Hearing loss may not appear to be a huge issue in the scheme of things, but it is a medical condition that can seriously disrupt the lives of those who suffer from it, presenting health risks and challenges. The struggle with it is daily for those who have it, as they miss out on conversations, important discussions, and announcements in public places. People with hearing loss can have a good life, but they must adapt to a different routine. However, society has a responsibility to help whenever and wherever it can. Here’s what can be done:
First, there must be understanding and acceptance of hearing loss as an important health condition, even though it has connections to other more serious medical conditions. Knowing how hearing loss is caused and what the associated physical and mental health risks are can change perceptions about hearing loss. Society needs to continue to raise awareness, more and more.
Accommodate hearing loss sufferers
Society could provide more closed captioning in public places or creating voice-to-text systems.
Encourage people to get hearing tests
It’s a small gesture that can amount to big awareness. Some people may not realize they have hearing loss. Seeing hearing test results can prompt people to do something to better their lives by getting the proper help.
Remove the stigma associated with hearing aids
Wearing hearing aids should be no big deal in terms of donning them. It’s no different from wearing glasses. Hearing aids are just a technological device to improve lives.
Do what you can as an individual to promote awareness about hearing loss. You can drive someone to a hearing test appointment, for example. Or, you could suggest that a public building accommodate hearing loss sufferers. Still yet, simply encourage others to be more understanding and accepting.
If you would like to know more about hearing loss, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Being an expectant mother is wonderful, but there is something to watch out for during pregnancy. Many changes happen to your body during pregnancy, meaning health issues can arise. One of those issues can be the progression of hearing loss if you already have a condition known as otosclerosis. In short, you can suffer more effects.
The meaning of otosclerosis
It is the abnormal growth of the tiny bones in the middle ear, which are commonly known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. These bones are crucial in hearing. The bones generally move freely, but with otosclerosis there is abnormal growth that keeps them from vibrating and conducting sound. If you have this condition already, it may or may not get worse with pregnancy.
What happens during pregnancy
Otosclerosis affects Caucasian women the most and manifests typically between ages 15 and 45. According to studies, pregnancy can accelerate the condition.
How to protect your hearing
Just because you have the condition doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get pregnant or that will experience any or all hearing loss. Know that hearing aids can help.
If you have concerns about your hearing, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Hearing in this world is so important. Our ears allow us to experience sounds. But how much do you know about hearing? Do you know the loudest sound? Do you know the quietest place on Earth? Well, check out the trivia questions below to see what you know:
1. What is “orecchiette” and what does it have to do with hearing or ears?
A. An Italian pasta shaped like an ear
B. A shellfish with a shell like an ear
C. A device used for leather work shaped like an ear
D. A mountain flower that has leaves shaped like an ear
E. A famous diamond brooch shaped like an ear
2. It’s believed that one of the loudest sounds in Earth’s history was the eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883. The noise was estimated to be 170-180 dB and heard from more than 3,000 miles away. Where is Mount Krakatoa?
A. Southern Japan
B. Western Korea
C. Eastern Indonesia
D. Northern New Zealand
E. Just outside Topeka
3. A study conducted in France found a link between beer consumption and background noise in a bar. The study found that when the noise was louder:
A. People drank faster and drank more
B. People drank faster, but did not drink more
C. People drank slower and drank less
D. People drank slower but did not drink less
E. The level of the noise had no effect
4. A study of more than 3,000 adults revealed what they consider their most and least favorite sounds. Which of the following pairs reveals the top answers?
A. Crackling fire and cell phone ringing
B. Cat purring and nails on a chalkboard
C. Birds singing and alarm clock buzzing
D. Wine being poured and children screaming
E. Rain falling and car horns honking
5. The quietest place in the world is Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis. How quiet is it?
A. +7.6 dBA
B. +3.6 dBA
C. -1.4 dBA
D. -5.4 dBA
E. -9.4 dBA
6. A device called the “Mosquito,” which emits high-pitched, high-intensity sounds, was developed to do what?
A. Train hearing ear dogs
B. Disperse groups of loitering youths
C. Predict the age of wild animals
D. Attract rare birds
E. Cook bread
7. The Bajau tribe of the islands of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia traditionally have their eardrums perforated during childhood. Why would they do this?
A. To prevent ear canal exostosis (excessive bone growth)
B. A cultural coming of age ritual
C. Home remedy for fighting ear infections
D. To facilitate deep sea hunting
E. To prepare for mountain climbing
8. One study found a link between earwax and heart attacks. The findings suggest you may be more likely to have a heart attack if your earwax is:
A. Dry and brittle
B. Wet and sticky
C. Unusually light colored
D. Unusually dark colored
E. Lodged on the end of a car key
9. In an effort to go green, a snack company introduced a compostable bag for one of its products. Despite the good intentions, the noise of the bag was 15-20 dB louder than regular chip bags, which led to a 15 percent drop in sales. What was the product?
C. Ruffles potato chips
E. Sun Chips
10. A new smoke detector was developed in Japan for the severely hard of hearing. When smoke is detected, it sprays out a synthesized smell of:
B. Rotten fish
C. Pig manure
*All questions adapted from the Greatest Trivia Hits of Gus and Jerry, available at www.gusmueller.net.
If you have questions about hearing, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Do we get information we need from a speech signal? Yes. Connotation is everything when it comes to speech. How you emphasize your words or the inference associated with them creates shades of meaning. For instance, you can have a happy inference or tone with your words or an angry one with the same words. The tone of your voice conveys emotion and something about what you are saying or intend to mean.
Hearing an emotional emphasis is vital in speech because the connotation of speech makes all the difference in what is meant. If you don’t hear the emotional emphasis you might miss the meaning altogether.
Communication is not just about exchanging words. Voices convey vital information. A talker’s emotional state makes all the difference to a listener. The same words can clearly convey a different message based on the tone or the emotion behind it, as a Toronto Emotional Speech Test shows.
Perception with hearing aids was improved by 68 percent for word recognition, according to one study, but emotional emphasis comprehension was not as good. Still, the use of hearing aids was found to have highly positive benefits as opposed to going without them. The discovery with emotional emphasis and hearing aid reliability will make the next generation of hearing aids even better. Researchers now know where to aim their focus. Hearing aids get better and better at a faster than ever rate. Hearing aid technology is moving in the right direction.
If you agree you could benefit from hearing aids, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
According to an author for the Harvard Business Review, 70 decibels of background noise may actually enhance our creative thinking ability. Moderation is the key with listening--but at 70 decibels, everything seems right.
The author explains that a coffee shop, for example, might be more conducive to creativity than an office. David Burkas examined how background noise levels affect creativity. Noise that is not too loud but not too soft, either, seems to be the best.
The study concluded that between silence and a range of decibel levels that everything was statistically insignificant, except for 70 decibels. At 70 decibels, these groups outperformed other groups with creativity. Noise can be good, but watch out for anything 85 decibels and louder.
If you think you might have hearing loss, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Maintaining your yard is a necessary, monumental task. But it can also take a toll on your hearing. Trimmers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, and more create damaging noise levels that can impair or ruin your hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss affects nearly 40 million adults in the United States, alone. Continuous exposure or even a single exposure can be the culprit. Anything over 85 decibels is risky business.
Here are the decibel levels of some lawn equipment:
You can protect your hearing while doing yard maintenance in a number of ways:
Try to do everything you can to protect your hearing. But if you think you might already have hearing damage due to loud noises, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
There are two eating disorders--anorexia and bulimia nervosa--that should get more attention than they do. They are life-threatening conditions that affect people the world over. Besides affecting, over time, your organs, hair, skin, and eyes, your ears can also be affected. There’s information on promoting a healthy attitude about eating.
How anorexia affects the body
Anorexia is extreme weight loss and self-starvation. Usually it is accompanied by excessive exercise. Comments about feeling fat often also coincide with the condition. With your body being deprived of nutrients needed to function, here’s what can happen:
Bulimia is a ritual of binge eating with self-induced vomiting. Swollen jaws or cheeks can occur, as well as staining of the teeth. Here’s a list of what can happen:
Preventing these disorders
Here’s what you can do to to help someone with these disorders:
Anorexia is another way that can affect your hearing for the worst. If you would like to know more about preserving your hearing, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
We have been hearing a lot about Over the Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid scams recently. Many of these scams are in everyday TV, Newspaper, Direct Mail, and Internet ads right here in Lancaster County, PA. The following statement was posted on the FDA's website a few days ago.
There are no products that can claim to address hearing loss that are, or can claim to be OTC hearing aids within the meaning of section 520(q) of the FD&C Act as amended by FDARA."
The statement goes on to say:
Hearing aids continue to be restricted devices, for which sales must follow applicable federal and state requirements.
When shopping for hearing aids, use caution and always use a professional who is licensed to fit hearing aids. Our hearing aid specialists are licensed and trained to fit most of the brand named products on the market today. If you are noticing hearing difficulties, please contact Pure Sound Hearing Aids to have your hearing professionally amplified.
Accessibility is an important topic for people with hearing loss, just as it is with other disabilities. There are legal requirements, but it is also a good thing for businesses to further the cause. It’s simply a good practice for businesses to make public areas safe and easy to navigate. So, what can be done?
Having clear communication
It is important to be able to understand announcements coming over the public address systems that are on planes, trains, subways, and buses. Such announcements are difficult for those people with normal hearing to understand, let alone those people who have hearing loss. Closed captioning, using an electronic sign, is a good solution.
Some places, such as movie theaters, have an induction loop or telecoil system. Expansion of use of such a feature would be beneficial. Most hearing aids have telecoils that pick up information from places that are fashioned with such a system. There are also induction loops in auditoriums, places of worship, and concert halls. It is a good thing to include American Sign Language interpreters at any public venue or during any public announcement.
Having safety measures
There is already a visual tracking system, for instance, for flight changes or delays, but it is also imperative to see emergency alerts. Any area that can become unsafe should have a visual alert system, such as a flashing light to be paired with the sound of an alarm. There should be visual readouts of emergency routes and exits, as well, besides an announcement over a public address system with a visual cue. Exits evacuation routes should be clearly lit, and an American Sign Language interpreter should be on staff at any public venue.
Having education that is accessible
Public schools and institutions of higher learning must accommodate people with hearing loss. A student can directly stream a teacher’s voice into his or her hearing aids or an American Sign Language interpreter can be present. But the best example of how the hard of hearing can be helped is Gallaudet University. Here are some tips:
You can contact the U.S. Department of Justice if you have anymore suggestions about making the lives of the hearing impaired easier in the public realm.
If you need help with hearing loss, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
The ear is quite a marvelous organ. It allows us to enjoy music, other sounds, and conversations. But animals have amazing hearing abilities, too. Let’s explore some various animals and their hearing abilities:
If you would like to know more about hearing, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
The animal kingdom is full of all kinds of animals. But it isn’t just their physical attributes that set them apart--their voices are just as different. They use their voices to communicate with each other, find mates, and send warnings to predators. Some animals sound louder than others. Let’s look at land mammals for the loudest ones:
If you would like more information on hearing, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Since we talk a lot about the fascinating way people hear, let’s talk now about some fun facts concerning animal and insect hearing. Here are the facts:
Keep your ears at their best
Ears do more than just hearing, for people and animals alike. They help with spatial awareness and balance, aside from hearing. Learn as much as you can about hearing so you can keep your hearing functioning ideally.
If you need a hearing care professional, contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
There are Seeing Eye service dogs for their blind or low-seeing partners, but you might not know that there are also Hearing Ear service dogs to assist the deaf or hard of hearing.
What can Hearing Ear dogs do?
Hearing Ear dogs can alert their partners about various sounds, such as someone calling their owner’s name, alarms, a baby crying, or the doorbell. The Hearing Ear dog can wake up the owner at night during a fire alarm and get him or her to safety. Even if a certain sound has not been part of training, the dog looking in a certain direction can help alert the owner of trouble, such as a traffic accident. The world of sound is vastly varied and a Hearing Ear dog can be vital in the process.
How are Hearing Ear dogs trained?
Hearing Ear dogs can be gotten from breeders or animal shelters. The main thing is that they need to be friendly, energetic, and ready to work. Dedicated professionals train the dogs. Basic obedience training, plus acclimation to everyday public situations, comes first. Public situations can consist of everything from riding an elevator to navigating busy streets. Then, they receive audio response training. They learn to respond to specific sounds and subsequently physically alert their handler. Training takes a few months to a year. Sometimes the trainer will work with the dog in the owner’s home to recognize other sounds, such as the washing machine buzzing or microwave beeping.
Recognizing a Hearing Ear dog
You will see a special brightly-colored leash and collar or a cape or jacket. They can access any public area by law and are protected in housing developments that don’t allow pets. They offer love and protect their partners well in the world of sound.
If you would like to know more about Hearing Ear dogs, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
If you have just five friends, one of them is guaranteed to experience hearing loss. It’s the case that 20 percent (one in five) of Americans have hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. The thing is, hearing loss is common. As you age, the more common it becomes. It’s a major public health issue, and it is the third most common physical condition for adults. More statistics are below:
The good thing is that hearing loss can be treated. The Better Hearing Institute reports that 90 to 95 percent of people with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.
If you need to find out more about hearing loss, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
There are services and protections for those with hearing loss. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 make it illegal for employers to discriminate against those who have disabilities, like hearing loss for instance. Before these laws, discrimination was common.
Social activism paved the way. The 504 sit-In in 1977 helped make it possible. When the government failed to meet a deadline, planned protests arose around the country. The San Francisco protest was the most effective. There was also a protest in Washington, D.C. The protests gained lots of media attention until laws were passed to protect people with hearing loss, as well as protect those people with other disabilities. The civil rights of people with disabilities are now guaranteed.
If you need help concerning hearing loss, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of 750 billion of international dollars. Cost is due to educational support, productivity and “societal costs,” plus health services. WHO encourages early detection and intervention and says that people can benefit from using hearing aids.
If you are ready to do something about your hearing loss, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
According to experts, a third of people will have enough irreversible damage to the hair cells in their inner ear to experience hearing loss by age 65. It has been said that we are likely to experience an increase in hearing loss as we age. Age-related hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. The tiny hair cells in our ears, which are critical to hearing, wear out over time. Everything weakens with age. But we can protect our hearing by using hearing protection over the course of life, plus hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. In this way, the quality of life can be preserved.
To get more hearing information, contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Today’s hearing aids have revolutionized the lives of people with hearing loss. These high-tech devices allow for better hearing in any situation. Conversely, there are many apps created for additional help. Apps help you get the most from your hearing aids, guard your hearing health, and offer new ways to connect with others.
The 5 best hearing apps are:
If you have any questions about apps, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
The United States has been helped by the Starkey Hearing Foundation more than any other country. The Foundation provides hearing help to low-income Americans. An application-based program, the initiative is to provide and fit qualified people with new, top-of-the-line hearing aids that are customized to their hearing loss. If you know someone who is in need, contact the Hear Now program at 800-328-8602.
Thousands of generous providers around the country donate their time and services to the cause. They do hearing aid fittings and follow-up care. New providers are always welcome to further the cause.
If you need hearing aid assistance outside of the United States, please call the international team at 866-354-3254.
Please contact Pure Sound Hearing Aids for more hearing information.
Generating billions in annual health care costs, falls are some of the most frightening injuries experienced by older adults. The reasons seniors are more prone to falls are that they might have a reaction to medications, experience weakness, possess slower reflexes, or develop vision problems.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say people with mild hearing loss are three times more likely to have a history of falling than people with normal hearing. In their 2012 study, they determined that untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of falling. Less awareness of the overall environment is why people without hearing aids may be more prone to falling.
If you don’t want to risk tripping and falling anymore, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for the best quotes on hearing aids.
Many Americans have hearing loss. For adults alone the hearing loss ranges from between 37.5 million up to 44 million, which means one in six Americans has hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Diseases, 28.8 million adults in the United States could benefit from using hearing aids.
A large amount of adults leave their hearing loss untreated, even though there is an increased risk of depression, falls, dementia, and hospitalization associated with hearing loss. If people would just get hearing aids, those risks would diminish for wearers. Also, better relationships, improved earning power, increased social participation, better overall quality of life, and increased self-confidence result from getting hearing aids.
If you are ready to get hearing aids for your hearing loss, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
An end to daylight savings time and a return to standard time by pushing the clocks back an hour causes a necessary readjustment to eating and sleeping habits. An hour shift may not seem like a lot, but it has effects on the body’s internal clock. Your body’s internal clock produces a circadian rhythm, dictating how awake or sleepy you feel in a day’s time. This mechanism accounts for why you wake up with the sunrise, sleep when it is dark out, or feel sluggish after finishing lunch. Research suggests that disruption to this natural process not only affects your overall health, but also impacts your hearing. The disruption occurs all over again when pushing the clocks forward.
An increase in ear sensitivity at night
The impact from time changes on the circadian rhythm is usually minor. Adaptation to these changes usually occurs in roughly a week. However, more dramatic disruption to the circadian rhythm occurs with people who work at night. Excessive noise causes more harm to night workers’ ears than day workers’ ears.
Excessive noise at night impacts mice differently at nighttime compared to daytime exposure, according to a 2014 study. Excessive noise during the day results in a full hearing recovery with mice, but permanent hearing damage results with exposure to excessive noise at night. More recently, a study on humans has found that those people who alternate between day and night shifts suffer permanent damage over those people who only work day shift. The more current study shows the hearing of both mice and humans are equally as affected.
For safer hearing at all times
People who work in air travel, medical emergency services, manufacturing, or any other industry at night are subject to permanent hearing loss, according to evidence on how your circadian rhythm affects your hearing. A greater need for regulation is vital to protect hearing health. Some jobs are necessary to perform at night, but more can be done to regulate exposure to higher decibels of workers at night, so that hearing safely occurs at all times. For more information, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Thanksgiving is a happy time. Be grateful for all things and surely eat a lot. Enjoy lots of great conversation, too, but don’t fail to mention serious matters. Discuss your family’s health history, since you are all together at this time. It’s an opportunity for wellness. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative recommends discussing such matters during this time. One matter you can discuss is genetic hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be genetic, believe it or not. While diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease are known be hereditary, hearing loss can also be genetic. Between 50 and 60 percent of hearing loss in babies is due to genetics. While hearing loss does not always appear at birth, it may arise later in life because of a hereditary cause. So, it is vital to know your predisposition via genetics to hearing loss.
Mutated genes interfere with how sound is processed. However, just because your parents experience hearing loss doesn’t mean you will, too. But you may be a carrier and pass it on to your children.
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are both hereditary, are thought to cause hearing loss as an outcome or symptom. Even without a family history of hearing loss, such conditions, as mentioned, may contribute to it.
Knowing your family’s health history can help you better understand your genetic predisposition to poor health. Be watchful of hearing loss or other medical conditions running in your family. Thanksgiving, once a year, is a good time to keep up with potential health concerns. Your hearing, for instance, may depend on it. You can keep track of your family’s health history by contacting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. They offer a My Family Health Portrait Web tool you can use. Also, be sure to contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids with any concerns about your hearing.
Hearing is a complex process, which involves various neurological pathways to the brain, sound waves, tiny nerve cells, and tiny bones. They work together so we can hear all types of sounds. However, some people hear in color, which is called synesthesia.
What does it mean to hear in color?
Psychology Today says that hearing in color (synesthesia) is a condition of the brain in which the stimulation of one sensory pathway--like hearing--leads to stimulation of another sensory pathway--like vision. Synesthesia can occur in different ways, but one of the most common ways is to hear in color. For instance, musical notes bring about flashes of color, specific to each unique noise. Other occurrences, although less common, constitute people experiencing physical sensations when hearing sounds or even having distinct tastes in their mouths when hearing sounds.
The link between synesthesia and hearing loss
People with hearing loss or deafness heavily use other senses to comprehend the world around them. With music, for example, your brain bypasses your ears so you can experience it if you can’t hear. Vibrations are experienced in the auditory cortex, which shows activity, and that doesn’t happen with those who have normal hearing. The auditory cortex processes sound but vibrations of music can strongly be experienced there in those who are deaf or have hearing loss. Essentially, your brain fills in the soundscape gaps with your other senses.
If you want to know more about synesthesia, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Roughly more than 5 percent of the world’s population, or about 360 million individuals, have incapacitating hearing loss. If left untreated, hearing loss can bring about many hurdles, infiltrating many aspects of their daily lives. Not just their health can be affected, but also their socio-economic status.
We are global citizens, so we have an obligation to help people with hearing loss and other disabilities to get the right treatment, as well as to eradicate obstacles that can impede their ability to be contributing members of society. To do so is the intention behind the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day takes place on December 3 of each year. This event targets promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all sectors of development and society. The effort is to increase visibility of the total number of the challenges people with hearing loss and other disabilities face.
Combating barriers and creating a path to better hearing
One theme of the IDPD is to simply not let anyone behind because of their disabilities or substantially create a “transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.” While leaving no one behind is inherently good, we must also bolster the ability of society to be flexible, so as to more positively account for individuals with disabilities. So, let’s look at six things that can be done about at least one disability; that is, hearing loss.
Although these are actions intended for the struggling European Union, they can also be applied the world over, including the United States:
Giving a helping hand to those with hearing loss
Hearing loss continues to grow as a problem around the world. Rights and opportunities for people afflicted with it are just as important as anyone else’s. In thinking about IDPD, decide what you can do to help get the support and treatment needed for someone with hearing loss. A good start would be to contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for yourself or someone else.