If you have difficulty with hearing, conversing with others, and find yourself feeling left out in certain situations, in addition to using hearing aids, you can try an app.
Here’s a list of five apps to help you communicate with the people around you.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
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.
When you’ve scheduled your hearing fitting, you might want to prepare yourself for what will happen during your appointment. A proper fitting is more than just receiving the right hearing aids.
What to Expect
After the hearing instrument specialist (HIS) presents you with options for hearing aids, the next step is selecting which pair to try out during your fitting appointment. This session will help determine comfort and compatibility in different situations. You will also learn about various features, how your hearing aids function, and maintenance practices. There will be a discussion about your lifestyle and hearing needs.
How to Prepare Yourself
There aren’t any specific things to do to prepare for your appointment, but you can alleviate any concerns you may have by learning about hearing aids. Understanding a little bit about the devices will make you feel less anxious. Ask your HIS about the devices before settling on your hearing aids. Be prepared to receive a tutorial from your provider when you have your follow-up appointment.
Do Your Hearing Aids Hurt while being Worn?
Some people give up on wearing hearing aids because the devices hurt their ears. Hearing aids should not cause pain when inserted in your ear canals. If they feel uncomfortable, your provider should readjust the size of your domes or create a new hearing aid mold until they feel comfortable. During the fitting session, you and your HIS will discuss which hearing aid style you prefer and how they will help with your listening needs.
After being fitted for hearing aids, you will need to revisit your HIS. Your provider may need to recalibrate your hearing aids so that you are getting the most out of them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the devices if you have any problems.
Are you, or someone you know, looking for new hearing aids? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our specialists.
You hear with your ears. Your brain interprets the sounds. We’ve discussed the importance of protecting your ears when in loud environments or while listening to any audio sounds, but brain exercises are just as crucial so that it can make sense of the sounds. Here are some exercises that can be done alone or with another person.
Partnered Hearing Exercises
If you’ve been isolated from family and friends, and now feel comfortable and safe enough to reconnect with them, try some of these exercises with at least one of them.
Tuning out Background Noises
Environments that have too much background noise can be distracting for anyone, especially those with hearing problems. It’s good to practice tuning these distractions out in a relaxed setting. Turn the TV or a podcast on at a normal listening volume, and talk to your family or friend. Concentrate on the discussion you’re having, and ignore any background noises. Take a pause from the exercises as needed.
Motionless Marco Polo
A more fun game to play is similar to the pool game Marco Polo. Shut your eyes or put a blindfold on. Your partner should quietly move around different areas of the room. Guess what they are standing by so that you can estimate the direction they are speaking from, and the distance they are standing from you.
Solitary Hearing Exercises
If you live alone or your partner is away from the home for most of the day, try some of these exercises.
Meditation does not strictly require people to hear, and in fact, studies have indicated that those with hearing loss have found meditation to be helpful. Meditation doesn’t just benefit your ability to focus, it also stimulates blood flow to your inner ears which is important for healthy hearing. Check out these apps for guided meditations.
Sound isolation is another mindfulness exercise to help your brain recognize sounds. Follow these three easy steps to practice listening:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, please 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.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered when getting your hearing tested. Do you or a family member suspect that you have trouble with your hearing? Or do you notice further hearing loss after receiving a hearing test?
Your age and work environment are also important factors to consider.
You should schedule an annual hearing test if:
If you are noticing any additional loss before your annual hearing assessment, contact your hearing healthcare provider to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
The Difference between a Hearing Test and a Hearing Screening
A hearing test is provided when you, a loved one, or a healthcare provider think that you may have hearing loss because you’ve been having the common symptoms. A hearing test is conducted by having the patient sit in a sound-proof booth while getting their existing hearing levels measured and recorded on an audiogram. This is known as a comprehensive hearing exam.
A hearing screening is provided when you don’t show signs or symptoms of hearing loss. A screening takes less time and is simpler than a test. If you are frequently exposed to loud noises on the job, you can participate in a screening program.
What to do if Your Hearing Loss is Confirmed
If you have already been told that you have hearing loss through a previous test, you need to be retested regularly by your hearing care provider. You should make observations about your hearing health with a hearing journal, in case you notice any changes. Hearing loss happens slowly, so you may not immediately notice a difference.
Get a Checkup for Your Hearing Aids
It’s important to understand that wearing hearing aids means that you are going to need to get them adjusted/reprogrammed, especially if they’re a new pair of hearing aids that you’re trying out. Your hearing loss may decline from moderate to severe, which makes the initial programming for your devices ineffectual for your latest degree of loss.
The average lifespan of hearing aids is three to seven years. This depends on how often you use streaming features, keep up with daily and professional cleanings/maintenance, and the amount of exposure to cold, heat, and moisture.
If you suspect that you have hearing loss, get a complimentary hearing test and consultation from Pure Sound Hearing. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
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.
The month of September highlights Deaf Awareness and Healthy Aging. It’s a time to learn and raise awareness of the culture and history of the Deaf community while continuing to advocate for the rights of Deaf people, while also reflecting on better habits that you can start to incorporate into your routines as you age.
Here are some interesting facts about the Deaf community:
If you want to learn sign language, you should always get lessons from a Deaf teacher. The center of Deaf culture and community is sign language. Deaf people are experts in their own language, therefore students should consult them so that they can be paid for their work. Deaf people have historically been stigmatized and discriminated against by the hearing society for being deaf and using sign language, so if hearing teachers take Deaf jobs and profit from teaching would be considered cultural appropriation.
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to pick up healthier habits. This will help you out in the long term.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
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.
Getting treatment for your hearing loss has so many benefits besides better hearing. Reducing your risks of falling and having a healthier brain are just a few.
Did you know that people with difficulty with hearing are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after being discharged?
Researchers from New York University found that patients who were 65 or older and had trouble hearing, were 32% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those without hearing problems.
Hospitals can be tricky to navigate, even without hearing loss. They are very loud, bustling areas. It’s crucial to clearly hear and understand directions during your discharge. You may be given instructions on which medications you need to take, warning signs to watch out for, or any other crucial information that is necessary to avoid another trip to the hospital. Not being able to hear important instructions can slow or worsen your recovery.
A study from the University of Michigan concluded that hearing loss that receives treatment has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and ER visits by older adults.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
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.
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.
Did you know that the average healthy human ear can recognize frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz)? It can also tell the difference between sounds that are familiar and sounds that are new, which can warn you of potential danger and help you be more aware of your surroundings. This is an important sense to have when you’re out camping, hiking, or hunting. The ability to hear rustling bushes and trees, the sound of a twig snapping, or rushing waters isn’t just pleasant - it can be life-saving.
1. Protect Yourself by Being Aware of Your Surroundings
Experienced hikers will inform you that you should be alert and on guard if the forest you walk through is too quiet. If birds and other animals are silent, it’s because they know a predator is in the area. Depending on where you live, keep an eye out for bears or mountain lions. DO NOT keep food in a space where you’ll be sleeping and hanging around. The large animals will initially look for that food.
Being able to hear unusual noises in your environment can signal that there’s an animal in the bushes nearby. You will normally hear animals before you see them, or don’t see them at all. A sharp sense of hearing will act as a harbinger to keep you prepared for any dangerous encounters.
2. Camping and Hearing Aid Usage
If you’re a new or long-time hearing aid user, you may be unsure about the best way to camp or backpack with your devices. Here are some tips to keep your hearing aids working while enjoying the great outdoors:
Carry extra batteries or a portable charger
Be prepared when traveling anywhere. Purchase extra batteries in case you need them, and store them in a cool, dry place when they are not being used. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, bring a portable charger so that you can recharge them without an electrical outlet.
Keep your hearing aids dry
Pack a cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to cover your ears if the weather is cold, wet, or windy. A Ziplock bag can be used to store these items.
Keep your hearing aids cool
Extreme temperatures, especially heat, can damage the wiring and other technology in your hearing aids. Remove them if you plan on sitting close to a smoldering campfire, do not place them in direct sunlight, and do not leave them in a hot car.
Get your hearing aids checked
Before going off on your outdoor adventure, make an appointment with your hearing aid provider. Inform them that you will be camping and might need your hearing aids re-programmed to hear the different environments you’ll be in.
Make friends and family aware of your trip
Whenever you plan to go into a secluded area, whether it’s alone or with at least one other person, always tell someone you know where you are going and when they should expect you to return. Do not wander away alone for any reason, especially if it’s dark out.
3. Hearing Safety and Hunting Outdoors
When gun safety is discussed, protecting your hearing is a topic that doesn’t get covered. In addition to safe gun use and storage, it’s important to protect your ears from the deafening noise of gunshots. The sound from a single shot can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Since hunters need to be aware of their surroundings and hear their prey, choose hearing protection that muffles sounds, but also allows softer sounds in a forest environment to be heard. Custom earplugs are an excellent option. Talk to a hearing aid provider about getting a customized fitting for earplugs.
If you, or a loved one, wear hearing aids and plan on spending an extensive amount of time outdoors, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing aid tune-up, professional cleaning, or supplies.
We’re winding down towards the end of summer, and the heatwave has felt relentless. In addition to the heat, humidity and moisture can warp the wiring and affect the performance of your hearing aids. Follow these simple tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your hearing aids.
7 Tips to Enhance the Efficiency of Your Hearing Aids
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss or any problems with hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
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.
Hearing Loss: Are You or a Family Member Headed Back to School? Here are 3 Tips for Better Communication.
School is almost back in session. Here are three tips to help make learning easier if you have hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulty with your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
August is Hearing Health Awareness Month, and we’re providing a dietary guide for healthy hearing.
In order to function properly, a healthy body requires the right amount of nutrients.
Just like all of your other organs, your ears must have the nutritional support to help you hear your best. Here are some foods that will benefit your hearing.
Bananas, and other foods that are rich in potassium, are great sources of nutrients for the ears. Potassium helps translate sound into nerve impulses in the inner ear that get transferred to the brain. Potassium levels actually decline as we age, so it’s crucial to maintain good levels of potassium to fight against age-related hearing loss. Consuming bananas is a great way to get potassium in your diet, but make sure you aren’t taking in more than the recommended amount of 3.5 grams. You should easily reach this amount of potassium with your normal caloric intake.
Beans, lentils, and peas
Zinc is necessary for mineral growth and development. It can also improve hearing health and symptoms of tinnitus by protecting your immune system. It’s a good idea to start increasing your daily intake of zinc so that your ears can benefit from the nutrients for a long period of time. Incorporate beans, lentils, and peas for an easy way to get zinc in your diet.
Broccoli is a great basic building block for a healthy body. It includes vitamins K and C, along with fiber. Broccoli is used to stop free radicals - these are the basic structures for a disease to grow and accelerate aging - from causing harm to the delicate and sensitive tissues in your ears. No matter how you eat it - grilled, steamed, or raw - the health benefits of broccoli can’t be understated.
Fish is full of heart-healthy omega 3 and vitamin D. We know that Vitamin D strengthens the body’s bones, and this includes the middle bones in your ear which can prevent osteopenia and otosclerosis. These are serious ear problems that can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The recommended weekly intake is two servings of fresh, unprocessed fish which can also lower the chances of enduring permanent hearing loss.
Garlic can boost blood circulation and lower inflammation in the body, particularly for organs related to hearing. This lets blood properly flow everywhere that it is needed, and reduces the possibility of high blood pressure which can lead to long-term health issues.
If you are concerned about the smell, there are odorless garlic supplements. You can even incorporate some cloves into your cooking. Garlic should be part of your healthy eating plan. You might notice some relief from symptoms of common ear conditions like tinnitus.
If you are noticing hearing loss, hearing aids can help slow down the loss and improve your brain health, combat isolation, and help with communication. 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.
Receiving treatment for hearing loss can alter your life. It’s always nice to share this news with people, especially those who need help with their hearing loss but haven’t sought care. Here are five tips to be a better advocate for anyone with hearing loss.
1. Share Your Journey to Better Hearing
The average person with hearing loss waits more than a decade after they begin to notice the loss before receiving proper treatment. Think about all of the things you could miss out on for a decade. There are also physical (balance issues), mental (anxiety and depression), social (isolation), and financial (losing a job because you can’t follow directions due to poor hearing) repercussions to untreated hearing loss.
Simply sharing your story can encourage others who continue putting off care for their hearing health to seek help.
2. Be there to Support Someone
Getting help is a major step that feels easier with family and friends by your side. Your loved ones are some of the primary people who are also affected by your hearing loss. Have you noticed communication issues with them?
Having family members at your hearing care appointments can help your hearing aid provider better understand how you communicate with others and find the best solution for everyone. The emotional support, a better perspective about your hearing needs, or being able to hear a familiar voice when you are trialing a pair of hearing aids is always comforting.
3. Be Available to Offer Advice
With all of the different features available, it can be overwhelming to learn how it all works. Hearing instrument specialists are available to guide you through the technology so you can get the most use out of them. There are all sorts of tips, apps, and smartphone compatibility features that will be beneficial to your hearing needs.
4. Practice Self-Care
Hearing health often goes overlooked. Remind yourself and family members, no matter what level of hearing abilities you/they have to get annual hearing tests, monitor hearing health, pay attention to problems that come up with hearing aids, and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Adults who received treatment for hearing loss have reported improvements in all of their relationships, their mental health, social life, and other important areas. The loved ones in their lives have noted the same. For your sake, and theirs, get your hearing tested and seek treatment if necessary by getting in touch with Pure Sound Hearing.
In the U.S. there have been laws established to protect everyone with hearing loss. These days they need to be adapted for technology that is constantly evolving. July 26th is the 32nd anniversary of the supreme law granting protections to people with a hearing impairment. It is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are the three titles of the ADA:
Even if you are a hearing aid or cochlear implant user, and those devices can help your hearing limitations, you still have a legal disability status under the ADA. This indicates that under the law, you are guaranteed certain protections and accommodations.
Changes in technology are constantly evolving and services are readily available online. As a result, the definition of discrimination has also changed. One example was when the Zoom video chat service charged more money for closed-captioning during video calls. In December of 2020, two individuals who were hearing impaired sued the company. They cited ADA violations and California and New York laws. In March of 2021, Zoom allowed users to sign up for free live captioning (this feature can only be accessed by the host of the meeting). This feature is now free for all users.
Hearing Loss Accessibility in the Internet Age
The ADA was originally written when the internet was still very new. Judges have provided different rulings on whether “places of public accommodation” include websites and apps, which do not have a physical location. The U.S. Department of Justice stated that it does, but there have not been any regulations issued.
Website accessibility guidelines have stated that anyone with vision impairment should be able to see and read a website, and the tools used by people with disabilities should be easily integrated. Closed captions and transcriptions should be available for all prerecorded audio and video. This is not a guarantee, as users of YouTube videos have been made aware of it.
Telephone Access for Hearing Loss
The law is more straightforward when it comes to telephone systems, which must be available for anyone with hearing loss and speech problems. The options are captioned telephones and web-based captioning services. The 1988 Hearing Aid Compatibility Act orders that every telephone and smartphone must be compatible with hearing aids.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was enacted in 2010, required text messaging, email, instant messaging, and video calls to be accessible for those with disabilities. Free live captioning on private platforms like Zoom is now available.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ordered in 2012 that all TV programs with closed captions must be published online.
For all airlines, and foreign airlines that are flying to the U.S., the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) requires hearing loss accommodations, such as captioning on airport televisions.
The ADA requires courtrooms, hospitals, and schools to have sign language interpreters available when necessary.
Accessibility in Public Spaces
Theaters that have fixed seating for at least 50 people must provide assistive hearing services for audience members who have hearing loss.
Assistive listening systems for people with hearing loss must be provided by museums. This does not include sign language interpreters or closed captioning, but some include this as an option for Deaf patrons. Most times, these services are free or a small fee is charged.
Other spaces that must provide assistive hearing systems for anyone with hearing loss include hospitals, hotels, concert/lecture halls, convention centers, courtrooms, stadiums, and nursing homes. Facilities that have hearing loops can connect with hearing aids that feature telecoils (or t-coils).
Employment Discrimination and Hearing Loss
Job seekers and employees are protected by the ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If there are at least 15 employees at your place of employment, you do not have to report your hearing loss and your employer cannot ask you questions to determine whether you have a disability. The employer is allowed to ask specific questions about your ability to perform basic job functions, like how good your communication skills are, whether you can perform in a fast-paced noisy environment, or can meet legally required standards in safety.
If your hearing loss is obvious or you report it, the person who decides whether to hire you can ask if you need accommodations to perform the job.
Your Employer must provide you with Accommodations if You Have a Hearing Loss
Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations, which means it should not be too difficult or expensive to make adjustments. Some accommodations may include a sign language interpreter during meetings or assistive listening devices.
Discuss these things with your employer, and be prepared to give more information about your conditions and needs from your healthcare provider(s).
If you think there’s been a violation of your rights, make a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident. A lawsuit may be filed in federal court after you receive a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Hearing loss can affect anyone. There are different causes and ranges of hearing impairment. Detecting hearing problems early and receiving proper treatment is key to health management, preventing or slowing down a further decline.
1. Have Others Noticed a Change in Your Hearing?
If other people complain about needing to repeat themselves or if you don’t hear them when they say something to you, this can be another sign of hearing loss. Your loved ones or other people that you frequently interact with are usually the first to notice there’s something wrong with your hearing.
2. Do You Have Difficulty with Hearing Consonant Sounds in Words?
If you can’t clearly hear the beginning of words, especially consonants, this might be an early sign of hearing loss. If you have problems with differentiating some words from each other, like ring and sing, this can also be an early sign of hearing loss.
3. Do You find it Difficult to Hear in Loud Environments?
If you avoid certain places, spending time with others, or frequently need to ask others to repeat themselves, particularly in busy or loud areas, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
4. Are You Cranking up the Volume on Entertainment Systems?
This is one of the most common signs people experience when they start to lose their hearing. If others ask you to turn the volume down when watching or listening to something, you should get your hearing tested.
5. Do You notice a Phantom Ringing Sound?
Tinnitus is a common type of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among those who experience regular exposure to loud noises. Get a hearing test immediately if you notice consistent ringing noises that are difficult to ignore and have no outside/physical source.
Tinnitus can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so get your hearing tested as soon as possible so that you can receive immediate treatment.
6. Do You Hate Talking on Your Phone?
Hearing conversations through a phone is difficult for some people with hearing loss. Voices may not sound loud or clear enough. If you tend to switch to the loudspeaker option, this can be a sign of hearing loss. All modern digital hearing aids have Bluetooth® technology, so it’s possible to stream your phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
7. Do You Often Feel More Fatigued?
If you feel tired more often, this could be due to the amount of energy you use to pay attention to what others are saying. Get a hearing test if this is the case for you. Listening fatigue is a real problem among those with hearing loss. Receiving adequate treatment can help you focus easier, and make you feel less drained.
If any of these issues have occurred to you, or a loved one, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.