We're kicking off Tinnitus Awareness Week with some informative blogs.
Did you know that tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? TMD is any dysfunction associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints can be on either side of a person’s face, directly in front of the ears. TMJs attach the lower jawbone to the skull and help with chewing and speaking.
However, tinnitus is mainly due to sensorineural hearing loss. The brain creates tinnitus in sensorineural hearing loss due to impaired neurons and sensory cells. Management strategies, including counseling and sound therapy, may be utilized.
In contrast, tumors, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, and middle ear injuries or diseases represent a smaller portion of tinnitus cases. Treating the underlying condition, in these cases, usually alleviates tinnitus symptoms. The good news is that TMJ sufferers are under this category, which means it’s treatable.
The link between TMJ problems and Tinnitus
The temporomandibular joint is in front of your ears - where the jawbone (mandible) connects to the temporal bone. Besides being physically close to the ear, it also shares some nerves and muscles with the middle ear. For example, a ligament connects the middle ear bone, or malleus, to the jaw. In addition, particular nerves serve both the eardrum and jaw. Also, a nerve supply from the TMJ connects to the part of the brain associated with hearing. For these reasons, difficulties with the cartilage, ligaments, and muscles of TMJ can lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TMJ Problems
There is a relatively small number of people with tinnitus connected to jaw problems. Check with your physician or dental specialist. You might already see the connection. Ask yourself these questions:
TMJ problems may be causing your tinnitus problems if you see any connection with the above elements.
TMJ problems causing Tinnitus are Treatable
The great thing is that tinnitus caused by TMJ problems often goes away when the underlying problem gets addressed. If you think your tinnitus may be associated with your TMJ, talk with your dental specialist or physician. Once you know if there is a connection, they will offer the proper treatment. If you are experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Shingles often denote the feeling of a painful, itchy rash on some regions of the body. But did you know that shingles can also impact your hearing and balance? In some cases, it can cause hearing loss.
When shingles cause problems to a person’s hearing and balance, it presents itself in one of two different health issues:
Getting shingles does not automatically lead to hearing loss. Ramsay Hunt syndrome may occur due to complications with shingles that cause facial weakness and paralysis. It can include dizziness, hearing loss, or a rash near the ear.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
Most patients who experience hearing loss due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome generally have a temporary loss. Permanent hearing loss and muscle weakness may occur if there is a delay in intervening. A study showed that patients with Ramsay Hunt experience worse hearing loss in the high-frequency range than in the low-frequency range. Patients with vertigo had more severe hearing loss than those without balance problems.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders revealed that Ramsay Hunt affects 5 out of 100,000 people. Those cases might be higher due to underreporting - it’s difficult to diagnose in patients who do not develop a rash.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The top three chronic physical conditions for people of any age are arthritis, heart disease, and hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Statistics from 2022
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) found that:
Older Adults: Hearing Loss Statistics
Statistics on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Too much exposure to loud noises is the top cause of NIHL. Nearly one in five employees is exposed to dangerous noise levels in their work environment. The CDC has found the following reports on NIHL:
Statistics on Children with Hearing Loss
Statistics on Veterans with Hearing Loss
U.S. veterans are at high risk of noise exposure while on the job. Services for hearing aids and hearing loss is available to them through the VA.
Statistics on Hearing Aid and Hearing Care
What is the number of hearing aid users?
According to the 2022 MarketTrak data:
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Cognitive Decline, and Balance Problems
MarketTrak’s 2022 survey also revealed that anyone with hearing issues also has higher rates of common conditions and is more than 3.5 times more likely to have tinnitus, cognitive/memory problems, falls, and balance problems. Those who do not wear hearing aids have higher rates of depression due to isolation, which worsens based on the severity of hearing loss. When you have trouble hearing, and those with whom you communicate don’t try to adopt an easier style of communication, it drives the person with hearing loss to give up on trying to interact with people altogether.
Studies have also shown that those with heart disease are at a higher risk of hearing loss. When your blood flow has poor circulation, oxygen can’t reach the delicate hair cells in the cochlea which damages or destroys them. Hair cells cannot regrow, so once they are destroyed it will lead to permanent hearing loss.
For people with diabetes, hearing loss is twice as common than in those who don’t have hearing problems.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Are you planning to commit to your hobbies in the new year? Everyone should take on a hobby to enjoy in their spare time. Hobbies can be a significant part of our life and bring enjoyment when life gets too stressful. Consider health and safety precautions before embarking on any potentially loud hobbies that can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
If you’re interested in woodworking, whether you’re a beginner who wants to build some shelves or a seasoned woodworker who wants a canoe, wearing earplugs or earmuffs is necessary when working with power tools.
Power tools and decibel output
Hammer Drill: 114 dB
Chain Saw: 109 dB
Circular Saw: 101 dB
Hand Drill: 99 dB
Router: 95 dB
Belt Sander: 94 dB
Table Saw: 93 dB
Playing an instrument
Whether you are learning a new instrument or have been playing for many years, you should wear hearing protection when playing very loud instruments and take breaks in between playing.
Instruments and their decibel output (when played at their loudest)
French horn: 90 to 106 dB
Trombone: 85 to 114 dB
Flute: 85 to 111 dB
Cello: 82 to 92 dB
Clarinet: 92 to 103 dB
Piano (normal practice): 60 to 70 dB
Piano (fortissimo): 84 to 103 dB
Oboe: 90 to 94 dB
Hearing protection does not only include safeguarding your ears from harmful sound waves, but it’s also helpful to keep your ears clean and prevent debris from entering your ear canals.
Any style of earplugs will ensure air bubbles or water that gets trapped in the ear and will stay away from the ear canal or eardrum. Water that gets trapped can affect your hearing and may cause an ear infection.
Earplugs reduce noise. They cannot cancel out all noise, so if you wear them while swimming, you’ll still be able to hear a lifeguard’s whistle. Earplugs are available in many different styles and sizes. Standard foam earplugs are available at Pure Sound Hearing.
If you need earplugs, a hearing test, or hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
As we wind down from this year and prepare to welcome the new year at a friend or family member’s party or an event, please remember to protect your ears from loud noises that are bound to occur.
New Year’s Eve is commonly associated with celebrating with loud music, dancing, fireworks, and alcohol. Do you ever think about how loud a cork removed from a champagne bottle can be? Even getting hit in the ear with it flying nearly 25 miles per hour can cause damage to your eardrum.
A fireworks display is beautiful to watch and enjoy after the clock reaches midnight, but be aware that the bursts of noise can range from 150 to 175 decibels (dB). The average human’s listening threshold is 70-85 dB. That noise level can cause permanent damage to your hearing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should not be in an area with over 140 dB of peak sound pressure. Many people have endured some damage to their ears due to the sound of fireworks. Similar noise levels, such as live concerts, sound systems, and explosions, can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. If you experience tinnitus due to fireworks noise, the phrase ‘ringing in the New Year’ can have a new meaning.
The importance of Distance between You and the Source of the Sound
One element of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by sounds like fireworks is the range of distance a person is from the source of sounds. The closer you are from where the sound originates, the more likely you experience hearing loss. To reduce the damage that noise does to your ears, make sure you are 15-20 meters away from the sound source. Children’s hearing is much more sensitive, so keeping them at a further distance is highly recommended.
Protect Your Ears with Ear Plugs
Is the sound nearby also loud? Earplugs aren’t just helpful in blocking out annoying background noises. Use them to protect your ears from dangerous levels of sound.
Indirect Noise Exposure
Anyone who lives near a popular/loud venue could be experiencing noise disturbance. Most people will tolerate the noises during celebrations. When these events last too long throughout the night and into the early morning hours, this can be considered noise pollution.
Night hours last from 11 pm to 7 am. The law allows a maximum noise level between these hours. A warning may be issued if there are complaints about the noise levels. For anyone who chooses not to expose themselves to the noise from these events, it can impact their mental and physical health. Noise pollution can raise blood pressure, causing hypertension and heart disease.
Homes nearby can be protected if New Year’s Eve event organizers block out some noise by using acoustic barriers. These barriers stop noise from being heard by people who did not attend the event.
If you are experiencing hearing loss caused by noise exposure or for any other reason, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is a prevalent health concern for about 466 million people, making it the most common chronic physical condition worldwide.
It is impossible to restore hearing loss, but hearing aids can help patients better manage their loss.
6 Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss from Getting Worse
1. Stay away from Loud Areas
One of the most preventable forms of hearing loss is exposure to dangerous noise levels. About 70 decibels or higher can harm your hearing if the exposure lasts for an extended period. Anything over 120 dB can immediately harm your hearing. Temporary or permanent hearing loss may occur. If you can, stay away from loud areas or wear hearing protection.
2. Hearing Protection
It’s not always possible to avoid noise exposure. If it’s part of your job, or if you live in a loud bustling city, it’s a good idea to wear earplugs or earmuffs when you know you will be around loud noises. Make sure they properly and comfortably fit in your ear canals so that they will seal off any noise. A good way to know whether an area is too loud is if you need to shout for someone nearby to hear you, or you can download a decibel meter app.
3. Take care of Earwax Build Up.
Excess earwax (cerumen) can build up in the ear and worsen hearing. Earwax is supposed to fall out on its own, but in some instances, it can clog up the ear. Do not insert anything, like a cotton swab, into your ears. That will push the earwax deeper into the canals and make it worse. Instead, you can soften the wax with warm water and a washcloth, as long as your eardrums aren’t perforated.
4. Don’t Take Ototoxic Drugs
Some medications, such as cancer treatments, can be ototoxic - they can damage the inner ear. They can cause hearing loss or make existing hearing problems worse. You may want to refrain from taking the medication or ask your healthcare provider about the risks and alternative treatments to reduce potential harm to your hearing health.
5. Take care of Your Hearing Health and Overall Health.
Poor heart health, kidney health, diabetes, dementia, or other health concerns can result in hearing loss. Focusing on your overall well-being - like a good diet, exercise, and a healthy social life - is essential for your health and hearing health. Getting a hearing test regularly can help catch any early loss and slow down further decline by intervening with appropriate treatment options. This may include a change in your diet and exercise routines, or receiving hearing aids.
6. Digital Hearing Aids
Modern technology is very helpful in managing hearing loss. Hearing instrument specialists like our providers from Pure Sound will patiently work with you to customize your hearing aid needs. Services for proper fittings, programming, and cleanings can be arranged through your hearing instrument specialists.
Get in touch with us to schedule your free hearing test and consultation.
There is a gene that causes deafness in nearly 100 different breeds of dogs. When dogs become deaf, like humans, it can happen slowly over time or suddenly. The deafness depends on the cause of hearing loss. Some pet owners may think that their furry companion is just being disobedient when the animal is actually hard of hearing.
The primary sign of deafness in dogs is not responding to commands or other noises they usually react to, such as noisy toys, or doorbells. Dogs that have hearing loss also tend to bark excessively.
A Hearing Loss Diagnosis in Pets
If you notice a change in your dog’s behavior, seek help from a veterinarian. This can help confirm the hearing loss and seek treatment.
Check your dog’s ears for any obstructions, and record any symptoms that you notice so that they can be discussed at their next appointment at the vet’s office.
5 Possible Causes of Hearing Loss in Dogs
Check out our article: Can Dogs Wear Hearing Aids?
Taking Care of a Dog with Hearing Loss
If you notice signs of hearing loss in dogs, this doesn’t always mean that their quality of life is worse. It’s crucial to find a way to maneuver pet care in a conducive manner.
Your dog may need to be retrained with non-verbal commands. Begin by figuring out the best way to gain your dog’s attention by stomping your feet or rapping your hand on a hard surface when entering a room they are in.
Be patient with your dog when using these new techniques. It’s going to take time for them to learn these new commands and adapt. Positive reinforcement and consistency are essential.
If you are a human with hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
The New England Journal of Medicine stated that the fourth leading cause of disability around the globe is hearing loss. One in three Americans between 65 to 74 years old experience hearing loss. The pervasiveness of hearing loss also doubles for each decade of life. It’s crucial for people of all ages to get regular hearing tests and interventions, but it is especially true for the elderly.
As frequently mentioned in our blog, hearing loss can lead to more hospitalizations, falls, isolation, and dementia. It can also increase anxiety, depression, isolation, and loneliness. Poor communication skills can strain relationships across every aspect of your life.
The Primary causes of Hearing Loss
Being more aware, taking the right precautions, and making better decisions when it comes to your overall health can help with hearing health.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing any changes in hearing contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that you can gradually lose your hearing if you drive with the windows rolled down?
The Journal of the American Academy of Audiology published a study revealing that people who drive on a daily basis with their windows rolled down, for at least an hour, are three times more susceptible to hearing loss.
Another study from the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Otolaryngology showed that cyclists are subject to 85 decibels (dB) of wind resistance when traveling at the speed of 15 MPH and 120 dB at the speed of 60 MPH.
These studies confirm that operating a vehicle with the windows open can put you at more risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) since a car has more resistance than a bike.
On average, driving a vehicle on a highway with the down can reach 90-115 dB.
Noise exposures that reach over 100 dB can cause permanent damage to your hearing in under 15 minutes.
The only way to prevent NIHL is to avoid loud environments that reach over 70 A-weighted decibels (dBA) - this is an expression of relative loudness of sounds that are perceived by the human ear. Constant exposure to noises between 70-85 dBA (depending on your personal sensitivity to sounds) can slowly harm your hearing.
3 Ways to Protect Your Hearing Loss
1. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up
Studies have proven that keeping your windows up lowers the risk of hearing loss related to driving. If you drive a vehicle that has a loud engine, especially at higher speeds, you can experience symptoms of tinnitus. Heavy city traffic noises (80-85 dB) are also something to consider while driving. When assessing your risks for hearing loss and tinnitus, think of this formula: Noise level + length of time = risk of hearing loss/tinnitus.
2. Lower the Volume of Your Music
Traffic noises are already a risk factor that you can’t control, so listening to loud music while driving can worsen symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus. Turning the volume up to cover up heavy traffic noises will put you at an even higher risk of hearing loss, and you may miss important environmental cues that can make you a safe driver.
3. Get a Hybrid or an Electric Car
If you are looking for a new car and it’s within your budget, get a hybrid car, an electric car, or a 4-cylinder engine vehicle.
These cars produce less noise compared to gas-powered vehicles because of the electric motor.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can come in many different forms. Some have it from birth. Others get it from an autoimmune disease or medications. It can be caused by noise exposure after being in an environment with dangerous sound levels.
Physical abuse is rarely discussed as a culprit of hearing loss.
Academy award-winning actress Halle Berry has hearing loss after being struck by a former boyfriend in the early 1990s. The impact caused her left eardrum to become punctured.
Maria Halle Berry was born in 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s the youngest daughter of an English mother and an American father. Her parents got divorced when she was four years old because her father was mentally and physically abusive.
Berry moved to New York City in 1989 to start her acting career. She became one of Hollywood’s most successful and highest-paid actresses of the early 2000s. Sadly, she personally endured abuse.
She confirmed that she encountered battery and sexual assault as a child and adult. She stated in a speech during an NYC benefit that she “devalued” herself and didn’t deem herself worthy. She chose partners who were like her father.
It wasn’t until after the abusive relationship where she lost 80% of her hearing abilities that she realized she needed to stop this vicious cycle.
Berry still has 20% of hearing in her left ear. She was able to overcome this disability by winning an Oscar for best lead actress. She has been a strong advocate for domestic abuse prevention.
If you, or someone that you know, are experiencing domestic abuse call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or text START to 88788.
If you, or someone that you know, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time, but you may not expect it to happen after giving birth.
After Edda Collins Coleman had her third C-section, her baby daughter was checked out for standard complications. While this was happening, Coleman felt a strong pain after her vitals were taken and a nurse pressed down on her stomach. She then experienced hearing loss.
The anesthesiologist went over Coleman’s condition and reassured her that her hearing would go back to normal after the head congestion, a common symptom in pregnancy, went away. In Coleman’s case, her hearing never came back.
The Mysteries of Hearing Loss during Pregnancy or Childbirth
There is still no explanation as to why hearing loss may occur during pregnancy or childbirth. We do know that changes in hormones or high blood pressure can lead to hearing loss. This may include ears that feel blocked up or hearing buzzing noises in the background. It’s worth noting that losing your hearing during pregnancy and/or childbirth is rare.
Coleman’s head congestion went away the following day, but noises were muted and her hearing did not feel normal. For months, things did not get better. She heard loud humming noises in her ears, her children’s voices sounded unclear while they were sitting in the back seat of her car, she couldn’t hear the cashier at the grocery store, and she was unable to hear co-workers who spoke to her while approaching her desk. She frequently had to ask others to repeat themselves while they were speaking directly to her.
The Delay in Seeking Help for Hearing Loss
It took Coleman nine months after giving birth to seek help, with some encouragement from her husband.
She was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in both ears. Over a quarter of her hearing was lost in her left ear and nearly 40 percent was lost in her right ear. She has difficulty hearing the differences in lower tones. This affects the way she hears music and people speaking.
According to the British Tinnitus Association, more than one-third of pregnant women develop tinnitus. It can be triggered by stress, headaches, high blood pressure, and other conditions that are associated with pregnant women. Most of the time, tinnitus will go away after the baby is born.
Otosclerosis, which is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, can occur during pregnancy. It might be the result of changes in a woman’s hormones. Mild or severe hearing loss may occur, but hearing aids or surgery can relieve these symptoms.
It is unknown whether pregnancy directly causes otosclerosis, but there does seem to be a connection. It’s more common in women who are in their 20s and 30s, and it can be genetic or caused by their environment.
Coleman’s hearing loss did not happen during her pregnancy, so otosclerosis was eliminated as a probable cause.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), or sudden deafness, is when there is nerve damage in the inner ear. This became another possible cause that was examined by her physicians. She was informed that this type of hearing loss is permanent.
A Closer Examination, but with No Concrete Answers
After undergoing a number of other tests, she was diagnosed with another problem that her doctors believe caused her hearing loss: Coleman has an abnormally shaped cochlea - this is located in the inner ear and converts sound into nerve signals to the brain. Even though this does not explain why childbirth caused her hearing loss, she can get more genetic testing done to understand why her cochlea is deformed. This will also help her three daughters understand if they also inherit this problem.
The year after her daughter was born, Coleman started wearing hearing aids. They significantly helped her hear again. Her tinnitus is unnoticeable while wearing the devices, but can be heard again when taking them out before bedtime. It’s not disruptive enough to affect her sleep. Hearing aids helped her hear her daughter’s first words, laughter, music, theater, birds chirping, and important conversations during meetings. Asking others to repeat themselves and enunciating their words is still something she has to deal with, but it’s better than it was before she started wearing hearing aids.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Exposure to loud sounds for an extended period can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Whether it’s noises you don’t like, for example, construction noises or noises from city traffic, or noises that you enjoy like a concert, your hearing is at risk.
The Loudest Instruments: A Study
Researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney conducted a study to determine which musical instrument was most likely to cause hearing loss.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published the results in 2013. They studied 143 professional French horn players. The musicians who were 40 years of age and younger were 18 to 33 percent more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss. Just 18 percent of professional musicians wore hearing protection.
About 81 percent of those who wore hearing protection, only wore them ‘sometimes’ and 50 percent responded that they use generic foam earplugs or other substandard forms of hearing protection.
A professional French horn player and doctoral researcher from the University of Sydney discovered from their research that they still need to educate horn players, their mentors, and hearing healthcare providers about protecting their hearing and the best way to accomplish this while not interfering with their ability to play.
Everyone should take hearing loss seriously. Musicians, and anyone who is repeatedly exposed to loud noises, should get regular hearing tests. Any loss in the hearing range can make distinguishing different pitches difficult, cause tinnitus, or make some sounds abnormally loud. This can affect their performance and their musical career.
Instruments and their Decibel Levels
The French horn is the loudest instrument, but it’s not the only instrument that produces dangerous sound levels. Here are some common instruments and their decibel ranges:
Protect Your Hearing
By wearing proper hearing protection, you can continue playing your favorite instrument while preserving your hearing abilities. Musicians can get custom earplugs that allow them to still hear the music while keeping their ears safe.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Power tools are noisy and annoying to anyone within a certain radius. There are ways to curtail the noise, but understanding why they are so loud can help you discover a good solution. In some cases, a loud power tool may be a signal of mechanical problems but most of them are naturally noisy.
The Reason Why Power Tools are so Noisy
Power tools create so much noise because they feature loud fans that prevent overheating. Metal gears whirr while making the motor louder. Drill bits that get dull, motors that deteriorate, unlubricated gears, and higher RPMs (Rotations Per Minute) cause the power tool to be louder than usual.
We’ll go deeper into why power tools are so loud.
1. Metal gears make the motor louder. Most of the noise from your power tools comes from the gear train. Multiple gears rotate around one another, creating a loud grinding noise. These movements generate vibrations and produce power and direction for the tool.
2. Power tools feature loud cooling fans. Every electric tool needs to cool off. Friction between metal pieces produces heat. If fans were not part of the tool, they would be too hot to handle, and the motors would be damaged within minutes of usage. The pricier tools have fans that are quieter than cheaper tools.
3. If there isn’t any lubrication, the internal components will scrape against each other and screech. Just like ceiling fans, lubricants are applied to avoid overheating. Lubrication can be found where moving parts come in contact. The gears need to be pre-lubricated to prevent the tools from being worn down, otherwise grinding sounds will be heard.
4. Dull bits can make your tool loud. When the bits are worn down, they will vibrate more frequently. Drill bits need to be replaced whenever they get dull. The metal that they are comprised of will affect how long they last. For example, low-quality aluminum will chip, vibrate, and become dull very quickly.
5. A motor that’s failing or if it runs at high RPMs will make more noise than usual. The more power that the tool creates, the louder it will sound. High RPMs make everything function at an accelerated speed, including fans. A defective motor can overheat, grind, and create irritating noises.
How Loud Can Power Tools Get?
Power tools can get loud enough to harm your ability to hear based on how long you are exposed to the noise, as well as the distance between you and the noise source. Wear hearing protection whenever you use power tools.
Power tools and decibel output
Table Saw: 93 dB
Belt Sander: 94 dB
Router: 95 dB
Hand Drill: 99 dB
Circular Saw: 101 dB
Chain Saw: 109 dB
Hammer Drill: 114 dB
Steady exposure to any noise that reaches at least 70 dB can start to harm your hearing.
How to Muffle the Noises from Power Tools
As mentioned, the main reasons why power tools are so noisy are because of vibrations, metal rubbing against each other, and overheating. To reduce noise from power tools:
1. Fasten the project you are working on to reduce excessive vibrations.
If possible, anchor the material onto a solid surface. An unclamped board will move around, making the tool struggle to work and the material will produce a loud noise.
2. Get a new bit set that is sharper and made of high-quality materials.
Cheaper materials will become dull and won’t remain steady. High-quality drill bits are sharp and sturdy, so they should last longer, drill with precision, and be less noisy.
3. Regularly clean your power tools. This will prevent the fan from overheating.
Inspect the vents to make sure there isn’t any dust or debris causing an obstruction. This makes them work harder. Use an air compressor to clear out anything that can’t be reached with a soft cloth.
4. Lubricate gears in tools, if possible.
Some tools cannot be opened. Check your manufacturer’s guide. If the gears on a power tool are in an enclosed case and do not feature screws, you’ll have to wear hearing protection to deal with the noise. Enclosed gearboxes are usually lubricated and infrequently need to be replaced.
Should You Use Cordless Tools?
Batter-powered tools are less noisy if you don’t want to deal with noisy power tools.
The most powerful tools are often the loudest, but a high-quality, battery-powered tool can make up for it. Here’s why cordless tools make less noise than corded tools:
1. Most cordless tools are not as powerful.
The majority of power tools that use a battery are quiet because they don’t feature RPMs. The fewer RPMs there are, the less likely you’ll be able to tackle challenging projects. This may not be a problem for your tools or needs.
2. There isn’t as much pressure put onto gearboxes as corded power tools.
Weaker power equals fewer cracks caused by friction, less grinding, and less weathering. Some cordless gearboxes are made to withstand the force, and others were made to make less noise by being coated in lubricant.
3. Traditional drills with cords do not feature modern cordless technology.
You may notice that your oldest tools make more noise than battery-powered ones. These power tools were not designed to be quiet due to the material that was available. It was naturally loud, so there’s not much you can do to muffle the noises like today’s cordless tools.
If you want quieter tools, get a high-end style. Low-quality tools won’t have the power you need to get your projects done.
If you are experiencing hearing loss that was caused by exposure to loud power tools, or for any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Researchers have discovered the first gene that is connected to otosclerosis, a common cause of hearing loss that affects three million Americans.
In a study that was published in Human Genetics, a team of researchers from Canada’s Memorial University and Western University identified the gene as FOXL1. This discovery indicates that there may be the imminent possibility of earlier diagnosis and advanced treatment options.
How does Otosclerosis lead to Hearing Loss?
Patients who experience otosclerosis have an abnormal bone growth that causes the tiny bones, known as the stapes, to lack the ability to vibrate which is crucial to hear. The bones are unable to create sound waves that are supposed to travel to the inner ear, which is how hearing loss occurs.
There is currently no cure for otosclerosis, which normally worsens over time. Many people who have this condition wear hearing aids or receive a surgical procedure where a prosthetic device is inserted into the affected ear. This prosthetic device conducts sound vibrations that travel to the inner ear.
The Otosclerosis Gene
It’s already known that otosclerosis can be passed down from one parent to a child, so researchers only needed to locate a single gene mutation instead of a pair of genes.
Gene mapping, along with advanced sequencing techniques, was utilized to separate DNA so that it could be analyzed. The mutation takes place in the FOXL1 gene.
The new gene that is responsible for otosclerosis helps researchers better understand the biology of this bone disease while helping to figure out new drugs and therapies, or even stopping the condition from occurring.
The FOXL1 gene was identified in a family from Newfoundland in eastern Canada by researchers in the field. The family was given a simple genetic test which identified members who were at risk and those who were not at risk of developing otosclerosis.
A genetic test allows healthcare providers to verify whether a patient has otosclerosis. It’s recommended that family members of those with this condition should also take a test to find out if they have otosclerosis.
Early Confirmation of Otosclerosis
Knowing whether you have otosclerosis through genetic testing before you begin to notice changes in your hearing, can allow you to seek early treatment options and prevent any worsening decline by protecting your hearing health. This can be beneficial for younger family members who have yet to show signs of hearing loss. Even if treatment is not necessary for these family members, it’s still helpful to understand why you and some of your family members are experiencing issues with hearing and know how to protect themselves from noise exposure.
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.
There are still so many unknown factors about tinnitus, and there isn’t much proof that there is a link between the two. There have been some complaints from people who have tinnitus that reported their symptoms got worse when they consumed specific foods or drinks.
We know that consuming alcohol can be a primary factor in worsened tinnitus and hearing issues, but there are other things that we consume that can also worsen these symptoms.
Consuming caffeine and sodium can also exacerbate symptoms of tinnitus for some individuals. For others, those things might actually help. Everyone is different, and so are their tinnitus symptoms to certain foods.
Reports on Tinnitus and Nutrients
It’s difficult to do research and analyze how nutrients impact tinnitus, but a study from the U.K. made an attempt. Over 34,000 residents completed a questionnaire about their challenges with hearing, tinnitus, and diet. Researchers observed patterns among the three. They concentrated on vitamins and minerals. Salt consumption was not analyzed.
A Diet that is High in Fat can be Detrimental
Generally, consuming foods that are high in calcium, fat, and iron are linked to a higher risk of tinnitus. On the other hand, higher intakes of B12 and meat consumption were connected to lowered risks of tinnitus.
Consuming too many foods that are high in fat may affect blood vessels, which provide healthy circulation throughout the body, including the ears. Unhealthy blood vessels are the reason why heart disease and diabetes are connected to hearing loss.
Limits of this Research
The study was unable to determine the cause and effect of tinnitus. It was not made to test if adding an abundance of vitamin B12 will ease hearing problems. Rather, it was created to distinguish patterns in the self-reported diets and symptoms of tinnitus. There would then be a controlled trial that was randomized. In this scenario, test subjects’ diets were rigidly controlled for a certain amount of time, and tinnitus symptoms were measured.
It’s important not to completely change your diet based on this report, but you may want to start keeping a journal or record of what you eat on a day-to-day basis while taking note of how the tinnitus symptoms sound and how your ears feel. Adjust your diet and find out what works for you. Things like alcohol, caffeine, dark chocolate, red meat, cheese, or salty foods might need to be avoided.
Tinnitus and hearing loss tend to occur simultaneously. If you are experiencing tinnitus and or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is the third leading chronic physical condition in the U.S., following high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related illness, due to dangerous noise levels in these environments. Here are some recommendations to reduce the risks of exposure to noise in the workplace.
Nearly every industry can put employees at risk of work-related hearing loss
Prevention is important because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss and it’s the easiest to manage.
Preventing Hearing Loss on the Job
Find out whether the noise in your work environment is dangerous. Just like with any loud space, if you need to speak louder when the person you are talking to is just an arm’s length away, the noise level is too loud.
Use a noise level meter app to determine the noise level in your environment. Discuss checking noise levels in your workplace with your manager or supervisor.
Decrease noise from the source. Use quiet tools and equipment, or wear hearing protection - like earplugs or earmuffs - while using them.
Reduce exposure to noise:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Defining Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, or a hearing impairment, makes it difficult to hear or interpret sounds. It occurs as a result of a complication with one or multiple components of the ear, the nerves in the ears, or the part of the brain that interprets sounds.
Some people with hearing loss are born with it. Hearing loss can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, caused by birth defects, infections, or medications. If you know ahead of time that the medication that you need to take can induce hearing loss, try to look for an alternative before taking it.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. Exposure to a sudden noise - like a loud explosion or frequently being around loud sounds over time can cause damage to the tiny hair cells found in the inner ear, making it challenging to hear clearly. You can tell whether your environment is too loud if you need to shout for someone close by to hear you. If you find yourself in a crowded area and have trouble hearing the person/people you are speaking to, you may have some hearing loss.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears after being at a loud concert, a sports stadium, or any other loud event, you’ve had tinnitus. It normally quiets down after a day or two. Continuous tinnitus or hearing muffled noises indicates that there is some damage to the hair cells in your ear. Hair cells harness sound waves and translate them into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. When hair cells become damaged, they can no longer transmit sound signals as clearly as they normally did. Tinnitus and hearing loss often, but not always, go hand in hand.
Repeated exposure to loud noise or music can worsen symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss. This is why musicians, construction workers, airport runway employees, and people who work in other noisy settings wear ear protection. Common tools and appliances like lawnmowers, power tools, or blenders are also loud enough to induce hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent NIHL:
If you are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Science researchers directed by King’s College London, Karolinska Institute, and Erasmus University have discovered 10 new genes that are connected to hearing loss and detected which areas of the ear were affected by them.
In June 2022, this discovery was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. As a result, it created some skepticism about current knowledge on the origins of age-related hearing loss that stems from sensory hair cells. Based on their findings, researchers strongly believe that the stria vascularis, an area of the cochlea - which is located in the ear, is a new area of focus for treatments that help individuals with hearing loss.
Due to various factors, many people experience hearing loss as they age. By 2050, about 2.4 billion people will have some range of hearing loss. Age-related hearing problems are one of the primary chronic disabilities. It’s also a high-risk factor for dementia.
This group of researchers also reviewed genetic analyses that were made by different centers across the globe. They used samples from 723,266 patients in 17 studies who were clinically diagnosed or self-reported hearing impairment. This is currently one of the largest studies conducted on the genetic factors of hearing health. The researchers found 48 genes connected to hearing loss, including 10 new variants that are recently related to hearing.
This discovery identified genes that can be focused on for screening purposes, developing drugs, and gene therapy. It’s a secure foundation to help improve therapies against hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids may be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. In most instances stress from the current situation has exacerbated chronic conditions.
These circumstances - the social isolation, unpredictability, the news, financial troubles, an interruption in our routines, inaccessibility of or challenges with visiting healthcare providers, have caused hardships for everyone, including people with tinnitus.
Stress and how it Affects Tinnitus
Stress triggers many chronic conditions, like tinnitus. More stress can make tinnitus louder and more difficult to tune out.
Here’s a simple way to mentally visualize this issue. Imagine the capacity of managing your stress in the form of a big glass tank. The tank symbolizes the amount of stress you can handle each day. When your stress rises and the tank overflows, you begin to have symptoms of anxiety or other negative health problems.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that the stress that comes while living with this condition can flood the tank. Even if the stress that you associate with tinnitus is not flooding the tank, it can still be very distracting. Other stress factors that usually don’t affect you, may be enough to overwhelm you and induce anxiety.
When people are able to habituate to their tinnitus and experience some relief, the ability to manage stress will be reinforced.
Stress can come from anything, so it’s not just stress from the tinnitus that you need to take charge of. Other factors can be related to work, relationships, family, finances or lack thereof, health problems, the pandemic, etc.
Reduce stress by checking out tips from these articles:
How can Stress Lead to Hearing Loss?
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Do you have Hearing Loss and Anxiety?
If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We are all aware that exposure to loud noises, genetic factors, and diet can cause hearing loss, but here are some other known causes of hearing loss.
Over an extended period of time, these conditions and habits can cause hearing loss:
Even though these causes of hearing loss are uncommon, it’s still important to be aware of them to keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Regular check-ups and hearing tests to detect hearing loss in its early stages, along with preventative care, are crucial for properly treating and managing your hearing health. If you are exposed to loud noise or notice hearing loss, seek help immediately. Do not wait until you notice signs of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss: The 10 Signs
If you experience at least one of these signs, your hearing loss may have been caused by noise exposure:
A hearing test can be administered if you:
A pure tone test will be administered, and you will listen to different tones through headphones. This is how your hearing healthcare provider identifies the quietest tone that you can hear. You may be asked to repeat a series of words or press a button when you hear a tone.
Risks for Hearing Loss
These are some causes and susceptibilities of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing loss factors:
Noise Exposure can also Lead to other Developmental Problems
If you are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, you should get your ears checked, and your hearing tested. Injuries caused by loud noises, or head trauma, can lead to dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
TBI can happen to anyone, but it can be more serious in older individuals. Americans at least 75 years of age are the most likely to be hospitalized for TBI.
Patients who endure a TBI need to undergo stabilization. There may be a delay before the patient or their family members notice any problems with their hearing.
In some cases, complications are not immediately determined. If you have any history of TBI, let your hearing care provider know. Hearing loss and other hearing health-related problems could be bee overlooked.
Possible Outcomes from Auditory Problems following TBI
An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is a head trauma that impairs the brain’s normal functioning for a short period. About half of TBI cases are caused by falls. The rest are induced by automobile crashes and assaults. A blow, bump, or jolt that causes the head and brain to quickly move back and forth can make the brain bounce or twist within the skull. Cells can also be harmed.
You don’t need to experience a direct impact on your head to have a TBI. If you are in an automobile accident and forcefully jerk forward, this can cause a TBI whether your head hits something or not. You can experience a brain injury even if you remain conscious.
The word “concussion” may be used interchangeably with brain injury because it sounds less alarming. It’s important to know that a concussion is a TBI. Some evidence shows that hospitals are not thoroughly treating mild forms of TBIs. There was a study on 395 patients who were at least 14 years old and visited an urban hospital because they had mild TBI. Out of those patients who met the typical standards for those who could be released from the hospital without a follow-up, 27 percent ended up having permanent cognitive difficulties and required therapy.
Acoustic trauma occurs when the ears are affected by a head injury (like a direct blow to the ear, or a loud noise within close range). Anyone who has trained or fought in war is at high risk for this particular injury. Many veterans have hearing loss and tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TBI
Over half of patients with TBI develop tinnitus. That number increases if the individual was exposed to a blast. Tinnitus is the first and widely reported problem after a TBI.
Tinnitus is the top service-related reason for veterans to file for compensation disability.
Symptoms of tinnitus can be the result of an injury or medication side effects that are used to treat TBI. This may include SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac, over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, etc.
Many people who have tinnitus, also experience hearing loss. It may not be noticeable. You can wear hearing aids, which can be programmed to cover phantom sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or tinnitus sound therapy can help mask the noise.
Hearing Loss and TBI
A 2018 report concluded that those with TBI and no bone injuries to their head still had some hearing-related loss. Sometimes it was fleeting. A study on 1.6 million people in Taiwan showed that TBIs could lead to over twice the chances of hearing loss within the following decade.
When sounds vibrate through the ear, the eardrum will respond to the sound. Vibrations communicate with three small bones or the ossicles. When those bones vibrate, the vibration travels to fluid in the inner ear and cochlea, which communicates with the auditory nerve.
Possible problems may arise:
If you, or a loved one, have experienced any type of head trauma, and notice hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing evaluation.
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.
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.
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.