Hearing loss is a prevalent health problem that people across the globe currently experience. Seeking the proper treatment should be based on the severity of your hearing loss, its underlying cause, type of hearing loss, and your personal lifestyle.
You should start your hearing loss treatment with a simple hearing test that is conducted by a professional.
The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that goes untreated in children will adversely affect their development in language acquisition, learning, and socializing with others. Older adults who experience untreated hearing loss typically struggle with following along in conversations. As a result, they might withdraw from activities and other things that they usually enjoy. This leads to social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and an increase in falls for those who are at least 66-years-old.
Research has shown that Hearing Aids Help with the Following:
Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss
Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. As we age, the cilia (hair cells located in the inner ear) start to lose their function. Half of the adults who are 75 or older have hearing loss.
Presbycusis is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates that the loss of hearing begins in the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve. It’s usually caused by damaged hair cells in the inner ear. In addition to aging, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is also a major cause of this type of hearing loss.
Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss is permanent. The cilia are irreparable when they become damaged. Anyone who experiences this type of hearing loss can use hearing aids as their best option.
Many people gradually lose their hearing as they age, and it needs to be treated. It’s important to get a regular hearing test because you probably won’t notice the subtle loss of hearing. The earlier you get treatment the more likely you will be able to preserve the hearing that you still have. The ability to hear is important for your safety and overall health. It helps you stay connected to the people in your life, and your surroundings.
How can Hearing Aids Benefit You?
If your hearing instrument specialist recommends hearing aids, based on the results of your hearing test, they will patiently work with you to calibrate the devices to your individual hearing needs. This method is known as a fitting. The fundamental goal of a hearing aid is to amplify sounds. Modern hearing aids can be customized and programmed to your particular needs, like increasing important sounds such as speech noise, while reducing background noise. Hearing aids cannot imitate the same normal hearing that you used to experience, but they are helpful for anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids can be worn behind or inside the ear. It depends on your severity of hearing loss and personal preferences.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid options and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Assistive Listening Devices
Hearing aids are very useful but don’t always address every single person’s needs. Those who cannot benefit from hearing aids can use assistive listening devices (ALDs) in situations where hearing is difficult. These devices can improve your experience while you watch TV, listen to music, or talk to someone over the phone. You may use amplified phones, captioned phones, FM systems, TV hearing devices, smartphone apps that use captions, and hearing loops that are connected to hearing aid telecoils (T-coils). Scroll through this page to see the options that we have available at Pure Sound.
Do You also have Tinnitus?
As you age, it’s common to encounter tinnitus if you begin to experience hearing loss. Tinnitus is one of the first signs of hearing loss. Just about all modern hearing aids have a “tinnitus masking feature”, which helps drown out the buzzing or ringing noises. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist for available tinnitus treatments.
Where to Get Help
Hearing loss is common, but modern hearing technology can help with nearly any hearing problem that you have. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Sean is ready to greet you at our Strasburg office.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and free hearing aid trial.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
It’s our final day of tinnitus-based articles for Tinnitus Awareness Week.
As we’ve previously discussed and reiterated, tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound without an external source.
Tinnitus is derived from the Latin verb "tinnire", which means "to ring". Even though most people describe tinnitus as a ringing sound in the ears, it can also be described as a buzzing, clicking, hissing, swooshing, or whistling noise.
In nearly every case, tinnitus is caused due to the brain’s reaction to hearing loss. This diminishes the auditory sound or input to the brain. The brain does not react well to that, so it will create a new sensation that replaces the sound of what it had been hearing and expecting.
Temporary vs. Chronic Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be a temporary condition or a continuous health problem. Tinnitus that is short, spontaneous, and lasts seconds to minutes, is an almost universal experience. In other instances, acute or temporary tinnitus that lasts minutes to hours typically happens after extreme and extensive noise exposure leads to a short-term ear injury. Chronic tinnitus - which is defined as lasting for over three months - is more common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 15% percent of the general population - that’s more than 50 million Americans - experience a variety of tinnitus. About 20 million people endure chronic tinnitus, and two million people experience severe and debilitating cases.
For the majority of patients, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss that is caused by age (presbycusis), long-term hearing damage, or severe trauma to the auditory system. Hearing loss leads to reduced stimulation of external sounds to the brain. As a result, the brain sustains neuroplastic shifts in the way it processes different frequencies of sound. Tinnitus is the result of maladaptive neuroplastic changes.
Individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus may experience relief from using hearing aids and other devices that can be used for amplifying sound.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids that are helpful with tinnitus relief and hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sounds when there is no external sound present. People who experience tinnitus may hear the following sounds:
Facts about Tinnitus
Causes of Tinnitus
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately seek help. A lack of medical attention can lead to further hearing loss. Hearing aids can help mask the sounds. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
It is tinnitus awareness week, and we’re kicking it off with information on hearing loss and tinnitus as possible side effects of certain antibiotics and medications.
What is ototoxicity?
Ototoxicity refers to having a toxic substance in your body that is harmful to the ear and can negatively impact the health of your hearing abilities. It can induce symptoms of tinnitus, or worsen them, and it can affect your body’s balance because these are all functions of the ear.
Ototoxicity can occur after taking common drugs, including certain pain medications and antibiotics (particularly salicylates). Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as loop diuretics, are a major type of drug that can harm your ear health. Some of the other harmful drugs include chemotherapy agents (particularly if they are platinum-based). If any of these ototoxic drugs are prescribed to you, and you have a history of hearing problems, talk to your healthcare provider about possible side effects.
If you do notice a shift in your ability to hear, such as a different tone in your tinnitus, the onset of tinnitus, and your ability to maintain overall balance in your body (symptoms of dizziness or vertigo), contact your healthcare provider and notify them about these symptoms. There may be instances where you cannot change the medication because it may be life-threatening, but it’s still important to talk about it with your healthcare provider. It’s important to note that NOT ALL ototoxic medications induce tinnitus. Some make a stronger impact on a person’s balance, whereas others have a strong effect on a person’s hearing loss.
The platinum-based drugs (for chemotherapy) would be more likely to cause a person to lose their hearing loss than cause tinnitus. The advantage of the drug would significantly outweigh the side effects. Some medications take a longer time to flush out of your system, so the effects of the drug could happen later. Other medications may cause the effects to happen immediately.
Does tinnitus occur or change when taking an ototoxic medication?
Some medications almost have an immediate onset of tinnitus. After a pill is taken, in 10 to 15 minutes symptoms can begin to occur. If the medication is injected into the body, the onset will occur quicker. If you take one of these medications and within 20 minutes you notice a buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming, or ringing sound, - that is not coming from your environment - it’s probably a side effect of the medication. Some people may not immediately put two and two together. You may not form a timeline for when you started taking the medication, or when the dosage was added or increased. A new medication may have been taken with an older medication, and you could be dealing with a combination of effects, which could be the sounds that you hear inside your ear.
If you lose track of the timeline for when you took the medication, you can contact your pharmacist and find out when you picked up that prescription. That can help you piece together your timeline.
If you started taking the medication the day you picked up the prescription, or shortly after, and notice the symptoms of tinnitus, you could conclude that the medication is affecting your hearing. Cardiac medications commonly cause tinnitus. You can talk to your healthcare provider and go over your medications and medication intake routine.
To help you with this process, document everything. Document your medication, when you take the doses, and when you begin to notice the tinnitus or hearing loss symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer many hearing aids that help mask the sound of tinnitus.
Martha is always ready to help our patients with their questions and hearing aid needs in our Lititz office.
If you, or a loved one, would like to schedule a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Ask about our latest ad. for professionally fit, premium hearing aids.
When your hearing deteriorates as you age there is a higher risk of contracting dementia, which can lead to cognitive decline. A group of neurologists from the Department of Neurophysiology of the Medical Faculty studied how the brain functions as hearing abilities slowly become worse. They discovered that vital areas of the brain become restructured, which impacts a person’s memory.
A Deterioration of Sensory Perception
The neurologists studied the brains of mice with hereditary hearing loss, which is analogous to hearing loss among humans. The density of neurotransmitter receptors located in the brain, which is essential for the construction of memory, was analyzed by scientists. They also examined the effects of information stored in the hippocampus - the brain’s most important memory organ.
How the Brain Adapts to Hearing
A person’s memory can function through a system known as synaptic plasticity. By way of the hippocampus, synaptic plasticity was continuously weakened by advanced hearing loss. The distribution (and density of the neurotransmitter receptors) in sensory and memory segments of the brain, had also steadily shifted. It indicated that the stronger the hearing damage was, the worse memory abilities and synaptic plasticity became.
These are the latest proven insights into the commonly believed cause of the cognitive decline and presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) in humans. The team of neurologists concluded that frequency shifts in the neurotransmitter receptor expression - that is the result of advanced hearing loss - create shifts in the sensory information processing that inhibits the hippocampus from properly functioning.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids, which help improve your hearing and brain function.
Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
It’s no secret that everyone’s hearing gets worse as they age. Usually, individuals have one ear that can hear better than the other. In some instances, hearing loss can abruptly occur in one ear for no reason. Under these circumstances, you may have experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), or sensorineural hearing loss (SHL), which is a type of nerve deafness.
According to Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, there are approximately 66,000 instances of SHL each year in the U.S. There are probably more cases because this condition frequently goes undiagnosed.
Most people do not perceive it as being serious enough to get the help that they need. The lack of early intervention and care increases the chances of permanent hearing loss.
The exact cause of SHL is unknown, but specialists who study this phenomenon have identified some potential reasons:
People of any age can experience this problem, but it usually affects people who are in their 50s or 60s. As previously mentioned, it normally occurs in one ear. You might hear a “pop”, or feel as though there is an obstruction in your ear. Oftentimes, your hearing won’t disappear all at once. There is a steady decline that happens within several minutes or hours, like when air seeps out from a tire.
Other than hearing issues, SHL can influence your balance, which can increase your risk of falling. SHL may also be an indication of a small stroke or tumor. It tends to be overlooked because the symptoms resemble a common cold, feelings of impacted earwax, or water that’s trapped in the ear. Most people will try to treat it on their own by using a common cold or sinus medication, ear drops that swimmers use, or by simply cleaning their ears out. Mistaking it for an irritating ear that feels stuffy will cause some to leave it untreated until it’s too late.
Distinguishing the Difference between a Stuffy Ear and SHL
Here is something you can do to determine the difference between a common stuffy ear and sudden hearing loss: hum out loud to yourself. With normal hearing, sound can be heard equally by each ear. If you hum when you notice a new loss of hearing in one ear, the humming will transfer from one side to the other.
For instance, let’s say that your left ear is affected and the hum is heard louder in that ear. The loss of hearing is more likely a conductive hearing loss, and probably caused by obstruction due to a cold or earwax buildup. You may simulate this effect by humming as you cover your left ear.
If the humming sounds louder in the right ear, it indicates that the left ear with hearing loss is caused by recent nerve damage. This will need immediate medical attention.
The time period to get your SHL treated is 10 to 14 days. If it goes untreated, your hearing loss may become permanent. Get your hearing tested. You may not regain your full hearing abilities, but you may preserve the hearing abilities that you still have with proper treatment. If you have moderate to severe hearing loss, there’s only a 20% chance that you will completely recover from SHL, even when you get it treated immediately.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing SHL lasting more than 24-hours, immediately contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. If necessary, our hearing instrument specialists can offer a referral and they can go over hearing aid options.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss, but are too afraid to accept it? Maybe you've experienced some or all of these feelings.
No matter what phase of hearing loss you’re in, know that Pure Sound is here to help. Contact us for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Earwax, or cerumen, naturally produces to protect your outer ears. It is made up of dirt, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells.
Is your earwax dry or wet?
Producing dry earwax is common among Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Producing wet earwax is common among Africans and Caucasians.
What is the pigment of your earwax?
Old earwax is generally dark brown or black. Its color is caused by trapped bacteria and dirt. This earwax color is more common in adults.
Light brown, orange, or yellow earwax are considered healthy and normal. Children generally have softer, light-colored earwax.
Dark brown earwax, with any red, might indicate a bleeding wound.
White earwax that is flaky, is a sign that your body does not produce a chemical linked to body odor.
What produces excess earwax?
Normally, your body will know how much earwax it needs to make. Keep a healthy diet, practice proper hygiene, and move your jaw around (the same way you do when talking and chewing food). Doing this will let your ears naturally remove excess cerumen, debris, or dirt. If you routinely remove earwax, this alerts your body to generate more. Excess earwax can prevent the ability to hear, which will put you at a higher risk of ear infections and other ear or hearing health problems.
Too much stress and over-exercising can increase the amount of earwax that is produced. The same apocrine glands which create sweat, also produce earwax. Excess earwax is typically found in individuals who:
Tips to safely clean out your ears:
Although there are benefits to having earwax, too much wax obstruction can induce conductive hearing loss (when sound waves cannot travel through the inner ear, because of the earwax obstruction). If your ears feel stuffy and believe that earwax may be the cause:
If you are unable to hear out of your hearing aids and notice that there is too much earwax that is clogging up your devices, contact us at Pure Sound for deep cleaning. We will be happy to help.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. Get in touch with us if you need to schedule a hearing test, or if you are having any problems with your hearing aids. If you need any supplies for your hearing aids, please contact us before your office visit.
Hearing aids can only be recommended for someone hard of hearing when they seek help. As frequently mentioned in this blog, the average person with a hearing loss usually waits after 10 years of hearing decline to actually get help. The decline is usually not noticeable at first, and then most people think it’s not a big deal. If you find it difficult to follow along during conversations, frequently raise the volume on some of your devices or TV, or ask others to repeat themselves, you might need hearing aids.
Hearing Instrument Specialists and Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist recommends and helps you choose hearing aids. If you are new to hearing aids, you will probably have a lot of questions, especially before your first appointment. Hearing instrument specialists can give you a lot of information and advice on hearing aids and hearing loss.
Before determining which hearing aids are best for you, get a hearing test. At Pure Sound Hearing, our hearing instrument specialists will conduct a pure-tone audiometry test. The test incorporates playing a series of tones with an audiometer. The hearing tone test measures which frequencies of tones you can hear.
The outcome of your hearing test will provide an accurate depiction of the severity of your hearing loss. You may discover that you can hear better in one ear than the other, or there are certain frequencies that you can or cannot hear. The results of the test will help you and your hearing instrument specialist determine which hearing aids would work best for you.
Hearing Aid Fitting and Adaptation
After choosing the hearing aids that feel most comfortable to you, a hearing instrument can properly fit the devices in your ears. After the fitting, there is an adjustment period which is when your brain, which has not clearly heard sounds in years, can get used to hearing those sounds again. Good maintenance and care are necessary for your hearing aids to perform at their best. You need to clean the devices regularly, and the batteries will eventually need to be replaced. It is recommended that you get a professional cleaning done at least every 6-months.
Everyone adapts to hearing aids at a different pace. Some people get used to wearing them within a few days, while others can take months. Your hearing instrument specialist will give you a better idea of what to expect.
Protect Your Hearing Health
In addition to guiding selecting hearing aids, fitting and programming the devices, and proper maintenance, a hearing instrument specialist can also give you tips on protecting your hearing health. Don’t hesitate to contact them for help.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before stopping in at one of our office locations.
Our country has a rich history, and some of this history includes hearing-related facts. Here’s a list of hearing facts about each state.
American author, lecturer, and political activist, Helen Keller, was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was the first deaf-blind person who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. One of her very first words was water. It was spelled by Keller’s instructor, Anne Sullivan, with a finger. Sullivan spelled “water” while Keller’s hand was placed below a flowing faucet of water to help her associate the word with the object.
Alaska has a program for deaf navigators. It has several resources and services for Alaskans who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing to advance long-term employment and housing opportunities within the state.
Arizona-born professional swimmer, Marcus Titus, experiences hearing loss. He placed eighth in the Olympic trials and broke many world records as a deaf person.
Bill Clinton, our 42nd President of the U.S., was born in Hope, Arkansas. He was diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss in 1997 after attending political rallies, listening to loud rock music, and blasts from hunting rifles. This is a good lesson and reminder to wear earplugs or earmuffs when you engage in loud activities.
Actor and native of Santa Monica, Robert Redford, has permanent hearing loss due to an ear infection. Redford has been open about his hearing loss experience.
The quietest town in the U.S. is reportedly Crestone, Colorado. They have a population of 150. It would make a nice and quiet vacation spot.
The American School for the Deaf was the very first school for the Deaf. It was established in 1817. It was founded by Dr. Mason Cogswell, Laurent Clerc, and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Clerc and Gallaudet later organized Gallaudet University in 1864. Their work influenced changes, improvements, and advancements in education for students with hearing loss.
Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, passed two laws in regards to hearing aid screenings for infants in 2012. The laws are meant to educate families about hearing loss. Families can learn if their child has a hearing loss shortly after they are born.
The soda brand, 7UP, and Martin Garrix, a Dutch DJ, teamed up in Miami, Florida to host a concert for individuals with hearing loss. During the performance, motion and vibrations were utilized to create a sensory experience for audience members who can’t clearly hear the music.
Heather Whitestone, was the first Deaf Miss America. She currently lives in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. She received her first hearing device, a cochlear implant, at age 29 after she lost her sense of hearing when she was 18-months old. She is now a writer and public speaker.
Hawaii was the leading state in hearing healthcare benefits in 2012, which included coverage for hearing aids. The state will also cover your hearing aids and their replacements every 60 months.
The only organization in the state of Idaho that helps those with hearing loss and protects their civil rights is Idaho’s Association for the Deaf. They also host the Miss Deaf Idaho and Miss Deaf Idaho Teen pageants each year.
Ronald Reagan, who was born in Tampico, Illinois, was the first U.S. president to wear hearing aids. He even got a public fitting to reduce the stigma of wearing hearing aids.
Tamika Catchings, a retired professional basketball player who played for Indiana Fever, was born with hearing loss. She is best known for the first-ever quintuple-double, was voted as the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time, and has the most All-Star appearances.
In 1881, Iowa’s Association of the Deaf was founded. This was just one year after the National Association of the Deaf was established.
A gene therapy method to restore hearing by regrowing hair cells located in the inner ear has begun at Kansas State University. This would help the millions of people who have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
In 1823, the Kentucky School for the Deaf became the first state-supported school for deaf students in the U.S. During the first few years, the administrators at the school believed they might be able to educate all deaf people in the southern and western regions of the U.S. Shortly after they were established, new schools for the deaf were created to accommodate the vast number of deaf students.
Louisiana works to make sure the deaf and hearing-impaired members of their communities are granted access to everything they need. There are accessibility services like hearing aids, interpreters, education, and more which are provided by the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf.
The Deaf Film Festival is the only annual festival in the world that features new films and contemporary videos. They were created by and for deaf communities.
This is the state where most stenographers also produce Real-Time captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). CART is a speech-to-text interpreting service for the deaf or hard of hearing.
Caption Center, the first caption agency in the U.S., was established in 1972 at the Boston public television station WGBH. They captioned the first broadcast of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Captions are currently used across the globe, thanks to Julia Child.
A non-profit organization in Detroit known as D-PAN develops good quality American Sign Language (ASL) music videos and translates lyrics via ASL. D-PAN has translated John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change, Fort Minor’s Where’d You Go?, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful.
How does the state of Minnesota currently help millions of people around the world hear better? The world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, Starkey and ReSound, each have a headquarter in this state. Starkey, established in 1967, is located in Eden Prairie. ReSound, established in 1943, is located in Bloomington.
The most common type of chronic illness in Mississippi is heart disease. Heart disease can lead to hearing loss. Experiencing poor cardiovascular health may contribute to low blood flow in the cochlea. This can lead to problems with hearing. Take care of your overall health, Mississippians, so that you can lower your risks of hearing loss.
The De’VIA art movement was organized by Kansas City, MS native Chuck Baird. This is an aesthetic of d/Deaf Culture. Baird was a student at the Kansas City School for the Deaf.
Montana is known for having the lowest number of audiologists for every 100,000 residents. They are tied with California.
Nebraska has the second-highest number of audiologists for every 100,000 residents. (Colorado is #1)
In 2016, Las Vegas, NV hosted Miss and Mister Deaf International. This is a non-profit organization that helps to “empower, enhance, and support today’s continually growing community of Deaf” people.
29. New Hampshire
New Hampshire native, Laura Bridgman, was the first deaf-blind American child who received a serious education. This was 50 years before Helen Keller. She went to school at the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
30. New Jersey
Out of all 50 states, New Jersey has the lowest d/Deaf/hearing population. It is also home to Joshua McGriff, basketball star and deaf Olympian.
31. New Mexico
The United States Deaf Federation (USDF) is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They manage the U.S. in the global Deaflympics, which the U.S. has participated in for more than 70 years.
32. New York
Rochester, New York is where one of the largest deaf communities in America is located. This is where the National Institute for the Deaf, along with the Rochester School for the Deaf attract students to Rochester. This city hosts the Deaf Festival, the only Deaf Rotary Club, and other organizations that are dedicated to helping those with hearing loss.
33. North Carolina
American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, poet, and Jacksonville, North Carolina native, Ryan Adams, is known for his solo career. He released fifteen albums and was a band member of Whiskeytown - an alternative country band. In 2009, Adams was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, which led to his hearing loss. The disease did not stop him from continuing to travel around the globe and play music.
34. North Dakota
Deaf American actress, and North Dakota native, Phyllis Frelich, was awarded Best Actress of 1980 for her Broadway performance in “Children of a Lesser God.” It was also named Best Play of 1980. Fact: Frelich’s parents and nine siblings are also deaf.
In 1880, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in Cincinnati, OH. This is a non-profit organization for Deaf rights that currently has a headquarter in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is the country’s top civil rights organization for the deaf.
Oklahoma City is where the most recent chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates is held. Claudia Gordon, the first black deaf female attorney to work in the White House, was the Vice President of the National Black Deaf Advocates. This organization was established in 1982 and works to represent the black deaf community in this country.
Aurora, Oregon is where William Fouts House, inventor of the cochlear implant, passed away in 2012. The implant was never patented by House because he did not want to restrict others who were researching the device.
Elena LaQuatra was crowned as Miss Pennsylvania USA in 2016. She is a news reporter, model, and advocate for those with hearing loss. She lost her hearing at age four from bacterial meningitis.
39. Rhode Island
One of the first five-day Pre-Kindergarten - 12 grade is the Rhode Island School for the Deaf (SDSD) that was founded in the U.S. It was also the last deaf school that was founded in the 1800s.
40. South Carolina
Roger Demosthenes O’Kelly was born the same year as Helen Keller (1880). In 1912, he was the second person who received a law degree from Yale University. O’Kelly, like Keller, was also deaf and blind. He spent the rest of his life in South Carolina and passed away there at the age of 82.
41. South Dakota
In 1880, the South Dakota School for the Deaf (SDSD) was established. Their purpose was to educate children who had hearing loss. While providing great education and hearing healthcare services, SDSD is a useful resource that helps families of the deaf and hard of hearing.
Songs for Sound is a charity in Nashville that helps those with hearing loss find the healthcare that they need. They raise awareness on hearing health, aid in providing free hearing tests and services, encourage people to get help for their hearing loss, and advocate for healthy hearing.
In 1994, the first audiology program began at Baylor University in Waco, TX.
In 1910, Nathaniel Baldwin developed the first pair of audio headphones and sold them to the US Navy, after creating the headphones from his kitchen in Utah.
Vermont native, James Denison, was the only deaf delegate (out of 164 hearing delegates) who attended an oral deaf education conference in Milan in 1880. The National Association for the Deaf was founded in the U.S. after Denison attended the conference.
CenturyLink Field, where the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks play, has been reported as the loudest football stadium in the world. The stadium’s architect, Paul Greisemer, stated that the stadium is so loud because of the roof, the closed space, and the materials that were used to build it. If you go to this stadium or any stadium, it’s important to wear earplugs to protect your hearing.
47. Washington D.C.
Abraham Lincoln helped to establish Gallaudet University - a school for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing, making it an official collegiate institution. Today, all current U.S. presidents personally sign each diploma for the graduates.
48. West Virginia
West Virginia has the highest percentage of the deaf/hearing-impaired population in the U.S.
William Hoy, who was the first Deaf major league baseball player, began his career in baseball in Oshkosh. He is known for hitting the second grand slam in history in 1901 and initiated the use of baseball hand signals that are still used to this day.
American inventor, Thomas Edison, lost his hearing at a young age after catching scarlet fever. While in Wyoming, he and a team of scientists, identified the filament that made a lightbulb last for more than 1,200 hours by studying threads from a bamboo fishing pole as they fished on Battle Lake.
If you, or a loved one, live in Lancaster, PA, and need a hearing test and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, and Strasburg.
"Sean was attentive to my needs for fitting the hearing aids. The hearing test was very complete. Very pleased with the hearing aids so far." -Randy S. Lancaster, PA
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A recent report from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) showed that based on the 15% of Americans who have reported some range of hearing loss, approximately 60 percent spend most of their time in the workplace or an academic setting.
Some extra effort is necessary when it comes to hearing loss, but this factor should not interfere with how productive you are or add stress to your experience. The majority of your problems are rooted in misunderstandings, so it is important to have effective communication. Be firm when asking others to accommodate your needs, whether you need to ask someone to speak more clearly, or you need someone to look at you while they talk. These small changes can help make your workplace or classroom run with ease.
If you experience hearing loss, let your coworkers and boss know the most efficient ways to communicate with you. There will most likely be a learning curve, so be patient.
Hearing Loss: Employment
American employers are legally required to implement a workplace with equal opportunities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This includes workers who have hearing loss. Some adjustments can include providing assistive listening devices or using other accommodations to help ease communication.
The HLAA compiled resources for workers who have hearing loss. There is also a comprehensive employment toolkit that includes nearly every dilemma an employee with a hearing impairment may experience.
Federal Resources on Workers with Hearing Loss
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has a guide on deafness and hearing loss in the workplace, in addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Using Hearing Aids on the Job
Hearing aids are very beneficial for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. New users should be aware that it takes time to adapt to hearing aids, particularly when you are moving from one environment to another. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist for advice. Your hearing aids can be programmed for different environments, including your daily working conditions and for listening to others through a facemask.
Which Assistive Listening Devices Should I Use at Work?
If you work in an office, you might need more help than what your hearing aids are capable of providing. In this case, use an assistive listening device.
How to Communicate in the Workplace
Effective methods of communication are different for everyone. Generally, people with hearing loss communicate best in person rather than over the phone. The current social distancing rules complicate things, so someone with hearing loss will need to use a series of context clues such as lip reading, facial expressions, and body language to piece the conversation together. An email, chat window, or text, might be more helpful than a phone call or Zoom call unless there are captions available.
If it is necessary to visit in-person, ask others to walk in front of you if you are not responding to their attempts to draw your attention. It’s much less startling to see someone walk towards you than it is to have someone tap you on the shoulder. During meetings, ask others not to speak while facing away from you - for instance, if they speak while writing something on a dry-erase board. Their voice becomes projected at the wall, making it difficult to understand no matter how good your hearing may be.
An office that has an open-layout of cubicles is not the best for those with hearing loss. The bustling workers can be distracting. Having overlapping phone conversations at the same time as your coworker is challenging, even with normal hearing. Ask to work in a private room with a door, if one is available. Noise can be closed off and you can concentrate on your work.
Helping a Coworker who Experiences Hearing Loss
Coworkers of the deaf or hard-of-hearing can help make a positive workplace environment by doing the following:
Noise-induced Hearing Loss in the Workplace
Work environments are the most common places where a person is exposed to harmful levels of noise. This raises the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Your employer should provide hearing protection if the noise reaches dangerous levels.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and name brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
A survey that was conducted by Consumer Reports found that about 42% of people who reported not to have difficulty with hearing actually experience mild hearing loss after getting tested.
In most cases, a person with hearing loss is the last person to acknowledge it. Their family, friends or colleagues will notice things like a very loud TV or computer, or the person with hearing loss will frequently ask others to repeat themselves.
In the study, people who were 60 or older, about half who had mild hearing loss did not realize that they experienced any hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) occurs gradually and over time. Most people with this type of hearing loss won’t realize that they have been experiencing it until years later, when the loss becomes more obvious to you and others.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the onset of mild hearing loss is serious. The chances of dementia are doubled.
It’s important to be more conscious about what you can and cannot hear on a regular basis. Get your hearing tested and take recommendations seriously. Hearing loss is permanent, but you can save the hearing abilities that you still have by using hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, notice changes in your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, and Strasburg.
After receiving your new hearing aids and wearing them, there is an adjustment period - especially for new hearing aid users. The first days of wearing your new devices are important for your journey towards better hearing. This is usually when you determine whether you want to continue wearing the devices. Here are 13 tips on how to smoothly transition into a daily hearing aid user.
1. In the beginning, they will feel strange. Do not feel discouraged.
In the same way that your feet need to break in a new pair of shoes or your nose needs to get accustomed to the feeling of eyeglasses resting on it, your ears need time to get used to hearing aids. If you wear eyeglasses, here is some advice on which style of hearing aids you should wear.
2. In the beginning, only wear the hearing aids for a few hours each day.
Based on your comfort level, you may wear your new hearing aids in familiar environments and situations during the initial wearing period. Hearing instrument specialists would recommend that you try wearing them from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. You will eventually become less and less aware that you are even wearing hearing aids. When your brain can recognize and filter out more sounds, in addition to determining whether a noise is bothering you, this can help your hearing instrument specialist adjust the devices to your specific needs at your follow-up appointment. Wearing your hearing aids more often, even when there is very little noise occurring, allows you to detect the sounds and filter out noise. As a result, your brain will acclimate at a faster rate.
3. Start listening in a quiet room.
During your first day, find a quiet room to sit in. Simply listen to faint sounds and your brain will eventually get used to them, such as the sound of your refrigerator humming or a tea kettle whistling. Initially, everything might seem too loud. That’s only because your brain probably hasn’t heard these noises in a long time, so it’s getting used to hearing these sounds again. You can keep a journal to make note of what’s bothering you, and bring them up during your follow-up appointment if they are still bothersome. Your hearing instrument specialist will make the necessary adjustments.
4. Do not adjust the volume too often.
Most modern hearing aids will automatically adjust to your environment, so you probably won’t need to make manual adjustments too often. If you raise the volume levels, do not make them too loud. It’s not advised that you make your hearing aids do what fully-functioning ears cannot do, for example, hear faint sounds from afar. This is not how hearing aids work, and you’ll actually cause more damage to your hearing. Most people with hearing loss want to hear clearer, not louder.
5. Practice talking with a group of people.
You will want to start having conversations with close friends and family. Their voices will be easier to identify. Due to current circumstances, it is advised to set up a Zoom chat or FaceTime with one another. Active listening is a key factor in hearing. A speaker’s face must be easy to see, so ask others to look directly at you and make sure the area that you are talking to them in isn’t dark, but brightly lit. This will help you see their facial expressions, read lips, and notice their body language.
6. Ask friends and family to turn the TV to a “normal” volume setting.
Your new hearing aids should help you hear better, therefore, you can lower the volume levels to how people with normal hearing would set it. Ask your friends or family members to set the TV to an appropriate volume level, and try to keep it at that level.
7. Read the captions or subtitles to movies or shows.
Listening to words while reading them, is a good method to retrain your brain to associate the sound with language. You can do this by switching on the captions while watching a movie or show.
8. Listen to an audiobook and read along with a physical or digital copy.
This is similar to the previous tip. Listen to the audio version of a book, while the physical copy or digital copy on your tablet. You may also ask someone to read to you out loud while following along.
9. Read aloud to yourself.
Initially, your own voice will sound different when wearing hearing aids, but eventually, you’ll get used to it. Reading out loud will help you quickly become accustomed to your own voice, and retrain yourself on how to speak at a normal volume.
10. Close your eyes and engage in some listening exercises.
Try to identify the direction that the sounds are emanating from, without looking around for the sound’s source. You may also try to listen to determine the difference between sounds and speech patterns.
11. If your hearing aid features telecoils or t-coils, use looping systems.
Many public spaces have looping systems set up that transmit wireless signals, which are then received in the telecoil feature of a hearing aid. Not all hearing aids have t-coils. Some phones also feature looping systems. Ask your hearing instrument specialist whether your hearing aids have the telecoil. If they do, request that they are activated when fitting and programming your device.
12. Make talking on the phone easier by placing the receiver over your hearing aid’s microphone.
If you still prefer to use a phone to talk to someone, it’s recommended that you slightly tilt the phone forward so that the receiver is hovering over your microphone. This will help you hear better. For behind-the-ear models, the microphone is typically located on the hearing aid part that rests behind the ear. Angling the phone will help reduce the amount of feedback when holding the phone to your ear/microphone. Or, you can make things much easier by using Bluetooth® to stream your phone calls directly into your hearing aids. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about this.
13. Steadily begin to wear your hearing aids all day.
After two weeks, your hearing aids should be worn from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. If you go swimming or take a shower, remove the hearing aids. If your hearing aids become submerged in water for any amount of time, contact your hearing instrument specialist. If you own a hearing aid dryer, put your hearing aid in it. You may also use some uncooked rice to soak up the moisture and dry it out.
Your brain must adjust to sounds so that they will become effective in your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing aids can change your health and your life for the better. If you or a loved one would like a free trial for hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing aids are a marvelous wonder for anyone who wears them. If they are well cared for, these devices should last for a very long time. They are delicate and need to be regularly monitored to detect any problems with them. In some cases, you can handle these repairs on your own, but there may be a more complicated issue that your hearing instrument specialist can fix for you.
Difficulties with volume levels
If noises sound muffled, no matter how loud the volume is, that could indicate that there is a problem with the hearing aid’s tubing. The tubing can become clogged with earwax or moisture, which can alter the sounds you hear. Some people can replace the tubing on their own, but you can also stop in at your hearing instrument specialist’s office to get it repaired.
You hear whistling noises through the hearing aid
This could be caused by the earpiece, or the hearing aid’s dome, which is placed inside your ear canal, is not correctly placed on. You can check if this is the problem by removing the dome, then carefully placing it back on. There could be too much earwax obstructing the dome, so you can use a loop brush cleaning tool to clear out any excess wax. You can also use an earwax softener to remove excess earwax in your ear canals. DO NOT use cotton swabs or Q-Tips. These will push earwax deeper into your ears.
Your hearing aid might be “dead”
If your hearing aid stops working, you could have low batteries or a low charge, if you have rechargeable hearing aids. Simply change out the old batteries and replace them with a fresh pair of batteries. If that still doesn’t resolve the issue, make sure there isn’t any earwax that’s obstructing the tubing. The tubing may need to be replaced. If none of these solutions help, go to your hearing instrument specialist so that they can fix it.
Your ability to hear is intermittent
Intermittent hearing aid performance can be traced back to the battery. Change your battery again and notice whether that was the issue. If that doesn’t work, contact our office and let us know.
You notice a decline in your hearing
If your hearing appears to be getting worse, even if your hearing aids are working perfectly fine, your hearing aid might need to be reprogrammed or replaced with a new model. Contact us and discuss this with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
If you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned problems with your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer hearing aids, hearing tests, retests, hearing aid repairs, and hearing aid supplies.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Our digital media assistant, Vi, is working on some blog research. Learn more about protecting your hearing aids in cold winter weather.
If you are experiencing problems with your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We are offering curbside services at our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, and Strasburg.
Hopefully you have been diligently reading our blog posts, because here’s a pop quiz on hearing loss!
True or False? I can purchase hearing aids the same way that I purchase reading glasses from a drug store.
This is false. A hearing healthcare professional must run a hearing test on you and prescribe individual treatment that addresses your specific hearing needs. For example, if you have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing aids could be a great option for you. In addition to the range or type of hearing loss that you have, your hearing health care provider will discuss your lifestyle and other preferences in order to program the devices to fit with your needs.
If you experience conductive hearing loss, amplification may not be necessary. Your hearing could be restored by removing ear wax that is obstructing you ear canals, or there could be a benign tumor that needs to be surgically removed. Hearing loss could also indicate an underlying health problem, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
In order to find out why you cannot hear, you need a hearing healthcare professional to test your hearing.
True or False? Hearing aids will make me hear like I did before experiencing hearing loss.
The answer is false. Even though there have been many advancements in hearing aids, especially in the last few years, the devices will not be able to restore your hearing back to normal. It will only preserve the natural hearing abilities that you still have left. Also, if you wait too long - as many people tend to do - your brain needs to relearn how to decipher sounds that you haven’t heard in many years. It’s similar to rehabilitation for a joint replacement or another type of physical injury.
True or False? Your brain helps with the function of hearing.
This is true. Scientific researchers have spent decades studying the correlation between our ears and our brains. Modern hearing aids help our brain determine which sounds we should concentrate on - like a conversation that you are having with someone at a busy restaurant - and which sounds can be ignored.
Your outer ears harness sounds and transfer them into the inner ear, where your tiny sensory hair cells turn them into electrical signals. It’s then transferred through the auditory nerve for the brain to interpret and recognize as sound.
When sensory hair cells become damaged or die off, they can no longer accurately process noise that they receive. The result is sensorineural hearing loss, which can normally be treated with hearing aids. According to Johns Hopkins and the National Institute of Aging, elderly adults who have untreated hearing loss lost an average of a cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year compared to individuals who had healthy hearing abilities.
True or False? Your hearing health can be negatively impacted by the foods that you consume.
The answer is true. In order for your entire body to perform at its best, it requires eating a healthy and balanced diet. Obesity and excessive drinking can contribute to poor hearing. Your auditory system, along with the rest of your body, needs proper blood circulation with the help of a good diet and exercise.
True or False? Hearing aids were not useful for other people that I know, so they probably won’t work for me.
This answer is false. The experience of hearing loss is different for everyone. Your hearing healthcare provider will need to determine whether hearing aids will benefit you. Your range of hearing loss, personal lifestyle and hearing aid style preferences will be factored in to help decide which hearing aid model you will purchase.
After an initial hearing aid fitting and programming, your hearing instrument specialist may need to do additional adjustments and other maintenance to your hearing aids during future appointments. This will ensure that your hearing will improve based on your lifestyle and the environments that you frequently visit.
True or false? The main disability among those in the military service and veterans is tinnitus.
This answer is true. A study from the American Tinnitus Association revealed that over 50 million Americans have some form of tinnitus. Over 12 million Americans, mostly veterans, suffer from tinnitus that is so severe, it can disturb their personal and professional lives. The military reported that tinnitus has been listed as the largest category for disability claims. Hearing loss is the second.
According to hearing healthcare professionals, the majority of tinnitus cases are caused by noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). They account for 90 percent of all tinnitus cases. Any jobs that require workers to be in a noisy environment are at risk of extensive exposure to loud noises - like operating heavy machinery or loud explosions in a veteran’s case. This can cause NIHL.
True or false? Musicians have a higher risk of developing hearing loss.
This is true. Studies have shown that musicians are nearly four times more likely to endure noise-induced deafness, and 57 percent more likely to experience tinnitus. Some well-known musicians who now have hearing loss due to dangerous levels of noise exposure are, Phil Collins, Ozzy Osbourne and Pete Townshend.
True or False? Hearing loss that goes untreated can impact your salary.
The answer is true. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against someone who has a hearing disability, but research has shown that if you have untreated hearing loss you could lose $30,000 each year. This is due to the inability to accurately or efficiently accomplish tasks because of your hearing loss. Fortunately, the study showed that individuals who get proper treatment for their mild hearing loss by using hearing aids, reduce that risk by 90 to 100 percent.
True or False? My hearing loss only affects me.
The answer is false. Anyone who you communicate with will also be affected, and maybe even frustrated. As mentioned before in this blog, untreated hearing loss can result in anxiety, depression and social isolation. This is due to the person’s struggle to communicate with the people in their life.
The best solution is to get your hearing loss treated as soon as possible. Close to 70 percent of people who got treatment for their hearing loss with hearing aids, indicated that their social life had significantly improved.
True or False? The most effective way to prevent hearing loss is by using ear protection.
This answer is true. NIHL and aging are the top reasons for developing sensorineural hearing loss. If you frequently work in a noisy environment, request hearing protection from your employer. If you have a noisy hobby (woodworking or playing a musical instrument),or attend something like a concert or fireworks display, wear proper hearing protection. It may be wise to invest on a good pair of headphones that block out noise or ear plugs. You won’t be able to stop aging, but you can reduce the risks of NIHL by taking preventative measures.
True or False? The average child will experience their first ear infection by the time they reach the age of three.
This is true. A child’s ears are more likely to get ear infections (otitis media). This is due to how their Eustachian tube is positioned throughout their childhood. Over 75 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media before they turn three years old.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait any longer to get help. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for people of all ages.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are in need of a hearing aid repair, call us prior to an office visit. We ask that you please place your hearing aids in a clean ziplock bag and wait in your car for our curbside services. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Based on data collected from academic studies, laboratory settings, parents, teachers, and children who experience unilateral hearing loss (UHL), it has become clear that this type of hearing loss raises the risk of children having psychoeducational difficulties and other obstacles that are associated with it.
Studies conducted within the past several decades has led to learning more about the impact that UHL has on children. One of the earliest studies that help foster this research showed that children who experience permanent UHL are much more likely to have academic and behavioral problems than their peers who had healthy hearing abilities. Children with UHL are at a higher risk of having problems with speech and language, cognitive function, and balance than their peers with normal hearing. About 50% of children with UHL have been shown to have academic difficulties that would require tutoring or therapy.
General Information on UHL
There are different degrees of UHL in children. UHL is any amount of hearing loss in the impaired ear with average air-conduction thresholds in the normal hearing ear (≤15 dB of hearing loss). Profound unilateral hearing loss is also known as single-sided deafness (SSD). This term implies that there is profound hearing loss in one ear and/or significantly poor ability in speech perception, which restricts the use of that ear. In this article, the term UHL will be used to represent all degrees of UHL, unless noted otherwise.
Early studies showed that the majority of children who had UHL were identified when they were 4 to 6 years of age, or when they started attending school. In recent years, approximately 97% of infants that were born in the U.S. have been screened for hearing loss shortly after being born. About 1 in 1,000 are diagnosed with UHL. This makes up 43% of children who have UHL and are identified with hearing loss before they reach 6 months of age. When children reach school age, the pervasiveness rises to about 3 to 6 per 100 and 14 per 100 when they are adolescents.
The increase in how common hearing loss is among those between the newborn period and school-age period could be due to progressive or late onset of hearing loss, and the undetected minimal or mild degrees of UHL because newborn screenings are not designed to detect those types of hearing loss.
The cause of UHL is still unknown. Among 31-54% of children with UHL, there are no risk or correlated factors identified.
Studies have indicated that UHL may become progressive and bilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in both ears) could develop in 7-11% of cases. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the hearing health of individuals with UHL.
What are the possible impacts of UHL?
The immediate repercussions of UHL are losing binaural function. This can make it harder to identify speech sounds while there’s background noise and it may also be difficult to determine where sounds are emanating from. The loss of interaural time and level differences can lead to safety concerns for children with UHL who rely on cues to navigate the streets. Also, failing to identify the source of a speaker will most likely delay contact with relevant visual cues that improve perception in speech. The lack of binaural cues, like binaural suppression, can adversely affect the ability to comprehend speech when there is too much background noise. This may interfere with how you socially interact with others and impact language acquisition and learning.
As previously mentioned, in the early 1980s and 1990s, research studies that had been published indicated that approximately 50% of children who had UHL, failed a grade in school or needed resource assistance. This revealed that they were about 10 times more likely than their normal-hearing peers to be unsuccessful in their academics. The more severe a child’s UHL is, the more likely they are to struggle with listening and learning. Several analysts determined that having hearing loss in the right ear is more harmful to a person’s academic achievement than experiencing hearing loss in the left ear. Other studies found that there were no ear-specific differences in language measures.
There has been evidence that indicates that children who experience bilateral hearing loss use up more energy to listen. This leads to concentration and listening fatigue. There is currently limited data based on listening effort and fatigue in children with UHL, but there have been self-reports of fatigue in children who have hearing loss versus children who do not have a hearing impairment. There was not, however, a link between the degree of hearing loss and a rating on fatigue. It is plausible that children with UHL would be prone to listening-fatigue. Children who use and sustain their energy to listen during class may have less energy to think of questions, respond with an answer, take less accurate notes, etc.
Managing Your Child’s Hearing Needs
In addition to many hearing aid device options, there are other ways to manage the hearing needs of a child with UHL. A hearing healthcare professional can provide a practical survey or questionnaire to recognize and determine specific risks that are of concern such as localization, difficulties with listening, and educational achievements. The Vanderbilt Fatigue Scale is a tool that will soon be available for measuring and listening-related fatigue in children.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for people of all ages.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Have you noticed that you’ve been more forgetful lately? Have you missed important meetings or appointments, and needed to reschedule them? Or did you forget about your laundry that was drying out in the sun?
You may not feel as though you are forgetful, but you may be feeling more fatigued. You might blame these experiences of forgetfulness on your memory, but it may actually be your hearing that’s causing the problem.
How can You Enhance Your overall Cognitive Abilities and Memory?
The first step is to get your hearing tested. Avoid those embarrassing moments when you can’t remember someone’s name or miss an important meeting. A standard hearing test will determine whether you have hearing loss and how severe it may be.
You may not immediately recognize any signs of hearing loss, but there still might be some loss in your hearing without symptoms. One of the earliest signs of hearing damage is memory loss. The main cause of memory loss is when your brain is constantly feeling stressed. Here’s what happens:
A human brain holds a finite amount of processing energy. This is the reason why your brain becomes stressed due to the strain. As a result, you may have less mental energy for a healthy memory or cognitive processing.
Dementia Linked to Hearing Loss
Severe memory loss could result in dementia. Those who do not receive treatment for their hearing loss have a greater risk of cognitive decline, starting with moderate hearing loss and worsening to serious cognitive problems.
How can Hearing Aids Stop Fatigue?
It’s very important to get treatment for your hearing loss. In one study, there was an undeniable gain in cognitive function for 97.3% of individuals who had hearing loss and wore hearing aids for at least 18 months.
Remember, when your brain doesn’t need to strain and overwork itself, your long-term cognitive function improves. Memory loss and cognitive function is a complex issue that won’t always improve by simply using hearing aids. It’s good to engage in brain and physical exercises, socialize with people and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Typically Memory Loss
This type of hearing loss usually isn’t permanent, but rather an evidence of exhaustion. It can become permanent if the underlying issues continue to go unaddressed. Memory loss could be an early warning sign. To address these problems, hearing aids may help. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing memory loss that may be linked to hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a vast selection of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
This is a friendly reminder that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
If you don’t take proper care of your hearing aids, frigid winter weather can lead to problems for your devices. Although the hearing aids can be repaired, the device’s overall function requires taking serious preventative measures.
How Hearing Aids are Affected by Cold and Moisture
Extreme climate can negatively impact hearing aids, along with their batteries. It’s not simply the chilly temperatures that cause the damage, rather it’s the condensation that develops as a result of changes in temperatures. This moisture is what damages the electronic components of the hearing aids. Severe temperature shifts can lead to condensation, which could lead to deterioration in the electronic make-up of the hearing aids. Moisture is always present in the colder seasons, due to intense temperature shifts that are prevalent during the winter season.
Take, for example, if you are walking through very cold weather, you’ll probably be wrapped in warm clothes with a hat covering your ears. When you go indoors, it might be significantly warmer because the thermostat is turned up. After removing your coat and other winter clothes, the shift in temperature can create condensation inside your hearing aids. If you were sweating from the warm clothes or from moving around, sweat may have dripped from your head, which can lead to damaged hearing aids and hearing aid batteries.
How do You know if there is Moisture Damage to my Hearing Aids?
Any ounce of moisture can destroy your hearing aids’ microphone and receiver. It can also obstruct the tubing that is connected to the domes or earmold, which can lead to corrosion. Here are some common signs that your hearing aids are damaged from moisture:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
After your hearing aids have been exposed to moisture, check the following:
If none of these appear to be the problem, there may be moisture in the hearing aid. For behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, examine the outside and inside part of the tubing for moisture droplets. For earmold users, an earmold puffer can be purchased and used. This device will blow out moisture.
If you wear in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, it may be a little more difficult to extract moisture. If you don’t already own a hearing aid dryer to store your hearing aids in, getting one would be handy to dry them and prevent damage.
What to Wear with your Hearing Aids in Cold Weather
It’s not easy to stop moisture from getting in your hearing aids, but there are some things that you can do to try and keep your hearing aids dry and fully functioning.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Earmuffs
Earmuffs not only keep your ears warm, but there are special pairs that can protect your hearing from dangerous noise levels. If you already have hearing loss, it’s a good idea to prevent further damage by taking precautions and reducing the amount of time spent in loud areas. Noise-reduction earmuffs are not simply for winter. They will be helpful in any noisy environment, from areas that require you to operate heavy machinery to watching and hearing fireworks.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Sweatbands
If you are active in the wintertime and wear hearing aids, your sweat could be a damaging factor for your hearing devices. You may also encounter heavy snow or freezing rain. Reduce the amount of moisture you expose to your behind-the-ear hearing aids. If they are exposed as a result of sweat or precipitation, invest in sweatbands. These will absorb the sweat from your body instead of allowing the moisture to ruin your hearing devices. They typically repel moisture and block the sound of wind from your hearing aids.
Wise Investments for Your Hearing Aids
Protect Your Ears in the Winter
If your ears hurt when exposed to cold weather, this could be frostbite. Please keep your ears covered in frigid weather to reduce feelings of frostbite.
Too much exposure to extreme elements of cold and wet conditions can cause exostosis. This is also referred to as “surfer’s ear”. It occurs to those who spend a lot of time in or around cold water. Exostosis occurs when exposure to cold leads to abnormal bone growths on the bone that surrounds the ear canal. As a result, there can be an obstruction in the ear canal, which raises the risk of infection caused by trapped fluid. The condition can be corrected through surgery, but it’s still advised to keep your ears warm and dry.
Cold Weather and Tinnitus
Tinnitus can trigger some people’s tinnitus. Research indicates that people search the internet more frequently about tinnitus during the winter. It’s not completely known as to why tinnitus cases rise during the winter season. It may be affected by colds and cases of the flu (which can cause more pressure in the ear), consuming salty foods that cause high blood pressure, as well as higher rates of depression and stress. All of these factors can trigger tinnitus.
Sudden Pressure Change
A shift in barometric pressure can lead to a clogged feeling in your ears during any season. Common respiratory infections that occur during certain periods of the year can leave you feeling lousy. You can learn more about clogged ears from this link.
Why do Ear Infections frequently occur in Winter?
In the winter, parts of your body get colder which leads to poor blood circulation. This includes blood that is circulated to your ears. The winter season also brings a higher risk of bacteria and virus infections. When you combine these factors, you have a high risk of sinus infections and a condition called otitis media - an ear infection.
Otitis media cause painful swelling and inflammation in the middle ear. The swelling and infection can build and add pressure behind your eardrum, which obstructs the fluid that drains from the Eustachian tube. Most ear infections can be treated with antibiotics, but the fluid needs to run clear, or else you can experience temporary hearing loss. The flu and colds should be treated immediately with medication, rest, and consuming fluids.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
COVID-19 has recently been associated with long-term health problems including heart disease, lung disease, and neurological disorders. New research is coming out on whether hearing loss and tinnitus can be a side effect of COVID-19 - it may be a symptom or a complication that emerges days or weeks after becoming infected.
We have been aware of different bacteria and virus infections that may abruptly lead to hearing loss. Previous versions of coronaviruses that caused epidemics, like SARS and MERS, did not appear to be the root of hearing issues.
Hearing Loss: COVID-19
Symptoms of sudden hearing loss had been a rare symptom of coronavirus.
A report from June 2020 indicated several Iranian patients informed healthcare workers about experiencing hearing loss in one ear, along with vertigo. Another report showed an Egyptian man who did not show any other coronavirus symptoms had developed sudden hearing loss, and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
Other than these reports, there has not been any additional research that was published.
Please be aware that sudden hearing loss, whether it’s in one ear or both, is a medical emergency that should be treated immediately. The faster you receive treatment, the more likely you will restore your hearing.
Hearing Loss caused by COVID-19
What has been shown as slightly more common, but still rare, is experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus due to COVID-19. This suggests that hearing loss or tinnitus are not immediate symptoms of the virus, but can develop at a later time.
There was a case in October 2020 based on a 45-year-old man from the U.K. who developed tinnitus and sudden hearing loss in one ear after becoming critically ill with COVID-19. His hearing was partially restored after accepting steroids for the hearing loss.
It cannot be proven that COVID-19 was the direct cause of the man’s hearing loss, but it appears to be very likely that is what happened. It was also reported that he did not receive any ototoxic medications.
Additional research is needed to determine the long-term effects of COVID-19 on hearing health.
Can COVID-19 Weaken Your Hearing?
A study from Israel examined 16 patients, where half had tested positive for COVID-19 and half tested negative. There were no differences seen in the group members’ auditory nerves.
The study is still in progress. There were 16 test subjects enrolled, and all of the patients were asymptomatic. Researchers plan to conduct a larger study, which would include those with more severe complications due to COVID-19.
Side Effects of COVID-19 Medication
Some medications that are used to treat COVID-19 lead to a high risk of side effects including hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo. These medications include chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and quinine.
In Conclusion: Hearing Loss and COVID-19
Additional research is necessary to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 impacts hearing and balance.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Please contact our office before stopping in at one of our locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.