Getting Ready for Your Follow-up Appointments
Between now and your follow-up appointment with your hearing instrument specialist, keep notes or even a journal on your progress or any problems that you had with your hearing aids.
Questions to consider:
Jot down any of your questions or concerns with the devices, and bring these notes to your follow-up appointments so that your hearing instrument specialists can address the issue.
Discussing Your Progress, and any Bumps Along the Way
These are helpful meetings that are meant to let your hearing instrument specialist ask questions about your progress and any problems that you’ve encountered. Of course, if you are noticing issues with your hearing aids before the appointment, contact your hearing aid provider’s office to ask questions and voice concerns. The more detailed your questions are, the better help your hearing instrument specialist can provide.
All of the challenging environments that you frequent give your hearing instrument specialist the information that is needed to make adjustments to the programming/settings. Adjustments can also be made if you find it difficult to communicate with loved ones. Let your hearing instrument specialist know the pros and cons that you experience while wearing them. Did something exceed your expectations? Were there any shortcomings? Give as much detailed feedback as possible, so that you can get the most out of wearing your hearing aids.
Reviewing Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance Practices
You should have been given a lot of information on care and maintenance for your hearing aids. Your follow-up appointment will focus on reviewing these practices and clarifying any uncertainty about them. You’ll probably get a reminder on the function of each program/channel, how to access them, and if applicable, how to use your smartphone app.
Finely Tuning Your Hearing Aids
With the observations, questions, and concerns that you expressed, your hearing instrument specialist will use that information to make readjustments to the hearing aids. They may add other programs, tweak existing programs, or maybe give you different domes or tubing. If some of your concerns suggest that your ears and brain are not smoothly working in conjunction with one another, after too many years of untreated hearing loss, some brain exercises may be suggested to help create a stronger bond between the ear and the brain. A listening app or auditory training can be useful in these cases.
What Happens Next?
If you purchase a pair of hearing aids from Pure Sound, towards the end of your trial period, contact us to schedule your follow-up. Depending on the adjustments that need to be made, you may need to schedule a follow-up sooner. The earlier any problems are addressed, the easier it will be to transition to a full-time hearing aid user.
Get the most out of your hearing aids by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you have a child or grandchild who struggles with focus and completing tasks, you may want to consider getting them tested for both attention-deficit disorder (ADD), and hearing loss. The symptoms of these two conditions are similar, and a child can have both.
Learn more about ADD
You have probably heard of ADD at least once in your life. It’s defined as a set of behaviors, which do not have any known cause and no definitive physical tests. Symptoms of ADD can imitate other health problems like hearing loss.
Children who have ADD may be prone to impulsive behavior, grapple with concentrating during class, substandard skills in organization, may not attempt tasks that demand prolonged periods of mental exertion, and become quickly distracted more than their classmates.
Children with a similar disorder known as attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) - may also appear to be restless, and attempt to take on multiple tasks at the same time.
Adults and children grapple with these skills, but if they have conduct that is worse than their peers, this could mean that they have ADD or ADHD.
Is it Hearing Loss, Is it ADD or ADHD, or Is it a Learning Disorder
There has been a rise in the number of people who were diagnosed with ADHD within the past few decades. This could imply that there are some misdiagnoses or possible overlap with hearing loss that also increases.
About 3 out of 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with measurable hearing loss in one or both ears. Hearing loss, whether mild or severe, can lead to learning difficulties. A child with any range of hearing loss can miss at least 50 percent of conversations and lectures that occur in school.
Here are some examples of how hearing loss may be mistaken for ADHD:
Children who have ADHD typically only have normal language development in speech that is at the same level as their peers. On the other hand, children with untreated hearing loss may lag in these areas.
There’s a chance that a child could have both conditions, but an accurate assessment is needed to avoid unneeded medication and find the best methods to help the child achieve in the classroom.
Getting treatment for hearing loss will significantly make a positive difference in a child’s life, whether or not they have ADHD.
It can be tricky to distinguish the difference between hearing loss and ADHD. Hearing loss can feel like not being able to hear someone in a conversation where entire words or parts of words are spliced out. It can be difficult to sustain your attention when most of the information is unclear. This is why hearing loss can sometimes be mistaken for ADHD.
ADHD Diagnosis can Help
A proper diagnosis for ADHD can help determine the right course of action for a child.
Children who have hearing loss and ADHD, generally get their hearing tested first.
ADHD is diagnosed through behavioral and psychological symptoms while answering a series of questions that can be subjective.
A Delay in Language Acquisition
Some children who have hearing loss may also experience a setback in their development of speech. Unless there is an early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment with hearing aids and speech therapy sessions, there’s a high chance that they will fall behind their peers in this realm.
If your child is struggling in school and you suspect that hearing loss may be the problem, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Maybe you know a thing or two about what it’s like to have hearing loss, but here are 16 facts that you may not know about.
If you or a loved one are noticing hearing loss, get your hearing checked immediately. A hearing test and proper treatment can help save hearing loss or slow it down from getting worse. Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do you have older family members who lost their hearing when they were younger, or have experienced difficulties with their balance or even dizziness? Talk to them and learn more about their health issues, it could be genetic.
Hearing Loss within the Family
Types of hearing loss, like presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), can be affected by genetic factors. Essentially, you can acquire an increased risk of hearing loss as you age.
More research is required, but in a study on 376 Caucasian families, genetic influences are a part of presbycusis. The study also noted that even though men generally have more instances of hearing loss, mainly due to noise exposure in traditionally male-dominated jobs, women’s hearing loss was mainly caused by genetic factors.
It is difficult to sift through other components that may impact these studies - such as people’s behaviors that can lead to hearing loss. Families may share the same occupations and habits, so it’s unknown as to whether it’s their genes or the similar behaviors that are connected to hearing loss. It may be a combination of the two.
Be Curious About Your Family‘s Health History
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stressed the importance of learning about your family’s health history and helping you reduce the risks of developing any potentially avoidable health issues. It is recommended that you create a list of immediate family members, and ask if they have any chronic or severe illnesses and what age they developed them. Share this information with family members and your family doctor. This information can help your doctor determine the proper tests and what age you should start these screenings.
Otosclerosis occurs when there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear and affects the stapes bone. Some symptoms of otosclerosis include a gradual loss of hearing, usually struggling to hear low-pitched sounds. Other symptoms may include dizziness, tinnitus, or problems with balance.
The risks of developing otosclerosis are based on your family’s history with the disease. It is usually a genetic problem that is passed from parent to child. A child who has one parent that was diagnosed with otosclerosis has a 25 percent chance of developing the disease. There’s a 50 percent chance if both parents have the disease. The demographic that is at most risk are middle-aged white women.
Conductive hearing loss can be the result of the disease. Surgery can usually fix this problem. In rare instances, otosclerosis can damage sensory cells and nerve fibers located in the inner ear, which can induce sensorineural hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or difficulty with hearing for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Most would argue that our sense of hearing and our sense of sight are the most important senses. If either of these senses weakens - especially as we age - it needs to be treated immediately.
Anyone who receives eyeglasses, contact lenses, or Lasik surgery usually doesn’t wait until it gets so bad that it becomes irreversible.
The reason behind this is because the impact of vision loss is immediate, and it’s more obvious that it needs to be treated. The inability to drive, read, use a computer, or watch TV is serious, and it’s more evident than hearing loss.
That’s not the case with hearing loss.
3 Reasons why Hearing Loss goes Untreated
1. Hearing loss sometimes happens gradually, so it’s not immediately noticeable unless you get a hearing test. Hearing tests are generally not automatically given to patients unless they voice concerns to their healthcare provider.
2. Another reason may be that most people don’t take it seriously. They may think, “It’s not a big deal.”
3. Not being able to afford hearing aids is a major factor that goes into untreated hearing loss.
6 Myths about Hearing Aids
1. “They make too many squeaking noises.”
A squeaking noise can easily be fixed with help from your hearing instrument specialist. They can make readjustments for a better fitting hearing aid.
2. “There is no treatment for hearing loss.”
Even though hearing loss is irreversible, you can still do something to help slow down the loss and save your brain from cognitive decline. Hearing aids can amplify sounds, and use directional/omnidirectional microphones to hear others in your surroundings. Anyone with mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss can get help with hearing aids. A professionally trained hearing instrument specialist can program your devices to hear sounds that you couldn’t without your hearing aids.
3. “My primary healthcare provider would have informed me that I have hearing loss.”
As previously mentioned, general practitioners are too busy to give patients a hearing test. So unless you mention any problems with your hearing, they won’t test your hearing. In a recent poll, 80 percent of adults over 50 stated that their doctor did not ask them about their hearing in the past two years. One-third of patients have not had their hearing tested for over a decade.
4. “Hearing aids are too complicated.”
The latest hearing aid technology has become more complex with advancements that make using them easier.
Rechargeable hearing aids allow users to place the hearing aids in a charger so that it eliminates the hassle of changing batteries.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and programmed sound processing technology will automatically hone in on speech and block out distracting background noises. Sounds are detected based on the direction from which it emanates, and automatic or manual adjustments can be made so that you can hear your best in any environment.
If you are tech-savvy and prefer playing around with hearing aid features and apps, you have the freedom to do so.
If you are less tech-savvy, and simply need to put them on when you wake up and remove them before going to bed, a hearing instrument specialist can install programs and settings for you. All you need to do is wear them.
5. “Hearing aids will make me stick out and look old.”
Even though people of all ages wear hearing aids, for some, there is still a stigma around wearing hearing aids. In today’s society, that stigma is going away:
6. "Hearing aids are not worth the cost."
Throughout this blog, we’ve discussed the potential strains on a person’s mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life if their hearing loss goes untreated. With time and patience, hearing aid users eventually discover life’s benefits of wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis.
One way to get affordable hearing aids is through Pure Sound Hearing. Contact us to schedule a free hearing test and consultation. Our providers will help you select the right hearing aids for your specific needs.
It’s very difficult to escape from noises that we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Kids and teens have a lower hearing threshold than the average adult, making them more vulnerable to hearing loss.
They are often placed in noisy settings like a loud band room, or they are constantly listening to loud music, media, or video games with their headphones. Toys that make too much noise can also be dangerous.
According to the CDC, about 14.9% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have some range of hearing loss. Parents should be more aware of this. Dangerous noises that we often come across include:
The closer you are to the source of the sound, the louder it will be. Under these conditions, children are at higher risk of hearing loss. Spending one evening to see fireworks up close could instantly lead to hearing loss. Their daily environment at school can be too noisy, from bells ringing to loud chatter in a crowded hallway.
One of the main causes of hearing loss in children is dangerous listening habits. Children and teens generally listen to music, watch videos, or play games with earbuds resting snugly in their ears while the volume is turned up.
For teens who are traveling to and from school, they tend to blast the volume to cut out the background noise. Even though that usually works, the risks of hearing loss become higher.
The maximum volume level on personal listening devices can reach up to 100 decibels (dB). This is the same volume as an extremely loud leaf blower. It’s dangerous for anyone, especially kids to listen to loud music that’s blaring directly into their ears.
Protect Your Child’s Hearing Health
Talk to your children, or grandchildren about noise levels. Make them aware of the damage that can happen to their hearing. Rules need to be set for a safe listening routine. Volume levels should be kept at 60 dB or lower for babies, 82 dB or lower for children, 70-85 dB for teens.
If your children don’t take you seriously, find real accounts of people living with hearing loss and show them how difficult it can sometimes be to navigate through life with it.
If you, your child, or grandchild experience hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It’s important to be aware that hearing loss can occur at any age. Parents, grandparents, and guardians should monitor their child’s listening routines and volume levels on toys and other electronic devices. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss.
What to Look out for in Children's Toys
Toys with sirens and rubber toys that squeak and squeal can produce noises that reach up to 90 decibels (dB). That’s as loud as a gas-powered lawnmower or a subway train. This can harm a child’s hearing, especially if they are exposed to this noise for an extensive amount of time. Workers who are exposed to environments with these similar noise levels should wear earplugs or industrial-grade ear muffs.
Toys that reach up to 90 dB can actually be more dangerous because children have a tendency to hold the toy directly by their ears. As a result, the toy can expose the child to 120 dB of sound. That level of noise is equivalent to the sound of a jet plane lifting up into the air. This frequency of noise can lead to permanent hearing loss.
A child’s risk of hearing loss can increase if they take medication that influences hearing health. Some medications include chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, carboplatin, and certain antibiotics that are placed in their IV.
Toys that Expose Risks
Here’s a list of certain toys that can endanger your child’s hearing:
Being careful about dangerous noise levels in toys should be as important as checking for small parts on a toy that your child or grandchild can swallow.
Listen to a toy before purchasing it. If the sounds are too loud do not purchase them. You can easily download a decibel meter app onto your smartphone and measure the sounds. Safe listening levels for babies are 60 dB or lower, and 82 dB or lower for children.
Test the toys that are already in your home. If necessary, remove batteries or get rid of toys that are too loud.
If you or a family member are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids that can be tailored and programmed for your specific needs.
It should be no surprise that whether you are listening to music or media, a long length of time spent listening plus a high volume level can eventually lead to hearing loss.
This can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time.
Across the globe, children, teens, and young adults spend time listening to music for several hours each day. The volumes often surpass the recommended limits for each person. Awareness of this issue, and actions taken against it, is the best way to practice self-care.
The previous threshold for listening was 85 decibels (dB), but that has currently been lowered to 70 dB by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 50 percent of people between the ages of 12 to 35 are susceptible to hearing loss after long and disproportionate exposure to powerful sounds from music playing through earbuds or headphones.
It’s important to remind readers that serious levels of hearing loss are not signs of normal aging. It’s a result of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
It’s similar to how many falsely believe that large wrinkles and dark spots of skin are signs of normal aging. They are the result of harmful exposure to solar and UV rays.
Important Hearing Statistics
Anyone who frequently uses a personal listening device, along with earbuds or headphones, is damaging their hearing health.
The younger population tends to have listening devices that come with earbuds or headphones. While others can’t hear their chosen media, they are doing serious harm to their hearing.
Many of these young people will begin to notice difficulty with their hearing by the time they reach their mid-40s. They will struggle with hearing just as much as their grandparents, who are at least in their 70s.
Hearing loss not only impacts your ability to hear and communicate but as frequently mentioned in this blog, cognitive decline and risks of dementia become more serious.
In a study from 2011, people with hearing loss had a higher chance of having dementia symptoms if:
Research indicates that anyone who does not receive treatment for their hearing loss promptly is at higher risk of dementia.
There have been studies that showed hearing loss that was treated with hearing aids reduced risks of cognitive decline and dementia.
Even though this information is important, the key to healthy hearing is preventative care. General health habits like diet and exercise help your overall health, which can impact your hearing health.
Follow Healthy Limits to Noise
As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss from noise can occur instantly or gradually over time.
Some people live in bustling cities or work in loud environments, causing recurring exposure to unsafe levels of noise which could impact long-term health.
Here are tips on how to keep your hearing health safe:
Hearing health in children and teens is particularly important. Their bodies are still developing. They need to hear to learn and acquire social skills. Hearing loss impedes that process for social development and education, which can negatively impact work performance and income.
Sound Level Meter App
You may use a free or inexpensive sound level meter app to measure noise levels in any environment and determine whether you should leave the area for a quieter space.
Detect Warning Signs of Hearing Loss
It’s important to know what the warning signs of hearing loss are so that you can immediately seek help. Oftentimes, it’s family members, friends, or co-workers who notice your hearing loss before you do. Here are some common signs:
This rounds up our work of raising awareness for Protect Your Hearing Month.
If you are noticing hearing loss, or if you haven’t had your hearing checked in a long time, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids and some assistive listening devices for a wide range of hearing loss.
As frequently mentioned in this blog, untreated hearing loss can negatively impact your overall health and quality of life. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss diminishes a person’s cognitive abilities, there are more incidences of depression, falls, hospitalizations, and higher risks of dementia due to social isolation.
What these studies fail to mention is how neglecting to seek help for hearing loss can devastate your social life, the ability to enjoy watching TV and movies, and the ability to enjoy listening to music or sounds of nature. It can also make you feel left out. Also, hearing loss that goes untreated could put your personal safety at risk if you are not fully attuned to your environment. You may find performing tasks on the job more challenging or might make mistakes more frequently. This can negatively impact your income.
Most people do not seek help, and instead, ask others to repeat themselves or turn the volume up on their preferred form of entertainment. This may be due to their own denial, lack of healthcare insurance, or the inability to afford to get help/get necessary treatment due to their personal financial situation.
In any case that involves a loved one’s health, support from family, friends, healthcare providers is crucial to their recovery and/or daily life.
What can be done?
Be available for your loved one. Patience and support are very important. You may not be able to know exactly what they are going through, but you can just be available to listen, advocate, and help them out with whatever they need.
Remind Them That You are also Affected by Their Hearing Loss
Give them a gentle reminder that you and others whom they interact with are also affected by their hearing loss. It might be the frustration of having to repeat things over and over again. Or it can be a safety concern that they might miss important warning sounds like sirens, alarms, an approaching vehicle, or news/weather alerts.
Raise Awareness on the Poor Quality of Life that is Associated with Hearing Loss
Mention the negative impacts that were mentioned at the beginning of this blog article. Also, let them know that there are so many positive outcomes to treating hearing loss. Adults who regularly wear hearing aids, every day from the moment they wake up to the moment when they are winding down to go to bed, reported significant improvements in their overall quality of life. Also, receiving early treatment for hearing loss can help prevent or slow down the risks of dementia.
If you are more worried about falling as a side effect of your hearing loss, it’s important to know that wearing hearing aids has been linked to a reduced risk of falls.
Steps to take towards Better Hearing
The longer they wait, the harder it will be to treat. Like with any health problem, untreated hearing loss worsens over time which could mean more costly treatment options or no other treatment options.
Get in touch with one of our hearing aid specialists at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Experts in the field of hearing health, are providing hearing aid
specialists, parents, and teachers advice on the best practices to integrate for children who have unilateral hearing loss (UHL), also known as single-sided deafness (SSD), and hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
There are about 3 in 100 children who have UHL when they reach school age. Studies have shown:
During the second half of this past decade, there have been huge breakthroughs in learning about the challenges and needs of children with UHL. This information has been compiled in the 2019 Consensus practice parameter: audiological assessment and management of unilateral hearing loss in children.
3 Recommendations to assess and treat a student with UHL
1. Effectively communicate with families
As with all care for children, working closely with parents is crucial for practical care. Cooperation with parents can lead to the best combination of:
Parents need a team of advocates to learn about what accommodations they need to make for their children. Here’s a guide to accomplish that. These practices will help families with children who experience UHL throughout their hearing journey and encourage better communication with you and other professionals. This resource may be shared with your child’s caregivers and teachers.
3. Be open to an array of hearing technologies
Studies have indicated that children who have UHL, demonstrate a substantial decrease in speech comprehension in both quiet areas (with a distance of 3 meters or more), and noisy areas (with a distance of 1.5 meters or more) when there is no use of interventional technology. Students with UHL can achieve academically by using technologies like hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation we offer a variety of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
Hearing loss is prevalent among 1 in 5 children, who are under 18 years old. Without treatment, hearing loss can have serious negative impacts on the brain, speech, language acquisition, education, socializing, and overall development.
Onsets of Hearing Loss and Treatment Options
Hearing loss can be present at birth, caused by genetic factors, or noise-induced. A hearing evaluation should be conducted if there is any suspected hearing loss that is based on a possible diagnosis, type of hearing loss, whether it’s unilateral or bilateral, the range of hearing loss, age of onset, and any other possible causes like cranial radiation - this can induce sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Rehabilitating a child’s hearing loss may include wearing hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored devices, or using assistive listening devices.
Since hearing loss has become very common in children, there has been a lot of progress in identifying and treating them. Discovering the loss in the early stages can significantly help with treatment, and guide family members so that they can adequately help the patient and give the patient the best possible outcome.
Here’s a list of articles on the negative impacts of not getting treatment for a child with hearing loss:
Hearing Loss: Struggling Students
Hearing Loss and Your Child’s Academic Performance
Children and Adolescents with Hearing Loss can Experience Friendship and Loneliness
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Recently, the choices for purchasing hearing aids have become more complicated. There are merchants that only sell online, big-box stores, and new or unlikely businesses that tout their own hearing care solutions.
It’s important to know that seeing a professional hearing instrument specialist is still the leading choice in treating your hearing loss.
You have a Distinctive Range of Hearing Loss, so You’ll need a Solution for Your Particular Needs
The complexities of hearing loss require help from a professional who understands how to treat it. Each individual who experiences difficulties with their hearing needs to communicate with their hearing instrument specialist so that they can tailor a solution for them.
Proper fittings, programming, and guidance from an experienced hearing instrument specialist are the best steps toward better hearing.
Modern Hearing Aids: Refined and Effective
If a healthcare professional recommended hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, you are in luck. Today’s hearing aids feature advanced technology that makes listening and engaging in conversations easier.
The difference between an “OK” and an “Amazing” Listening Experience
The only person with the skills and training to fit and program a hearing aid for your individual needs is a qualified hearing instrument specialist. They will ask you about environments where you spend most of your time, what it’s like when you communicate with your loved ones or other people you talk to on a daily basis, the frequencies that you struggle to hear, whether one or both ears are affected, the variations of hearing loss/lack of hearing loss in each ear.
Other topics that you might go over:
Investing in Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are a major investment, so it’s important to be able to get the most out of them. With time and patience, they can change your life for the better. Imagine the improvement in communication, less isolation, better overall health, and well-being. These things are possible - so get your money’s worth.
Receiving these devices from a professional and getting their advice, will help you achieve these goals. Also, if you need help you can always contact your hearing instrument specialist.
Local Hearing Aid Providers
There have been so many changes in hearing aid technology. The one thing that remains consistent is the support and care from local hearing aid providers who are able to deliver the best possible results.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing, and schedule an appointment with one of our local hearing instrument specialists in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We are here to listen and patiently work with you or your loved one.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age in life. Some people are born with hearing loss, some people gradually lose their hearing as they age or due to an illness, and others experience hearing loss caused by overexposure to loud noises.
For any young people who have hearing loss, it can make them feel out of place. Society has ingrained the idea that hearing loss only happens to the elderly, which is not true.
The Hearing Loss Association of America has reported that two to three out of 1,000 infants are born with detectable hearing loss. One in five American teens experiences some range of hearing loss.
Don’t Assume that People are “Too Young” to Have Hearing Loss
In many instances, when others comment on the premature age of a person with hearing loss, the young person with hearing loss tends to feel inadequate. Some people with a hearing loss already experienced “imposter syndrome”, and that feeling increases because they don’t feel like they belong to the hearing community or the deaf community. Saying, “You’re too young for hearing loss” makes that person feel even more “othered”.
The mainstream culture rarely includes people who are hard of hearing. Most of us have learned about Helen Keller, a deafblind activist. We may have seen Marlee Matlin acting in a movie or TV show. Currently, there is an accurate portrayal of the deaf and hard of hearing community in the Netflix series Deaf U.
Due to the lack of representation, deafness and hearing loss are usually associated with the elderly or someone who is profoundly deaf. Most people who are hard of hearing do not fit in any of those categories, so it tends to cause a lot of misunderstandings.
Hard of Hearing People, of All Ages, Should Receive Accessibility
In many cases, the online events that have recently become very popular are usually inaccessible to anyone who has hearing loss.
Accessibility and accommodations should be available, regardless of whether it’s an event primarily for the older generation or a younger generation. Videos with closed captions should always be provided.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
As more people are getting back to traveling by plane, ear pain caused by air pressure may be inevitable for some.
Usually, the pain that you feel in your ears is a minor discomfort. In other cases, it can turn into a serious issue. In rare occurrences, ear pain and pressure can result in hearing loss.
More Ear Pressure
The shifts in air pressure affect the pressure in your ears. Generally, the air pressure in the inner ear and the air pressure outside are nearly identical. When you walk up a large mountain, the slow speed of your ascent gives your body time to distribute the pressure, which equalizes it while walking. The discomfort you feel, due to increased ear pressure only happens during a quick shift in altitude. The pressure inside your inner ear and the pressure coming from outside do not have enough time to equalize. This is known as ear barotrauma.
When the airplane that you aboard take flight, it starts its ascent, and the air pressure in the inner ear quickly passes the pressure outside. The eardrum swells outward, like a loaf of bread that rises as it bakes in an oven.
On the contrary, when the air pressure in the inner ear quickly gets lower than the air pressure outside, the tympanic membrane will get suctioned inward like a vacuum. The Eustachian tube becomes flat and needs your help to bring airflow into the inner ear so that it can function properly. It doesn’t matter if you are rapidly going into a high altitude or low altitude, when the eardrum stretches it can be painful.
When experiencing this, since the eardrum cannot vibrate you will also notice some hearing loss and muffled noises.
3 Ways to Prevent Ear Pain in Flight
When flying on an airplane, you may have felt the shifting altitudes on your ears, i.e. feelings of fullness in the ear and popping. Pressure needs to be equalized by presenting as much air as possible through the Eustachian tube. Here’s how to do that:
1. Swallow or yawn - Doing this will help airflow through the nose to the middle ear, which will equalize the pressure. When you swallow, the clicking or popping noise that you might hear is actually a tiny air bubble that drifted from the back of the nose and into the middle ear through the Eustachian tube. This tube makes sure that there is regular airflow in the middle ear. This air becomes absorbed into the inner ear’s membranes and the cycle repeats. This continuous air flow makes sure that the pressure on each side of the ears remains equal. Swallow or yawn as many times as necessary. When flying on an airplane, make sure the Eustachian tubes are working more than usual and open them up more often in order to adapt to the pressure change.
2. Chew gum or suck on hard candy - Doing this will encourage you to frequently swallow, which helps to equalize air pressure.
3. The Valsalva Maneuver - To do this maneuver, inhale air and hold your breath. Then close your mouth and pinch your nose shut. Gently release the air out until your ears pop. This will open up the Eustachian tubes. This maneuver is not meant to be used if you have allergies or a cold, because it may lead to a severe ear infection. You should use the Toynbee maneuver. This is when you close your mouth and nose while swallowing several times until you reach equalized pressure. Repeat either technique as necessary.
6 Additional Tips
Airplanes and Ear Pain in Children
The Eustachian tubes in children are significantly smaller and narrower than in an adult. This is why a change in air pressure is much more painful for them. Sucking on a bottle or pacifier is helpful in order to increase the number of times the child swallows, especially when the plane is about to descend.
Older kids can suck on a lollipop, drink through a straw or blow bubbles through a straw in order to relieve pain in the ears. Before the plane ride, you may talk to your pediatrician about ear drops for pain relief.
The Risk of a Ruptured Eardrum
If you have allergies, a cold, flu, or any other similar illness, you may want to change travel plans. It would be considerate to the other people on the plane, and your illness may include a blockage of the Eustachian tube, which would prevent pressure equalization. If your eardrum becomes ruptured or if you have a severe infection, either one may lead to hearing loss or permanent damage to your ear.
If you experience hearing loss due to a plane flight, and your hearing has not gone back to normal, within several days after your flight, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.
It’s summertime, which for many means it’s time for a swim! Children who have problems with their ears would normally be recommended with wearing earplugs. Does your child need them? Which ones work the best?
Determining whether Your Child needs Earplugs
The ears are prone to getting water stuck inside the canals, so it’s important to wear earplugs:
Other children may be advised to regularly use earplugs while diving or swimming in untreated water, like lakes, rivers, and oceans. Wearing plugs can help prevent bacteria from going into the ear canals.
Should Earplugs be Worn in Chlorinated Water?
Generally, earplugs are unnecessary for most children when going into treated water, like a public swimming pool. Although, there is one exception. If you have a child, or grandchild, who wears tubes in their ears and prefers swimming in the deep end, they should wear earplugs. When diving and swimming in deeper water, the pressure intensifies in your ears and water could seep into them.
If you, or any children in your family, are on a swim team and often get water stuck in the ears, it’s always a good idea to wear earplugs for preventative measures.
If a child wears ear tubes, earplugs should also be worn whenever the ears become submerged in soapy water during baths. Soap acts as a lubricant, which lessens surface tension and allows water to enter the tubes.
Is it Safe to Swim when You have an Ear Infection?
Swimming underwater can lead to pressure changes that cause pain for any child with an ear infection. If an ear infection with a ruptured eardrum (A.K.A. ruptured acute otitis media) occurs, DO NOT swim or submerge yourself underwater until the infection goes away.
Swim Earplug Styles
You can choose between two styles of earplugs: custom-fit plugs and one-size-fits-all swim plugs. They are both capable of keeping your ears dry, but based on your personal preferences there are advantages and disadvantages. A hearing healthcare provider can help you get the right kind for you and your child.
Customized Earplugs for Swimming
A custom-fit earplug used for swimming would need to be ordered through a hearing instrument specialist. The great things about these customized earplugs are the excellent comfort, quality, and durability compared to cheap drugstore earplugs. You can wash and reuse them, which is more hygienic, cuts down on waste, and saves you money.
These earplugs are a little pricier. They are sometimes easy to misplace and cost more to replace as opposed to a pair from your local drugstore. You may wear a swim ear band to help prevent them from falling out and losing them.
Plugs that are One-Size-Fits All
There is the option of purchasing a one-size-fits-all earplug that can be purchased from any drugstore, online, and even at a local hearing aid business like Pure Sound Hearing. These can be made from foam, silicon, or putty material. It’s convenient to find them and cheaper than a custom swim earplug. If you lose them, it’s easy and less costly to replace. A custom fitting is unnecessary for these plugs, and they are available in bright colors so that they are easy to find in just about any environment. Kids can put them in on their own.
These earplugs are generally not washable, which makes them unhygienic. They tend to get disposed of after one or two uses, due to debris and earwax buildup. If you use swimming earplugs that are made out of putty, there’s a chance that small pieces of putty could get stuck to your ears after removing the earplugs. One-size-fits-all silicone plugs are washable, so you can feel safer about preventing ear infections.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids or other hearing care solutions, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for guidance towards better and safer hearing.
If you are looking for a good entertainment list for the summer, we’ve got you covered!
Here’s a list of uplifting and captivating choices that cover the topics of hearing loss or sound. Read, watch and listen if you need some time to relax.
The Way I Hear It: A Life With Hearing Loss (Book)
In this book, humorist, actress, public speaker, and hearing loss advocate Gael Hannan, shares life lessons and more. She offers advice and encouragement to both individuals with hearing loss and their loved ones.
My Deaf Friend Can Do Anything You Can Do (Book)
Other people’s misconceptions and stereotypes can hinder their ability to truly understand each other. This children’s book can give you and your family a chance to learn about the experiences of those with hearing and appreciate what everyone has to offer.
Sound of Metal (Movie)
This movie tells the story of Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer, who suddenly begins to experience profound hearing loss while on tour. It’s been praised by the deaf and hard of hearing community and has become a strong contender for the 2021 Oscars.
See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary (Movie)
This film follows entertainers with hearing loss, who pursue their dream careers. The award-winning 2009 documentary shows the very real highs and lows of drummer Bob, comic CJ, actor and educator Robert, and singer TL.
Twenty Thousand Hertz (Podcast)
This podcast covers topics on sound. What is it? How does it work? How can beings hear? The host, Dallas Taylor, also discusses topics like synesthesia (Ep. “Synesthesia” from Jan. 13, 2021), and tells the backstory of familiar sounds that you may recognize.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this summer's list of entertainment!
If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulty with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Healthy hearing is important in the development and quality of a child’s life. Without proper treatment, children with hearing loss can fall behind when it comes to establishing their communication, language acquisition, learning abilities, and social skills. Some parents or teachers may mistake a child’s hearing loss for a learning disability or a stubbornness when it comes to learning new things.
Today, more and more hospitals screen newborns for hearing loss. When an infant is born with hearing loss, this is known as congenital hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually genetic.
Temporary Hearing Loss
Some children may experience temporary hearing loss. If this type of hearing loss frequently occurs, it can be harmful to children’s speech and language acquisition as they age. It can also cause deterioration to the eardrum, bones inside your ears, or auditory nervous system which can lead to sensorineural hearing loss, which is a type of permanent hearing loss.
A Parental/Guardian’s Guide to Children’s Hearing Loss
Normally, parents or guardians will not immediately notice hearing loss in their child until other problems arise. If there is no immediate treatment for the child, the condition could get worse and become more difficult to manage. Your child will most likely receive a hearing test in school, and if they do not they should be receiving one at their annual doctor’s visit.
Based on how severe the hearing loss is and what the cause was, hearing aids may be recommended.
What are Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are powerful electronic devices that can help make sounds clearer for people with a wide range of hearing loss. It essentially hones in on the sounds that a person wants to hear, using directional microphones while reducing less important background noises.
If you have a child or grandchild who experiences hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Newborns in Australia who fail their routine hearing screening test, have been asked to enter an experimental trial to determine the most common growing cause of the hearing loss.
The study is being conducted by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the University of Melbourne, and four maternity hospitals. The objective of this research is to explore methods to determine whether hearing loss is found in young infants, who were born with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection at a faster rate.
Congenital CMV may be innocuous but it can also potentially cause hearing loss, along with additional neurodevelopmental disorders like cerebral palsy and vision loss in some infants. Providing a saliva swab testing kit to parents of newborns will help researchers discover the virus in the baby during the first three weeks of being born. Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne would like to screen 200 babies for the trial study, where three or four may have congenital CMV.
If this study is seen as a way to conduct timely diagnostic testing for congenital CMV, the team may use this screening nationwide.
If there’s a child in your family who you think may be experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer hearing aid solutions for people of all ages and ranges of hearing loss.
It’s summertime. For some people, it’s a time for relaxation and vacations. For teens, this is usually when they get a job and save up (or splurge on something fun).
Working with customers at an ice cream shop, taking food orders, or having a cashier job might be tough, especially if you have difficulty with hearing.
If you’re a teenager who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has limited hearing - or the parent of a teenager with hearing loss - who is looking for a job, here are some ideas.
Don’t let your child, or grandchild, feel limited by these jobs. You can also try to look into apprenticeship programs through your child’s high school or job opportunities through a local Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA) chapter.
If your child feels nervous about communicating with others at work, here are some tips.
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 brands including HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
Students may have Poor Academic Performance due to Hearing Loss
Do you have a student who is struggling in class?
Do they interfere during class and have a hard time concentrating?
Hearing loss is usually left out as a culpable reason for these struggles. Hearing loss, no matter how mild, can impact a student’s academic achievements.
Hearing loss is just as common in adults, as it is in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 15% of children who are between the ages of 6-19 experience low or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibels in one or both ears. Research has indicated nearly 35% of adolescents with equal ranges of unilateral hearing loss are at risk of failing a grade level in school.
Your child may have hearing loss, if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:
When it comes to hearing loss, it is important to seek guidance and treatment from a professional.
Students who experience mild to moderate hearing loss, and do not get treatment, will not be able to keep up with their peers by one to four grade levels. Students with more severe hearing loss that goes untreated, usually do not achieve beyond levels of the third grade.
Learning and Hearing Loss
Being able to hear is very important in the developing stages of communication, language, and speech. Hearing problems can slow down a student’s progress while learning, which results in unsatisfactory academic performance.
Subjects that revolve around language might be the most difficult for students who have hearing loss. It can be difficult to follow assignments that require learning a language, especially if you cannot hear high-frequency consonants such as ch, f, k, p, s, sh, t, and th sounds.
Actively participating in conversations is difficult with hearing loss. The inability to properly communicate with others can be discouraging and complicated for a child with hearing loss - and their peers - to understand. This can lead to isolation and depression. Oftentimes, these children cannot catch up to their peers when it comes to socializing in a mature manner, which can make them feel out of place.
Studies indicate early intervention, and treatment for hearing loss can improve a child’s academics and social life. A study from 2015 showed that adolescents who had severe hearing loss generally had lower scores than their peers with normal hearing. Children with hearing loss, who received treatment with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and more involvement from their parents had better results.
If you or a child in your family experience hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can impact anyone, of any age. Here’s a list that we have compiled to highlight hearing loss among children and tips on how to help them.
Hearing Loss and Your Child’s Academic Performance
Hybrid Learning & Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss: Children’s Toys
Does Your Child have Unilateral Hearing Loss?
If you have Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss, why should You Immediately Address It?
Children and Adolescents with Hearing Loss can Experience Friendship and Loneliness
5 Tips to Assist a Child With Hearing Loss
What is Turner Syndrome? How is it related to Hearing Loss?
5 Tips to use when Teaching Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students During COVID-19
Are You a Family who is in Need of Support for a Child’s Hearing Loss Journey?
What can Parents do to Protect Their Children’s Hearing Health When Frequently Using Headphones?
If you have a child, or grandchild, who is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
Continuing Coverage on Hearing Care for All
As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, the 2021 theme for World Hearing Day is Hearing Care for All. The report, which was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), will present a consistent account of hearing loss, ear, and hearing healthcare, based on the best and latest evidence available. It will also outline the changes in epidemiological distribution of hearing loss worldwide, while implementing the finest practices and priorities associated with ear and hearing healthcare. The study allows hearing healthcare providers to organize the connection between addressing hearing loss and taking on Sustainable Development Goals - particularly goals that relate to ending poverty, secure people’s health and well-being, improve educational opportunities, and advocating for employment opportunities.
The information that was published is expected to spark a global partnership and guide Member States on measures for making ear and hearing care available in other countries. This summary can guide public health goals to address hearing healthcare through advocacy, and incorporating ear and hearing care into health plans nationwide.
The report is being developed with experts in the field of ear and hearing care. They will advise the outlined goals and make sure it corresponds with the various cultures and methods to hearing care. The report is anticipated to reach people around the world while concentrating on low and middle-income countries. These areas are where those with hearing loss have the fewest resources and services.
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 aids and services for a wide range of hearing loss.
World Hearing Day 2021 launches The World Report on Hearing. This is a global advocacy group that demands action to address hearing loss and ear diseases.
This year’s theme is:
Hearing care for ALL!
Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate.
Their main message is to target:
Hopefully, this World Hearing Day will encourage and remind everyone to care for their hearing health and the hearing health of their loved ones.
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 brands and styles for people of every age.
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.
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors. It’s important to note that adults are not the only people who are at risk. About 15 percent of adolescents from the ages of six to 19 experience hearing loss in at least one ear. If a child’s hearing loss goes untreated, it can negatively impact their reading abilities, social skills and performance in school. Even mild hearing loss can lead to missing up to 50 percent of class lessons and discussions. Parents need to be aware of hearing loss in their children and how to properly treat it.
Hearing Loss due to Environmental Factors
According to the CDC, 25 percent of hearing loss in children is caused by their environment. The toys that they play with can surpass the 85 dB threshold that is deemed as safe a noise level. Also, children are curious and have a tendency to hold things like speakers up to their ears.
The holidays have passed, and your children or grandchildren now have a surplus of toys to play with. You can find out whether a toy surpasses the 85 dB threshold by using a decibel reading app. Some popular toys and their noise levels have been tested.
Here’s a list of the Top 15 Noisiest Toys:
If any of these toys were given to your children or grandchildren, consider returning and replacing them with a quieter toy.
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.