Do You have High-Frequency Hearing Loss? Discover the Symptoms, Preventative Measures, and Treatment Options.
You may not think that you have any form of hearing loss. It’s usually subtle, except in severe cases. You may have hearing loss and not realize it, especially if it’s in the high-frequency range.
There are two different frequencies: high-frequency and low-frequency.
A person with high-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing sounds between 2000-8000 Hz. Some examples of these sounds include birds chirping, children’s voices, and high-pitched instruments like flutes or violins.
A person with low-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing 2000 Hz or lower sounds. Some noise examples include a large dog’s bark or low-pitched instruments like the tuba. Hearing loss in low-frequencies is also known as reverse-slope hearing loss.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is common among people with loss of hearing. The causes of this particular hearing loss include:
Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
One of both ears can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss. The range of severity is as different as the symptoms. Some may not notice it, while others see a significant change.
Here are the most common signs to observe:
Are There Preventative Measures to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
Like noise-induced hearing loss, the only way to prevent high-frequency hearing loss is by avoiding loud settings and wearing proper hearing protection when necessary. If you cannot hear someone speaking to you within arm’s length, this means your environment is too loud. Aging and genetic factors can also cause high-frequency hearing loss, making it unavoidable for some people.
Treatment Options for High-Frequency Hearing Loss
A pure tone screening test determines whether you or a loved one have high-frequency hearing loss. The test will have a range of various frequencies played for the patient to listen to and identify. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and pure tone screening. There is no cure for high-frequency hearing loss, but a hearing aid can help manage your symptoms. Our specialists at Pure Sound Hearing will be able to guide you through your treatment options and recommend hearing aids if necessary.
It’s Springtime! The nice weather is probably drawing you outdoors more often.
Unfortunately, the beautiful flowers that have blossomed have raised the production of pollen and allergies. Even though airborne allergens can be breathed in at any time of the year, there tends to be a spike in allergy-related hearing loss and tinnitus during the spring season.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, can induce symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, ear pressure, feelings of fullness in the ears, or clogged ears. For some, inflammation and/or too much fluid affects a person’s hearing abilities or causes tinnitus. Those who suffer from tinnitus might notice a louder ringing or worsened symptoms of tinnitus.
Can Hearing Loss be caused by Allergies?
In response to allergy exposure, the body’s immune system will produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamine is what causes itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. This is basically hay fever. When mucus overproduces, this can block the Eustachian tube - this tube is the draining passage for the middle ear. The middle ear makes sounds louder and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. If this area becomes inflamed or obstructed your hearing can be affected and/or you can get an ear infection.
Generally, patients who have allergic reactions may notice minor hearing loss with feelings of fullness or pressure in the ear. This indicates that the person may have hearing loss and possibly fluid or inflammation in the middle ear.
Categories of Allergy-Related Hearing Problems
Fullness: Excessive fluid in the ear causes pressure or a feeling of clogged ears. The fluid gets pushed up against the eardrum, creating irritation and making it challenging to hear. Usually, the irritating feeling will eventually go away. If you are noticing any pain, you may have an ear infection and should get help immediately.
Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss happens as a result of sound waves that are unable to correctly travel through the ear and into the tiny bones of the middle ear. If there is excess fluid or ear wax, sound may not properly travel through the cochlea. Conductive hearing loss can be treated and may improve on its own, but it is hard to figure out whether hearing loss is short-lived, treatable, or permanent without thorough tests. If you experience sudden hearing loss or noticeable hearing loss, make an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing right away. If you wait too long, it can be difficult to treat.
Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by allergies happens when the ringing only occurs simultaneously with other symptoms of allergies. If you have allergy-induced tinnitus for many months during the year contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for hearing aid treatment options.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
When your tinnitus symptoms get worse with allergies, it can impact your hearing abilities, your general mood, sleeping patterns, and overall quality of life. If you or a loved one has tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound 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.
What can You do to Improve Your Hearing?
There are sounds all around us, in every environment, and from the people who communicate with us. Think of the sounds that you can’t miss. Perhaps it’s the sound of a loved one’s voice, your favorite music, or critical instructions from a medical provider. Think about the people you want to reconnect with and the special moments by incorporating these tips into your journey towards better hearing.
Obesity is related to hearing loss. The heart must work harder to circulate blood throughout the body, including your ears. Simply walking or practicing a more rigorous exercise routine can help with your overall health, which impacts your hearing health.
Take Advantage of the Technology
Concerns about alerting systems when you have difficulty with hearing are common among people with hearing loss. Modern technology can transform your doorbells, smoke alarms, and timers into flashing lights or vibrations. Smartphones may stream audio straight to your hearing aids while providing captioned videos or flash visual alerts for incoming calls. Hearing aids can also translate other languages through a captioning app.
The Loop System
Throughout the U.S., most public spaces, such as museums and theaters, have a hearing loop built into their venues. This allows your hearing aid devices to wirelessly connect through the t-coil setting in your hearing aid. Participating sites should feature a hearing loop logo on the building.
Protect Your Hearing
About 466 million people around the world have hearing loss. This includes 34 million children. The primary and only preventable cause of hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). So if you are at a loud concert, watching live fireworks go off, riding a snowmobile, or using loud power tools, limit your exposure by wearing hearing protection or taking breaks in between these boisterous spaces.
Do you have difficulty hearing during a conversation over the phone? You might be approved for a landline phone that displays captions as the person speaks on the other line. In some participating states, this telephone is free if a qualified hearing care provider certifies that you have hearing loss and would benefit from using the phone. The caption call phone also works with hearing aids. You just need a standard phone line and connection to the internet. Users can add captions to their smartphones and tablet.
Get a Hearing Test
Making a hearing test is simple. Why not schedule one for the entire household? Adults should get their hearing tested annually or more often if they notice something wrong with their hearing. Early detection is key to early intervention, which can help significantly in the long run. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Many people experience tinnitus. It’s a symptom of an underlying disease. Making a few modifications to your lifestyle can help make your symptoms more manageable.
Things You Can Change to Manage Tinnitus
If your tinnitus becomes triggered due to stress, finding ways to manage your stress should be a priority. Symptoms of tinnitus can worsen from stress. Yoga and other exercises can help alleviate these symptoms. Check out some other easy and effective techniques to manage stress from these articles:
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Additional Treatment Options for Tinnitus
If you are looking for other treatments, maybe try:
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and would like to try hearing aids as a treatment option, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Although hearing loss symptoms vary from each person and situation, they generally include:
It's time to get your hearing professionally tested if you are experiencing one or more of the listed symptoms. A hearing aid instrument specialist will be able to serve your needs.
A total hearing evaluation
A professional hearing aid specialist will evaluate your hearing history to see if you have a loss and, if so, to what degree and nature.
What’s next if you have hearing loss
Your hearing aid instrument specialist will gather the results from all the information. The nature and degree of hearing loss will be addressed. The cause of your hearing loss and its effects on your life will determine treatment recommendations. The hearing aid instrument specialist may only have to remove ear wax or debris from your ears so that you can hear better. Or, there may be fluid in the inner ear or some other medical cause for surgery. But hearing aids will generally be the best form of treatment.
Recognize your hearing loss, and then seek treatment. Get an evaluation if you have the symptoms of hearing loss. You can contact one of our hearing aid instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.
Is it Time for a Hearing Test?
In most cases, hearing loss isn’t as easy to notice as any other symptoms - but that doesn’t make it less urgent to seek treatment.
1. Do you find it easy to hear but difficult to understand what others are saying? Does it sound like they are mumbling or talking too quietly?
2. Group conversations may be hard to keep up with, especially if there’s background noise.
3. Do you often ask others to repeat themselves? It might be a sign of hearing loss.
4. Have other people outright said that you have problems with hearing?
5. Do you rely on your spouse or a close family member/friend to help fill in the parts you missed during the conversation?
6. Do you crank up the TV or your music so loud that others ask you to turn it down?
7. Do you have trouble with conversations over the phone or during video calls?
If you said “yes” to any of these scenarios schedule a hearing test with Pure Sound Hearing.
A hearing test can be conducted by a licensed hearing healthcare professional. The test is painless, and the person who performs the test determines whether you have hearing loss. Sometimes it might be impacted earwax.
If you do have hearing loss, and hearing aids would be beneficial to you, your hearing healthcare provider may also be able to provide and program your hearing aids for you. Everyone’s hearing loss is unique, so calibrating your specific hearing needs in a programmable setting is necessary to get the most out of your hearing aids.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Hearing Loss, Aging, and Loneliness.
A 2012 New York Times article stated that loneliness is harmful at any age. It tends to hurt older adults more because it can lead to early death or loss of physical functioning, like bathing, getting up, dressing, and eating. The article outlined a six-year study on people aged 60 and older. Seniors who weren’t lonely were more likely to live longer than the ones who were.
What is the link between Hearing Loss and Loneliness?
Because humans are social creatures, it is not hard to see why loneliness affects your health negatively. With hearing loss, people often withdraw from social interaction out of frustration with the inability to keep up with conversations. But since loneliness is subjective (like living alone and feeling okay about it) and is not the same as social isolation, which is objective (you either maintain social interactions or you don’t), you have to look at the objective side. You can surround yourself with people and still feel lonely. But one often leads to the other--social isolation often leads to loneliness.
Hearing aids as a buffer against Loneliness.
A 2016 study found hearing aids are a buffer against loneliness because it improves relationships. It’s easier to communicate with others. There’s less frustration and more confidence. Hearing exercises your brain, reducing or slowing down the onset of dementia. There were positive effects on physical and mental health.
If you are having trouble hearing and feel lonely, hearing aids could help. Please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing.
Hearing Health and Heart Health: Take Care of Your Physical and Emotional Health This Valentine's Day
Whether it’s hearing your favorite love song or the words “I love you” this Valentine’s Day, remember that it’s not just important to keep your ears healthy - you need to physically and emotionally take care of your heart too.
The heart needs exercise to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Proper blood flow to crucial organs, including your ears, is necessary for overall health.
What potential risks can a poor cardiovascular system cause to your hearing?
When discussing any health concerns, taking preventative measures is the best way to avoid these problems. Hearing loss can cause cognitive decline and isolation, which may lead to depression. Make sure that you take care of your physical needs, as well as your emotional, spiritual, and social needs. A meaningful connection with others is just as important as taking care of your body. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, connecting with others can be challenging. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule regular hearing tests and seek treatment with hearing aids if your hearing has worsened.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the staff at Pure Sound!
If you want to have a healthy auditory system, you also need to have a healthy heart. Proper blood flow to critical areas of the body is essential. For the inner ear, blood flow to the cochlea is key to hearing better. Good blood flow in the heart is as equally important.
According to a 2010 Wichita State University study, poor cardiovascular health and bad hearing go hand in hand, as well as good cardiovascular health and good hearing. The study found that low-frequency hearing loss can predict heart problems.
Let your primary healthcare provider know if you have low-frequency hearing loss so they can determine whether there are also heart-related risks.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing problems with hearing for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing aid providers.
To better understand your hearing loss or your loved one’s hearing loss, think back on situations where there were miscommunications.
1. What is the Severity of Your Hearing Loss?
It’s the simplest and most common way of characterizing your hearing loss as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Mild hearing loss will still let you hear a conversation without straining as long as you are in a quiet space, without too much background noise, while the person speaking is nearby.
In most cases, if you have severe to profound hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear what anyone is saying.
Hearing loss is more than the inability to hear distinct sounds and tones.
2. Types of Sounds that People can Hear
Presbyacusis is a type of high-frequency hearing loss most common among the elderly. Speech will sound muffled and challenging to understand. Children and other people with higher-pitched voices will be difficult to hear.
You might experience low-frequency hearing loss, mid-frequency hearing loss, or hearing loss on all frequencies.
Sensitivity to certain sounds is also a type of hearing problem.
These issues will affect your ability to follow speech and your comfort level in different environments.
Your hearing healthcare provider might use terms like conductive, sensory, sensorineural, or mixed when characterizing your hearing. These words describe which part of your auditory system has deteriorated. Getting a better sense of them can help you understand why you hear sounds in a certain way and how hearing aids can help.
3. Is Your Hearing Consistent?
Do you notice any changes in your hearing throughout the day or from week to week? Hearing loss that varies can be confusing if you are unaware that you have hearing problems.
4. Do You Experience Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can make hearing even more challenging with any range of loss. If the intensity of your tinnitus fluctuates, it indicates that you may be able to hear better in certain situations, even if your hearing stays the same. The noises caused by tinnitus will intercept whatever you are trying to hear.
Tinnitus can also lead to poor rest. Some therapies may alleviate tinnitus symptoms, including noise machines, meditation, or masking features on apps and hearing aids.
5. At What Age was the Onset of Your Hearing Loss?
Suppose you’ve had hearing loss since infancy (congenital hearing loss). Your residual hearing abilities will be different than if you start losing your hearing later in life due to aging (presbycusis).
Your voice may change and sound different, relationships with others may become strained due to misunderstandings or an impatient partner, and your emotional connection with hearing might also be different.
If you’ve been able to hear during your whole life and that slowly changes, it can be challenging to adjust to this new reality.
6. Did your Hearing Change Suddenly or Gradually?
Seek treatment immediately if you notice sudden or rapid hearing loss. Early treatment can give you a better chance of preserving the hearing abilities that you still have.
Gradual hearing loss can usually get detected by loved ones, colleagues, or other people you see regularly based on your interactions with them.
If you, or a loved one, notice any signs of hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that 25 percent of people with hearing loss, don’t realize they have it?
Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is the most common type of hearing loss. It’s also the type of hearing loss that occurs very slowly over time, making it difficult to notice the loss until it’s too late to treat it.
Early signs of hearing loss are hard to recognize, but it is possible to identify them. There are clues that you, or others in your life, need a hearing test.
9 Signs You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
1. Everyone sounds like they’re mumbling
Do others sound like they aren’t speaking clearly? Are you able to hear certain speech sounds, but not other sounds? Most people with hearing loss start to notice they cannot hear women with high-pitched voices, or children’s voices.
If everyone sounds like they aren’t speaking clearly, you should get a hearing test.
2. Not being able to follow a conversation
Can you mostly hear when others speak, but have difficulty following along during a conversation?
When a person loses their hearing, the brain has to work harder to listen, interpret, and fill in the blanks. This makes it challenging to follow along during conversations. If more than one person is talking, it becomes even more challenging.
3. Others notice your hearing loss before you do
If your family members are constantly telling you to turn the volume down on your TV, computer, or any other device, it’s time to get your hearing tested. If you are both feeling frustrated when trying to communicate with each other, it’s definitely time to get your hearing tested.
4. Easily distracted when there’s background noise
No matter what level of hearing abilities you have, background noise can distract you from your conversations. Most people with healthy hearing can mentally block out most noises and focus on the person/people they are talking to. Someone with hearing loss will stop being able to do this because they are too tired to block it out. Staying on task can be difficult, so if you are easily distracted it’s time to get your hearing checked.
5. Difficulty hearing phone conversations
Some people with hearing loss cannot hear others clearly enough over the phone. The reception can make this experience worse.
Speech that is heard through any phone sounds slightly different than human speech. For anyone with hearing loss, this can make conversations more challenging.
Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand-in-hand, but not always. It’s usually a high-pitched ringing noise that is heard with no outside source. It gets worse when the person who has it is in a quiet environment.
Tinnitus can also sound like a beeping, chirping, hissing, humming, thumping, or roaring sound. If you notice these noises, which tend to occur after being exposed to very loud sounds, get help immediately.
7. Unequal levels of noise
Hyperacusis, also known as hypersensitivity to some noises, is a rare symptom of hearing loss. Losing your hearing can actually make certain sounds louder. Your brain will compensate for the hearing loss by making different sounds louder.
8. Forgetting conversations you had
Do some conversations go through one ear and out the other? It may not be your memory, but rather the fact that your brain is overworked and therefore you have trouble recalling conversations that you weren’t able to hear in the first place.
9. Problems with balance
It’s possible, but rare for hearing loss alongside balance problems. The inner ear controls equilibrium, and anything that affects its function can make it harder to remain balanced and standing upright.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus affects each patient differently. Just like hearing aids, some treatments that work for one person won't work for others. You should get a hearing test from a licensed professional before exploring treatment options.
If the tinnitus is caused by an underlying condition, treating that problem could relieve symptoms. Usually, tinnitus is managed through different therapies. Here are some common treatments:
This is a simple treatment where those who experience tinnitus can listen to sounds in order to refocus the brain from the tinnitus noise to the sounds that are heard through an app, white noise machine, or everyday appliances that are found in the home or workspace like air conditioners. Specialized sound therapy equipment can be used to train and distract your brain from hearing the ringing noises. A tinnitus assessment must be performed in order to identify the frequency and volume of your symptoms.
Programmed Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be programmed to treat tinnitus symptoms. Hearing instrument specialists can program comforting sounds that match the range of frequencies that the patient experiences, in order to mask the distracting ringing noises. Hearing aids can also be programmed to help those who have both tinnitus and hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
We’ll be discussing how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus can be connected to one another, and how a person can be affected by experiencing these issues simultaneously. Research has shown that there’s a link between what reinforces the condition and illustrates how each condition gets worse when experienced in tandem. A guide on how to manage these conditions through various therapies will also be discussed.
Defining Tinnitus and PTSD
Tinnitus is when a person hears a phantom buzzing or ringing noise that is not caused by an external factor. Tinnitus can be experienced by any age group. It can be the result of hearing loss caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, trauma to the head, or diseases/infections in the inner ears.
PTSD is a disorder that is connected to trauma and stress. It is typically linked with members of the armed forces or emergency services because of the high exposure to stressful experiences on the job. PTSD that is experienced by the general public is usually caused by physical or emotional trauma.
Who may experience both Tinnitus and PTSD?
There are a number of at-risk populations that are prone to experience PTSD. Civilians who experienced verbal/sexual abuse, domestic violence, motor accidents, and trauma that occurred at a young age may have PTSD episodes. Military service personnel who endured trauma from combat, survivors from blasts or were held captive for an extended period of time also join this list of the at-risk populace.
Subsets within these groups who experienced trauma have also noticed tinnitus. This includes people who were exposed to blasts, had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash, and problems with head trauma, noise trauma, temporomandibular (TMJ joint), and areas of the neck.
The primary disability claim by U.S. veterans is tinnitus. It makes up more than 80,000 claims each year. The second highest is hearing loss, which makes up 60,000 claims, and there are at least 40,000 claims of PTSD each year. Acoustic trauma can lead to tinnitus. Acoustic trauma is basically loud noise exposure, head trauma, stress, and related medical complaints. These are the daily risks that members of the military experience.
Tinnitus is also common among most of the older population. Even though experiencing PTSD and tinnitus is high among military service personnel, just tinnitus is high among the elderly population. Both conditions are experienced by the general population. Three percent of the general population may experience PTSD symptoms at some point in their life and 10% of the population may experience tinnitus.
Some factors that influence the pervasiveness of PTSD and tinnitus in the general population include physical and emotional domestic abuse, violent crime, stress, exposure to noise, and high numbers of traffic-related collisions. Some of the safest roads in the world are in the UK, but in they also experience an average of 336 accidents per day, or 122, 365 each year. Accidents on the road can cause trauma, PTSD, and tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, head and neck injuries, and shock.
The connection between PTSD and Tinnitus
PTSD and tinnitus may be experienced simultaneously if a person undergoes head trauma during active combat, a car collision, whiplash, or acute stress. These conditions would be diagnosed individually, but they are closely linked by their physiological structures. If PTSD and tinnitus are the results of the same event, when a person tries to deal with both conditions simultaneously the symptoms can underscore each other. The stress from PTSD can trigger tinnitus.
PTSD and worsened Symptoms of Tinnitus
The interference of tinnitus itself can traumatize a person, particularly if that person has trauma that has gone unresolved. Having tinnitus and not being able to properly manage it can remind them of their traumatic experience. Studies from the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Centre Tinnitus Clinic in Tennessee revealed that patients diagnosed with PTSD experienced very severe tinnitus than patients who only had tinnitus. Those who had endured trauma may also have a tendency to focus on the symptoms, which made them worse. Focusing on the noises does not help patients habituate to the phantom sounds. Those who have tinnitus that is worsened by PTSD may also experience hyperacusis - an extreme sensitivity to noise.
Tinnitus and worsened Symptoms of PTSD
Studies on Cambodian refugees at an American psychiatric clinic revealed that symptoms of PTSD were severe in half of the patients who also experienced tinnitus compared to patients without tinnitus.
How to Manage PTSD and Tinnitus Symptoms
Simultaneously experiencing PTSD and Tinnitus can cause each condition to feed off of the other. Tinnitus habituation - experiencing tinnitus to the point where you are no longer bothered by it - can occur after facing and managing your trauma through therapy. Tinnitus symptoms can be managed through sound therapies including apps or noise machines. After the PTSD is processed a more long-term approach to dealing with tinnitus can be managed by wearing hearing aids that can mask the symptoms of tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus symptoms become triggered for different reasons in each person. It can range from poor sleeping habits to your diet. We’re sharing some foods to avoid along with lifestyle changes that can help make symptoms more manageable.
Certain foods and eating habits can directly impact your overall health. A diabetic with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels follows a specific diet. Most are unfamiliar with ototoxic foods.
Ototoxicity refers to the harmful effects on the ears that certain substances (like foods or medications) can induce. If you have problems with your ears and/or hearing health, you should avoid these substances.
Some foods are good for protecting your ears. These foods are rich in folic acid, Omega 3, and Vitamin C. some foods are harmful to the ears.
Which Foods can be Harmful to Your Hearing Health
Hearing healthcare providers urge anyone with hearing problems to cut down their consumption of the following:
4 Bad Habits
Alcohol and tobacco: Everyone knows that consuming these substances can take a toll on your health. It’s also worth noting that tobacco smoke can decrease blood flow to the inner ear.
Frequent noise exposure: overexposure to loud noises harms the auditory cells located in the inner ear. Hearing slowly worsens over time if the exposure lasts too long. Background noise, excessive workplace noise, or listening to loud audio with headphones/earbuds, pose serious risks to hearing health. Always carry around earplugs and wear them if you are exposed to loud noises.
Poor hygiene: Too much earwax that isn’t removed correctly can lead to a blockage in the ear canal. Gently rinse your ears with warm water and a cloth. DO NOT insert anything small like cotton swabs to remove the wax. Depending on the amount and type of earwax you produce, you are pushing the earwax further into your ears. Some people’s earwax can be dry and flakey, and others can be moist and sticky.
Medications: Ototoxic drugs can worsen symptoms of hearing loss or induce other hearing problems. Salicylate, used in common anti-inflammatories, can harm a person’s hearing if taken in high doses. Discuss medications that you currently take or ones that you plan on taking with your hearing healthcare provider.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We're kicking off Tinnitus Awareness Week with some informative blogs.
Did you know that tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? TMD is any dysfunction associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints can be on either side of a person’s face, directly in front of the ears. TMJs attach the lower jawbone to the skull and help with chewing and speaking.
However, tinnitus is mainly due to sensorineural hearing loss. The brain creates tinnitus in sensorineural hearing loss due to impaired neurons and sensory cells. Management strategies, including counseling and sound therapy, may be utilized.
In contrast, tumors, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, and middle ear injuries or diseases represent a smaller portion of tinnitus cases. Treating the underlying condition, in these cases, usually alleviates tinnitus symptoms. The good news is that TMJ sufferers are under this category, which means it’s treatable.
The link between TMJ problems and Tinnitus
The temporomandibular joint is in front of your ears - where the jawbone (mandible) connects to the temporal bone. Besides being physically close to the ear, it also shares some nerves and muscles with the middle ear. For example, a ligament connects the middle ear bone, or malleus, to the jaw. In addition, particular nerves serve both the eardrum and jaw. Also, a nerve supply from the TMJ connects to the part of the brain associated with hearing. For these reasons, difficulties with the cartilage, ligaments, and muscles of TMJ can lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TMJ Problems
There is a relatively small number of people with tinnitus connected to jaw problems. Check with your physician or dental specialist. You might already see the connection. Ask yourself these questions:
TMJ problems may be causing your tinnitus problems if you see any connection with the above elements.
TMJ problems causing Tinnitus are Treatable
The great thing is that tinnitus caused by TMJ problems often goes away when the underlying problem gets addressed. If you think your tinnitus may be associated with your TMJ, talk with your dental specialist or physician. Once you know if there is a connection, they will offer the proper treatment. If you are experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
Shingles often denote the feeling of a painful, itchy rash on some regions of the body. But did you know that shingles can also impact your hearing and balance? In some cases, it can cause hearing loss.
When shingles cause problems to a person’s hearing and balance, it presents itself in one of two different health issues:
Getting shingles does not automatically lead to hearing loss. Ramsay Hunt syndrome may occur due to complications with shingles that cause facial weakness and paralysis. It can include dizziness, hearing loss, or a rash near the ear.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
Most patients who experience hearing loss due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome generally have a temporary loss. Permanent hearing loss and muscle weakness may occur if there is a delay in intervening. A study showed that patients with Ramsay Hunt experience worse hearing loss in the high-frequency range than in the low-frequency range. Patients with vertigo had more severe hearing loss than those without balance problems.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders revealed that Ramsay Hunt affects 5 out of 100,000 people. Those cases might be higher due to underreporting - it’s difficult to diagnose in patients who do not develop a rash.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The top three chronic physical conditions for people of any age are arthritis, heart disease, and hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Statistics from 2022
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) found that:
Older Adults: Hearing Loss Statistics
Statistics on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Too much exposure to loud noises is the top cause of NIHL. Nearly one in five employees is exposed to dangerous noise levels in their work environment. The CDC has found the following reports on NIHL:
Statistics on Children with Hearing Loss
Statistics on Veterans with Hearing Loss
U.S. veterans are at high risk of noise exposure while on the job. Services for hearing aids and hearing loss is available to them through the VA.
Statistics on Hearing Aid and Hearing Care
What is the number of hearing aid users?
According to the 2022 MarketTrak data:
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Cognitive Decline, and Balance Problems
MarketTrak’s 2022 survey also revealed that anyone with hearing issues also has higher rates of common conditions and is more than 3.5 times more likely to have tinnitus, cognitive/memory problems, falls, and balance problems. Those who do not wear hearing aids have higher rates of depression due to isolation, which worsens based on the severity of hearing loss. When you have trouble hearing, and those with whom you communicate don’t try to adopt an easier style of communication, it drives the person with hearing loss to give up on trying to interact with people altogether.
Studies have also shown that those with heart disease are at a higher risk of hearing loss. When your blood flow has poor circulation, oxygen can’t reach the delicate hair cells in the cochlea which damages or destroys them. Hair cells cannot regrow, so once they are destroyed it will lead to permanent hearing loss.
For people with diabetes, hearing loss is twice as common than in those who don’t have hearing problems.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Whether it’s the sound of someone chewing or a car alarm, they can range from mildly discomforting to downright annoying.
For others, it is downright aggravating. In some cases, noises illicit an intensely instinctive response - which can be true for sounds in general. This sensation is known as misophonia or hyperacusis.
There are ways to treat this condition. All you need to do is pinpoint the sound that gives you this reaction and address the hypersensitivity. The cause and treatment will be different based on what triggers you.
Have you ever needed to leave a room or even snapped at someone because they were chewing loudly? Have you ever experienced anxiety because you heard someone typing on a computer keyboard? Do certain noises cause so much distraction that it stops you from getting anything done?
If that’s the case, you may suffer from misophonia. It’s a condition where certain noises cause a distinct and severely negative emotional response. Misophonia is unique for each person. Different noises can be triggering. Sometimes this response includes rapid heart rate, sweating, and trembling.
A person suffering from hyperacusis will experience physical pain rather than emotional pain. The condition of this pain will be different for everyone, whether it be moderate irritation to completely debilitating.
Hyperacusis is typically provoked by:
Hyperacusis can also show up as severe pressure or an episode of tinnitus that causes pain.
The Difference Between Misophonia and Hyperacusis
Misophonia is a psychological condition. It can be related to trauma connected to a specific noise or the symptom caused by an underlying mental illness. Feelings of apprehension, panic, or frustration during a misophonia incident can lead to physical symptoms, but it’s mainly a psychological condition.
Physical trauma, like a strike to the head or exposure to ear-splitting noise, can result in hyperacusis. Any ear damage can cause symptoms of hyperacusis. It’s uncertain what specific part of the body causes hyperacusis, but it might be an auditory nerve disorder. Essentially, there are obvious physical symptoms and a possible physical cause.
The duration of each episode is also different. Symptoms of misophonia usually don’t last for more than one to two hours. On the other hand, hyperacusis can last for days, weeks, or months after exposure to loud noise.
Misophonia causes a full-body response - in most instances, a triggering noise can lead to a panic attack. Hyperacusis rarely appears in any significant way beyond the ears. Hyperacusis can also occur in one ear instead of both.
These two conditions also receive different methods of treatment.
Hyperacusis can be taken care of by using a hearing aid or sound therapy that can help refocus a person’s attention on white noise instead of the triggering noise.
Misophonia can be taken care of through counseling or therapy. A trained therapist can help you discover why certain sounds lead to a severe emotional response. Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with sound therapy may be helpful.
If you experience hyperacusis, tinnitus, or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a reality. One way it’s being utilized is with your health. An AI medic will be your guide. Your clinical norms can be directly collected and stored on the cloud for your AI medic to check on at a moment’s notice before symptoms appear. The data gathered will be used to suggest modifications in lifestyle to prevent severe health problems from happening. For example, if you wear an Apple Watch, there’s a feature that signals users to stand and walk around for a minute if they have been sitting or lying down for too long. You may also set your watch for a certain amount of time to exercise. You can set up notifications for every few hours each day.
If you have any symptoms that appear before a medical problem occurs, the artificial intelligence medic will alert paramedics and emergency contacts beforehand. Wearable sensors - also featured in hearing aids - make it possible to detect falls and abnormal heart rates, identify sounds, and track your fitness routine.
Bio-sensors can aid in hearing, too. But nobody wants to walk around with a cap of electrodes connected to hearing aids and monitoring EEG signals so that it also picks up conversations. Future trends will dictate how hearing wearables will look and work. Be prepared for more significant changes on the horizon. Digital technology will work on a whole new level. Contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing for more information.
The property by which sounds organize on a frequency-related scale is pitch. For those who experience hearing loss, sounds with higher pitches are often the first to go and the hardest to get back. In other cases, these high pitches can seem louder than usual, which can cause pain. For example, the high frequencies of bus brakes squealing may be painful, but the low frequencies of a jackhammer may not.
If you lose high frequencies, it would be harder to hear children's or high-pitched female voices. If low frequencies go, it would be harder to hear deeper male voices. So, it is good to better understand the pattern of your hearing. For some people, the pitch varies widely in terms of hearing. Any way you look at it, you might limit your interaction with those people and situations you can hear best, which means you will miss out on a lot.
If you are frustrated with your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing aid providers.
Hearing Protection used during Hobbies
Are you planning to commit to your hobbies in the new year? Everyone should take on a hobby to enjoy in their spare time. Hobbies can be a significant part of our life and bring enjoyment when life gets too stressful. Consider health and safety precautions before embarking on any potentially loud hobbies that can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
If you’re interested in woodworking, whether you’re a beginner who wants to build some shelves or a seasoned woodworker who wants a canoe, wearing earplugs or earmuffs is necessary when working with power tools.
Power tools and decibel output
Hammer Drill: 114 dB
Chain Saw: 109 dB
Circular Saw: 101 dB
Hand Drill: 99 dB
Router: 95 dB
Belt Sander: 94 dB
Table Saw: 93 dB
Playing an instrument
Whether you are learning a new instrument or have been playing for many years, you should wear hearing protection when playing very loud instruments and take breaks in between playing.
Instruments and their decibel output (when played at their loudest)
French horn: 90 to 106 dB
Trombone: 85 to 114 dB
Flute: 85 to 111 dB
Cello: 82 to 92 dB
Clarinet: 92 to 103 dB
Piano (normal practice): 60 to 70 dB
Piano (fortissimo): 84 to 103 dB
Oboe: 90 to 94 dB
Hearing protection does not only include safeguarding your ears from harmful sound waves, but it’s also helpful to keep your ears clean and prevent debris from entering your ear canals.
Any style of earplugs will ensure air bubbles or water that gets trapped in the ear and will stay away from the ear canal or eardrum. Water that gets trapped can affect your hearing and may cause an ear infection.
Earplugs reduce noise. They cannot cancel out all noise, so if you wear them while swimming, you’ll still be able to hear a lifeguard’s whistle. Earplugs are available in many different styles and sizes. Standard foam earplugs are available at Pure Sound Hearing.
If you need earplugs, a hearing test, or hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
As we wind down from this year and prepare to welcome the new year at a friend or family member’s party or an event, please remember to protect your ears from loud noises that are bound to occur.
New Year’s Eve is commonly associated with celebrating with loud music, dancing, fireworks, and alcohol. Do you ever think about how loud a cork removed from a champagne bottle can be? Even getting hit in the ear with it flying nearly 25 miles per hour can cause damage to your eardrum.
A fireworks display is beautiful to watch and enjoy after the clock reaches midnight, but be aware that the bursts of noise can range from 150 to 175 decibels (dB). The average human’s listening threshold is 70-85 dB. That noise level can cause permanent damage to your hearing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should not be in an area with over 140 dB of peak sound pressure. Many people have endured some damage to their ears due to the sound of fireworks. Similar noise levels, such as live concerts, sound systems, and explosions, can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. If you experience tinnitus due to fireworks noise, the phrase ‘ringing in the New Year’ can have a new meaning.
The importance of Distance between You and the Source of the Sound
One element of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by sounds like fireworks is the range of distance a person is from the source of sounds. The closer you are from where the sound originates, the more likely you experience hearing loss. To reduce the damage that noise does to your ears, make sure you are 15-20 meters away from the sound source. Children’s hearing is much more sensitive, so keeping them at a further distance is highly recommended.
Protect Your Ears with Ear Plugs
Is the sound nearby also loud? Earplugs aren’t just helpful in blocking out annoying background noises. Use them to protect your ears from dangerous levels of sound.
Indirect Noise Exposure
Anyone who lives near a popular/loud venue could be experiencing noise disturbance. Most people will tolerate the noises during celebrations. When these events last too long throughout the night and into the early morning hours, this can be considered noise pollution.
Night hours last from 11 pm to 7 am. The law allows a maximum noise level between these hours. A warning may be issued if there are complaints about the noise levels. For anyone who chooses not to expose themselves to the noise from these events, it can impact their mental and physical health. Noise pollution can raise blood pressure, causing hypertension and heart disease.
Homes nearby can be protected if New Year’s Eve event organizers block out some noise by using acoustic barriers. These barriers stop noise from being heard by people who did not attend the event.
If you are experiencing hearing loss caused by noise exposure or for any other reason, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
6 Tips to Prevent Worsening Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a prevalent health concern for about 466 million people, making it the most common chronic physical condition worldwide.
It is impossible to restore hearing loss, but hearing aids can help patients better manage their loss.
6 Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss from Getting Worse
1. Stay away from Loud Areas
One of the most preventable forms of hearing loss is exposure to dangerous noise levels. About 70 decibels or higher can harm your hearing if the exposure lasts for an extended period. Anything over 120 dB can immediately harm your hearing. Temporary or permanent hearing loss may occur. If you can, stay away from loud areas or wear hearing protection.
2. Hearing Protection
It’s not always possible to avoid noise exposure. If it’s part of your job, or if you live in a loud bustling city, it’s a good idea to wear earplugs or earmuffs when you know you will be around loud noises. Make sure they properly and comfortably fit in your ear canals so that they will seal off any noise. A good way to know whether an area is too loud is if you need to shout for someone nearby to hear you, or you can download a decibel meter app.
3. Take care of Earwax Build Up.
Excess earwax (cerumen) can build up in the ear and worsen hearing. Earwax is supposed to fall out on its own, but in some instances, it can clog up the ear. Do not insert anything, like a cotton swab, into your ears. That will push the earwax deeper into the canals and make it worse. Instead, you can soften the wax with warm water and a washcloth, as long as your eardrums aren’t perforated.
4. Don’t Take Ototoxic Drugs
Some medications, such as cancer treatments, can be ototoxic - they can damage the inner ear. They can cause hearing loss or make existing hearing problems worse. You may want to refrain from taking the medication or ask your healthcare provider about the risks and alternative treatments to reduce potential harm to your hearing health.
5. Take care of Your Hearing Health and Overall Health.
Poor heart health, kidney health, diabetes, dementia, or other health concerns can result in hearing loss. Focusing on your overall well-being - like a good diet, exercise, and a healthy social life - is essential for your health and hearing health. Getting a hearing test regularly can help catch any early loss and slow down further decline by intervening with appropriate treatment options. This may include a change in your diet and exercise routines, or receiving hearing aids.
6. Digital Hearing Aids
Modern technology is very helpful in managing hearing loss. Hearing instrument specialists like our providers from Pure Sound will patiently work with you to customize your hearing aid needs. Services for proper fittings, programming, and cleanings can be arranged through your hearing instrument specialists.
Get in touch with us to schedule your free hearing test and consultation.
You don’t think twice about getting annual check-ups for your teeth, eyes, or general health, so why not do the same for your hearing health?
Your hearing can deteriorate gradually over time, so it’s always good to get it checked out before it becomes more challenging to manage.
The overall quality of your life depends on hearing. From education to enjoying simple things like the sound of laughter or nature, being able to hear can impact your mental health (depression caused by social isolation) as well as your physical health (balance problems). Like every other health problem, catching any issues early can significantly help with your care and treatment options.
Too many people with hearing loss wait years to seek treatment. By the time they finally get help, it’s often so bad that they experience other problems dementia, or speech problems.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.