If you are not hearing very well, or as you usually do, the cause could be anything from aging to viral infections.
Based on the reason for your hearing loss, it might be temporary or permanent.
Get treated immediately if You experience Sudden Hearing Loss
If you experience rapid or sudden hearing loss in one ear or both ears immediately get treatment. There could be harmful inflammation that can be treated with steroids. Sudden hearing loss that goes untreated could lead to permanent hearing loss.
How do you know if You need to see a Medical Professional?
Here’s a guide to follow:
If you responded with “No” to all of these questions, you might be experiencing sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss needs immediate medical attention.
Prevailing causes of Temporary Hearing Loss?
The majority of temporary hearing loss does not suddenly occur. It happens gradually within a few days or weeks, by the time a person notices it. Temporary hearing loss can be caused by a blockage in the ear canal or another ear-related health condition. Here are some possible causes:
Stereocilia (tiny hairs) and glands located in your inner ears create cerumen, A.K.A. earwax. Usually, this wax naturally falls out or it can be removed through a gentle wash with water. In some instances, it can build up and obstruct your ear canals. When this occurs, your ears may feel as though they are plugged, you might hear a ringing or buzzing noise (tinnitus), or experience some hearing loss. If you are unable to gently remove the earwax by using a warm washcloth, consult a healthcare professional. Do not attempt to remove the wax with any sharp objects like a hairpin. Q-Tips or cotton swabs can push the earwax deeper into your ear canal, causing the eardrum to become perforated and.
Vigorous Exercises or Stress
Your exercise routine might be the cause of your hearing loss or tinnitus. If you exercise past your personal fitness levels, you could experience temporary hearing loss. Your ability to hear should go back to normal within a few hours. See a hearing healthcare professional if the symptoms don’t go away. Severe cases of stress may induce hearing loss or tinnitus.
Temporary hearing loss and/or tinnitus is a common result, after being exposed to loud noises. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). In most cases, your hearing will go back to normal, but it’s always helpful to protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or earmuffs. Hearing loss prevention is the only way to protect yourself from NIHL. Frequently being exposed to loud sounds could lead to permanent hearing loss.
Typical Causes of Permanent Hearing Loss
Long exposure to extreme noise
One loud blast of noise may only temporarily make your hearing worse, while a repetition of exposure to blasts or other loud noises could cause permanent loss of hearing. This is the most prevalent type of sensorineural hearing loss, which is permanent. The term sensorineural applies to the nerves located inside the ears, along with the tiny sensory cells that are extremely delicate and easy to destroy.
Presbycusis, also known as age-related hearing loss, is another common form of sensorineural hearing loss. Most people who are 75 years of age or older, will notice they cannot hear as well as they could in the past. The beginning of this type of hearing loss arrives gradually, so it will go unnoticed for months or years. Getting treatment for your hearing loss is not simply linked to better hearing, it also helps reduce other health problems such as dementia, depression caused by isolation, or risks of falling.
Health conditions that cause permanent hearing loss
Get your hearing loss treated
Whether or not you suspect that you are experiencing permanent or temporary hearing loss, get your hearing tested. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide variety of hearing aids styles and brands that can be programmed for your specific hearing needs.
Have you ever listened in on a conversation where someone said something funny, and you laughed along, pretending that you heard the joke? Have you ever experienced confusion as to why everyone was laughing at something on TV or in a movie because you didn’t hear the setup or punchline in a joke?
It’s challenging to enjoy the humor when you can’t hear.
What are the benefits of humor?
A sense of humor can help people deal with stressful and painful situations. Your muscles can relax, your immune system is strengthened, it helps build trust among others, reduces anxiety and fear, and improves relationships. Humor is physically and mentally beneficial to people.
Here’s a joke that might tickle your funny bone:
If a Deaf child swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap and water?
The Challenges with Humor and Hearing Loss
If you are hard of hearing, you may find it difficult to understand jokes and follow along with funny stories that are verbally told, because there’s always a surprising twist, use of wordplay, or punchline that needs to be heard to make sense of it. It’s very important to hear every single word and the way it’s delivered to get the joke. That’s not always possible if you can’t hear clearly. Even relying on context clues can prove to be challenging.
Some people with hearing loss may isolate themselves from situations that incorporate comedy because they know that they won’t get the joke and feel left out when they don’t laugh at the right time, or at all.
There are so many different categories of humor like dry, satire, slapstick, situational, self-deprecating, wordplay, etc. In order to understand the humor, you need to pay attention to a person’s demeanor and emotion when they set up their joke or story. Usually, the speaker becomes excited and talks louder when telling a joke.
It can change based on the type of humor. For dry humor, the speaker may show little emotion or facial expressions when delivering their lines. As a result, someone with hearing loss who relies on reading facial expressions as a context clue may have a harder time understanding the joke.
Based on how severe your hearing loss is, hearing jokes can be a great listening exercise. If you’re hearing is too severe, you can still enjoy physical comedy or situational humor.
How about when you listen to a song? Have you ever and misheard the lyrics?
Sometimes, mishearing something that was said can turn into a funny situation with the people that you are communicating with.
Have you heard of TLC’s rare recording of “Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls”?
How about Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” where Annie Lennox sings, “Sweet dreams are made of cheese”?
Stop feeling left out, and enjoy hearing jokes again. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Do you know that over 80% of 80-year-olds experience hearing loss?
As we age, it is more likely that we will have hearing loss.
According to the New York Times, tests conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study concluded that 80 percent of individuals who were in their 80s “have mild to moderate hearing loss or worse.” That number is significantly higher than people in lower age groups.
Luckily, you can help your deteriorating hearing health by getting fitted for hearing aids.
If you or a loved one have hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
Some people have described adjusting to hearing aids as kind of like walking out of a dark restaurant or movie theater and into a bright environment. You may instinctively shield your eyes and squint. This is a brain reflex that’s communicating your new surroundings are too bright.
The average person waits several years before they seek treatment for their hearing loss. Their ears are not used to hearing sounds regularly, so when they can suddenly hear more clearly than they have in years, it’s overstimulating for the brain.
The longer you have hearing loss without receiving treatment, the harsher noise will seem when you can hear them again. A Consumer Reports survey on 17,626 people discovered that at least 6 out of 10 waited over 2 years after initial experiences of hearing loss, to get hearing aids.
When that amount of time has elapsed, the brain becomes completely acclimated to listening at a substandard level. That’s why an adjustment period is necessary to become accustomed to these new sounds that are being heard.
According to the survey, about 3 in 4 people stated that it took them under a month to get more comfortable with their hearing aid.
Here are 5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to Your Hearing Aids
1. Get a Proper Fitting
Be sure that the hearing aids are properly fit in your ears. If they feel too loose or too tight, tell your hearing instrument specialist before taking them home.
The hearing aids will feel more comfortable and you’ll get the best experience from them. In the beginning of your trial period, the hearing aids should feel comfortable. You’ll still notice there’s something in your ears for the first few weeks, but it should not hurt when they rest in your ear canals.
Your hearing aid provider will show you how to correctly put your hearing aids on. Most modern hearing aids feature a program that will reduce or eliminate feedback, so it’s possible to have harsh noises or whistling sounds if the device is not properly fitted.
Show your hearing aid provider that you can correctly remove and insert your hearing aids. They’ll help you if you’re having trouble.
2. Practice Adjusting to Sounds
It’s important to be patient when learning to hear sounds again. Your hearing instrument specialist will program your devices, to calibrate the proper amplification for your unique hearing needs.
If the sounds are so loud that it’s painful, the amplification can be set at a lower volume, and gradually go higher as you become accustomed to hearing again. Most hearing aids can be programmed to slowly rise in volume over several weeks until you arrive at your goal.
It’s normal for sounds to seem too loud and high-pitched if you’re a first-time hearing aid user. The best, and only, way to get the most out of your hearing aids and allow your brain to adapt is by regular noise exposure.
Wear your hearing aids from dusk until dawn, unless you’re taking a shower or swimming in a body of water.
You should take breaks from wearing your hearing aids while adjusting. It is not recommended to enter a noisy area and remain there for hours at a time. Background noises in these types of areas can over-stimulate your listening experience, and make hearing conversations more challenging.
3. When Should You Go Back to Your Hearing Instrument Specialist?
At Pure Sound Hearing, after you have started your free hearing aid trial, you will have six months-worth of follow-up services. These services will include refittings, adjustments/fine-tuning, and a thorough cleaning done by a professional. If you are having any difficulties with your hearing aids, whether it’s the inability to hear certain sounds or any discomfort with the devices, address these issues with your hearing instrument specialist.
4. Pure Sound Hearing offers Auditory Training
If you are struggling with understanding speech sounds and following along during conversations, even with your new hearing aids, try auditory training.
These short-term programs can help improve the way you process sounds while enhancing your listening and communication.
It’s common for anyone with damaged sensory cells to require practice with hearing new sounds or sounds that they haven’t heard in several years. It’s akin to someone who has received a prosthetic limb and needs physical therapy.
5. Be Patient and give Yourself Reasonable Expectations
Many people who experience hearing loss have permanent damage to their auditory system. It’s crucial to understand that even the best hearing aids, that are tuned by the best instrument specialist, cannot completely restore your hearing. What hearing aids can do, is help preserve the hearing abilities that you still have. Many hearing aid users have acknowledged that hearing aids may not be perfect, but they can significantly improve hearing and cognitive health, and reduce depression caused by isolation.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, check out these resources.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment for a free hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
Here are some tips that can be used by healthcare professionals, family members, or others who interact with people who are hard of hearing.
If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, are in of need new hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Modern Hearing Aids have Bluetooth®
Modern hearing aids are notably better than the hearing aids of the past. In most instances, today’s hearing aids can give users better hearing than someone who has “normal hearing” abilities. The majority of today’s hearing aids have Bluetooth®, so you can connect your smartphone, TV, or any other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to your hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing can even program your hearing aids so that you can hear better when speaking to someone who is wearing a facemask.
These features help you communicate with others and improve your overall hearing health.
The Downsides of Hearing Loss
A negative side-effect of hearing loss is isolation from others. Research has indicated that there is a direct link between these risk factors, along with Alzheimer's, anxiety, dementia, depression, heart attacks, and strokes. Hearing loss impacts more than the inability to hear. Getting proper treatment for hearing loss helps to improve a person’s overall health, quality of life, and in some cases prolonging their life.
Even though we are currently practicing social distancing with people who do not live in the same house, communication via phone, Live Transcribe, FaceTime, or Zoom meetings can still be challenging for anyone with hearing loss.
Digital hearing aids do not simply amplify sounds. They reduce background noise and help users hear conversations that they are having with others. Directional microphones pick up sounds from a specific direction that the user is facing while blocking out sounds from the areas that they are not facing. There are also hearing aids that feature omnidirectional microphones that pick up sounds from any direction. These are generally used when biking or engaging in any activity where hearing in every direction is vital for safety reasons.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids for people of all ages.
Until you begin to experience hearing loss, you may not realize how much you depend on hearing sounds while driving.
Although driving heavily relies on your visual abilities, being able to hear is also important. Here are some driving tips if you experience hearing loss.
Talking to other Passengers
Communicating with others while driving is difficult for anyone, no matter how good your hearing is.
If you need to read lips, it is very difficult to understand what others are saying while focusing on driving. Using assistive listening devices, like Phonak’s RogerTM Select Mic. Your passengers can speak directly into the device, and their speech sounds will transfer to your hearing aids. It is very important to stay focused on the road when driving. If you are having an important discussion that requires your undivided attention, pull the car over to a safe area.
Here are some additional tips.
The inability to hear sirens from emergency vehicles that are approaching is a fear for drivers who have hearing loss. Not knowing whether to pull over or continue driving through intersections can cause anxiety. You can avoid this by being aware of your environment. Frequently check your rearview and side mirrors for oncoming vehicles. Your surroundings can quickly shift. You should ask your passengers to listen for approaching vehicles with sirens to warn you.
Being Pulled over by the Police
This is going to happen at some point or another. Be prepared to immediately let the officer know that you have hearing loss. There is a visor card for the deaf/hard of hearing, that will help the officer understand your communication needs.
Be Aware of Honking
Some drivers who have difficulty with hearing, are concerned about honking drivers. The honking sounds make them feel vulnerable as they drive. Keep your eyes on the road and drive your best to avoid the honks altogether.
If you or a loved one, experience hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands including HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
Do You Experience Hearing Loss due to Seasonal Allergies? Hearing Aids can Improve Your Self-Confidence.
Seasonal Allergies may induce Hearing Loss
Are you frequently noticing an increase of pressure in your body due to seasonal allergies? Maybe you are only able to hear through one of your ears or find it difficult to notice where sounds are emanating from. Are you constantly noticing tinnitus from your good ear?
Perhaps you felt as though you wouldn’t be able to walk around in an unfamiliar setting, and worried that you wouldn’t be able to hear. Stop canceling your plans due to this temporary hearing loss.
Treating Temporary Hearing Loss
Hearing aids can be a solution for your temporary hearing loss. Any hearing loss that goes untreated raises the risk of permanent hearing loss.
It’s good to practice wearing your hearing aids regularly to ease those concerns, whether you’re with another person or alone. Giving your brain listening exercises lets you remember background noises and distinguish voices from each other.
Hearing aids can help boost your self-confidence and become more independent.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently work with you to make sure that you are getting the most out of your hearing aids. We offer the options of battery or rechargeable hearing aids, to fit with your hearing needs and lifestyle.
Did you know that 3 out of 5 older Americans and 6 out of 7 middle-aged Americans who experience hearing loss don’t use hearing aids?
Hearing loss is common. The risk of losing your hearing increases as you age.
Most people do not seek treatment, but if they do it’s usually after experiencing many years of hearing loss.
The 12 Consequences of not getting Treatment for Your Hearing Loss
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Did you know that most hearing aid users do not use services that are available through their hearing aid provider?
According to a study from Johns Hopkins, only one-third of hearing aid users take advantage of the hearing care services that are accessible through their provider.
Hearing aids are an important investment for not only your hearing health, but also your personal/work relationships, and your overall health. Just like with anything you invest in, why not get the most out of it?
Receiving hearing aids from a professional hearing instrument specialist ensures that you will have the proper fitting, along with the maximum performance, satisfaction, and quality service.
The hearing devices and hearing aid services that an experienced hearing instrument specialist can give you are verified. Hearing aids purchased over the internet may not work properly, and will most likely cost you more in the long run.
At Pure Sound, we provide thorough testing, custom fittings, and tuning along with follow-up appointments, advice, and hearing aid cleanings/maintenance from our staff.
Patients who do not utilize these services tend to become more discouraged about wearing their hearing aids. As a result, they do not get the most satisfaction from their hearing aids, which will exacerbate their hearing health.
Avoid this situation for the sake of your health and investment.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg. We're always here to help.
Hearing loss is a serious problem, but you can still entertain yourself while exercising your ears. Practice activities to keep your sense of hearing in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of apps and activities that hearing aid users and non-hearing aid users of all ages can do each day.
Children’s Hearing Exercise Apps
This app was developed for 4 to 12-year-olds who have auditory comprehension and processing disorders. It was created by a certified speech and language pathologist. The app features over 1,000 listening exercises that concentrate on correcting auditory attention and memory. Directions to exercise a person's comprehension are given verbally. In the game, a virtual basketball coach rewards users with a basketball for every correct answer.
AB Listening Adventures (iPad only)
Adults who care for children (ages 4 to 10) with hearing loss will love this app! The program guides and develops listening and language skills that use six different story-based games which concentrate on listening for various elements, plurals, pronouns, or minimal pairs.
VocAB Scenes (iPad only)
Children between the ages of 4 and 10, who experience hearing loss, can expand their vocabulary with fun and different scenes. These include outdoor fun in the water, beach scenery, a pet store, a swimming pool, camping, and a wintery setting. A caregiver or therapist can assist the child during listening exercises utilizing three different games for each scene to encourage language development and listening skills.
Hearing Exercise Apps for Adults and Children
Hear Coach (Android or iOS - iPad and iPhone)
Starkey Hearing Technologies developed this app. It features listening games that teach the auditory system how to listen in numerous situations. The games are helpful for anyone with hearing loss, especially those who have difficulty hearing when there’s too much background noise.
LACE Auditory Training programs (Computer/laptop, iPad, or Android device)
LACE can be used by children and adults to practice listening and communication skills. It features a daily training program that develops methods on how to communicate in busy settings. The training sessions last about 20 minutes.
Forbrain® uses a person’s voice to increase their attention span, sharpen concentration, memory, and pronunciation. This bone-conduction headphone (for children and adults), has a filtered microphone that is used while talking out loud or to a person. The architects of this headset advise using the program for a few minutes every day for a minimum of six weeks.
Auditory Training - Use a Wide Range of Sounds
Enhance your auditory memory by recognizing environmental sounds. Practice listening to voices with activities that incorporate 209 varieties of animal, musical instruments, transportation sounds, and more.
Do you enjoy word searches? Then you will like Hearing Hunt. This game lets users listen to word-clues and try to beat the clock to figure out the words to search. The game has three levels of difficulty and can be used with Bluetooth®-enabled hearing aids.
Games 4 Hearoes (iPad)
This interactive auditory training program can help new hearing aid users recognize and remember sounds from their environment and vocabulary. There are 30 activities that concentrate on five main areas to help new users familiarize themselves with the sounds to gain confidence.
This app can teach your brain to detect noise by playing sounds that are just below detectable levels for you. After the training session, you can create a personalized “sound therapy” to listen to while engaging in other activities. The app’s developers claim that this will lead to an improvement in your hearing health.
Hearing Exercise Offline
Online brain games can be fun, but some day-to-day exercises for your brain can be done at home.
Solo Hearing Activities
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Students may have Poor Academic Performance due to Hearing Loss
Do you have a student who is struggling in class?
Do they interfere during class and have a hard time concentrating?
Hearing loss is usually left out as a culpable reason for these struggles. Hearing loss, no matter how mild, can impact a student’s academic achievements.
Hearing loss is just as common in adults, as it is in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 15% of children who are between the ages of 6-19 experience low or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibels in one or both ears. Research has indicated nearly 35% of adolescents with equal ranges of unilateral hearing loss are at risk of failing a grade level in school.
Your child may have hearing loss, if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:
When it comes to hearing loss, it is important to seek guidance and treatment from a professional.
Students who experience mild to moderate hearing loss, and do not get treatment, will not be able to keep up with their peers by one to four grade levels. Students with more severe hearing loss that goes untreated, usually do not achieve beyond levels of the third grade.
Learning and Hearing Loss
Being able to hear is very important in the developing stages of communication, language, and speech. Hearing problems can slow down a student’s progress while learning, which results in unsatisfactory academic performance.
Subjects that revolve around language might be the most difficult for students who have hearing loss. It can be difficult to follow assignments that require learning a language, especially if you cannot hear high-frequency consonants such as ch, f, k, p, s, sh, t, and th sounds.
Actively participating in conversations is difficult with hearing loss. The inability to properly communicate with others can be discouraging and complicated for a child with hearing loss - and their peers - to understand. This can lead to isolation and depression. Oftentimes, these children cannot catch up to their peers when it comes to socializing in a mature manner, which can make them feel out of place.
Studies indicate early intervention, and treatment for hearing loss can improve a child’s academics and social life. A study from 2015 showed that adolescents who had severe hearing loss generally had lower scores than their peers with normal hearing. Children with hearing loss, who received treatment with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and more involvement from their parents had better results.
If you or a child in your family experience hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
If you are a new hearing aid user or a long time wearer who received new hearing aids, it is strongly encouraged to keep a journal about what’s bothering you when you wear your hearing aids and what you think needs to be adjusted.
Notice whether there have been any improvements, and what difficulties you experience.
The Advantages of Recording Experiences with Hearing in a Journal
Anyone who has mild to moderate hearing loss struggles with similar problems. Usually, many voice concerns with understanding speech in busy areas. Hearing aids can help with speech comprehension and reduce the strains of hearing. The benefits of hearing aids can be overlooked by users, due to other hearing problems that they have. Writing in a daily journal can help determine the progress that you experienced since wearing hearing aids, and the difficulties that you still face. You can take into consideration what your expectations are, and then talk to your hearing aid provider to find out whether they are practical or not.
Our Experience with Hearing
Humans use a number of sensory stimuli (auditory, visual, taste, smell, and touch) in order to shape our experiences in certain environments. A hearing aid helps the auditory stimuli that someone with hearing loss would normally miss. Wearing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming for a new user. In many cases, new hearing aid users go years without getting help for their hearing loss. As a result, hearing sounds that haven’t been heard in years can feel overstimulating. It requires the brain to relearn and process these sounds and information. Therefore, it takes a lot of time and patience to adapt to hearing aids. This can be a different experience for each user.
Auditory stimuli can form positive or negative listening experiences. Positive experiences that relate to comfort, excitement, happiness, joy, and peacefulness. This can include music that you like, laughter, a friendly and familiar voice, and sounds of nature. Negative experiences like anger, frustration, or fear can be caused by hearing intense or discomforting sounds like screaming children, sirens, or sudden explosions. General noise is usually what bothers hearing aid users the most.
Bad experiences with hearing aids can drive users to stop using the devices all-together due to unfulfilled expectations. It’s best to try out your hearing aids in the real-world and ask for advice or adjustments as necessary from your hearing aid provider. These things will help to improve:
Keep a Hearing Journal
Record your daily experiences with hearing. For hearing aid users, it would be best to jot down what you are experiencing while wearing your hearing aids. Daily logs let hearing aid users record good and bad incidents. These will give you and your hearing aid provider useful understanding about your regular listening activities, the environments you frequent, partners, feelings, expectations, hearing aid usage and adjustments, and the benefits of hearing aids when used in those listening circumstances. Here are more helpful reasons to keep a hearing journal:
Most contemporary hearing aids keep track of how often you use the devices. Generally you will learn how long you wear your hearing aids each day, how frequently you use the volume control and your exposure to different listening environments. Your hearing aids will not record personal experiences you have on certain days, in one particular type of environment. This is why you should keep a journal.
Here are some topics to think about when writing in your journal:
It’s very important to record the good and the bad experiences. The only way to improve those negative experiences, is by recalling/reading over them and determining whether the expectations you have are realistic. Take into account whether you still need to adapt to those environmental sounds, if professional advice or support from loved ones can provide a better outcome, or if an adjustment to the device is the only resolution.
Whether you are a novice hearing aid user or a long time wearer, here are some additional tips for you.
Don’t wait any longer to get help. Bring your hearing journal with you to your hearing healthcare appointments. Have a discussion with your hearing care provider.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
The sound of someone whispering a secret, the music from a rock concert, or a car horn that beeps are all measured in decibels.
Decibels are a measurement of ratios between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Sound intensity is measured in Decibels
Sound is the energy that moves in the form of waves. Frequencies and amplitude are measured.
Frequencies are recorded in Hertz (Hz) and measure the number of vibrations in one second. Amplitudes, which are on the decibel (dB) scale, measure the pressure or forcefulness. If a sound has more amplitude, it will be louder.
Decibels and Hearing Loss
High decibel levels can immediately destroy or even slowly deteriorate your ability to hear. It can happen from just one quick exposure during a loud blast, or it can gradually occur over time due to daily noise exposures. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), everyone exposed to loud noises is at risk of hearing loss. About 15 percent of Americans between 20 and 69 years of age experience hearing loss. This loss may have been induced by loud noise exposure while on the job or during recreational activities. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey from 2010 reported 16 percent of teens (ages 12-19) had some hearing loss that may have been caused by loud noise exposure.
Researchers studied the effects of NIHL. According to the sound levels of our environment, strong recommendations have been established for safe listening. You may ask yourself, “How do I know if a noise is too loud?” Generally, if you need to speak up louder than your normal speaking voice when talking to someone close-by, it means your environment is too loud. Remember that the louder the sound is, the shorter amount of time it takes to deteriorate your ability to hear. Being repeatedly exposed, or prolonging the exposure (over 8 hours per day) to noise that exceeds 85 dB, can result in permanent hearing loss.
Here are some examples of sounds that measure up to 85 dB:
The good news is that NIHL prevention is possible as long as you prepare. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you always carry hearing protection (earplugs or earmuffs) if you plan to go to a concert, sports event (in a bar or arena), use power tools, ride a motorcycle or use lawn equipment. Under these circumstances, you risk exposure to noise levels that exceed 85 dB. We advise that you invest in proper hearing protection.
If you are unsure what type of hearing protection you should use, talk to a hearing healthcare provider.
Decibels for the Hearing Loss World
Anyone who has hearing loss should be aware of the decibel levels in their surroundings. Make sure that you reduce further hearing loss by protecting the hearing abilities that you still have.
Untreated hearing loss - If you have mild hearing loss, preserve your residual hearing by wearing the proper hearing protection. Hearing loss that goes untreated can cause additional health problems like dementia, depression, and lower-income due to the inability to accurately accomplish tasks on the job. Take action in preserving your hearing. Get a hearing test and treatment before your hearing gets worse.
Hearing aid wearers - Anyone who wears hearing aids should measure the decibel levels in their surroundings. Hearing aids can make sounds louder and clearer, whereas assistive listening devices make sounds louder.
The hearing that you still have left has a chance of deteriorating due to NIHL. You may be tempted to switch off your devices because you think that you’ll protect yourself from hearing harmful noises, but that will not work. If the hearing aids are not securely fit to the ear canal, they will not filter out dangerous noise levels. If you switched-off your devices, this can stop you from hearing sounds that want or need to hear. These sounds can include concerts or emergency vehicles. It’s important to work with a hearing instrument specialist to find out what the best hearing protection would be useful in your activities and lifestyle. The proper hearing protection lets you wear your hearing aids and still hear important alarms in your environment to be safe.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test and consultation, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you wait in your car while wearing your mask and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to you to get them. If you are having any issues with your devices or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Hearing loss can impact anyone, of any age. Here’s a list that we have compiled to highlight hearing loss among children and tips on how to help them.
Hearing Loss and Your Child’s Academic Performance
Hybrid Learning & Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss: Children’s Toys
Does Your Child have Unilateral Hearing Loss?
If you have Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss, why should You Immediately Address It?
Children and Adolescents with Hearing Loss can Experience Friendship and Loneliness
5 Tips to Assist a Child With Hearing Loss
What is Turner Syndrome? How is it related to Hearing Loss?
5 Tips to use when Teaching Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students During COVID-19
Are You a Family who is in Need of Support for a Child’s Hearing Loss Journey?
What can Parents do to Protect Their Children’s Hearing Health When Frequently Using Headphones?
If you have a child, or grandchild, who is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
There has been a lot of progress made on studies about hearing health within the past 12 years, but there are still many misunderstandings about hearing loss - particularly among people who do not have hearing loss.
1. Hearing Loss only Impacts the Elderly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20 percent of Americans - that’s nearly 48 million Americans of every age - have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is prevalent among five out of every 1,000 American newborns. This condition can occur due to usage of ototoxic medications, genetic factors, spending too much time engaging in loud hobbies, loud work environments, or loud recreational activities. The causes of hearing loss can also be unknown.
Children and young adults are at high risk for developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This is the only preventable form of hearing loss. About 26 million Americans between 20 to 69-years-old are affected by NIHL. The CDC reported that 16 percent of teens between 12 to 19-years-old have reported experiencing some loss of hearing due to exposure to loud noise.
2. My Doctor will Inform me if I have Hearing Loss.
Think about the last time you went to get a physical exam. Did your doctor administer a hearing test on you? Probably not. Few doctors perform hearing tests unless a patient expresses concern about it. It is unlikely that your doctor will detect any shifts in your ability to hear unless it is clearly noticeable.
Professionals in the field of hearing healthcare are specially educated and trained to conduct hearing tests, evaluate the results and recommend suitable treatment options. Annual visits will allow for the detection of additional hearing loss that may occur, along with proper treatment. Yearly visits offer a stable relationship with specialists who can better understand your hearing needs and means of communication with others.
3. I only have Hearing Loss in one Ear, so it’s not a Big Deal.
The brain relies on hearing sounds through both ears to accurately interpret sound.
Experiencing hearing loss in one ear, also known as single-sided deafness (SSD) or unilateral hearing loss, can interfere with your ability to detect where sounds are emanating from. This is known as sound localization. It makes it more difficult to understand speech in noise. It can also make it more difficult to multi-task because listening to others when you have hearing loss requires a lot of concentration. As a result, you may experience more fatigue due to cognitive overload.
SSD can be treated with CROS hearing aids. Talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about a solution to your hearing loss.
4. There is no Treatment for Hearing Loss.
Ask a hearing healthcare provider about treating your hearing loss. Many types of hearing loss can be treated with hearing devices, medication, surgery, or removing impacted earwax. If you haven’t visited a hearing healthcare specialist in a long time, or ever, make an appointment. There have been many advancements in hearing healthcare and hearing aids. Hearing loss that was too complex to address even a few years ago, might have treatment options now.
5. My Hearing will go back to normal with Hearing Aids.
Modern hearing aids are highly advanced. The microphones have the ability to automatically adjust so that it focuses on speech sounds while blocking out background noises. They can be programmed with a smartphone, and connected to other devices via Bluetooth®. Hearing aids CANNOT completely restore your hearing to normal, but they can preserve the hearing abilities that you still have or slow down the loss.
Hearing aids can significantly improve your ability to hear. Using these devices will make communication with others much easier. The most important thing is to work with a hearing healthcare professional who knows how to program and create settings for your specific listening needs and lifestyle.
6. I am the only person who is Affected by my Hearing Loss.
Some people with hearing loss believe that they can manage their hearing loss without treatment, but they don’t consider their overall quality of life. Hearing loss affects those with whom you need to communicate. Sometimes, other people easily get frustrated. Getting treatment for your hearing loss will allow you to feel less isolated from your family, friends, and colleagues. It will provide a more independent life so that you don’t always need to rely on a significant other or family members to repeat something important that a doctor or anyone else said. Hearing loss can put a tremendous strain on these relationships. If you still think that you can manage your hearing loss without treatment, think of your loved ones, colleagues, and the vital information that you may miss because of your hearing loss.
Don’t wait any longer to get treatment for your hearing health. If you or a loved one, notices hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone, at any age. The latest research has shown that more and more young adults and teens are experiencing hearing loss due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Millennial Hearing Loss Statistics
The millennial generation includes people who were born between 1981 and 1996. Reports have shown that one in five millennials have some form of hearing loss. Even younger people (12 to 17 year-olds) have been impacted by some range of NIHL.
Causes of NIHL Among Millennials
The main cause of hearing loss among this age group is listening to music or other audio through earbuds. Modern listening devices are much louder than they were in the past, and earbuds rest much closer to your eardrums. Blasting the volume can damage the tiny hair cells located in your ears, which can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Other possible causes:
Remember, hearing loss begins to occur when you are exposed to 85 decibels or more. It’s easy to expose yourself to this amount of noise, by simply walking around a bustling city. Many people tend to listen to loud music or some other form of entertainment to block out unappealing noises in their surroundings. This just doubles their chances of experiencing hearing loss.
Practicing Preventative Care
There are simple and practical ways that anyone, of any age, can do to protect and preserve their hearing health. Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any possible noise sources that could pose a danger to your hearing.
Get your life back on track with help from Pure Sound Hearing. Contact us for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.
Sensitive hearing is important to address. Find out what type of hearing sensitivity you experience. Notice how you react to certain sounds. That’s a can tell you, and your hearing healthcare provider, a lot about your experiences and what solutions can help.
Do You Have Tinnitus?
If there’s a ringing sound that no one else can hear but you, this might be a sign of tinnitus. This is a condition where people hear an internal buzzing, clicking, ringing, or whooshing sound when there is no external noise that produces it.
Tinnitus usually occurs when people experience age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) or noise-induced hearing loss, high blood pressure, or a build-up of earwax. These symptoms damage the tiny hair cells located in your ear canal. Incessant ringing sounds can be distracting and dangerous. It can result in long-term hearing loss and social withdrawal.
Do You have Hyperacusis?
If you cannot stand the ear-splitting noise of nails scraping against a chalkboard, you have hyperacusis. This condition can lead to physical pain in your ears that may persist for days to weeks. Average volumes of sound can lead to severe pain, and if the sounds are louder, the more pain you may feel.
Hyperacusis is generally associated with hearing or head trauma. It usually occurs alongside tinnitus. Again, this is caused by lasting damage to the ear’s hair cells. A hearing aid specialist can program hearing aids with sound therapies to detect and mask trigger sounds.
Do You have Misophonia?
The hatred of sound is known as misophonia. Many people with the condition have extreme, and irregular, reactions to certain noises. It’s not merely a dislike of a noise. The sound of chewing, scratching, or tapping might make you want to leave an area.
Physical and emotional reactions as a result of misophonia:
It’s still uncertain as to what causes misophonia. It is grouped with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and tinnitus. It normally develops in children between the ages of 9 to 12. Hearing aids can help drown these sounds out.
Don’t let your sensitivity to sounds interfere with your life. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation with one of our specialists.
Over 80 percent of individuals who experience tinnitus, also have some degree of hearing loss. Please, take the initiative today and get a hearing test. If you plan to be in a space where you are exposed to loud noises, take precautions and carry a pair of earplugs or ear muffs that block out sound to use.
There is no cure for tinnitus, but wearing hearing aids with tinnitus masking programmed into the devices can help relieve its symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
World Hearing Day 2021 launches The World Report on Hearing. This is a global advocacy group that demands action to address hearing loss and ear diseases.
This year’s theme is:
Hearing care for ALL!
Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate.
Their main message is to target:
Hopefully, this World Hearing Day will encourage and remind everyone to care for their hearing health and the hearing health of their loved ones.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands and styles for people of every age.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a hearing test and consultation with Sean Mark, BC-HIS.
Impact and Origins of Hearing Loss
Millions of Americans are affected by hearing loss. How they are impacted often remains overlooked in this country, but living with hearing loss is frustrating and can overall, lead to poor quality of life. Their daily activities, like listening to music or TV, and having conversations over the phone may feel exhausting after an extensive period of time. Instead of effortlessly following along with the lyrics, dialogue, or discussions, they may strain to decipher what others are saying.
The vast majority of adults slowly lose their ability to hear over time. Two of the main culprits are aging and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). There are very tiny hair cells located in each ear that sense sounds. Hearing loss occurs if the hair cells become permanently damaged. You can save the hearing abilities that you still have by wearing hearing aids. It's important to schedule an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist for professional hearing aid fittings and programming.
Can Hearing Loss be Restored with Medication?
There are no medications available to treat hearing loss caused by aging or exposure to noise. In the future, there may be a drug that can regrow new hair cells but it's still in the developmental stages.
Some research is being done for the possibility of gene therapy for hearing loss, but it could take several years to even start testing on humans. There are so many new developments in hearing restoration, but they are still primitive.
Can Steroids be Used for Sudden Hearing Loss?
If you experience sudden hearing loss, you may receive an injection of steroids into the ear or receive it orally to treat any inflammation. If steroids are immediately injected into a person, it may help them completely regain their hearing. Talk to your hearing healthcare provider about this option.
There are only a few immediate treatments for hearing loss. In many cases, hearing aids would be recommended. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Communication and Important Information
Did you know that hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to higher healthcare costs? Adults who cannot follow important medical advice from their healthcare provider - due to the inability to hear them - end up putting their health at risk and paying more because of the miscommunication.
Most people probably haven’t given much thought to this issue.
If you mishear a healthcare provider’s instructions, such as when and how to take certain medications, how to practice certain therapies, or whether a follow-up appointment needs to be scheduled, there can be serious consequences. These mistakes can land you back in the healthcare provider’s office or even in the hospital, which will cost you more money.
Avoid Health Risks by Getting Help
This is just another important reason why you should get a hearing test and treatment for your hearing loss. If you, or a loved one, find it difficult to hear, especially during important meetings or appointments, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer a free hearing test and consultation for patients who experience hearing a wide range of hearing loss.
Clarifying Information on Hearing Loss
Most people minimize how complex hearing loss can be. Those with normal hearing may assume that those who are hard of hearing simply hear sounds at a quieter level. Many also assume that hearing aids are just amplifiers that are used to make sounds louder.
This is not the case. Hearing loss can impact the way a person hears particular sounds in speech. This especially true when they are in a crowded area that has too much background noise or if multiple people are speaking at the same time.
Hearing aids help with speech comprehension, or they can let users become more aware of their surroundings, which enhances safety. Hearing aids help people hear better, not just louder.
Side Effects of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is an intricate chronic disease. Repercussions of hearing loss affect more than the inability to hear. Other side effects include higher rates of anxiety, hypertension, cognitive decline, depression, fatigue, frustration, and social isolation.
Modern hearing aid devices have been shown to improve speech comprehension when a user is in an area with a lot of background noise.
If you, or a loved one, experience difficulty with understanding speech or hearing in general, get help. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is a prevalent health problem that people across the globe currently experience. Seeking the proper treatment should be based on the severity of your hearing loss, its underlying cause, type of hearing loss, and your personal lifestyle.
You should start your hearing loss treatment with a simple hearing test that is conducted by a professional.
The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that goes untreated in children will adversely affect their development in language acquisition, learning, and socializing with others. Older adults who experience untreated hearing loss typically struggle with following along in conversations. As a result, they might withdraw from activities and other things that they usually enjoy. This leads to social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and an increase in falls for those who are at least 66-years-old.
Research has shown that Hearing Aids Help with the Following:
Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss
Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. As we age, the cilia (hair cells located in the inner ear) start to lose their function. Half of the adults who are 75 or older have hearing loss.
Presbycusis is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates that the loss of hearing begins in the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve. It’s usually caused by damaged hair cells in the inner ear. In addition to aging, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is also a major cause of this type of hearing loss.
Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss is permanent. The cilia are irreparable when they become damaged. Anyone who experiences this type of hearing loss can use hearing aids as their best option.
Many people gradually lose their hearing as they age, and it needs to be treated. It’s important to get a regular hearing test because you probably won’t notice the subtle loss of hearing. The earlier you get treatment the more likely you will be able to preserve the hearing that you still have. The ability to hear is important for your safety and overall health. It helps you stay connected to the people in your life, and your surroundings.
How can Hearing Aids Benefit You?
If your hearing instrument specialist recommends hearing aids, based on the results of your hearing test, they will patiently work with you to calibrate the devices to your individual hearing needs. This method is known as a fitting. The fundamental goal of a hearing aid is to amplify sounds. Modern hearing aids can be customized and programmed to your particular needs, like increasing important sounds such as speech noise, while reducing background noise. Hearing aids cannot imitate the same normal hearing that you used to experience, but they are helpful for anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids can be worn behind or inside the ear. It depends on your severity of hearing loss and personal preferences.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid options and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Assistive Listening Devices
Hearing aids are very useful but don’t always address every single person’s needs. Those who cannot benefit from hearing aids can use assistive listening devices (ALDs) in situations where hearing is difficult. These devices can improve your experience while you watch TV, listen to music, or talk to someone over the phone. You may use amplified phones, captioned phones, FM systems, TV hearing devices, smartphone apps that use captions, and hearing loops that are connected to hearing aid telecoils (T-coils). Scroll through this page to see the options that we have available at Pure Sound.
Do You also have Tinnitus?
As you age, it’s common to encounter tinnitus if you begin to experience hearing loss. Tinnitus is one of the first signs of hearing loss. Just about all modern hearing aids have a “tinnitus masking feature”, which helps drown out the buzzing or ringing noises. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist for available tinnitus treatments.
Where to Get Help
Hearing loss is common, but modern hearing technology can help with nearly any hearing problem that you have. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.