Martha did a great job babysitting this sweet girl named Lyrics, while her owner had a hearing test. We knew Martha was an amazing Patient Care Coordinator, but we did not know she was an even better “dog whisperer”!
If you, or a loved one are in need of a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation! We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions - including Lyric by Phonak - for a wide range of hearing loss!
If you have a hearing impairment, the sounds of nature, conversations and laughter from family and friends, or listening to your favorite music can really come to life with a good pair of hearing aids.
If you have been living with any range of hearing loss for an extensive period of time, using hearing aids to hear sounds again can be overwhelming for your ears. Don’t be discouraged. It takes time to adjust to new hearing aids.
Things To Expect During the First Few Weeks
Depending on how serious your hearing loss is, you environment could sound muffled, or you may only be capable of identifying certain noises. A hearing aid will unexpectedly shift your pattern of perception. While you are becoming familiar with how hearing aids function, ordinary noises might sound louder than anticipated. You own voice, and other familiar noises, may sound different to you.
There are some things that you will need to get acquainted with.
This includes becoming acquainted to the physical feeling of having a hearing instrument in your ear. Your brain will have to recognize and process many stimuli again. A lot of time may have passed since you were last able to experience a complete range of sounds. Most of the background noises that those who have normal hearing learned to ignore, will sound new to you. Initially, you will find it difficult to tune out those noises.
As you adapt to hearing the stimulating sounds around you, your brain will re-learn how to subdue background noises and focus on sounds that are important. You need to be patient. After a few weeks or months, most wearers don’t even notice they’re wearing a hearing device.
You don’t have to wear your new hearing aids for the entire day, during your initial wear time. If sounds are too overwhelming, you can remove the hearing aid for as long as you feel is necessary. You should start wearing them for a few hours on a daily basis, and then gradually increase the amount of time each day until you can wear from dawn until dusk.
Learn How to Handle and Take Care of Your Hearing Aids
To adjust to wearing hearing aids, familiarize yourself with the devices. Ask your hearing instrument specialist to explain how to insert and remove the hearing aids, and practice on a daily basis.
Learn techniques on how to maintain and clean your hearing devices. Test the settings on your hearing aid and notice the differences.
Using Your Hearing Aids at Home
Start by wearing your hearing aid device in a quiet environment. This will make it easier for you to distinguish sounds and recognize them correctly, without the distractions of street noises or other people’s conversations.
Eventually it would be a good idea to walk outside. When you are outdoors, you’ll have the option of focusing on several different quiet sounds, without loud background noise.
Engage in Conversations with Others
Your first conversations that you have while wearing your hearing aid should be in a relaxed environment. Speak with no more than two people, without any background noises. You can disclose how exactly your hearing impairment changes the way you communicate, and how they can help during conversations.
3 Tips For Engaging in Conversations with Background Noise
to your side, you may find it more difficult to understand what they are saying. Stand or
sit to opposite side of the person you are speaking to. It is best to be face to face if you
are able to, and need to, lip read.
2. If a discussion is happening in a large group, ask the participants to speak clearly and
have one person speak at a time. Conversations can move along quickly, so don’t become discouraged if you can’t follow along. You can just ask someone to summarize
what was said.
3. Look out for facial expressions and gestures. If you watch the mouth of the individual
that you are speaking to, you can learn how to translate the body language into words.
The brain unconsciously uses this method to comprehend words that are mumbled.
With some practice, anyone can train themselves to use this technique.
Handling Loud Environments
After you have become accustomed to your hearing aids, wear them in a place that has high levels or background noises. You can determine how well you can separate the background noises and control a conversation in these environments.
Improved Hearing as a New Experience
After being able to hear again with your new hearing aids, your new sense of hearing will not initially be the best. In fact, it could be a little unpleasant. The sound of your own voice may be unsettling. This is known as the occlusion effect. This is when a person perceives “hollow” or “booming” echo-like sounds in their own voice. It’s caused by bone-conducted sound vibrations reverberating of the ear canal, which may result in lower frequencies being intensified. The sounds have been characterized as “your own voice resonating in your head”. In order to resolve this problem, a hearing instrument specialist can change the ventilation and amplification ratio.
3 Tips to Remember
1. Hearing aid wearers, and those who they communicate with need to be patient. Do not
expect too much progress in a short amount of time.
2. Concentration is also important. Those who have hearing loss need to concentrate
harder to follow along in a conversation, particularly in a large group. Be easy on
yourself, and eventually you will find it easier to talk in larger groups.
3. Be honest to those who you are communicating with. Don’t simply smile, nod, or be
agreeable. Let people know when you don’t understand something, otherwise everyone will end up being frustrated.
If you are hard of hearing and need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a wide variety of selections at discount prices.
Swimmer's ear - also known as otitis - is an infection in the outer ear canal. This is an area that extends from the outer ear to the eardrum. Moisture gets trapped in the outer ear space, leading to bacterial growth, which can harm the skin of the ear canal.
Swimmer’s ear can be caused from debris or moisture that gets stuck in the ear canal from bathing, swimming, showering, or being in other wet environments. This should be taken seriously by getting treatment so that it doesn’t lead to hearing loss or become further infected.
What happens when someone gets swimmer’s ear?
With treatment, swimmer’s ear can quickly heal. If left untreated, it can be potentially dangerous and painful, especially for those with immune system irregularities or diabetes.
What are the complications?
Hearing loss, recurring infections, or cartilage and bone damage can occur with untreated swimmer’s ear. Infections can spread to the cranial nerves, brain, or base of the skull, especially in diabetics and the elderly.
If you suffer from swimmer’s ear, get an exam to make sure the eardrum is not perforated. A perforated eardrum may allow infection to spread to the middle ear. The ear will be cleaned and antibiotic ear drops will be dispensed if the eardrum is intact. Oral medication may also be prescribed for more serious infections. Other medications can be given if the infection does not clear up in three to four days. The ear must stay dry during the recovery process.
You can prevent swimmer’s ear by keeping water out of the ear. The best solution is using earplugs when coming in contact with water. You can get over-the-counter earplugs or custom earplugs from a hearing instrument specialist.
Maintain proper skin health. Cracked skin can be a pathway to infection. Another form of prevention is to protect your ears from chemicals, like hair dye or hairspray, with earplugs or cotton balls. Also, keep your ears dry after swimming by tipping your head each way to the side to let water drain out of each ear. Don’t use cotton swabs. A towel or tissue is okay.
Maintain proper earwax hygiene. Too much or too little can be problematic. Earwax helps to protect the outer ear canal, but too much earwax buildup can become impacted. Using cotton swabs or ear candling can damage the ears, which can lead to infection.
Consider using over-the-counter ear drops to prevent swimmer’s ear when you go swimming. Do not put anything in the ear canal if you suspect you have a perforated eardrum! A physician will be needed to assess the condition of the eardrum.
If you suffer from hearing loss due to swimmer’s ear, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Some people who suffer from thyroid disease also have hearing loss. There are always ongoing studies about more and more correlations between the two, but here are the most recent discoveries.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. The main function is to discharge hormones that control your metabolism.
Approximately 20 millions Americans have a form of thyroid disease. A symptom of the disease is hearing loss. Medication used to treat a patient’s thyroid could lead to hearing loss.
The Association Between Hearing Loss and Thyroid Disease
Prescribed medication for Graves’ disease has been tied to loss of hearing. Graves’ disease is a syndrome when there is an overproduction of hormones in the thyroid. Propylthiouracil, a frequently used medication to treat Graves’ disease, is known to cause blood vessels to swell in the ears and ultimately cause hearing loss.
A Low Consumption of Iodine may cause Hearing Loss
A healthy thyroid needs iodine. A deficiency in iodine can cause hypothyroidism, where the gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. A recent study showed that a low consumption of iodine, and how it affects the thyroid, is associated to hearing loss in teens.
Hearing Loss in infants could be caused by Thyroid Imbalance
Recent studies have indicated that a lack of thyroid hormones as a fetus develops in the womb could result in complete loss of hearing at birth. This could be the result of each parent possessing a mutated gene that blocks thyroid hormones - which are fundamental to the ear’s development - from reaching the inner ear of the fetus.
Researchers concluded that if each parent possesses the mutated gene, a synthetic thyroid hormone could be given to the mother to help the fetus develop healthy hearing.
If you suffer from thyroid disease and have concerns regarding your hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists. Our specialist will evaluate your level of hearing loss, and recommend the best hearing aid options for you.
Even if you weren’t teased as a child for wearing hearing aids, you may have known someone who was. Earlier hearing aid designs were bulky and very noticeable, which made anyone who wore them an easy target of bullying.
Some studies have indicated that out of the 30 percent of students in grades 6-10 who experienced bullying, those who have a disability - like hearing loss - are twice as likely to be bullied.
Common Signs of Bullying
The signs of bullying for a child with hearing loss is not so different for those who are bullied for other reasons. If your child shows any of the following, you should talk to them about their hearing loss:
Talk to Your Child
Your child most likely won’t want to discuss the bullying. Be aware of your child’s behavior. You may notice a difference in their attitude that could be related to bullying. Talk to them about the realities of their disability and figure out whether they are being treated fairly.
If your child decides to discuss the incidents they’ve faced, try to give the bully’s point of view. The bully is most likely ignorant to your child’s differences and they haven’t been taught how to behave towards someone who is different. Make sure you let the child know that it’s the bully who has the problem, and not your child.
It’s important to be honest with your child and about their concerns so that they can confide in their hearing loss issues with you. In order for your child to be able to defend themselves, have a coping mechanism that will help them handle potential bullies. You could teach them new phrases or vocabulary terms related to hearing loss so that they may discuss their hearing problems without getting upset or confused.
Know Your Child’s True Friends
Every child just wants to fit in, so some children may be bullied without realizing it. You should monitor the friendships your child has and find out what they do or talk about to detect any possible indications of bullying. Depending on how severe your child’s hearing loss is, they may not notice the social or facial cues of their friends.
If you detect that the friendship seems unfair, talk to your child about how a normal friendship should be, and what an unhealthy friendship looks like so that they are able to distinguish the circumstances themselves. You can also do a role-play with them to teach them the difference between positive and negative facial expressions, body language, and different tones of voice.
Help Your Child Find Their Interests
All children have their own individual skills that need to be discovered. Work with your child to cultivate their special skills or passion at an early age. This will give them the confidence they need to know that they can do anything, even if they have hearing loss. This is a great mindset to have as they grow up.
Educate You and Your Child
You can find a lot of information about hearing loss through the internet, blogs, or your local libraries. Let your child know that there are several communities that are dedicated to hearing loss and making the lives of those with hearing loss easier. They will be able to see that people are able to lead normal lives and do amazing things, even if they have hearing loss. You can go online and watch videos created by people who have hearing loss and learn how to deal with bullying.
It’s important to learn as much as you can about hearing loss, so that your child can navigate through the world.
Ending Bullying in Your Community
Here is a resource to help spread information and stop bullying those with hearing loss. You could also talk to your child’s school administrators and teachers to let them know about your child’s hearing loss condition and their needs. Starting a conversation will make your community safer and accessible for those of various disabilities.
Talk to a Professional
If you suspect that your child suffers from hearing loss, or if they may have failed their school’s hearing test, schedule an appointment for a free consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer hearing aids that come in small, discreet sizes for any age and any range of hearing loss.
Sean Mark, BC-HIS, our Director at Pure Sound Hearing Aids, and Martha, our patient care coordinator at our Lititz office, discuss matters regarding a patient.
Contact us to schedule a free hearing test! We offer a wide variety of hearing aids to suit your auditory needs.
There are repercussions for not treating your hearing loss when you engage with others in the workplace. Individuals who struggle to hear their coworkers, are also more inclined to be confused by directions or feel less confident in their ability to perform at work.
Company meetings are where issues are resolved and vital information is discussed. It is required by law for employers to make any modifications necessary for individuals who suffer from hearing loss. Here are some suggestions on how to make sure you have an inclusive meeting with all of your employees and co-workers.
Articulate Your Thoughts Clearly and Stay on Topic
When addressing your co-workers in a group, speak loudly and slowly to make it easier for everyone to follow along. Position yourself in a way that allows those with hearing loss to see you, if they depend on being able to read your lips. Also, make an effort to use simple statements and refrain from discussing subject matter that does not relate to the meeting. This ensures that everyone will be one the same page. When you are done talking about a topic, outline key points by writing them onto a list. You should create visual aids with PowerPoint presentations or infographics to aid the meeting.
Conduct a Training Session with All Employees
Some employees may not be familiar with the proper way to interact with a fellow employee who has difficulty hearing. Employers should hold mandatory training sessions, in order to teach employees how to accommodate their coworkers. Also, let it be known that any harassment or prejudice in the work environment is not acceptable and will have ramifications. Employees who have hearing loss, and are comfortable discussing it, may offer to talk about their condition and answer questions from their coworkers.
Meet in a Quiet Room that is Well-lit
Background noise can divert the attention of those who have hearing loss. Select a meeting room that has minimal noise in order to boost the clarity of sound. If it is possible, readjust the lighting in the room. This will allow the faces of those who speak, to be easily seen by anyone who has hearing loss and depend on visual cues in order to follow along.
Use Appropriate Technology
Most hearing devices connect wirelessly to an assortment of audio sources. A microphone that is compatible to the hearing aid, allows speech to be transmitted straight into the hearing aid. Meet with your employees who have hearing loss, and discuss their preferences in regards to devices and other assistance that would be helpful for them.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Whether you are out at a concert, a restaurant, in a sports arena, or any other environment where the noise exceeds safe levels for your hearing, you can now use a smartphone app to measure the noises in your environment.
Here are some of the best rated decibel meter apps:
Apps for Android and iOS
This free app transforms your smartphone into a pre-measured, precise, and conveniently portable sound level meter. It’s standard measurement ranges between 30 to 130 dB. It has several features that can measure the intensity of surrounding noises.
This professional-grade sound level meter is measured following a traditional sound press level (SPL) meter. This includes ballistics, ranges, filters and decay rates. The microphone on your device is used to identify the sound and change it into an SPL value. The app comes pre-measured for most smartphone devices, but can be modified to match professionally measured meters. This app can be shared on all devices. A color-coded display shows safe (green) and dangerous (red) levels of hearing.
Too Noisy Pro
This simple-to-use app is built to measure noise levels in settings that have groups of children. Teachers are able to use the Too Noisy app to monitor sound levels inside classrooms and manage the level of noise. The network is clear and created so that children will respond to it. The graphics that show noise levels in an entertaining and engaging manner. Teachers and childcare supervisors can adjust the app for louder activities and abrupt noises with sensitivity and diminishing sliders.
Apps Only for Android Use
Sound Meter Pro
This app will use the microphone on your smartphone to identify sounds, display them in decibels, and show the last 30 seconds of data in a simple graph. Since microphones in Android devices are used for recording human voices, the highest levels on this app are restricted and noises that are over 100dB cannot be recognized.
Noise Detector and Sound Meter
Like many sound meter apps, this meter app will use the microphone on your smartphone to measure the noises in your surroundings. The decibel level is visible on a dial that is simple to read. There is a history function that specifies how long you’ve been exposed to noises along with a noise reference, for example a quiet library or a noisy street.
Apps Only for iOS Use
NIOSH Sound Level Meter
This app, which is used exclusively with the iPhone, was made for anyone who works in noisy environments. It can make employees more aware of the noise levels at their workplace, which can help them make the best choice when it comes to their hearing health. They can choose which hearing protection would be suitable for their line of work.
Researchers may also use this app to gather data in regards to noise exposure.
SPLnFFT Noise Meter
This app was created by an expert in signal processing. It has cutting-edge features for the iOS devices which include:
The interface displays levels of exposure by using colors - orange or red - to signify dangerous levels where hearing protection would be needed. This app has been recommended by the Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America.
Preserve Your Hearing Health
Noise-induced hearing loss could become permanent, but it is usually preventable. You can protect your hearing from unsafe noise levels by wearing earplugs or industrial earmuffs if the noise levels are over 85 decibels.
If you, or a loved one, have already been exposed to dangerous noise levels and are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or any other issues related to your hearing health, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free-hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Just about everyone wears earbuds or headphones these days. Unfortunately, the easy access comes at a cost. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion adolescents around the globe are susceptible to hearing loss because of their use of earbuds or headphones.
Hearing Loss Due Headphone Use
When anyone frequently uses headphones or earbuds for an extended amount of time, at high volumes, vital sections of the ear that are needed for hearing can be destroyed. Each ear has 18,000 cilia, which are microscopic hair cells that transfer sounds. These hair cells are an important part of the process. They transmit an electrical signal to the brain, which interprets it to a sound that can be distinguished by an individual.
Noise or any music that is played too loudly, can destroy these hair cells. Damage from this ultimately cause the cells to die off. As a result, the hair cells are unable to regenerate. This is what causes noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
How Earbuds Can Cause Hearing Loss
Earbuds are basically miniature speakers that stream music directly into your ear canals. Most earbuds have poor quality, and cannot block ambient noise. They are also poor at transmitting bass sounds. This may cause listeners to increase the volume.
Out-side-the-ear headphones would be a better choice, rather than earbuds that stream music directly into the ear. They are able to support a shield between the music and the ear canal.
Better Substitutes to Avoid Hearing Loss from Headphones
There are two different types of headphones that prevent ambient noise, while preserving your hearing health to let you listen to music at safe levels:
Knowing You Safe Listening Limits
When using earbuds or headphones, you should listen to sounds at a safe level. It is recommended to listen at a maximum of 85 decibels (dB) for no longer than eight hours a day. Since most people do not own or have access to a decibel meter, they can use the 60/60 rule. Listen to music for only 60 minutes at a time, at no higher than 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume.
The loudest that most devices can reach is 115 dB. This volume can cause permanent damage to your hearing in eight to 15 minutes.
The WHO (World Health Organization) also advises people not to listen to anything with headphones on the same day they are planning to be exposed to loud noises, like at a concert or movie theater.
On Children Using Headphones
Avoid letting your children use headphones when possible. Only allow them to use headphones that give warnings about the risks for hearing loss. Parents should supervise their children to make sure they do not turn up the volume to unsafe levels. There are some devices that may have parental controls, to let adults manage the volume level of the device.
In order to improve upon hearing and speech, it is important to be able to recognize indications of hearing, language, and speech disorders at an early age. Seeing these symptoms in children are not always clear. It would be advised to keep the following signs in mind:
It is important to consider these signs in children during their early stages of development. Early detection can make it easier for your child to learn how to speak, use sign language, or manage their hearing loss with hearing aids. If you have children, or grandchildren, who have shown any of the symptoms that were mentioned please contact us for a free hearing test and consultation.
Dizziness that is caused by Meniere’s disease
First, let’s define Meniere’s disease. This is a syndrome where membranes and structures in the inner ear hold too much fluid and become swollen. Although the cause of the disease has not been thoroughly explained, Meniere’s disease has a three symptoms:
In some instances, patients encounter feelings of fullness in the affected ear. Typical cases if vertigo with Meniere’s disease are not linked to how the head is positioned, like with BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - a prevalent type of vertigo related to the ears.). The attacks can happen with no warning, and may last over 20 minutes on each occasion. Each attack may cause serious bouts of nausea and vomiting.
Dizziness that is caused by BPPV
Vertigo associated with BPPV occurs when lying your head down, turning your head in a specific direction, or hanging your head upside down. Small crystals of calcium become loose inside your inner ear, and when you get in or stand up out of bed, or even if you slant your head, you may feel those crystals becoming loose. It is common among those who are over 60 years of age. This problem can be relieved by engaging in special exercises for the head and neck. These exercises include the Epley Maneuver, the Semont Maneuver, the Half-Somersault or Foster Maneuver, and the Brandt-Daroff Exercise.
Treatments for Meniere’s disease and BPPV
The Epley maneuver is a treatment where the head is moved in a particular set of positions in order to attempt to force the displaced crystals out from the semicircular canals.
Those who suffer from Meniere’s disease can find relief through a pressure pulse generator known as a Menniett Device, or even prescribed anti-dizziness medication. Patients are also encouraged to lower their consumption of salt and take diuretics to lessen the amount of fluid stored in the inner ear. Hearing loss that is linked to Meniere’s disease can be improved by wearing a hearing aid in the ear that is affected.
So the answer as to whether there is a link with Meniere’s disease and BPPV is, no. There is a possibility that someone can have both afflictions occurring at the same time, but there isn't necessarily a correlation between the two.
Studies have found that in Meniere’s disease, hearing loss may become progressive and could result in permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, or uneven pressure in one ear. Some individuals who suffer from these symptoms found that wearing hearing aids, which balances hearing in each ear, can diminish problems with vertigo. Hearing aids can also alleviate the effects of hearing loss that are linked to the disease.
Communication and being able to have a connection with others is the key to a full experience in this world. Unfortunately, for some individuals, it is difficult to communicate because of hearing loss or speech limitations. Over 48 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss, and 1 out of 10 Americans have a communication disorder.
Here are 6 Things You can do to Raise Awareness about Hearing and Speech Problems:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss or any other problems associated with your hearing, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids!
According to a 2018 study from Finland, children who wear cochlear implants may be able to clarify their hearing abilities, especially in noisy surroundings.
An analysis of “speech-in-noise” abilities in children who had cochlear implants was conducted. For over a year, two different groups of children (aged 4 to 13) who wore cochlear implants were tested on how well they were able to comprehend speech under noisy circumstances. A study was conducted for a controlled group of children who had normal hearing.
The children were categorized into groups which depended on their daily singing routines. The researchers followed up on accounts of informal singing, which included singing along with songs from movies, nursery rhymes, YouTube, or the radio.
During the tests, the subjects were asked to point at images that depicted the words and phrases that they heard through a loudspeaker over a consistent stream of background noise. The children who had normal hearing displayed an improved understanding of speech than those who had cochlear implants. Each group showed improvement during the second round of testing. The children who sang and had cochlear implants performed better, and also had better concentration abilities than children who did not sing. They were also better at catching on to rhythms in songs, which imply that they were better at comprehending speech patterns.
Difficulties of background noises
The team from Finland discovered that children with cochlear implants, who frequently sang, had parents who sang to them early in their life. Parents typically sing facing their children, which allows the children to see lip and mouth movements. Children who wear cochlear implants use the visual cues of lip reading. According to their study, singing to these children may provide similar advantages.
Users of cochlear implants have difficulty deciphering speech in loud environments. This is due to the fact that the implants cannot support the audio range needed in order to hear noises that occur simultaneously.
This makes situations more challenging for implant users who are very young, because background noise is a part of everyday life in daycare, schools, and homes.
The inability to hear can lead to problems with hearing conversations, or hearing speech aimed at children (especially instructions from teachers or parents) can undermine how they learn.
Children are unable to fully comprehend speech noise until they reach the ages between 11 and 15. The loss of education and interaction could have lasting damage of confidence in addition to their relationships with others.
Background noises could also make it difficult to hear sounds of vehicles or people approaching, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations.
What is the Connection between Music and Speech?
The study shows that playing or singing music may help enhance a person’s vocal pitch and intensity, along with their speech rhythms. Singing has the ability to reinforce the link between speech and hearing. Because songs have a small amount of words, and lots of repetition, those who are listening have a longer amount of time to process what they’re hearing.
Clear and regular rhythms, slow tempos, singing alone, face-to-face singing with parents, a lot of repetition, and finding some enjoyment in singing are all elements that help bolster the link between music and speech.
To no surprise, musicians have been shown to have better speech and hearing perceptions than those who are not musicians. A small study conducted on adults who have hearing loss showed that it supported brain stem response in sound processing.
Music is Important for all Children
The results indicated that singing and music are valuable for children who suffer from hearing conditions. Schools, day cares, and families should incorporate music into a child’s education and every day learning situations. This especially rings true for children who wear cochlear implants or have difficulties with hearing.
Regardless of age, hearing loss can affect your life and health. If you, or a loved one, have concerns about hearing loss, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s important to be prepared for an unexpected disaster, especially if you suffer from hearing loss. Here are tips to stay safe during and in the aftermath of these circumstances.
If there is a disaster - be it man-made, natural, or if there’s an emergency at home - you need to be prepared. Those who have hearing loss may not be able to hear alarms or announcements that will help you during a disaster, and you need to take care of your hearing for your overall health.
Follow these tips to make sure you - and your hearing aids - stay protected during a disaster.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Instead of rushing to find what you need during an emergency, keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, water, food, and other important items that are necessary.
Those with hearing loss should also keep extra hearing aid batteries, a container that is waterproof to store your hearing aids, a pen and paper if you need to communicate with anyone and you can’t hear, and the names and phone numbers of your hearing aid manufacturer and hearing care provider if you need a repair for your hearing aids.
Set up Special Alarm Systems specifically for the Hearing Impaired
You, or a loved one, may not be able to hear a standard smoke alarm. There are special alarms for those with varying degrees of hearing loss. These alarms may use very loud noises, vibrations, or even a bright strobe light to get your attention. These accessories might be available for free at your local fire department.
Make sure You’re Connected
Those who are hearing impaired can still stay informed during an emergency using the proper devices. For example, a TTY, or text-based telephone, translates phone messages sent from your local police department into a text display. The NOAA Weather Radio services supply telecommunication devices for those who have hearing loss.
Make it Easier for Responders to Locate You
Register your phone with smart911. This is a service where you give important information about yourself to 911 emergency operators, whether it’s your medical needs or the layout of your home. If you ever call them for an emergency, they will have that information and be able to reach you, while making sure your medical needs are cared for. You can also wear a medical alert pendant or bracelet to let first responders know that you need special services.
Store Your Hearing Aids in a Safe Place
Be sure to keep your hearing aids in a place that is easy to access, in case there is an emergency, particularly if you have to leave in a hurry in the middle of the night. If you keep them in the same location, like on your nightstand, it will be easier to find them during an emergency.
If you need extra batteries, or cleaning tools stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing Aids and stock up your supply.
The month of May was designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Their primary objective was to increase awareness of adversities faced by those with hearing and speech problems, while advocating for them to become active in seeking treatment for their own disabilities.
This goal is important now, just as it was 92 years ago. Today we have more knowledge on hearing loss, and how vital hearing health is to our quality of life.
We now know that hearing loss that goes untreated is connected to cognitive decline and dementia. Loss of hearing is also related to a risk of falls and social isolation, which can result in a rise in medical expenses, mental fatigue, etc.
We also know that treating hearing loss will make individuals more likely to feel confident, engaged with others, socially active, and glad that they took action and did something to treat this problem.
Stop suffering from hearing loss, and get treatment today!
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation on the best options that are available for you, or a loved one.
Ever since the 18th century invention of the hearing trumpet, hearing healthcare providers have been seeking out the best method of channeling sounds straight into a hearing aid wearer’s inner ears. Hearing aids are now smaller and becoming more powerful at transferring amplified sound to an individual’s auditory system with the latest devices. Hearing aid domes support users by improving the quality of sound.
What Exactly is a Hearing Aid Dome?
These domes are small, bell - or mushroom - shaped parts comprised of silicon. They are connected to the end of hearing aid tubing and fit far inside the ear canal. There are a variety of shapes and sizes that can adjust to a person’s unique ear canal.
The domes are typically paired with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, which are known as receiver in the canal (RIC) or receiver in the ear (RITE). A hearing healthcare provider, or hearing instrument specialist, will help determine the dome’s size and length of the tubing that would be appropriate for you.
The RIC/RITE hearing aid style has the loudspeaker deep inside the ear canal, while keeping the processor and microphone resting on top of the ear.
Should You use a Hearing Aid Dome?
Hearing aid domes work best for individuals who suffer from mild-to-moderate hearing loss, particularly those who have high frequency hearing loss, also known as presbycusis -- the most common type of hearing loss that is related to aging.
The RIC or RITE hearing aids are usually small, and have a microphone and processor which fit inside a small case that rests behind the ear. The speaker is secured onto the processor with a thin tube or wire, which is used to fit far inside the ear canal.
This type of hearing aid is not suggested for users who suffer from severe-to-profound hearing loss. A BTE hearing aid, with earmolds, would be more appropriate. Earmolds have the strongest amplification and are less prone to being damaged by moisture from the ear canal.
In many instances, it’s a wearer’s personal choice, with the guidance of their hearing healthcare provider or hearing instrument specialist. So, those who have mild-to-moderate hearing loss can use earmolds if that is what they desire.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using Hearing Aid Domes
A big advantage of wearing a dome is how it fits inside your ear canal.
It is important to vent the hearing aid so that the ears do not become clogged. This lets natural sounds and air to flow into the ear. Domes are open so that low frequencies can pass through, and the hearing aid can intensify higher frequencies to let you hear more clearly. This is how wearers can get better high frequencies with no acoustic feedback.
Domes are easy to clean. You can wipe them using a soft cloth after a day’s use. Since many hearing aid manufacturers share dome styles and sizes, this makes them fairly inexpensive to replace.
Domes do not last forever. They must be switched out every two to three months. Hearing aid wearers must be careful not to get the dome stuck in their ear.
In order to avoid problems, discuss how frequently you change your hearing aid domes and how you should take care of them, with the guidance from your hearing healthcare provider, or hearing instrument specialist.
Do not use old domes on new hearing devices. They are not always compatible and could get stuck in your ear canal if it does not stay fastened to the receiver.
Domes are vulnerable to becoming damaged from moisture or wax in the ear. The small size could be an issue for individuals with dexterity problems.
Proper Fitting is Vital to Hearing Well
Work with a hearing healthcare professional, or a hearing instrument specialist, to find the device that suits your hearing needs. An incorrect fitting can alter your capacity to hear distinct sounds, and it can cause irritation.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss and need hearing aids, get a proper fitting with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer discount hearing aids in a variety of brands!
Hearing loss can affect anyone, but one group of people are more likely to suffer from hearing loss than another.
Men have a higher chance of developing hearing loss than women. A study from 2008 by Johns Hopkins University discovered that the risk of hearing loss in men is five times more likely than it is for women. An individual’s age and race were taken into consideration as part of this data. The disparity among men and women typically starts around age 30, with white men exhibiting the highest pervasiveness of hearing loss.
Men with Work-related Hearing Loss
This distinction does not have anything to do with biological differences. Take into consideration the types of jobs that are commonly carried out by men. Most of those careers include daily exposure to loud noises from their equipment and surroundings.
By law, employees are required to wear protection for their ears when they are working in loud environments. Most men continue to disregard the health of their hearing and do not take necessary precautions.
Behavior Patterns can Risk Your Hearing
The average man and woman have the same level of hearing capacity when they are born. As a conclusion, it is evident that the differences in men and women’s behavioral patterns are what cause the disparity in their hearing loss. Smoking and health problems, like high blood pressure or heart disease, have been proven to cause loss of hearing. Men are more likely to have these issues, which explain the results of several studies. Also, regular users of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and painkillers, like aspirin, could induce early hearing loss for men under the age of 60.
Discussing the Stigma of Men with Hearing Loss
Even with the evidence of these risks, men are still less likely to get fitted for hearing aids than women. This might be due to the shame that some feel from having to use the hearing instruments. There should not be any shame in correcting your hearing loss, in the same way that those with vision problems use eyeglasses to help with their vision.
Early hearing loss detection and alleviation is known to help prevent or slow down early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also protect you from falling, feeling anxiety and depression.
There are many different types of hearing loss. Some people are unable to hear high frequencies, and others tend to only hear muffled sounds or lower frequencies. Men who suffer from hearing loss usually stop hearing high-frequency noises first, while women typically stop hearing low-frequencies first. As a result, men have difficulty comprehending words with consonant sounds that have higher pitches. Women have difficulty comprehending deep, round sounds in vowels. This is an informative reason as to why many couples have communication problems!
Reach Out for Help
Men with hearing loss have an opportunity to change the course of their hearing health. If you, or a loved one, have noticed a decline in your hearing capabilities please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
At least 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. There is no cure for this ringing sensation, which is caused by an audiological and neurological condition. Those who suffer from this ailment are forced to find what relief they can. Some individuals have turned to cannabidiol, or CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is just one of several chemical combinations that can be derived from the Cannabis plant’s buds, flowers, and leaves.
CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive drug in marijuana. CBD users do not experience a high. CBD can be turned into gels, oils, tinctures, or sprays.
The Acceptance of CBD
In 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act was passed by Congress, which withdrew hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. This allowed the non-narcotic elements of the plant to be marketed to the public.
Today, many companies advertise CBD claiming it has medicinal benefits such as relieving pain or treating conditions which include acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and tinnitus. Accurate research from the medical field is currently missing for the treatment of these conditions. The omission would be two rare types of epilepsy, both which can be treated with a drug that contains CBD known as Epidiolex. This drug has been approved by the FDA.
A Study on Tinnitus and CBD
CB1 and CB2 are two receptors found in the brain that react to CBD being present. These two receptors have been shown to possibly be responsible for restoring balance and hearing. These results have led some to speculate as to whether CBD may help those who have hearing disorders like tinnitus. So far, that information remains unknown.
On Trying CBD
Since tinnitus patients typically suffer from high amounts of mental distress, due to the consistent ringing in their ears, anything that would relieve the ringing would tempt them to try it.
One man documented his experience of using CBD to treat his tinnitus. He had doubts that the CBD would help him. After his first dose of CBD, he felt the effects in just 30 minutes. His anxiety was gone, and he had no feeling of being sedated, high, or impaired.
Results May Vary
It would be advised to do research before consulting your primary care physician, and then use a small dosage if the doctor believes it would benefit you.
Everybody has a different reaction to CBD. Some may notice an immediate effect, while it may take at least a week for others to notice a difference. Some may not have a reaction to it at all.
Please be cautious when using CBD. There are no tests that CBD products need to pass in order to be considered effective. The laws are vastly different for each state, and the FDA does not regulate the compound. This means that the condition of supplements with CBD are not verified. It is important to determine whether CBD can be legally obtained where you live before buying or ingesting products that claim to have the compound, and talk with your primary care physician about any concerns that you may have.
It would be best to arrange an appointment with a hearing health care professional who specializes in tinnitus. They will most likely suggest a range of solutions. This may include hearing aids that can conceal tinnitus and help you feel some relief from your symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus and would like to use hearing aids as a solution, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Approximately 360 million people suffer from hearing loss. Half of congenital hearing loss is genetic, with over 400 syndromes associated with hearing loss, and at least 100 genes - that are known to us - list hearing loss as the only scientific explanation.
Regardless of these alarming numbers, it is crucial to obtain a specific origin of the disease for an individual’s genetic hearing loss because it essentially affects the way a practitioner advises, oversees, and cares for each patient. Fortunately, there have been new developments in fast and affordable genetic testing technology (i.e. next generation sequencing), enhanced data analysis, and prevalent usage of electronic health records (EHR).
Hearing Loss at Birth and Genetic Mutations
Congenital hearing loss is typically diagnosed shortly after birth through a newborn hearing screening (NBHS). Yet, several instances of hearing loss only become evident later on in life - to those who are genetically predisposed - because the appearance of late-onset hearing loss mutations. It can also occur after using antibiotics, or suffering from a head trauma. Associations of hidden and delayed diagnoses demonstrate the possibility of improvements, which grant a great opportunity to take advantage of the latest tools of genetic testing.
A mutation that causes hearing loss will be present before and at birth, no matter if the hearing loss is progressive or delayed. It would be effective to run a genetic screening panel that includes a population’s common hearing loss genes to test newborns, to improve the amount of time to diagnose and treat each patient. There are panels who provide rapid and relatively affordable screenings of common hearing loss genes.
Syndromic Hearing Loss
Syndromic hearing loss is linked to other health problems such as eye diseases and cardiac abnormalities. Those who have non-syndromic hearing loss, and no other symptoms, do not need costly workup for non-ear related diseases. Parents can save themselves from avoidable expenses and concern, while guiding the efficient workup and proper treatment of hearing loss by becoming informed about specific genetic causes of hearing loss. This can also allow parents to be informed in regards to the risk of hearing impairment with future offspring.
A genetic analysis can aid in predicting a hearing aid wearer’s response to cochlear implantation. For example, those with the GJB2 mutation have an outstanding response to cochlear implants, as opposed to those who have genes that affect the cochlear nerves experienced worse post-implant performance. This knowledge can help guide the wearer’s expectations of the post-implant auditory function.
Mutations can cause someone to acquire hearing loss, combined with exposure to various environments. Genetic tests and studies open the possibility of curing certain types of hearing loss. Early intervention in genetic hearing loss could prevent certain hearing impairments.
If you have a family history of genetic hearing loss, go see your primary care physician or hearing health care professional to get checked out. If you or a loved one currently suffers from hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s allergy season. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are common this time of year. Hearing healthcare professionals say that allergies may also be a cause of hearing loss. Some symptoms include fullness in the ear, itching, vertigo, or swelling.
Allergies and Hearing loss
Antibodies, which release histamine, are formed. When histamine is released, it causes an allergic reaction. The result of this allergic reaction is itching, sneezing, and congestion. This raises the amount of mucus that a person produces, which may cause hearing loss.
What is conductive hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss develops when fluid or earwax block sound waves from streaming through the ear, towards the small bones in the middle of the ear. There is a remedy for conductive hearing loss, but you will most likely have temporary difficulty hearing. Conductive hearing loss can be taken care of with standard or bone-conduction hearing aids - implantable devices that are anchored to your bone - or middle ear implants. Assistive listening instruments, such as amplified telephones or headphones used with your television, could be a solution to your hearing loss.
It is not recommended that you attempt to scratch an irritation by placing anything in your inner ear canal, like a cotton swab. As an alternative, gently clean your ear with a warm washcloth that has been wrung-out, and completely dry it. If this does not help, please see your doctor. You healthcare provider will be able to sterilize the ear and examine it to determine the cause of the itching.
What are three types of hearing loss caused by allergies?
Each of the three main sections of your ear can be affected by allergies.
The outer ear hearing loss: Skin reactions caused by allergies, may cause itching and/or swelling for both the outer ear and ear canal. Some allergies that affect your skin may come from earrings, perfumes, laundry detergent, or household pets.
The middle ear hearing loss: Inflammation may obstruct the opening to the middle of your ear, causing the Eustachian tube not to properly siphon out fluids. These fluids, along with pressure, can build up. This can give your ears the feeling of being full in the ear that is affected, and unfortunately arranges an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and eventually an infection. The buildup of fluid may cause balance issues, like vertigo, or the sensation of dizziness.
Inner ear hearing loss: Allergies can also be partially responsible for Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disease that generally only affects one ear. The result of this ailment can cause ear pressure or pain, serious instances of vertigo, loss of hearing, or tinnitus. It is a chronic illness with no cure, but there are remedies that can decrease the effect on your daily life and alleviate symptoms. Sudden dizziness after experiencing tinnitus or muffled hearing are common with Meniere’s disease. Some may have one occasional attack, while others may experience attacks that last several days.
Allergies and Hearing Aids
Not only do allergens cause irritation, but they may also block up the microphone ports in your hearing aids. This will alter the way your hearing aids operate. The covers on your microphone port can be replaced, but it is advised to regularly clean your hearing aids, especially during allergy season.
Some wearers have had allergic reactions when wearing their hearing aids. If this happens, speak to your hearing healthcare professional. The allergic reaction could be the result of a poorly fit hearing aid, moisture in the ear, dry skin, an accumulation of earwax, or a sensitivity to the material that makes up the earmold. Most hearing aid manufacturers have alternative options for those with sensitivity in the ears, such as hypoallergenic shell materials or various coatings that can provide relief.
Typically, allergies and the challenges of hearing are usually temporary. Your normal hearing abilities come back once your symptoms decline or the infection goes away. If your hearing loss continues well past your allergy season, please see your hearing health care provider.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
This is one of our hearing instrument specialists, Christine, who works in our Elizabethtown office. She loves working with patients to help them hear again! Christine is talking with some of her favorite patients about the benefits of using hearing aid technology to their fullest advantage.
If you, or a loved one, need information about hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
If you suffer from hearing loss, but still haven’t done anything to treat it, ask yourself, “Why?”
Maybe you don’t consider hearing loss as a priority in your health. Did you know that there is research that links hearing loss to increased risks of falls, social isolation, dementia, higher medical costs, and more?
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation! We offer a variety of discount hearing aids that suit your auditory needs!
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound when there actually is no external sound that is being made. This is the most prevalent disorder that hearing healthcare professionals have encountered with their patients. Even though tinnitus is often lumped together with hearing loss, having tinnitus does not automatically mean that you also have hearing loss.
In order to hear, sounds are channeled through the outer and inner ear. Almost undetectable hair cells located inside the inner ear, transmit sound through auditory nerves and into the brain. Hearing loss may develop at any phase of this process.
Tinnitus can also develop at any phase of that same process. For instance, tinnitus can be caused by wax that impacts the ear canal. This can be the result of ear diseases affecting the middle ear, like fluid or Meniere’s Syndrome. It can be caused by damaged hair cells located in the inner ear, or improper firing of nerve cells in the brain.
Whatever is causing your tinnitus, is also probably what’s causing your hearing loss
Hearing loss and tinnitus are caused by the same impairment in our auditory system. There’s a high probability that if you have tinnitus, you also have hearing loss. It is commonly seen, but not in every patient.
This is because there are other causes for tinnitus that are not caused by complications associated with the ears. For example, medications (especially with high doses of aspirin), high blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause tinnitus.
If you, or a loved one have symptoms of tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
After a long winter, spring has officially arrived!
It seems like an accurate metaphor for anyone who has gone from being unable to hear, to being able to hear again.
Some people re-experience an energetic feeling that they haven't had for a while. As a result they may feel a spring in their step, so to speak.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, don't hesitate to contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation! We offer affordable hearing aids that assist those who have various ranges of hearing loss.
Some people who have average hearing capabilities, still tend to have difficulties with understanding speech noises. It may be labeled under the phrases auditory processing disorder, or hidden hearing loss. Even with significant efforts in research, there is still little information explaining this hearing experience.
Predictions and Test Subjects’ Results
The theory of hidden hearing loss predicts that if adults who experience normal hearing standards but struggle with hearing noise, may indicate that the primary ear-to-brain connections have deteriorated. This theory was tested on 194 adults who have average hearing capabilities, or audiograms.
First, a common measurement of hidden hearing loss - known as ABR Wave I - was conducted, in addition to surveys about each participant’s past exposures to noise and hearing. They also analyzed subjects on the QuickSIN (a Quick Speech in Noise test) to measure the ability, or inability, to comprehend speech with background noise. They concluded that there was no evidence that Wave I measurements were dissimilar between test subjects who reported a significant noise exposure and those who did not. They also did not find data supporting any parallels between speech-in-noise and Wave I amplitudes.
Another hypothesis, which asked why listeners have difficulty hearing noise, was tested for those with poor high-frequency hearing. This theory argued that damage in hair cells beyond the bounds measured by a standard audiogram weakens speech comprehension under difficult listening environments. There are indications that very high-frequency speech cues contribute important repetitions to speech in loud atmospheres. The test subjects indicated that listeners exposed to noise had marginally poorer high-frequency hearing thresholds, and there was no link to speech-in-noise efficiency.
The test subjects had sought out help from an audiology clinic, so they were more likely to suffer from one or both of the theories. But the conclusions agree with many other extensive reviews of hearing-in-noise abilities that recommend dismissing external factors.
This conclusion suggests that hidden hearing loss and high-frequency hearing loss do not jeopardize hearing-in-noise capabilities in a general population.
Which factors control hearing-in-noise difficulties?
The central nervous system for auditory encoding and general cognitive abilities may be a factor that controls hearing-in-noise difficulties. Take for instance listeners who have better hearing-in-noise capabilities. They have stronger abilities to convert important speech characteristics such as harmonics, pitch, and timing. Exercises to improve hearing also increases the elements of auditory encoding. Cognitive abilities, like attention and working memory, are associated with hearing. These cognitive abilities process sound for us to understand.
A functioning auditory periphery is needed to hear. Basic elements in the neural development of sound, in addition to cognitive abilities, most likely control speech-in-noise awareness. With that said, these should be important considerations during clinical assessments and rehabilitation procedures.
If you, or a loved one, have difficulty hearing noise or understanding speech, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.