Do You have High-Frequency Hearing Loss? Discover the Symptoms, Preventative Measures, and Treatment Options.
You may not think that you have any form of hearing loss. It’s usually subtle, except in severe cases. You may have hearing loss and not realize it, especially if it’s in the high-frequency range.
There are two different frequencies: high-frequency and low-frequency.
A person with high-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing sounds between 2000-8000 Hz. Some examples of these sounds include birds chirping, children’s voices, and high-pitched instruments like flutes or violins.
A person with low-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing 2000 Hz or lower sounds. Some noise examples include a large dog’s bark or low-pitched instruments like the tuba. Hearing loss in low-frequencies is also known as reverse-slope hearing loss.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is common among people with loss of hearing. The causes of this particular hearing loss include:
Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
One of both ears can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss. The range of severity is as different as the symptoms. Some may not notice it, while others see a significant change.
Here are the most common signs to observe:
Are There Preventative Measures to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
Like noise-induced hearing loss, the only way to prevent high-frequency hearing loss is by avoiding loud settings and wearing proper hearing protection when necessary. If you cannot hear someone speaking to you within arm’s length, this means your environment is too loud. Aging and genetic factors can also cause high-frequency hearing loss, making it unavoidable for some people.
Treatment Options for High-Frequency Hearing Loss
A pure tone screening test determines whether you or a loved one have high-frequency hearing loss. The test will have a range of various frequencies played for the patient to listen to and identify. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and pure tone screening. There is no cure for high-frequency hearing loss, but a hearing aid can help manage your symptoms. Our specialists at Pure Sound Hearing will be able to guide you through your treatment options and recommend hearing aids if necessary.
It’s Springtime! The nice weather is probably drawing you outdoors more often.
Unfortunately, the beautiful flowers that have blossomed have raised the production of pollen and allergies. Even though airborne allergens can be breathed in at any time of the year, there tends to be a spike in allergy-related hearing loss and tinnitus during the spring season.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, can induce symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, ear pressure, feelings of fullness in the ears, or clogged ears. For some, inflammation and/or too much fluid affects a person’s hearing abilities or causes tinnitus. Those who suffer from tinnitus might notice a louder ringing or worsened symptoms of tinnitus.
Can Hearing Loss be caused by Allergies?
In response to allergy exposure, the body’s immune system will produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamine is what causes itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. This is basically hay fever. When mucus overproduces, this can block the Eustachian tube - this tube is the draining passage for the middle ear. The middle ear makes sounds louder and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. If this area becomes inflamed or obstructed your hearing can be affected and/or you can get an ear infection.
Generally, patients who have allergic reactions may notice minor hearing loss with feelings of fullness or pressure in the ear. This indicates that the person may have hearing loss and possibly fluid or inflammation in the middle ear.
Categories of Allergy-Related Hearing Problems
Fullness: Excessive fluid in the ear causes pressure or a feeling of clogged ears. The fluid gets pushed up against the eardrum, creating irritation and making it challenging to hear. Usually, the irritating feeling will eventually go away. If you are noticing any pain, you may have an ear infection and should get help immediately.
Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss happens as a result of sound waves that are unable to correctly travel through the ear and into the tiny bones of the middle ear. If there is excess fluid or ear wax, sound may not properly travel through the cochlea. Conductive hearing loss can be treated and may improve on its own, but it is hard to figure out whether hearing loss is short-lived, treatable, or permanent without thorough tests. If you experience sudden hearing loss or noticeable hearing loss, make an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing right away. If you wait too long, it can be difficult to treat.
Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by allergies happens when the ringing only occurs simultaneously with other symptoms of allergies. If you have allergy-induced tinnitus for many months during the year contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for hearing aid treatment options.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
When your tinnitus symptoms get worse with allergies, it can impact your hearing abilities, your general mood, sleeping patterns, and overall quality of life. If you or a loved one has tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do You Experience Genetic Hearing Loss?
There are some types of hearing loss that are genetic and result in gene mutations.
A person’s genes can make a person more or less susceptible to hearing loss that is caused by aging, medications, infections, or noise-induced. About 35-55% of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is genetic.
Sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are both genetic.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused by deteriorated inner ear nerves and hair cells. Age, excessive noise exposure, head injury, genes, or an illness can lead to this type of hearing loss. There is no medication or surgery that can correct this loss, but hearing aids can be used as a treatment option.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This is caused by an obstruction in the outer or middle ear. Earwax, fluid, a tumor, or the natural formation of your ear can cause obstruction. The blockage essentially inhibits noise from traveling to the inner ear. Surgery or medication are treatment options for this type of hearing loss.
The Genetic Makeup of Ear Cells Affects the Way We Hear
The human body is composed of chemical units that are found in cells, A.K.A. genes. Inside the cell, genes form chromosomes which is what makes DNA and features our hereditary traits. Some genetic makeup of the ear cells can influence hearing abilities and help our brains interpret sounds.
Sometimes there’s a shift in your genes’ DNA, which can affect how they work. If these mutations happen in a gene that holds crucial information about our sense of hearing, it can lead to hearing loss or even deafness.
Hereditary Conditions that Cause Hearing Loss
Otosclerosis, Usher’s syndrome, and Pendred syndrome are all hereditary conditions that cause hearing loss.
Sensory hair cells that are located in the inner ear are crucial for healthy hearing. If there’s a mutation in these cells, they may not function correctly and lead to hearing loss.
Gene mutations and a deformity in the inner ear can lead to deafness at birth or inevitable deafness.
Congenital hearing loss is a genetic condition in which children are either born with hearing loss or born with genes that will cause them to lose their hearing in the future. Typically genetic conditions are what causes hearing loss in newborns.
Every human gene has two copies that are inherited from the mother and father. The risks of hearing loss can be based on a mutation that is dominant or recessive. A dominant mutation can lead to hearing loss if there is damage to at least one of the inherited copies from the parents. Recessive mutations can lead to hearing loss, but only if there’s damage to both copies. For example, if both parents carry the gene mutation, their child has a high chance of hearing loss.
The Complexities of Finding Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss
It’s not easy to identify the exact cause of genetic hearing loss. Several different genes can produce the same type of hearing loss. Those same genes can be part of different kinds of hearing loss. People with the same gene mutation could still experience different degrees of hearing loss.
If you are experiencing hearing loss due to genetic factors, or for any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
What can You do to Improve Your Hearing?
There are sounds all around us, in every environment, and from the people who communicate with us. Think of the sounds that you can’t miss. Perhaps it’s the sound of a loved one’s voice, your favorite music, or critical instructions from a medical provider. Think about the people you want to reconnect with and the special moments by incorporating these tips into your journey towards better hearing.
Obesity is related to hearing loss. The heart must work harder to circulate blood throughout the body, including your ears. Simply walking or practicing a more rigorous exercise routine can help with your overall health, which impacts your hearing health.
Take Advantage of the Technology
Concerns about alerting systems when you have difficulty with hearing are common among people with hearing loss. Modern technology can transform your doorbells, smoke alarms, and timers into flashing lights or vibrations. Smartphones may stream audio straight to your hearing aids while providing captioned videos or flash visual alerts for incoming calls. Hearing aids can also translate other languages through a captioning app.
The Loop System
Throughout the U.S., most public spaces, such as museums and theaters, have a hearing loop built into their venues. This allows your hearing aid devices to wirelessly connect through the t-coil setting in your hearing aid. Participating sites should feature a hearing loop logo on the building.
Protect Your Hearing
About 466 million people around the world have hearing loss. This includes 34 million children. The primary and only preventable cause of hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). So if you are at a loud concert, watching live fireworks go off, riding a snowmobile, or using loud power tools, limit your exposure by wearing hearing protection or taking breaks in between these boisterous spaces.
Do you have difficulty hearing during a conversation over the phone? You might be approved for a landline phone that displays captions as the person speaks on the other line. In some participating states, this telephone is free if a qualified hearing care provider certifies that you have hearing loss and would benefit from using the phone. The caption call phone also works with hearing aids. You just need a standard phone line and connection to the internet. Users can add captions to their smartphones and tablet.
Get a Hearing Test
Making a hearing test is simple. Why not schedule one for the entire household? Adults should get their hearing tested annually or more often if they notice something wrong with their hearing. Early detection is key to early intervention, which can help significantly in the long run. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Many people experience tinnitus. It’s a symptom of an underlying disease. Making a few modifications to your lifestyle can help make your symptoms more manageable.
Things You Can Change to Manage Tinnitus
If your tinnitus becomes triggered due to stress, finding ways to manage your stress should be a priority. Symptoms of tinnitus can worsen from stress. Yoga and other exercises can help alleviate these symptoms. Check out some other easy and effective techniques to manage stress from these articles:
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Additional Treatment Options for Tinnitus
If you are looking for other treatments, maybe try:
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and would like to try hearing aids as a treatment option, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do some spaces make it difficult to hear others? Whether it’s a noisy restaurant with bare walls and floors that can’t absorb sounds or your own home, which can feature spacious areas, how sound travels from room to room can be unpleasant for the ears.
Making some minor changes to your decoration can alter sound clarity and quality.
If you are in a grand dining area with wooden floors, unadorned walls, and full, curtain-less windows - sounds will ricochet from these hard surfaces. As a result, what a person says will be heard with an echo.
An echo alters how clear a person’s speaking voice sounds. When there are more things in a room - drapes over windows, rugs, carpeted floors/walls, tablecloths on a table - the sound becomes trapped and absorbs into soft surfaces instead of rebounding.
The acoustics in a room can significantly impact a person’s ability to communicate effectively, no matter how well they can hear.
There are so many simple ways to improve the acoustics in a space.
Modern Design Trends Have Not Been Made with Hearing Problems in Mind
What people enjoy looking at isn’t always great for the ears.
Contemporary homes with open layouts intended for entertaining, no drapes or carpeted floors, minimalist designs, and vaulted ceilings can be harsh on hearing.
If you or someone you live with has hearing loss, more drapes, furniture, and carpeting would be beneficial to absorb sounds throughout the home.
Some materials, like fuzzy, soft, and textured items, absorb sounds. Other materials like brick, glass, and tiled surfaces reflect sound.
Controlling noises in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room is challenging.
These rooms typically do not feature material that absorbs sounds.
Bathroom: tiled floors and walls are a prominent feature in bathrooms. When the shower runs or a toilet flushes, the combination of tiles and these noises can obstruct hearing.
Kitchen: tiled floors, walls, and other hard surfaces, plus steel appliances, will not absorb noises. The dishwasher, garbage disposal, kitchen hood vent, and various appliances create a lot of noise.
Laundry room: these rooms store large appliances (washer and dryer) made with a smooth, hard surface.
Knowing which areas of the home or other spaces may be distracting for someone with hearing problems should be considered if a conversation will take place.
6 Easy Ways to Improve Acoustics at Home
You don’t need to gut and remodel the entire house. If you happen to be redesigning your home from the ground up, avoid an open concept and design the space while considering your hearing. Here are simple, inexpensive tips to enhance the acoustics in your home.
1. Install carpeting to the home.
Carpeting throughout the house can make a huge difference. If it’s not in your budget or you don’t like having carpet throughout your home, use throw rugs instead. Be careful if you are prone to falls, as you may trip over them. You may secure the sides with tape and place a rubber backing underneath. The rubber backing can also help absorb sounds.
2. Use door sweeps.
Door sweeps will block windy drafts and reduce sounds from noisy rooms.
3. Place more furniture in the rooms. Use padded options.
More furniture reduces the echo and ricocheting noises. Large pieces that feature padding will help absorb noises.
4. Incorporate fabric.
Place tablecloths on all of your tables. Use heavy drapes that absorb noise for the windows. Even simple things like lining drawers in the kitchen can muffle the clinking of silverware. Bumper pads can be attached to drawers, tables, and doors.
5. Hang art on the walls.
Art on the walls works like curtains and wall tapestries. They double as being aesthetically pleasing while stifling the acoustics.
6. Put up dividers in the room.
These pieces absorb sound and create the illusion of making large spaces feel smaller.
Reduce Background Noise When You Can.
Turning down the volume or turning off devices that make excessive noise can be beneficial during a conversation - whether in person or on a video call.
It’s more challenging to hear consonant sounds when there’s background noise.
Get Advice from Your Hearing Aid Provider.
While going through your hearing aid trial period and programming for your hearing aids, let your hearing instrument specialist know which listening situations are difficult. Whether it’s a specific space or it’s due to a noisy environment, your hearing aid provider can program optimal settings so you can hear in any condition.
Although hearing loss symptoms vary from each person and situation, they generally include:
It's time to get your hearing professionally tested if you are experiencing one or more of the listed symptoms. A hearing aid instrument specialist will be able to serve your needs.
A total hearing evaluation
A professional hearing aid specialist will evaluate your hearing history to see if you have a loss and, if so, to what degree and nature.
What’s next if you have hearing loss
Your hearing aid instrument specialist will gather the results from all the information. The nature and degree of hearing loss will be addressed. The cause of your hearing loss and its effects on your life will determine treatment recommendations. The hearing aid instrument specialist may only have to remove ear wax or debris from your ears so that you can hear better. Or, there may be fluid in the inner ear or some other medical cause for surgery. But hearing aids will generally be the best form of treatment.
Recognize your hearing loss, and then seek treatment. Get an evaluation if you have the symptoms of hearing loss. You can contact one of our hearing aid instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.
Hearing is a crucial sense to moderate and care for throughout your lifetime. When searching for hearing aids, finding the right style, fit, and programmed settings to accommodate your lifestyle and listening needs should be your priority. Hearing aids are an investment, so finding the right provider to guide you through your new hearing journey is also a factor to examine.
Hearing Aids are Medical Devices
Hearing aids are medical devices that you wear on your ears. Precise and proper tuning for your specific listening needs is necessary to get the most out of your devices. You will need to take multiple trips to your hearing instrument specialist as you adapt to the hearing aids. Your specialist is responsible for finely tuning the hearing aids so you can hear at optimal levels in any environment. Making sure that the hearing aids fit securely and comfortably should be a priority. Our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing are experts in the field who keep up with their training.
Exceptional services are one of the essential qualities to think about when selecting a hearing aid provider. Pure Sound ensures quality service. Our specialists will patiently work with you to provide everything from routine cleanings to any mishaps you may encounter with your hearing aids. Usually, hearing aids from big box stores cannot be taken for services at your local hearing aid stores, but at Pure Sound, we offer to service any hearing aids, no matter where you purchased them. Besides the hearing test and consultation, there will be a fee for any other services we provide.
Invest in Your Hearing
Hearing aids are an investment, so don’t let prices shy you away from taking care of your hearing health. At Pure Sound, we offer quality hearing aids, quality service, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Find out which insurance providers we accept. Contact us for a complimentary hearing test and consultation!
Listening to and enjoying music has been a favorite way of passing the time or enjoying while working around the house, exercising, during celebrations, at a concert, etc. It evokes emotional feelings while having important personal and social values.
Have you ever wondered how music and memory are interrelated? How about the way music affects our minds? Do people who experience dementia benefit from listening to music? What happens to a dementia patient’s brain when they hear certain music?
In some cases, individuals who have dementia cannot verbally communicate clearly as the disease progresses. Northwestern Medicine teamed up with the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) and studied how a connection can form using a new music intervention.
They had developed a program called “Musical Bridges to Memory” - live musicians perform for the patient. The music repertoire consists of songs from the patient’s youth. For instance, songs from “Oklahoma” or “The Sound of Music” would be performed. The patient and their caregiver(s) usually feel an emotional connection that lets them sing, dance, or play musical instruments together.
The program helped patients improve their social skills and decreased their neuropsychiatric symptoms like agitation, anxiety, and depression for patients and their caregivers.
Over 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.
This study is unique because it doesn’t just focus on the patients. It also observed the patient’s caregivers.
Memories of Music can Stay with a Patient while other Memories Fade.
Music was able to bridge a connection that could not be made verbally. Family and friends of patients with dementia are also impacted by this. When they are unable to connect with loved ones through language, music can help rekindle that bond.
Music memories are usually retained in a person’s brain, even when language and other memories fade with dementia. The areas of the brain that retain musical memory and processing are not as deeply impacted by Alzheimer’s or dementia until the disease is in more advanced stages. Therefore, patients can still sing or dance along even if they can no longer speak clearly and coherently.
Musicians Perform for Patients
A 45-minute musical intervention, music and songs that the patients enjoyed in their youth were performed. The patients and their caregivers were given instruments to play along with the music. Trained music therapists encouraged the patients to beat drums, dance, and sing.
Afterward, they engaged in a group conversation. Patients became more social. They made more eye contact, were less confused, calmer, and in better spirits. The control group, which did not receive musical intervention and continued with their routine care, did not exhibit these changes.
The program had 12 sessions within a three-month period.
Prior to the intervention, some patients wouldn’t talk or interact with their partners. During the intervention, they began playing, singing, and dancing together, which was a momentous change that the family was able to witness. These changes also occurred in everyday moments, outside of sessions.
As the program continued, multiple family members were invited to join. They were able to normalize the experience for everyone in the family. Everyone could interact with their loved one, no matter what level of dementia they had.
Are you experiencing hearing loss? Do you or a loved one miss listening to music that you enjoyed? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our hearing aid providers will help you select hearing aids that are appropriate for your hearing loss.
This year, March Madness starts on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, and ends on Monday, Apr 3, 2023. With basketball season gearing up, we want to raise awareness about attending live sporting events and hearing health. Whether you plan to attend a live game in the arena, from the comfort of your home, or with friends and family at a bar, make sure you take care of your hearing.
Did you score tickets to see the game live?
Lucky you! Before you go, make sure you bring some earplugs. Sports reporters have measured noise levels at an NBA game that reached 109 decibels (dB). Remember, 70 dB is the new threshold for hearing loss. Anything over that number can be dangerous. Check the concession stand to find out if they sell earplugs.
The level of noise at sports bars can be just as loud. Professionals in the hearing health industry attended popular sports bars during the playoff seasons and measured these noise levels. The average decibels can reach up to 70 dB - similar to a vacuum cleaner. When there was a pivotal moment during the game, the noises went up to 110 dB - equivalent to a jackhammer. It is customary for construction workers to wear hearing protection when operating this tool.
In 2014, fans from Kansas City made noises that reached 142.2 dB. It set a new Guinness World Record. That is louder than a jet plane. An extensive amount of exposure can lead to physical pain and do serious harm to your ears.
Protect Your Hearing
Instead of skipping out on the fun, here are some tips to protect yourself:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Is it Time for a Hearing Test?
In most cases, hearing loss isn’t as easy to notice as any other symptoms - but that doesn’t make it less urgent to seek treatment.
1. Do you find it easy to hear but difficult to understand what others are saying? Does it sound like they are mumbling or talking too quietly?
2. Group conversations may be hard to keep up with, especially if there’s background noise.
3. Do you often ask others to repeat themselves? It might be a sign of hearing loss.
4. Have other people outright said that you have problems with hearing?
5. Do you rely on your spouse or a close family member/friend to help fill in the parts you missed during the conversation?
6. Do you crank up the TV or your music so loud that others ask you to turn it down?
7. Do you have trouble with conversations over the phone or during video calls?
If you said “yes” to any of these scenarios schedule a hearing test with Pure Sound Hearing.
A hearing test can be conducted by a licensed hearing healthcare professional. The test is painless, and the person who performs the test determines whether you have hearing loss. Sometimes it might be impacted earwax.
If you do have hearing loss, and hearing aids would be beneficial to you, your hearing healthcare provider may also be able to provide and program your hearing aids for you. Everyone’s hearing loss is unique, so calibrating your specific hearing needs in a programmable setting is necessary to get the most out of your hearing aids.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
It’s World Hearing Day! What 3 Ideas Should You Take Away from this Year’s Day of Awareness?
Each year on March 3rd, World Hearing Day is recognized to promote hearing loss prevention while seeking early detection and immediate treatment to care for your ear and hearing health. Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) selects a different theme. This year’s theme for 2023 is “Ear and hearing care for all!”
This message will emphasize the significance of incorporating ear and hearing healthcare in patients’ primary care as a fundamental part of universal health coverage.
The Main Ideas
If you need a hearing test and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Do You Need Better Hearing Aids?
Is it time for you to get better hearing aids? Do you need an upgrade? If you’ve been thinking about it, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to get a free hearing aid trial.
Hearing aids with clarity and quality performance is now better than ever. Audibility and speech understanding, as well as a comfortable fit, can also be addressed. The technology is so good you can even understand the subtle tone of someone’s voice.
But there may be other reasons why you need to change your hearing aids. Your hearing ability may have changed--it may have gotten worse. Or, you may have had a change in lifestyle, such as in your work, where you need to be involved in conference calls or team projects. Maybe you are enjoying retirement or attend more appointments for your health and need to hear important information? Wireless technology addresses various listening needs using automated programming for different settings. They’ll even reprogram on their own for specific environments you frequent, for example, offices, restaurants, or entertainment venues.
Schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers by getting in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Hearing Loss, Aging, and Loneliness.
A 2012 New York Times article stated that loneliness is harmful at any age. It tends to hurt older adults more because it can lead to early death or loss of physical functioning, like bathing, getting up, dressing, and eating. The article outlined a six-year study on people aged 60 and older. Seniors who weren’t lonely were more likely to live longer than the ones who were.
What is the link between Hearing Loss and Loneliness?
Because humans are social creatures, it is not hard to see why loneliness affects your health negatively. With hearing loss, people often withdraw from social interaction out of frustration with the inability to keep up with conversations. But since loneliness is subjective (like living alone and feeling okay about it) and is not the same as social isolation, which is objective (you either maintain social interactions or you don’t), you have to look at the objective side. You can surround yourself with people and still feel lonely. But one often leads to the other--social isolation often leads to loneliness.
Hearing aids as a buffer against Loneliness.
A 2016 study found hearing aids are a buffer against loneliness because it improves relationships. It’s easier to communicate with others. There’s less frustration and more confidence. Hearing exercises your brain, reducing or slowing down the onset of dementia. There were positive effects on physical and mental health.
If you are having trouble hearing and feel lonely, hearing aids could help. Please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing.
You can experience noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from one encounter with a loud noise (like a roaring fire alarm). When sounds are too loud, it doesn’t take very long for hearing loss to follow. The longer a person is exposed to the noise, the more risk there is of hearing loss. It’s especially true if you don’t wear protection for your hearing or if there’s no break in between the exposures.
Here are some examples of loud noises to which you may be vulnerable.
Power Tools and Miscellaneous
Typical Sources of Noise and Decibel Levels
Decibels (dB) are the unit of measurement of sound. A soft voice is approximately 30 dB, a conversation in a normal tone is about 60 dB, and the running engine on a motorcycle is about 95 dB. Noise that surpasses 70 dB for an extensive amount of time could begin to harm your hearing. Any noise over 120 dB can instantly damage your hearing abilities.
Here are some examples of everyday noises and their decibel levels.
These sounds generally do not cause hearing loss:
The softest sound heard by humans: 0 dB
Normal breathing: 10 dB
The ticking noise from a watch: 20 dB
Whispers: 30 dB
Refrigerator hum: 40 dB
Normal conversation, air conditioner: 60 dB
Washing machine and dishwasher: 70 dB - may cause a mild disturbance.
City traffic (while inside a vehicle): 80-85 dB - may cause more disturbance.
The following sounds can cause hearing loss:
Gas-powered lawnmower/leaf blowers: 80-85 dB - may damage hearing after a 2-hour exposure.
Motorcycle: 95 dB - may damage hearing after a 50-minute exposure.
Oncoming subway, train, or car horn within 16 feet, and crowded sports arena: 100 dB - may damage hearing after 15 minutes.
The highest volume level for personal listening devices; a TV, a smartphone; and establishments for entertainment (bars, clubs, rock concerts): 105-110 dB - may damage hearing within 5 minutes or less.
Yelling or a dog barking in your ear: 110 dB - may damage hearing in 2 minutes or less.
Being near loud sirens: 120 dB - can cause ear pain and injury, in addition to hearing loss.
Firecrackers going off: 140-150 dB - can lead to pain, ear injury, and hearing loss.
How can you determine which sound levels are safe?
The impact of low noise levels over an extended time is the same as loud noises heard over a shorter time. You can use a sound level meter (SLM) app to measure noise levels in your environment. Some apps can predict the maximum amount of noise you can handle daily. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend keeping environmental noises lower than 70 dBA over 24 hours - that’s 75 dBA over 8 hours - to avoid noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing problems, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Health and Heart Health: Take Care of Your Physical and Emotional Health This Valentine's Day
Whether it’s hearing your favorite love song or the words “I love you” this Valentine’s Day, remember that it’s not just important to keep your ears healthy - you need to physically and emotionally take care of your heart too.
The heart needs exercise to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Proper blood flow to crucial organs, including your ears, is necessary for overall health.
What potential risks can a poor cardiovascular system cause to your hearing?
When discussing any health concerns, taking preventative measures is the best way to avoid these problems. Hearing loss can cause cognitive decline and isolation, which may lead to depression. Make sure that you take care of your physical needs, as well as your emotional, spiritual, and social needs. A meaningful connection with others is just as important as taking care of your body. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, connecting with others can be challenging. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule regular hearing tests and seek treatment with hearing aids if your hearing has worsened.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the staff at Pure Sound!
If you want to have a healthy auditory system, you also need to have a healthy heart. Proper blood flow to critical areas of the body is essential. For the inner ear, blood flow to the cochlea is key to hearing better. Good blood flow in the heart is as equally important.
According to a 2010 Wichita State University study, poor cardiovascular health and bad hearing go hand in hand, as well as good cardiovascular health and good hearing. The study found that low-frequency hearing loss can predict heart problems.
Let your primary healthcare provider know if you have low-frequency hearing loss so they can determine whether there are also heart-related risks.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing problems with hearing for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing aid providers.
To better understand your hearing loss or your loved one’s hearing loss, think back on situations where there were miscommunications.
1. What is the Severity of Your Hearing Loss?
It’s the simplest and most common way of characterizing your hearing loss as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Mild hearing loss will still let you hear a conversation without straining as long as you are in a quiet space, without too much background noise, while the person speaking is nearby.
In most cases, if you have severe to profound hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear what anyone is saying.
Hearing loss is more than the inability to hear distinct sounds and tones.
2. Types of Sounds that People can Hear
Presbyacusis is a type of high-frequency hearing loss most common among the elderly. Speech will sound muffled and challenging to understand. Children and other people with higher-pitched voices will be difficult to hear.
You might experience low-frequency hearing loss, mid-frequency hearing loss, or hearing loss on all frequencies.
Sensitivity to certain sounds is also a type of hearing problem.
These issues will affect your ability to follow speech and your comfort level in different environments.
Your hearing healthcare provider might use terms like conductive, sensory, sensorineural, or mixed when characterizing your hearing. These words describe which part of your auditory system has deteriorated. Getting a better sense of them can help you understand why you hear sounds in a certain way and how hearing aids can help.
3. Is Your Hearing Consistent?
Do you notice any changes in your hearing throughout the day or from week to week? Hearing loss that varies can be confusing if you are unaware that you have hearing problems.
4. Do You Experience Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can make hearing even more challenging with any range of loss. If the intensity of your tinnitus fluctuates, it indicates that you may be able to hear better in certain situations, even if your hearing stays the same. The noises caused by tinnitus will intercept whatever you are trying to hear.
Tinnitus can also lead to poor rest. Some therapies may alleviate tinnitus symptoms, including noise machines, meditation, or masking features on apps and hearing aids.
5. At What Age was the Onset of Your Hearing Loss?
Suppose you’ve had hearing loss since infancy (congenital hearing loss). Your residual hearing abilities will be different than if you start losing your hearing later in life due to aging (presbycusis).
Your voice may change and sound different, relationships with others may become strained due to misunderstandings or an impatient partner, and your emotional connection with hearing might also be different.
If you’ve been able to hear during your whole life and that slowly changes, it can be challenging to adjust to this new reality.
6. Did your Hearing Change Suddenly or Gradually?
Seek treatment immediately if you notice sudden or rapid hearing loss. Early treatment can give you a better chance of preserving the hearing abilities that you still have.
Gradual hearing loss can usually get detected by loved ones, colleagues, or other people you see regularly based on your interactions with them.
If you, or a loved one, notice any signs of hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that 25 percent of people with hearing loss, don’t realize they have it?
Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is the most common type of hearing loss. It’s also the type of hearing loss that occurs very slowly over time, making it difficult to notice the loss until it’s too late to treat it.
Early signs of hearing loss are hard to recognize, but it is possible to identify them. There are clues that you, or others in your life, need a hearing test.
9 Signs You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
1. Everyone sounds like they’re mumbling
Do others sound like they aren’t speaking clearly? Are you able to hear certain speech sounds, but not other sounds? Most people with hearing loss start to notice they cannot hear women with high-pitched voices, or children’s voices.
If everyone sounds like they aren’t speaking clearly, you should get a hearing test.
2. Not being able to follow a conversation
Can you mostly hear when others speak, but have difficulty following along during a conversation?
When a person loses their hearing, the brain has to work harder to listen, interpret, and fill in the blanks. This makes it challenging to follow along during conversations. If more than one person is talking, it becomes even more challenging.
3. Others notice your hearing loss before you do
If your family members are constantly telling you to turn the volume down on your TV, computer, or any other device, it’s time to get your hearing tested. If you are both feeling frustrated when trying to communicate with each other, it’s definitely time to get your hearing tested.
4. Easily distracted when there’s background noise
No matter what level of hearing abilities you have, background noise can distract you from your conversations. Most people with healthy hearing can mentally block out most noises and focus on the person/people they are talking to. Someone with hearing loss will stop being able to do this because they are too tired to block it out. Staying on task can be difficult, so if you are easily distracted it’s time to get your hearing checked.
5. Difficulty hearing phone conversations
Some people with hearing loss cannot hear others clearly enough over the phone. The reception can make this experience worse.
Speech that is heard through any phone sounds slightly different than human speech. For anyone with hearing loss, this can make conversations more challenging.
Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand-in-hand, but not always. It’s usually a high-pitched ringing noise that is heard with no outside source. It gets worse when the person who has it is in a quiet environment.
Tinnitus can also sound like a beeping, chirping, hissing, humming, thumping, or roaring sound. If you notice these noises, which tend to occur after being exposed to very loud sounds, get help immediately.
7. Unequal levels of noise
Hyperacusis, also known as hypersensitivity to some noises, is a rare symptom of hearing loss. Losing your hearing can actually make certain sounds louder. Your brain will compensate for the hearing loss by making different sounds louder.
8. Forgetting conversations you had
Do some conversations go through one ear and out the other? It may not be your memory, but rather the fact that your brain is overworked and therefore you have trouble recalling conversations that you weren’t able to hear in the first place.
9. Problems with balance
It’s possible, but rare for hearing loss alongside balance problems. The inner ear controls equilibrium, and anything that affects its function can make it harder to remain balanced and standing upright.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We’ll be discussing how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus can be connected to one another, and how a person can be affected by experiencing these issues simultaneously. Research has shown that there’s a link between what reinforces the condition and illustrates how each condition gets worse when experienced in tandem. A guide on how to manage these conditions through various therapies will also be discussed.
Defining Tinnitus and PTSD
Tinnitus is when a person hears a phantom buzzing or ringing noise that is not caused by an external factor. Tinnitus can be experienced by any age group. It can be the result of hearing loss caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, trauma to the head, or diseases/infections in the inner ears.
PTSD is a disorder that is connected to trauma and stress. It is typically linked with members of the armed forces or emergency services because of the high exposure to stressful experiences on the job. PTSD that is experienced by the general public is usually caused by physical or emotional trauma.
Who may experience both Tinnitus and PTSD?
There are a number of at-risk populations that are prone to experience PTSD. Civilians who experienced verbal/sexual abuse, domestic violence, motor accidents, and trauma that occurred at a young age may have PTSD episodes. Military service personnel who endured trauma from combat, survivors from blasts or were held captive for an extended period of time also join this list of the at-risk populace.
Subsets within these groups who experienced trauma have also noticed tinnitus. This includes people who were exposed to blasts, had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash, and problems with head trauma, noise trauma, temporomandibular (TMJ joint), and areas of the neck.
The primary disability claim by U.S. veterans is tinnitus. It makes up more than 80,000 claims each year. The second highest is hearing loss, which makes up 60,000 claims, and there are at least 40,000 claims of PTSD each year. Acoustic trauma can lead to tinnitus. Acoustic trauma is basically loud noise exposure, head trauma, stress, and related medical complaints. These are the daily risks that members of the military experience.
Tinnitus is also common among most of the older population. Even though experiencing PTSD and tinnitus is high among military service personnel, just tinnitus is high among the elderly population. Both conditions are experienced by the general population. Three percent of the general population may experience PTSD symptoms at some point in their life and 10% of the population may experience tinnitus.
Some factors that influence the pervasiveness of PTSD and tinnitus in the general population include physical and emotional domestic abuse, violent crime, stress, exposure to noise, and high numbers of traffic-related collisions. Some of the safest roads in the world are in the UK, but in they also experience an average of 336 accidents per day, or 122, 365 each year. Accidents on the road can cause trauma, PTSD, and tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, head and neck injuries, and shock.
The connection between PTSD and Tinnitus
PTSD and tinnitus may be experienced simultaneously if a person undergoes head trauma during active combat, a car collision, whiplash, or acute stress. These conditions would be diagnosed individually, but they are closely linked by their physiological structures. If PTSD and tinnitus are the results of the same event, when a person tries to deal with both conditions simultaneously the symptoms can underscore each other. The stress from PTSD can trigger tinnitus.
PTSD and worsened Symptoms of Tinnitus
The interference of tinnitus itself can traumatize a person, particularly if that person has trauma that has gone unresolved. Having tinnitus and not being able to properly manage it can remind them of their traumatic experience. Studies from the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Centre Tinnitus Clinic in Tennessee revealed that patients diagnosed with PTSD experienced very severe tinnitus than patients who only had tinnitus. Those who had endured trauma may also have a tendency to focus on the symptoms, which made them worse. Focusing on the noises does not help patients habituate to the phantom sounds. Those who have tinnitus that is worsened by PTSD may also experience hyperacusis - an extreme sensitivity to noise.
Tinnitus and worsened Symptoms of PTSD
Studies on Cambodian refugees at an American psychiatric clinic revealed that symptoms of PTSD were severe in half of the patients who also experienced tinnitus compared to patients without tinnitus.
How to Manage PTSD and Tinnitus Symptoms
Simultaneously experiencing PTSD and Tinnitus can cause each condition to feed off of the other. Tinnitus habituation - experiencing tinnitus to the point where you are no longer bothered by it - can occur after facing and managing your trauma through therapy. Tinnitus symptoms can be managed through sound therapies including apps or noise machines. After the PTSD is processed a more long-term approach to dealing with tinnitus can be managed by wearing hearing aids that can mask the symptoms of tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
6 Hearing Aid Features for Tinnitus
When looking for tinnitus features in hearing aids, sound amplification should be the primary step to help with your selection.
Hearing aids can make speech sounds clearer through amplification. That is the most crucial feature you should have for your hearing devices. It can help mask the noises from tinnitus.
2. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) style
The next most important feature of hearing aids with tinnitus masking is the device’s style. One option is the “receiver-in-canal.” It’s the best hearing aid style for anyone with tinnitus. Most people with tinnitus also experience high-pitched hearing loss. It indicates that trouble with clarity of speech progressively worsened.
This device features a small wire connected to a dome or earpiece placed inside your ear and a piece that rests behind your ear. The receiver with rubber-tipped vents is inserted inside the ear canal. The vents provide a more natural sound. Please be patient, as it will take some time to acclimate yourself to how different noises are heard, but your brain will eventually adjust. It is important to note that your voice will sound different than what you are used to. If you have high-pitched hearing loss, the RIC style would work best for that type of loss.
If you prefer something discreet, the RIC style has a thin wire that goes up along the side of the head and is attached to the hearing aid which rests behind the ear. It still has some visibility, but not as much visibility as other styles.
3. Volume Settings
Volume control is the third most important feature of hearing aids. This feature controls the sound levels of your surroundings with your hearing aids, along with masking noises that cover up the sound of your tinnitus.
You can hear speech sounds better. Your brain needs to be aware of the tinnitus sound to make it seem less threatening. This is necessary for the initial months and years of managing tinnitus.
Being able to adjust the sounds for when the tinnitus symptoms change is also essential. The volume doesn’t need to change in their hearing aids or environment. Instead, they need to make the soothing sounds streaming in their ears louder.
4. Resonant Sound Environment using Sounds that Soothe
Another vital feature of hearing aids is streaming sound therapy. “Soothing sounds” indicate sounds that can be played directly through devices or your smartphone. Users can experience sounds that comfort, soothe, and relax so that the tinnitus isn’t as noticeable. Sound therapy should be used every day to make tinnitus more manageable.
These soothing sounds can range from ocean sounds to white noise.
5. A Strong Battery Life
The fifth crucial feature of hearing aids is their battery life. Accessibility at the touch of a button is helpful when those tinnitus spikes sneak up on you, or you wind up in a space that’s too quiet. The hearing aids use Bluetooth, so strong battery life is important. Carry around an extra pair of batteries, or make sure your hearing aids are fully charged if they are rechargeable.
Some rechargeable hearing aids can last up to 15+ hours on a single charge.
You may get hearing aids with disposable or recyclable batteries. It’s convenient if you don’t have an outlet to recharge. Simply remove the batteries from the packaging, remove the tab, and immediately insert them into the hearing aids. As soon as the battery tab is removed, the hearing aid life will begin to drain.
6. Great Bluetooth Connectivity
Having a good connection to Bluetooth lets hearing aids easily stream sounds from your smartphone or other Bluetooth-supported devices. You can use it to listen to sound therapy apps, podcasts, music, and any other form of media.
You can connect to iTunes, YouTube, or Spotify, and choose a sound that relieves your tinnitus. As long as there’s battery life, you’ll be able to stream these sounds.
If you have tinnitus contact Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing aid trial. Our hearing instrument specialists will guide you and help you figure out what works best for you.
Tinnitus symptoms become triggered for different reasons in each person. It can range from poor sleeping habits to your diet. We’re sharing some foods to avoid along with lifestyle changes that can help make symptoms more manageable.
Certain foods and eating habits can directly impact your overall health. A diabetic with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels follows a specific diet. Most are unfamiliar with ototoxic foods.
Ototoxicity refers to the harmful effects on the ears that certain substances (like foods or medications) can induce. If you have problems with your ears and/or hearing health, you should avoid these substances.
Some foods are good for protecting your ears. These foods are rich in folic acid, Omega 3, and Vitamin C. some foods are harmful to the ears.
Which Foods can be Harmful to Your Hearing Health
Hearing healthcare providers urge anyone with hearing problems to cut down their consumption of the following:
4 Bad Habits
Alcohol and tobacco: Everyone knows that consuming these substances can take a toll on your health. It’s also worth noting that tobacco smoke can decrease blood flow to the inner ear.
Frequent noise exposure: overexposure to loud noises harms the auditory cells located in the inner ear. Hearing slowly worsens over time if the exposure lasts too long. Background noise, excessive workplace noise, or listening to loud audio with headphones/earbuds, pose serious risks to hearing health. Always carry around earplugs and wear them if you are exposed to loud noises.
Poor hygiene: Too much earwax that isn’t removed correctly can lead to a blockage in the ear canal. Gently rinse your ears with warm water and a cloth. DO NOT insert anything small like cotton swabs to remove the wax. Depending on the amount and type of earwax you produce, you are pushing the earwax further into your ears. Some people’s earwax can be dry and flakey, and others can be moist and sticky.
Medications: Ototoxic drugs can worsen symptoms of hearing loss or induce other hearing problems. Salicylate, used in common anti-inflammatories, can harm a person’s hearing if taken in high doses. Discuss medications that you currently take or ones that you plan on taking with your hearing healthcare provider.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We're kicking off Tinnitus Awareness Week with some informative blogs.
Did you know that tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? TMD is any dysfunction associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints can be on either side of a person’s face, directly in front of the ears. TMJs attach the lower jawbone to the skull and help with chewing and speaking.
However, tinnitus is mainly due to sensorineural hearing loss. The brain creates tinnitus in sensorineural hearing loss due to impaired neurons and sensory cells. Management strategies, including counseling and sound therapy, may be utilized.
In contrast, tumors, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, and middle ear injuries or diseases represent a smaller portion of tinnitus cases. Treating the underlying condition, in these cases, usually alleviates tinnitus symptoms. The good news is that TMJ sufferers are under this category, which means it’s treatable.
The link between TMJ problems and Tinnitus
The temporomandibular joint is in front of your ears - where the jawbone (mandible) connects to the temporal bone. Besides being physically close to the ear, it also shares some nerves and muscles with the middle ear. For example, a ligament connects the middle ear bone, or malleus, to the jaw. In addition, particular nerves serve both the eardrum and jaw. Also, a nerve supply from the TMJ connects to the part of the brain associated with hearing. For these reasons, difficulties with the cartilage, ligaments, and muscles of TMJ can lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TMJ Problems
There is a relatively small number of people with tinnitus connected to jaw problems. Check with your physician or dental specialist. You might already see the connection. Ask yourself these questions:
TMJ problems may be causing your tinnitus problems if you see any connection with the above elements.
TMJ problems causing Tinnitus are Treatable
The great thing is that tinnitus caused by TMJ problems often goes away when the underlying problem gets addressed. If you think your tinnitus may be associated with your TMJ, talk with your dental specialist or physician. Once you know if there is a connection, they will offer the proper treatment. If you are experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
Shingles often denote the feeling of a painful, itchy rash on some regions of the body. But did you know that shingles can also impact your hearing and balance? In some cases, it can cause hearing loss.
When shingles cause problems to a person’s hearing and balance, it presents itself in one of two different health issues:
Getting shingles does not automatically lead to hearing loss. Ramsay Hunt syndrome may occur due to complications with shingles that cause facial weakness and paralysis. It can include dizziness, hearing loss, or a rash near the ear.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
Most patients who experience hearing loss due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome generally have a temporary loss. Permanent hearing loss and muscle weakness may occur if there is a delay in intervening. A study showed that patients with Ramsay Hunt experience worse hearing loss in the high-frequency range than in the low-frequency range. Patients with vertigo had more severe hearing loss than those without balance problems.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders revealed that Ramsay Hunt affects 5 out of 100,000 people. Those cases might be higher due to underreporting - it’s difficult to diagnose in patients who do not develop a rash.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you need to scare off a groundhog who decided to reside underneath your shed, burrow into your backyard, or under your home, try making a loud noise. They are usually active during the daytime. Groundhogs are known for being scared off by noise due to their extreme hearing sensitivity to various audio ranges. For humans, it’s akin to standing next to loud speakers at a concert without earplugs or ear muffs.
An ultrasonic-repellent device creates a high-pitched sound that startles the groundhog and keeps them at bay. Strategically placing one of these devices in your yard will scare the groundhog away from whatever area you want to protect from them.
If you are a human who has trouble with hearing, contact us for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.