Exposure to noises can quickly or gradually worsen a person’s hearing health. It only takes a single loud noise, like fireworks going off near your ears, to cause damage to your hearing. If the sound is very loud, your hearing can be lost instantly. Repeated and extensive exposure to loud sounds can lead to severe hearing loss.
Here’s a list of loud noises that you may regularly be exposed to. If you don’t already do so, wear earplugs or ear muffs whenever you are around these noises.
Tools and other Loud Noise Sources
Common Noises and their Decibel Levels
Sound is measured through decibels (dB). They can be measured through a decibel meter app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet.
The average human whisper is just 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a running motorcycle engine can reach up to 95 dB. Any noise reaching at least 70 dB can damage hearing if you are exposed to it for an extensive period. Noise over 120 dB can immediately harm your ears and hearing health.
Examples of Everyday Noises and How Loud They Are
The sounds at these levels usually do not damage hearing.
Softest sounds heard by the human ear: 0 dB
Normal breathing: 10 dB
Ticking watch: 20 dB
Soft whisper: 30 dB
Refrigerator hum: 40 dB
Normal conversational voice, air conditioner: 60 dB
These noises may cause minor irritation.
Washing machine, dishwasher: 70 dB
These noises may cause more irritation.
Heavy city traffic (while in a car): 80-85 dB
This noise may cause a lot of irritation.
Gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers: 80-85 dB
A person’s hearing may become damaged after 2 hours of exposure.
Motorcycles: 95 dB
After 50 minutes of exposure, a person may experience hearing loss.
An oncoming subway train, a car horn that is 16 feet away, or a sporting (football) event in an arena: 100 dB
Hearing loss may occur after at least 15 minutes of exposure.
The maximum volume level for a personal listening device, TV, or loud entertainment venue: 105 - 110 dB
Hearing loss may occur in less than 5 minutes of exposure
Shouting or barking in the ear: 110 dB
Hearing loss may occur within less than 2 minutes of exposure.
Being near sirens: 120 dB
May experience pain and ear injury in addition to hearing loss.
Fireworks: 140 - 150 dB
May experience pain and ear injury in addition to hearing loss.
If you have hearing loss that was caused by dangerous noise levels, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Most people think medical ID bracelets are worn only by patients with health problems involving heart conditions, epilepsy, or other similar illnesses. But people with hearing loss can also benefit from wearing them if they have a medical emergency.
Medical ID Bracelets
These are bracelets inscribed with your name, medical condition, the medications you take, and allergies you have. These are NOT the same as medical alert bracelets - wearable alert devices that notify emergency services during a critical medical situation.
Instead, these medical ID bracelets are discreet and intended to provide crucial information regarding your health if you can’t communicate after an accident or emergency.
Should People with Hearing Loss Wear Medical ID Bracelets?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends patients with hearing loss should don a medical ID bracelet.
If you get into an accident and your hearing aids are damaged, have fallen off, or can’t speak/communicate, the medical ID bracelet would specify vital health information to first responders.
Medical ID bracelets will help guarantee that patients receive proper care promptly. Please remember to keep your medical ID bracelet updated. Make sure your emergency contact and medication list are correct. Some ID bracelets have a QR code for medical providers to access the most recent information about a patient’s medications and allergies.
A medical ID bracelet for patients with hearing loss lets first responders understand that you cannot easily communicate and prevent mistakes caused by miscommunication or a misdiagnosis. According to a study by Johns Hopkins, medical errors is the third most common cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer. Medical staff will also be able to assess whether you can get an MRI, CT scan, and X-rays if you wear hearing aids or cochlear implants.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do You Experience Genetic Hearing Loss?
There are some types of hearing loss that are genetic and result in gene mutations.
A person’s genes can make a person more or less susceptible to hearing loss that is caused by aging, medications, infections, or noise-induced. About 35-55% of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is genetic.
Sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are both genetic.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused by deteriorated inner ear nerves and hair cells. Age, excessive noise exposure, head injury, genes, or an illness can lead to this type of hearing loss. There is no medication or surgery that can correct this loss, but hearing aids can be used as a treatment option.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This is caused by an obstruction in the outer or middle ear. Earwax, fluid, a tumor, or the natural formation of your ear can cause obstruction. The blockage essentially inhibits noise from traveling to the inner ear. Surgery or medication are treatment options for this type of hearing loss.
The Genetic Makeup of Ear Cells Affects the Way We Hear
The human body is composed of chemical units that are found in cells, A.K.A. genes. Inside the cell, genes form chromosomes which is what makes DNA and features our hereditary traits. Some genetic makeup of the ear cells can influence hearing abilities and help our brains interpret sounds.
Sometimes there’s a shift in your genes’ DNA, which can affect how they work. If these mutations happen in a gene that holds crucial information about our sense of hearing, it can lead to hearing loss or even deafness.
Hereditary Conditions that Cause Hearing Loss
Otosclerosis, Usher’s syndrome, and Pendred syndrome are all hereditary conditions that cause hearing loss.
Sensory hair cells that are located in the inner ear are crucial for healthy hearing. If there’s a mutation in these cells, they may not function correctly and lead to hearing loss.
Gene mutations and a deformity in the inner ear can lead to deafness at birth or inevitable deafness.
Congenital hearing loss is a genetic condition in which children are either born with hearing loss or born with genes that will cause them to lose their hearing in the future. Typically genetic conditions are what causes hearing loss in newborns.
Every human gene has two copies that are inherited from the mother and father. The risks of hearing loss can be based on a mutation that is dominant or recessive. A dominant mutation can lead to hearing loss if there is damage to at least one of the inherited copies from the parents. Recessive mutations can lead to hearing loss, but only if there’s damage to both copies. For example, if both parents carry the gene mutation, their child has a high chance of hearing loss.
The Complexities of Finding Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss
It’s not easy to identify the exact cause of genetic hearing loss. Several different genes can produce the same type of hearing loss. Those same genes can be part of different kinds of hearing loss. People with the same gene mutation could still experience different degrees of hearing loss.
If you are experiencing hearing loss due to genetic factors, or for any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
It’s World Hearing Day! What 3 Ideas Should You Take Away from this Year’s Day of Awareness?
Each year on March 3rd, World Hearing Day is recognized to promote hearing loss prevention while seeking early detection and immediate treatment to care for your ear and hearing health. Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) selects a different theme. This year’s theme for 2023 is “Ear and hearing care for all!”
This message will emphasize the significance of incorporating ear and hearing healthcare in patients’ primary care as a fundamental part of universal health coverage.
The Main Ideas
If you need a hearing test and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
The holidays are coming up. Maybe you’ve been thinking about a family member’s hearing health lately. These gift ideas might perk up their ears.
Does someone in your family love listening to music, streaming their favorite podcast, or enjoying an audiobook? Headphones that are correctly used, at a low or comfortable volume, for an allotted amount of time can be a great gift.
While earbuds are small and convenient, sounds can escape from the edges. A person will be prone to turning the volume level up to cover up outside noises. This is bad for your hearing. Earbuds transfer audio waves directly to your ear canal, worsening hearing health.
Headphones seal the ears. That creates fewer competing sounds in your environment, making you less likely to raise the volume level.
Earplugs can be customized for different activities. Whether you want dependable and inexpensive ones, or custom earplugs that are a bit pricier, your family member will appreciate that you kept their health in mind.
High-fidelity earplugs allow users to hear slightly different tones in music while reducing the loud volume. These are perfect for anyone who loves live music.
An Acoustic Guitar Sound Hole Cover
Whether or not your loved one is good at guitar, you may not want to hear yet another rendition of a song they’re playing.
Use a soundhole cover! It’s a disc that rests in the soundhole of most acoustic guitars so the sound becomes dampened. They only cost three to five dollars, so they can shred it while protecting their hearing.
If your loved one has taken a step further from doing air drums to using actual drums, maybe you can get them a drum practice pad. It’s much quieter than a snare drum.
Maybe your loved one’s hearing health has been waning for years, and they haven’t given in to wearing hearing aids yet. Hearing aids can significantly help maintain their hearing health, overall health, and communication with family, friends, and anyone else they interact with.
If anyone in your life, including you, needs hearing aids contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Loss: Are You or a Family Member Headed Back to School? Here are 3 Tips for Better Communication.
School is almost back in session. Here are three tips to help make learning easier if you have hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulty with your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
June 12 is designated as Family Health and Fitness Day. As mentioned in our blog, in addition to making hearing healthcare a priority in your life, your overall health is also as important and can impact your hearing. Keeping yourself physically active and healthy can help reduce the risks of common health problems, and make chronic conditions like hearing loss more manageable. Healthy blood cells help pump your blood throughout the entire body so that it can function properly. This includes your ears.
Fitness and nutrition are challenging to maintain as an individual, and most parents know how difficult it is to deal with picky eaters, each family member’s schedule, and sometimes working overtime. It’s all very exhausting!
Families Should Prioritize Health and Fitness Together
Have a little family meeting and come up with a plan together, commit to that plan together by holding each other accountable, do them together, and support each other along the way.
The more involvement you have in your family’s well-being, the healthier they will be.
8 Tips to Stay Fit with Your Family
What are you waiting for? Get moving!
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you or anyone in your family is experiencing hearing loss and needs a hearing test.
If your child or grandchild has hearing loss, it’s important to know that everyone’s situation will be different. As soon as you find out that the child is experiencing problems with hearing loss, intervene immediately. Observe the issues they are having, follow up with their healthcare provider, and adjust any changes that need to be made. There is a network of support for you and your child/grandchild.
Children’s Hearing Loss Treatments and Interventions
1. Consult with a professional (or a network of people in the field) who can facilitate better communication between the child and their family.
2. Get hearing devices, like hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
3. Find and join a support group.
4. Use resources that are available for children with hearing loss and their families.
Seek Professional Help Immediately and Enroll in Special Education
This can start from 0-3 years of age. Hearing loss can negatively impact a developing child’s acquisition of speech, language, and social skills. A child with hearing problems must receive services as early as possible so that they can reach their full potential.
Studies have shown that early intervention programs help young children with hearing loss learn language and other crucial skills. These programs can significantly improve a child’s progress in education.
Infants with hearing loss should receive intervention services as soon as possible, but no later than 6 months of age.
You can receive services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA 2004). Whether your child has formally been diagnosed with hearing loss or not, they might be eligible to receive early intervention services and treatment.
Special education can begin when a child is 3-22 years of age. This form of education was created to focus on the educational and related developmental needs of older who have disabilities, or experience developmental problems. Public schools provide services for these children.
Some individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can still hear at certain ranges. The amount of hearing that someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing has is known as “residual hearing”. No technology or surgery can cure hearing loss, but hearing aids can help with the hearing that they still have.
Hearing Aids: Hearing aids help amplify sounds. People of any age can wear them. Infants with hearing loss may be able to hear better with the help of hearing aids. This might allow them to learn and acquire speech while they are young.
Support Services for Families
For most parents with normal and healthy hearing, finding out that their child has hearing loss can be startling. Parents may need time to take in that information, a support system, and learn how to help their child as best as they can.
Receiving advice and information, connecting with other parents that have children with hearing loss, finding a deaf mentor, getting childcare or transportation services, having time for themselves to rest and relax, or having a supportive listener are all helpful ways to take care of your child.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Anyone with hearing loss can relay instances of anxiety-induced episodes that were caused by their inability to hear or clearly communicate with others. Sometimes it can feel like you’re in the eye of a hurricane. It’s important to always remember to slow down and breathe. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S.
Art therapy can be healing for all chronic conditions.
What is Art Therapy?
The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.”
Patients should focus more on the process of getting to a healthier mental state, rather than the result.
Art therapy can happen in so many forms including dancing, drawing, music/singing, cooking, knitting, painting, sculpting, meditation, writing, and any other creative outlet that you can think of. No previous artistic experience is necessary, but the devotion towards exploring your creative side can be helpful when selecting how you want to interpret your inspiration.
The Benefits of Art for Chronic Conditions in Patients
There are so many complexities when it comes to a patient’s physical and mental health. Taking care of chronic conditions for a lifetime will take its toll. Anxiety, depression, isolation, and mental health can worsen the physical symptoms of these health issues.
Various studies that were reviewed by the American Journal of Public Health indicate that art therapy helps patients manage their chronic conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, cancer, and other chronic illnesses for extended periods of time. This includes:
The great thing about art therapy is that anyone can be creative. It is crucial for each individual to find the proper medium, which takes time and experimentation with various mediums.
If you have hearing loss and want to improve your life with art therapy that includes music and listening, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Stress Factors that Impact Auditory Processing
Can experiencing stress early in life impact the way children interpret what they hear? A grant of $2.3 million was awarded by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health, which will be used by Northeast Ohio Medical University to research this subject.
Included in the study will be an examination of how stress that occurs early in life, impacts auditory processing. It would also focus on children with conductive hearing loss. This research will help analysts concentrate on potential experiments to determine the best way to reduce these emotional issues in children.
On Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
There are some chemotherapy drugs that can save a patient’s life, but they can also damage the ears. A U.S. National Cancer Institute grant of $5.7 million will be used to investigate and research this topic. The study will focus on surveying “long-term health outcomes for cancer patients who receive platinum-based chemotherapies”. This will help determine whether certain cancer treatments cause or worsen hearing loss or tinnitus. Not only will identifying the potential risks be determined but how to reduce those risks will also be determined.
Hearing Health and Effects from COVID-19
There have been more and more reports of possible connections between COVID-19 and hearing loss. The University of Manchester in the U.K. is doing a more thorough study on this. The school’s Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness is analyzing the long-term impact of COVID on an adult’s hearing abilities. Over 10% of test subjects who were treated for COVID-19 had reported tinnitus or worsened hearing in a previous study by the same analysts. The conclusion to these studies has yet to be made public, but they will hopefully offer better solutions for protecting and preserving hearing health.
If you or a loved one are having trouble with hearing or experience tinnitus, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a solution.
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.
16 Facts About Hearing Health
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.
6 Myths About Hearing Aids
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.
Hearing Loss Support: Help Your Loved One with Their Journey Towards Better Hearing
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 and/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.
Do You Experience Pain in Your Ears While Aboard an Airplane? Here are Tips on How to Avoid it.
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, 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.