools, get a high-end style. Low-quality tools won’t have the power you need to get your projects done.
If you are experiencing hearing loss that was caused by exposure to loud power tools, or for any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Researchers have discovered the first gene that is connected to otosclerosis, a common cause of hearing loss that affects three million Americans.
In a study that was published in Human Genetics, a team of researchers from Canada’s Memorial University and Western University identified the gene as FOXL1. This discovery indicates that there may be the imminent possibility of earlier diagnosis and advanced treatment options.
How does Otosclerosis lead to Hearing Loss?
Patients who experience otosclerosis have an abnormal bone growth that causes the tiny bones, known as the stapes, to lack the ability to vibrate which is crucial to hear. The bones are unable to create sound waves that are supposed to travel to the inner ear, which is how hearing loss occurs.
There is currently no cure for otosclerosis, which normally worsens over time. Many people who have this condition wear hearing aids or receive a surgical procedure where a prosthetic device is inserted into the affected ear. This prosthetic device conducts sound vibrations that travel to the inner ear.
The Otosclerosis Gene
It’s already known that otosclerosis can be passed down from one parent to a child, so researchers only needed to locate a single gene mutation instead of a pair of genes.
Gene mapping, along with advanced sequencing techniques, was utilized to separate DNA so that it could be analyzed. The mutation takes place in the FOXL1 gene.
The new gene that is responsible for otosclerosis helps researchers better understand the biology of this bone disease while helping to figure out new drugs and therapies, or even stopping the condition from occurring.
The FOXL1 gene was identified in a family from Newfoundland in eastern Canada by researchers in the field. The family was given a simple genetic test which identified members who were at risk and those who were not at risk of developing otosclerosis.
A genetic test allows healthcare providers to verify whether a patient has otosclerosis. It’s recommended that family members of those with this condition should also take a test to find out if they have otosclerosis.
Early Confirmation of Otosclerosis
Knowing whether you have otosclerosis through genetic testing before you begin to notice changes in your hearing, can allow you to seek early treatment options and prevent any worsening decline by protecting your hearing health. This can be beneficial for younger family members who have yet to show signs of hearing loss. Even if treatment is not necessary for these family members, it’s still helpful to understand why you and some of your family members are experiencing issues with hearing and know how to protect themselves from noise exposure.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
There are many different root causes of tinnitus, but the symptoms are nearly universal. Everyone who has it described hearing a “phantom sound” that has no external source. Each patient who has tinnitus would handle it differently. Sound machines, a different diet, sleep routine, or hearing aids may be recommended to make the noises bearable. Let's go over some of the signs and symptoms.
Hearing sounds, such as buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming, or ringing that have no external source is the primary symptom of tinnitus. The noises can be constant or intermittent. Your hearing care professional can determine what type of noise you are hearing, the underlying cause, and proper treatment options.
Tinnitus tends to lead to depression and insomnia, due to its consistent and bothersome nature. Some can train themselves to ignore the sounds through sound therapies or meditation, while others may need a white noise machine or a masking feature through hearing aids.
A poor night’s rest can worsen symptoms of tinnitus. A very quiet environment can make tinnitus more noticeable. Most patients can go about their day without noticing the noise. But once they find themselves in a quiet space, for example, when they wind down for bedtime, it can become unbearable. Insomnia is not only dangerous for your health but it can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
An obvious indication that a patient’s tinnitus is caused by earwax buildup would be pressure that is felt in the ear canal. When there is more pressure on the eardrum, tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo can occur. This can be found in one or both ears.
Tinnitus that goes untreated can become permanent. When hearing health declines as you age, there’s also a higher chance of experiencing tinnitus. Slowing the process of hearing loss is important for your overall health.
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing immediately for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities
As we’ve mentioned frequently in this blog, hearing loss that goes untreated can impact cognitive function. That can happen to a person from any background, and it’s important to raise awareness of treatment options so that everyone who needs help can easily seek it. Sometimes it takes an inspirational story to encourage people to take care of themselves.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15th, let's learn about some influential people who have hearing loss, and are part of the Hispanic and Latino communities.
Dr. Robert Davila
Dr. Robert Davila was president of Gallaudet University from 2007 to 2009.
Born in California, and a child of Mexican-American parents, Davila had an irregular form of education because his family moved with the seasons. At the age of 8, he contracted spinal meningitis and became deaf. He attended the California School for the Deaf (CSD) and flourished academically. He learned English and ASL, graduated with honors, and attended college to earn his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. After spending most of his life as a teacher and administrator, he became president of Gallaudet University, a leading university for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Francisco Goya was one of the most prominent Spanish artists during the late 1700s and early 1800s. His work showcases a change in modern art. He led the way for Édouard Manet and Pablo Picasso. Around 1792 or 1793, while he worked as a court painter in the royal household, he endured an undiagnosed illness and became permanently deaf. In 1799, he became the first court painter for King Charles IV.
Alex Lacamoire is the musical director for Hamilton, In the Heights, and Wicked.
The Cuban American composer, arranger, conductor, and orchestrator started studying classical piano when he was 4 years old. It was around this age when his family started to notice his hearing loss. When Lacamoire was 13, he performed at Autonomous University, the largest concert hall in Mérida, Mexico. He was given hearing aids while he was in high school but did not wear them. He eventually started to wear them.
This graduate from Berklee College of Music later won honors from the Kennedy Center and was presented with multiple Tonys, Grammys, and other awards.
Natália Martins is a professional volleyball player from Brazil. She’s had profound hearing loss (70% of her hearing is gone) since she was a child and was first fitted for hearing aids when she was 6 years old. She is currently Brazil’s first volleyball player with hearing loss to play professionally or qualify to be part of her country’s national team. She participated in many well-known teams in Brazil before settling on a premier league in Romania.
Luis Miguel is a popular Mexican singer and performer of Spanish and Italian descent, who was born in Puerto Rico. He is known as El Sol de México and is considered the most successful musician in Latin American history. He remains the only Latin singer of his generation who did not become popular among English-speaking audiences during the 1990s. After decades of performing at concerts, he currently has tinnitus.
Stephanie Nogueras is an actor, mentor, and consultant. This Puerto Rican American was born with profound deafness. She went to Hollywood after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology. After six months, she played a recurring role in a TV show called Switched at Birth and a role in one episode of the TV series Grimm. She can currently be seen on the American comedy series Killing It.
She is also an American Sign Language (ASL) instructor, mentors families of deaf children in Los Angeles County, and is a consultant and ASL coach for TV and film.
If you’ve been experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Hearing loss can occur as a result of multiple reasons.
The ear and our auditory system are made up of many different parts:
The following terms describe types of hearing loss where there is an abnormality in a person’s auditory system:
The following terms describe the range or amount of hearing loss a person has:
The following terms explain the side or sides on which the hearing loss occurs:
The only type of hearing loss that is avoidable is called noise-induced hearing loss. It’s important to always be prepared to protect your hearing with earplugs or earmuffs if you find yourself in a loud environment.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The month of September highlights Deaf Awareness and Healthy Aging. It’s a time to learn and raise awareness of the culture and history of the Deaf community while continuing to advocate for the rights of Deaf people, while also reflecting on better habits that you can start to incorporate into your routines as you age.
Here are some interesting facts about the Deaf community:
If you want to learn sign language, you should always get lessons from a Deaf teacher. The center of Deaf culture and community is sign language. Deaf people are experts in their own language, therefore students should consult them so that they can be paid for their work. Deaf people have historically been stigmatized and discriminated against by the hearing society for being deaf and using sign language, so if hearing teachers take Deaf jobs and profit from teaching would be considered cultural appropriation.
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to pick up healthier habits. This will help you out in the long term.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
There are still so many unknown factors about tinnitus, and there isn’t much proof that there is a link between the two. There have been some complaints from people who have tinnitus that reported their symptoms got worse when they consumed specific foods or drinks.
We know that consuming alcohol can be a primary factor in worsened tinnitus and hearing issues, but there are other things that we consume that can also worsen these symptoms.
Consuming caffeine and sodium can also exacerbate symptoms of tinnitus for some individuals. For others, those things might actually help. Everyone is different, and so are their tinnitus symptoms to certain foods.
Reports on Tinnitus and Nutrients
It’s difficult to do research and analyze how nutrients impact tinnitus, but a study from the U.K. made an attempt. Over 34,000 residents completed a questionnaire about their challenges with hearing, tinnitus, and diet. Researchers observed patterns among the three. They concentrated on vitamins and minerals. Salt consumption was not analyzed.
A Diet that is High in Fat can be Detrimental
Generally, consuming foods that are high in calcium, fat, and iron are linked to a higher risk of tinnitus. On the other hand, higher intakes of B12 and meat consumption were connected to lowered risks of tinnitus.
Consuming too many foods that are high in fat may affect blood vessels, which provide healthy circulation throughout the body, including the ears. Unhealthy blood vessels are the reason why heart disease and diabetes are connected to hearing loss.
Limits of this Research
The study was unable to determine the cause and effect of tinnitus. It was not made to test if adding an abundance of vitamin B12 will ease hearing problems. Rather, it was created to distinguish patterns in the self-reported diets and symptoms of tinnitus. There would then be a controlled trial that was randomized. In this scenario, test subjects’ diets were rigidly controlled for a certain amount of time, and tinnitus symptoms were measured.
It’s important not to completely change your diet based on this report, but you may want to start keeping a journal or record of what you eat on a day-to-day basis while taking note of how the tinnitus symptoms sound and how your ears feel. Adjust your diet and find out what works for you. Things like alcohol, caffeine, dark chocolate, red meat, cheese, or salty foods might need to be avoided.
Tinnitus and hearing loss tend to occur simultaneously. If you are experiencing tinnitus and or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Getting treatment for your hearing loss has so many benefits besides better hearing. Reducing your risks of falling and having a healthier brain are just a few.
Did you know that people with difficulty with hearing are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after being discharged?
Researchers from New York University found that patients who were 65 or older and had trouble hearing, were 32% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those without hearing problems.
Hospitals can be tricky to navigate, even without hearing loss. They are very loud, bustling areas. It’s crucial to clearly hear and understand directions during your discharge. You may be given instructions on which medications you need to take, warning signs to watch out for, or any other crucial information that is necessary to avoid another trip to the hospital. Not being able to hear important instructions can slow or worsen your recovery.
A study from the University of Michigan concluded that hearing loss that receives treatment has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and ER visits by older adults.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
Have you noticed after a few months, or maybe a year since you started using your hearing aids that they don’t work as well as they did after you fully adapted to them? Maybe sounds were pretty clear in most situations, but that might not be the case anymore.
We’ll go over some of the most common reasons why your hearing aids are beginning to lose their high performance and quality of sound.
1. Earwax Build-up
Your hearing aids may be working fine, and it may actually be your ears that are the problem. Impacted earwax that builds up can block the ear canals, making it harder to hear. If your hearing aids make a whistling sound, that can be another clue that there’s too much earwax build-up. A professional ear cleaning can be performed, or you can carefully remove it on your own.
2. There’s a Problem with the Batteries or the Charger
Digital hearing aids are intricate devices. Just like any piece of electronic technology, they need battery power. There are rechargeable batteries and disposable batteries available for hearing aids. One of the most common issues with chargers is that they may not come in direct contact with the charging device. As a result, the hearing aids may not be charged at all, they will die off earlier than expected, or they will only work intermittently. This is common when the hearing aids are 3-4 years old.
If you plan to purchase hearing aids, think about getting contactless rechargeable devices that function based on induction. The latest generation of rechargeable hearing aids does not have electrodes but uses induction to charge the battery. If you’re experiencing problems with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you with a solution.
3. Blockage in the Receiver Path
Sounds that are harnessed by the hearing aids will travel through the thin tubes (behind-the-ear model) or a wire (receiver-in-ear model) to the ear canal. At the end of the wire, there’s a receiver made of a silicon dome or a customized earmold. Each of them can be obstructed with earwax. The result is weak or no output. The BTE models can be fixed by detaching the thin tube and checking if the hearing aids can still make any sound. If it did, there’s a good chance that the thin tube just needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Look closely and check for any earwax that is stuck in the thin tube or tip of the receiver by the wax guard. Use cleaning wipes or a soft cloth to wipe off the tube or replace the wax guards. Contact or stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing offices for help, if necessary.
4. Blocked Microphones
Every hearing aid features tiny grooves where sounds reach the microphones. This slot could be compacted with dirt and debris. The small cleaning brush that you’ll receive with your hearing aids should be used to sweep over the outer part of the microphones at least once a week, or more often if you produce a lot of earwax so that the entryway for the sound is unobstructed. Sound will not be able to travel through the hearing aids if they aren’t properly cleaned. A deep cleaning done by a professional should take place every six months, or less, depending on how dirty your hearing aids get. The microphones should be cleaned daily or weekly by the hearing aid user.
5. Your Hearing has Worsened
Hearing naturally deteriorates as we age. Antibiotics, cancer treatments (particularly chemotherapy), gout, and high blood pressure can speed up and create a weakened auditory system. You should get your hearing tested annually, especially if you are a hearing aid user. Monitor any gradual or sudden changes. Keep a hearing journal if necessary. If your hearing aids worked fine, but then you noticed over 12-18 months that they no longer sound as clear as before, you may need a hearing re-test. Your hearing instrument specialist should reprogram or re-adjust the hearing aids according to your new test results.
6. Technology Malfunction
Like all electronics, hearing aids may unexpectedly malfunction. Some common problems include:
Malfunctions in hearing aids usually only occur in one hearing aid. Luckily, the majority of hearing aid providers give patients a long-term warranty on the devices. Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for troubleshooting or any other repairable problems.
7. Moisture Build-up in the Tubes
If you produce a lot of sweat, your hearing aid tubes probably tend to get obstructed with condensation. You can usually see the moisture build-up in the tubes.
Based on how much condensation builds up in the tubes, there are multiple solutions. You can place the moistened hearing aids in a special dryer or dehumidifier case overnight. They should be dried out by the next morning. If you sweat profusely and your hearing aids need to constantly be dried throughout the day, get in touch with one of our hearing aid providers at Pure Sound. You may need to get the earmold re-sized or re-shaped. A larger vent size (may acoustically) might be better for air circulation in the ear canal, decreasing moisture build-up.
If you need help with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
Hearing loss is the third leading chronic physical condition in the U.S., following high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related illness, due to dangerous noise levels in these environments. Here are some recommendations to reduce the risks of exposure to noise in the workplace.
Nearly every industry can put employees at risk of work-related hearing loss
Prevention is important because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss and it’s the easiest to manage.
Preventing Hearing Loss on the Job
Find out whether the noise in your work environment is dangerous. Just like with any loud space, if you need to speak louder when the person you are talking to is just an arm’s length away, the noise level is too loud.
Use a noise level meter app to determine the noise level in your environment. Discuss checking noise levels in your workplace with your manager or supervisor.
Decrease noise from the source. Use quiet tools and equipment, or wear hearing protection - like earplugs or earmuffs - while using them.
Reduce exposure to noise:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Smartphones can remotely control hearing aid features - such as volume - or help you find your hearing aids if they are misplaced, through apps.
If you are in the process of looking for a new phone that’s compatible with your hearing aids, here are some things to take into consideration:
Just like smartphones, hearing aid technology becomes increasingly innovative each year, so it’s important to ask your hearing aid provider about a suitable solution that will work with your smartphone. They can also help you connect the hearing aids to your smartphone.
All Smartphones are Compatible with Hearing Aids
Smartphones are currently used by the vast majority of cell phone owners. There are constantly new models and features that are readily available for the general population, and the FCC regulates them in order to make sure they are hearing aid compatible (HAC).
Smartphones used by People with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
Acoustic coupling is a hearing aid feature that allows users to speak over their phones like normal, while the microphone on the hearing aid automatically picks up the sound. Many people with mild to moderate hearing loss benefit from this feature. It is important to note there’s a chance that background noise can get picked up by the hearing aids’ microphones.
When shopping for a smartphone, look for the M rating. This signifies whether the phone is compatible with hearing aids. The M scale goes from 1 to 4 - 4 illustrates the highest compatibility level. A higher rating suggests that there will be less background and feedback noise, but some unwanted noise may still be heard. The most common rating is M3. Every iPhone that is currently on the market is rated through this category.
Smartphones used by People with Severe Hearing Loss
If you experience severe hearing loss - or if you often use your smartphone and want a clearer signal - switch on the hearing aid’s telecoil (t-coil). T-coils transfer sounds to the hearing aid’s processor without using the microphone.
The t-coil may automatically switch on, or it may need to be manually switched to telecoil or T mode. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist if you have more questions about this. When you are looking for and testing out different phones, keep this information in mind. Pay attention to the T grade for hearing aid compatibility if you plan on using the telecoil feature.
The T rating is also on a scale from one to four - one being the worst, and four being the best. T4 is used in most modern smartphones. If you want to direct sound through Bluetooth®, you need to make sure your hearing aid is compatible with your specific smartphone. Some hearing aids are only compatible with Android® phones, and others are only compatible with iPhones®.
Another important feature to consider with your smartphone is volume control. A control for the ringer volume is available so that you don’t miss a call. Choosing your own ringtone, one that you can hear better than others, is also something to consider.
You also have the option of having a vibration or flashing lights on your phone when someone calls.
If you prefer texting to communicate with others, you’ll probably want a phone package that has unlimited texting with a keyboard that’s easy to use.
If you are also looking for a new pair of hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation with one of our providers. They will give advice on the smartphone that would work best for your hearing aids.
Why are my Hearing Aids making a Static Noise?
Hearing aids can be useful to the user, as long as they are functioning properly. Daily cleanings that are done at home or professionally, along with proper maintenance are crucial in getting the most out of your hearing aids.
If you, or others around you, start to hear static noise emanating from your hearing aids, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist.
Hearing aids will digitally reproduce or amplify sound, but in some cases, static noises are created, and others can hear them. This can make you feel uncomfortable while wearing your hearing aids.
What is Static Noise?
Frequencies of electromagnetic or thermal sound make up static noise, and sometimes that noise is recognized by hearing aids. If you hear this noise, it doesn’t always mean that your hearing aids need to be repaired. It might indicate that they are harnessing external noises in specific frequencies. Most homes have appliances - such as radios and Wi-Fi routers - that can generate static noise. If the static noise persists, even if you go into another room or leave your home, you may want to take a closer inspection.
The batteries are one of the simplest things to check to pinpoint the source of static noise. Make sure to clear out the battery compartment in your hearing aids of dust, and switch out the old batteries with fresh ones.
Protection from Moisture
Just like any electronic, hearing aids should be shielded from anything that can cause dampness. Be cautious if you are near any body of water, get caught in the rain, closely pass by a waterfall, or tend to sweat profusely when outdoors or during a work-out. Static noise can occur if any moisture gets into your hearing aid. If they do become moist, remove the batteries if the devices use disposable batteries and let them dry out for a few hours or overnight. You may purchase a hearing aid dry kit to place them in. Or you can even submerge them in a container of dry, uncooked rice or desiccant packs.
Brushing up Against Clothing
If you wear a hat or scarf over your ears, the fabrics can meddle with the sound waves or possibly press up against your hearing aids. This can also cause feedback noise. Try to readjust or remove your hat or scarf and notice whether this resolves the issue.
Are Sounds Too High?
Did you forget to adjust your hearing aid’s volume when you went from a busy environment to a quiet and calmer one? If you frequently need to change the volume on your hearing aids, visit your hearing instrument specialist for an adjustment.
If there’s too much earwax that is impacted inside your ears, this can tamper with your hearing aids and create static noise, or any undesirable noise. Your ears should be gently cleaned with a warm, wet cloth while bathing or showering. You should clean your hearing aids each day by using a soft cloth or a cleaning brush/loop and get a thorough cleaning from a professional every six months or less.
Noises from Your Environment
Maybe your hearing aids are fine, and the noises that you hear are coming from your environment. Ask others around you if they can also hear static noises. Normal sounds that come from a refrigerator humming or a fluorescent light may be producing static noise.
Is there a Problem with Your Hearing Aids?
The hearing aid itself may have an issue. Regular check-ups for your hearing health and hearing aid devices should be scheduled. Repairs can be made to your hearing aids in your provider’s office or they can be sent to the manufacturer, but if the problem persists, you may need new hearing aids altogether.
If you’ve ruled out the common and easy-to-fix problems, and need professional assistance, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Defining Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, or a hearing impairment, makes it difficult to hear or interpret sounds. It occurs as a result of a complication with one or multiple components of the ear, the nerves in the ears, or the part of the brain that interprets sounds.
Some people with hearing loss are born with it. Hearing loss can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, caused by birth defects, infections, or medications. If you know ahead of time that the medication that you need to take can induce hearing loss, try to look for an alternative before taking it.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. Exposure to a sudden noise - like a loud explosion or frequently being around loud sounds over time can cause damage to the tiny hair cells found in the inner ear, making it challenging to hear clearly. You can tell whether your environment is too loud if you need to shout for someone close by to hear you. If you find yourself in a crowded area and have trouble hearing the person/people you are speaking to, you may have some hearing loss.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears after being at a loud concert, a sports stadium, or any other loud event, you’ve had tinnitus. It normally quiets down after a day or two. Continuous tinnitus or hearing muffled noises indicates that there is some damage to the hair cells in your ear. Hair cells harness sound waves and translate them into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. When hair cells become damaged, they can no longer transmit sound signals as clearly as they normally did. Tinnitus and hearing loss often, but not always, go hand in hand.
Repeated exposure to loud noise or music can worsen symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss. This is why musicians, construction workers, airport runway employees, and people who work in other noisy settings wear ear protection. Common tools and appliances like lawnmowers, power tools, or blenders are also loud enough to induce hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent NIHL:
If you are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Batteries are the life force behind hearing aids, and they aren’t usually discussed in depth. For any hearing aid user, batteries can hinder the use of their devices due to the cost of replacing them.
You can decide to replenish your batteries on a schedule or pick up a pack whenever you need them. Your hearing aids should alert you with a series of beeps, or a message sent through your phone when your battery starts running low.
Research conducted by the Aural Rehabilitation Lab at the University of Connecticut teamed up with the battery industry to find out what hearing aid users do when their batteries are depleted. A qualitative study was used to learn straight from the hearing aid users. One-on-one interviews allowed researchers to refer to hearing aid users as the experts on this topic.
Common trends based on responses from people with hearing loss were reviewed and established. Fourteen adult hearing aid users were interviewed about their experiences with hearing aid batteries and how they deal with switching out their batteries.
Two trends that were revealed included problems that arose when changing batteries and techniques used to change batteries. Based on what participants said, each topic was examined deeper.
The Problem with Battery Changes
The participants in this study discussed their concerns about where it was appropriate to change their batteries, the sensory challenges that they faced, and the urgency for more information when it comes to batteries. Here’s a list of some of these challenges:
Waiting for the battery to completely deplete itself allowed participants to get the longest life possible out of them. An extensive life was crucial to participants because they deemed them more cost-effective.
Strategies to Keep Hearing Aids Functioning with Batteries
Here’s a list of strategies for keeping hearing aids functioning:
At Pure Sound, we offer not only discount batteries, but also discount hearing aids. If you are interested in a free hearing test and a free hearing aid trial, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Science researchers directed by King’s College London, Karolinska Institute, and Erasmus University have discovered 10 new genes that are connected to hearing loss and detected which areas of the ear were affected by them.
In June 2022, this discovery was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. As a result, it created some skepticism about current knowledge on the origins of age-related hearing loss that stems from sensory hair cells. Based on their findings, researchers strongly believe that the stria vascularis, an area of the cochlea - which is located in the ear, is a new area of focus for treatments that help individuals with hearing loss.
Due to various factors, many people experience hearing loss as they age. By 2050, about 2.4 billion people will have some range of hearing loss. Age-related hearing problems are one of the primary chronic disabilities. It’s also a high-risk factor for dementia.
This group of researchers also reviewed genetic analyses that were made by different centers across the globe. They used samples from 723,266 patients in 17 studies who were clinically diagnosed or self-reported hearing impairment. This is currently one of the largest studies conducted on the genetic factors of hearing health. The researchers found 48 genes connected to hearing loss, including 10 new variants that are recently related to hearing.
This discovery identified genes that can be focused on for screening purposes, developing drugs, and gene therapy. It’s a secure foundation to help improve therapies against hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids may be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you were told that you need hearing aids, here are some questions to ask your hearing instrument specialist before purchasing:
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. In most instances stress from the current situation has exacerbated chronic conditions.
These circumstances - the social isolation, unpredictability, the news, financial troubles, an interruption in our routines, inaccessibility of or challenges with visiting healthcare providers, have caused hardships for everyone, including people with tinnitus.
Stress and how it Affects Tinnitus
Stress triggers many chronic conditions, like tinnitus. More stress can make tinnitus louder and more difficult to tune out.
Here’s a simple way to mentally visualize this issue. Imagine the capacity of managing your stress in the form of a big glass tank. The tank symbolizes the amount of stress you can handle each day. When your stress rises and the tank overflows, you begin to have symptoms of anxiety or other negative health problems.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that the stress that comes while living with this condition can flood the tank. Even if the stress that you associate with tinnitus is not flooding the tank, it can still be very distracting. Other stress factors that usually don’t affect you, may be enough to overwhelm you and induce anxiety.
When people are able to habituate to their tinnitus and experience some relief, the ability to manage stress will be reinforced.
Stress can come from anything, so it’s not just stress from the tinnitus that you need to take charge of. Other factors can be related to work, relationships, family, finances or lack thereof, health problems, the pandemic, etc.
Reduce stress by checking out tips from these articles:
How can Stress Lead to Hearing Loss?
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Do you have Hearing Loss and Anxiety?
If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that the average healthy human ear can recognize frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz)? It can also tell the difference between sounds that are familiar and sounds that are new, which can warn you of potential danger and help you be more aware of your surroundings. This is an important sense to have when you’re out camping, hiking, or hunting. The ability to hear rustling bushes and trees, the sound of a twig snapping, or rushing waters isn’t just pleasant - it can be life-saving.
1. Protect Yourself by Being Aware of Your Surroundings
Experienced hikers will inform you that you should be alert and on guard if the forest you walk through is too quiet. If birds and other animals are silent, it’s because they know a predator is in the area. Depending on where you live, keep an eye out for bears or mountain lions. DO NOT keep food in a space where you’ll be sleeping and hanging around. The large animals will initially look for that food.
Being able to hear unusual noises in your environment can signal that there’s an animal in the bushes nearby. You will normally hear animals before you see them, or don’t see them at all. A sharp sense of hearing will act as a harbinger to keep you prepared for any dangerous encounters.
2. Camping and Hearing Aid Usage
If you’re a new or long-time hearing aid user, you may be unsure about the best way to camp or backpack with your devices. Here are some tips to keep your hearing aids working while enjoying the great outdoors:
Carry extra batteries or a portable charger
Be prepared when traveling anywhere. Purchase extra batteries in case you need them, and store them in a cool, dry place when they are not being used. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, bring a portable charger so that you can recharge them without an electrical outlet.
Keep your hearing aids dry
Pack a cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to cover your ears if the weather is cold, wet, or windy. A Ziplock bag can be used to store these items.
Keep your hearing aids cool
Extreme temperatures, especially heat, can damage the wiring and other technology in your hearing aids. Remove them if you plan on sitting close to a smoldering campfire, do not place them in direct sunlight, and do not leave them in a hot car.
Get your hearing aids checked
Before going off on your outdoor adventure, make an appointment with your hearing aid provider. Inform them that you will be camping and might need your hearing aids re-programmed to hear the different environments you’ll be in.
Make friends and family aware of your trip
Whenever you plan to go into a secluded area, whether it’s alone or with at least one other person, always tell someone you know where you are going and when they should expect you to return. Do not wander away alone for any reason, especially if it’s dark out.
3. Hearing Safety and Hunting Outdoors
When gun safety is discussed, protecting your hearing is a topic that doesn’t get covered. In addition to safe gun use and storage, it’s important to protect your ears from the deafening noise of gunshots. The sound from a single shot can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Since hunters need to be aware of their surroundings and hear their prey, choose hearing protection that muffles sounds, but also allows softer sounds in a forest environment to be heard. Custom earplugs are an excellent option. Talk to a hearing aid provider about getting a customized fitting for earplugs.
If you, or a loved one, wear hearing aids and plan on spending an extensive amount of time outdoors, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing aid tune-up, professional cleaning, or supplies.
Ear infections may occur in your middle ear - the area behind your eardrum - if there’s fluid build-up. That build-up can lead to bacterial and/or viral infections. Ear infections can be caused by allergies, colds, and the flu. Ear infections can also occur in the outer ear or ear canal if it comes in contact with bacteria or contaminated water. Some hearing aids are designed to seal off the ear canal. As a result, an ear infection can linger if they are frequently worn without proper regular cleanings.
Hearing aids are supposed to be worn all day, from the moment when you wake up to the moment when you get ready to sleep unless you take a shower/bath, or go into a body of water. To help prevent ear infections, it’s important to keep up with daily hearing aid cleanings at home and schedule professional cleanings every six months or less. If there's too much debris or earwax impacting the function of the devices, you should visit your hearing instrument specialist sooner.
Some signs of an ear infection are pain and swelling. Hearing aids are custom-fit, or a standard dome size is recommended for each user, so if there’s pain and swelling it indicates that the devices were not correctly fit. The improper fitting will also affect the sound quality that you hear when wearing them.
What Should You Do if You Have an Ear Infection from Wearing Hearing Aids?
If you or a loved one need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids or a re-fitting for a more suitable fit, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
We’re winding down towards the end of summer, and the heatwave has felt relentless. In addition to the heat, humidity and moisture can warp the wiring and affect the performance of your hearing aids. Follow these simple tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your hearing aids.
7 Tips to Enhance the Efficiency of Your Hearing Aids
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss or any problems with hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
We are all aware that exposure to loud noises, genetic factors, and diet can cause hearing loss, but here are some other known causes of hearing loss.
Over an extended period of time, these conditions and habits can cause hearing loss:
Even though these causes of hearing loss are uncommon, it’s still important to be aware of them to keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Sometimes having hearing loss while trying to watch a movie in theaters or at a drive-thru can be challenging. Will you be able to hear and follow along with the movie? Will it be worth your time and money?
Luckily for you, most movie theaters in the U.S. are required to provide closed captioning and audio descriptions. These laws were passed in 2018 through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This makes it easier for anyone with hearing loss to enjoy the movies.
Be Sure to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Most hearing aid users won’t need additional help.
Those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss are still able to hear well in movie theaters when donning their hearing aids. Speech sounds tend to be clearer in movie theaters than watching TV or movies from home. This is mainly due to the volume level, sound system quality, and placement of the speakers.
If you are concerned that the film will be played too loudly for you, slightly adjust the volume on your hearing aids to an appropriate level. Today’s hearing aids can be programmed to suppress loud noises so that your hearing health remains protected.
Accessibility services at local theaters should be researched if you have severe hearing loss or are deaf. Get there early so that you can request accommodations and have time to set up the equipment. If things did not go as planned, you can ask for a refund.
Here are some possible options that may be offered:
Opened captioning - text will appear onscreen during the movie so that everyone in the audience can see it.
Closed captioning - these captions are private and transmitted through a personal device.
It’s rare to see open captions for a general audience. Some theaters have the option of “open caption” viewings for those who need/prefer to watch a movie with subtitles/captions, or if there’s a large group that requested a special screening. There are also captions for foreign films.
With closed captions, it is required that you ask for a device that displays the captions at your seat. The device, technology, and availability will be different for each movie theater chain, so you’ll want to do some research before heading to the theater. If necessary, call or email the company.
Accessibility Options from 4 Major Theater Chains
Regal had a plethora of information. They feature an accessibility services page, along with a list of every theater in each state and the accessibility options that are available in each local theater.
Regal offers open captions through Sony Access eyeglasses. It allows audiences to see captions in their direct line of sight. Users can wear these over their regular eyeglasses.
Prior to your visit, it is recommended that you contact your local theater to make sure that you will be accommodated as necessary. The movie descriptions should read “accessibility devices available.”
Last year, AMC announced they would be adding more showings that featured open captions. This is significant because AMC is the largest movie chain in the world.
Other accessibility options from AMC include:
The accessibility page for Landmark lists which theaters have assistive listening technology and what they use. It’s different for each theater, but typically includes:
This large chain provides assistive technology that is similar to Landmark.
If your local theater does not provide the latest captioning technology, they may have assistive listening devices (ALD) like telecoils (which require your hearing aids to be paired with them), assistive listening systems (ALS) which are system-wide technology used in public spaces like a theater, airport, or lecture hall.
Three types of ALS recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) include:
Every ALS must be an option for hearing aid users' access, whether they have telecoils or not.
It’s easy to connect to a hearing loop if your hearing aids feature telecoils. Most people prefer using hearing loops out of the three types of ALS.
If you are having problems hearing in theaters and need help with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.