If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, you should focus on how to protect your ears and hearing health. Knowing what types of ear protection are available for you to take into consideration is important in your decision process.
Ear Protection Devices
Some of the primary options for protecting your ears are:
Many job professions expose employees to loud noises for extensive periods of time, if not for the majority of their shift. In these occupations, your hearing may become impaired. Notably, carpenters, construction workers, and gardeners may observe deterioration in their hearing while on the job. Frequent banging noises in a workshop, or high decibels emanating from a sizable lawn mower can cause hearing loss.
How to Distinguish Whether Noises Are Too Loud
If you need to raise your voice to speak to someone who is only a few feet away, that’s an indication that the noise around you is too loud. This is probably a typical scene when you are at a concert. If you need to yell into someone’s ear just to talk to them, think about bringing earplugs along with you in case the setting is too loud.
If you notice any changes in your hearing abilities, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about the best options available for you. We offer a variety of hearing aids at discount prices!
Advancements in Hearing Better with Hearing Aids and other Devices
People who have hearing loss want to hear noises better, not necessarily make sounds louder. Advancements in the signal-to-noise ratio for hearing aid devices has developed quickly within the past few years. Most of these advancements include applicable and practical combinations of hearing aid devices, internet, smartphones, GPS, a multitude of wireless protocols, and more in order to customize your hearing care.
Statistics on Hearing Loss
The leading issue that is raised among 37 million Americans who suffer from audiometric sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is their incapacity to comprehend speech-in-noise (SIN), not the need to hear sounds at a louder level.
Additionally, 26 million people who do not suffer from audiometric hearing loss also have difficulty hearing and/or difficulty with SIN. Instead of just making sounds louder, those who have SIN complications require hearing aids, which now have many new advancements that can improve a wearer’s ability to better comprehend SIN.
What You can do to Hear Better
In order to improve the ability to comprehend SIN, the best thing that can be done for someone with SNHL is to assist the progress of an improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Some elements that have been integrated into hearing aids to advance SNR include adaptive, non-adaptive, and beamforming (a process that allows you to focus your WiFi signal) directional microphones, along with a variety of noise reduction algorithms. These algorithms improve SNR of 3 or 4 decibels (dB) in acoustic environments when it is used via open-canal fittings, or if speech babble is surrounding the wearer (like in restaurants).
There are tools like digital remote microphones or FM systems that wirelessly connect the individual speaking to the individual who is listening. Loop systems and telecoils (t-coils) can be used as a way to connect a person who is speaking to many listeners. FM and telecoils help diminish background noise and improve 12-15 dB in SNR for users.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from SNHL or have difficulty comprehending speech-in-noise, get in touch with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Our hearing instrument specialist, Chrissy, loves to help her patients at the Elizabethtown office!
If you, or a loved one are in need of a hearing test or hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation!
Whether you have a hearing impairment, or not, many people are opting to watch movies or television with subtitles.
Twitter Viral Response on Subtitles in Theaters
Recently, via Twitter, people have publicly expressed their interest in having subtitles in movie theaters.
“Subtitles aren’t just for deaf people. Lots of my hearing friends use them, too. If you’re hearing and using subtitles on Netflix and TV, and would quite like them at the cinema, please retweet to help normalise their presence.”
The post from @deafgirly (A.K.A. Deafinitely Girly) had a viral response with over 74,000 likes and several replies.
The 30-year-old blogger and advocate from London, who prefers using her Twitter name, discovered the worldwide support while at lunch with her mother.
Deafinitely Girly noted that there was so much encouragement around the globe, from people of all ages. Individuals who have expressed that they are not exactly fans of captions at movie theaters, stated that they would tolerate them if it meant that those who are deaf and hard of hearing could go to more screenings.
Subtitle Usage Surges Among People of All Hearing Abilities
The deaf and hard of hearing are not the only people who need subtitles. If someone is watching a movie or TV show from a foreign country, even if it’s in the same language, the accents are sometimes difficult to understand.
In a study from 2006, out of the 7.5 million UK TV audiences who used subtitles, approximately 1.5 million had some degree of hearing impairment. Although that estimate was conducted 13 years ago, the use of subtitles surged when more viewers watched shows or videos during their commutes.
Social media manager, Christina McDermott, observed the awkward moment when someone was watching a video in a quiet area, only to click on a video that turned out to be very loud. Having subtitles can grab a casual viewer. There are up to 85% of videos on Facebook that are viewed without sound, therefore subtitles are necessary.
In order to capture an audience’s attention, the methods that were used in silent films are being used today.
On social media, a humorous screen grab with a caption, or a meme, can garner some popularity.
Subtitles Reduces Isolation for the Hard of Hearing
Anna Gryszkiewicz, a Swedish engineer, who was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss when she was in her 20s, uses captions. She views the popularity of captions as something positive, because she now notices that it’s easier to find or request captions as opposed to 15 years ago. Gryszkiewicz expressed that those who are deaf or hard of hearing “have such an advantage living today”, but she is concerned about the quality of subtitles, for example, in computer auto-captions.
Gryszkiewicz emphasized that we should not forget about the social aspects in regards to hearing loss. Communication, language, and interacting with people socially are complex. Being deaf, or having hearing loss is different than what those with normal hearing assume it is like - and the effects on how one communicates is usually underestimated.
“I understand that good captions and other accessibility features are expensive and it’s not unreasonable to look into technology to reduce costs, but I hope our opinions are taken seriously when we try to explain what kind of accessibility is helpful and what isn’t,” said Gryszkiewicz.
Deafinitely Girly explained that her deafness is sometimes very isolating.
“You miss out on jokes, on social media videos, viral clips don’t mean anything, and you can’t follow the latest news that’s being live tweeted,” said Deafinitely Girly. “Subtitles being universal would change that massively.”
If you, or a loved one are hard of hearing, suffer from sensorineural hearing loss, or any other type of hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
There have been several studies that connect the loss of hearing to severe conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, heart disease, etc. These correlations are known as comorbidities, which is the simultaneous presence of two or more chronic conditions in an individual.
Here are seven comorbidities that are known to be associated with hearing loss:
The loss of hearing can be an indication of other chronic diseases, and it’s important for anyone who is affected to see a professional. To avoid becoming a statistic, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation.
Woodstock Attendees still Affected by Concert
It’s been 50 years since Woodstock, and concert attendees are still living with the consequences of listening to loud rock and roll music for hours and hours at a time.
According to a Harris Poll that was authorized by Oticon, a hearing aid manufacturing company, 47 percent of adults between the ages of 65 to 80, who said that they listened to loud or very loud music in their teens and 20s, reported that they have experienced hearing loss. For this generation of music lovers, 71 percent stated that music was one of the most significant things to them during their youth.
For some, the music that they listened to during that time is denying them the freedom to listen and enjoy music today. In an online survey conducted this past June, over 1,000 American adults acknowledged:
The survey also showed that the Woodstock Generation suffers from hearing loss in other aspects of daily life, unrelated to music. This includes:
A Lack of Care for Hearing Health
There are 48 million individuals who suffer from hearing loss, but only 4 million people buy hearing aids each year.
Even though they have hearing loss, most members of the Woodstock Generation haven’t done anything to take care of it. About 70 percent have never talked to a professional about their hearing health. Approximately one in 10 (or 12 percent) currently wear hearing aid devices, or have in the past.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss due to attending concerts or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids at discount prices!
According to a study, there are some antibiotics that can save your life, but they may also cause hearing loss. Lab mice were studied, and it was concluded that inflammation was a key factor in the loss of hearing abilities. Ion channels from the sensory hair cells located in the inner ear become more absorbent to antibiotics - or aminoglycosides - which make the cells become more sensitive to the harmful effects of the drugs.
Common aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, are used by many people because they work efficiently on a wide range of bacteria. They are occasionally used to treat the microbes that may resist a multitude of other antibiotics.
Aminoglycosides are helpful when treating infections if the microbe cannot be identified.
Advantages for Newborns
Newborns have a huge benefit if they are treated for infections with aminoglycosides, because these diseases can be fatal within a day or two - it is too soon for test results to disclose the microbe that is culpable for the disease.
It has been proven that aminoglycosides, such as gentamicin, are linked to hearing loss. As a result, babies who are in neonatal intensive care units, where aminoglycosides have been used, are prone to a higher rate of hearing loss. In fact, they are six times more likely than a healthy full-term baby to have loss of hearing.
Lab mice - who could hear - were tested for the effects of gentamicin and its correlation to hearing loss.
Researchers discovered that infections and inflammation made ion channels, located in sensory hair cells, to be more absorbent to the drug. This caused more of the drug to be used by the sensitive hair cells located in the cochlea. The toxic results of the drug on the cells had increased.
Inflammation throughout the Body
Researchers discovered that one specific protein found in ion channels, known as TRPV1, expedited the entry of gentamicin into the hair cells, when an inflammation or immune response was present. The lab mice that were not bred with functioning TRPV1, were protected from hearing loss that was caused by gentamicin, even when there was body-wide inflammation.
Researchers suggest that healthcare providers should use antibiotics that do not raise the risk of hearing loss with infection throughout the body, if possible. If aminoglycosides are the only available alternative, healthcare providers can now be more alert, at a faster rate, for those who may need aftercare auditory rehabilitation.
This is crucial for children who are learning how to talk and listen. If there is any postponement in diagnosing hearing loss, there can be repercussions which include a delay in acquiring speech, difficulty in academics, and decreased income.
New approaches can be used to classify microbes that are responsible for infection at a faster pace, therefore doctors may not be as dependent on a vast range of antibiotics to prescribe to newborn infants.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss due to the use of antibiotics or any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation to find out if we have a solution that will work for you.
Low-frequency hearing loss is associated with “conductive” hearing loss, which happens when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear.
To understand low-frequency hearing loss, it’s important to have some general knowledge of each type of hearing loss to compare the differences.
Hearing is connected to three main components of the ear:
What are three types of hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss may be caused by calcium build-up on the middle ear bones, which is also known as otosclerosis.
The name conductive hearing loss comes from the fact that sound is not properly being conducted, or sent, to the inner ear. Normally, low frequencies are damaged first. This can worsen to the point where all frequency ranges are affected. There is medical treatment available for most types of conductive hearing loss, with little to no lasting effects on your hearing health. There are alternative causes of low-frequency hearing loss that can be derived from the inner ear and the brain, but these are usually less common.
3. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural hearing loss and conductive
Causes of low-frequency hearing loss
Low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. This affects deep, or low-pitched noises. This type of hearing loss is also referred to as “reverse slope audiogram”. It indicates that an individual who has low-frequency hearing loss might still have the ability to hear higher frequency sounds. In many cases, those who suffer from low-frequency hearing loss are still able to comprehend speech.
A study from the Kresge Hearing Research Institute showed that an altered gene, WFS1 (Wolfram Syndrome gene) can result in low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. This mutation is known as Wolfram Syndrome 1. Other origins of low-frequency hearing loss are Meniere’s disease, Mondini dysplasia (a cochlear abnormality), sudden loss of hearing, viral diseases, renal failure, and pressure changes that would contribute to a fistula (for example, intracranial hypertension), or following spinal anesthesia.
Diagnosing low-frequency hearing loss
Low-frequency hearing loss tends to be looked over, due to the fact that there are typically no symptoms. There is not much information about low-frequency hearing loss as there is with higher frequencies in hearing loss, therefore those who have the ability to hear in the middle and high frequency ranges use what can be heard in those frequencies to compensate for what cannot be heard in lower frequencies. This covers up the hearing loss. Speech and language development is typically normal in an individual with low-frequency hearing loss. One of the few indications that someone has low-frequency hearing loss is if the person has a hard time hearing people in a group setting, or a noisy environment.
This type of hearing loss is normally detected during a routine hearing test.
Treating low-frequency hearing loss
Treating low-frequency hearing loss depends on the problems that you are having. In some circumstances, you might not need any treatment. There are hearing aids available that can increase low frequencies without amplifying the areas where a person usually hears from.
If you know of any family history of low-frequency hearing loss, schedule a free hearing test with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Studies have indicated a link between smoking cigarettes and hearing loss, but how about vaping, which is also known as smoking e-cigarettes?
Although the research is inconclusive, vaping appears to show similar risks to smoking cigarettes. Chemicals that are in the vape juice flavoring, could be more unsafe.
No FDA Regulation
E-cigarettes, vape pens, and mod boxes are all devices that allow users to inhale vapor with nicotine, and other substances. These are powered by batteries and use an element to heat a substance known as “e-juice” or “vape juice”, which is kept in a cartridge. The vapor releases and is inhaled by the user.
With over 500 brands and thousands of vape juice flavors available, there is almost no regulation from the FDA. Because of this lack of regulation, it is uncertain as to how vaping affects your general health and your hearing health.
How does Nicotine Restrict Blood Flow?
Nicotine is an addictive substance that can constrict blood vessels, including the blood vessels located in the ears. The oxygen’s blood flow is restricted from the inner ear. This causes damage to the small hair cells located in the cochlea, which converts sound vibrations into electrical catalysts for the brain.
Some e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine, but others do have varying amounts of nicotine.
Unperceived Dangers of Vape Juice
Even zero-nicotine e-cigarettes with vape juice should be closely examined. The vape juice is the “flavor” ingredient in the e-cigarettes. This ‘flavor’ ingredient contains a substance known as propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol contains alcohol and has been studied in products like ear drops. Researchers have concluded that using propylene glycol externally is ototoxic, meaning it’s harmful to the inner ear.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing sudden loss of hearing, blockage, pressure in the ears, or tinnitus due to vaping, stop vaping immediately. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if you would like a free hearing test. One of our hearing instrument specialists can discuss the best options that are available for you.
Our hearing instrument specialist, Desiree, was in the Lititz office this week helping with patients. She and Martha, our patient care coordinator, are reviewing this week's schedule.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test, check up, or consultation about your hearing aids get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids!
The AAO-HNS suggests that hearing aid users get their ear canals examined for impacted ear wax every three to six months. If you have issues with ear wax buildup, here are five safe tips:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss due to using any of these techniques to remove earwax, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Many people tend to ignore or deny that they have an issue with their health. This is especially true when it comes to hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually and may be undetected when it initially begins.
Most individuals have a high chance of having some range of hearing loss, and being young is not exemption. Here are some myths about hearing loss:
Myth #1: Only elderly adults suffer from hearing loss.
Fact: Any individual of any age can have hearing loss.
Myth #2: There is no prevention of hearing loss and it is unavoidable with age.
Fact: Although not all hearing loss can be avoided, most types of hearing loss can be prevented with changes in your lifestyle.
Myth #3: Infants and children do not need a hearing test.
Fact: All infants and children regularly need a hearing test.
Myth #4: Some people believe they can hear fine, and do not think they have hearing loss. Therefore, they do not believe that they need hearing aids.
Facts: Hearing loss happens gradually, and can be difficult to recognize. Typically, family members will recognize your hearing loss before you do.
Myth #5: Hearing aids are just like contact lenses or eyeglasses, and will correct your hearing loss.
Facts: Contact lenses and eyeglasses immediately correct your vision to 20/20. Hearing aids do not correct your hearing in the same manner. Your brain needs time to adapt to the sounds coming in contact with the hearing aid device, rather than the ear.
Myth #6: There is only one type of hearing loss, and it affects both ears in the same way.
Facts: There are three primary types of hearing loss subtypes. These include: conductive, mixed, and sensorineural. A fourth type that is more rare is known as auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Hearing loss can affect each ear in a different way.
Myth #7: Hearing loss will not harm your overall health
Fact: Hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline, which can effect on your overall health.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing changes in your hearing abilities, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Wearing Hearing Aids Hay Help Preserve Functioning Brain
In a new study that was conducted by the University of Exeter and King's College London, research has shown that individuals who wear hearing aids due to age-related hearing difficulties preserve a better functioning brain than those who do not wear hearing aids.
This expands on research from the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care, which emphasized hearing loss as a major risk factor for dementia. This research proposes that wearing a hearing aid device might reduce that risk.
The online study, known as PROTECT, researches brain health in older adults. The objective is to study how the brain ages and how to lessen the risk of dementia and other mental health issues as people grow older.
PROTECT Study Results
The results showed evidence that those who wore an efficient hearing aid might help protect their brains and lessen the risk of dementia.
Each group of individuals, those who wore hearing aids and those who did not, had yearly cognitive tests over a two year span. After that time period, the group of people who wore hearing aid devices had better test results on working memory and elements of attention than those who did not.
In one test that measured attention, subjects who wore hearing aids produced quicker reaction times. For example, they reacted faster when straining to hear a noise, looked closer at an object that they found interest in, or concentrated more when listening to a person speaking.
Earlier research studies showed that hearing loss is related to a deficiency in brain function, memory, and an escalation in the possibility of dementia. This is one of the largest studies that sees the significance of wearing a hearing aid, and indicate that wearing a hearing device may keep your brain staying healthy. More research is needed to verify these results.
It has been proved that the risk of dementia can be reduced by a third if preventative measures are taken in mid life. This research is a fundamental piece to discovering what can be done to preserve a healthy brain. The idea to take away from this is that if you are advised to wear a hearing aid, you should find the best one that works for you.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialists will offer you a free hearing test and consultation on a variety of hearing aids to suit your needs!
Sometimes a hearing aid wearer (who has custom in-the-ear hearing devices, or ear molds for behind-the-ear hearing devices) may express concern over their hearing aids not comfortably fitting in their ears anymore.
Your Weight-loss May Be The Cause
There’s a possibility that the ear mold or hearing aid changed, but in some cases it’s the person who is wearing the hearing device who changed. Individuals who may have lost anywhere between 5-8lbs, or more, can notice a looser fit in their hearing aids. In addition to not having a snug fit, this loose fit may cause whistling or feedback noises.
Your Ears Grow
The loss of weight is not the only issue. As you get older, cartilage in your ears and nose continue to grow. Your ear lobes may lengthen in size, due to gravity. You may notice that your ears look larger than they did a decade ago.
Solutions To Have Properly Fit Hearing Aids
If you wear hearing aids and are concerned that they feel looser than before, or if they begin to make whistling or squealing sounds, these are minor changes and can be repaired in a hearing instrument specialist’s office by getting the hearing aid or the mold reinforced. In some cases you may need a new mold. It is recommended that you get an annual hearing test, and the hearing instrument specialist will check the fit of your hearing aids during that exam. It’s important to make investments in your hearing aids, so you can get the most use out of them!
Schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to have the fit of your hearing devices checked.
Mammals have vast capabilities when it comes to hearing. Bats have high-frequency echolocation calls, while whales produce low frequency sounds. Dogs have a range of hearing that is twice as wide as humans. A group of science researchers discovered two new genes that are connected to hearing.
Hearing Genes and Adaptations
It is understood that hearing adaptations are based on genetics. A group of scientists directed by Lucia Franchini, from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET), located in Buenos Aires, Argentina have pursued an objective to analyze the genetic foundations of the evolution in a mammal’s inner ear. Their latest discoveries identified two new hearing genes.
The primary process of hearing in different mammals is identical. A mammal’s auditory system is represented by a middle ear comprised of three ossicles:
The researchers concentrated on the inner ear. The section transforms the shifts in sound intensity into electrical signals which is processed by the brain. The inner ear has a snail-shaped cochlea which changes sound waves into nerve impulses, including an auditory organ that has inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs).
IHCs collect and deliver sound information. They are fundamental transducers, which discharge glutamate to energize the sensory fibers in the cochlear nerve. The outer hair cells intensify sound information.
Study Conducted on Hearing Genes
The functional and form/structural changes in a mammal’s inner ear is what gives it unique hearing abilities. Approximately 13%, or 165 inner ear genes have been chosen for adaptation. An analysis of hearing genes and how they operate in mice was conducted. They concentrated on two formerly unidentified genes: STRIP2 (Striatin Interacting Protein 2) and ABLIM2 (Actin Binding LIM domain 2).
There were auditory functional studies conducted with STRIP2 and ABLIM2, on mice by using two techniques that show different conclusions of OHC versus IHC/neuronal dysfunction in the cochlea. To assess how trustworthy the hearing system was, the researchers recorded ABRs (Auditory Brainstem Responses) that are “sound-evoked potentials” created by neuronal circuits in auditory pathways.
They found that STRIP2 probably has a practical duty in the first synapse between IHCs and nerve fibers. When they are at the cochlear sensory epithelium, they found a considerable reduction of auditory-nerve synapses.
The researchers determined that STRIP2 had a strong positive selection in the mammalian genealogy, and has an influential function of the inner ear. Based on the evolution and functional studies, the changes that this gene underwent showed that it was able to adapt. The study also shows evidence that evolutionary approaches, combined with research, can help researchers discover essential elements in how organs and tissues function.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test or new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Poor Blood Circulation Weakens the Ear's Sensory Cells
When there is poor blood circulation in the body, some sensory organs may become deteriorated over time. This is particularly true for parts of the inner ear that are more sensitive. A weak circulatory system can cause a lack of nutrients that help the ear’s sensory cells, which can affect your hearing.
Poor oral hygiene can cause these problems. If gums or other parts of the mouth become infected with bacteria, arteries and blood vessels get narrow, resulting in a restriction of blood flow to the body. Since the mouth is located near the ears, this may stop blood flow from reaching the ears.
3 Tips For an Oral Hygiene Routine
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. If you are in need of hearing aids, we offer a wide selection of hearing solutions at discount prices!
Medicare Advantage Hearing Aid Plans: Pure Sound Hearing Aids Introduces Affordable Hearing Aid Benefit in Medicare Advantage Plans
Benefits offered through Pure Sound Hearing Aids Medicare Advantage relationship should improve access to hearing tests and increase affordability for hearing aids.
Medicare beneficiaries in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania now have better access to hearing examinations and affordable hearing aids. Pure Sound Hearing Aids is one of the few local licensed hearing aid providers that now accept virtually all Medicare Advantage plans. They also accept AARP and Federal Blue Cross.
One in four Americans 70 years and older has a hearing impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Traditionally, hearing aids have been unaffordable and out-of-reach for many Medicare beneficiaries. According to a National Academies of Sciences report on hearing aid affordability, the average retail price of two hearing aids in 2013 was approximately $4,700. Original Medicare covers diagnostic hearing exams if a patient’s health care provider orders the test to see if medical treatment is needed. Otherwise, original Medicare does not cover hearing aids, or exams to fit hearing aids.
Several Medicare Care Advantage health care companies are including this hearing aid benefit on certain Medicare Advantage plans offered for the 2019 plan year in select states, including Pennsylvania. The benefits vary, but generally allow for a hearing exam at no cost to the member, plus no cost or reduced co-payment for hearing aids, simplifying and deeply reducing the cost. Other plans may offer hearing aid allowance, rather than fixed copays.
Some plans include:
These plans are available at no extra cost to the member. The covered hearing aids are name brands and offer the latest technology, including wireless connectivity to smartphones or tablets and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Medicare beneficiaries, who are interested in the hearing aid benefits, should call their local Pure Sound Hearing representative at 717-945-1477. Your representatives will be able to help you activate your benefits. Please have your insurance card available when you call.
Pure Sound Hearing is a leading local hearing aid company with five locations in Lancaster County. Pure Sound has been voted an LNP Readers’ Choice favorite annually since 2013, including 2019. Pure Sound director, Sean Mark, is a Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist with over 12 years of fitting experience. Pure Sound Hearing’s goal is to provide professionally fit, high quality, brand name hearing instruments at the lowest price possible.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a free hearing test and consultation, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists! We have offices located in Strasburg, Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mount Joy, and New Holland.
Hearing loss is generally classified in the following categories: mild, moderate, severe, severe-to-profound, and profound. In order to conclude which degree of hearing loss you have, your hearing health care provider will administer a few tests.
The unit that is utilized to measure the magnitude of sounds are known as decibels (dB).
Here are the various degrees of hearing loss:
Normal: 0-25 dB HL. There is no perceived difficulty in hearing.
Mild: 26-40 dB HL. Problems with hearing and/or comprehending quiet discussions, mainly in noise.
Moderate: 41-60 dB HL. Problems with hearing and/or comprehending speech in conversations.
Severe: 61-80 dB HL. Problems with hearing and/or understanding conversations with groups of people, and loud speech.
Severe to Profound: 81-90 dB HL. Problems with hearing and/or comprehending speech without the use of hearing aid devices.
Profound: 90+ dB HL. Problems with hearing and/or comprehending loud speech and sounds.
Not all types of hearing loss - even if it’s two types with the same degree - are exactly identical. Two people who have the same form of hearing loss could have dissimilar hearing experiences. Furthermore, having a mild form of hearing loss does not suggest mild hearing capabilities or difficulty with communicating with others.
If you, or a loved one, have any of the aforementioned degrees of hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation for the best hearing aid options that we have available for you.
Our patient care coordinator, Martha, is scheduling an appointment with a patient.
If you need to schedule a free hearing test, or a check up for your hearing aids, call us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids!
Wearing earplugs to bed can be very helpful for those who sleep lightly, or live where constant noise interrupts daily life. There’s a dispute over how safe it is to wear earplugs while you sleep each night.
Advantages of wearing Earplugs
Sleeping with earplugs boosts the quality of a restful night, in addition to the amount of sleep that you get. Blaring sounds could wake you from a state of deep sleep. There are long lasting effects, even if you are only awoken for a few seconds. Your body needs time to go back to a state of deep sleep that is necessary to function for an entire day.
If you have poor sleeping conditions over a long period of time, that increases your risk of:
Possible Disadvantages of using Earplugs
Generally, earplugs are safe to use. In some instances, if you use them on a daily basis, there can be some side effects.
After a while, earplugs can actually push ear wax further into your ear canal, which can result in earwax buildup. As a result, you may have brief loss of hearing and tinnitus. To clear out the wax, it is advised to use ear drops to soften it or have it removed by a hearing health professional.
Ear infections can be caused by earplug usage. Usually, ear infections are caused by earwax buildup, but bacterial growth on your earplugs can also cause ear infections. Ear infections are generally painful. If it is not treated there are long-term complications, such as hearing loss.
The Best Earplugs for Sleeping
There are generally two types of earplugs: vented and non-vented.
Vented earplugs contain a small hole. This helps equalize the pressure felt in your ears. These earplugs are best used when flying and scuba diving, but not for sleeping.
Non-vented earplugs work best when sleeping.
Here are some earplugs that are useful when sleeping:
If you suffer from any range of hearing loss, or tinnitus, please contact us a Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Having a hearing impairment, a range of deafness, or hearing loss involve complete or limited ability to hear. Indications of these could be mild, moderate, severe, or serious.
Individuals who suffer from mild hearing impairment could have issues with comprehending speech, particularly if there are a lot of surrounding noises. Those who suffer from moderate deafness could benefit from using a hearing aid.
Those who have severe deafness may engage in lip-reading as a means of communication, while others with profound deafness and the inability to hear anything at all are completely dependent on lip-reading or using sign language.
Causes of Deafness:
The inner ear has some of the most delicate bones in the body. Any damage caused to the eardrum or middle ear could cause a range of hearing loss or deafness.
Hearing Loss and Deafness
Hearing loss is defined as a diminished ability to hear in the same way as those who have normal hearing.
Deafness occurs when an individual can’t comprehend speech through hearing, even with amplified sound.
Profound Deafness is defined as a complete absence of hearing. A person who suffers from profound deafness cannot recognize sound at all.
How severe one’s hearing impairment is can be classified by how much louder volumes must be set at in order for them to identify a sound.
Some characterize profoundly deaf and completely deaf in the same manner. On the other hand, some characterize being diagnosed with profound deafness as being the end of the hearing spectrum.
What is the Process of Hearing?
Sound waves penetrate the ear, make their way down the ear or auditory canal, and come in contact with the eardrum, which then vibrates. The vibrations from the eardrum pass through three bones - the ossicles - located in the middle ear.
The ossicles intensify the reverberations, and are then gathered by small hair-like cells located in the cochlea.
These hair-like cells move when they come in contact with vibrations, and that movement data is transferred through the auditory nerve towards the brain. The brain will then process the data, which is then interpreted as sound.
3 Categories of Hearing Loss
1. Conductive Hearing Loss - This is when reverberations do not pass through the outer ear and into the inner ear, specifically the cochlea. This type of hearing loss can happen due to:
Ear infections could leave behind scar tissue, which may reduce the function of the
Eardrum. The ossicles could be harmed due to infection, trauma, or becoming fused
Together by a syndrome known as ankylosis.
2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss - Hearing loss can be caused by an impaired inner ear, cochlea, auditory nerve, or brain damage.
This type of hearing loss is generally caused by hair cells that are damaged in the cochlea. As people age, the hair cells lose function, and hearing abilities worsen.
Continuous exposure to loud noises, particularly high-frequency sounds, is an additional cause of hair cell damage. Damaged hair cells can’t be recovered. There are researchers currently considering the use of stem cells to produce new hair cells.
Total deafness in relation to sensorineural hearing loss could happen due to congenital deformities, inner ear infections, or trauma to the head.
3. Mixed Hearing Loss - this is a merge between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Persistent ear infections could damage the eardrum and the ossicles. In some cases, surgery might restore one’s hearing, but it is not always sufficient.
4 Degrees of Deafness or Hearing Impairment
Treating Different Ranges of Hearing Loss
There are resources to help those of every type of hearing loss. The treatments depend on the cause and severity of the deafness.
There is no cure for sensorineural hearing. If the hair cells in the cochlea are destroyed, they cannot be repaired. There are different treatments and methods to improve a person’s hearing health.
There are a variety of hearing aids that come in all shapes, sizes, circuitries, and degrees of strengths.
Hearing aids cannot cure deafness. They intensify sounds for the listener to hear more clearly.
Hearing aid devices have an amplifier, a battery, loudspeaker, and microphone. Modern hearing aids are small, discreet, and fit inside the ear canal. Today’s hearing aids can help wearers differentiate between background and foreground noises.
Hearing aids would not be appropriate for someone who has profound deafness.
Custom made hearing aids can be created by taking an impression of the ear to make sure the device has a snug fit to the ear. It will be adjusted according to an individual’s auditory needs.
Types of hearing aids include:
These hearing devices have a dome known as an earmold, and a case that links one device to the other. The case rests behind the outer region of the ear, and the connection to the dome goes down the front of the ear. The sound travels electrically or acoustically to the ear.
BTE hearing aids typically last longer than other hearing devices. This is due to the fact that electrical elements are found outside of the ear, which causes less damage from earwax and moisture. These hearing aids are commonly used by children who need a durable device that is simple to use.
These hearing devices fill the outer part of the ear canal and are visible. Ear inserts that are soft and generally made of silicone, are used to keep the loudspeaker inside the ear. These hearing aids fit most wearers immediately and tend to have better quality of sound.
Completely in the canal (CIC)
These are small, discreet hearing aids that are not recommended for those who suffer from severe hearing loss.
Bone conduction hearing aids
These hearing aids amplify sounds for those with conductive hearing loss, in addition to those who cannot wear traditional hearing aids. The device has a part that vibrates and it is held against the mastoid using a headband. The vibrations travel through the mastoid bone, towards the cochlea. These hearing aids can be painful or cause discomfort if they are worn for an extended period of time.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from any range of hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices.
Analysts from the University of Michigan have found a way to represent the section of the ear that processes speech through a computerized model. This invention will help enhance hearing tests and hearing aid devices that are able to restore some hearing capabilities to those who are deaf. The cochlea, a spiral, tube-like cavity, collects pressure information from the eardrum and transforms it into nerve impulses, or signals transmitted along a nerve fiber, which are sent to the brain. There has not been complete insight as to how the cochlea functions from beginning to end, until this virtual model was created.
The apex, which is the furthest part from the eardrum, becomes gradually smaller at one end making it more difficult to examine. It also has different cell structures than the base. There have been new improvements to optical coherence tomography (OTC) and uses of light waves to develop 3-D images to give researchers a closer view of the cochlea’s apex. The OTC data allowed these researchers to determine the inner workings of the cochlea, interaction fluid-structure, and cell makeup.
The researchers also claim that their virtual model could likely improve how newborn babies get tested for hearing impairments and better insight of an infant’s hearing abilities. Making enhancements to the model for speech and music transduction may help the way cochlear implants function, and also a hearing aid’s capacity to accurately replicate sounds.
If you are in need of hearing aids or a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania Hearing Instrument Specialist Honored by International Hearing Society as 2019 All-Star Award Recipient
It’s not every day that one is recognized for their dedication to excellence and commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards in their work. Yet, this year a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania resident is being recognized for their ongoing commitment to their work in hearing healthcare.
The International Hearing Society (IHS) announced Sean Mark, BC-HIS, a licensed Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as a first-time All-Star Award recipient this year. The prestigious All-Star Award recognizes outstanding Society members who have invested years in the Society and the IHS Code of Ethics, which upholds the pinnacle of ethical standards when interacting with the community, patients, their families, and other professionals.
Mark, a hearing instrument specialist since 2007, is celebrating his 10th year with IHS, which is the only association to represent hearing aid dispensing professionals worldwide.
“It is an honor to receive the IHS All-Star Award,” said Mark. “Being an IHS member helps me provide the best hearing healthcare for my patients. I look forward to serving the community as a hearing instrument specialist for many years to come.”
“The first time I had assisted with a hearing aid fitting, as an apprentice, I was hooked,” said Mark. “The clients’ reaction was priceless, (it was) total joy and relief. That is the moment I knew that there was nothing else I would rather do.”
Pure Sound Hearing Aids was established in 2011 to serve the hearing-impaired community in Lancaster County and help improve the quality of life for residents. Since its opening, Pure Sound has worked to save the community thousands of dollars by offering franchise brands direct from the manufacturer. They’re also known for being one of the few providers who take virtually all Medicare Advantage Plans, plus Blue Cross Federal. With many of these plans, members receive a deeply discounted hearing aid price plus an additional insurance benefit, requiring as little as zero out of pocket.
The five Pure Sound Hearing offices are located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mount Joy, New Holland, and Strasburg. Those looking to understand more about their hearing health, or who may be experiencing hearing difficulties can call 717-945-1477 to make an appointment for a hearing evaluation.
The culmination of the All-Star recognition program occurs during the 68th Annual IHS Convention and Expo on September 21, 2019 where the IHS All-Stars, including Mark, are honored at the gala celebration before hundreds of their peers from around the world.
“Helping people hear better never gets old,” explained Mark. “I love what I do, it is very rewarding and I’m thankful to be in this profession, serving my community.”
About the International Hearing Society (IHS)
The International Hearing Society (IHS) is a membership association that represents hearing healthcare professionals worldwide. IHS members are engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting and dispensing hearing instruments and counseling patients. Founded in 1951, the Society continues to recognize the need for promoting and maintaining the highest possible standards for its members in the best interests of the hearing impaired it serves. For more information about IHS visit www.ihsinfo.org.
Losing your hearing abilities can be caused by aging, it may be hereditary, or it can come from being exposed to noises in your daily environments.
There is less familiar type of hearing loss, known as cooking bite hearing loss. A cookie bite hearing loss is unusual because particular sounds that a person will hear is altered. It progresses slowly and is more difficult to detect than other types of hearing impairments.
Define Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
“Cookie bite” refers to the image of an audiogram that is taken from a patient who has this condition. Rather than displaying a smooth line, these individuals have audiograms that show a dent in the center that resembles a cookie bite, hence the name. This dent has severe repercussions for an individual.
In most cases, those who have this condition will struggle to hear sounds located in the middle of the frequency range, but they are able to recognize low and high frequencies. The middle frequencies allow those with normal hearing to recognize music and speech, as a result the effects of cookie bite hearing loss can be serious. For example, these individuals may have the ability to hear the sound of a door shutting or someone playing a guitar, but cannot hear if someone is talking in front of them.
The Development of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
As aforementioned, this hearing loss progresses slowly. Anyone who has this issue will begin to observe struggles to hear common noises when they are in their 20s. It will then become more severe when they are in their late 30s and, for some, in their 40s. People generally postpone seeking treatment due to the fact that the condition develops slowly and is difficult to identify in the early stages.
Experts believe the cookie bite hearing loss is primarily genetic in its nature. It is also known as a sensorineural condition, which indicates that it attacks the auditory vestibular nerve located in the inner ear. This is an additional reason as to why it is so difficult to diagnose. Patients will discover that they have cookie bite hearing loss after getting an audiogram. Young people do not typically get this exam, so the problem may get worse if they don’t get it treated.
Repercussions of Cookie Bite Hearing Loss
Social interactions can sometimes go awry with cookie bite hearing loss. Those who suffer from this condition may have difficulty in engaging with others during a conversation. In a job setting, problems may arise if they cannot comprehend instructions, presentations, or questions during an interview. It can become more difficult to listen to music. Messages that warn people of potential danger can be missed in public areas, and alarm systems or sirens can feel painful to the ears if an individual suffers from cookie bite hearing loss.
Although hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing for those with cookie bite hearing loss, they can alleviate symptoms. These devices have a feature that cut down on low and high frequencies, which will level out the amplification and focuses on amplifying the mid-frequency range. Amplifying the mid-frequency range is needed to help your hearing. Hearing aids can be adjusted by a hearing instrument specialist, and tailored to each person’s hearing ranges.
If you suffer from cookie bite hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
If you’re a woman who wants another reason to eat healthier, look no further!
According to a study conducted by Dr. Sharon Curhan, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, women who generally had a healthy diet showed a lower risk of moderate or worsening hearing loss.
For 22 years, analysts studied data from approximately 71,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (This is one of the largest anticipated investigations into the risk factors for leading chronic diseases in women.).
Women with eating habits that were similar to the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), showed to be 30 percent less likely to experience moderate or severe hearing loss than individuals who followed an eating habit that was least like those diets.
The AMED Diet
The DASH Diet
Although researchers cannot pinpoint an unequivocal cause-and-effect between women’s diet and hearing loss, it’s still a good idea to maintain an overall healthy eating habit to reduce any risks.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation to discuss the best options we have available for you.