After purchasing your hearing aids, there are some basic rules to follow.
After Getting Your Hearing Aids, get them Fitted by a Professional Hearing Instrument Specialist
A great deal of involvement from you and your hearing instrument specialist is necessary for a proper hearing aid device. You need to be honest about what you can and cannot hear when taking a hearing test. The wrong type of hearing aids and incorrect programming will not give you the best listening experience. There are different hearing aids that are recommended for those who have high frequency hearing loss and for those who have low frequency hearing loss.
Keep notes on what you are experiencing when listening with the devices on. Discuss what you can and cannot hear, the comfort of or any discomfort with the hearing aids, etc.
Wear Your Hearing Aids Immediately After Purchasing Them
It’s important to test out the features that are available in your hearing aids and learn about basic functions of the devices. You won’t get the most use out of them if you are simply turning them on, and placing them in your ears. There is a Bluetooth feature that lets you stream your computer, music and TV. It also has noise-filters that can help block out background noises.
Work with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can program the devices. They will help you get the optimal listening experience with the proper programming.
Be Patient when Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids
Remember, adapting to hearing aids takes time. Your ears need to adjust to your hearing aids. You should not expect to hear exactly the same way as you did before.
The key to smoothly adjusting to your hearing aids is to leave them in your ears for as long as possible. It’s common for new users to take them off because they don’t feel comfortable. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Think about why they don’t feel comfortable.
Proper Hearing Aid Maintenance
Learn how to properly take care of your hearing aids from your hearing instrument specialist.
You can also get some maintenance tips from this link.
If you need a hearing test, hearing aids, a hearing aid fitting, a person to program your hearing devices, cleaning tools or advice on proper care, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Spring Break is coming up! This is normally the time when college students from around the world flock to sunny locations. It’s always nice to get away from the classroom, but remember to take care of yourself and your hearing. Here are five ways you can preserve your hearing health during Spring Break:
Your decisions about your trip can impact your future health and well-being, which includes your hearing. These suggestions will allow you to have a great time without sacrificing your hearing. If you are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Studies on Human Responses to Sound
Have you ever wondered why harsh noises from an alarm or a loud screeching sound will immediately get your attention?
Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) in Switzerland have been studying how people respond when they hear a scope of different sounds. The main objective of the study was to determine which repetitive noise frequencies were deemed unpleasant.
The neuroscientists also analyzed regions in the brain that were activated when hearing these frequencies. Results revealed that the traditional sound-processing area became activated. It also showed that the cortical (part of the cerebral cortex), the subcortical areas that are associated with processing salience, and aversion are sought out. This is why the brain becomes alert when hearing this type of sound.
Alarms have repetitive sound variations that range between 40 to 80 Hz. To determine why these frequencies are perceived to be dangerous and intolerable, repetitive sounds between 0 and 250 Hz were played for 16 test subjects. The sounds were played closer and closer together to figure out which frequencies the brain finds unbearable. Test subjects were asked which sounds they recognize as sounding rough (distinct from each other) and when they are recognized as sounding smooth (producing one continuous single sound).
The scientists confirmed that the higher limit of sound roughness is approximately 130 Hz. Any sounds above these frequencies are heard as one continuous sound.
Neuroscientists asked test subjects to listen to a variety of frequencies. They were to classify the sounds on a scope of 1 to 5, where 1 was considered bearable and 5 was considered unbearable. Sounds that were regarded as intolerable ranged between 40 to 80 Hz. This is the range that alarms and human screams fall under. These frequencies can be heard from a long distance. From a survival point of view, it's important that these sounds can be heard in order to gain the attention of others. Noises that occur in rapid succession cannot be anticipated or suppressed by the brain. As long as the noises continue, those who hear them are steadily alert and aware of the stimulation.
The Science of Harsh Sounds
Analysts discovered what happens to the brain when it comes in contact with harsh sounds. They recorded brain activity and how it reacted to the sound.
When continuous sound is recognized, the auditory cortex is triggered. This is the typical route that is used in order to hear. When sounds are recognized as harsh (between 40 to 80 Hz), they bring about an unrelenting response that uses up areas of the brain that are not part of the normal auditory system. These noises seek out the amygdala, hippocampus, and insula, which are all areas connected to salience, aversion, and pain. This explains why test subjects perceived the sounds as being unbearable.
This is the first case study to demonstrate that sounds between 40 and 80 Hz have been shown to organize these neural structures, but the frequencies have been used for years in alarm systems.
There have also been a number of illnesses that show abnormal responses from the brain to sounds that reach 40 Hz. These diseases include Alzheimer's, autism and schizophrenia. Neuroscientists plan to study the neural structures that are triggered by these frequencies in order to find out if it's possible to identify these illnesses early by seeking the circuit that is stimulated by the sounds.
If you have experienced hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
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The infrequency of hearing tests
Did you know that only 23% of adults get their hearing tested during their routine physical exam?
Today doctors are seeing more and more patients, therefore appointment times are getting shorter. Your family physician will address other pressing matters like lab tests and questions that you may have.
If your hearing health is an urgent concern, doctors will typically refer you to a hearing healthcare professional. These specialists will have the proper equipment and knowledge to conduct a hearing test, go over your results and recommend treatment for any hearing issues that you have.
If you are noticing any changes or difficulties in your ability to hear and believe a hearing aid may be the solution, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is more common in metal manufacturing than in other industries
Out of all the trades in the work industry, those who work with metals have the greatest risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that cases of hearing loss in every primary metal manufacturing is significantly higher than chemical, food, or furniture manufacturing, construction, gas and oil extraction, along with several other fields. Working with metals is hazardous to your hearing due to how they are dealt with, processed and what their properties are.
It is crucial to include elements like characteristics of noise, job description, number of years employed, a timeline of audiometric changes, time-weighted averages (TWA) and peak levels of noise when assessing the standard threshold for an employee.
Noise-levels in metal manufacturing
The noise-levels in the metal manufacturing industry are higher than in other industries because of the complexity of the metals’ properties. Sound is transmitted through the air at 1,130 ft. per second. Sounds coming from steel are transmitted through the air at 16,000 ft. per second. Train robbers were able to hear the vibrations from the railroad tracks in order to determine whether a train was arriving before it came into view. Metals fluctuate in density, so the acoustics and boundaries play a role in how the sounds are transmitted.
When metal is chiseled, forged, hammered, pressed or stamped, the sounds produced can reach between 120 to 140 dB or more. When tools come in contact with metal, a signal will randomly appear and impact at different rates per second. There’s a wide range of sounds that come from metal - which are unpredictable - and usually higher in frequency response. The Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics and Biomechanics (CHABA) claim that an extensive duration of signal noises are deemed more harmful than brief impulses.
Hearing abilities of steel workers
Two studies were conducted on steel workers who did not use, or occasionally used, protection for their hearing. It showed similarities in hearing loss, noting that intermittently protecting your hearing will not be effective. Out of all the employees who work around continuous noise, those who work in the metal industry have a higher rate of hearing loss and dissimilar hearing abilities in each ear. There were similar discoveries of hearing loss found in all noise-exposed employees, but those in the metal work industry have been impacted the most.
A brief history on hearing protection
According to the Acoustic Society of America, Greeks were the first people in recorded history to use hearing protection. It was not until 1864, during the Civil War, when the first hearing protection patent was legally certified by the government.
Starting in 1884, ear plugs and canal caps featuring a headband, were given to sailors and soldiers. In 1914, disposable plugs were patented, the 1970s saw an emergence if soft-foam ear plugs, and in the 1980s an electronic earmuff system became available. Generally, hearing protection was not worn by those in the manufacturing industry. Most industries did not provide hearing protection for workers in the U.S. until the Walsh-Healy Noise Standards of 1969 was authorized. In some industries, hearing protection was not properly used or never used.
Your hearing health
It’s important that all forms of hearing protection are properly worn and fitted in order to get the best benefits out of them. It is also vital for an employer to counsel the employee on the advantages of using hearing protection, along with the dangers of not using hearing protection on the job. Hearing protection that features a built-in form of communication, such as Bluetooth®, can be a good option for any place of business.
When verifying the cause of high-frequency hearing loss in an industry, the effect of how noise impacts an individual should be considered. The effects of noise varies from person to person, therefore it’s important to know what someone’s risk level is based on their job description, TWA, peak level data and record of one’s own changes in hearing. By advising which hearing protection should be used based on a person’s hearing abilities and occupation, it can help to preserve the hearing health that they have. Using a hearing aid device can help you hear more clearly and gain better awareness of your surroundings.
If you, or a loved one, have hearing loss due to your line of work, or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently work with you, or your loved one, to find the best hearing solutions.
Biking is a great way to exercise. Moving and getting fresh air is always a plus, but cyclists who also wear hearing aids need to take some extra precautions.
It's a common misconception that those with hearing loss cannot participate in extreme sports, such as cycling. It just takes the appropriate gear and hearing aids to partake in cycling.
Here are some tips to stay safe when riding on roads, how to adjust your hearing aid device for the best and safest journey and how to select the right helmet. It's important to note that even cyclists who do not have hearing loss, tend to be exposed to loud noises that can harm their hearing. Whether or not you wear hearing aids, this is a useful guide for anyone concerned about cycling, safety and your hearing health.
Road Safety Advice
A top priority for cyclists, with or without hearing loss, should be staying safe when cycling in traffic. An accident can occur no matter how much riding experience you have, or how great your biking equipment is. There are many ways to enhance your safety before hitting the road.
Basic tips for every cyclist
Tips for cyclists who are hearing aid users
Cycle with others
Cycling with others can be great for companionship and improving safety during your ride. It's like traveling in a pack - the more individuals there are, the safer you will be.
You may want to use cues to alert one another about traffic or other hazards. If there are several people on the lookout for cars or motorcycles, there's going to be at least one person who pays attention to oncoming vehicles. Cyclists are more likely to stop for a break when there are others around them, making the exercise less strenuous.
Cycling in a group also helps drivers become more aware that people are biking on the road. A driver may neglect to be cautious if there's only one cyclist on the road, but they will most likely drive safer if there is a group of cyclists who are riding together.
If you don't have friends or family who bike, join a local cycling group. Most groups are happy to have new members join. They can give you more tips on biking safely and more efficiently. It can ease your mind to know that someone is spotting you while cycling.
Tailor Your Hearing Aids
A bike helmet and your hearing aids are the primary accessories needed when biking. Being more aware of your surroundings is important so that you can navigate the road safely. Always make sure that your hearing aids are correctly adjusted for your individual needs. Visit your hearing instrument specialist and describe what you need to safely ride on the roads. Have them program a special setting that you can use for cycling.
Your cycling setting should have an omnidirectional microphone setting. This lets you hear noises from every single direction. It's not the best setting for restaurants or parties - when you want to talk to one person or a few people. The omnidirectional microphone setting can harness the sound of vehicles approaching from any direction.
Wind-cancellation is another feature that you will need for your hearing aids if you are a cyclist. This noise-filter should be turned up to the max. It's best to decrease any strain of hearing over the sound of the wind as much as you can. Even those with healthy hearing abilities struggle to hear traffic, or the sound of other people, when it's too windy.
If you do not have a hearing aid provider, it is very important to find one who will be able to adjust and program your hearing aids for your individual needs.
Selecting Your Helmet
After you get your hearing aids programmed and adjusted, you need a helmet that can be worn with them. Do not purchase a helmet without trying it on while wearing your hearing aids. You need to make sure that the helmet, and your hearing aids, feel comfortable and secure when they rest in your ears.
Make sure the helmet doesn't press into your ears or your hearing aids. If you intend to wear something under the helmet, such as a fitted cap or sweatband, wear that when trying on your helmet.
After purchasing your helmet, you may want to get accessories - special straps or wind blockers - that will assist in blocking the wind.
Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids
Whether you are biking in warm or cool temperatures, moisture can be a big problem when it comes in contact with your hearing aids.
To avoid damage from moisture, stop biking every once in a while and wipe off your ears and hearing aids. Sweatbands can decrease how much sweat comes in contact with your ears, but it's advised that you wipe off moisture with a cloth or towel. You should stop to re-hydrate, and wipe off the moisture before continuing on your journey.
In cold temperatures, condensation can be a problem. In addition to sweat, your hearing aids are going to gather moisture from the air. Your battery life will be depleted due to the frigid temperature, so always carry an extra pair of batteries if you are going for a long ride.
Protect Your Hearing Health
For everyone, no matter how well or how poor they hear, it's important to protect your hearing. A study indicated that cyclists' hearing abilities worsen over time due to noise-induced hearing loss.
These loud sounds include noises from the wind. Wind can become very loud. When you are exposed to those noises for an extensive amount of time, it can diminish your hearing and cause sensorineural hearing loss. This is when the nerves in your cochlea deteriorate. There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, so it's best to do whatever you can to prevent it.
As previously mentioned, you can wear a headband or any other head or ear covering to block out wind noises. After a windy bike ride, don't go to a loud concert, movie theater, or restaurant. Let your ears rest before engaging in any of these activities.
You won't always be able to avoid bicycling in windy conditions, but you can always be prepared to protect your ears when necessary. Earplugs and earmuffs tend to decrease your spatial awareness. Get your hearing tested frequently. If you notice any hearing loss, get tested immediately. It's best to catch it early so that it can be treated early and reduce further hearing loss, mental deterioration, or depression.
Those who use hearing aids, and those who do not use hearing aids, can benefit from learning more about protecting their hearing health by following this link.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids for any lifestyle.
The symptoms of tinnitus vary from person to person. For some, a sudden ringing may occur. It could have been triggered by a loud noise, but maybe you do not recall being near any boisterous sound.
Maybe it was what you ate that triggered the noise. Diet and hearing health generally aren’t discussed as frequently as age-related or noise-induced hearing loss. There has been some research which concluded that certain types of food can worsen symptoms of tinnitus.
Foods and beverages to avoid to help prevent tinnitus
In order to lower the risk of tinnitus, you need to identify the foods and drinks that may cause it.
Alcohol and Tobacco
The most important things to abstain from to reduce the risks of tinnitus are alcohol and tobacco products.
Your overall health can be affected by alcohol and tobacco. It mainly affects your blood pressure. Tinnitus is more prone to occur the more you drink and smoke.
Caffeine that is consumed late in the day can interfere with a restful night’s sleep. Poor quality of sleep increases the chance that tinnitus will occur.
The caffeine is not what causes tinnitus. It’s the lack of rest. Only drink caffeinated beverages in the morning, and drink non-caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evenings.
Find the best diet for you
Each person’s hearing and tinnitus symptoms are different, therefore each person’s diet to reduce tinnitus symptoms will be different. Keep a journal that tracks your diet, hearing and tinnitus symptoms. Make adjustments where necessary.
In the journey, you can make better choices by identifying what affects you and how much it affects you. Observing how your hearing system reacts might shed some light on the tinnitus symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, continue to experience tinnitus symptoms, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aid devices that can help those who have tinnitus.
A proper fitting and adjustment by a hearing instrument specialist
In order to get the most out of your hearing aids, they should be properly fitted and adjusted by an experienced hearing instrument specialist.
A hearing instrument specialist will work with you to find the appropriate hearing aids for your needs. This decision happens during a hearing aid fitting. You will discuss your individual hearing requirements and have them addressed by your provider. You should schedule follow-up appointments, which will guarantee that you are getting the best benefits from your hearing aids.
What happens during a hearing aid fitting?
Your hearing instrument specialist will start by learning about your lifestyle, what you expect to get from using hearing aids, your personal preferences and discuss any past experiences that you've had with hearing aids. This information - along with the results from your hearing test - will allow your hearing aid provider to give you suitable options to look over.
Results from your hearing test
After the hearing test, your hearing aid provider will have an audiogram which will be used to select the best hearing device for you. The range of hearing loss will establish which hearing aid style would be beneficial to you.
What are your specific needs for your daily routines?
When selecting a hearing aid, the hearing instrument specialist will need a good idea of how you'd like to navigate through your life. Have you been avoiding particular settings or socializing with others due to your hearing loss?
Think about the things you are missing out on because of your hearing loss. If you talk to friends and family over the phone, you will need a hearing aid that you can use while talking and listening to others with your phone. If you work in, or frequently visit, a bustling area, hearing aids and an assistive listening device might be useful in order to make it easier to navigate through group conversations.
Digital hearing aids can be programmed for those who frequently experience many different listening circumstances that have a lot of background noises. A basic model can be used for sedentary individuals, who typically stay home, where there is little background noise.
What type of hearing aids do you prefer?
Your hearing aid selection depends on your personal preferences. Do you want discreet hearing aids that rest inside your ear canals or larger devices that are more colorful and can be placed behind the ears? Would you rather be able to control the volume levels yourself, or have them automatically change to an optimum setting? Would you like to use a small remote control, or an app on your smartphone to control your hearing devices?
There are rechargeable hearing aids and hearing aids that require you to change out your batteries. Your dexterous abilities may depend on whether you are willing to change out a small battery when necessary. These are some options that your hearing instrument specialist will discuss with you.
Choosing your hearing aids
Your hearing instrument specialist will recommend some options that are suitable for you. At Pure Sound Hearing Aids, we provide a free hearing aid trial so that you can test out which hearing aid devices work best for you. After you've made your decision, your hearing aids will be ordered for you to purchase, and then they will be programmed during a follow-up appointment.
If you choose a customized in-the-ear (ITE) style or a behind-the-ear (BTE) with an earmold style, one of our hearing instrument specialists will take an impression of your ear canal in order to create custom hearing aids.
Basic hearing aid programming
When your hearing aid is delivered to our office, the hearing instrument specialist will connect it to a computer and adjust it based on how severe your hearing loss is, and your personal preferences.
Adapting to your hearing aids
After your hearing aids are first programmed, you are going to hear sounds that you have not heard in a very long time. Initially, you may perceive every sound to be too loud. Your brain needs time to relearn the noises that should be ignored, such as sounds of your own footsteps. Your hearing instrument specialist should conduct some tests in order to verify that the hearing aid is programmed to the correct settings.
If you wear hearing aids that are not rechargeable but use batteries, you will be given instructions on how to change those batteries. You will also be given instructions on using features and general maintenance.
Remember that adapting to hearing aids takes time. For some, it may only take one to two days. For others, it might take a few weeks or months to adapt to them. You must be patient. It helps to wear them, even if it's only for a couple of hours on your first day, and you should continue to wear them for an hour longer on the following day.
A successful hearing aid fitting depends on you, your hearing aid provider, and the communication that you have with each other. The proper hearing aid provider will work with you to understand your hearing needs and accommodate an approach that will get the greatest results. If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
For the 48 million Americans who have some range of hearing loss, a functional living space may be at the center of their custom home design.
There are already some convenient features, like a doorbell that will vibrate your phone when someone rings it. Here are some additional ideas that you may consider incorporating into your home.
Consider an Open Living Space
An open space will allow you to see people, or pets, in other areas of your home. This improves safety for everyone.
Your Living Room
You may want a counter space that faces the living room so that you don’t have to miss out on anything that happens. Insulated appliances can quiet the humming and rattling noises to make it easier to hear others and feel any alerts that buzz.
Sitting in a semicircle allows everyone to face one another. This is helpful to every type of discussion, whether it’s just between two people or with a group of people.
Don’t use Mood Lighting
Shadows and glares from the windows can hinder the ability to lip read, sign or engage in other means of communication. Having an evenly lit room can make it easier to recognize faces and gestures.
There are baby monitors with phone alerts that mirror the volume of an infant’s cry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still in the progress of understanding video, but in the near future it may be able to identify when children are upset or need something.
Knocking on a closed door only works when the person knocking and the occupant can hear. Using a motion-activated signal that lights up can let others know whether or not the bathroom is free.
A Pitch Dark Room
Those who are hard of hearing always need light to see the visual cues that let them communicate with others. This makes them more sensitive to light. Having a dark room to go into is needed to reduce overstimulation.
Maybe one day, in the near future, there will be transparent tablets available that can double as windows. Alerts can be displayed and easily viewed, phone calls that are transcribed or even song lyrics that replace your doorbell or security system.
If you are hard of hearing, try to incorporate these changes into your home. If you are in need of hearing aids or hearing aid care, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
There is a wide range of hearing loss. Each degree comes with more difficulty or loss of particular sounds. Hearing levels are categorized as normal, mild, moderate, severe and profound. Being unable to hear sounds often leads to isolation, frustration, and depression.
Here’s a list of six sounds that you might miss:
Here’s a list of sound levels, and examples of noises associated with them:
Normal (up to 25dB of hearing loss in adults, 15dB of hearing loss in children)
You have the ability to hear speech clearly in quiet or calm environments.
You have difficulty with speech and sounds in busy or reverberating surroundings, but you are able to hear clearly in quiet environments.
You have difficulty comprehending speech, notably when there is background noise and if you need to raise the volume on your computer, phone, radio and TV.
Severe (between 71-90dB of hearing loss in adults)
Ordinary speech cannot be heard at all or it’s muffled, even when it’s spoken loudly and it is difficult to distinguish speech. You can comprehend speech using some form of amplifier or hearing aid, but it still doesn’t sound normal.
Distinguishing speech is still challenging even with an amplifier or cannot be heard at all.
Noise-complaints at restaurants
Think about the top complaint you might have when dining out. It might range from poor service to overpriced meals or the restaurant might be too crowded.
Another common criticism is loud noise levels in a restaurant.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and we've got some suggestions on how to choose the right restaurant if you or your significant other have difficulty with hearing.
A hearing aid user and lifelong New Yorker, named Gregory Scott, decided to tackle this challenge. He developed SoundPrint. It's a free iPhone app that has been described as the "Yelp for Noise".
How it works
If you need to find a quiet spot where you will be able to hear others without struggling, you can use the SoundPrint app and search for a restaurant or public place that would be appropriate to have a conversation.
The app uses data from people who ranked and reviewed these places and shares that information with the user, similar to a Yelp review. This data is used to precisely measure the volume and rank venues from quiet, to moderate or loud.
The SoundPrint app allows anyone hard of hearing, to research how quiet or noisy it is in local restaurants, coffee shops, or bars. It features a sound level meter that can measure noise levels. A user can measure sound levels and then submit them to SoundPrint's database. When the database receives more submissions it makes that data stronger, therefore more reliable.
The creation of the SoundPrint app
Scott described the general difficulty of dating in New York City and added the challenges of hearing loss on top of that. Noise levels in the average bar and restaurant are louder than other venues. It's important to be able to find a quieter setting.
For Scott, typing in a search for "quiet" places, usually ended up being too loud. Music was blasting throughout the area or the space had poor acoustics. Tables that were placed too closely made it more difficult to follow a conversation and forced everybody to speak louder.
Making a connection with your date was even more difficult, so it was apparent that the website reviews for these venues were inaccurate.
Scott first decided to use sound level meters in order to measure sound levels and compose his own personal list of quiet spaces. After his friends asked to see the list, the app was created.
The purpose of the app was to generate a feeling of community for those who want a quiet space to visit.
The SoundPrint app is for people with any range of hearing
It's become more and more difficult to locate a quieter area to visit. Most restaurants today are meant for fun and entertainment.
Modern interior designs have less sound-absorbing elements like carpet, drapes or tablecloths. A study has shown that venues tend to turn up the volume for their music because customers are likely to purchase more drinks or eat quickly, which results in higher turnovers.
Loud noises have become normalized. Everyone, no matter how good your hearing is, can benefit from the app. Many users can hear perfectly fine, but just want a quiet place to visit.
If you would like to use the SoundPrint app you can download it for free here.
If you, or a loved one, experience difficulty with hearing, even when visiting a calm and quiet space, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer top name-brand hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
It’s important to know that permanent hearing loss cannot be reversed. Hearing loss is a slow process that occurs as you age, so it’s not very noticeable until it’s too late. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only type of hearing loss that can be prevented. Excessive noise exposure is the leading cause of it. You can immediately suffer from permanent hearing loss if you lack hearing protection when exposed to particular sounds.
How to protect your hearing from loud noises
Prevent damage from foreign objects
Decibels (dB) are measurements of sound intensities. The faintest sound that can be heard by humans is 0dB. The loudest sound comes from a rocket launch, which can reach at least 180dB.
Generally, 85dB or more is the level that endangers your hearing. These noise levels come from things like lawn mowers and motorcycles, which can cause permanent hearing loss.
Noise decibels and sources of sound
140dB - A gunshot or a jet engine during takeoff. This poses an immediate danger to your hearing.
125dB - An air raid siren or fireworks. This is known as the “pain threshold”.
120dB - Rock concerts or using a sandblasting tool. Your hearing can be damaged in 7 minutes.
115dB - A baby crying or a jet ski. Your hearing can be damaged in 15 minutes.
110dB - A driver using a snowmobile. Your hearing can be damaged in 30 minutes.
105dB - A helicopter or jackhammer. Your hearing can be damaged in 1 hour.
100dB - A chainsaw or stereo headphones. Your hearing can be damaged in 2 hours.
95dB - A motorcycle or power saw. Your hearing can be damaged in 4 hours.
90dB - A lawnmower, truck traffic. Your hearing can be damaged in 8 hours.
85dB - This is the beginning of the hearing threshold that is considered dangerous.
70dB - Busy traffic, vacuum cleaner.
60dB - Conversations with others, a dishwasher.
40dB - A quiet room.
Here’s a list of decibel meter apps that you can use on your smartphone.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Hearing aids are a powerful device that can help you hear and communicate with others.
Studies have shown that wearing hearing aids can improve your everyday life. It can also give you a better sense of safety and allow you to be more independent.
The Washington University School of Medicine discovered that adults have better outcomes in balance tests while wearing hearing aids. The study concludes that hearing loss treatment may lower the risk of falling as long as a properly fit hearing device is used.
Better awareness in your surroundings
Using your sense of hearing is crucial in any environment. Hearing can help you avoid accidents by identifying danger in your immediate surroundings. Automobiles, pets, and sirens - along with the direction that they are emerging from - can be recognized with hearing aids. Getting treatment for your hearing will help you be more aware and remain safe as you go about your daily routines.
An increase in safety
Many studies have connected hearing loss that goes untreated to a higher risk in safety problems. These risks include injuries that are caused by accidents, work-related injuries and recurring and lengthier visits to the hospital. Wearing a hearing aid can reduce worries for you and your family by lowering risks to your safety and having a better sense of security.
Starkey's Livio AI hearing aids feature built-in 3D sensors that can recognize when a wearer falls and alert selected family or friends.
If you, or a loved one, have had incidents of falling or balance problems in the past, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to talk to a hearing instrument specialist about the Livio AI, or other hearing aid options.
Queen Elizabeth II wears Signia Silk Nx
Queen Elizabeth II, 93, was photographed for the first time ever wearing her hearing aid in public. She arrived at St. Mary Magdalene church on Sunday Jan. 12.
At a closer look, it was clear that she was donning a Signia Silk Nx
completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aid that was not properly fitted in her ear. This is a standard fit hearing aid, which surprised many. Most assumed, as a member of the monarchy, that she would wear a customized device.
Her husband, Prince Philip, 98, who was not with her, had first been spotted with his hearing aid in 2014.
Many have compared this high status usage to former President Ronald Reagan.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide variety of hearing aid devices, including Signia’s Silk Nx CIC hearing aids.
Features of the Phonak CROS B
The Phonak CROS B is a great solution for those who have unilateral hearing loss. It allows users to follow along with conversations, no matter which direction they are coming from.
This device provides one full day of hearing with the option of being rechargeable or battery-powered.
The CROS B lets the user focus on a voice, while blocking out background noise so that you can concentrate on the conversations that matter to you and have an easier time comprehending speech.
The CROS B will stream sounds to your good ear, so that you can understand your travel partner while driving, and give you a better awareness of your surroundings.
This user-friendly device functions by simply switching it on, and allowing you to hear from both sides by using Phonak Belong™ technology. This is the newest generation chip, making it effortless to hear. The CROS B automatically identifies your listening environment and will shift to optimum setting.
The CROS B will help you feel more included during conversations, no matter where you are.
CROS B Models
This behind-the-ear (BTE) model is a rechargeable solution. For your good ear, this pairs well with the Audéo B-R hearing device.
This BTE model uses a 312 zinc-air battery. For your good ear, this pairs well with any Belong™ BTE or receiver-in-canal (RIC) model (excludes Audéo B Direct and rechargeable models).
This BTE model uses a 13 zinc-air battery. For your good ear, this pairs well with almost any type of Belong™ BTE and RIC hearing device (excludes Audéo B Direct and rechargeable models).
CROS B-312 Custom
This custom-molded hearing aid uses a 312 zinc-air battery. For your good ear, this pairs well with any Virto B hearing aid with Binaural VoiceStream Technology™.
CROS B-13 Custom
This custom-molded hearing aid uses a 13 zinc-air battery. For your good ear, this pairs well with any Virto B hearing device that has Binaural Voicestream Technology™.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from unilateral hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s common for people to ignore the noticeable decline in their hearing.
You think that you can manage it by raising the volume on the TV, or asking people to speak louder and repeat themselves. Besides, it’s nice when it’s quiet.
Treat your hearing loss
The decision to treat or ignore your hearing loss should be taken seriously. Hearing loss can impact your life in different ways, including:
1. Mental health
Many studies, including one from Johns Hopkins Medicine, has concluded that hearing loss is related to mental decline. This includes a rise in anxiety and depression, a quicker decline in brain function, and dementia. The study by Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted a test on those who have had hearing loss for at least six years. They discovered that the test subjects’ cognitive abilities had declined by 30-40 percent faster than their peers who had healthy hearing abilities.
Johns Hopkins researchers believe that it is best to treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. If you wait longer, your brain can undergo irreversible changes.
Another study from 2015 concluded that treating hearing loss with hearing aids will reduce risks of serious, long-term cognitive decline.
2. Physical health
The National Council on Aging has released a statement noting that falls are the top cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for elderly Americans. It is uncertain as to how many falls are related to hearing loss every year, but researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that those who suffer from hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than those who do not wear hearing aids.
Hearing loss may decrease a person’s awareness of their surroundings, which raises the possibility of falling or tripping.
A recent study from Washington University School of Medicine, revealed that improving hearing with the use of hearing aids can improve balance in older adults who have hearing loss. This can help to reduce the chances of falling. These results are attributed to being more alert and improving balance.
3. Income and Employment
Disregarding your hearing health can have a negative impact on your job performance. Better Hearing Institute conducted a study that indicated how those who do not get treatment for their hearing loss can lose up to $30,000 each year, and were twice as likely to be unemployed than those who have healthy hearing abilities or wore hearing aids.
This same study revealed that those who used hearing aids lowered their risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent. Most hearing aid users stated that wearing hearing aids improved their job performance.
4. Personal Safety
Missed or misheard signals such as alarms, car horns or other warning sounds can endanger your safety or the safety of your loved ones. It’s important to know if your child or grandchild is upset and crying.
If you are hard of hearing, wearing hearing aids can improve how aware you are of your surroundings. You can recognize warning sounds from smoke detectors, ambulances, emergency alerts and distress calls.
5. Relationships and Social Settings
Hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to social isolation, due to the difficulties of listening and feeling left out. This usually causes people to become withdrawn from their family, friends and other activities that they used to enjoy.
This is significant. Social isolation has been tied to depression, exhaustion, illness, and a shorter life-span.
Getting your hearing loss treated allows you to not only hear better, but you will also be able to participate in life again. You can enjoy the people and activities that you love.
Stop missing out on life. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.
Making resolutions to improve your life is always a great idea, as long as you follow through with them!
This year, it might be a good idea to prioritize your hearing health. So many people, of all ages, frequently engage in unhealthy hearing habits. There are many things that you can do to support and protect your hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most common cause of hearing loss. It can also be easily prevented. NIHL refers to hearing loss that is caused by very loud noises that cause damage to your auditory system. This type of hearing loss can result in lowering your sensitivity to hearing, tinnitus, or even cause physical deterioration to your ears.
Prevent NIHL by protecting your hearing when you are near loud noises. Lower the volume when watching a show or when listening to something through your headphones. Wear hearing protection when using a lawnmower or if you are at a loud concert. A good way to determine whether your surroundings are too loud is if you, or others, need to shout in order to hear each other.
Engage in exercises
Exercising is usually part of many people’s New Year resolution. Did you know that exercising is also helpful for your hearing health? High blood pressure and obesity is related to problems with hearing. Exercising regularly can help you manage these issues.
Some good routines to help with your hearing health include low-impact cardio exercises such as cycling, hiking, tai chi, walking, or yoga. Discuss which exercises would work best for you with your healthcare provider.
Get a hearing test
An easy way to protect your hearing is to monitor it. Get a hearing test. Most family healthcare physicians do not check a patient’s hearing health, unless the patient explicitly expresses concern about it. The next time you get your annual examination, talk to your healthcare provider about getting a hearing test.
You should also schedule a hearing test if:
Wear your hearing aids each day
If you already have hearing aids, you should wear them every day. Many people who suffer from hearing loss have a tendency to wear them only when they believe they need them. Not wearing hearing aids every day can cause hearing and cognitive decline.
Wearing your hearing aids on a regular basis helps you “break in” the devices. As time passes, your ears will have an easier and easier time hearing sounds and your brain will effortlessly be able to interpret the sounds that you hear. Remember that adapting to hearing aids takes time.
No matter how old or young you are, please take good preventative measures for your hearing health. Many people don’t realize how important their hearing is to them, until it’s gone. If you, or a loved one are in need of a hearing aid solution, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer hearing aid options for a wide range of hearing loss.
It’s common for children to have problems with hearing and vision. Most children who suffer from moderate, temporary problems may not receive a formal diagnosis. More and more studies indicate that mild loss in hearing or vision may significantly play a role in a child’s learning and development.
There was a recent study conducted by pediatric audiologists examined the pervasiveness and impact coexisting, common, mild hearing and visual problems on the academic achievement of children who went to mainstream schools. A sample was taken from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), which is a broad population-based birth group in England. Children were identified as having hearing and visual difficulties by the age of 7. Data on their achievements in standardized nationwide exams at age 10 to evaluate outcomes in education was used.
The study found that coexisting hearing and vision complications during childhood have a long-lasting negative impact on a child’s educational outcomes. This is higher than the singular effects if hearing or visual problems individually. This study highlights the importance of early detection and early intervention.
Issues with Hearing
A prevalent cause of hearing issues in children is persistent otitis media with effusion (OME, “glue ear”). This is when fluid becomes trapped inside the ear. The problem with this condition is that it cannot be seen from the surface and there aren’t any evident symptoms. When fluid builds up in the middle ear, the ossicles - three tiny ear bones - cannot vibrate, thus it cannot transfer sounds from the outer ear to the inner ear. Hearing loss, the ability to read, and cognition are affected as a result.
In a study on 2,909 children, 261 (9%) children who suffered from mild to moderate conductive hearing loss and/or OME were identified. There was a weak link between mild hearing difficulties for those 7 years of age, and poorer academic achievement in national standardized tests at ages 10 and 16.
Issues with Vision
A decrease in a child’s sense of vision has been linked to poor literacy, but the influence of more prevalent visual problems on education is not clearly defined. Two of the most common types of visual issues that children face are amblyopia and strabismus. They each occur in relation to other conditions, which may affect a child’s development and academic achievements, for example low birthweight and prematurity.
In a study of 189 (6.5%) children who had mild visual problems, they were found to have no negative relationship between mild visual problems and academic achievement between the ages of 10 or 16.
It’s been widely recognized that the combination of auditory and visual data establishes most cognitive processes. This incorporates speech perception, and is fundamental to developing language and communication skills. Having problems with hearing or vision can negatively affect a child’s literacy progress and make them susceptible to an accumulation of difficulties with their senses.
From the study, 14 (0.5%) of the children who had hearing and visual impairments, there was a clear negative link between coexisting hearing and visual problems related to academic achievement for children who were 10-years-old. It was more than the burden of hearing problems itself. There was also a weak link between coexisting hearing and visual problems associated with academic achievement for 16-year-olds.
Clinical and Research Conclusions
Children who are known to have hearing and visual struggles need to be screened on a regular basis to check for other sensory impairments. This will allow for early detection and proper treatment.
This is the first study to examine the impact of coexisting common and mild hearing and visual difficulties associated with academic achievement. The study is limited due to missing statistics, and incorporate underrepresented children from ethnic minorities and low socio-economic backgrounds. Additional research is needed to explain more details about the negative link between coexisting common hearing and visual problems and educational outcomes.
If you have a child, or grandchild, who has difficulty with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Those who live in a city are routinely exposed to dangerous noise levels that can result in hearing loss. These boisterous sounds are heard “against their will” throughout their daily lives.
The noise threshold
It only takes 85 decibels of noise to be considered hazardous. All the sounds from traffic, horns from automobiles, moving and stopping subways, airports, construction and any other industrial work has frequently passed that noise threshold.
Prevent noise-induced hearing loss
Remember that noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. It only takes a little effort and awareness to prevent it. Always carry a pair of earplugs with you, and use them when you notice that the sounds around you are too loud. If possible, leave the loud area and go to a quieter space. A good indication that it’s time to place your earplugs in is if you need to shout in order to be heard by someone standing near you.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a variety of hearing aids from top name brands.
Statistics and history of hearing loss and tinnitus among those in the dental care industry
It has been reported that dentists suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus at double the rate of the overall population. The cause is due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from the sounds of high-speed dental drills.
Since the 1960s, the high-speed dental drills have not decreased in noise intensity. During the 1970s, American and Canadian governments authorized legislation in workplace safety. This included laws that determined what the limits were for being exposed to noise. There were surveys given to occupations that were normally not associated with dangerous noise levels. This interest raised concerns for dental clinics and universities that had dental labs. The surveys showed a strong connection between the use of high speed dental drills, and increased risks of NIHL and tinnitus among those in the dental care profession.
Addressing NIHL in the dental care profession
Dentists, and dental hygienists, may wear protection for their hearing or reduce how often they use the high-speed dental drills. The easiest solution is to wear custom-made high-fidelity earplugs for musicians. They have a snug fit, are discrete, and will not disturb communication or interfere with the procedure.
The only other alternative for a high-speed dental drill is a dental laser. A dental laser will provide the same quality service, minus the excessive noise.
NIHL has been reported in many other professions from construction workers to those who work in the public transportation industries. Even though high-speed dental drills produce less noise than larger machines, there is still a risk of hearing loss. It’s similar to using a hairdryer. The noise is loud, but tolerable as long as it stays at a distance from your ears.
Enduring many years of practice around these loud tools can cause dental care professionals to become accustomed to the intense noises, just like any job that uses loud equipment. Long-term exposure to high-speed dental drills can cause permanent hearing loss.
Losing the ability to hear high-pitched frequencies
Higher-pitched frequencies are the first regions impacted by age and NIHL. Even mild hearing loss in this region that distinguishes speech sounds will affect communication, especially if there are distracting background noises. There isn’t much that can be done about age-related hearing loss, but it can be possible to reduce workplace NIHL by using hearing protection.
Noise levels in operating rooms and university labs
Although there have been many advances in dental tools, they remain just as loud as they were in the 1960s. The average high speed dental drill can reach sound levels between 70 to 105 dBA. Noise from the ultrasonic scalers can produce 80 to 92 dBA, and suction tools can produce 74-80 dBA. To put this in perspective being exposed to sounds that reach at least 85 dB can cause hearing loss.
It has been reported that 25 percent of dental students who are exposed to harmful sound levels while practicing in labs, have experienced an average of 15-minutes of a temporary threshold shift (TTS) after they practice using a high-speed dental drill. This is a temporary shift in the auditory threshold that can abruptly occur after being exposed to a high noise level. Many people’s hearing abilities are temporarily reduced as a result. If someone frequently experiences a TTS, it can cause permanent hearing loss.
Tinnitus and other comorbidities
Hearing loss can effect secondary neurological, physiological and psychological shifts. The most common symptoms are ringing or buzzing noises that are heard as a result of tinnitus. Although tinnitus is typically associated with NIHL, it’s not noticeable by 84 percent of people.
Tinnitus symptoms that are irritating tends to occur when three connected neural systems - the aural system, autonomic nervous system, and limbic system - react by misinterpreting the tinnitus as a threat. The limbic system creates negative emotions, or the fight-or-flight response, and the basic process of interpreting sound in the aural centers which affects the response. This causes a combination of stress-induced physiological and psychological shifts which include growth in producing stress hormones, higher blood pressure, and a lack of restfulness.
These symptoms can range from an annoying distraction, to being unable to tolerate the sounds. This can cause distress to an individual’s mental and physical well-being. In some instances, tinnitus sufferers have considered ending their own lives as a way to escape the sound. Dentists suffer from tinnitus at twice the rate of academic and laser dentists, medical doctors, and the population in general.
Hearing loss that goes untreated has been associated with depression, being hospitalized, socially isolated, decrease in motor coordination, and poor cognitive abilities. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurons that aren’t being used by your auditory system, will then be used by your visual center. The auditory centers will move out to your frontal lobes, searching for neurons that can be used, which is what causes the decline.
If you are a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental student who is experiencing hearing loss due to noise exposure from high-speed dental drills, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
When hearing loss starts to happen for some people, they might notice the inability to hear in one ear more than the other. Normal age-related hearing loss - or presbycusis - generally affects each ear evenly. If there is more hearing loss in one ear than the other this may be due to something else besides hearing problems associated with age.
Possible Causes of Hearing Loss for One Ear
Chronic ear infections. An infection in the middle ear is known as otitis media. This is an inflammation and infection that happens in the middle ear where fluid builds up due to bacteria. It may last for several weeks. A severe infection may block the Eustachian tube. This tube will normally drain excess fluid from the middle ear, which can affect your hearing. Depending on how thick the fluid is in the ear, these chronic ear infections can cause hearing loss ranging between 24 to 45 decibels.
Earwax. Impacted earwax, or cerumen impaction, may cause different severities of hearing loss in each ear. About six percent of Americans have pain or hearing loss due to earwax buildup. In addition to obstructing the ear and causing hearing loss, earwax buildup can cause an infection due to bad bacteria that gets trapped in the ear. Good bacteria can help stop wax buildup and infections. In some instances there are good bacteria in one ear, but not in the other.
Tumors. Tumors may cause dissimilarities in hearing for each ear. The most prevalent kind of tumor that may cause loss of hearing is known as acoustic neuroma. These are benign tumors that grow slowly. They can affect a person’s hearing abilities by growing on the nerve that leads from the brain to the inner ear. These nerves are linked to balance and hearing, so acoustic neuroma can cause dizziness and hearing loss.
If you experience hearing loss, do not ignore it! Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Have you ever experienced more irritation, or pain, from hearing loud sounds? This is a common occurrence for some people who have hearing loss. There is a term for this known as, recruitment.
As we age, the delicate hair cells located in our inner ears become weaker. They cannot react to sounds the same way that they used to. This is what causes hearing loss.
Human cells do not diminish evenly. Some hair cells, for example, can still properly function and detect sounds. When volumes become loud enough to hear, the healthy cells are abruptly recruited instead of the dying cells. They react quickly and vigorously. The result can be sound that feels painful.
In a typical case, an individual with hearing loss might not respond to someone who is vying for their attention as they speak in normal or low levels. As the person talks at a louder volume in order to get the hearing impaired individual’s attention, the person with hearing loss may suddenly hear them and have a strong reaction as though they are in pain. They may even shield their ears and ask the person to stop yelling.
A similar symptom is hyperacusis. This is when someone is extremely sensitive to sound. This is different from recruitment because it is not related to sensorineural hearing loss. Some causes of hyperacusis include:
For example, children who have autism and auditory processing disorder, could experience sensitivity to sound.
Treatment for hearing loss and recruitment
Recruitment can be treated. A test needs to be conducted in order to get a diagnosis for what is causing someone to be very sensitive to sounds.
If you suffer from hearing loss with recruitment, a good quality pair of hearing aids can be programmed to compress sounds in the particular range that aggravates you. Lower-end hearing aids and hearing amplifiers probably won’t be useful because they do not have as many compression bands that can be tailored to your needs. The result of this is overall poor hearing.
It is very important to have an experienced hearing instrument specialist who can identify recruitment and program your hearing aids for your specific needs.
Recruitment can slowly progress over time. You might notice significant sensitivity to sound even after you wear your hearing aid devices. If this happens, tell your hearing instrument specialist that you experience pain when you hear certain sounds. Some people can be treated with tinnitus retraining therapy.
If you are, or have been, experiencing recruitment, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Hearing loss that goes untreated increases your social isolation, which is associated with depression and cognitive decline. The right pair of hearing aids can benefit your quality of life, and make you feel more confident.
Risks of hearing loss among workers with high blood pressure and risk of hypertension
A new study has discovered that bilateral high-frequency hearing loss (BHFHL) is related to soaring blood pressure levels and risks of hypertension for workers who are exposed to noises. Studies from China measured systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and the hearing abilities of 21,403 workers who are exposed to noises in Chengdu.
Statistics of BHFHL from men at work
Those who had BHFHL were generally older men, who resided in further away from the central city zone, and were employed in small, micro-enterprises in comparison to individuals who had normal hearing abilities. The pervasiveness of BHFHL grew during those years of noise exposure on the job. The prevalence of hypertension was 5.2 percent in normal hearing, 12.4 percent in mild BHFHL, and 25.1 percent in high BHFHL.
Additional years of on-the-job noise exposure were significantly linked with increased SBP and DBP in men. There was a dose-response link between BHFHL and hypertension in both men and women. Test subjects who had mild and high BHFHL also had a higher risk of hypertension at 34 percent to 281 percent. More studies are necessary to determine the cause of this link.
If you have been exposed to loud noises while on the job, and are experiencing issues with your hearing, contact us a Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
In addition to colder temperatures, the wintertime carries along risks to your ears and hearing health. Here are some things to consider this season.
Snow machines and winter gear
Any machines or tools, particularly ones that are used for outdoor maintenance, can damage your hearing. The whir from your snow blower can surpass 100 decibels, which can cause noise-induced hearing loss. You should wear a pair of foam earplugs. These can conveniently be purchased from a drug store. There is also the option of wearing noise reduction safety ear muffs, or headphones that completely cover your ears. These can keep your ears warm, while also protecting your ears from dangerous levels of noise.
In order to avoid potential moisture build up in your hearing aids, you might want to remove the devices and keep them in a safe spot, or occasionally wipe them down. Your head will most likely be covered in earmuffs or a hat, and the sweat that builds up in your ear canals could cause problems for these devices.
A good solution to reduce moisture build up is to place your hearing aids in a dry-aid kit overnight. Remove the disposable batteries (rechargeable batteries may not need to be removed, talk to your hearing instrument specialist to verify this). Hearing aid sweatbands are spandex covers that are designed to keep moisture from getting to your hearing aids. You can also get water-resistant hearing aids.
Dangerous decibel levels at indoor sports arenas
Many people enjoy going to arenas to watch basketball or hockey during the wintertime. It’s important to know that decibels, particularly at indoor arenas, can - and usually do - exceed safe noise levels. A safe noise level is 70 decibels. Some arenas can reach up to 120 decibels!
You may not initially notice any damage to your hearing because hearing loss occurs gradually over time. Always be prepared and bring a small pair of foam earplugs wherever you go. Make sure the earplugs are properly fitted for maximum protection. They can help preserve your hearing in the long run.
Look out for slippery surfaces when walking
According to a Johns Hopkins study from 2014, those who have hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than those who do not have hearing loss. You are at an even higher risk of falling during the winter due to ice and snow. If you have issues with your balance because of your hearing loss, or Meniere’s disease, look out for ice patches that may be hidden, objects that are covered in snow or slippery steps that could cause you to fall.
Take care if you get a cold or flu
If you believe that you may have an ear infection, go see a doctor.
In the winter season, your ears are normally colder, therefore you have less circulation to provide your ears with a healthy blood supply. Bacteria and virus infections are more prevalent during the colder season. This combination raises the risk of otitis media.
Otitis media is an ear infection that leads to severe swelling and inflammation to the middle ear. This swelling and infection could build up behind the eardrum and obstruct the Eustachian tube. Ear infections can be treated with antibiotics, but you may suffer from temporary hearing loss if the fluid is not cleared yet. If you believe that you may have an ear infection, go see a doctor immediately.
Keep your ears warm and dry if you are going to be outside in a cold environment. This may lower the possibility of ear infections. It’s also important to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly for good blood circulation, particularly in the wintertime when everyone has a high risk of infection.
Keep your ears warm and dry when you are skiing or riding a snowmobile
Wearing earmuffs, hats, scarves, and/or sweatbands are a great way to refrain from over exposure to extremely cold and wet conditions which may cause exostosis, or “surfer’s ear”. This is a rare condition typically occurs when someone is in or near cold water. Exostosis happens when you are exposed to cold temperatures and knobs of bone grow on the bone that surrounds your ear canal. The ear canal could get obstructed, increasing the risk of infection due to the fluid that is trapped. This condition can be corrected with surgery, but it’s best to keep your ears covered, warm and dry to lower any risks.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss or need advanced hearing aid care maintenance, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.