There are still so many unknown factors about tinnitus, and there isn’t much proof that there is a link between the two. There have been some complaints from people who have tinnitus that reported their symptoms got worse when they consumed specific foods or drinks.
We know that consuming alcohol can be a primary factor in worsened tinnitus and hearing issues, but there are other things that we consume that can also worsen these symptoms.
Consuming caffeine and sodium can also exacerbate symptoms of tinnitus for some individuals. For others, those things might actually help. Everyone is different, and so are their tinnitus symptoms to certain foods.
Reports on Tinnitus and Nutrients
It’s difficult to do research and analyze how nutrients impact tinnitus, but a study from the U.K. made an attempt. Over 34,000 residents completed a questionnaire about their challenges with hearing, tinnitus, and diet. Researchers observed patterns among the three. They concentrated on vitamins and minerals. Salt consumption was not analyzed.
A Diet that is High in Fat can be Detrimental
Generally, consuming foods that are high in calcium, fat, and iron are linked to a higher risk of tinnitus. On the other hand, higher intakes of B12 and meat consumption were connected to lowered risks of tinnitus.
Consuming too many foods that are high in fat may affect blood vessels, which provide healthy circulation throughout the body, including the ears. Unhealthy blood vessels are the reason why heart disease and diabetes are connected to hearing loss.
Limits of this Research
The study was unable to determine the cause and effect of tinnitus. It was not made to test if adding an abundance of vitamin B12 will ease hearing problems. Rather, it was created to distinguish patterns in the self-reported diets and symptoms of tinnitus. There would then be a controlled trial that was randomized. In this scenario, test subjects’ diets were rigidly controlled for a certain amount of time, and tinnitus symptoms were measured.
It’s important not to completely change your diet based on this report, but you may want to start keeping a journal or record of what you eat on a day-to-day basis while taking note of how the tinnitus symptoms sound and how your ears feel. Adjust your diet and find out what works for you. Things like alcohol, caffeine, dark chocolate, red meat, cheese, or salty foods might need to be avoided.
Tinnitus and hearing loss tend to occur simultaneously. If you are experiencing tinnitus and or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Getting treatment for your hearing loss has so many benefits besides better hearing. Reducing your risks of falling and having a healthier brain are just a few.
Did you know that people with difficulty with hearing are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after being discharged?
Researchers from New York University found that patients who were 65 or older and had trouble hearing, were 32% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those without hearing problems.
Hospitals can be tricky to navigate, even without hearing loss. They are very loud, bustling areas. It’s crucial to clearly hear and understand directions during your discharge. You may be given instructions on which medications you need to take, warning signs to watch out for, or any other crucial information that is necessary to avoid another trip to the hospital. Not being able to hear important instructions can slow or worsen your recovery.
A study from the University of Michigan concluded that hearing loss that receives treatment has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and ER visits by older adults.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
Have you noticed after a few months, or maybe a year since you started using your hearing aids that they don’t work as well as they did after you fully adapted to them? Maybe sounds were pretty clear in most situations, but that might not be the case anymore.
We’ll go over some of the most common reasons why your hearing aids are beginning to lose their high performance and quality of sound.
1. Earwax Build-up
Your hearing aids may be working fine, and it may actually be your ears that are the problem. Impacted earwax that builds up can block the ear canals, making it harder to hear. If your hearing aids make a whistling sound, that can be another clue that there’s too much earwax build-up. A professional ear cleaning can be performed, or you can carefully remove it on your own.
2. There’s a Problem with the Batteries or the Charger
Digital hearing aids are intricate devices. Just like any piece of electronic technology, they need battery power. There are rechargeable batteries and disposable batteries available for hearing aids. One of the most common issues with chargers is that they may not come in direct contact with the charging device. As a result, the hearing aids may not be charged at all, they will die off earlier than expected, or they will only work intermittently. This is common when the hearing aids are 3-4 years old.
If you plan to purchase hearing aids, think about getting contactless rechargeable devices that function based on induction. The latest generation of rechargeable hearing aids does not have electrodes but uses induction to charge the battery. If you’re experiencing problems with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you with a solution.
3. Blockage in the Receiver Path
Sounds that are harnessed by the hearing aids will travel through the thin tubes (behind-the-ear model) or a wire (receiver-in-ear model) to the ear canal. At the end of the wire, there’s a receiver made of a silicon dome or a customized earmold. Each of them can be obstructed with earwax. The result is weak or no output. The BTE models can be fixed by detaching the thin tube and checking if the hearing aids can still make any sound. If it did, there’s a good chance that the thin tube just needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Look closely and check for any earwax that is stuck in the thin tube or tip of the receiver by the wax guard. Use cleaning wipes or a soft cloth to wipe off the tube or replace the wax guards. Contact or stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing offices for help, if necessary.
4. Blocked Microphones
Every hearing aid features tiny grooves where sounds reach the microphones. This slot could be compacted with dirt and debris. The small cleaning brush that you’ll receive with your hearing aids should be used to sweep over the outer part of the microphones at least once a week, or more often if you produce a lot of earwax so that the entryway for the sound is unobstructed. Sound will not be able to travel through the hearing aids if they aren’t properly cleaned. A deep cleaning done by a professional should take place every six months, or less, depending on how dirty your hearing aids get. The microphones should be cleaned daily or weekly by the hearing aid user.
5. Your Hearing has Worsened
Hearing naturally deteriorates as we age. Antibiotics, cancer treatments (particularly chemotherapy), gout, and high blood pressure can speed up and create a weakened auditory system. You should get your hearing tested annually, especially if you are a hearing aid user. Monitor any gradual or sudden changes. Keep a hearing journal if necessary. If your hearing aids worked fine, but then you noticed over 12-18 months that they no longer sound as clear as before, you may need a hearing re-test. Your hearing instrument specialist should reprogram or re-adjust the hearing aids according to your new test results.
6. Technology Malfunction
Like all electronics, hearing aids may unexpectedly malfunction. Some common problems include:
Malfunctions in hearing aids usually only occur in one hearing aid. Luckily, the majority of hearing aid providers give patients a long-term warranty on the devices. Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for troubleshooting or any other repairable problems.
7. Moisture Build-up in the Tubes
If you produce a lot of sweat, your hearing aid tubes probably tend to get obstructed with condensation. You can usually see the moisture build-up in the tubes.
Based on how much condensation builds up in the tubes, there are multiple solutions. You can place the moistened hearing aids in a special dryer or dehumidifier case overnight. They should be dried out by the next morning. If you sweat profusely and your hearing aids need to constantly be dried throughout the day, get in touch with one of our hearing aid providers at Pure Sound. You may need to get the earmold re-sized or re-shaped. A larger vent size (may acoustically) might be better for air circulation in the ear canal, decreasing moisture build-up.
If you need help with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
Hearing loss is the third leading chronic physical condition in the U.S., following high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related illness, due to dangerous noise levels in these environments. Here are some recommendations to reduce the risks of exposure to noise in the workplace.
Nearly every industry can put employees at risk of work-related hearing loss
Prevention is important because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss and it’s the easiest to manage.
Preventing Hearing Loss on the Job
Find out whether the noise in your work environment is dangerous. Just like with any loud space, if you need to speak louder when the person you are talking to is just an arm’s length away, the noise level is too loud.
Use a noise level meter app to determine the noise level in your environment. Discuss checking noise levels in your workplace with your manager or supervisor.
Decrease noise from the source. Use quiet tools and equipment, or wear hearing protection - like earplugs or earmuffs - while using them.
Reduce exposure to noise:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Defining Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, or a hearing impairment, makes it difficult to hear or interpret sounds. It occurs as a result of a complication with one or multiple components of the ear, the nerves in the ears, or the part of the brain that interprets sounds.
Some people with hearing loss are born with it. Hearing loss can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, caused by birth defects, infections, or medications. If you know ahead of time that the medication that you need to take can induce hearing loss, try to look for an alternative before taking it.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. Exposure to a sudden noise - like a loud explosion or frequently being around loud sounds over time can cause damage to the tiny hair cells found in the inner ear, making it challenging to hear clearly. You can tell whether your environment is too loud if you need to shout for someone close by to hear you. If you find yourself in a crowded area and have trouble hearing the person/people you are speaking to, you may have some hearing loss.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears after being at a loud concert, a sports stadium, or any other loud event, you’ve had tinnitus. It normally quiets down after a day or two. Continuous tinnitus or hearing muffled noises indicates that there is some damage to the hair cells in your ear. Hair cells harness sound waves and translate them into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. When hair cells become damaged, they can no longer transmit sound signals as clearly as they normally did. Tinnitus and hearing loss often, but not always, go hand in hand.
Repeated exposure to loud noise or music can worsen symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss. This is why musicians, construction workers, airport runway employees, and people who work in other noisy settings wear ear protection. Common tools and appliances like lawnmowers, power tools, or blenders are also loud enough to induce hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent NIHL:
If you are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Science researchers directed by King’s College London, Karolinska Institute, and Erasmus University have discovered 10 new genes that are connected to hearing loss and detected which areas of the ear were affected by them.
In June 2022, this discovery was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. As a result, it created some skepticism about current knowledge on the origins of age-related hearing loss that stems from sensory hair cells. Based on their findings, researchers strongly believe that the stria vascularis, an area of the cochlea - which is located in the ear, is a new area of focus for treatments that help individuals with hearing loss.
Due to various factors, many people experience hearing loss as they age. By 2050, about 2.4 billion people will have some range of hearing loss. Age-related hearing problems are one of the primary chronic disabilities. It’s also a high-risk factor for dementia.
This group of researchers also reviewed genetic analyses that were made by different centers across the globe. They used samples from 723,266 patients in 17 studies who were clinically diagnosed or self-reported hearing impairment. This is currently one of the largest studies conducted on the genetic factors of hearing health. The researchers found 48 genes connected to hearing loss, including 10 new variants that are recently related to hearing.
This discovery identified genes that can be focused on for screening purposes, developing drugs, and gene therapy. It’s a secure foundation to help improve therapies against hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids may be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. In most instances stress from the current situation has exacerbated chronic conditions.
These circumstances - the social isolation, unpredictability, the news, financial troubles, an interruption in our routines, inaccessibility of or challenges with visiting healthcare providers, have caused hardships for everyone, including people with tinnitus.
Stress and how it Affects Tinnitus
Stress triggers many chronic conditions, like tinnitus. More stress can make tinnitus louder and more difficult to tune out.
Here’s a simple way to mentally visualize this issue. Imagine the capacity of managing your stress in the form of a big glass tank. The tank symbolizes the amount of stress you can handle each day. When your stress rises and the tank overflows, you begin to have symptoms of anxiety or other negative health problems.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that the stress that comes while living with this condition can flood the tank. Even if the stress that you associate with tinnitus is not flooding the tank, it can still be very distracting. Other stress factors that usually don’t affect you, may be enough to overwhelm you and induce anxiety.
When people are able to habituate to their tinnitus and experience some relief, the ability to manage stress will be reinforced.
Stress can come from anything, so it’s not just stress from the tinnitus that you need to take charge of. Other factors can be related to work, relationships, family, finances or lack thereof, health problems, the pandemic, etc.
Reduce stress by checking out tips from these articles:
How can Stress Lead to Hearing Loss?
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Do you have Hearing Loss and Anxiety?
If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Ear infections may occur in your middle ear - the area behind your eardrum - if there’s fluid build-up. That build-up can lead to bacterial and/or viral infections. Ear infections can be caused by allergies, colds, and the flu. Ear infections can also occur in the outer ear or ear canal if it comes in contact with bacteria or contaminated water. Some hearing aids are designed to seal off the ear canal. As a result, an ear infection can linger if they are frequently worn without proper regular cleanings.
Hearing aids are supposed to be worn all day, from the moment when you wake up to the moment when you get ready to sleep unless you take a shower/bath, or go into a body of water. To help prevent ear infections, it’s important to keep up with daily hearing aid cleanings at home and schedule professional cleanings every six months or less. If there's too much debris or earwax impacting the function of the devices, you should visit your hearing instrument specialist sooner.
Some signs of an ear infection are pain and swelling. Hearing aids are custom-fit, or a standard dome size is recommended for each user, so if there’s pain and swelling it indicates that the devices were not correctly fit. The improper fitting will also affect the sound quality that you hear when wearing them.
What Should You Do if You Have an Ear Infection from Wearing Hearing Aids?
If you or a loved one need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids or a re-fitting for a more suitable fit, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
We are all aware that exposure to loud noises, genetic factors, and diet can cause hearing loss, but here are some other known causes of hearing loss.
Over an extended period of time, these conditions and habits can cause hearing loss:
Even though these causes of hearing loss are uncommon, it’s still important to be aware of them to keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
August is Hearing Health Awareness Month, and we’re providing a dietary guide for healthy hearing.
In order to function properly, a healthy body requires the right amount of nutrients.
Just like all of your other organs, your ears must have the nutritional support to help you hear your best. Here are some foods that will benefit your hearing.
Bananas, and other foods that are rich in potassium, are great sources of nutrients for the ears. Potassium helps translate sound into nerve impulses in the inner ear that get transferred to the brain. Potassium levels actually decline as we age, so it’s crucial to maintain good levels of potassium to fight against age-related hearing loss. Consuming bananas is a great way to get potassium in your diet, but make sure you aren’t taking in more than the recommended amount of 3.5 grams. You should easily reach this amount of potassium with your normal caloric intake.
Beans, lentils, and peas
Zinc is necessary for mineral growth and development. It can also improve hearing health and symptoms of tinnitus by protecting your immune system. It’s a good idea to start increasing your daily intake of zinc so that your ears can benefit from the nutrients for a long period of time. Incorporate beans, lentils, and peas for an easy way to get zinc in your diet.
Broccoli is a great basic building block for a healthy body. It includes vitamins K and C, along with fiber. Broccoli is used to stop free radicals - these are the basic structures for a disease to grow and accelerate aging - from causing harm to the delicate and sensitive tissues in your ears. No matter how you eat it - grilled, steamed, or raw - the health benefits of broccoli can’t be understated.
Fish is full of heart-healthy omega 3 and vitamin D. We know that Vitamin D strengthens the body’s bones, and this includes the middle bones in your ear which can prevent osteopenia and otosclerosis. These are serious ear problems that can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The recommended weekly intake is two servings of fresh, unprocessed fish which can also lower the chances of enduring permanent hearing loss.
Garlic can boost blood circulation and lower inflammation in the body, particularly for organs related to hearing. This lets blood properly flow everywhere that it is needed, and reduces the possibility of high blood pressure which can lead to long-term health issues.
If you are concerned about the smell, there are odorless garlic supplements. You can even incorporate some cloves into your cooking. Garlic should be part of your healthy eating plan. You might notice some relief from symptoms of common ear conditions like tinnitus.
If you are noticing hearing loss, hearing aids can help slow down the loss and improve your brain health, combat isolation, and help with communication. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Regular check-ups and hearing tests to detect hearing loss in its early stages, along with preventative care, are crucial for properly treating and managing your hearing health. If you are exposed to loud noise or notice hearing loss, seek help immediately. Do not wait until you notice signs of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss: The 10 Signs
If you experience at least one of these signs, your hearing loss may have been caused by noise exposure:
A hearing test can be administered if you:
A pure tone test will be administered, and you will listen to different tones through headphones. This is how your hearing healthcare provider identifies the quietest tone that you can hear. You may be asked to repeat a series of words or press a button when you hear a tone.
Risks for Hearing Loss
These are some causes and susceptibilities of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing loss factors:
Noise Exposure can also Lead to other Developmental Problems
If you are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, you should get your ears checked, and your hearing tested. Injuries caused by loud noises, or head trauma, can lead to dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
TBI can happen to anyone, but it can be more serious in older individuals. Americans at least 75 years of age are the most likely to be hospitalized for TBI.
Patients who endure a TBI need to undergo stabilization. There may be a delay before the patient or their family members notice any problems with their hearing.
In some cases, complications are not immediately determined. If you have any history of TBI, let your hearing care provider know. Hearing loss and other hearing health-related problems could be bee overlooked.
Possible Outcomes from Auditory Problems following TBI
An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is a head trauma that impairs the brain’s normal functioning for a short period. About half of TBI cases are caused by falls. The rest are induced by automobile crashes and assaults. A blow, bump, or jolt that causes the head and brain to quickly move back and forth can make the brain bounce or twist within the skull. Cells can also be harmed.
You don’t need to experience a direct impact on your head to have a TBI. If you are in an automobile accident and forcefully jerk forward, this can cause a TBI whether your head hits something or not. You can experience a brain injury even if you remain conscious.
The word “concussion” may be used interchangeably with brain injury because it sounds less alarming. It’s important to know that a concussion is a TBI. Some evidence shows that hospitals are not thoroughly treating mild forms of TBIs. There was a study on 395 patients who were at least 14 years old and visited an urban hospital because they had mild TBI. Out of those patients who met the typical standards for those who could be released from the hospital without a follow-up, 27 percent ended up having permanent cognitive difficulties and required therapy.
Acoustic trauma occurs when the ears are affected by a head injury (like a direct blow to the ear, or a loud noise within close range). Anyone who has trained or fought in war is at high risk for this particular injury. Many veterans have hearing loss and tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TBI
Over half of patients with TBI develop tinnitus. That number increases if the individual was exposed to a blast. Tinnitus is the first and widely reported problem after a TBI.
Tinnitus is the top service-related reason for veterans to file for compensation disability.
Symptoms of tinnitus can be the result of an injury or medication side effects that are used to treat TBI. This may include SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac, over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, etc.
Many people who have tinnitus, also experience hearing loss. It may not be noticeable. You can wear hearing aids, which can be programmed to cover phantom sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or tinnitus sound therapy can help mask the noise.
Hearing Loss and TBI
A 2018 report concluded that those with TBI and no bone injuries to their head still had some hearing-related loss. Sometimes it was fleeting. A study on 1.6 million people in Taiwan showed that TBIs could lead to over twice the chances of hearing loss within the following decade.
When sounds vibrate through the ear, the eardrum will respond to the sound. Vibrations communicate with three small bones or the ossicles. When those bones vibrate, the vibration travels to fluid in the inner ear and cochlea, which communicates with the auditory nerve.
Possible problems may arise:
If you, or a loved one, have experienced any type of head trauma, and notice hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing evaluation.
Receiving treatment for hearing loss can alter your life. It’s always nice to share this news with people, especially those who need help with their hearing loss but haven’t sought care. Here are five tips to be a better advocate for anyone with hearing loss.
1. Share Your Journey to Better Hearing
The average person with hearing loss waits more than a decade after they begin to notice the loss before receiving proper treatment. Think about all of the things you could miss out on for a decade. There are also physical (balance issues), mental (anxiety and depression), social (isolation), and financial (losing a job because you can’t follow directions due to poor hearing) repercussions to untreated hearing loss.
Simply sharing your story can encourage others who continue putting off care for their hearing health to seek help.
2. Be there to Support Someone
Getting help is a major step that feels easier with family and friends by your side. Your loved ones are some of the primary people who are also affected by your hearing loss. Have you noticed communication issues with them?
Having family members at your hearing care appointments can help your hearing aid provider better understand how you communicate with others and find the best solution for everyone. The emotional support, a better perspective about your hearing needs, or being able to hear a familiar voice when you are trialing a pair of hearing aids is always comforting.
3. Be Available to Offer Advice
With all of the different features available, it can be overwhelming to learn how it all works. Hearing instrument specialists are available to guide you through the technology so you can get the most use out of them. There are all sorts of tips, apps, and smartphone compatibility features that will be beneficial to your hearing needs.
4. Practice Self-Care
Hearing health often goes overlooked. Remind yourself and family members, no matter what level of hearing abilities you/they have to get annual hearing tests, monitor hearing health, pay attention to problems that come up with hearing aids, and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Adults who received treatment for hearing loss have reported improvements in all of their relationships, their mental health, social life, and other important areas. The loved ones in their lives have noted the same. For your sake, and theirs, get your hearing tested and seek treatment if necessary by getting in touch with Pure Sound Hearing.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Hearing loss can affect anyone. There are different causes and ranges of hearing impairment. Detecting hearing problems early and receiving proper treatment is key to health management, preventing or slowing down a further decline.
1. Have Others Noticed a Change in Your Hearing?
If other people complain about needing to repeat themselves or if you don’t hear them when they say something to you, this can be another sign of hearing loss. Your loved ones or other people that you frequently interact with are usually the first to notice there’s something wrong with your hearing.
2. Do You Have Difficulty with Hearing Consonant Sounds in Words?
If you can’t clearly hear the beginning of words, especially consonants, this might be an early sign of hearing loss. If you have problems with differentiating some words from each other, like ring and sing, this can also be an early sign of hearing loss.
3. Do You find it Difficult to Hear in Loud Environments?
If you avoid certain places, spending time with others, or frequently need to ask others to repeat themselves, particularly in busy or loud areas, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
4. Are You Cranking up the Volume on Entertainment Systems?
This is one of the most common signs people experience when they start to lose their hearing. If others ask you to turn the volume down when watching or listening to something, you should get your hearing tested.
5. Do You notice a Phantom Ringing Sound?
Tinnitus is a common type of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among those who experience regular exposure to loud noises. Get a hearing test immediately if you notice consistent ringing noises that are difficult to ignore and have no outside/physical source.
Tinnitus can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so get your hearing tested as soon as possible so that you can receive immediate treatment.
6. Do You Hate Talking on Your Phone?
Hearing conversations through a phone is difficult for some people with hearing loss. Voices may not sound loud or clear enough. If you tend to switch to the loudspeaker option, this can be a sign of hearing loss. All modern digital hearing aids have Bluetooth® technology, so it’s possible to stream your phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
7. Do You Often Feel More Fatigued?
If you feel tired more often, this could be due to the amount of energy you use to pay attention to what others are saying. Get a hearing test if this is the case for you. Listening fatigue is a real problem among those with hearing loss. Receiving adequate treatment can help you focus easier, and make you feel less drained.
If any of these issues have occurred to you, or a loved one, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Les Paul, has been bestowed with many titles including award-winning musician, innovator, creative genius, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing, and other music advancements. He also wore hearing aids in both ears.
In 1969 his hearing started to deteriorate when a friend playfully smacked the side of his right ear, which led to his eardrum rupturing. It wasn’t a hard slap, but his friend’s open palm made contact with Paul’s right ear. The abrupt pressure popped his eardrum. A surgical procedure complicated his hearing, and he lost his ability to hear out of his right ear. A couple of years later, another guitar player slapped over his left ear, and again, that eardrum also popped.
In total, he had five operations on his inner ear and eardrums. His hearing loss eventually became permanent, and he has been wearing hearing aids ever since. He always looked for ways to improve the quality of hearing aids and hearing health until he passed away in 2009.
His work continues through the Les Paul Foundation, which provides yearly funding to Hearing Health Foundation’s Emerging Research Grants program to discover a cure for tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation if you experience hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Be more Productive on the Job by Treating Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss and work with other people, missing or mistaking what you heard can lead to an unproductive day. In a survey that was recorded through The Hearing Journal, workers were asked about the repercussions of untreated hearing loss and how it affected their productivity. Nearly all participants in the survey reported serious obstacles they faced while accomplishing their work before using hearing aids.
Results from the Survey
These negative impacts of hearing loss should be a case for employers to offer hearing health benefits, encourage employees to seek help and treatment, and offer appropriate accommodations. Not only does it offer employees the hearing treatment that they need for their overall health and well-being, but it can also help them be more productive in the workplace.
Another recent survey showed that 51% of adults have reported hearing problems. Just 11% requested treatment. The cost of treatment accounts for 85% of why they do not get treatment, 45% reported the challenges with adjusting to hearing aids, and 28% account for the stigma of wearing hearing aids. Only 12% did not demonstrate any concern. This demographic can give hearing aid providers the chance to educate and provide resources that would help make getting hearing aids easier.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, Pure Sound Hearing offers a free hearing test and discount hearing aids. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Some people with hearing loss are still irritated by loud noises. In fact, some sounds are more annoying and even painful than before they started experiencing hearing loss. The term for this is auditory recruitment or auditory distortion.
Why are certain Noises too Loud?
When the delicate, auditory hair cells (cilia) deteriorate due to aging or sensorineural hearing loss, they can’t respond to sound waves in the same way they used to. This is when hearing loss occurs.
Cells do not worsen evenly. Some hair cells stay in good condition, while others are over-exposed to sounds and the healthy cells immediately need to replace the dying cells. This can lead to sounds that make people feel distressed.
Generally, what happens is a person who cannot hear clearly does not respond to a person who is trying to speak with them at a normal or low volume. In turn, the speaker will talk much louder and the person with hearing loss will suddenly hear them and react in pain.
Hyperacusis is similar. This is when there is an intensity in someone’s sensitivity to sound. The way it's different from auditory recruitment is that hyperacusis can feel painful, but is not related to hearing loss. For example, a child who has autism and auditory processing disorder may experience sensitivity to specific sounds.
Auditory recruitment can be treated by wearing high-quality hearing aids. A hearing instrument specialist can program the hearing aids to compress sounds for the exact range of noises that irritate you. Hearing amplifiers and cheap hearing aid models won’t be useful because they do not feature adjustable compression bands, which can negatively impact your overall hearing health.
It’s crucial to have an experienced hearing instrument specialist who can recognize recruitment and program your hearing aids accordingly.
Recruitment, just like hearing loss, can gradually occur over a long period of time. Pay attention to whether you notice sensitivity to sound after wearing hearing aids. Tinnitus retraining therapy can give relief to those who suffer from it. Discuss this with your hearing instrument specialist.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Are you ever roused from your sleep by the sound of tinnitus? For 1 out of 5 adults, it’s a common problem that interferes with a restful night.
A research team from the University of Oxford hypothesized the reason for this phenomenon, which may also hold the key to improving treatment options for tinnitus.
Why does Tinnitus Stir You from Your Sleep?
Researchers came up with a new model for how tinnitus interferes with sleep using current evidence.
When a person falls asleep, the brain obstructs noises that are occurring in the room. For example, this is how people can fall asleep to certain music or a TV that’s playing something. It’s uncertain how this occurs. It is also unknown how a person’s sleep patterns change when responding to internal experiences of pain or tinnitus.
There are five stages that your brain repeatedly goes through when you sleep. Non-REM sleep falls under stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. The fifth stage is REM sleep. The stages where you do not dream make up about 75% of your total sleep time. The brain produces different kinds of wave activity that gradually disperse throughout the brain during that time.
Initially, the wave activity might repress the brain signals that cause tinnitus. When the wave is less severe, tinnitus symptoms might worsen and then wake you up or interfere with a deeper rest.
Tinnitus might cause the Brain to Stay Awake
This can cause wakefulness in a resting brain, which can stop you from starting the dreaming stage known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Night terrors, which have been connected to adults with tinnitus, also occur during this transition stage.
Sleep patterns are connected to the way tinnitus develops. This information will help researchers figure out a moment when providing tinnitus treatment will be the most effective before it becomes permanent. The research will also help them find out how the quality of sleep is affected by tinnitus. This may evolve into other research about whether better rest can help repair irregular activity in the brain that is connected to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Poor Rest
Those with tinnitus tend to be light sleepers. In a survey of over 14,000 Japanese residents between the ages of 45 and 79, roaring tinnitus nearly tripled the risk of insomnia. Even a mild case of tinnitus made it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or feel rested. Sleep apnea was another condition connected with tinnitus. It can cause snoring, sleepiness during the daytime, high blood pressure, stroke, and other health issues.
Difficulties with sleep are different for each age group. Night terrors, which are common in young boys, are connected to adults (age 20-44) with tinnitus.
Poor rest can lead to difficulty in managing tinnitus symptoms or any other chronic conditions. Women with tinnitus and bad rest are more likely to experience headaches, neck pain, or feelings of anxiousness, whereas men are more likely to experience depression.
Even though there’s no cure for tinnitus, counseling and different therapies - including sound therapy - can reduce the severity of the problem and make sleeping easier.
Tips for Better Rest
First of all, stop looking at your phone, computer, and TV screens. The blue light from your devices causes your brain to remain active.
Try listening to restful music for two hours. It’s important to only listen for two hours - after that period of time, the white noise may over-stimulate the brain.
This technique was tested on 30 patients with tinnitus by an audiology and speech specialist at Gaziantep University in Turkey.
Some patients claimed they stopped noticing their tinnitus, and others heard quieter tinnitus noises after six months. These patients’ symptoms of depression also felt eased. The objective was to help patients “fall asleep with less exposure to the disturbing effects of tinnitus”, instead of stopping them from waking up. On average the length of the first non-REM sleep cycle is 70 to 100 minutes, therefore it should only take about two hours to cover up your tinnitus.
If these techniques did not prove to be effective, try hearing aids. Hearing aids feature a tinnitus masking technology, so the symptoms won’t be noticeable as long as you are wearing them. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation from one of our providers.
Canadian-born singer/songwriter, Justin Bieber, recently announced that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. This is a rare neurological disorder that causes paralysis in the facial nerves, a rash that can affect the ear or mouth, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
Bieber posted an Instagram video that showed the 28-year-old with a partially paralyzed face. He mentioned difficulty with eating. The right side of his face remained still as he smiled and moved his nostrils. He also struggled to blink his right eye.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, about 5 in 100,000 Americans are affected by Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The cause of this disorder is the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. It is also known as “herpes zoster oticus” because of the physical characteristics of the ear rash. “Herpes zoster oticus” mainly refers to the ear rash, and it’s called “Ramsay Hunt Syndrome” if facial paralysis occurs in addition to the ear rash.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treatment
There are no preventative care measures for Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Patients can recover from it within a few weeks to several months. Early treatment is better for the best recovery outcome if it is treated within three days after noticing symptoms.
Treatment options include antiviral medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain killers. Please find out from family members or ask your healthcare provider if you are susceptible to hearing loss before taking these medications. They can be ototoxic, and impact your hearing health.
If symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are left untreated, patients may experience permanent weakness of facial muscles or hearing loss.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and its Impact on Hearing
A rash on the outer ear and external ear canal can form if you have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
Tinnitus is also a common symptom. Some patients may develop sensorineural hearing loss if the nerve that’s affected can no longer transmit vibrations to the brain.
There is currently no clear relation between the severity of facial weakness in patients with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and hearing loss, but one study from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry reported nearly 19% of patients had an irregular audiogram.
In a study in the journal “Medicine”, hearing loss was more severe in high-frequency ranges than in the low-frequency ranges for patients who had the Herpes zoster oticus virus. Hearing problems were worse in patients who had vertigo than in patients without vertigo in high and low frequencies. The range of hearing loss was not substantially different between patients who had and did not have facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
Another study from Japan showed complete recovery in 85 out of 173 (49%) adults and 33 out of 42 (78%) patients who were under the age of 16. Complete recovery was shown in audiograms of 66% of children with audiometry documented hearing loss compared to 37.7% of adults.
Healthcare and Recovery
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is not contagious. It can still develop in people who have had chickenpox, but those who have not had chickenpox should get their chickenpox vaccine and their shingles vaccine.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus that was caused by any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Have you noticed a cold or flu can also make your ears feel stuffy? Your ears, nose, and throat are interconnected, so when you have a problem in one area, it can cause problems in the other areas. Congestion in the ear(s) is just one of numerous symptoms that can occur when there’s an issue with the nose, sinuses, or throat.
The Cause of Ear Pressure
The small passageway that links your middle ear to your throat is known as the Eustachian tube. This tube helps to balance the pressure in your middle ear by opening up whenever you sneeze, swallow, or yawn. This system stops air pressure and fluid from accumulating inside your ear canal, behind the eardrum.
When there’s an obstruction in the Eustachian tube, noises can sound muffled. It’s normal to feel pressure, pain, and fullness in your ears. Your Eustachian tubes can become partially blocked due to allergies, colds, flus, or sinus infections. Inflamed tissues and mucus discharge are primary reasons for dysfunction in the Eustachian tube.
Air travel or traveling up high altitudes can also change the way your Eustachian tubes are not functioning properly.
Tips to Relieve Ear Pressure
In order to use the best remedy, you must identify the cause.
Primary Causes of Sinus Congestion:
Managing Fluid Buildup
If there are drainage issues in your ears, fluid can build up. As a result, fluid can become trapped behind the eardrum. Here are some symptoms that you may notice:
If the problem is not resolved, the fluid build-up behind the ear can lead to a rupture.
Remedies to remove fluid from the ear canals:
Earwax, or cerumen, can build up when it becomes pushed deeper into the ear canal or obstructs the ear canal. This blockage can lead to hearing loss, dizziness, pain/fullness in the ears, pressure, and tinnitus. Q-tips should not be used to clean the ears. This will push the earwax further in the canals. Wearing hearing aids or earplugs can also cause cerumen buildup.
The best way to remove earwax is by running warm water in the ear canal (during a shower) for a couple of minutes. You may use an irrigation kit for this. When the water softens the wax, it will drain through the outer ear.
Ear congestion can be caused by allergies. Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve allergy-related ear pressure, along with other symptoms. Be aware that some medications can cause hearing loss, so discuss this with your hearing healthcare provider.
Traveling by Air or High Altitudes
When you are on a plane that’s about to take off or land, a sudden pressure change can occur in your environment and the middle ear. This imbalance stops your eardrum from vibrating the way it should. Ear pain, full feelings in the ear, and pressure can cause “airplane ears”.
Remedies to reduce pressure:
Infections in the Middle and Outer Ears
Otitis media, or more commonly middle ear infections, can cause symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss, and pain in the ears. The culprit is usually viruses from respiratory infections.
Swimmer’s ear, or outer ear infections (otitis externa), is usually caused by water that’s left in your ear after it is exposed to moisture. Water that becomes trapped after swimming or bathing is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive.
Usually, ear infections will resolve themselves. Ear drops and pain medications can help relieve symptoms.
There are various causes of ear pressure. It’s important to find the cause of it and treat it appropriately. There’s generally a simple home remedy. If symptoms worsen, seek professional help. If you are noticing hearing loss as a result of ear pressure, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Work plays a significant role in your social status. A general sense of achievement and self-worth is felt in us when we work. Tinnitus Hub, a group of people with tinnitus who work for the tinnitus patient community, focus on patient support and education, promote research, and raise awareness, gathered data indicating that over a third (38 percent) of employees have expressed that their symptoms had a negative impact on their work.
This doesn’t just disrupt the workflow of the employee, but it can affect their income and the economy in general. Tinnitus Talk is a worldwide online community for tinnitus patients. Volunteers who run this organization are pushing to raise awareness so that it’s taken more seriously as a problem that can impact work environments.
Tinnitus Hub Statistics from 2018
A survey with 1,800 participants asked, “Has tinnitus affected your job or work prospects?”
Difficulty with Concentration
The main effect of tinnitus on the job is the inability to focus. There’s a spectrum of how patients with tinnitus struggle. According to the survey, tinnitus affected concentration mildly (41 percent), moderately (33 percent), or severely (20 percent). Only a small percentage reported a lack of problems with concentration.
This is significantly different from the “concentration/listening fatigue” that individuals with hearing loss may encounter. In some cases, their brain needs to make an extra effort to interpret what they heard. It’s due to constantly hearing the tinnitus in their head while refocusing it to the background in order to concentrate on something else.
Anyone who struggles with tinnitus can find coping mechanisms from sound machines or hearing aids, to meditation. Patients with severe forms of tinnitus generally experience anxiety and/or insomnia, which can affect their performance at work. Most people cannot grasp the daily stress of constantly hearing a high-pitched sound.
Difficult Work Environments
There are certain jobs that frequently expose people to loud noises that can damage hearing or induce tinnitus. These include construction, manufacturing, military service, and the music industry.
Low-level exposure to sounds on a regular basis for hours at a time, like in a call center, school, or restaurant can cause some harm to a person’s hearing health. Anyone with tinnitus may notice more sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis). As a result, normal office work environments can lead to ear pain or loud instances of tinnitus.
Commuting to work can be a struggle for someone with hyperacusis. Traffic noises can spike tinnitus symptoms.
Potential Negative Reactions from Employers and Coworkers
Many people with tinnitus have pointed out the ignorance of employers or colleagues, along with how unwilling they are to make changes that would benefit a person with tinnitus. Some are hesitant to reveal this information for fear of discrimination.
How to Help
Every employee should be accommodated. If the tinnitus is stress-induced, the anxiety tends to pass for most people. It can take weeks, months, or even years to obtain habituation. Others may turn to permanently adjust their situation by working a less demanding job.
If you’d like to consider using hearing aids to mask tinnitus symptoms, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Men who have hearing loss are at a 69% higher risk of developing dementia than men who do not have hearing loss.
Several studies over the years have traced hearing loss that is untreated to a rise in risks of dementia.
The reasons why hearing loss tends to increase the risks of dementia are still being researched, but there’s an unequivocal link between the two.
Men who experience hearing loss are more likely to have dementia. An Australian study revealed that men with hearing loss were 69 percent more likely to develop dementia than individuals without a hearing problem.
The good news is that getting hearing loss treated early can help prevent or delay the onset of dementia.
If you or a loved one are noticing hearing loss, or if it’s been a long time since you received a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. If hearing aids are recommended, our providers will patiently work with you to find the best solution.
June 12 is designated as Family Health and Fitness Day. As mentioned in our blog, in addition to making hearing healthcare a priority in your life, your overall health is also as important and can impact your hearing. Keeping yourself physically active and healthy can help reduce the risks of common health problems, and make chronic conditions like hearing loss more manageable. Healthy blood cells help pump your blood throughout the entire body so that it can function properly. This includes your ears.
Fitness and nutrition are challenging to maintain as an individual, and most parents know how difficult it is to deal with picky eaters, each family member’s schedule, and sometimes working overtime. It’s all very exhausting!
Families Should Prioritize Health and Fitness Together
Have a little family meeting and come up with a plan together, commit to that plan together by holding each other accountable, do them together, and support each other along the way.
The more involvement you have in your family’s well-being, the healthier they will be.
8 Tips to Stay Fit with Your Family
What are you waiting for? Get moving!
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you or anyone in your family is experiencing hearing loss and needs a hearing test.
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month: Is there a Correlation between Hearing Complications and Migraines?
June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.
Hearing loss isn’t a symptom of migraines, but tinnitus and other problems with the ears can be connected to migraines.
A migraine attack can induce a change in your vision, but a lot of people are not familiar with hearing problems or complaints about the ear.
Nearly 40 percent of patients with migraines also have bouts of vertigo and dizziness. These symptoms can develop due to an illness within the vestibular system - including the areas of the inner ears.
It is common for anyone who gets a migraine to experience more sensitivity to sound when they have a migraine attack. This is known as sonophobia or phonophobia.
Do Migraines induce Hearing Complications?
Hearing loss and problems with hearing are uncommon symptoms of migraines.
Migraines do not cause hearing loss. Some general hearing loss issues are linked to migraines, but the exact connection is unknown.
It is not evident whether one condition drives the other or if they coexist. There are cases that suggest those who have hearing loss are more prone to migraine attacks, but there aren’t enough studies for this to be conclusive.
This type of migraine stems from the inner ear and the area of the brain that helps with balance. Vestibular migraines can cause motion sickness, dizziness, and possible changes in hearing during an attack. These changes may include hypersensitivity, a loss in hearing, and tinnitus.
A Fluctuation in Hearing and Headaches Can be Caused by Pressure in the Brain
There’s a different kind of headache linked to tinnitus known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
It is caused by an overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid, which is fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension can lead to a severe headache and loss of vision.
Some have described their tinnitus as a “gushing sensation in the ear” as if they were by the ocean while waves are crashing onto the shore.
It’s a rare condition that affects 1 in 100,000 people. It’s common in women within the age range of 20 to 45, who are also obese. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there have been 20 out of 100,000 incidents.
Migraines and Sudden Hearing Loss
If sudden hearing loss occurs in a person, migraines are usually not a primary reason for the underlying cause. It can, however, be considered something to examine. The sign of a potentially serious health problem is sudden sensorineural hearing loss. A healthcare provider would rule out other conditions like Ménière's disease, or even a clot in the veins draining from the brain that can lead to problems with hearing.
Ménière's disease occurs due to fluid buildup in the inner ears. It normally affects one ear. Migraine headaches may occur with Ménière's disease, in addition to changes in hearing, tinnitus, and hearing loss; in rare instances, it can cause sudden hearing loss.
There are variations in the symptoms of Ménière's disease. You may feel better for several months at a time, and then you may notice that your ears are feeling full again or the hearing loss has returned.
It’s rare to have sudden deafness, but the Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology revealed that people with migraines had a higher risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss than those who did not have migraines.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.