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Hearing loss is not only frustrating to the person who has it, but also for the friends and family who communicate with them. Past research by Johns Hopkins revealed that hearing loss is also related to falling, issues with walking and dementia.
In a study conducted on 639 adults, for a span of approximately 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph. D, along with his colleagues, discovered that mild hearing loss doubled the risk of dementia. Moderate hearing loss tripled the risk of dementia, and those who had severe hearing loss were five times more likely of getting dementia.
Your Overall Health and Hearing
CAT scans can show whether hearing loss causes a faster rate of atrophy to the brain. Many who have hearing loss tend to be socially isolated, because they simply do not want to be around others. When they are around others, there may be little engagement in discussions. These are what help cause dementia.
When you walk, your ears will notice subtle cues that assist with balance. Hearing loss not only blocks these vital signs, but it causes your brain to work harder in order to process sound waves. This subconscious form of multitasking can intervene with mental processing, which is necessary in order to safely walk.
Studies on Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
Lin and his colleagues are determined to discover, through a new study, whether hearing aids can reduce these risks. What is known is that there are no negative aspects to wearing hearing aids. They are helpful for most people who have tried them. It allows them to have a better relationship with family and friends, and become more involved in their life again.
About 27 million Americans who are at least 50-years-old have some range of hearing loss, but only one out of seven people actually use a hearing aid device. On average, most individuals who need hearing aids usually put off getting them for ten years. During that wait their hearing gets worse, communication with others becomes more difficult, they become more socially isolated, and their overall health worsens.
Do not postpone getting your hearing health checked any longer. Many people don’t realize how precious their hearing is until it begins to worsen or until it’s gone.
If you believe that your hearing has worsened recently or in the past few years, schedule an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Studies on hearing loss and brain function
Young people should get their hearing regularly checked, in addition to their other general health concerns.
A research team from Ohio State University monitored the brain function of individuals between the ages of 18 and 41. Each participant listened to sentences that became more and more complex. The team was trying to measure whether the human brain needed to work harder to understand complex sentences.
They discovered that young adults who had subtle hearing loss were changing the function of their brain in manners that were normally seen in older adults. This was possibly an early sign of dementia.
Rising evidence has shown a relationship between dementia and hearing loss. Young people should regularly get their hearing tested in order to intervene and treat their hearing loss as early as possible.
Get a hearing test
It is recommended that adults of any age should get a hearing test as part of their annual health checkup.
If you are noticing hearing loss or changes in your hearing abilities, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.
Statistics on Noise and Heart Health
In addition to causing hearing loss and tinnitus, recent statistics from a Gutenberg Health Study in the Department of Cardiology at Mainz University Medical Center indicated that loud noise exposure can boost your risks of atrial fibrillation. In other words, blaring noises can interrupt and cause your heart to go off rhythm.
The link between feeling irritated by noise and atrial fibrillation can reveal why noise can lead to more strokes.
Always protect your hearing whenever possible, and follow these tips.
Remember, hearing aids are meant to help you hear more clearly, not necessarily louder.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Hearing loss has become more prevalent among people of all ages. It affects more than just your hearing abilities.
Hearing loss can affect your functions and the health of your brain. Some symptoms that are generally related to aging are typically caused by hearing loss.
When a person has hearing loss, the brain fails to acclimate to sensory changes. A person with normal hearing abilities can process sound through the inner ear, and then the sound gets interpreted by the brain. This system allows you to distinguish the differences between the music that plays in your home and music that plays from a car as it drives by your home.
Your brain interprets sound every nanosecond. There is ambient noise everywhere, from the whir of a ceiling fan to sounds coming from an air vent. You won’t catch those sounds because your brain will automatically filter them out.
Your brain anticipates this type of stimulus, so if you have hearing loss your brain won’t have the same quality or quantity of sound.
Stomach and Digestive Issues
Anxiety, muscle tension, and an upset stomach have been linked to changes that are experienced due to hearing loss.
In one rare case, Crohn’s disease (a condition that causes irritation and swelling in the digestive tract) caused hearing problems and pain in a 10-year-old boy’s ear. The boy also suffered from narrow ear canals due to inflammation, pus leakage and blood discharging from the ear.
Your mental health is greatly affected by hearing loss. Depression is linked to your worsened hearing abilities.
According to JAMA Otolaryngology Neck Surgery, depression is taken into account because those who have hearing loss, also have difficulty with effectively communicating with others. Women between the ages of 18 to 69 have a more evident form of depression.
Hearing loss that goes untreated has been linked to:
As a result, these individuals suffer from anxiety and depression because they are unable to effectively communicate with others and then stop attempting to interact with others.
Problems with Interpersonal Relationships
Hearing loss not only affects your mental and physical well-being, but it also affects your income. In a 2007 study that was organized by the Better Hearing Institute, those who had hearing loss made $20,000 less per year than those with healthy hearing abilities.
The test subjects’ personal relationships also suffered. In a survey, 35 percent of those who responded had difficulty sustaining their relationships because of their hearing loss. The survey indicated the following:
Think about how you, or a loved one, feel when it comes to hearing loss. Are relationships with friends and family affected? Do you, or does your loved one, want to build better and stronger connections with others?
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids, and schedule an appointment for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. Start living a healthier and happier life today.
About one out of six Americans, or 50 million people, are affected by tinnitus. Here are some questions that are commonly asked in regards to the condition.
How can you determine if you have tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a perception of buzzing, hissing, or ringing in your ears, with no outside source of the sounds. Symptoms vary for each person. There are some who may experience signs of tinnitus when they are in a quiet room, and others will constantly hear those noises. It’s important to note that tinnitus is a symptom and not a diagnosis. It’s important to get properly diagnosed by a hearing healthcare professional.
If you have tinnitus, what can be done about it?
There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are things that you can do to relieve the symptoms. You may engage in counseling and sound therapy. You can also get programmed hearing aids that are customized for your needs. Many people who have tinnitus notice that the better you can hear, the less likely you are to experience its symptoms.
In a survey from 2007, 60 percent of people who have tinnitus felt some relief when they used a hearing aid. About 22 percent had expressed feelings of significant relief.
Can tinnitus be caused by medications that you take?
Yes, there’s a possibility that you can experience tinnitus as a side effect of certain medications. Those medications include antidepressants, aspirin, some antibiotics, chemotherapy, and diuretics.
Do tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand?
In most instances, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss. It’s possible to have tinnitus and not have hearing loss. Tinnitus can be a first sign that you have some damage to your hearing.
What may cause worsening symptoms to your tinnitus?
Consuming too much caffeine, or salt can worsen your tinnitus. Stress, being exposed to loud noises, and some medications can also worsen your tinnitus.
How can you treat tinnitus?
Hearing aids are a good way to treat tinnitus. You can also try tinnitus retraining therapy, changing your diet (notice if anything works based on your individual diet adjustments), exercising on a regular basis, to help relieve the symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is very common. It gradually occurs over time, and most people don’t notice the initial changes. The degree of hearing loss and stopping it from getting worse is best handled by using hearing aids. Hearing aids will preserve the hearing that you still have, and slow down the deterioration of your hearing health.
Understanding Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, affects one in three Americans between the ages of 64 and 74. It is a gradual buildup of damage to the ears. Presbycusis begins at a slow pace and then worsens.
Sound waves enter the ears and are intensified many times before reaching the inner ear. When it finally reaches the inner ear, the sound vibrates tiny hair cells known as cilia. This causes them to collide with structures that discharge chemicals to produce an electrical message that the brain translates as sound.
Due to the frequent vibrations, the cilia will eventually stop working. When these hair cells are damaged by contact with very loud sounds, or aging, they cannot regrow. These hair cells create electrical impulses and allow the sound to be interpreted as a language that the brain can comprehend.
Protect Your Hearing
Practicing proper hearing hygiene is important to protect your hearing health. Hearing loud volumes of sound can cause a lot of damage to the ears. This deterioration can be caused by a fairly low decibel. If you are surrounded by any sounds that require you to raise your voice in order to talk to someone nearby, that means the noise that you are hearing is too loud.
It only takes a few minutes of loud noise exposure to have a damaging impact. Taking precautions when you expect to be exposed to loud noises is the best and easiest way to protect your hearing health. Always wear hearing protection when:
Refrain from using earbuds or headphones, which intensify and isolate sound.
When Possible, Control Surrounding Noises
Your own house can become a dangerous hearing zone. Appliances, such as hair dryers or washing machines, are currently sold with noise ratings. Try your best to use appliances that emit lower levels of noise.
Let hosts at a party or restaurant know if music is playing too loudly. They will usually be more than willing to accommodate your needs.
Be Aware of Noise Levels in the Workplace
Take precautions for your hearing health if you are exposed to loud noises while on the job. Voice your concerns about noise exposure. Get your own ear protection to wear, if your employer does not provide any for you. You can use:
Refrain from Smoking
Prioritizing your hearing health is just one of many reasons why you should not smoke. Research has shown that cigarette smokers have a higher risk of age-related hearing loss, and second-hand smoke can speed up the process of hearing loss.
Take a Look at Your Medications
Medications that are known to cause damage to your ears are referred to as ototoxic. The most common ototoxic medications are:
There are many more ototoxic medications, including prescription medication and over the counter drugs. It is advised to use pain relievers as a last resort. If you do need to use them, please consult your doctor to find out if they will further impair your hearing or general health.
Eat Better and Exercise
Engaging in regular exercise and a healthy diet are great for your health in general, and also for your hearing health. If you suffer from high blood pressure, manage it by consuming less sodium and taking the prescribed medication to manage it. Taking care of your overall health will reduce the possibility of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, which can affect your hearing.
Get Hearing Aids
If you begin to notice any symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer an extensive assortment of hearing aids from top name brands. Hearing aids can help to preserve some of the hearing abilities that you still have, as long as you seek treatment immediately. If you wait too long to do something about your hearing, it will deteriorate and be more difficult to care for.
A few years ago, Derrick Coleman was signed by the Seattle Seahawks, making him the first deaf person to join the NFL. Matt Hamill, who has been deaf since birth, is a wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. He was named the NCAA Division III national champion three times and was a competitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Historically, many young athletes who are hard of hearing have been excluded from team sports. Some of the factors that led to this were due to group and social sensitivities, difficulty recognizing norms among the team members, and an absence of resources that limit the size of the staff. Disregarding these children and teens can harm their development as a person and an athlete. It could also lead them to become excluded at work and other social environments in the future.
It’s important to work with schools and communities to address this issue and use better communication to allow children with hearing loss to develop interpersonal and teamwork skills.
Raise awareness for Children with Hearing Loss
Remember that everyone has a different method of communication. If you believe that everyone communicates the same way, this is what leads to people being excluded. Encourage community leaders to be more empathetic, and learn more about:
Observe the child with hearing loss and do research. The best way to help this child is by asking them. There may be some uncomfortable questions that a coach or teammate needs to ask. Here is some advice on how to navigate through this:
Be Supportive of the Needs of Your Child
A coach’s resources tend to determine how many support staff are needed to help a player. You must let the team coach know what your child needs for them to give their best performance. Some solutions may include:
Advocate to have Multiple Means of Communication
Stress the importance of multi-channel communication and help to establish this. You can make visual aids, have a transcriber, or an interpreter. Other recommendations include:
Reaching out to coaches from your child’s school or community is an important first step in helping your child become more included. You may go to a meeting for the athletic department and speak to coaches. You could even become a coach for your child’s team, facilitate training with other coaches, and have an open form of communication with the athletic or recreation department.
These adjustments take time and energy. It’s important to build a network of other parents in your school district or community to work together.
If your child has hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aid solutions for individuals of every age. Don’t let your child wait to participate in sports any longer, contact us today.
Tinnitus is the perceived sound of buzzing, clicking, hissing, ringing, etc. with no outside source of the noise. Over 45 million Americans suffer from this condition, and 90 percent have some range of hearing loss.
When it comes to tinnitus, sometimes the symptoms are tolerable and other days they are unbearable. The pitch and volume levels can change from day to day. It is not precisely known as to why the symptoms last long on some days, and don’t last long on other days.
Common Causes of Tinnitus
A shift in a person’s hearing is a prevailing cause of tinnitus. The cause of these shifts may be:
Other Possible Causes of Hearing Loss:
In some cases there are no clear causes for tinnitus. The root cause can be treated, or it could be a sign of a serious condition related to high blood pressure or heart disease. Tinnitus may also be the side effect of a medication that you take.
Triggers for Tinnitus:
Medications that may Affect Your Hearing:
Some medications are classified as ototoxic. This means that they are toxic to the ears, particularly on the ear’s nerves. Common drugs are:
If you notice symptoms of tinnitus contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. There is no cure for tinnitus, but treatment options are available to ease the symptoms.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and hearing loss have some similar symptoms. It is important to determine the differences between the two so that you can get your child the appropriate care.
These characteristics, and other factors, can make it difficult for parents and professionals to conclude whether a child is showing signs of ASD or hearing loss. In many instances, children get misdiagnosed, or they get diagnosed later. A later diagnosis prevents the necessary intervention and care that is needed.
When ASD and Hearing Loss Occur at the Same Time
Many children who have ASD, also suffer from hearing loss at the same time. According to the Gallaudet Research Institute, one in 59 children who are deaf or hard of hearing are also found on the autism spectrum.
There are universal newborn hearing screenings and routine screenings provided by schools, which allows more chances of detecting hearing loss at its early stages. ASD has a high chance of going undiagnosed in some children because they have already been diagnosed with hearing loss. Signs of ASD are mistaken as being caused by hearing loss. In other instances, children who are diagnosed with ASD might develop hearing loss, and it could be ignored when healthcare professionals concentrate on treating ASD rather than hearing loss.
Things to expect
Pay attention and take notice of any signs that might suggest that your child has ASD, hearing loss, or symptoms of both. If you believe that your child is not reacting to sounds or properly acquiring speech and language, they may need a hearing test. Based on how mature and developed your child is, there are hearing care professionals who can determine how well they are hearing.
A hearing test that does not involve patient participation might not conclude how your child’s brain processes sound, but it’s a great place to begin so that you can eliminate hearing problems. Hearing loss can begin at any age, even if they passed their latest hearing screening. It’s best to get another hearing test with updated results.
If the results show that your child does not have a hearing problem, your child’s healthcare provider can determine whether other ailments are contributing to ASD.
If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, here are other indications that they should be evaluated for ASD:
Advocate for your child
Getting an accurate diagnosis for your child’s delay in their development is an intricate process. You will need to consult multiple professionals. Inform yourself, be involved in your child’s development, and have a positive outlook to help them.
If your child needs hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands at discount prices.
Appointments for your general health, eye health, and oral health are regularly scheduled. It’s always a good idea to see your medical practitioner, especially as you age.
Hearing tests are often overlooked
More than 450 million people around the globe suffer from hearing loss. One out of three adults over the age of 65 have some range of hearing loss.
It’s important to keep every aspect of your health in mind, even your hearing. It will help you live a fuller life.
If you notice any hearing loss, early treatment will reduce further decline not only in your hearing, but also in your cognitive abilities. Getting a hearing test is a great basis for subsequent screenings. Contact us today at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Have you ever felt your ears clog up for no reason? Have you ever heard muffle sounds when there was nothing obstructing your ear canals?
Here are four typical reasons why your ears may feel clogged.
Earwax is generally a great way for your body to protect your ears. It helps to catch dirt and other particles by acting as a coating, and it easily falls out of your ear canal on its own, serving as a way of self-cleaning. In some cases, the earwax can become impacted and influence how well you can hear.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery have listed the following symptoms as an indication that earwax is probably causing an issue:
Do not try to remove the earwax by using a cotton swab, baby oil, or hydrogen peroxide. You could unintentionally puncture your eardrum or push the earwax further into your ear canal, which can become impacted. Getting rid of this naturally occurring, protective lubricant can cause dry, itchy ears.Find out whether your ears need to be thoroughly cleaned by discussing it with a professional.
Swimmers generally encounter this problem more than others. Occasionally, non-swimmers can also get fluid in their ears. Fluid build-up in the ear can happen for a number of reasons:
Excessive noise exposure
This can cause feelings of clogged ears or tinnitus. You may have felt this after going to a crowded sports stadium or concert. These symptoms normally go away within 48 hours, but it’s always a good idea to prevent this from happening by:
Pressure due to sinuses
Hearing loss, due to sinus infections, pressure or sinusitis, is usually temporary. Hearing should go back to normal when the sinus congestion clears up. If you, or a loved one, experience pain or unexpected hearing loss from sinus congestion, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. You can have your hearing evaluated. An initial test will help you, and your hearing healthcare provider, monitor your hearing health.
Have you ever wondered what the loudest animal is, or where the quietest place on Earth is located? Take this quiz to find those answers along with other hearing and sound facts!
1. What are the loudest animals in the world?
B.) Grizzly Bears
2. A study of over 3,000 adults were asked to name their most and least favorite sounds. Which of the following were they?
A.) A Cat purring and nails scratching a chalkboard.
B.) Crackling sound of a fire and a cell phone ringing.
C.) Wine pouring into a glass and children yelling.
3. Where is the quietest place on Earth?
A.) Microsoft’s anechoic chamber, known as Building 87, in Redmond, WA.
B.) Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, MN.
C.) Atlantic Ocean Road (or “Atlanterhavsveien”) in Norway.
4. If you get goosebumps while listening to a song, your body may be reacting because it thinks you are:
5. Which of the following animals has the most sensitive hearing?
6. How do your ears help you stay balanced?
A.) They know how your head moves.
B.) They feature a hormone that balances you.
C.) They have an equal amount of fluid in each ear.
7. To prevent your ears from getting plugged while you fly on a plane, DO NOT engage in this during the landing:
8. A couple drops of _______ can assist in softening and clearing out earwax:
A.) Baby oil
B.) Mineral oil
Let’s see how you did!
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing any difficulties with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide variety of hearing aid options for you individual needs.
Earbuds and exposure to bacteria
When we carry our earbuds around with us, they become exposed to all kinds of surfaces, which raises the risks of gathering bacteria from our bags, desks or tray tables.
Not only do our earbuds constantly come in contact with contaminated surfaces, but simply using earbuds can build up more bacteria in your ears. Wearing earbuds traps moisture and heat in the ear canal which can create a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
Bacteria is bad, but earwax is good
Our ears use earwax, or cerumen, as a protective shield against bacteria. We normally see earwax on earbuds, after removing them from our ears. Earwax helps to clean and lubricate our ears, and reduce the feelings of dryness and itchiness.
Earwax also prevents debris and dirt from coming in contact with our eardrums. The apocrine glands located in the outer section of our ears produce the cerumen. These glands are similar to the glands that produce sweat. The same situations that cause you to go into fight-or-flight mode can make you sweat and induce stress. This circumstance has also been shown to make your ears produce more wax.
If your ears generate a lot of wax, you can use a cloth to clean the outer part of your ear canal or you can place a couple of drops of an over-the-counter ear cleaning solution that will soften and remove the wax. If your ears feel as though they are obstructed or the wax interferes with how you hear, get it removed by a professional. Moving your jaw from eating or talking can also help remove earwax.
There's a very low chance of getting an infection from sharing earbuds
Studies on whether it's safe to share earbuds have varied from different researchers. Business Insider had tested 22 pairs of in-the-ear (ITE) style earbuds in Columbia University's microbiology lab. Most samples tested positive for bacteria that are found in our skin, such as staphylococcus. Two of the samples tested positive for yeast. Yeast is a fungus that can cause infection. You can get an ear infection from yeast.
Sharing earbuds can present new bacteria in your ears, and double the microbial flora in the ears. Most bacteria are innocuous and generally, there's a low risk of infection. But there is also a small risk of producing middle ear infections, fungus, and an increase of swimmer's ear if you share earbuds. If there is a laceration in your ear canal, sharing earbuds can also cause skin infections.
Tips on earbud usage
It would be best to avoid sharing earbuds. If you really need to share them, make sure you or the person you are sharing them with thoroughly disinfect the earbuds with rubbing alcohol, a disinfecting spray, or professional-strength cleaning wipes. Use a dampened cotton ball to remove any visible residue and bacteria.
You might also want to invest in earbud covers.
Hearing aids, just like earbuds, are not for sharing. Each hearing aid is customized and programmed for each individual user. They are at the same risk of exposure to bacteria from various surfaces. It's best to have good cleaning practices for your hearing aids and to occasionally get them thoroughly cleaned by a professional. If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. If you need to get your hearing aids cleaned by a professional, please contact us.
Hearing loss affects all aspects of your life, from your emotional and physical health to your career and recreational activities.
Millions of people who suffer from hearing loss continue to leave it untreated, even though there have been studies that indicated connections between hearing loss that goes untreated and a rise in anxiety, dementia, depression, the risk of falls, and being hospitalized.
8 Statistics on hearing loss
1. Two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 are affected by hearing loss.
2. 500 million people under 65 are affected by hearing loss.
3. About 750 million people across the globe are affected by hearing loss.
4. Adults who have not treated their hearing loss are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and paranoia than those who sought treatment with hearing aids.
5. Adults who suffer from hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia.
6. Hearing loss is associated with a three-fold risk of falls.
7. Those with hearing loss are up to 50 percent more likely to experience accidental injuries.
8. 8 out of 10 indicated that hearing aids have improved the quality of their life.
Hearing loss affects your emotional health
Healthy hearing abilities allow us to enjoy things like the sound of conversations with your family and friends, laughter, music, and nature. Hearing these sounds help make life more fulfilling and enjoyable.
If you can no longer hear, those sounds that you enjoyed fade away. Many people don't realize the value of hearing until it is gone.
3 different ways that hearing loss escalates the risk of dementia:
1. Hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which is a risk for dementia.
2. Hearing loss alters cognitive abilities. The brain will take the energy that is needed for memory and thinking in order to make up for the hearing loss.
3. Hearing loss has been shown to accelerate atrophy in the brain or shrinkage.
How hearing loss affects your daily life
Hearing lets you remain connected to the rest of the world. It could be communicating with friends, family, and colleagues, or enjoying a movie or the sounds of nature.
Here are some things in your life that could be affected:
The benefits of using a hearing aid
Many hearing aid users have reported meaningful improvements in their relationships with others and a feeling more independent.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, do not wait to get treatment. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a vast selection of hearing aid brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
A Guide to Reduce Noise-induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss doesn’t only affect those who work in loud environments; it can also affect people during their leisure time when they watch a movie, TV, video; there can even be lasting effects if they listen to music or an audiobook where the volume is turned up loud.
Your mobile phone can be just as loud. The average pain threshold for a person’s hearing is approximately 150 dB, the same volume that these devices can go up to. You might feel pain in your ears from hearing volumes at this level. It only takes 85 dB to cause hearing loss. The best way to protect your hearing health from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is to turn the volume down.
A simple guide to follow is the 60/60 rule. Listen with the volume level at or below 60% for 60 minutes or less at a time. The volume level is equally as important as the length of exposure time.
Make a Special Music Setting on Your Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids can stream every type of audio from your smartphone to your hearing aids. Make sure that the volume levels aren’t too loud. If you are a musician or music lover, Signia hearing aids are highly recommended. Your hearing instrument specialist can program a customized setting to have the best listening experience with your hearing aids. Whether you are at a live concert, a symphony, or in your own home listening to a stereo or record player, you can hear high quality sounds with the right device and programming. Adjustments can also be made to reduce feedback noise.
Choosing the Right Headphones
Your personal preference is key, but here are some other things to consider:
Test out different pairs of headphones, or earbuds, to find out which one works best for you. Find the headphones that are most comfortable for you to enjoy at a safe volume.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if you need a customized setting for your hearing aid devices. Our hearing instrument specialists can program hearing aids for your individual listening needs.
Cognitive Decline and Age
Have you ever said to yourself, “I can’t hear myself think?”
This usually indicates that there’s too much background noise, which can make it difficult to focus. Many studies have shown that there is a link between hearing abilities and cognitive function in older adults. The recognition of complex sounds, like music and speech, includes more than just the detection of these sounds and being able to distinguish them from each other. What ties cognition and hearing together has only recently become a primary focus in research studies.
One result from a research study showed that age-related cognitive decline is higher among adults who have hearing loss, than those with healthy hearing abilities. Overall conclusions show the negative side of hearing loss affects more than just your quality of life. Learning about the connection between hearing loss and the impact it has on cognitive abilities can lead to early intervention, along with practical solutions that can benefit a person’s well being.
Links between Cognition and Hearing
Ethnicity and Race
A recent study focused on the connection between hearing loss and cognition concerning ethnicity and race. Researchers studied cases of dementia and hearing loss among an ethnically diverse neighborhood in New York City.
There were 1,881 participants (40% Hispanic, 31% African American, and 29% Caucasian). There were 377 who developed an episode of dementia during an average of 7.4 years of follow-up visits. There was a 1.69 greater risk of dementia in those who had hearing loss, than in those with normal hearing abilities. When it was ordered by ethnicity and race, the hearing loss raised the risk of an episode of dementia only for African American participants. The risks of dementia for Hispanics and Caucasians who had hearing loss was higher for individuals who previously had normal hearing. The differences between these three groups are evident, even when education and income considered.
The exact reason for the higher risks of dementia in elderly African American adults who suffer from hearing loss is unknown. In tests that were conducted, spectral-temporal processing, where listeners were asked to distinguish changes in a spectral-ripple and compare brief (0.5 sec.) spectro-temporal frequency patterns indicated lower performance in African American participants than Caucasian participants. Their performance was compared with global cognition which was evaluated by utilizing a battery of 12 neuropsychological tests, explicitly with scores on working memory tests.
The authors of the test indicated that dissimilarities in the response strategies by African American and Caucasian participants in tasks with high feelings of uncertainty may have affected the performance differences between the groups. A different study showed that African American adults demonstrate a higher resilience to age-related hearing loss. The link between hearing loss and cognition in African American adults is more complicated than simply associating them together as a group.
A study found that older adults who reported their own hearing loss and who wore hearing aids had the same pace of cognitive decline as those who had healthy hearing abilities. Those who suffered from hearing loss and did not wear hearing aids had a much higher rate of cognitive decline. The study was based on 3,414 participants during a 25-year study. This study proves that a person’s cognition can be supported with the use of hearing aids.
In another study, people who did not recognize that they had hearing loss, or did not feel comfortable admitting it, were not properly categorized. Also, hearing aid usage was only addressed during the initial study and did not show the frequency or consistency of use over time. The faster rate of cognitive decline for those with hearing loss showed no dissimilarities from those who had healthy hearing abilities, after controlling psychosocial variables. The study observed that it was unlikely that hearing aid usage directly affects cognitive abilities, but it speculated that depression and social isolation, which is linked to hearing loss, is what may diminish cognitive abilities.
Effects of Hearing Loss
In a study, those who had a hearing impairment, and the people they communicated with, listed the complaints they had. In addition, problems that were directly linked to hearing (communication and listening) the individual who was hard of hearing and those who they communicated with had a number of complaints in regard to social interactions and their own well-being.
Engaging with others in a social setting and self-appraisal are common aspects of cognitive decline in older adults. These actions also play hearing and cognitive functions in elderly adults. There is not a complete understanding of the link between hearing and cognition, there is information on mediating elements which inform experts on ways to intervene and preserve the hearing that these individuals still have.
Hearing aids, along with a healthy brain, diet, and exercise are effective means to help with social situations and the overall health of someone who has hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss and believe using hearing aids would be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Communicating with Hearing Loss
Communicating with others can be strenuous, especially if you have hearing loss. You may need the person who you are interacting with to face you when they speak, or give more context when switching topics. It requires you, and the person you are interacting with, to get on the same page in order to have an effective exchange.
Here are some tips to communicate with someone:
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can affect anyone of any age, race, or gender.
In honor of Women's History Month, here is a list of well-known women who had, or have, hearing loss and were able to live with it and manage it.
Juliette Gordon Low
The founder of Girl Scouts of America, Juliette Gordon Low, suffered from hearing loss throughout her adult life. When she was 29 years old, a grain of rice was thrown at her wedding, which caused a puncture in her eardrum. This resulted in her becoming deaf in one of her ears. She never allowed her hearing loss to deter her life. In 1912, she established the Girl Scouts organization.
Low encouraged girls with disabilities to be involved in society. She started offering opportunities to others like her and gave young girls more fulfillment in their lives.
American actor, comedian, author, and TV personality, Whoopi Goldberg has suffered from hearing loss over the years. She has shared the fact that she wears hearing aids, and pinpointed the cause of her hearing loss to listening to loud music.
After experiencing hearing loss first-hand, she became an advocate for Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides free hearing aid devices to children across the globe. Goldberg shared her past experiences and encouraged others to be careful of overusing music listening devices.
In a 1985 interview with broadcast journalist Barbara Walters, American singer, actor, and filmmaker, Barbra Streisand revealed that she has suffered from tinnitus since she was 9-years-old. As a child, she would wrap scarves around her head in order to block the noise. She stated that she felt different and isolated from other kids. She lived with this secret for several years, until she got help from a medical professional.
Her successful career, as someone who suffers from tinnitus, is a great example of not allowing a hearing problem discourage her.
Halle Berry, one of the most famous actresses today, is partially deaf with 80% of hearing loss in one ear due to domestic violence.
She has devoted her time to speak out against domestic violence and supporting victims of abuse. Berry not only lives with hearing loss but uses her status to promote effective change.
These historic and modern women have been able to show everyone that it is possible to live with and well beyond hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, please contact us for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid devices for a wide range of hearing loss!
After purchasing your hearing aids, there are some basic rules to follow.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 this 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.
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.