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.
Hearing Loss: Are You or a Family Member Headed Back to School? Here are 3 Tips for Better Communication.
School is almost back in session. Here are three tips to help make learning easier if you have hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulty with your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
August is Hearing Health Awareness Month, and we’re providing a dietary guide for healthy hearing.
In order to function properly, a healthy body requires the right amount of nutrients.
Just like all of your other organs, your ears must have the nutritional support to help you hear your best. Here are some foods that will benefit your hearing.
Bananas, and other foods that are rich in potassium, are great sources of nutrients for the ears. Potassium helps translate sound into nerve impulses in the inner ear that get transferred to the brain. Potassium levels actually decline as we age, so it’s crucial to maintain good levels of potassium to fight against age-related hearing loss. Consuming bananas is a great way to get potassium in your diet, but make sure you aren’t taking in more than the recommended amount of 3.5 grams. You should easily reach this amount of potassium with your normal caloric intake.
Beans, lentils, and peas
Zinc is necessary for mineral growth and development. It can also improve hearing health and symptoms of tinnitus by protecting your immune system. It’s a good idea to start increasing your daily intake of zinc so that your ears can benefit from the nutrients for a long period of time. Incorporate beans, lentils, and peas for an easy way to get zinc in your diet.
Broccoli is a great basic building block for a healthy body. It includes vitamins K and C, along with fiber. Broccoli is used to stop free radicals - these are the basic structures for a disease to grow and accelerate aging - from causing harm to the delicate and sensitive tissues in your ears. No matter how you eat it - grilled, steamed, or raw - the health benefits of broccoli can’t be understated.
Fish is full of heart-healthy omega 3 and vitamin D. We know that Vitamin D strengthens the body’s bones, and this includes the middle bones in your ear which can prevent osteopenia and otosclerosis. These are serious ear problems that can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The recommended weekly intake is two servings of fresh, unprocessed fish which can also lower the chances of enduring permanent hearing loss.
Garlic can boost blood circulation and lower inflammation in the body, particularly for organs related to hearing. This lets blood properly flow everywhere that it is needed, and reduces the possibility of high blood pressure which can lead to long-term health issues.
If you are concerned about the smell, there are odorless garlic supplements. You can even incorporate some cloves into your cooking. Garlic should be part of your healthy eating plan. You might notice some relief from symptoms of common ear conditions like tinnitus.
If you are noticing hearing loss, hearing aids can help slow down the loss and improve your brain health, combat isolation, and help with communication. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Regular check-ups and hearing tests to detect hearing loss in its early stages, along with preventative care, are crucial for properly treating and managing your hearing health. If you are exposed to loud noise or notice hearing loss, seek help immediately. Do not wait until you notice signs of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss: The 10 Signs
If you experience at least one of these signs, your hearing loss may have been caused by noise exposure:
A hearing test can be administered if you:
A pure tone test will be administered, and you will listen to different tones through headphones. This is how your hearing healthcare provider identifies the quietest tone that you can hear. You may be asked to repeat a series of words or press a button when you hear a tone.
Risks for Hearing Loss
These are some causes and susceptibilities of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing loss factors:
Noise Exposure can also Lead to other Developmental Problems
If you are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, you should get your ears checked, and your hearing tested. Injuries caused by loud noises, or head trauma, can lead to dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
TBI can happen to anyone, but it can be more serious in older individuals. Americans at least 75 years of age are the most likely to be hospitalized for TBI.
Patients who endure a TBI need to undergo stabilization. There may be a delay before the patient or their family members notice any problems with their hearing.
In some cases, complications are not immediately determined. If you have any history of TBI, let your hearing care provider know. Hearing loss and other hearing health-related problems could be bee overlooked.
Possible Outcomes from Auditory Problems following TBI
An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is a head trauma that impairs the brain’s normal functioning for a short period. About half of TBI cases are caused by falls. The rest are induced by automobile crashes and assaults. A blow, bump, or jolt that causes the head and brain to quickly move back and forth can make the brain bounce or twist within the skull. Cells can also be harmed.
You don’t need to experience a direct impact on your head to have a TBI. If you are in an automobile accident and forcefully jerk forward, this can cause a TBI whether your head hits something or not. You can experience a brain injury even if you remain conscious.
The word “concussion” may be used interchangeably with brain injury because it sounds less alarming. It’s important to know that a concussion is a TBI. Some evidence shows that hospitals are not thoroughly treating mild forms of TBIs. There was a study on 395 patients who were at least 14 years old and visited an urban hospital because they had mild TBI. Out of those patients who met the typical standards for those who could be released from the hospital without a follow-up, 27 percent ended up having permanent cognitive difficulties and required therapy.
Acoustic trauma occurs when the ears are affected by a head injury (like a direct blow to the ear, or a loud noise within close range). Anyone who has trained or fought in war is at high risk for this particular injury. Many veterans have hearing loss and tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TBI
Over half of patients with TBI develop tinnitus. That number increases if the individual was exposed to a blast. Tinnitus is the first and widely reported problem after a TBI.
Tinnitus is the top service-related reason for veterans to file for compensation disability.
Symptoms of tinnitus can be the result of an injury or medication side effects that are used to treat TBI. This may include SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac, over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, etc.
Many people who have tinnitus, also experience hearing loss. It may not be noticeable. You can wear hearing aids, which can be programmed to cover phantom sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or tinnitus sound therapy can help mask the noise.
Hearing Loss and TBI
A 2018 report concluded that those with TBI and no bone injuries to their head still had some hearing-related loss. Sometimes it was fleeting. A study on 1.6 million people in Taiwan showed that TBIs could lead to over twice the chances of hearing loss within the following decade.
When sounds vibrate through the ear, the eardrum will respond to the sound. Vibrations communicate with three small bones or the ossicles. When those bones vibrate, the vibration travels to fluid in the inner ear and cochlea, which communicates with the auditory nerve.
Possible problems may arise:
If you, or a loved one, have experienced any type of head trauma, and notice hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing evaluation.
Receiving treatment for hearing loss can alter your life. It’s always nice to share this news with people, especially those who need help with their hearing loss but haven’t sought care. Here are five tips to be a better advocate for anyone with hearing loss.
1. Share Your Journey to Better Hearing
The average person with hearing loss waits more than a decade after they begin to notice the loss before receiving proper treatment. Think about all of the things you could miss out on for a decade. There are also physical (balance issues), mental (anxiety and depression), social (isolation), and financial (losing a job because you can’t follow directions due to poor hearing) repercussions to untreated hearing loss.
Simply sharing your story can encourage others who continue putting off care for their hearing health to seek help.
2. Be there to Support Someone
Getting help is a major step that feels easier with family and friends by your side. Your loved ones are some of the primary people who are also affected by your hearing loss. Have you noticed communication issues with them?
Having family members at your hearing care appointments can help your hearing aid provider better understand how you communicate with others and find the best solution for everyone. The emotional support, a better perspective about your hearing needs, or being able to hear a familiar voice when you are trialing a pair of hearing aids is always comforting.
3. Be Available to Offer Advice
With all of the different features available, it can be overwhelming to learn how it all works. Hearing instrument specialists are available to guide you through the technology so you can get the most use out of them. There are all sorts of tips, apps, and smartphone compatibility features that will be beneficial to your hearing needs.
4. Practice Self-Care
Hearing health often goes overlooked. Remind yourself and family members, no matter what level of hearing abilities you/they have to get annual hearing tests, monitor hearing health, pay attention to problems that come up with hearing aids, and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Adults who received treatment for hearing loss have reported improvements in all of their relationships, their mental health, social life, and other important areas. The loved ones in their lives have noted the same. For your sake, and theirs, get your hearing tested and seek treatment if necessary by getting in touch with Pure Sound Hearing.
In the U.S. there have been laws established to protect everyone with hearing loss. These days they need to be adapted for technology that is constantly evolving. July 26th is the 32nd anniversary of the supreme law granting protections to people with a hearing impairment. It is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are the three titles of the ADA:
Even if you are a hearing aid or cochlear implant user, and those devices can help your hearing limitations, you still have a legal disability status under the ADA. This indicates that under the law, you are guaranteed certain protections and accommodations.
Changes in technology are constantly evolving and services are readily available online. As a result, the definition of discrimination has also changed. One example was when the Zoom video chat service charged more money for closed-captioning during video calls. In December of 2020, two individuals who were hearing impaired sued the company. They cited ADA violations and California and New York laws. In March of 2021, Zoom allowed users to sign up for free live captioning (this feature can only be accessed by the host of the meeting). This feature is now free for all users.
Hearing Loss Accessibility in the Internet Age
The ADA was originally written when the internet was still very new. Judges have provided different rulings on whether “places of public accommodation” include websites and apps, which do not have a physical location. The U.S. Department of Justice stated that it does, but there have not been any regulations issued.
Website accessibility guidelines have stated that anyone with vision impairment should be able to see and read a website, and the tools used by people with disabilities should be easily integrated. Closed captions and transcriptions should be available for all prerecorded audio and video. This is not a guarantee, as users of YouTube videos have been made aware of it.
Telephone Access for Hearing Loss
The law is more straightforward when it comes to telephone systems, which must be available for anyone with hearing loss and speech problems. The options are captioned telephones and web-based captioning services. The 1988 Hearing Aid Compatibility Act orders that every telephone and smartphone must be compatible with hearing aids.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was enacted in 2010, required text messaging, email, instant messaging, and video calls to be accessible for those with disabilities. Free live captioning on private platforms like Zoom is now available.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ordered in 2012 that all TV programs with closed captions must be published online.
For all airlines, and foreign airlines that are flying to the U.S., the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) requires hearing loss accommodations, such as captioning on airport televisions.
The ADA requires courtrooms, hospitals, and schools to have sign language interpreters available when necessary.
Accessibility in Public Spaces
Theaters that have fixed seating for at least 50 people must provide assistive hearing services for audience members who have hearing loss.
Assistive listening systems for people with hearing loss must be provided by museums. This does not include sign language interpreters or closed captioning, but some include this as an option for Deaf patrons. Most times, these services are free or a small fee is charged.
Other spaces that must provide assistive hearing systems for anyone with hearing loss include hospitals, hotels, concert/lecture halls, convention centers, courtrooms, stadiums, and nursing homes. Facilities that have hearing loops can connect with hearing aids that feature telecoils (or t-coils).
Employment Discrimination and Hearing Loss
Job seekers and employees are protected by the ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If there are at least 15 employees at your place of employment, you do not have to report your hearing loss and your employer cannot ask you questions to determine whether you have a disability. The employer is allowed to ask specific questions about your ability to perform basic job functions, like how good your communication skills are, whether you can perform in a fast-paced noisy environment, or can meet legally required standards in safety.
If your hearing loss is obvious or you report it, the person who decides whether to hire you can ask if you need accommodations to perform the job.
Your Employer must provide you with Accommodations if You Have a Hearing Loss
Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations, which means it should not be too difficult or expensive to make adjustments. Some accommodations may include a sign language interpreter during meetings or assistive listening devices.
Discuss these things with your employer, and be prepared to give more information about your conditions and needs from your healthcare provider(s).
If you think there’s been a violation of your rights, make a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident. A lawsuit may be filed in federal court after you receive a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Hearing loss can affect anyone. There are different causes and ranges of hearing impairment. Detecting hearing problems early and receiving proper treatment is key to health management, preventing or slowing down a further decline.
1. Have Others Noticed a Change in Your Hearing?
If other people complain about needing to repeat themselves or if you don’t hear them when they say something to you, this can be another sign of hearing loss. Your loved ones or other people that you frequently interact with are usually the first to notice there’s something wrong with your hearing.
2. Do You Have Difficulty with Hearing Consonant Sounds in Words?
If you can’t clearly hear the beginning of words, especially consonants, this might be an early sign of hearing loss. If you have problems with differentiating some words from each other, like ring and sing, this can also be an early sign of hearing loss.
3. Do You find it Difficult to Hear in Loud Environments?
If you avoid certain places, spending time with others, or frequently need to ask others to repeat themselves, particularly in busy or loud areas, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
4. Are You Cranking up the Volume on Entertainment Systems?
This is one of the most common signs people experience when they start to lose their hearing. If others ask you to turn the volume down when watching or listening to something, you should get your hearing tested.
5. Do You notice a Phantom Ringing Sound?
Tinnitus is a common type of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among those who experience regular exposure to loud noises. Get a hearing test immediately if you notice consistent ringing noises that are difficult to ignore and have no outside/physical source.
Tinnitus can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so get your hearing tested as soon as possible so that you can receive immediate treatment.
6. Do You Hate Talking on Your Phone?
Hearing conversations through a phone is difficult for some people with hearing loss. Voices may not sound loud or clear enough. If you tend to switch to the loudspeaker option, this can be a sign of hearing loss. All modern digital hearing aids have Bluetooth® technology, so it’s possible to stream your phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
7. Do You Often Feel More Fatigued?
If you feel tired more often, this could be due to the amount of energy you use to pay attention to what others are saying. Get a hearing test if this is the case for you. Listening fatigue is a real problem among those with hearing loss. Receiving adequate treatment can help you focus easier, and make you feel less drained.
If any of these issues have occurred to you, or a loved one, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Les Paul, has been bestowed with many titles including award-winning musician, innovator, creative genius, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing, and other music advancements. He also wore hearing aids in both ears.
In 1969 his hearing started to deteriorate when a friend playfully smacked the side of his right ear, which led to his eardrum rupturing. It wasn’t a hard slap, but his friend’s open palm made contact with Paul’s right ear. The abrupt pressure popped his eardrum. A surgical procedure complicated his hearing, and he lost his ability to hear out of his right ear. A couple of years later, another guitar player slapped over his left ear, and again, that eardrum also popped.
In total, he had five operations on his inner ear and eardrums. His hearing loss eventually became permanent, and he has been wearing hearing aids ever since. He always looked for ways to improve the quality of hearing aids and hearing health until he passed away in 2009.
His work continues through the Les Paul Foundation, which provides yearly funding to Hearing Health Foundation’s Emerging Research Grants program to discover a cure for tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation if you experience hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Hearing loss is as unique as the shape of a person’s ears. Being able to hear is important. Whether you can manage with a standard hearing aid or require a customized earmold, wearing hearing aids that properly fit can make a huge difference in how you absorb your environment.
Key Facts about Hearing Aid Earmolds
The hearing aid receiver is the part of the device that rests inside the ear canals. They are available in two different styles: domes or earmolds.
Hearing aid domes resemble a small cone shape. They come in standard sizes, rather than customized sizes. Hearing aid users will be provided with the domes that best fit their ear canals. If it feels uncomfortable, you may try a different size. The domes feature large openings that will harness natural sounds and provide ventilation.
Earmolds are comprised of plastic or silicone. They are custom-fit in order to rest close and comfortably in the ear canal. There are usually small air vents featured on them.
Why are Earmolds used with Hearing Aids?
If you find it difficult to hear low, most, or all frequencies (this is called flat hearing loss), an earmold can make sounds easier and more pleasant to hear because they rest securely in the ear. A secure and comfortable fit will stop amplified sound from seeping out of the ear canal and cause a feedback noise - the loud whistling noise that occurs as a result of sounds that leak and become re-amplified. Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss typically use earmolds.
Earmolds are best for any range of hearing loss. Any long-time hearing aid user might prefer wearing an earmold style, whereas new hearing aid users tend to choose hearing aid domes because they feel more comfortable, have less occlusion, and are easier to change out.
Everyone is different. Have a discussion with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can make custom earmolds or provide standard domes for your hearing aids.
Those with high-frequency hearing loss (who have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like children’s voices) usually wear dome-style hearing aids.
Proper Hearing Aid Fit
As mentioned earlier, ear shapes are unique, therefore it’s important to have a professional hearing instrument specialist customize an earmold in order to securely fit your individual ear shape. They need to be comfortable and tight enough to stop sounds from leaking out and causing feedback noise, but not too tight to the point where it feels painful to wear.
Customizing a hearing aid is simple. The process requires creating an impression of your ear canal and the outer ear using a soft molding composite, similar to how a dentist makes an impression of your teeth.
Common Dilemmas with Earmolds
Earmolds may still require additional adjustments after the impression has been made. Ears change in shape and size as you age, so a lot of earmolds are composed of soft materials that can be adjusted by your hearing instrument specialist.
Repairing Problems with Earmolds
Here are some typical problems that earmold users encounter:
Earmolds used as Earplugs
People who don’t wear hearing aids can wear earmolds. Custom earplugs and earmolds can be used to protect your hearing health from loud noise exposure. Musicians, professional football players, and race car drivers wear earmolds that feature an acoustic chamber that obstructs most noise while letting the wearer understand speech sounds. Swimmers wear special earmolds that prevent water from entering their ears. Talk to our hearing instrument specialists if you’re interested in getting custom earmolds.
The earmold is a crucial detail of your hearing aids. Just like with standard domes, the earmold should be wiped down with professional cleaning wipes before getting ready to sleep. If you notice any debris in the openings or tubing of the earmold, properly clean them by applying the instructions that your hearing aid provider gave you. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact them.
If you have any problems with your hearing aids, need a new pair of hearing aids, or are overdue for a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.