If you are not hearing very well, or as you usually do, the cause could be anything from aging to viral infections.
Based on the reason for your hearing loss, it might be temporary or permanent.
Get treated immediately if You experience Sudden Hearing Loss
If you experience rapid or sudden hearing loss in one ear or both ears immediately get treatment. There could be harmful inflammation that can be treated with steroids. Sudden hearing loss that goes untreated could lead to permanent hearing loss.
How do you know if You need to see a Medical Professional?
Here’s a guide to follow:
If you responded with “No” to all of these questions, you might be experiencing sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss needs immediate medical attention.
Prevailing causes of Temporary Hearing Loss?
The majority of temporary hearing loss does not suddenly occur. It happens gradually within a few days or weeks, by the time a person notices it. Temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear canal or another ear-related health condition. Here are some possible causes:
Stereocilia (tiny hairs) and glands located in your inner ears create cerumen, A.K.A. earwax. Usually, this wax naturally falls out or it can be removed through a gentle wash with water. In some instances, it can build up and obstruct your ear canals. When this occurs, your ears may feel as though they are plugged, you might hear a ringing or buzzing noise (tinnitus), or experience some hearing loss. If you are unable to gently remove the earwax by using a warm washcloth, consult a healthcare professional. Do not attempt to remove the wax with any sharp objects like a hairpin. Q-Tips or cotton swabs can push the earwax deeper into your ear canal, causing the eardrum to become perforated and.
Vigorous Exercises or Stress
Your exercise routine might be the cause of your hearing loss or tinnitus. If you exercise past your personal fitness levels, you could experience temporary hearing loss. Your ability to hear should go back to normal within a few hours. See a hearing healthcare professional if the symptoms don’t go away. Severe cases of stress may induce hearing loss or tinnitus.
Temporary hearing loss and/or tinnitus is a common result, after being exposed to loud noises. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). In most cases, your hearing will go back to normal, but it’s always helpful to protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or earmuffs. Hearing loss prevention is the only way to protect yourself from NIHL. Frequently being exposed to loud sounds could lead to permanent hearing loss.
Typical Causes of Permanent Hearing Loss
Long exposure to extreme noise
One loud blast of noise may only temporarily make your hearing worse, while a repetition of exposure to blasts or other loud noises could cause permanent loss of hearing. This is the most prevalent type of sensorineural hearing loss, which is permanent. The term sensorineural applies to the nerves located inside the ears, along with the tiny sensory cells that are extremely delicate and easy to destroy.
Presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss, is another common form of sensorineural hearing loss. Most people who are 75 years of age or older, will notice they cannot hear as well as they could in the past. The beginning of this type of hearing loss arrives gradually, so it will go unnoticed for months or years. Getting treatment for your hearing loss is not simply linked to better hearing, it also helps reduce other health problems such as dementia, depression caused by isolation, or risks of falling.
Health conditions that cause permanent hearing loss
Get your hearing loss treated
Whether or not you suspect that you are experiencing permanent or temporary hearing loss, get your hearing tested. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide variety of hearing aids styles and brands that can be programmed for your specific hearing needs.
Have you ever listened in on a conversation where someone said something funny, and you laughed along, pretending that you heard the joke? Have you ever experienced confusion as to why everyone was laughing at something on TV or in a movie because you didn’t hear the setup or punchline in a joke?
It’s challenging to enjoy the humor when you can’t hear.
What are the benefits of humor?
A sense of humor can help people deal with stressful and painful situations. Your muscles can relax, your immune system is strengthened, it helps build trust among others, reduces anxiety and fear, and improves relationships. Humor is physically and mentally beneficial to people.
Here’s a joke that might tickle your funny bone:
If a Deaf child swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap and water?
The Challenges with Humor and Hearing Loss
If you are hard of hearing, you may find it difficult to understand jokes and follow along with funny stories that are verbally told, because there’s always a surprising twist, use of wordplay, or punchline that needs to be heard to make sense of it. It’s very important to hear every single word and the way it’s delivered to get the joke. That’s not always possible if you can’t hear clearly. Even relying on context clues can prove to be challenging.
Some people with hearing loss may isolate themselves from situations that incorporate comedy because they know that they won’t get the joke and feel left out when they don’t laugh at the right time, or at all.
There are so many different categories of humor like dry, satire, slapstick, situational, self-deprecating, wordplay, etc. In order to understand the humor, you need to pay attention to a person’s demeanor and emotion when they set up their joke or story. Usually, the speaker becomes excited and talks louder when telling a joke.
It can change based on the type of humor. For dry humor, the speaker may show little emotion or facial expressions when delivering their lines. As a result, someone with hearing loss who relies on reading facial expressions as a context clue may have a harder time understanding the joke.
Based on how severe your hearing loss is, hearing jokes can be a great listening exercise. If you’re hearing is too severe, you can still enjoy physical comedy or situational humor.
How about when you listen to a song? Have you ever and misheard the lyrics?
Sometimes, mishearing something that was said can turn into a funny situation with the people that you are communicating with.
Have you heard of TLC’s rare recording of “Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls”?
How about Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” where Annie Lennox sings, “Sweet dreams are made of cheese”?
Stop feeling left out, and enjoy hearing jokes again. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Modern Hearing Aids have Bluetooth®
Modern hearing aids are notably better than the hearing aids of the past. In most instances, today’s hearing aids can give users better hearing than someone who has “normal hearing” abilities. The majority of today’s hearing aids have Bluetooth®, so you can connect your smartphone, TV, or any other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to your hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing can even program your hearing aids so that you can hear better when speaking to someone who is wearing a facemask.
These features help you communicate with others and improve your overall hearing health.
The Downsides of Hearing Loss
A negative side-effect of hearing loss is isolation from others. Research has indicated that there is a direct link between these risk factors, along with Alzheimer's, anxiety, dementia, depression, heart attacks, and strokes. Hearing loss impacts more than the inability to hear. Getting proper treatment for hearing loss helps to improve a person’s overall health, quality of life, and in some cases prolonging their life.
Even though we are currently practicing social distancing with people who do not live in the same house, communication via phone, Live Transcribe, FaceTime, or Zoom meetings can still be challenging for anyone with hearing loss.
Digital hearing aids do not simply amplify sounds. They reduce background noise and help users hear conversations that they are having with others. Directional microphones pick up sounds from a specific direction that the user is facing while blocking out sounds from the areas that they are not facing. There are also hearing aids that feature omnidirectional microphones that pick up sounds from any direction. These are generally used when biking or engaging in any activity where hearing in every direction is vital for safety reasons.
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 for people of all ages.
Last year, we asked whether COVID-19 could lead to hearing loss or tinnitus.
At the time there wasn’t enough information about the virus in general.
Since that period of time, there have been new treatments for coronavirus that have changed and became more widely known. The data on these treatments’ side effects remain insufficient, but there is more data that proves infections from COVID - from the treatments or the virus itself - may have an impact on a person’s ability to hear and lead to permanent hearing loss.
Blood Oxygen Levels can be Reduced due to COVID-19
Two main symptoms of coronavirus are hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) and persistent hyperventilation (a struggle to breathe). The hair cells inside the inner ear have high metabolic activity, making them susceptible to hypoxic conditions. Essentially, they require good blood oxygenation to properly function. Ischemia of the inner ear (low blood supply) may cause hearing loss, vertigo, and possibly tinnitus. This is why research that connects hypoxemia and hearing loss in COVID patients who are symptomatic is starting to develop.
Can COVID-19 lead to Inner Ear Damage?
There isn’t much information available about the direct impact that COVID-19 has on the middle ear and the mastoid/temporal bone. Researchers have hypothesized that SARS nCOV-19 can damage organs in the inner ear and nervous systems, like other viral infections i.e. HSV-1, HZV, HIV, and measles. The measles can lead to ear infections and swelling of the nervous system, which can induce hearing loss.
Small studies have shown that patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, continue to have more high-frequency hearing loss and evidence of outer hair cell function that becomes negatively impacted. This study is backed by the absence of Transitory Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAEs), which is a practice that explicitly tests the performance of outer hair cells.
Ototoxicity in COVID-19 Treatments
Some of the latest antiviral medications that have been developed may be ototoxic - a prevalent cause of hearing loss.
Both remdesivir and favipiravir are antiviral medications that may be ototoxic or even induce tinnitus. Remdesivir that is taken with steroids, is the latest prevailing treatment for the early stages of COVID-19 infections in patients who experience upper respiratory problems.
Presently, there are no studies that have been published that link ototoxicity or hearing loss as a side effect of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
Continuing research is underway, so don’t be negligent.
The ability to hear, listen, and communicate have been greatly impacted by social distancing, the increased use of virtual meetings, and PPE. Your continued concern should be to protect yourself from contracting the virus, and not risking existing symptoms of hearing loss or other severe health issues that may also occur.
If you, or a loved one, are currently experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that about 15% of Americans have some form of tinnitus. It can be described as a buzzing, clicking, or ringing sound in the ear when there is no environmental sound source. It can be difficult to live with and manage. It is generally reduced to a small inconvenience. Most people who occasionally experience tinnitus will adapt to living with it. If tinnitus frequently interrupts your daily life, there can be a negative impact on it.
The Causes of Tinnitus
If your tinnitus symptoms continue to linger, it can become a long-term problem.
1. Loss of Hearing
Hearing loss and tinnitus tend to go hand in hand. In most instances, tinnitus normally occurs before a person loses their hearing. The inability to hear can negatively impact your life. Conversations during social situations can become challenging. As a result, a person with hearing loss may avoid socializing altogether and become more isolated. This can lead to depression.
Relationships, whether personal or professional, can be strained due to a person’s hearing loss and tinnitus. Mishearing what was said can lead to arguments, especially between couples. Poor communication can also hurt a relationship. A hearing instrument specialist can determine the best hearing aid solution for you, so as not to further weaken relationships with others.
2. Trouble with Sleep
Keeping a healthy sleep schedule is vital for good mental and physical health. Tinnitus can interrupt your sleep, making it difficult to maintain a good sleep routine. Poor sleep is a prevalent side effect of tinnitus. It’s much harder to sleep when you hear noises in your ears. Many people with tinnitus have noticed that their symptoms of tinnitus become worse at night. When a room is too quiet, the noises caused by tinnitus are easy to recognize.
Poor sleeping patterns can lead to low energy, which can impact your performance at work and increase your risk of mental issues. It’s very important to follow a healthy sleep pattern. You can use a white noise machine to make the tinnitus symptoms less noticeable for a restful night.
3. Difficulty with Concentration
A continuous ringing sound makes it very difficult to focus, particularly if you need to execute a complex task. Those with tinnitus may experience poor work or school performance, and quit or drop out. You may not make progress in your career, work up to the level of your, or your employer’s, expectations. As a result, you may not earn as much money due to poor performance.
The inability to concentrate can also negatively impact hobbies, such as reading or writing. Poor sleep patterns can worsen these issues.
Tinnitus can lead to unsafe situations. If you are a driver and begin to experience symptoms of tinnitus, concentrating on driving will be more difficult. If you operate heavy machinery in a work environment, tinnitus can distract you, which can put you and others at risk. It’s important to get help right away.
Some easy ways to handle mild symptoms of tinnitus include:
Treating more Severe Tinnitus:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our experienced hearing instrument specialists can offer the best solutions for your tinnitus symptoms.
Do You Experience Hearing Loss due to Seasonal Allergies? Hearing Aids can Improve Your Self-Confidence.
Seasonal Allergies may induce Hearing Loss
Are you frequently noticing an increase of pressure in your body due to seasonal allergies? Maybe you are only able to hear through one of your ears or find it difficult to notice where sounds are emanating from. Are you constantly noticing tinnitus from your good ear?
Perhaps you felt as though you wouldn’t be able to walk around in an unfamiliar setting, and worried that you wouldn’t be able to hear. Stop canceling your plans due to this temporary hearing loss.
Treating Temporary Hearing Loss
Hearing aids can be a solution for your temporary hearing loss. Any hearing loss that goes untreated raises the risk of permanent hearing loss.
It’s good to practice wearing your hearing aids regularly to ease those concerns, whether you’re with another person or alone. Giving your brain listening exercises lets you remember background noises and distinguish voices from each other.
Hearing aids can help boost your self-confidence and become more independent.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently work with you to make sure that you are getting the most out of your hearing aids. We offer the options of battery or rechargeable hearing aids, to fit with your hearing needs and lifestyle.
We have featured articles on Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aid, and all of the benefits they provide.
But did you know that the Livio AI has won multiple awards?
Just last year, it was the recipient of the Silver Stevie® Award under the Health & Pharmaceuticals Product category in the 18th Annual American Business Awards®.
There are 200 American executives who evaluate and recognize excellence in the workplace. During their assessment, they mentioned the amazing features of the Livio AI. They have acknowledged the work put in by Starkey to make life more inclusive for the hard of hearing.
The Livio AI also won the Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough Award in 2020 for “Best Intelligent Personal Assistant”. This award is bestowed upon technology that solves problems and transforms an industry.
The ear has been seen more and more as a pathway to better understanding a person’s overall health. This is where the Livio AI comes into play. It’s the first and only hearing aid that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and integrated sensors to harness the best quality of sound and track the health of your body and brain.
Users of the Livio AI can be more proactive in controlling their overall health. More and more evidence has shown that using hearing aids to treat hearing loss can help prevent or slow down serious health problems, like cardiovascular disease and dementia.
Some of the latest features of the Livio AI include fall detection, voice-to-text transcription, and direct streaming via Bluetooth®. Simply double tapping the hearing aid, or using the Thrive Hearing Control app, can grant users access to health tracking features. You may also ask questions about the weather and instantly receive a response directly through your Livio AI hearing aid.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss? Contact us for a free hearing test and consultation. Starkey’s Livio AI is just one of many hearing aid options that you can try out at Pure Sound Hearing.
Did you know that 3 out of 5 older Americans and 6 out of 7 middle-aged Americans who experience hearing loss don’t use hearing aids?
Hearing loss is common. The risk of losing your hearing increases as you age.
Most people do not seek treatment, but if they do it’s usually after experiencing many years of hearing loss.
The 12 Consequences of not getting Treatment for Your Hearing Loss
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
If you experience hearing loss, hearing aids can significantly improve your overall well-being, reduce isolation, and help with better communication skills. Using hearing aids also helps to delay the onset of dementia.
Hearing aids are still not used by many who would benefit from them. Millions of Americans can improve their hearing health and overall health, but they either never get them or wait too long to purchase them. The three main reasons why many people don’t wear them are due to the cost, access, and stigma that is sometimes surrounded by wearing them.
An Increase in Hearing Aid Use
From 2011 to 2018, hearing aids have had an increase in use from 15% to 18.5% in adults over the age of 70. This data was published this past December of 2020 by the medical journal JAMA: Internal Medicine.
This means that many more older Americans have an easier time socializing with family and friends while reducing the risks of health problems that are associated with untreated hearing loss.
The use of Hearing Aids is Unequal between different Socioeconomic Groups
According to data that was collected, significantly fewer Black Americans reported an increase in purchasing and using hearing aids. That’s just a +.8% shift in 7 years. In contrast, there was a +4.3% increase in White Americans purchasing and using hearing aids.
Based on levels of income, the number of people who owned hearing aids fell in the past few years (from 12.4% to 10.8%) among older adults who live under less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
Basically, if you are White or have a higher level of income, you will probably use hearing aids.
Why is there a gap in Hearing Healthcare Treatment?
There is a gap in treatment for hearing health. The latest studies show that this problem is growing, especially among the most impoverished Americans.
There are systemic problems in American healthcare that cause minorities and Americans with lower income not to have access to many different services, even if they have Medicare or Medicaid.
What should You do?
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer various hearing aid styles and brands, along with assistive listening devices at discount prices.
Did you ever need to calm yourself down after hearing the sound of someone chewing their food, heavily breathing, or smacking their gum?
If this sounds familiar, you may suffer from misophonia - an aversion or hatred of particular sounds. Most people start to notice this phenomenon around the age of 12. A person with this disorder isn’t simply frustrated when another person makes noise with their mouth or makes repetitive sounds with an object, like clicking a retractable pen.
Anyone who experiences misophonia tends to have a physiological or emotional response when hearing these “triggering” sounds. The reaction does not merely depend on the actual sounds themselves, but also on that person’s past experiences when exposed to that sound along with the context in which the noise is produced. The emotional response could be linked to the specific person or source of the sound.
Research on the Annoying Sounds
A study on 42 test subjects, who have misophonia, was conducted by the Dutch. During the study, five participants were chosen at random to test their hearing. There were four who demonstrated normal sensitivity to the pure tone threshold, and one participant had conductive hearing loss. Out of all the participants, none of them reacted to the trigger sound when it was self-produced, but there was a reaction when the sound was produced by others.
Sounds that had the strongest reactions:
Twelve percent of the test subjects also experienced a visual trigger that was linked to these sounds. The responses were ranked between irritation (the most common) to annoyance and revulsion. The general coping mechanism was to leave the environment or avoid social interactions altogether.
A study from the U.K. analyzed 20 adults who reported experiencing misophonia and 22 who did not have it. Researchers asked them to rate the levels of sounds based on how unpleasant they were. These include their normal trigger sounds, neutral sounds (rain), and the universally unpleasant sound of screaming babies.
Those with misophonia classified the trigger sounds as highly disturbing (the other test subjects did not). These noises also drew out reactions, which included rapid heart rate and perspiration among those who had misophonia. Each group displayed similar reactions to the neutral and universally disturbing noises.
If you are experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for your listening needs.
Sensitive hearing is important to address. Find out what type of hearing sensitivity you experience. Notice how you react to certain sounds. That’s a can tell you, and your hearing healthcare provider, a lot about your experiences and what solutions can help.
Do You Have Tinnitus?
If there’s a ringing sound that no one else can hear but you, this might be a sign of tinnitus. This is a condition where people hear an internal buzzing, clicking, ringing, or whooshing sound when there is no external noise that produces it.
Tinnitus usually occurs when people experience age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) or noise-induced hearing loss, high blood pressure, or a build-up of earwax. These symptoms damage the tiny hair cells located in your ear canal. Incessant ringing sounds can be distracting and dangerous. It can result in long-term hearing loss and social withdrawal.
Do You have Hyperacusis?
If you cannot stand the ear-splitting noise of nails scraping against a chalkboard, you have hyperacusis. This condition can lead to physical pain in your ears that may persist for days to weeks. Average volumes of sound can lead to severe pain, and if the sounds are louder, the more pain you may feel.
Hyperacusis is generally associated with hearing or head trauma. It usually occurs alongside tinnitus. Again, this is caused by lasting damage to the ear’s hair cells. A hearing aid specialist can program hearing aids with sound therapies to detect and mask trigger sounds.
Do You have Misophonia?
The hatred of sound is known as misophonia. Many people with the condition have extreme, and irregular, reactions to certain noises. It’s not merely a dislike of a noise. The sound of chewing, scratching, or tapping might make you want to leave an area.
Physical and emotional reactions as a result of misophonia:
It’s still uncertain as to what causes misophonia. It is grouped with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and tinnitus. It normally develops in children between the ages of 9 to 12. Hearing aids can help drown these sounds out.
Don’t let your sensitivity to sounds interfere with your life. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation with one of our specialists.
Clarifying Information on Hearing Loss
Most people minimize how complex hearing loss can be. Those with normal hearing may assume that those who are hard of hearing simply hear sounds at a quieter level. Many also assume that hearing aids are just amplifiers that are used to make sounds louder.
This is not the case. Hearing loss can impact the way a person hears particular sounds in speech. This especially true when they are in a crowded area that has too much background noise or if multiple people are speaking at the same time.
Hearing aids help with speech comprehension, or they can let users become more aware of their surroundings, which enhances safety. Hearing aids help people hear better, not just louder.
Side Effects of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is an intricate chronic disease. Repercussions of hearing loss affect more than the inability to hear. Other side effects include higher rates of anxiety, hypertension, cognitive decline, depression, fatigue, frustration, and social isolation.
Modern hearing aid devices have been shown to improve speech comprehension when a user is in an area with a lot of background noise.
If you, or a loved one, experience difficulty with understanding speech or hearing in general, get help. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s our final day of tinnitus-based articles for Tinnitus Awareness Week.
As we’ve previously discussed and reiterated, tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound without an external source.
Tinnitus is derived from the Latin verb "tinnire", which means "to ring". Even though most people describe tinnitus as a ringing sound in the ears, it can also be described as a buzzing, clicking, hissing, swooshing, or whistling noise.
In nearly every case, tinnitus is caused due to the brain’s reaction to hearing loss. This diminishes the auditory sound or input to the brain. The brain does not react well to that, so it will create a new sensation that replaces the sound of what it had been hearing and expecting.
Temporary vs. Chronic Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be a temporary condition or a continuous health problem. Tinnitus that is short, spontaneous, and lasts seconds to minutes, is an almost universal experience. In other instances, acute or temporary tinnitus that lasts minutes to hours typically happens after extreme and extensive noise exposure leads to a short-term ear injury. Chronic tinnitus - which is defined as lasting for over three months - is more common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 15% percent of the general population - that’s more than 50 million Americans - experience a variety of tinnitus. About 20 million people endure chronic tinnitus, and two million people experience severe and debilitating cases.
For the majority of patients, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss that is caused by age (presbycusis), long-term hearing damage, or severe trauma to the auditory system. Hearing loss leads to reduced stimulation of external sounds to the brain. As a result, the brain sustains neuroplastic shifts in the way it processes different frequencies of sound. Tinnitus is the result of maladaptive neuroplastic changes.
Individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus may experience relief from using hearing aids and other devices that can be used for amplifying sound.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids that are helpful with tinnitus relief and hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sounds when there is no external sound present. People who experience tinnitus may hear the following sounds:
Facts about Tinnitus
Causes of Tinnitus
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately seek help. A lack of medical attention can lead to further hearing loss. Hearing aids can help mask the sounds. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
It is tinnitus awareness week, and we’re kicking it off with information on hearing loss and tinnitus as possible side effects of certain antibiotics and medications.
What is ototoxicity?
Ototoxicity refers to having a toxic substance in your body that is harmful to the ear and can negatively impact the health of your hearing abilities. It can induce symptoms of tinnitus, or worsen them, and it can affect your body’s balance because these are all functions of the ear.
Ototoxicity can occur after taking common drugs, including certain pain medications and antibiotics (particularly salicylates). Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as loop diuretics, are a major type of drug that can harm your ear health. Some of the other harmful drugs include chemotherapy agents (particularly if they are platinum-based). If any of these ototoxic drugs are prescribed to you, and you have a history of hearing problems, talk to your healthcare provider about possible side effects.
If you do notice a shift in your ability to hear, such as a different tone in your tinnitus, the onset of tinnitus, and your ability to maintain overall balance in your body (symptoms of dizziness or vertigo), contact your healthcare provider and notify them about these symptoms. There may be instances where you cannot change the medication because it may be life-threatening, but it’s still important to talk about it with your healthcare provider. It’s important to note that NOT ALL ototoxic medications induce tinnitus. Some make a stronger impact on a person’s balance, whereas others have a strong effect on a person’s hearing loss.
The platinum-based drugs (for chemotherapy) would be more likely to cause a person to lose their hearing loss than cause tinnitus. The advantage of the drug would significantly outweigh the side effects. Some medications take a longer time to flush out of your system, so the effects of the drug could happen later. Other medications may cause the effects to happen immediately.
Does tinnitus occur or change when taking an ototoxic medication?
Some medications almost have an immediate onset of tinnitus. After a pill is taken, in 10 to 15 minutes symptoms can begin to occur. If the medication is injected into the body, the onset will occur quicker. If you take one of these medications and within 20 minutes you notice a buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming, or ringing sound, - that is not coming from your environment - it’s probably a side effect of the medication. Some people may not immediately put two and two together. You may not form a timeline for when you started taking the medication, or when the dosage was added or increased. A new medication may have been taken with an older medication, and you could be dealing with a combination of effects, which could be the sounds that you hear inside your ear.
If you lose track of the timeline for when you took the medication, you can contact your pharmacist and find out when you picked up that prescription. That can help you piece together your timeline.
If you started taking the medication the day you picked up the prescription, or shortly after, and notice the symptoms of tinnitus, you could conclude that the medication is affecting your hearing. Cardiac medications commonly cause tinnitus. You can talk to your healthcare provider and go over your medications and medication intake routine.
To help you with this process, document everything. Document your medication, when you take the doses, and when you begin to notice the tinnitus or hearing loss symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer many hearing aids that help mask the sound of tinnitus.
When your hearing deteriorates as you age there is a higher risk of contracting dementia, which can lead to cognitive decline. A group of neurologists from the Department of Neurophysiology of the Medical Faculty studied how the brain functions as hearing abilities slowly become worse. They discovered that vital areas of the brain become restructured, which impacts a person’s memory.
A Deterioration of Sensory Perception
The neurologists studied the brains of mice with hereditary hearing loss, which is analogous to hearing loss among humans. The density of neurotransmitter receptors located in the brain, which is essential for the construction of memory, was analyzed by scientists. They also examined the effects of information stored in the hippocampus - the brain’s most important memory organ.
How the Brain Adapts to Hearing
A person’s memory can function through a system known as synaptic plasticity. By way of the hippocampus, synaptic plasticity was continuously weakened by advanced hearing loss. The distribution (and density of the neurotransmitter receptors) in sensory and memory segments of the brain, had also steadily shifted. It indicated that the stronger the hearing damage was, the worse memory abilities and synaptic plasticity became.
These are the latest proven insights into the commonly believed cause of the cognitive decline and presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) in humans. The team of neurologists concluded that frequency shifts in the neurotransmitter receptor expression - that is the result of advanced hearing loss - create shifts in the sensory information processing that inhibits the hippocampus from properly functioning.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids, which help improve your hearing and brain function.
Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Earwax, or cerumen, naturally produces to protect your outer ears. It is made up of dirt, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells.
Is your earwax dry or wet?
Producing dry earwax is common among Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
Producing wet earwax is common among Africans and Caucasians.
What is the pigment of your earwax?
Old earwax is generally dark brown or black. Its color is caused by trapped bacteria and dirt. This earwax color is more common in adults.
Light brown, orange, or yellow earwax are considered healthy and normal. Children generally have softer, light-colored earwax.
Dark brown earwax, with any red, might indicate a bleeding wound.
White earwax that is flaky, is a sign that your body does not produce a chemical linked to body odor.
What produces excess earwax?
Normally, your body will know how much earwax it needs to make. Keep a healthy diet, practice proper hygiene, and move your jaw around (the same way you do when talking and chewing food). Doing this will let your ears naturally remove excess cerumen, debris, or dirt. If you routinely remove earwax, this alerts your body to generate more. Excess earwax can prevent the ability to hear, which will put you at a higher risk of ear infections and other ear or hearing health problems.
Too much stress and over-exercising can increase the amount of earwax that is produced. The same apocrine glands which create sweat, also produce earwax. Excess earwax is typically found in individuals who:
Tips to safely clean out your ears:
Although there are benefits to having earwax, too much wax obstruction can induce conductive hearing loss (when sound waves cannot travel through the inner ear, because of the earwax obstruction). If your ears feel stuffy and believe that earwax may be the cause:
If you are unable to hear out of your hearing aids and notice that there is too much earwax that is clogging up your devices, contact us at Pure Sound for deep cleaning. We will be happy to help.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. Get in touch with us if you need to schedule a hearing test, or if you are having any problems with your hearing aids. If you need any supplies for your hearing aids, please contact us before your office visit.
Hopefully you have been diligently reading our blog posts, because here’s a pop quiz on hearing loss!
True or False? I can purchase hearing aids the same way that I purchase reading glasses from a drug store.
This is false. A hearing healthcare professional must run a hearing test on you and prescribe individual treatment that addresses your specific hearing needs. For example, if you have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing aids could be a great option for you. In addition to the range or type of hearing loss that you have, your hearing health care provider will discuss your lifestyle and other preferences in order to program the devices to fit with your needs.
If you experience conductive hearing loss, amplification may not be necessary. Your hearing could be restored by removing ear wax that is obstructing you ear canals, or there could be a benign tumor that needs to be surgically removed. Hearing loss could also indicate an underlying health problem, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
In order to find out why you cannot hear, you need a hearing healthcare professional to test your hearing.
True or False? Hearing aids will make me hear like I did before experiencing hearing loss.
The answer is false. Even though there have been many advancements in hearing aids, especially in the last few years, the devices will not be able to restore your hearing back to normal. It will only preserve the natural hearing abilities that you still have left. Also, if you wait too long - as many people tend to do - your brain needs to relearn how to decipher sounds that you haven’t heard in many years. It’s similar to rehabilitation for a joint replacement or another type of physical injury.
True or False? Your brain helps with the function of hearing.
This is true. Scientific researchers have spent decades studying the correlation between our ears and our brains. Modern hearing aids help our brain determine which sounds we should concentrate on - like a conversation that you are having with someone at a busy restaurant - and which sounds can be ignored.
Your outer ears harness sounds and transfer them into the inner ear, where your tiny sensory hair cells turn them into electrical signals. It’s then transferred through the auditory nerve for the brain to interpret and recognize as sound.
When sensory hair cells become damaged or die off, they can no longer accurately process noise that they receive. The result is sensorineural hearing loss, which can normally be treated with hearing aids. According to Johns Hopkins and the National Institute of Aging, elderly adults who have untreated hearing loss lost an average of a cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year compared to individuals who had healthy hearing abilities.
True or False? Your hearing health can be negatively impacted by the foods that you consume.
The answer is true. In order for your entire body to perform at its best, it requires eating a healthy and balanced diet. Obesity and excessive drinking can contribute to poor hearing. Your auditory system, along with the rest of your body, needs proper blood circulation with the help of a good diet and exercise.
True or False? Hearing aids were not useful for other people that I know, so they probably won’t work for me.
This answer is false. The experience of hearing loss is different for everyone. Your hearing healthcare provider will need to determine whether hearing aids will benefit you. Your range of hearing loss, personal lifestyle and hearing aid style preferences will be factored in to help decide which hearing aid model you will purchase.
After an initial hearing aid fitting and programming, your hearing instrument specialist may need to do additional adjustments and other maintenance to your hearing aids during future appointments. This will ensure that your hearing will improve based on your lifestyle and the environments that you frequently visit.
True or false? The main disability among those in the military service and veterans is tinnitus.
This answer is true. A study from the American Tinnitus Association revealed that over 50 million Americans have some form of tinnitus. Over 12 million Americans, mostly veterans, suffer from tinnitus that is so severe, it can disturb their personal and professional lives. The military reported that tinnitus has been listed as the largest category for disability claims. Hearing loss is the second.
According to hearing healthcare professionals, the majority of tinnitus cases are caused by noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). They account for 90 percent of all tinnitus cases. Any jobs that require workers to be in a noisy environment are at risk of extensive exposure to loud noises - like operating heavy machinery or loud explosions in a veteran’s case. This can cause NIHL.
True or false? Musicians have a higher risk of developing hearing loss.
This is true. Studies have shown that musicians are nearly four times more likely to endure noise-induced deafness, and 57 percent more likely to experience tinnitus. Some well-known musicians who now have hearing loss due to dangerous levels of noise exposure are, Phil Collins, Ozzy Osbourne and Pete Townshend.
True or False? Hearing loss that goes untreated can impact your salary.
The answer is true. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against someone who has a hearing disability, but research has shown that if you have untreated hearing loss you could lose $30,000 each year. This is due to the inability to accurately or efficiently accomplish tasks because of your hearing loss. Fortunately, the study showed that individuals who get proper treatment for their mild hearing loss by using hearing aids, reduce that risk by 90 to 100 percent.
True or False? My hearing loss only affects me.
The answer is false. Anyone who you communicate with will also be affected, and maybe even frustrated. As mentioned before in this blog, untreated hearing loss can result in anxiety, depression and social isolation. This is due to the person’s struggle to communicate with the people in their life.
The best solution is to get your hearing loss treated as soon as possible. Close to 70 percent of people who got treatment for their hearing loss with hearing aids, indicated that their social life had significantly improved.
True or False? The most effective way to prevent hearing loss is by using ear protection.
This answer is true. NIHL and aging are the top reasons for developing sensorineural hearing loss. If you frequently work in a noisy environment, request hearing protection from your employer. If you have a noisy hobby (woodworking or playing a musical instrument),or attend something like a concert or fireworks display, wear proper hearing protection. It may be wise to invest on a good pair of headphones that block out noise or ear plugs. You won’t be able to stop aging, but you can reduce the risks of NIHL by taking preventative measures.
True or False? The average child will experience their first ear infection by the time they reach the age of three.
This is true. A child’s ears are more likely to get ear infections (otitis media). This is due to how their Eustachian tube is positioned throughout their childhood. Over 75 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media before they turn three years old.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait any longer to get help. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for people of all ages.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are in need of a hearing aid repair, call us prior to an office visit. We ask that you please place your hearing aids in a clean ziplock bag and wait in your car for our curbside services. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Have you noticed that you’ve been more forgetful lately? Have you missed important meetings or appointments, and needed to reschedule them? Or did you forget about your laundry that was drying out in the sun?
You may not feel as though you are forgetful, but you may be feeling more fatigued. You might blame these experiences of forgetfulness on your memory, but it may actually be your hearing that’s causing the problem.
How can You Enhance Your overall Cognitive Abilities and Memory?
The first step is to get your hearing tested. Avoid those embarrassing moments when you can’t remember someone’s name or miss an important meeting. A standard hearing test will determine whether you have hearing loss and how severe it may be.
You may not immediately recognize any signs of hearing loss, but there still might be some loss in your hearing without symptoms. One of the earliest signs of hearing damage is memory loss. The main cause of memory loss is when your brain is constantly feeling stressed. Here’s what happens:
A human brain holds a finite amount of processing energy. This is the reason why your brain becomes stressed due to the strain. As a result, you may have less mental energy for a healthy memory or cognitive processing.
Dementia Linked to Hearing Loss
Severe memory loss could result in dementia. Those who do not receive treatment for their hearing loss have a greater risk of cognitive decline, starting with moderate hearing loss and worsening to serious cognitive problems.
How can Hearing Aids Stop Fatigue?
It’s very important to get treatment for your hearing loss. In one study, there was an undeniable gain in cognitive function for 97.3% of individuals who had hearing loss and wore hearing aids for at least 18 months.
Remember, when your brain doesn’t need to strain and overwork itself, your long-term cognitive function improves. Memory loss and cognitive function is a complex issue that won’t always improve by simply using hearing aids. It’s good to engage in brain and physical exercises, socialize with people and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Typically Memory Loss
This type of hearing loss usually isn’t permanent, but rather an evidence of exhaustion. It can become permanent if the underlying issues continue to go unaddressed. Memory loss could be an early warning sign. To address these problems, hearing aids may help. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing memory loss that may be linked to hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a vast selection of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
This is a friendly reminder that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
COVID-19 has recently been associated with long-term health problems including heart disease, lung disease, and neurological disorders. New research is coming out on whether hearing loss and tinnitus can be a side effect of COVID-19 - it may be a symptom or a complication that emerges days or weeks after becoming infected.
We have been aware of different bacteria and virus infections that may abruptly lead to hearing loss. Previous versions of coronaviruses that caused epidemics, like SARS and MERS, did not appear to be the root of hearing issues.
Hearing Loss: COVID-19
Symptoms of sudden hearing loss had been a rare symptom of coronavirus.
A report from June 2020 indicated several Iranian patients informed healthcare workers about experiencing hearing loss in one ear, along with vertigo. Another report showed an Egyptian man who did not show any other coronavirus symptoms had developed sudden hearing loss, and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
Other than these reports, there has not been any additional research that was published.
Please be aware that sudden hearing loss, whether it’s in one ear or both, is a medical emergency that should be treated immediately. The faster you receive treatment, the more likely you will restore your hearing.
Hearing Loss caused by COVID-19
What has been shown as slightly more common, but still rare, is experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus due to COVID-19. This suggests that hearing loss or tinnitus are not immediate symptoms of the virus, but can develop at a later time.
There was a case in October 2020 based on a 45-year-old man from the U.K. who developed tinnitus and sudden hearing loss in one ear after becoming critically ill with COVID-19. His hearing was partially restored after accepting steroids for the hearing loss.
It cannot be proven that COVID-19 was the direct cause of the man’s hearing loss, but it appears to be very likely that is what happened. It was also reported that he did not receive any ototoxic medications.
Additional research is needed to determine the long-term effects of COVID-19 on hearing health.
Can COVID-19 Weaken Your Hearing?
A study from Israel examined 16 patients, where half had tested positive for COVID-19 and half tested negative. There were no differences seen in the group members’ auditory nerves.
The study is still in progress. There were 16 test subjects enrolled, and all of the patients were asymptomatic. Researchers plan to conduct a larger study, which would include those with more severe complications due to COVID-19.
Side Effects of COVID-19 Medication
Some medications that are used to treat COVID-19 lead to a high risk of side effects including hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo. These medications include chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and quinine.
In Conclusion: Hearing Loss and COVID-19
Additional research is necessary to get a better understanding of how COVID-19 impacts hearing and balance.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Please contact our office before stopping in at one of our locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.
Health and happiness are important as you age. The best three things that can help you achieve that is maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and making sure you have healthy hearing abilities.
Better Hearing Reduces Social Isolation
The ability to hear clearly can help you be more aware of your surroundings, interact with others effortlessly, connect with others, participate in conversations, and remain socially active - even if it’s virtually or at a safe distance.
Our connection and engagement with others is important to our overall health and well-being, especially during these times.
Studies have indicated that people who enjoy and participate with others in a social setting are more likely to have a longer lifespan than those who remain isolated.
Better Hearing can Help Decrease Cognitive Decline
Many studies have shown that hearing loss is closely related to dementia. The World Health Organization foresees that the number of people with dementia will triple by the year 2050.
As previously mentioned, hearing loss leads to social isolation which raises the risk of dementia. Dementia causes your brain to become weaker, to the point where it uses up the energy that you need in order to remember and think. Between social distancing and social isolation, the risks are much higher.
The Lancet Commission on Dementia prevention, intervention, and care recently reported that getting treatment for hearing loss during midlife is the best way to reduce or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Better Hearing Helps You Stay Alert and Be Independent
Being able to hear gives people confidence. It allows us to feel safer when navigating through the world. Hearing clearly, provides an openness in our spatial awareness. As a result, distinguishing the differences between certain sounds can help us react appropriately whether it’s in a video chat or when out in a grocery store.
Anyone who has lost their ability to hear, are likely to miss those signals. This can lead to feelings of uncertainty when interacting with others.
People with good hearing are two times less likely to have an accidental injury and three times less likely to have a history of falls than individuals with hearing loss.
Better Hearing Reduces Depression
Your optimum level of hearing can keep you feeling positive and full of vigor. Hearing the laughter of friends and family, the sounds of your favorite music, a funny joke, birds chirping, or anything else that you love helps to keep you connected.
The AARP found that being optimistic and keeping a positive attitude in life can add 7.5 years to your life. There is also an 80 percent reduction in risks of heart disease.
Start hearing better today! Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions from brands such as HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron and Widex.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Many Americans are living longer with healthier lifestyles. As a result, there is now a new growth in this demographic. There needs to be individualized care for these older adults.
Ageism is a common factor in our society. There are difficulties that hearing healthcare providers encounter on a daily basis. Fighting against ageism is a leading concern that needs to be addressed.
With the rise in an aging population, it is vital to improving the overall quality of health, independence, socializing with others, in order to prevent social isolation which can lead to depression.
It is important to be able to effectively communicate with others in order to forge a bond between people, which helps to promote healthy aging and a longer life expectancy.
Your Social Life & Communication
Some of the common ways to promote healthy aging would be to have a more age-integrated society, resourceful environments, and health systems that are age-friendly. Providing more access to technology in order to support the needs of aging adults is vital to a healthy life. There are so many types of technology to use that allow the elderly to stay socially and physically involved with others. This is where technology in hearing health can be utilized.
Hearing loss is a risk factor for social isolation and loneliness. Lawmakers are becoming more aware of ways to fight against loneliness. Hearing healthcare providers can be part of the solution. Proper, and early, intervention can help those with hearing loss reconnect with others in a social setting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the failure to effectively communicate can affect your daily life and cause feelings of loneliness and detachment. The WHO advises that older adults should receive prompt hearing tests and the use of hearing aids
Hearing aid technology can help unite people. In addition to your plans to get hearing aids, you need to reconsider how you communicate with others. The ability to cope and communicate in busy settings is linked to stress levels and other health concerns. Negative health and social distress can be caused by feeling fatigued and stressed from difficulties that are faced when trying to listen to others.
Public health needs to help those with hearing loss. There are negative repercussions that can happen due to communication problems in noisy environments. Hearing healthcare professionals should promote the use of sound-absorbing materials (i.e. carpet, curtains, etc.), especially in independent and assisted living settings, nursing homes, and hospitals. The use of portable hearing assistance devices and universal communication precautions should also be implemented in order to improve communication in medical settings, especially in loud areas such as emergency rooms.
Using Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants, like Alexa, have been helpful. A good suggestion would be to set up reminders to place and keep their hearing aids on and make sure the batteries or rechargeable hearing device is completely charged.
Modern hearing aids feature artificial intelligence (A.I.), which is technology that can measure how often you socialize with others, detect falls, and analyze surrounding sounds.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Learning the basic facts about hearing loss will not only help you feel more comfortable and confident about wearing hearing aids, but you can become a strong advocate of hearing health for yourself and your loved ones. Do some research before making a step towards getting hearing aids. You can also talk to a hearing healthcare professional to get more thorough information about your specific needs and concerns.
Here are 5 Common Misconceptions About Hearing Loss
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of name brands and styles for a wide range of hearing loss.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
As frequently mentioned in the blog, hearing loss generally goes unnoticed because it occurs gradually over time. There are usually subtle signs before you, or a loved one, realize that you need a hearing test. Have you noticed that you turn the volume up to hear your T.V. or listen to music? Even after a person is informed that they have hearing loss, on average, most of them wait about 10 years before they will get hearing aids.
What is Auditory Deprivation?
Please avoid the mistake of putting off your hearing health. Untreated hearing loss can lead to auditory deprivation in the long run. The sections of your brain that are vital for hearing can shrink or become atrophied due to lack of use.
Auditory deprivation is when the brain struggles to comprehend and process information because it is not receiving enough stimulation.
The brain will become active when it hears sounds and turns it into information that can be understood.
Untreated Hearing Loss and Brain Atrophy
Hearing is an activity for the brain. Ears funnel sounds to the brain as electrical impulses through the auditory nerve. Your brain will then translate the electrical impulses into sound.
Hearing loss leads to sensory deprivation. The auditory segment of your brain requires sounds to stimulate it and keep the mind agile. Mild hearing loss can lead to an under-stimulated brain, so it’s important to get help for your hearing loss as soon as you, or a loved one, notices these symptoms.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to atrophied auditory pathways, due to lack of usage.
When fewer sounds travel to the brain, the brain will respond by adjusting the way it works. Subtle hearing loss causes the brain to deal with auditory processing by focusing more on visual processing.
Exercise Your Hearing Abilities
If you don’t seek help for your hearing loss, it will become much more difficult to comprehend and process information. In other words, you might be able to hear speech sounds but not understand what is being said. You may feel as though you have cognitive decline, but it is actually hearing loss. But remember, untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline.
Can Auditory Deprivation become Permanent?
There is still uncertainty as to whether the atrophied sections of the brain that convert sound is permanent or not. It can be different for each individual.
On a hopeful note, the brain is extremely flexible. It can adapt and shift when stimulated. New connections can be made for more information to be understood.
A study found that negative shifts in the brain can be improved when hearing aids are worn regularly.
What causes Auditory Deprivation?
Auditory deprivation is usually caused by a lack of treatment for a person’s hearing loss.
For instance, if a person has hearing loss and receives hearing aids, but does not wear the hearing aids regularly (or at all), this can lead to auditory deprivation.
If a person with hearing loss does not receive auditory stimulation, the connection between the ears and the brain becomes ineffective. The auditory nerve will start to atrophy and become weaker.
A different reason as to why auditory deprivation can occur is if a person experiences hearing loss in both ears, but only wears a hearing aid in one of their ears.
Auditory deprivation may also occur if the hearing aids do not fit correctly or properly programmed. This is why it’s important to have follow-up appointments and work with your hearing instrument specialist to tailor the hearing aids for your specific needs. Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids may require a custom fit and will definitely require a customized program for your particular type of hearing loss. Your hearing will shift over time, so it’s important to regularly schedule appointments with your hearing instrument specialist.
Two Hearing Aids are Better than One
Only wearing one hearing aid - when you have hearing loss in each ear - will lead to poor results.
The ear that wears the hearing device will remain strong, but the other ear that does not have a hearing aid will become weaker and atrophy at a faster rate than the ear that is aided.
Remember, Adapting to Hearing Aids Takes Time
It will take time to adjust to listening, putting your hearing aids on, and wearing them from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. This is particularly true if it has been a long time since you’ve been able to hear clearly.
You’ll be able to hear things like the hum of your refrigerator, the clicking sound of your blinker lights, birds chirping outside. It may be overwhelming at first, but your brain will eventually become accustomed to the sounds that you haven’t heard in years.
Wearing hearing aids all day helps the brain acclimate to the sounds, but it requires a lot of time and patience.
How to Prevent Auditory Deprivation
It is possible to prevent auditory deprivation by taking safety precautions when you know that you’ll be in a loud environment. Wear earplugs or earmuffs when attending a concert or any other noisy setting.
You should get your hearing tested annually, whether you are having trouble hearing or not. Mild hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline.
If you, or a loved one, need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer several hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that the leading cause of death is heart disease. It is responsible for the deaths of approximately 610,000 people every year in the U.S. Heart disease is also associated with hearing loss. Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system is healthy for hearing health.
The majority of heart diseases are related to damaged blood vessels, caused by high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or tight, narrow arteries (arteriosclerosis) due to high cholesterol. These can lead to obstructions, spasms, or even ruptures in major or minor vessels, which can cause chest pains, heart attack, or stroke. Heart muscle, valve, or rhythm disorders can induce other forms of heart disease, like heart failure.
Cardiovascular disease is the cause of death for one American each minute. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Most people are unaware of the gravity that heart disease is to them, or that it is closely related to other health problems such as hearing loss. Everyone should be aware of the risks and take preventative care to preserve their hearing and heart health.
Hearing Loss and Heart Health
How does hearing loss relate to heart health? Proper blood flow is important for hearing health. Research has indicated that healthy circulation helps support great hearing health. On the other hand, poor blood flow and damage to the blood vessels in the inner ear can lead to hearing loss.
The hair cells (stereocilia) located inside the cochlea, translate the sounds harnessed by your ears into electrical impulses. Your brain will then interpret them as recognizable sounds. This requires healthy blood circulation. Weak circulation will not adequately provide the hair cells with enough oxygen, which would cause them to become damaged or destroyed. These hair cells cannot be reproduced, which leads to permanent hearing loss.
According to an American Journal of Audiology study from 2010, research that had been done over the past 60 years on cardiovascular health and how it influenced hearing health, was reviewed. The researchers discovered that damaged cardiovascular health adversely impacts central and peripheral auditory systems, particularly in elderly adults.
A study from 2017 showed that 5,107 Australians had a strong connection between heart disease (along with risk factors for heart disease such a high blood pressure) with a higher risk of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss and Strokes
A stroke happens when the blood supply for the brain is obstructed and deprives the brain of oxygen. If a stroke occurs in parts of the brain that are needed for hearing and balance, the stroke may lead to hearing loss, dizziness, and other vestibular/balance changes.
Lasting Complications that arise due to Strokes
When the brain’s temporal lobe is impacted by a stroke, a person could experience lasting negative shifts in their ability to hear. These may involve struggling to distinguish speech sounds. In rare cases, a person might experience “auditory hallucinations”, where they hear sounds that do not exist.
Risks of Stroke: Hearing Loss in one Ear
There have been proven cases where individuals who experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear (sudden sensorineural hearing loss or SSNHL) were at a higher risk of having a stroke within the following few years after losing their ability to hear. It is uncertain as to why sudden hearing loss occurs, but researchers believe it may be caused by an obstructed blood flow in part of the brain that is important for hearing.
Engage in Exercises
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, but you might be able to preserve your residual hearing abilities by doing cardiovascular exercises.
A study conducted by researchers at Miami University found a beneficial link between sharpness in hearing and cardiovascular exercises. The study included 102 non-smokers between the ages of 22 and 78. After pedaling on a stationary bicycle, each of the test subjects had their hearing evaluated. The researchers determined that individuals who had higher cardiovascular fitness levels experienced better hearing, particularly for those who were at least 50 years of age.
A broader study that was published in the American Journal of Audiology in June of 2017 by researchers at the Department of Health, Exercises Science and Recreation Management at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, studied data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and included 1,070 participants who were at least 30 years old. Individuals in this study who exercised more showed reduced levels of triglyceride. High triglyceride levels are linked to hearing loss.
It is important to note that loud gyms and places that hold spin cycling classes can damage your hearing health.
Hearing Loss and Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease should be taken seriously by everyone. It’s important to highlight that hearing health is just as important as heart health. There is so much data that links the two to one another, which can lead to additional health issues. It’s important to learn more to take action to care for our overall wellness.
Low-frequency hearing loss could indicate that cardiovascular disease is either present or may develop in a person. If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.