Are you ever roused from your sleep by the sound of tinnitus? For 1 out of 5 adults, it’s a common problem that interferes with a restful night.
A research team from the University of Oxford hypothesized the reason for this phenomenon, which may also hold the key to improving treatment options for tinnitus.
Why does Tinnitus Stir You from Your Sleep?
Researchers came up with a new model for how tinnitus interferes with sleep using current evidence.
When a person falls asleep, the brain obstructs noises that are occurring in the room. For example, this is how people can fall asleep to certain music or a TV that’s playing something. It’s uncertain how this occurs. It is also unknown how a person’s sleep patterns change when responding to internal experiences of pain or tinnitus.
There are five stages that your brain repeatedly goes through when you sleep. Non-REM sleep falls under stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. The fifth stage is REM sleep. The stages where you do not dream make up about 75% of your total sleep time. The brain produces different kinds of wave activity that gradually disperse throughout the brain during that time.
Initially, the wave activity might repress the brain signals that cause tinnitus. When the wave is less severe, tinnitus symptoms might worsen and then wake you up or interfere with a deeper rest.
Tinnitus might cause the Brain to Stay Awake
This can cause wakefulness in a resting brain, which can stop you from starting the dreaming stage known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Night terrors, which have been connected to adults with tinnitus, also occur during this transition stage.
Sleep patterns are connected to the way tinnitus develops. This information will help researchers figure out a moment when providing tinnitus treatment will be the most effective before it becomes permanent. The research will also help them find out how the quality of sleep is affected by tinnitus. This may evolve into other research about whether better rest can help repair irregular activity in the brain that is connected to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Poor Rest
Those with tinnitus tend to be light sleepers. In a survey of over 14,000 Japanese residents between the ages of 45 and 79, roaring tinnitus nearly tripled the risk of insomnia. Even a mild case of tinnitus made it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or feel rested. Sleep apnea was another condition connected with tinnitus. It can cause snoring, sleepiness during the daytime, high blood pressure, stroke, and other health issues.
Difficulties with sleep are different for each age group. Night terrors, which are common in young boys, are connected to adults (age 20-44) with tinnitus.
Poor rest can lead to difficulty in managing tinnitus symptoms or any other chronic conditions. Women with tinnitus and bad rest are more likely to experience headaches, neck pain, or feelings of anxiousness, whereas men are more likely to experience depression.
Even though there’s no cure for tinnitus, counseling and different therapies - including sound therapy - can reduce the severity of the problem and make sleeping easier.
Tips for Better Rest
First of all, stop looking at your phone, computer, and TV screens. The blue light from your devices causes your brain to remain active.
Try listening to restful music for two hours. It’s important to only listen for two hours - after that period of time, the white noise may over-stimulate the brain.
This technique was tested on 30 patients with tinnitus by an audiology and speech specialist at Gaziantep University in Turkey.
Some patients claimed they stopped noticing their tinnitus, and others heard quieter tinnitus noises after six months. These patients’ symptoms of depression also felt eased. The objective was to help patients “fall asleep with less exposure to the disturbing effects of tinnitus”, instead of stopping them from waking up. On average the length of the first non-REM sleep cycle is 70 to 100 minutes, therefore it should only take about two hours to cover up your tinnitus.
If these techniques did not prove to be effective, try hearing aids. Hearing aids feature a tinnitus masking technology, so the symptoms won’t be noticeable as long as you are wearing them. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation from one of our providers.
Canadian-born singer/songwriter, Justin Bieber, recently announced that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. This is a rare neurological disorder that causes paralysis in the facial nerves, a rash that can affect the ear or mouth, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
Bieber posted an Instagram video that showed the 28-year-old with a partially paralyzed face. He mentioned difficulty with eating. The right side of his face remained still as he smiled and moved his nostrils. He also struggled to blink his right eye.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, about 5 in 100,000 Americans are affected by Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The cause of this disorder is the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. It is also known as “herpes zoster oticus” because of the physical characteristics of the ear rash. “Herpes zoster oticus” mainly refers to the ear rash, and it’s called “Ramsay Hunt Syndrome” if facial paralysis occurs in addition to the ear rash.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Treatment
There are no preventative care measures for Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Patients can recover from it within a few weeks to several months. Early treatment is better for the best recovery outcome if it is treated within three days after noticing symptoms.
Treatment options include antiviral medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain killers. Please find out from family members or ask your healthcare provider if you are susceptible to hearing loss before taking these medications. They can be ototoxic, and impact your hearing health.
If symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are left untreated, patients may experience permanent weakness of facial muscles or hearing loss.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and its Impact on Hearing
A rash on the outer ear and external ear canal can form if you have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
Tinnitus is also a common symptom. Some patients may develop sensorineural hearing loss if the nerve that’s affected can no longer transmit vibrations to the brain.
There is currently no clear relation between the severity of facial weakness in patients with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and hearing loss, but one study from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry reported nearly 19% of patients had an irregular audiogram.
In a study in the journal “Medicine”, hearing loss was more severe in high-frequency ranges than in the low-frequency ranges for patients who had the Herpes zoster oticus virus. Hearing problems were worse in patients who had vertigo than in patients without vertigo in high and low frequencies. The range of hearing loss was not substantially different between patients who had and did not have facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
Another study from Japan showed complete recovery in 85 out of 173 (49%) adults and 33 out of 42 (78%) patients who were under the age of 16. Complete recovery was shown in audiograms of 66% of children with audiometry documented hearing loss compared to 37.7% of adults.
Healthcare and Recovery
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is not contagious. It can still develop in people who have had chickenpox, but those who have not had chickenpox should get their chickenpox vaccine and their shingles vaccine.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus that was caused by any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you own a dog who you believe has trouble hearing, you may have wondered whether dogs could wear hearing aids.
In the Starkey Sound Bites podcast, you can listen to a conversation with Dr. Peter ‘Skip’ Scheifele, the executive producer of FETCHLAB, which is the University of Cincinnati’s internationally distinguished animal hearing and bioacoustics laboratory.
The podcast features a story about Dr. Scheifele fitting his dog with hearing aids.
When Dr. Scheifele began testing at FETCHLAB, his dog was making several TV appearances, notably on Animal Planet. When the dog turned 12 or 13, he started to lose his hearing. Dr. Scheifele and others realized the dog was confused when given verbal commands off-camera.
He discussed this with a colleague and decided that they should try to fit the dog for a hearing aid.
They used behind-the-ear hearing aids. A cape was customized for the dog so that the hearing aids could be easily attached to it with Velcro, and the tubes were placed in. The dog received excellent training from Dr. Scheifele’s wife, so it made fitting and accepting the hearing aid easy.
A lot of people have asked whether hearing aids can be fitted for dogs. It is possible, but it also involves a lot of commitment to train the dog to keep the hearing aid in their ear. It’s also good to note that even if a dog is trained to wear and keep the hearing aid in their ear, they may never acknowledge that there’s a hearing aid in their ear or that it’s benefitting them in any way.
If you, or another human in your life, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation for a free hearing aid trial.
The power of a noise signal can be portrayed through color, just like how the brightness of a light can be described with a color spectrum. The two existing colors on this spectrum are pink and white. Research has shown that these colors have many helpful properties, like helping to create a restful night’s sleep and being more productive. More research is needed to conclude this theory.
A noise color can be distinguished by the energy of the sound signal. The color will coincide with the signal’s distribution of energy throughout different frequencies. Pink and white noise include every audible frequency, but vary in how they disburse energy over these frequencies.
Noise spectrum, or colors of noise, are known as sonic hues. This is a characterization of “naming different noises after colors” The color of noise correlates with the power spectrum of a noise signal, in other words, the frequencies of the noise.
White noise was the first noise named after a color. Researchers selected this type of noise classification because it’s just like how light is measured through the electromagnetic spectrum. For instance, white light refers to every visible form of light, and white noise refers to all audible frequencies.
In reference to noise, most colors get their name from a color of light with similar spectra. Other colors within the spectrum are blue, gray, purple, and red.
Categories of Sonic Hues
White noise refers to noise that has all frequencies in the audible sound spectrum. They range between 20-and 20,000 Hertz (Hz). Within white noise, there is an equal distribution of all frequencies. Some may call white noise broadband or wideband noise due to the fact that it contains numerous bands of sound.
Examples of white noise:
Pink noise is like white noise, in the sense that they are both broadband noises. They have all frequencies between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Pink noise sounds deeper than white noise because of a decreased power at higher frequencies and a rise in power at lower frequencies.
Examples of pink noise:
Researchers studied the possible advantages of white noise over other noise colors. One covered the use of white noise to help with sleep.
In a 2021 study, participants slept while using a white noise machine. It showed significant improvement in their ability to sleep. A study from 2017 discovered that broadband noise lowered the amount of time participants spent falling asleep by 38%, compared to the average environmental noise. Researchers indicated that broadband noise may help subside symptoms of insomnia for some people.
A review from 2021 points out that the evidence still needs more research to prove this study.
Additional benefits of white noise include:
Research has been done to determine whether pink noise can help people sleep better. A study from 2017 discovered that participants who heard quick sounds of pink noises on a loop while they slept had improvements in memory and recall during a cognitive task. The researchers observed that exposure to pink noise did not alter participants’ alertness, mood, or quality of sleep.
Another study conducted in 2020 showed that pink noise was useful in getting participants to fall asleep and go into a deep sleep at a faster rate. A smaller study from 2020 suggested that pink noise might enhance a person’s efficiency while working, their continuous performance, and working memory.
It’s crucial to mention that most of these studies had a small number of participants. Studies on a larger group of people are needed to confirm the benefits of pink noise.
Using White and Pink Noise
These noises can be used to improve sleep.
A person with a white or pink noise machine can have a steady stream of background noise in their bedroom. There is not a lot of research, but most theories imply that these noise colors may help with sleep because they create a calm atmosphere, help you form a better routine around bedtime, or mask noises that are loud and distracting.
You may use a machine or download an app on your smartphone. These apps can play white or pink noise, so you can decide which sounds work best for you.
Practice Better Sleep Habits
Even though there are benefits to using white and pink noise to help with sleep, everyone has a different reaction.
Practice good sleep habits that can improve your quality of rest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend at least 7 hours of rest each night. Try to incorporate these routines:
A Summary of Pink Noise and White Noise
Pink noise and white noise are a range of frequencies, like a color spectrum. Both of these noises cover every frequency of noise that can be heard by a healthy human ear. White noise encompasses all frequencies and is evenly distributed. On the other hand, pink noise is more powerful in lower frequencies and less powerful in higher frequencies, which makes them deeper.
If you or a loved one are having trouble with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Have you noticed a cold or flu can also make your ears feel stuffy? Your ears, nose, and throat are interconnected, so when you have a problem in one area, it can cause problems in the other areas. Congestion in the ear(s) is just one of numerous symptoms that can occur when there’s an issue with the nose, sinuses, or throat.
The Cause of Ear Pressure
The small passageway that links your middle ear to your throat is known as the Eustachian tube. This tube helps to balance the pressure in your middle ear by opening up whenever you sneeze, swallow, or yawn. This system stops air pressure and fluid from accumulating inside your ear canal, behind the eardrum.
When there’s an obstruction in the Eustachian tube, noises can sound muffled. It’s normal to feel pressure, pain, and fullness in your ears. Your Eustachian tubes can become partially blocked due to allergies, colds, flus, or sinus infections. Inflamed tissues and mucus discharge are primary reasons for dysfunction in the Eustachian tube.
Air travel or traveling up high altitudes can also change the way your Eustachian tubes are not functioning properly.
Tips to Relieve Ear Pressure
In order to use the best remedy, you must identify the cause.
Primary Causes of Sinus Congestion:
Managing Fluid Buildup
If there are drainage issues in your ears, fluid can build up. As a result, fluid can become trapped behind the eardrum. Here are some symptoms that you may notice:
If the problem is not resolved, the fluid build-up behind the ear can lead to a rupture.
Remedies to remove fluid from the ear canals:
Earwax, or cerumen, can build up when it becomes pushed deeper into the ear canal or obstructs the ear canal. This blockage can lead to hearing loss, dizziness, pain/fullness in the ears, pressure, and tinnitus. Q-tips should not be used to clean the ears. This will push the earwax further in the canals. Wearing hearing aids or earplugs can also cause cerumen buildup.
The best way to remove earwax is by running warm water in the ear canal (during a shower) for a couple of minutes. You may use an irrigation kit for this. When the water softens the wax, it will drain through the outer ear.
Ear congestion can be caused by allergies. Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve allergy-related ear pressure, along with other symptoms. Be aware that some medications can cause hearing loss, so discuss this with your hearing healthcare provider.
Traveling by Air or High Altitudes
When you are on a plane that’s about to take off or land, a sudden pressure change can occur in your environment and the middle ear. This imbalance stops your eardrum from vibrating the way it should. Ear pain, full feelings in the ear, and pressure can cause “airplane ears”.
Remedies to reduce pressure:
Infections in the Middle and Outer Ears
Otitis media, or more commonly middle ear infections, can cause symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss, and pain in the ears. The culprit is usually viruses from respiratory infections.
Swimmer’s ear, or outer ear infections (otitis externa), is usually caused by water that’s left in your ear after it is exposed to moisture. Water that becomes trapped after swimming or bathing is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive.
Usually, ear infections will resolve themselves. Ear drops and pain medications can help relieve symptoms.
There are various causes of ear pressure. It’s important to find the cause of it and treat it appropriately. There’s generally a simple home remedy. If symptoms worsen, seek professional help. If you are noticing hearing loss as a result of ear pressure, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Work plays a significant role in your social status. A general sense of achievement and self-worth is felt in us when we work. Tinnitus Hub, a group of people with tinnitus who work for the tinnitus patient community, focus on patient support and education, promote research, and raise awareness, gathered data indicating that over a third (38 percent) of employees have expressed that their symptoms had a negative impact on their work.
This doesn’t just disrupt the workflow of the employee, but it can affect their income and the economy in general. Tinnitus Talk is a worldwide online community for tinnitus patients. Volunteers who run this organization are pushing to raise awareness so that it’s taken more seriously as a problem that can impact work environments.
Tinnitus Hub Statistics from 2018
A survey with 1,800 participants asked, “Has tinnitus affected your job or work prospects?”
Difficulty with Concentration
The main effect of tinnitus on the job is the inability to focus. There’s a spectrum of how patients with tinnitus struggle. According to the survey, tinnitus affected concentration mildly (41 percent), moderately (33 percent), or severely (20 percent). Only a small percentage reported a lack of problems with concentration.
This is significantly different from the “concentration/listening fatigue” that individuals with hearing loss may encounter. In some cases, their brain needs to make an extra effort to interpret what they heard. It’s due to constantly hearing the tinnitus in their head while refocusing it to the background in order to concentrate on something else.
Anyone who struggles with tinnitus can find coping mechanisms from sound machines or hearing aids, to meditation. Patients with severe forms of tinnitus generally experience anxiety and/or insomnia, which can affect their performance at work. Most people cannot grasp the daily stress of constantly hearing a high-pitched sound.
Difficult Work Environments
There are certain jobs that frequently expose people to loud noises that can damage hearing or induce tinnitus. These include construction, manufacturing, military service, and the music industry.
Low-level exposure to sounds on a regular basis for hours at a time, like in a call center, school, or restaurant can cause some harm to a person’s hearing health. Anyone with tinnitus may notice more sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis). As a result, normal office work environments can lead to ear pain or loud instances of tinnitus.
Commuting to work can be a struggle for someone with hyperacusis. Traffic noises can spike tinnitus symptoms.
Potential Negative Reactions from Employers and Coworkers
Many people with tinnitus have pointed out the ignorance of employers or colleagues, along with how unwilling they are to make changes that would benefit a person with tinnitus. Some are hesitant to reveal this information for fear of discrimination.
How to Help
Every employee should be accommodated. If the tinnitus is stress-induced, the anxiety tends to pass for most people. It can take weeks, months, or even years to obtain habituation. Others may turn to permanently adjust their situation by working a less demanding job.
If you’d like to consider using hearing aids to mask tinnitus symptoms, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you wear hearing aids and plan to attend a concert this summer, consider some of these issues that may come up.
Whether you wear your hearing aids to a concert depends on your preferences. Some would recommend removing your hearing aids and wearing earplugs instead to protect your hearing. Depending on the music genre, the sounds will generally be loud enough for you to hear.
If you choose to wear your hearing aids during a concert, you can turn down the volume on the devices.
Additional protection like noise-canceling earmuffs can be helpful. These are better at canceling out sounds than earplugs while shielding the sound-transmitting bones that make up your ears. Encourage others who arrived at the concert with you to protect their hearing health.
Concerts run for about 60-90 minutes, so bring your hearing aids along. After the event is over you’ll need them to hear your friends.
Ask the Venue about Accessibility Services
Prior to your visit, contact the music venue to ask about accessibility options. Most concert halls and venues feature systems to help audience members who can’t hear clearly, have mobility issues, or have any other problem that can interfere with how they enjoy their time at the concert.
The T-Mobile Arena accessibility guide features different accommodation options. Captioning services can be provided to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Make sure that the services which are listed on the venue’s website, will be available during your visit. The majority of venues need a warning beforehand so that they may accurately accommodate your needs.
Get Recommendations from Your Hearing Instrument Specialist
All hearing aids are different with a variety of features, so talk to your hearing instrument specialist for recommendations. For example, some hearing aids feature telecoils or t-coils.
T-coils can connect with loop systems within buildings. The loop system focuses on the music at the concert, while blocking out background noises like echoes. If your hearing aids feature a telecoil, your hearing instrument specialist will demonstrate how it works.
Hearing aids can also be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist so that you can have the best listening experience during the concert.
Preparing for a Live Concert
To make sure you have a great concert experience, here are some tips.
Don’t go alone
Not only is going with a friend more fun, but if your friend has stronger hearing abilities, they’ll be able to guide you through the area if the volume on your hearing aids needs to be turned down.
Stand or sit near the stage
If possible, be closer to the stage or a speaker. There will be less interference from other audience members. If you depend on an ASL interpreter, you’ll be more likely to see them if you are near the stage.
Be prepared when making purchases
Whether you are buying drinks, food, or merch, it can be overwhelming to choose when there’s too much background noise. Instead of making decisions on the spot, look online for merch or at a menu before selecting.
Switch off hearing aids if necessary
If sounds become overwhelming, turn off your hearing aids or wear hearing protection. Make your friends aware of this before the show so they know the best way to get your attention.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you need your hearing aids programmed before your next concert.
Men who have hearing loss are at a 69% higher risk of developing dementia than men who do not have hearing loss.
Several studies over the years have traced hearing loss that is untreated to a rise in risks of dementia.
The reasons why hearing loss tends to increase the risks of dementia are still being researched, but there’s an unequivocal link between the two.
Men who experience hearing loss are more likely to have dementia. An Australian study revealed that men with hearing loss were 69 percent more likely to develop dementia than individuals without a hearing problem.
The good news is that getting hearing loss treated early can help prevent or delay the onset of dementia.
If you or a loved one are noticing hearing loss, or if it’s been a long time since you received a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. If hearing aids are recommended, our providers will patiently work with you to find the best solution.
June 12 is designated as Family Health and Fitness Day. As mentioned in our blog, in addition to making hearing healthcare a priority in your life, your overall health is also as important and can impact your hearing. Keeping yourself physically active and healthy can help reduce the risks of common health problems, and make chronic conditions like hearing loss more manageable. Healthy blood cells help pump your blood throughout the entire body so that it can function properly. This includes your ears.
Fitness and nutrition are challenging to maintain as an individual, and most parents know how difficult it is to deal with picky eaters, each family member’s schedule, and sometimes working overtime. It’s all very exhausting!
Families Should Prioritize Health and Fitness Together
Have a little family meeting and come up with a plan together, commit to that plan together by holding each other accountable, do them together, and support each other along the way.
The more involvement you have in your family’s well-being, the healthier they will be.
8 Tips to Stay Fit with Your Family
What are you waiting for? Get moving!
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you or anyone in your family is experiencing hearing loss and needs a hearing test.
We’ve covered the hearing abilities of cats, dolphins, elephants, and katydids. Now we’re moving on to moths, pigeons, tarantulas, whales, and common pet birds.
Moths and Pigeons
Did you know that moths and pigeons are the animals with the best hearing abilities?
Moths have the best high-frequency hearing abilities. They can detect sounds reaching up to 300,000 Hz. To get a better idea, the average healthy human’s hearing abilities can only reach 20,000 Hz. Moths and bats are each evolving at a fast pace, developing better hearing abilities with each new generation.
Pigeons have amazing abilities when it comes to navigation, because of their exceptional hearing. Pigeons can detect infrasound, which has frequencies that are too quiet for the human ear to recognize. The earth’s electromagnetic field produces infrasound, which provide pigeons with a 360-degree sonic view of their environment and lets them efficiently evaluate the area.
Tarantulas do not have ears or an auditory system, so they do not hear as humans do. Instead, they feel sound waves in order to guide themselves through their environment. The hairs on their legs are very sensitive, so they can feel air passing through them whenever sounds occur. Smaller spiders, such as jumping spiders and ogre-faced spiders, feature nerve cells on their forelegs that transmit signals to the brain when it detects various frequencies. These sound waves can assist spiders in locating prey up to six feet away.
The hearing abilities of sea mammals like dolphins and whales have stunned researchers. The animals can hear well underwater, but for a while, researchers were unsure how since they did not have external ears. It turns out that a whale’s skull makes sounds louder via bone conduction. Blue whales and humpback whales can communicate sounds that reach more than tens of thousands of miles. In other words, a whale that swims in Ireland can communicate with a whale swimming in the Caribbean.
Growing research has shown that human activity (commercial fishing, noise pollution, and oil drilling) have interfered with the whales’ ability to communicate with each other. There hasn’t been conclusive evidence about this interference, but scientists hypothesized that because it’s so dark in the water, especially in the deeper areas or at night, whales depend on their hearing abilities more than their visual abilities. This could disturb their mating and migration patterns.
Domestic Birds and Music
If you have a cockatoo, finch, or parakeet, playing music for them can improve their mood. Birds process sounds very similar to humans, and just like humans, they have their own taste. Some pet owners noticed their parrots loved music genres that they dislike. Male birds usually end up repeating songs they like. Most birds prefer soft, relaxing music, like classical and smooth jazz, no matter what they personally enjoy. If you’re a bird owner, try creating a playlist that you can enjoy together.
If you are a human, or know of another human who needs a hearing test and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month: Is there a Correlation between Hearing Complications and Migraines?
June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.
Hearing loss isn’t a symptom of migraines, but tinnitus and other problems with the ears can be connected to migraines.
A migraine attack can induce a change in your vision, but a lot of people are not familiar with hearing problems or complaints about the ear.
Nearly 40 percent of patients with migraines also have bouts of vertigo and dizziness. These symptoms can develop due to an illness within the vestibular system - including the areas of the inner ears.
It is common for anyone who gets a migraine to experience more sensitivity to sound when they have a migraine attack. This is known as sonophobia or phonophobia.
Do Migraines induce Hearing Complications?
Hearing loss and problems with hearing are uncommon symptoms of migraines.
Migraines do not cause hearing loss. Some general hearing loss issues are linked to migraines, but the exact connection is unknown.
It is not evident whether one condition drives the other or if they coexist. There are cases that suggest those who have hearing loss are more prone to migraine attacks, but there aren’t enough studies for this to be conclusive.
This type of migraine stems from the inner ear and the area of the brain that helps with balance. Vestibular migraines can cause motion sickness, dizziness, and possible changes in hearing during an attack. These changes may include hypersensitivity, a loss in hearing, and tinnitus.
A Fluctuation in Hearing and Headaches Can be Caused by Pressure in the Brain
There’s a different kind of headache linked to tinnitus known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
It is caused by an overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid, which is fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension can lead to a severe headache and loss of vision.
Some have described their tinnitus as a “gushing sensation in the ear” as if they were by the ocean while waves are crashing onto the shore.
It’s a rare condition that affects 1 in 100,000 people. It’s common in women within the age range of 20 to 45, who are also obese. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, there have been 20 out of 100,000 incidents.
Migraines and Sudden Hearing Loss
If sudden hearing loss occurs in a person, migraines are usually not a primary reason for the underlying cause. It can, however, be considered something to examine. The sign of a potentially serious health problem is sudden sensorineural hearing loss. A healthcare provider would rule out other conditions like Ménière's disease, or even a clot in the veins draining from the brain that can lead to problems with hearing.
Ménière's disease occurs due to fluid buildup in the inner ears. It normally affects one ear. Migraine headaches may occur with Ménière's disease, in addition to changes in hearing, tinnitus, and hearing loss; in rare instances, it can cause sudden hearing loss.
There are variations in the symptoms of Ménière's disease. You may feel better for several months at a time, and then you may notice that your ears are feeling full again or the hearing loss has returned.
It’s rare to have sudden deafness, but the Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology revealed that people with migraines had a higher risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss than those who did not have migraines.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It’s Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. What does that have to do with hearing health?
You Hear with Your Brain, not with Your Ears
Did you know that hearing health and brain function are intertwined? Arthur Wingfield, Ph.D., of Brandeis University, is a Professor of Neuroscience who found that people who have untreated hearing loss have problems with remembering and processing that information. It gets harder and harder for a person’s brain to process information when they have hearing loss. This includes comprehending quick and complex speech.
A Decline in Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Disease
Poor hearing abilities lead to poor brain function. Untreated hearing loss negatively impacts a person’s ability to accurately hear sounds and their cognitive function.
It’s not simply the inability to hear, but it’s also not being able to think, remember, or process information quickly or efficiently.
Alzheimer’s and dementia can impact the mind, personal relationships, and how you function as a human being. The disease can become progressive.
Get Your Hearing Tested
Receiving a hearing test is an easy way to protect the connection between your brain and your ears. It’s a simple way to keep track of your hearing health so that you can intervene and slow down the process.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. Please be aware that hearing health is just as important to keep up with as regular checkups for your overall health. Hearing loss affects men differently than women.
Men are almost twice as likely to Experience Hearing Loss than Women
Researchers have concluded that the reason why hearing loss is so widespread among men is due to their lifestyle. Even though more women are now working jobs that were mostly dominated by men, more men continue to work in high-risk fields. For some, especially in the older generation, there’s still a stigma surrounding hearing loss. This means that most men are less likely to reach out for help when they need it.
An Increased Risk of Developing Hearing Loss is Type II Diabetes
For patients with hearing loss and Type II diabetes, the patients who had diabetes were at a higher risk of hearing loss than those who did not have Type II Diabetes. Researchers hypothesize that small blood vessels in the inner ear can be harmed by high blood glucose levels.
Regular Doses of NSAIDs can Increase the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), like Advil and Tylenol, can have a major effect on younger men’s hearing health. A survey that was filled out every 18 years by approximately 27,000 men between the ages of 40 and 74, showed that regular use of aspirin increased the possibility of hearing loss by 50% and 61% in men under the age of 50. So, if you or a loved one in your life uses these drugs, get your hearing tested regularly.
Untreated Hearing Loss in Men Show Symptoms of Depression
Hearing loss can lead to difficulty with communication. This in turn can cause a loss of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, poor work performance, and depression.
Using hearing aids has proven to provide the opposite. Men have reported that their relationships, social life, work-life/income, confidence, sense of safety, and overall mental health have improved when wearing their hearing aids.
Preventative Measures can be Practiced
Maintaining a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables can help with your hearing health, and overall health. Foods that are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc can reduce the risks of hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus levels can vary each day for different reasons. Sometimes it’s a physiological condition within your body, your surrounding environment, or the type of tinnitus management that you practice. We’ll go over some factors that can affect the sounds of this phantom noise.
Stressors can Affect the Volume of Tinnitus
Stress is one of the primary agents of tinnitus. Tinnitus symptoms may become bothersome during a stressful moment in life, or when we’re having a stressful day.
When there’s a significant shift in life, whether it’s at home or with your job, stress lets the body react and respond mentally, emotionally, and physically. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to an imbalance which can trigger louder tinnitus on some days over other days.
Common causes of stress can include life-altering circumstances such as grieving a loved one or losing a job. A steady flow of stress that is caused by ordinary circumstances such as deadlines for work, or caring for loved ones, can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Living through these situations can make your tinnitus sound louder on some days and quieter on other days.
Conditions caused by stress are also associated with tinnitus and make the phantom noise worse. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus have comparable structures and can bring attention to one another.
Taming Internal Stressors
Even though external stress can impact the perceived loudness of your tinnitus, the way you manage the stress (a.k.a. internal stress) is just as important. If your body is not sufficient or healthy enough to deal with external stress, tinnitus symptoms can get worse.
In order to better manage stress, you need proper nutrition, exercise, and an adquent amount of sleep that’s consistent.
Your Diet’s Influence on Stress
It’s easy to ignore the persistent messages from experts encouraging you to eat healthily, but it’s one of the crucial elements to lowering your stress levels and keeping them down in order to better manage your tinnitus.
Processed foods should be left out of your diet, as consuming them makes it harder to manage stress. These foods are often high in sugar. If there’s too much change in your blood sugar levels, the sympathetic area of the nervous system becomes stimulated. This is the area of the brain that handles our fight or flight and makes us ready to react. When this occurs, stress hormones are released which can lead to symptoms of stress. These could include anxiety, irritability, nervousness, and interruptions in sleep patterns, which can be common while experiencing symptoms of tinnitus.
A healthy and well-balanced diet also lets us replace nutrients and vitamins, which may be expended during stressful moments. For example, vitamins B complex, iron, magnesium, and zinc can help aid with stress.
Tinnitus can seem worse after consuming caffeine, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. These tend to raise your adrenaline. It doesn’t need to be a permanent change, but it’s helpful to let your body get used to this new diet to see if it has any impact on your symptoms.
Sleepless Nights and Stress
Sleep is VERY crucial in keeping a healthy body and mind. Less sleep = more stress and louder symptoms of tinnitus.
A good night’s rest allows you to better handle stress. Giving your body a chance to recover and rest is important to properly manage stress. Poor rest can affect your mood, memory, and judgment.
Exercise to Manage Stress
Struggling to manage your stress, can make tinnitus worse. And tinnitus itself can be stressful. It’s a vicious cycle. This can trigger the sympathetic part of our autonomic nervous system. That indicates that there are more stress hormones moving throughout the body like adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline.
Try to lower these hormones by engaging in a relaxing exercise, like yoga. The more relaxed you feel the quieter tinnitus symptoms can be.
Quiet Environments and Tinnitus
Tinnitus can seem louder because of your surroundings. If your environment is too quiet, tinnitus will be more noticeable.
Lower noise levels in the background that are meant to mask tinnitus can actually make the symptoms seem louder.
Also, silence can activate a response to stress in the body which increases internal auditory sensitivity. Your hearing can become more perceptive while getting yourself ready for a possible threat. This form of hearing can make internal noises, like tinnitus, louder.
Going from a loud environment to a quieter area can make it seem like the tinnitus has gotten worse. Give yourself time to adjust. This might involve rubbing our ears, doing breathing exercises, and practicing mindfulness when we respond to symptoms of tinnitus.
Focus your attention on something else, meditate with music in the background, use a sound machine, or if you are also noticing difficulty with hearing in addition to tinnitus, try hearing aids. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and hearing trial.
Animals, like humans, use their hearing in order to sense impending danger. Let’s learn some fun facts about animals and their hearing abilities!
Do Cats Enjoy Music?
Any cat owner may tell you that their feline friend may exude grumpy, disinterested, or just plain bad behavior. Can music make an impact on, or even improve, a cat’s behavior? Three researchers hypothesized this and came up with the theory that cats naturally communicate with distinct ranges of frequencies and tempos. So if you put on some music that’s composed of certain frequencies and tempos, the cats will probably enjoy it.
The researchers produced two cat songs, then found cats to play the songs for. They entered 47 households that had cats and played the two cat songs, along with two classical songs. The cats appeared to enjoy the cat songs by moving toward or rubbing against the speaker while these songs played.
The young and old cats were more enthusiastic about the songs, whereas the middle-aged cats seemed indifferent to them.
Dolphins Hear Underwater with their Jawbones
Dolphins hear underwater sounds by using echolocation. The cavity beneath their blowhole allows them to create clicks and whistling sounds, as well as other noises. These sounds echo back and the dolphins will use that information from the echo to learn about the ocean floor, depth of water, obstructions, predators, prey, and other dolphins.
Here’s one uncommon fact: The sound waves that echo back produce pulses in the dolphin’s teeth and jawbone. The fat that surrounds these areas creates pulses that travel to the middle ear. Essentially, their teeth, jawbone, and fatty tissue function the same way that a human’s outer ear, ear canal, and eardrum function.
Elephants Communicate with Each Other when They are 6 Miles Apart
Anyone with normal hearing abilities knows what an elephant sounds like. It sounds like a loud trombone. Did you know that they predominately communicate using a low-frequency sound that cannot be heard by the human ear?
This is known as infrasound. Elephants can hear these low-pitched sounds from at least 6 miles away. Infrasound is used for many things from leading a herd’s migration to warning competing males during mating season, or keeping track of calves who have been separated from the herd.
In 2012, researchers figured out how they did this. Instead of tensing and releasing the muscles in their vocal box, they create a noise that’s similar to purring, and force air through the voice box, the same way humans do when they talk or sing.
Ears Located on the Knees? That’s what Katydids Have.
Katydids, or long-horn grasshoppers, have “ears” that are similar to humans.
Human ears feature an internal eardrum that harnesses sound frequencies, which leads to slight vibrations. Three tiny bones in the inner ears give off a strong vibration. This then causes waves in the cochlea’s fluid, and the waves turn into neural impulses and which are interpreted by the brain as sound.
For the katydid, the outer eardrum gathers sound frequencies that cause light vibrations. This makes a small plate strongly vibrate. The after-effect is waves in the fluids or something like the cochlea, and these waves are translated into neural impulses and interpreted as sound.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
If you have hearing loss, you may feel isolated because you don’t feel comfortable, or have too much difficulty, with communication. Try out some of these active listening techniques to help with how you communicate with others.
It’s also important to emphasize this message if you are someone who regularly communicates with a person who has hearing loss: Please be patient. Remind yourself that the person you are talking to cannot hear the same way you do.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss should be taken more seriously by the general population, primary healthcare providers, and of course those in the field of hearing healthcare.
There are a number of consequences to one’s mental and physical health when hearing loss goes unaddressed. Rates of depression, falls caused by imbalance, emergency room visits, and cognitive problems can arise as a result of untreated hearing loss. All of these interconnections have been studied in a general sense and have been covered in our blog.
Dr. Frank Lin from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is one of the leading researchers of hearing loss in the world. His team focuses on hearing loss and its effect on the brain as we age.
Dr. Lin’s thorough research recommends what we’ve discussed before: getting treatment immediately will greatly improve your overall health, and make it easier to manage. If hearing aids are recommended, understand that it takes time for your brain to adapt to the technology.
The Lancet Commission’s study suggested that hearing loss that is treated between the ages of 40 and 64, is one of 12 risk factors that you can alleviate to help prevent or slow down dementia or Alzheimer’s. So look into seeking treatment right now if you notice any hearing loss, and are concerned about cognitive health as you age.
For a free hearing test and consultation, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Seniors are at a higher risk of a number of health problems. It’s important to take care of your overall health and make better decisions about your diet, exercise routines, and lifestyle. This can help you better manage any potential health problems that stand in the way.
Hearing and vision loss are two of the most prevalent health conditions that seniors experience. More than 42% of individuals over 50 years of age have some hearing loss, and about 71% of individuals over 70 years of age have some range of hearing loss.
There are a lot of preventative measures, treatments, and daily habits to help you live a healthier life, even with presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). With knowledge and ways to manage health concerns, you can help your condition from getting worse.
Taking precautions now can make a huge difference. Listening to music or media at a low volume can help lower your risks of hearing loss. If you are in a noisy environment for an extensive period of time, wear earbuds or, if possible, move yourself to a quieter space. Wear earbuds when using loud tools or any motor-powered devices.
With age-related hearing loss, you may notice tinnitus, you may struggle to keep up with conversations, or have memory issues. Built-up earwax can obstruct sounds and should be softened and removed by a professional, not by inserting cotton swabs in the ear canal.
Diabetics should be attentive when taking care of their blood sugar. A healthy weight can help reduce the chances of hearing loss, along with regular exercise and eating healthily.
Immediately seek help if you begin to notice hearing loss.
Alleviating the Symptoms of Hearing Loss
To help manage your hearing loss, hearing aids can, and should, be worn. Hearing loss can deteriorate brain function because the brain is not reacting to sounds like it used to. Listening is a brain exercise that needs to be worked out on a regular basis.
Managing your hearing loss also means that you need to communicate your needs to family, friends, and coworkers so that they can better understand your situation and adapt accordingly. Maybe you’ll need to tell them to face you in a well-lit room when they speak, or they need to talk louder in certain situations. Communicating these things will help a great deal. Those with hearing loss may need to be patient with them, as they work through this new normal with you. Make a plan.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing problems with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss crosses all age groups. We’ve gone over hearing loss among older adults, and the risks associated with hearing loss as you age.
It’s important to raise awareness that more and more young adults are experiencing hearing loss for a number of different reasons. Young adults who have hearing loss face a unique set of challenges as they go through college, dating, employment, growing relationships, and parenting.
How prevalent is Hearing Loss in Young Adults?
According to the CDC, around 12% of adults between the ages of 18-39 report struggling with following along during conversations when there is too much background noise. Nearly 6% have tinnitus. These numbers are higher in older age groups.
People who have hearing loss are more likely to experience low rates of employment, lower work productivity, and higher healthcare costs compared to their peers.
Causes of Hearing Loss for Young Adults
Noise exposure is one of the most widespread causes of hearing loss for young adults, as well as older adults. This can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Across the U.S. millions of Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Y have been exposed to hazardous levels of noise, including hobbies like woodworking, music, city noises, and workplace environments.
Additional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, taking ototoxic medications, viruses, bacterial infections, genetics, or they were born with it.
Young Adults with Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is one of the other most common medical causes of hearing loss in people of this age group and middle-aged adults. This is when there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear section. Nearly 3 million Americans are affected by it - the people with the highest risk being middle-aged women.
The Affect of Hearing Loss on Young Adults
The different causes of hearing loss for young adults differ greatly from the older generation but wearing hearing aids when you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s can look and feel different than wearing them when you are older. Occupation, family, relationships, and activities are - for the most part - different than older people.
Working with hearing loss, while NOT impossible, can be tricky at times. People in their 20s are fresh out of college and looking for their first job. They have the choice of when they should inform their potential employer that they wear hearing aids. Depending on where your job path takes you, you may need special equipment - like a telephone with amplification or captions. Your employer is required by law, via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to accommodate you for your hearing needs. You can apply for any job that you want, but there are some careers that may be easier to navigate through if you have hearing loss. Take a look at our article “Careers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing”.
Working Remotely with Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, depending on the job, working from home can have its ups and downs. You can raise the volume on your computer as much as you want, without bothering coworkers. The technology for virtual meetings doesn’t always work smoothly, so it can hamper communication. Read up on some tips on how to prepare for video conferences or virtual meetings.
Parents or Guardians Raising Children and Young Adults
Taking care of a child as a hearing aid user has its challenges. Hearing aids are needed for better communication and safety, but using them requires consideration from those who are communicating with the hearing aid users. A parent may need a baby monitor that flashes, vibrates, and has a video monitor. Making sure your hearing aids are always in good condition is also important, especially if there’s a sudden emergency.
Attending College or Higher Education
Another concern that differs among generations is that young adults are deciding whether to attend college or higher education. People in this age group might not receive the support that is needed to thrive in school. Young adults may be learning how to be their own advocates for the first time.
Hearing Aids can help You Maintain or even Raise Your Income and Improve Overall Health
The ability to hear in a work environment can impact your household income, which is a common concern for people who are in their prime age of employment. According to a survey that was done through Better Hearing Institute 40,000 households in the U.S. indicated that using hearing aids and assistive listening devices was beneficial to one’s earning potential. There was also a 90 to 100 percent reduced risk of income loss for anyone with mild hearing loss, and a 65 to 77 percent reduced risk for anyone with moderate to severe hearing loss.
Hearing aid usage has a more obvious asset to mental health for younger people. A study from 2014 indicated that hearing loss is linked to depression in adults of every age, but it's more common in young adults. Even though hearing aids help people of all ages, younger users appear to gain the most out of them when it comes to depression. Socializing leads to a healthy overall quality of life.
Hearing Aid usage is becoming Less Stigmatized
In regards to hearing aid usage, there are major distinctions between the older generation and the younger generation. Most people of the younger generation are more accepting of wearing hearing aids. Today, just about everyone wears something in their ears, whether they are earbuds, headphones, or hearing aids; therefore hearing devices draw less attention. The stigma of hearing aid usage is dwindling and the younger generation is noticing that their untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than the hearing aids themselves.
If you are a young adult or middle-aged with hearing loss, you have the chance to seek treatment and engage in practices that protect and slow down the hearing abilities that you still have.
For a complimentary hearing test and consultation, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to set up an appointment.
Hearing loss impacts nearly 48 million people in the U.S. That number is predicted to rise to 1 in 10 people within the next 30 years. There’s no cure for hearing loss, but hearing aids can help with the symptoms of hearing loss. There have been so many advancements in hearing aid technology. Relationships become less strained due to better communication abilities, reduced depression caused by isolation, anxiety, and cognitive decline linked to hearing loss that goes untreated. Let’s review the history and evolution of hearing loss and hearing healthcare.
Earliest Discovery of Hearing Loss
A primitive example of hearing loss was found in skeletal remains that were more than 10,000 years old in the Shanidar Caves located in Iraqi Kurdistan (Southern Kurdistan). Archeologists discovered exostoses - tiny bone growths located in the ear canal that can lead to conductive hearing loss.
A Record of Hearing Loss during Ancient Egypt
A medical journal known as Ebers Papyrus detailed the earliest known record of hearing loss in 1550 BC. In the text, a solution for “Ear That Hears Badly” was detailed as infusing ant eggs, bat wings, goat urine, olive oil, and red lead in the ears. Most of these ingredients were ineffective, but placing some olive oil in the ears is still recommended by some to loosen earwax that’s obstructing the ear canal.
A Record of Hearing Loss during Ancient Greece
During the early 10th-century, Artistotle and Plato mentioned their own hearing loss. Their remarks were incorrect and careless in the way we view the deaf community today. They both noticed that the “ability to reason was intrinsically linked with the ability to speak”. This implies that they believed a person’s ability to hear was related to the person’s intellect. We now know that this is not the case. Some accommodations may be required, but a person’s intelligence and lack of hearing abilities are not interconnected.
A Record of Hearing Loss in France
Sign language was originated by monks in Burgundy, France during the 10th century. Monks who took a vow of silence came up with their own hand signals in order to non-verbally communicate. It was called the Cluniac sign language. The nonverbal language was soon taught to other monks across Europe, with many pointing out that if they lost their voices this sign language would be adequate to communicate with others. This was the basis for modern sign language.
Ancient Hearing Aid Devices
Ear trumpets that were made from animal horns and sheet iron were early instruments for hearing during the 17th century. By the 18th century, they became mass-produced. In 1876, after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, inventors had the ability to use this technology in the first amplified electronic hearing aids. Miller Reese Hutchinson introduced the first electronic hearing aids in 1889.
When these devices were introduced during the 1913 World Fair, they were very large and bulky. In 1920, vacuum tube technology made hearing aids easy to travel with and functional. This was standard until the mid-1940s when transistor technology was made for WWII. Microprocessors invented in the mid-1970s and ‘80s provided faster, lighter, and more powerful hearing aids with analog technology.
Digital Hearing Aids
During the 1990s, the first digital technology was introduced to the public. As these new technologies evolved to smaller devices, so did hearing aids. Making the devices more powerful was also important to reduce feedback noises. Digital hearing aids were gradually customized for each individual’s hearing loss, rather than standard options for varying degrees.
Modern hearing aids can help with nearly every range of hearing loss, blocks out background noises, mask tinnitus, connects to devices via Bluetooth®, and uses AI to automatically adjust to your environment.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for more information and to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
A Study on Women's Exercise Routines and Hearing Health
Analysts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA reviewed 20 years of female nurses’ health records. They examined whether body mass index (BMI), the circumference of their waist, and physical activity had any relation to hearing loss.
The authors of this study were aware of the adverse repercussions of hearing loss that went untreated, observing how communication and social skills can impact a person’s psychosocial well-being and overall quality of life. They strived to determine lifestyle factors that could be changed by the test subjects so that they may lower their chances of hearing loss.
Conclusions on the Study
The study found that female nurses with higher BMI and larger waist circumferences were linked to a higher risk of hearing loss. There was a reduced risk of hearing loss if the test subjects engaged in regular exercise - these included walking, aerobics, swimming, and other less intense exercises.
They also found walks that lasted at least 2 hours each week, lower the risk of hearing loss.
If you’re working up the motivation to increase your exercise routine, add hearing health to that list.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you have osteoporosis, there’s a chance that you may also experience hearing loss. These comorbidities are often related to one another.
A study from 2021, concluded that the risk of hearing loss for women who had a low bone density, or osteoporosis, was 40 percent higher than for those without low bone density.
Bisphosphonate, an osteoporosis drug, did not appear to reduce any risks of hearing loss. More research is needed for a conclusive answer.
Osteoporosis happens as a result of bone breaking down at a faster rate than it can be replaced by the body. This leads to higher risks of bone fractures. It can happen to anyone, but it is most common in Asian and white women.
One of the most prevalent chronic conditions that impact older adults is, hearing loss. The main risk factor, and only preventable type of hearing loss, is exposure to noise. When this gets paired with aging, it exponentially raises the risks. Additional health problems, like anemia, diabetes, and heart disease can create even more risks. But these aren’t the only causes of hearing loss.
What is the Connection between Osteoporosis and Hearing Loss?
The actual relationship is still being determined for certain, but they are suggesting that tiny bones in the ears lose their minerals and weaken. These bones are vital for your hearing system. Osteoporosis may also negatively impact the bones that support the nerve structures used for hearing. These are found in the cochlea.
Low bone density, osteoporosis, or a medical history of fractures could lead to higher risks of hearing loss. Regular hearing tests are important, especially when there’s an onset of hearing loss. Most hearing loss is so gradual that you don’t notice it. It may seem like everyone is mumbling. Hearing tests and immediate treatment is crucial to preserving your residual hearing.
Sudden Hearing Loss
According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, it’s unlikely, but sudden hearing loss can be common in patients with low bone density and osteoporosis.
Sudden hearing loss normally occurs in one ear and tends to happen all at the same time or within a few days. Nearly all sudden-onset hearing loss is “idiopathic”, which means that the cause is unknown. For the few numbers of cases where a cause is found, the connection to osteoporosis is a meaningful discovery.
Hypotheses about the onset of sudden hearing loss include a relationship with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular systems along with bone demineralization, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction (issues involving blood vessel linings).
Osteoporosis and Balance
Some people with hearing loss also tend to have balance issues. This can lead to falls, bone fractures, and even death.
Prevent falls by wearing hearing aids, and if needed prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, assistive listening devices, keeping up with an active lifestyle, and making sure there are safety measures in place where you live.
What should You lookout for if You Have Osteoporosis?
Pay close attention to your hearing health and your bone health. If your healthcare provider does not take that correlation seriously, advocate for yourself and make your concerns known.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Spring is here! If you have a green thumb and your own garden, maybe you’ll be interested in planting homegrown produce that supports healthy hearing. If you’re a local Lancastrian, did you know that our county has the most productive non-irrigated farming in the entire country? Why not try some of the bountiful produce that our county has to offer while improving your hearing health?
It takes time and patience to grow asparagus. The first harvest might take a few years, but it will be worth it! Asparagus is a great source of folate, which is great for hearing health. Folate has been found to possibly lower the risk of hearing loss in elderly men.
Blueberries are delicious on their own, in a smoothie, in pie, or scattered over pancakes. They are full of vitamin C, which when combined with magnesium and vitamins A and E, can help treat worsening symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss.
Kale is great on its own, or as an addition to lasagna, salads, or soups. This leafy green also has folate.
If you plant pumpkin seeds around late May, the pumpkins should be ready for harvesting by the summer or fall season. Fresh pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which helps the immune system - and taking a medicated oral form may help treat symptoms of tinnitus.
Tomatoes are vine-grown fruit that is rich in potassium - which helps regulate blood and tissue fluids. This includes fluid in the inner ear, which is crucial for hearing health and balance.
If you’re trying to eat healthier for your ears, and/or overall health, try to incorporate these foods into your diet. Another way to improve your hearing health is by getting your hearing tested on a regular basis. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation at one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
We’re raising awareness about potential hearing loss caused by loud noises. The inablity to hear can affect your speaking abilities. Not being able to hear after many years can impact your ability to remember the way speech sounds.
Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) started in 1927. Every May, hearing health and speech issues are given a platform to remind people to take care of their hearing health and get it tested.
Identifying and intervening immediately when hearing loss is suspected is crucial for a better outcome. Most people live with hearing loss, but are often unaware that there’s a problem. Getting your hearing checked annually, or if you suspect you have hearing loss is crucial for proper care and treatment.
The first World Report on Hearing from the World Health Organization
Hearing Health Facts
On average, a person is born with nearly 16,000 hair cells in their inner ear. These cells pick up sounds and transfer them to the brain so that they can be interpreted into something that makes sense. Often, when people notice hearing loss that indicates that most of the hair cells are damaged. Between 30% to 50% of hair cells can be lost before a difference in your hearing can be measured through a hearing test. Once the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, it’s permanent and they cannot regrow.
Noise not only harms hair cells but also damages auditory nerves that transfer information regarding sounds to the brain. Early stages of damage may not appear on your hearing test results.
There is no way to restore hearing that’s been lost. Preventative measures are the key. Wear earplugs or earmuffs if you are going to be in a loud environment or use loud tools. If you already have hearing loss, tinnitus, or experience pain/discomfort, be aware of your surroundings and protect your hearing so that it does not worsen.
For better hearing and communication, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.