Tips for Overcoming Tinnitus
Tinnitus is an incurable ear disorder with symptoms that include a phantom ringing noise that only the person with these indicators can hear. It’s a continuous noise that can range from mild annoyance to torment.
Habituation exercises make the noises less bothersome.
The Hidden Ailment
Tinnitus is not a condition in and of itself. It is, however, the result of one or many underlying conditions.
Hearing loss, head and neck injuries, infections, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), vestibular disorders such as acoustic neuroma, circulatory disorders, and Meniere’s Disease can lead to tinnitus. Vitamins, supplements, and medications may also cause these symptoms.
About 50 million Americans and over 600 million across the globe are affected by it. That’s nearly 10-15 percent of the people, and most are unaware of this health issue.
Dismissive Reactions and Tinnitus Treatments
There are ways to treat tinnitus, from sound therapy to hearing aids with masking sounds.
Some people get used to the noise to the point where it becomes less annoying. Others are fortunate enough to learn that there are treatment options.
Ask yourself whether the noise bothers you. There’s a way to cope with it.
How an individual reacts to tinnitus is the key to better dealing with it. Some have an emotional, physical, or psychological reaction to it.
You can train your brain to filter out repetitive stimuli, such as sound, from your conscious awareness through habituation. It’s the same as concentrating on something while mentally blocking out background noises or not feeling the clothing on your skin.
Everyone who can hear is programmed to respond to noises that can suggest imminent danger, and it’s important not to miss these sounds.
The brain cannot distinguish differences between an imaginary threat (tinnitus) and an actual danger. As a result, the emotional reaction that we make is the same. We get the stress and fight-or-flight response. It’s a vicious cycle.
You can’t control the sound, but you can gain control over your reactions. How you react can lead to a healthier and more manageable way to deal with this phantom noise.
Habituation through Meditation
Meditation is a great tool to manage stress. It can be tricky to get the hang of it and focus at first, but with a lot of practice and patience, concentrating on something other than the noise, like breathing or the voice-recorded meditation, can help you ignore the tinnitus.
When your mind starts wandering, you may begin noticing the tinnitus again. Simply bring your attention back to focus. For some, meditation can reduce the sound of tinnitus.
If you’ve tried meditation, a change in diet, and various exercises, but the tinnitus remains, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Programmed hearing aids with a tinnitus masking feature might be the solution.
New Study provides Significant Observations in the Future of Hearing Aids and other Hearing Technologies
With normal hearing, humans use both ears to locate sound in their environment with auditory cues. Studies have shown that people with single-sided deafness (SSD), or loss of hearing in one ear, can detect the location of sound by hearing the various volume levels or noticing a different arrival time of sounds to one ear over the other.
Researchers from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) and Toyama Prefectural University proposed a state-of-the-art process that estimates the direction-of-arrival (DOA) of sound signals in three dimensions. Applied Acoustics published this study. In it, they reveal the system utilizes monaural cues to estimate DOA and can aid in simplifying microphone designs.
The average human can detect environmental sounds with both ears while deciphering auditory cues. Individuals with monaural hearing or SSD can distinguish the location of sounds by hearing how loud or how soft a sound is, in addition to the arrival time of sounds at each ear.
Conducting This Study
These researchers simulated sound signals using synthetic modulation noise and human speech signals from various directions while taking into account how the ears, torso, and head separated sounds. They collected the monaural modulation spectrum (MMS) of signals and gave a description of their frequencies to recognize important features related to DOA.
Their model could correctly estimate the DOA for 829,440 speech signals, which surpassed human monaural hearing. The research needs more testing to take background noise and unique ear shapes into account when making the model.
This study can lead to progress in sound surveillance techniques and hearing aid technology.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, get in touch with Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Generally, symptoms of tinnitus are fleeting, but some people do have symptoms that are so relentless that they can affect their sleep, which can lead to poor mood and difficulty with concentration.
Tinnitus is more of an annoyance than a life-threatening condition. It is the symptom of an underlying problem.
Anyone who constantly experiences symptoms of tinnitus may find navigating life a little more challenging than someone who does not have it. Even though there’s no cure, there are ways to find relief.
If you notice symptoms of tinnitus, contact a hearing healthcare provider immediately. The sooner you receive help, the easier it is to control symptoms. Narrowing down the underlying cause will help them determine your best treatment option.
1. White Noise Machines
A silent space is the worst environment for anyone with tinnitus. Your brain must redirect its attention to other noise and force the tinnitus into the background.
White noise machines or apps can help with this problem. A constant, low-frequency sound will muffle the tinnitus and teach your brain to disregard the noise. Air conditioners, air purifiers, or refrigerators can conveniently be used instead of a white noise machine.
2. Do Not use Ototoxic Medicines
If you notice tinnitus after taking a new medication, the pills may be the culprit. Some prescriptions or over-the-counter medications are ototoxic, indicating they can harm your hearing abilities.
3. Treatment Options
There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but training your brain to ignore it is possible. If this training, the white noise machines, or changing your medication does not work, find a specialist who focuses on tinnitus treatment.
Hearing aids or apps that connect to your hearing aids can drown out tinnitus symptoms. Some hearing aids feature a white noise generator which must be programmed into the device by a hearing instrument specialist.
Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
In addition to Better Hearing and Speech Month, the month of May to raises awareness about strokes. A stroke happens when there’s an obstruction in a blood vessel that transports blood to the brain. It can occur in the form of a clot or rupture that stops oxygen and nutrients from reaching the brain. When this happens, cells can die off.
A stroke that remains untreated can lead to a higher risk of permanent damage to the body. This can range from experiencing debilitation/paralysis on one side of the body, to spasticity, and fatigue. Changes in cognitive functions, including communication, memory, speech, and lack of control in facial muscles may occur. Hearing loss is also a common side effect of enduring a stroke. Some may even experience an ear stroke.
Hearing Loss Following a Stroke
It is common for patients to experience hearing loss after having a stroke. A person’s auditory system can be negatively impacted at every level. The way they hear and recognize sounds can also be affected. If someone has a history of strokes, they are more prone to experiencing hearing loss. Strokes that alter the outer part of the brain stem have a higher chance of inducing sudden hearing loss.
What is an Ear Stroke?
An ear stroke can harm your hearing health. Another name for an ear stroke is Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL). Just like a regular stroke, it can’t be predicted. It can be a daunting experience because it can happen to anyone at any time, and unfold within a few days. Some people suddenly wake up and notice their hearing has changed, while others will notice a gradual loss over the course of three days. SSNHL usually happens in one ear.
The conclusive explanation of SSNHL remains unknown. There might be various causes, including autoimmune diseases, inner ear membranes that have been torn, tumors, vascular occlusion, viral infections, or bacterial infections.
Treatment Options that Should be Implemented Immediately
If you or someone is experiencing and suffering from a stroke, act fast. The acronym FAST stands for:
Go to the hospital immediately if you or someone near you suddenly experiences a drooping face, weakness in the arms or numbness on one side, or problems with speech (slurring words). You will complete a neurological exam in order to determine and understand the cause of your stroke, along with appropriate treatment options.
If you’ve experienced hearing loss after an ear stroke, or for any other reason, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for hearing aid options.
Life is full of ups and downs, and challenges are bound to occur. These challenges often lead to stress.
To anyone reading this blog, you are fully aware that hearing loss can cause stress.
Whether you feel anxiety over engaging in a conversation in a loud and crowded area, experience listening fatigue, or have tinnitus, we’ve got some tips on how to deal with the stress of these problems.
Simply receiving treatment for hearing loss can significantly lower your stress levels. Hearing better and having smoother interactions with others can be less stressful. Improving stress management skills can have a lasting effect on your overall health.
We’re recognizing Stress Awareness Month by sharing how hearing loss treatment with hearing aids can help with your interactions, reconnections, and lower stress.
1. Wearing Hearing Aids can Reduce Social Anxiety and Withdrawal
Connecting with others on a social level is a great way to relieve stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it helps to divert attention away from problems you may face while offering support and encouragement. Wearing hearing aids can make you feel more confident to talk to family and friends, participate in volunteer work within your community, or enjoy things like going to a movie theater and hearing live music again.
2. Tinnitus Relief
Tinnitus can cause a lot of stress. Wearing hearing aids can help lower those stress levels. According to one study, 60 percent of patients felt small to significant alleviation from their tinnitus while donning hearing aids. The rest of the patients felt significant relief with their hearing aids. These devices can be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist to feature tinnitus relief, which may be accessed through a customized channel on your hearing aids.
3. Keeping Fit with Hearing Aids
Being physically active has been a proven stress reliever. Your brain receives endorphins when focusing your attention away from daily problems to the movements in your body. Donning hearing aids helps with an active lifestyle (including light or intense exercises) by reducing the risks of tripping and/or falling. Hearing aids can help you be more aware of your environment with omnidirectional microphones programmed as an optional feature. These microphones will capture sound from every direction, but you can switch back to a directional microphone if you are in a situation where you want to focus on sounds that are coming from the angle in which you face. If you are biking, and want to be aware of sounds from all directions, use the omnidirectional feature.
4. Don’t miss out on a Joke
Everyone knows that laughter is a huge stress reliever. The Mayo Clinic has found that laughing decreases your mental load while starting up and lowering your stress response. Stream a comedy through your hearing aids or hang out with your funniest friends. It’ll make you feel much better and you’ll have a fun time.
Work on managing your stress this month, so that you can set yourself up for managing it better from now on. If necessary, get help from hearing aids by scheduling an appointment with one of our providers from Pure Sound Hearing in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
More than 37 million Americans experience some range of hearing loss. Severe hearing loss can turn the average conversation into whispers and music may only sound like a faint humming noise.
What are the Symptoms of Severe Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss, whether it’s sudden or gradually occurs over time, can make conversations difficult to follow.
In addition to hearing loss, you may also experience:
What are the Degrees of Hearing Loss?
In order to determine the range of your hearing loss, an audiogram may be used during a hearing test. This can show your degree of hearing loss by looking at the range of decibels (dB) - a measurement of sound - that you are able to hear.
1. Conductive hearing loss: caused by an issue in the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear that restricts sound from traveling to the inner ear. This can happen due to an ear infection, fluid build-up, a mass (cholesteatoma), or an object in the ear - like earwax build-up.
2. Sensorineural hearing loss: typically caused by damage done to the inner ear’s hair cells. Other causes may include damage to the auditory nerve which impacts your hearing, or the brain. It normally occurs as you age, or due to excessive exposure to noise, genetic factors, trauma, radiation, or chemotherapy.
3. Mixed hearing loss: this is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. There could be complications in the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, or auditory nerve. This can happen as a result of a serious or even seemingly minor head injury, long-term infection, or genetic disease. Hearing loss can occur in one or both ears. It can be sudden or gradually worsen as you age. If you notice sudden hearing loss, contact us a Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
What causes Severe Hearing Loss?
In normal, healthy hearing, sound waves are harnessed from the outer ear and travel to the eardrum and middle ear bones which then vibrate. The sounds then move to the inner ear through the cochlea (a shell-shaped tube). While the fluid is moving, thousands of tiny hair cells also move and then translate the vibrating sounds into nerve signals. These signals travel to the brain and are converted into detectable sounds.
Hearing loss occurs due to complications in the areas of your ear that allow you to hear. The following conditions can induce severe hearing loss:
Age: Also known as presbycusis, as people age sections of the ear, like so many other areas, become less resilient. When tiny hairs become damaged, it’s permanent. As a result, they cannot respond to sound waves as effortlessly. Without any intervention, hearing loss may worsen over time.
Exposure to Loud Noise: Noises that come from the music blaring through earbuds to power tool noises, or planes, trains, and automobiles can harm the hair cells located in the cochlea. The volume level, plus the length of time you spend hearing the sounds can determine how much hearing you’ll lose. Learn more about noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from “9 Facts About Noise-Induced Hearing Loss”.
Ear Infections: These can cause a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. Normally, the hearing loss caused by an ear infection is mild and goes away within a short period of time. If infections are not treated, they could become serious long-term problems.
Perforated Eardrum: An ear infection, exposure to loud sounds, head trauma, or too much ear pressure from flying in an airplane or scuba diving can harm the eardrum. A hole, that may or may not heal, could form. Based on how large the hole is, a person might experience mild to moderate hearing loss.
Cholesteatoma: This is an accumulation of skin in the middle ear that is caused by a collapsed eardrum or when the skin grows and spreads through a hole in the eardrum. Cholesteatomas can develop over time and cause hearing loss by ravaging the middle ear bones or, in rare instances, the inner ear.
Diseases or Infections: Measles, meningitis, mumps, and syphilis are some conditions that can cause hearing loss.
Ménière's Disease: There are some symptoms of this inner ear disorder including dizziness, feelings of fullness in the ear, temporary hearing loss, and tinnitus.
Hearing loss that is associated with Ménière's disease tends to worsen, but only affects one ear.
Tumors: Cancerous or benign tumors can induce hearing loss. This includes acoustic neuroma, paraganglioma, and meningioma. If a patient has a tumor, they may also experience feelings of numbness in their face, weakness, and tinnitus.
An obstruction in the ear caused by an object: When there is a foreign object that is lodged in your ear, it can block out the ability to hear. This may include debris or hardened earwax buildup.
Misshapened ear: Some patients are born with ears that are shaped differently, and may create challenges with hearing.
Trauma: Skull fractures or a punctured eardrum can induce severe hearing loss.
Medications: Certain drugs, such as antibiotics, aspirin, chemotherapy drugs (carboplatin, cisplatin), and large quantities of Vicodin can cause hearing loss. In some cases, the hearing will return after you stop taking the drug. In many cases, hearing loss becomes permanent.
Genetic Factors: Scientists have discovered that there are genes that make people more likely to experience hearing loss, especially as they age. In most cases, screenings for newborns find genetic hearing loss, but it can be found later.
Autoimmune Disorders: Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can impact hearing. It is one of the main symptoms of a number of autoimmune disorders, which include Behcet’s disease, Cogan’s syndrome, and Wegener’s granulomatosis.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our specialists will go over your test results and suggest appropriate treatment options. Immediate testing and wearing hearing aids is required to slow down and properly treat hearing loss.
Everyone knows that hearing loss is generally caused by exposure to loud noise and aging. But did you know that some chemicals and medications can also damage the inner ear, and cause hearing loss? The literal translation of “ototoxicity” is “ear poison”. Medications or chemicals that are ototoxic can cause balance problems, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
There are five primary categories of ototoxicants, which include:
Most people do not store these powerful solvents and compounds inside their homes, therefore the ototoxicants that the general public comes across are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.
Ototoxic symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, nausea, nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), and vertigo. Before hearing loss becomes noticeable, tinnitus normally occurs first.
Are there Treatment Options for Ototoxicity?
The hair cells located in the inner ear are extremely fragile, so there’s no helpful treatment for ototoxicity. Once your hair cells are damaged, that is permanent along with your ability to hear. Preventative action is the best way to approach this. If your hair cells are not permanently damaged after an exposure, hearing, and balance may recover in a matter of months. If your hearing is permanently damaged, hearing aids and other hearing therapies can help. A professional hearing healthcare provider can help you choose the best options for you.
How to Avoid Ototoxicity
Ototoxicity can be averted by refraining from coming in contact with substances that contain ototoxic substances. It may be difficult to attain this as many life-saving medications like chemotherapy drugs are also ototoxic. You must decide by weighing the risks and benefits.
Raising awareness for the general public as well as drug manufacturers who are developing ways to diminish these side effects and figuring out advanced treatment options that won’t impact hearing health, is the first step to tackling this issue. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns with ototoxicity, and understand what substances you’ll be coming in contact with if there are any risks in your work environment. Understanding and reducing these risks will help keep you safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be helpful, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
These types of noises can aid with relaxation, but they are not meant for those who suffer from tinnitus.
Do you ever notice that you feel more relaxed when there is some gentle background noise from an air conditioner or TV? These sounds, known as color noises, can comfort people. They cover up distracting or undesirable sounds. Color noise, such as white noise, is often used to help with focus or getting a restful night’s sleep.
What is the Difference between Each Color Noise?
Brown noise, pink noise, and white noise are words that engineers use to illustrate the scale of sounds and the energy of an audible sound range.
When sound is depicted as color, it describes the frequencies, intensities, and variations. Audio engineering illustrates sound as a rainbow with individual properties.
Colors make describing noises easier to understand frequencies of sound through a color spectrum. This depiction is used for music production, tinnitus treatment, relaxation, auditory processing and integration, and to illustrate natural rhythms such as a heartbeat.
This noise utilizes low and high frequencies. They included the following sounds:
This noise utilizes lower frequencies than white noise. They include the following sounds:
This noise utilizes the deepest frequencies. They include the following sounds:
The first established color noise was white noise - or broadband noise. It has equal power for every sound frequency. This noise includes all frequencies across the audible sound spectrum. White noise absorbs all sounds in the auditory spectrum the same way that the color white absorbs all colors in the visual spectrum. White noise is commonly experienced as static from a TV or radio.
Cognitive and Rest Benefits
White noise may help with brain and hearing function. A 2017 study found that hearing white noise can improve cognitive performance in healthy adults that have low attention levels.
Another possible benefit of listening to white noise is quality sleep. A study on sleep problems among patients who were admitted into the critical care unit found that white noise reduced environmental sounds while enhancing and maintaining sleep. White noise might be beneficial for those with insomnia, or other sleep problems, or if they live in a disordered environment.
People with Tinnitus Should be Careful
Tinnitus is the experience of hearing phantom noise in the ears. It can manifest as a buzzing, clicking, hissing, or roaring noise that affects one or both ears.
White noise has been commonly recommended as a treatment to cover symptoms, but the benefits have been conflicting.
One study found that white noise machines can lessen some of the stress tinnitus causes in patients with normal hearing.
Another study found that listening to color noise could cause the auditory system to overstimulate, make tinnitus symptoms worse, and possibly impact cognitive abilities. They found that nonrandom noises, like music or speech sounds may be more beneficial.
Pink noise is the second most common color noise, after white noise. Pink noise is connected to the relaxing sounds of nature. Pink and white noise are similar in that they can be heard by the human ear and on the broadband spectrum. Lower frequencies of pink noise are easier to hear than white noise.
Pink noise is louder in low-frequencies and softer at higher frequencies. This creates a better quality of sound energy as frequency/pitch rises in a configuration that reflects the way we hear sound.
Pink noise may also help improve sleep quality and memory function in elderly adults.
Brown noise is another color closely linked to white and pink noise, but brown noise is mostly similar to pink noise. Brown noise is deeper and stronger in low frequencies. It does not have the high frequencies that white and pink noises exhibit.
Brown noise has lower, deeper, and more intense frequencies. There’s an even steeper decrease - by approximately 6 dB per octave - making the difference between lower and higher frequencies larger than with pink and white noise.
A study showed that brown noise improved the concentration levels of a group of employees in their work environment. The employees expressed that they were better at concentrating and performing tasks while listening to brown noise through earbuds.
Brown noise also improved sleep and anxiety.
If you are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
These days, noises almost constantly surround us. It can range from the harmless but seemingly endless tapping on a keyboard in our workspace to louder noises from traffic or construction zones that can damage our hearing. Hearing loss, tinnitus, or struggling to hear or communicate with others when there’s too much background noise are common problems for people with damaged hearing.
There’s no cure for permanent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). It’s crucial to either decrease your exposure to noise by lowering the volume on devices, moving to a quieter area, or reducing the exposure time to that noise. If that is not possible, wear hearing protection. There are many different colors, materials, sizes, and styles of hearing protection, so we’ve got a guide to help you select the best option for your unique listening experiences.
1. What is the Amount of Noise Reduction Needed for the Average Person?
Noise that reaches above 70 decibels (dB) for a prolonged period might begin to harm your hearing. Noise over 120 dB can instantly impact your ears and the ability to hear.
First, select hearing protection that will intercept enough noise to lower your exposure to safe listening levels. Most industrial settings are under 95 A-weighted decibels (dBA) or sound levels recommended for healthy listening. Workers need 15 dB of noise reduction to be safe from harmful noises. The average hearing protection can provide 10 dB of sound reduction, do some research to find something that can cover the 15 dB. If you’re uncertain about the noise levels at your worksite, use a decibel meter app.
Louder environments require better noise reduction, but it’s important not to block out too much noise. You still need to be aware of your surroundings. Too much protection for your ears might require you to remove your earplugs or earmuffs to hear others or listen to your equipment. Try getting enough noise reduction to lower your exposure to 75-85 dBA.
There is a Noise Reduction Rating found on the packaging of hearing protection. It represents the range of noise obstructed by the hearing protector when tested in a lab, but workers tend to have significantly less noise reduction while on the job. Find out how much noise reduction you receive from a piece of hearing protection by getting fit-tested. If fit-testing is unavailable at your workplace, you can figure out the fit of the earplugs by talking out loud while gently cupping and uncupping your hands over your ears. A good fit should mean that your voice sounds nearly the same when you cup and uncup your ears.
You should wear double hearing protection when exposed to noises that reach 100 dBA or more (like chainsaws or jackhammers) or noises that make impulsive sounds (like a nail gun or gunshot).
2. Consider Your Workplace and Tasks Performed on the Job
Your job and work environment should affect your decision when finding the proper hearing protection. Do you wear other things on your head to protect yourself, like safety glasses, a hard hat, or a respirator? Eye protection and eyeglasses can prevent a sealed earmuff over the ear, letting noises enter the ear. Earmuffs can make hard hats or helmets challenging to wear effectively. Some earmuffs feature a discreet headband or fit directly onto a hard hat or helmet. Be sure to don hearing protection that safeguards against other safety equipment used in your workplace.
Think about how frequently you get exposed to noises and how often there are breaks in between the noises. Earmuffs are more convenient to remove and replace than earplugs, so wearing them may be better for recurring noises. Another option can be customized earplugs, which may be easier to remove and replace than foam plugs.
Are your hands consistently getting dirt and grime on them while working? Earplugs need to be rolled smaller with clean fingers before insertion. Unless you have a washing facility that is convenient to visit or you have time to wash your hands before inserting the earplugs, use earmuffs instead.
Do you need to hear others while wearing hearing protection? Flat attenuation hearing protectors may be helpful. Special communication headsets that support speech and communication while working in a loud environment are available.
3. Comfort and Convenience
When you select hearing protection that works best for you, wear them consistently and correctly when exposed to loud noises. Find something that fits comfortably but is still convenient to carry around.
Disposable earplugs are the primary choice for hearing protection. You can wear them for an extensive amount of time and in any environment. They are easy to store, light in weight, and can be kept on hand when you have an unexpected exposure. There are a variety of sizes, so pick one that’s right for you. There are small foam earplugs that are inexpensive. You should only wear disposable earplugs once and then toss them out. The ears and earplugs are a breeding ground for bacteria due to moisture, warmth, and dirt becoming trapped in the ear canals. Reusing dirty earplugs can cause severe ear infections.
Earmuffs are generally one-size. They are easier to put over the ears and properly fit consistently. They are easier to remove and replace, and most use them intermittently.
Good hearing health needs proper hearing protection and knowledge about selecting hearing protection, so use this guide before making a final decision.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do You have High-Frequency Hearing Loss? Discover the Symptoms, Preventative Measures, and Treatment Options.
You may not think that you have any form of hearing loss. It’s usually subtle, except in severe cases. You may have hearing loss and not realize it, especially if it’s in the high-frequency range.
There are two different frequencies: high-frequency and low-frequency.
A person with high-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing sounds between 2000-8000 Hz. Some examples of these sounds include birds chirping, children’s voices, and high-pitched instruments like flutes or violins.
A person with low-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing 2000 Hz or lower sounds. Some noise examples include a large dog’s bark or low-pitched instruments like the tuba. Hearing loss in low-frequencies is also known as reverse-slope hearing loss.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is common among people with loss of hearing. The causes of this particular hearing loss include:
Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
One of both ears can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss. The range of severity is as different as the symptoms. Some may not notice it, while others see a significant change.
Here are the most common signs to observe:
Are There Preventative Measures to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
Like noise-induced hearing loss, the only way to prevent high-frequency hearing loss is by avoiding loud settings and wearing proper hearing protection when necessary. If you cannot hear someone speaking to you within arm’s length, this means your environment is too loud. Aging and genetic factors can also cause high-frequency hearing loss, making it unavoidable for some people.
Treatment Options for High-Frequency Hearing Loss
A pure tone screening test determines whether you or a loved one have high-frequency hearing loss. The test will have a range of various frequencies played for the patient to listen to and identify. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and pure tone screening. There is no cure for high-frequency hearing loss, but a hearing aid can help manage your symptoms. Our specialists at Pure Sound Hearing will be able to guide you through your treatment options and recommend hearing aids if necessary.
It’s Springtime! The nice weather is probably drawing you outdoors more often.
Unfortunately, the beautiful flowers that have blossomed have raised the production of pollen and allergies. Even though airborne allergens can be breathed in at any time of the year, there tends to be a spike in allergy-related hearing loss and tinnitus during the spring season.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, can induce symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, ear pressure, feelings of fullness in the ears, or clogged ears. For some, inflammation and/or too much fluid affects a person’s hearing abilities or causes tinnitus. Those who suffer from tinnitus might notice a louder ringing or worsened symptoms of tinnitus.
Can Hearing Loss be caused by Allergies?
In response to allergy exposure, the body’s immune system will produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamine is what causes itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. This is basically hay fever. When mucus overproduces, this can block the Eustachian tube - this tube is the draining passage for the middle ear. The middle ear makes sounds louder and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. If this area becomes inflamed or obstructed your hearing can be affected and/or you can get an ear infection.
Generally, patients who have allergic reactions may notice minor hearing loss with feelings of fullness or pressure in the ear. This indicates that the person may have hearing loss and possibly fluid or inflammation in the middle ear.
Categories of Allergy-Related Hearing Problems
Fullness: Excessive fluid in the ear causes pressure or a feeling of clogged ears. The fluid gets pushed up against the eardrum, creating irritation and making it challenging to hear. Usually, the irritating feeling will eventually go away. If you are noticing any pain, you may have an ear infection and should get help immediately.
Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss happens as a result of sound waves that are unable to correctly travel through the ear and into the tiny bones of the middle ear. If there is excess fluid or ear wax, sound may not properly travel through the cochlea. Conductive hearing loss can be treated and may improve on its own, but it is hard to figure out whether hearing loss is short-lived, treatable, or permanent without thorough tests. If you experience sudden hearing loss or noticeable hearing loss, make an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing right away. If you wait too long, it can be difficult to treat.
Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by allergies happens when the ringing only occurs simultaneously with other symptoms of allergies. If you have allergy-induced tinnitus for many months during the year contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for hearing aid treatment options.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
When your tinnitus symptoms get worse with allergies, it can impact your hearing abilities, your general mood, sleeping patterns, and overall quality of life. If you or a loved one has tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do You Experience Genetic Hearing Loss?
There are some types of hearing loss that are genetic and result in gene mutations.
A person’s genes can make a person more or less susceptible to hearing loss that is caused by aging, medications, infections, or noise-induced. About 35-55% of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is genetic.
Sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are both genetic.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused by deteriorated inner ear nerves and hair cells. Age, excessive noise exposure, head injury, genes, or an illness can lead to this type of hearing loss. There is no medication or surgery that can correct this loss, but hearing aids can be used as a treatment option.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This is caused by an obstruction in the outer or middle ear. Earwax, fluid, a tumor, or the natural formation of your ear can cause obstruction. The blockage essentially inhibits noise from traveling to the inner ear. Surgery or medication are treatment options for this type of hearing loss.
The Genetic Makeup of Ear Cells Affects the Way We Hear
The human body is composed of chemical units that are found in cells, A.K.A. genes. Inside the cell, genes form chromosomes which is what makes DNA and features our hereditary traits. Some genetic makeup of the ear cells can influence hearing abilities and help our brains interpret sounds.
Sometimes there’s a shift in your genes’ DNA, which can affect how they work. If these mutations happen in a gene that holds crucial information about our sense of hearing, it can lead to hearing loss or even deafness.
Hereditary Conditions that Cause Hearing Loss
Otosclerosis, Usher’s syndrome, and Pendred syndrome are all hereditary conditions that cause hearing loss.
Sensory hair cells that are located in the inner ear are crucial for healthy hearing. If there’s a mutation in these cells, they may not function correctly and lead to hearing loss.
Gene mutations and a deformity in the inner ear can lead to deafness at birth or inevitable deafness.
Congenital hearing loss is a genetic condition in which children are either born with hearing loss or born with genes that will cause them to lose their hearing in the future. Typically genetic conditions are what causes hearing loss in newborns.
Every human gene has two copies that are inherited from the mother and father. The risks of hearing loss can be based on a mutation that is dominant or recessive. A dominant mutation can lead to hearing loss if there is damage to at least one of the inherited copies from the parents. Recessive mutations can lead to hearing loss, but only if there’s damage to both copies. For example, if both parents carry the gene mutation, their child has a high chance of hearing loss.
The Complexities of Finding Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss
It’s not easy to identify the exact cause of genetic hearing loss. Several different genes can produce the same type of hearing loss. Those same genes can be part of different kinds of hearing loss. People with the same gene mutation could still experience different degrees of hearing loss.
If you are experiencing hearing loss due to genetic factors, or for any other reason, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Many people experience tinnitus. It’s a symptom of an underlying disease. Making a few modifications to your lifestyle can help make your symptoms more manageable.
Things You Can Change to Manage Tinnitus
If your tinnitus becomes triggered due to stress, finding ways to manage your stress should be a priority. Symptoms of tinnitus can worsen from stress. Yoga and other exercises can help alleviate these symptoms. Check out some other easy and effective techniques to manage stress from these articles:
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Additional Treatment Options for Tinnitus
If you are looking for other treatments, maybe try:
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and would like to try hearing aids as a treatment option, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
You can experience noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from one encounter with a loud noise (like a roaring fire alarm). When sounds are too loud, it doesn’t take very long for hearing loss to follow. The longer a person is exposed to the noise, the more risk there is of hearing loss. It’s especially true if you don’t wear protection for your hearing or if there’s no break in between the exposures.
Here are some examples of loud noises to which you may be vulnerable.
Power Tools and Miscellaneous
Typical Sources of Noise and Decibel Levels
Decibels (dB) are the unit of measurement of sound. A soft voice is approximately 30 dB, a conversation in a normal tone is about 60 dB, and the running engine on a motorcycle is about 95 dB. Noise that surpasses 70 dB for an extensive amount of time could begin to harm your hearing. Any noise over 120 dB can instantly damage your hearing abilities.
Here are some examples of everyday noises and their decibel levels.
These sounds generally do not cause hearing loss:
The softest sound heard by humans: 0 dB
Normal breathing: 10 dB
The ticking noise from a watch: 20 dB
Whispers: 30 dB
Refrigerator hum: 40 dB
Normal conversation, air conditioner: 60 dB
Washing machine and dishwasher: 70 dB - may cause a mild disturbance.
City traffic (while inside a vehicle): 80-85 dB - may cause more disturbance.
The following sounds can cause hearing loss:
Gas-powered lawnmower/leaf blowers: 80-85 dB - may damage hearing after a 2-hour exposure.
Motorcycle: 95 dB - may damage hearing after a 50-minute exposure.
Oncoming subway, train, or car horn within 16 feet, and crowded sports arena: 100 dB - may damage hearing after 15 minutes.
The highest volume level for personal listening devices; a TV, a smartphone; and establishments for entertainment (bars, clubs, rock concerts): 105-110 dB - may damage hearing within 5 minutes or less.
Yelling or a dog barking in your ear: 110 dB - may damage hearing in 2 minutes or less.
Being near loud sirens: 120 dB - can cause ear pain and injury, in addition to hearing loss.
Firecrackers going off: 140-150 dB - can lead to pain, ear injury, and hearing loss.
How can you determine which sound levels are safe?
The impact of low noise levels over an extended time is the same as loud noises heard over a shorter time. You can use a sound level meter (SLM) app to measure noise levels in your environment. Some apps can predict the maximum amount of noise you can handle daily. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend keeping environmental noises lower than 70 dBA over 24 hours - that’s 75 dBA over 8 hours - to avoid noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing problems, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
To better understand your hearing loss or your loved one’s hearing loss, think back on situations where there were miscommunications.
1. What is the Severity of Your Hearing Loss?
It’s the simplest and most common way of characterizing your hearing loss as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Mild hearing loss will still let you hear a conversation without straining as long as you are in a quiet space, without too much background noise, while the person speaking is nearby.
In most cases, if you have severe to profound hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear what anyone is saying.
Hearing loss is more than the inability to hear distinct sounds and tones.
2. Types of Sounds that People can Hear
Presbyacusis is a type of high-frequency hearing loss most common among the elderly. Speech will sound muffled and challenging to understand. Children and other people with higher-pitched voices will be difficult to hear.
You might experience low-frequency hearing loss, mid-frequency hearing loss, or hearing loss on all frequencies.
Sensitivity to certain sounds is also a type of hearing problem.
These issues will affect your ability to follow speech and your comfort level in different environments.
Your hearing healthcare provider might use terms like conductive, sensory, sensorineural, or mixed when characterizing your hearing. These words describe which part of your auditory system has deteriorated. Getting a better sense of them can help you understand why you hear sounds in a certain way and how hearing aids can help.
3. Is Your Hearing Consistent?
Do you notice any changes in your hearing throughout the day or from week to week? Hearing loss that varies can be confusing if you are unaware that you have hearing problems.
4. Do You Experience Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can make hearing even more challenging with any range of loss. If the intensity of your tinnitus fluctuates, it indicates that you may be able to hear better in certain situations, even if your hearing stays the same. The noises caused by tinnitus will intercept whatever you are trying to hear.
Tinnitus can also lead to poor rest. Some therapies may alleviate tinnitus symptoms, including noise machines, meditation, or masking features on apps and hearing aids.
5. At What Age was the Onset of Your Hearing Loss?
Suppose you’ve had hearing loss since infancy (congenital hearing loss). Your residual hearing abilities will be different than if you start losing your hearing later in life due to aging (presbycusis).
Your voice may change and sound different, relationships with others may become strained due to misunderstandings or an impatient partner, and your emotional connection with hearing might also be different.
If you’ve been able to hear during your whole life and that slowly changes, it can be challenging to adjust to this new reality.
6. Did your Hearing Change Suddenly or Gradually?
Seek treatment immediately if you notice sudden or rapid hearing loss. Early treatment can give you a better chance of preserving the hearing abilities that you still have.
Gradual hearing loss can usually get detected by loved ones, colleagues, or other people you see regularly based on your interactions with them.
If you, or a loved one, notice any signs of hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that 25 percent of people with hearing loss, don’t realize they have it?
Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is the most common type of hearing loss. It’s also the type of hearing loss that occurs very slowly over time, making it difficult to notice the loss until it’s too late to treat it.
Early signs of hearing loss are hard to recognize, but it is possible to identify them. There are clues that you, or others in your life, need a hearing test.
9 Signs You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
1. Everyone sounds like they’re mumbling
Do others sound like they aren’t speaking clearly? Are you able to hear certain speech sounds, but not other sounds? Most people with hearing loss start to notice they cannot hear women with high-pitched voices, or children’s voices.
If everyone sounds like they aren’t speaking clearly, you should get a hearing test.
2. Not being able to follow a conversation
Can you mostly hear when others speak, but have difficulty following along during a conversation?
When a person loses their hearing, the brain has to work harder to listen, interpret, and fill in the blanks. This makes it challenging to follow along during conversations. If more than one person is talking, it becomes even more challenging.
3. Others notice your hearing loss before you do
If your family members are constantly telling you to turn the volume down on your TV, computer, or any other device, it’s time to get your hearing tested. If you are both feeling frustrated when trying to communicate with each other, it’s definitely time to get your hearing tested.
4. Easily distracted when there’s background noise
No matter what level of hearing abilities you have, background noise can distract you from your conversations. Most people with healthy hearing can mentally block out most noises and focus on the person/people they are talking to. Someone with hearing loss will stop being able to do this because they are too tired to block it out. Staying on task can be difficult, so if you are easily distracted it’s time to get your hearing checked.
5. Difficulty hearing phone conversations
Some people with hearing loss cannot hear others clearly enough over the phone. The reception can make this experience worse.
Speech that is heard through any phone sounds slightly different than human speech. For anyone with hearing loss, this can make conversations more challenging.
Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand-in-hand, but not always. It’s usually a high-pitched ringing noise that is heard with no outside source. It gets worse when the person who has it is in a quiet environment.
Tinnitus can also sound like a beeping, chirping, hissing, humming, thumping, or roaring sound. If you notice these noises, which tend to occur after being exposed to very loud sounds, get help immediately.
7. Unequal levels of noise
Hyperacusis, also known as hypersensitivity to some noises, is a rare symptom of hearing loss. Losing your hearing can actually make certain sounds louder. Your brain will compensate for the hearing loss by making different sounds louder.
8. Forgetting conversations you had
Do some conversations go through one ear and out the other? It may not be your memory, but rather the fact that your brain is overworked and therefore you have trouble recalling conversations that you weren’t able to hear in the first place.
9. Problems with balance
It’s possible, but rare for hearing loss alongside balance problems. The inner ear controls equilibrium, and anything that affects its function can make it harder to remain balanced and standing upright.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus affects each patient differently. Just like hearing aids, some treatments that work for one person won't work for others. You should get a hearing test from a licensed professional before exploring treatment options.
If the tinnitus is caused by an underlying condition, treating that problem could relieve symptoms. Usually, tinnitus is managed through different therapies. Here are some common treatments:
This is a simple treatment where those who experience tinnitus can listen to sounds in order to refocus the brain from the tinnitus noise to the sounds that are heard through an app, white noise machine, or everyday appliances that are found in the home or workspace like air conditioners. Specialized sound therapy equipment can be used to train and distract your brain from hearing the ringing noises. A tinnitus assessment must be performed in order to identify the frequency and volume of your symptoms.
Programmed Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be programmed to treat tinnitus symptoms. Hearing instrument specialists can program comforting sounds that match the range of frequencies that the patient experiences, in order to mask the distracting ringing noises. Hearing aids can also be programmed to help those who have both tinnitus and hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
We’ll be discussing how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus can be connected to one another, and how a person can be affected by experiencing these issues simultaneously. Research has shown that there’s a link between what reinforces the condition and illustrates how each condition gets worse when experienced in tandem. A guide on how to manage these conditions through various therapies will also be discussed.
Defining Tinnitus and PTSD
Tinnitus is when a person hears a phantom buzzing or ringing noise that is not caused by an external factor. Tinnitus can be experienced by any age group. It can be the result of hearing loss caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, trauma to the head, or diseases/infections in the inner ears.
PTSD is a disorder that is connected to trauma and stress. It is typically linked with members of the armed forces or emergency services because of the high exposure to stressful experiences on the job. PTSD that is experienced by the general public is usually caused by physical or emotional trauma.
Who may experience both Tinnitus and PTSD?
There are a number of at-risk populations that are prone to experience PTSD. Civilians who experienced verbal/sexual abuse, domestic violence, motor accidents, and trauma that occurred at a young age may have PTSD episodes. Military service personnel who endured trauma from combat, survivors from blasts or were held captive for an extended period of time also join this list of the at-risk populace.
Subsets within these groups who experienced trauma have also noticed tinnitus. This includes people who were exposed to blasts, had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash, and problems with head trauma, noise trauma, temporomandibular (TMJ joint), and areas of the neck.
The primary disability claim by U.S. veterans is tinnitus. It makes up more than 80,000 claims each year. The second highest is hearing loss, which makes up 60,000 claims, and there are at least 40,000 claims of PTSD each year. Acoustic trauma can lead to tinnitus. Acoustic trauma is basically loud noise exposure, head trauma, stress, and related medical complaints. These are the daily risks that members of the military experience.
Tinnitus is also common among most of the older population. Even though experiencing PTSD and tinnitus is high among military service personnel, just tinnitus is high among the elderly population. Both conditions are experienced by the general population. Three percent of the general population may experience PTSD symptoms at some point in their life and 10% of the population may experience tinnitus.
Some factors that influence the pervasiveness of PTSD and tinnitus in the general population include physical and emotional domestic abuse, violent crime, stress, exposure to noise, and high numbers of traffic-related collisions. Some of the safest roads in the world are in the UK, but in they also experience an average of 336 accidents per day, or 122, 365 each year. Accidents on the road can cause trauma, PTSD, and tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, head and neck injuries, and shock.
The connection between PTSD and Tinnitus
PTSD and tinnitus may be experienced simultaneously if a person undergoes head trauma during active combat, a car collision, whiplash, or acute stress. These conditions would be diagnosed individually, but they are closely linked by their physiological structures. If PTSD and tinnitus are the results of the same event, when a person tries to deal with both conditions simultaneously the symptoms can underscore each other. The stress from PTSD can trigger tinnitus.
PTSD and worsened Symptoms of Tinnitus
The interference of tinnitus itself can traumatize a person, particularly if that person has trauma that has gone unresolved. Having tinnitus and not being able to properly manage it can remind them of their traumatic experience. Studies from the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Centre Tinnitus Clinic in Tennessee revealed that patients diagnosed with PTSD experienced very severe tinnitus than patients who only had tinnitus. Those who had endured trauma may also have a tendency to focus on the symptoms, which made them worse. Focusing on the noises does not help patients habituate to the phantom sounds. Those who have tinnitus that is worsened by PTSD may also experience hyperacusis - an extreme sensitivity to noise.
Tinnitus and worsened Symptoms of PTSD
Studies on Cambodian refugees at an American psychiatric clinic revealed that symptoms of PTSD were severe in half of the patients who also experienced tinnitus compared to patients without tinnitus.
How to Manage PTSD and Tinnitus Symptoms
Simultaneously experiencing PTSD and Tinnitus can cause each condition to feed off of the other. Tinnitus habituation - experiencing tinnitus to the point where you are no longer bothered by it - can occur after facing and managing your trauma through therapy. Tinnitus symptoms can be managed through sound therapies including apps or noise machines. After the PTSD is processed a more long-term approach to dealing with tinnitus can be managed by wearing hearing aids that can mask the symptoms of tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
6 Hearing Aid Features for Tinnitus
When looking for tinnitus features in hearing aids, sound amplification should be the primary step to help with your selection.
Hearing aids can make speech sounds clearer through amplification. That is the most crucial feature you should have for your hearing devices. It can help mask the noises from tinnitus.
2. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) style
The next most important feature of hearing aids with tinnitus masking is the device’s style. One option is the “receiver-in-canal.” It’s the best hearing aid style for anyone with tinnitus. Most people with tinnitus also experience high-pitched hearing loss. It indicates that trouble with clarity of speech progressively worsened.
This device features a small wire connected to a dome or earpiece placed inside your ear and a piece that rests behind your ear. The receiver with rubber-tipped vents is inserted inside the ear canal. The vents provide a more natural sound. Please be patient, as it will take some time to acclimate yourself to how different noises are heard, but your brain will eventually adjust. It is important to note that your voice will sound different than what you are used to. If you have high-pitched hearing loss, the RIC style would work best for that type of loss.
If you prefer something discreet, the RIC style has a thin wire that goes up along the side of the head and is attached to the hearing aid which rests behind the ear. It still has some visibility, but not as much visibility as other styles.
3. Volume Settings
Volume control is the third most important feature of hearing aids. This feature controls the sound levels of your surroundings with your hearing aids, along with masking noises that cover up the sound of your tinnitus.
You can hear speech sounds better. Your brain needs to be aware of the tinnitus sound to make it seem less threatening. This is necessary for the initial months and years of managing tinnitus.
Being able to adjust the sounds for when the tinnitus symptoms change is also essential. The volume doesn’t need to change in their hearing aids or environment. Instead, they need to make the soothing sounds streaming in their ears louder.
4. Resonant Sound Environment using Sounds that Soothe
Another vital feature of hearing aids is streaming sound therapy. “Soothing sounds” indicate sounds that can be played directly through devices or your smartphone. Users can experience sounds that comfort, soothe, and relax so that the tinnitus isn’t as noticeable. Sound therapy should be used every day to make tinnitus more manageable.
These soothing sounds can range from ocean sounds to white noise.
5. A Strong Battery Life
The fifth crucial feature of hearing aids is their battery life. Accessibility at the touch of a button is helpful when those tinnitus spikes sneak up on you, or you wind up in a space that’s too quiet. The hearing aids use Bluetooth, so strong battery life is important. Carry around an extra pair of batteries, or make sure your hearing aids are fully charged if they are rechargeable.
Some rechargeable hearing aids can last up to 15+ hours on a single charge.
You may get hearing aids with disposable or recyclable batteries. It’s convenient if you don’t have an outlet to recharge. Simply remove the batteries from the packaging, remove the tab, and immediately insert them into the hearing aids. As soon as the battery tab is removed, the hearing aid life will begin to drain.
6. Great Bluetooth Connectivity
Having a good connection to Bluetooth lets hearing aids easily stream sounds from your smartphone or other Bluetooth-supported devices. You can use it to listen to sound therapy apps, podcasts, music, and any other form of media.
You can connect to iTunes, YouTube, or Spotify, and choose a sound that relieves your tinnitus. As long as there’s battery life, you’ll be able to stream these sounds.
If you have tinnitus contact Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing aid trial. Our hearing instrument specialists will guide you and help you figure out what works best for you.
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.
Hearing Loss and Shingles
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.
Whether it’s the sound of someone chewing or a car alarm, they can range from mildly discomforting to downright annoying.
For others, it is downright aggravating. In some cases, noises illicit an intensely instinctive response - which can be true for sounds in general. This sensation is known as misophonia or hyperacusis.
There are ways to treat this condition. All you need to do is pinpoint the sound that gives you this reaction and address the hypersensitivity. The cause and treatment will be different based on what triggers you.
Have you ever needed to leave a room or even snapped at someone because they were chewing loudly? Have you ever experienced anxiety because you heard someone typing on a computer keyboard? Do certain noises cause so much distraction that it stops you from getting anything done?
If that’s the case, you may suffer from misophonia. It’s a condition where certain noises cause a distinct and severely negative emotional response. Misophonia is unique for each person. Different noises can be triggering. Sometimes this response includes rapid heart rate, sweating, and trembling.
A person suffering from hyperacusis will experience physical pain rather than emotional pain. The condition of this pain will be different for everyone, whether it be moderate irritation to completely debilitating.
Hyperacusis is typically provoked by:
Hyperacusis can also show up as severe pressure or an episode of tinnitus that causes pain.
The Difference Between Misophonia and Hyperacusis
Misophonia is a psychological condition. It can be related to trauma connected to a specific noise or the symptom caused by an underlying mental illness. Feelings of apprehension, panic, or frustration during a misophonia incident can lead to physical symptoms, but it’s mainly a psychological condition.
Physical trauma, like a strike to the head or exposure to ear-splitting noise, can result in hyperacusis. Any ear damage can cause symptoms of hyperacusis. It’s uncertain what specific part of the body causes hyperacusis, but it might be an auditory nerve disorder. Essentially, there are obvious physical symptoms and a possible physical cause.
The duration of each episode is also different. Symptoms of misophonia usually don’t last for more than one to two hours. On the other hand, hyperacusis can last for days, weeks, or months after exposure to loud noise.
Misophonia causes a full-body response - in most instances, a triggering noise can lead to a panic attack. Hyperacusis rarely appears in any significant way beyond the ears. Hyperacusis can also occur in one ear instead of both.
These two conditions also receive different methods of treatment.
Hyperacusis can be taken care of by using a hearing aid or sound therapy that can help refocus a person’s attention on white noise instead of the triggering noise.
Misophonia can be taken care of through counseling or therapy. A trained therapist can help you discover why certain sounds lead to a severe emotional response. Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with sound therapy may be helpful.
If you experience hyperacusis, tinnitus, or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
The property by which sounds organize on a frequency-related scale is pitch. For those who experience hearing loss, sounds with higher pitches are often the first to go and the hardest to get back. In other cases, these high pitches can seem louder than usual, which can cause pain. For example, the high frequencies of bus brakes squealing may be painful, but the low frequencies of a jackhammer may not.
If you lose high frequencies, it would be harder to hear children's or high-pitched female voices. If low frequencies go, it would be harder to hear deeper male voices. So, it is good to better understand the pattern of your hearing. For some people, the pitch varies widely in terms of hearing. Any way you look at it, you might limit your interaction with those people and situations you can hear best, which means you will miss out on a lot.
If you are frustrated with your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing aid providers.
Hearing Protection used during Hobbies
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.