Severe/profound hearing loss (SPHL) can be more than just a worsened state of mild/moderate hearing loss.
Anyone who has mild/moderate hearing loss can experience frustrations while communicating. This can lead to socially withdrawing from others because it becomes too challenging and requires too much effort. As we’ve all been made well aware of, we know that becoming too isolated can cause depression.
The strain of trying to hear others, or read their facial expressions can cause a person with hearing loss to become fatigued. When others communicate with you, they may not be accommodating to your listening needs.
SPHL is Apparent on a Daily Basis
Anyone who has SPHL has difficulty with communication in every conversational situation. It doesn’t matter if the room is loud or quiet.
This obstacle hinders your capacity to form and maintain relationships that are crucial to functioning in society. It’s how we understand ourselves and know where we fit in.
Not only does SPHL cause a hindrance in communication, but you may also experience other negative circumstances:
SPHL influences Mental Health
Any roadblocks that interfere with relationships that you have with others will affect the way you see yourself. This can lead to mental health issues, i.e. anxiety and depression. These two factors escalate social isolation, which is already compounded by poor communication skills.
It’s important to point out that very high levels of depression and anxiety can even be found in those with healthy hearing, who regularly communicate with people who have SPHL. In other words, the main concern isn’t necessarily hearing loss, but the interruption of a natural flow of communication between two or more people.
Getting Help for SPHL
Patients with SPHL need the best intervention immediately. Providing the proper hearing aids, along with auditory training, can guide them to their best hearing. Getting in touch with others, in a safe manner, who are going through the same problems can be of help. Peer support for any dilemma, including hearing loss, can be effective. Knowing that others have gone through the same or similar experiences can give you hope.
If you are noticing any range of difficulty with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Maybe you know a thing or two about what it’s like to have hearing loss, but here are 16 facts that you may not know about.
If you or a loved one are noticing hearing loss, get your hearing checked immediately. A hearing test and proper treatment can help save hearing loss or slow it down from getting worse. Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you currently experience hearing loss, protect your hearing from getting worse and discover what helps you hear better.
How to Stop Your Hearing from getting Worse
Medication and surgery are not treatment options for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hair cells that are damaged cause permanent hearing loss, so it’s very important to protect your hearing. If you experience hearing loss, here are some tips to stop or slow down the additional loss.
Consider a Device to Help You Hear
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
If you or a loved one notices a change in hearing abilities, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
In a survey conducted by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association, the topic of tinnitus awareness was discussed.
Approximately 82% of hearing aid providers from the panel revealed that their patients are informed about the connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, leaving 18% who said that their patients are not aware of this association.
One out of 8 people experiences tinnitus. Two-thirds of individuals who have tinnitus, also experience hearing loss. In most instances, hearing loss may be the source of the tinnitus. There are numerous people who, unfortunately, are unaware that they have both symptoms.
The Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Combo
Finding out that you have tinnitus is similar to finding out that you have hearing loss. If you have difficulty hearing high frequencies, the tinnitus usually sounds like a high-pitched beeping, ringing, or hissing sound.
Some individuals who have hearing loss may be able to recognize tinnitus more easily. This is due to their inability to hear as many sounds in their environment that could mask the noises.
Wearing a hearing aid might help with hearing loss and tinnitus. Many digital hearing aids can be programmed to cover up tinnitus by making other sounds slightly louder.
People frequently mistake their tinnitus as the main problem, when it’s the hearing loss that’s causing their frustration. So it’s important to educate and raise awareness about the affiliation between hearing loss and tinnitus. This will help to prevent some of the hardships that may arise and provide the proper resources to help them.
If you or a loved one believe you may be experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss, or only hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Are You a Hearing Aid User with an Active Lifestyle? Here are some Tips for Keeping Your Hearing Aids and Hearing Health in Shape.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you’re a hearing aid user who practices physical exercises regularly, it’s advised that you wear your devices during workout sessions.
3 Reasons why Hearing Aids should be used during Exercise Routines
Be prepared by bringing Hearing Aid Gear during Workouts
To get the most out of your workout, reduce distractions and feel confident while wearing your hearing aids by being prepared. Here’s a suggestion of supplies you should keep with you.
How to take care of Your Hearing Aids after Your Workout
If you frequently work out, be cautious about wear and tear. This will help your hearing aids last longer, after each workout session.
Keep up an Active Lifestyle
According to the Hear the World Foundation, 70 percent of hearing aid users have said that they wear their hearing aids while participating in sports and did not experience any problems. About 37 percent of users said they enjoy participating in sports more when wearing them. So if you aren’t already wearing hearing aids while playing sports, try it out.
Be aware of Dangerous Noise Levels in the Gym
Gyms are well-known for blasting music too loudly during workout sessions. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. If you lift very heavy weights, while holding your breath, this can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. It’s important to protect your ears from lesser-known risks to hearing health. Special settings can be programmed into your hearing aids for all sorts of environments, like gyms.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about programming a customized setting in your hearing aids before your next visit to the gym, or workout session from home.
Do you have older family members who lost their hearing when they were younger, or have experienced difficulties with their balance or even dizziness? Talk to them and learn more about their health issues, it could be genetic.
Hearing Loss within the Family
Types of hearing loss, like presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), can be affected by genetic factors. Essentially, you can acquire an increased risk of hearing loss as you age.
More research is required, but in a study on 376 Caucasian families, genetic influences are a part of presbycusis. The study also noted that even though men generally have more instances of hearing loss, mainly due to noise exposure in traditionally male-dominated jobs, women’s hearing loss was mainly caused by genetic factors.
It is difficult to sift through other components that may impact these studies - such as people’s behaviors that can lead to hearing loss. Families may share the same occupations and habits, so it’s unknown as to whether it’s their genes or the similar behaviors that are connected to hearing loss. It may be a combination of the two.
Be Curious About Your Family‘s Health History
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stressed the importance of learning about your family’s health history and helping you reduce the risks of developing any potentially avoidable health issues. It is recommended that you create a list of immediate family members, and ask if they have any chronic or severe illnesses and what age they developed them. Share this information with family members and your family doctor. This information can help your doctor determine the proper tests and what age you should start these screenings.
Otosclerosis occurs when there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear and affects the stapes bone. Some symptoms of otosclerosis include a gradual loss of hearing, usually struggling to hear low-pitched sounds. Other symptoms may include dizziness, tinnitus, or problems with balance.
The risks of developing otosclerosis are based on your family’s history with the disease. It is usually a genetic problem that is passed from parent to child. A child who has one parent that was diagnosed with otosclerosis has a 25 percent chance of developing the disease. There’s a 50 percent chance if both parents have the disease. The demographic that is at most risk are middle-aged white women.
Conductive hearing loss can be the result of the disease. Surgery can usually fix this problem. In rare instances, otosclerosis can damage sensory cells and nerve fibers located in the inner ear, which can induce sensorineural hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or difficulty with hearing for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Temporary hearing loss can be caused by so many different factors, including infections, impacted earwax, or exposure to loud noises. In many instances, this type of hearing loss is mild and it goes away very quickly. In other cases, consistent or severe hearing loss that suddenly progresses should always be addressed by your hearing healthcare provider. Here’s a list of the most common causes of temporary hearing loss.
5 causes of Temporary Hearing Loss
1. Middle Ear Infections
If the region behind the eardrum fills up with bacterial fluid, there’s a good chance that an infection will develop. It’s important to note that the middle ear has a passageway that leads to the back of the throat, so an ear infection can spread due to the flu or virus. These infections are usually found in children, and they may briefly affect their hearing abilities. Typically, only one ear is affected.
An infection in the middle ear can cause fluid build-up as the body tries to fight against the infection. Ear pressure caused by the fluids can affect the middle ear bones, which are used in hearing. In some instances, these fluids create a lot of pressure to the point where the eardrum can become punctured and discharge blood and pus from the ear. A ruptured eardrum can be painful, but it can usually heal itself when the infection is gone.
You can use antibiotics to treat these infections. If you are given an antibiotic for your ear infection, do not stop taking them because you are feeling better. It’s important to continue taking the medication until the infection is gone to make sure the infection is completely gone. Please be aware that some antibiotics can cause hearing loss. Talk to a hearing healthcare provider when considering treatment options.
2. Swimmer’s Ear
If you have recently gone swimming and now have itchy ears, pain, or feelings of fullness in the ears, you might have swimmer’s ear. This is an outer ear infection that occurs in the outer canal when water stays in your ear after being submerged in a body of water. It can infect one or both ears, and it can cause ear pain.
Did you scratch your ears and can’t hear? Swimmer’s ear can also occur as a result of an abrasion or a scratch on your ear canal from using cotton swabs, hairpins, or your finger to clean your ear canal. Please refrain from placing anything small inside your ear canal. This can damage your eardrum.
Again, you can use antibiotics to treat this infection. Your hearing can go back to normal with the proper treatment. Take preventative measures by making sure you get rid of any water that gets trapped inside your ear canal.
3. Loud Noises
Any exposure to very loud noises - whether you’re at a concert, or using power tools without ear protection - can cause temporary hearing loss.
What causes this to happen? The inner ears feature tiny hair cells that gather and transmit sound waves to the brain. These hair cells can become damaged due to very loud noise exposure. It normally affects both ears, although the severity of hearing damage can be worse in the ear that was exposed to more noise. There is usually no pain. Noise-induced hearing loss is sometimes permanent.
As soon as you realize your ears have been damaged, rest your ears immediately. If possible, refrain from being exposed to any more noise by using earplugs or covering your ears with your hands.
In most cases involving exposure to loud noises, the hearing should return in a short amount of time. There may be some permanent damage to the ear’s hair cells. If your hearing does not get better in a day or so, seek professional help.
Remember to carry earbuds or earmuffs that help block out loud noises, if you’re going to be in a loud environment.
A combination of continuous muffled hearing and ringing ears is a sign of tinnitus, which can be caused by exposure to loud noises. Be mindful of the volume, and turn it down on your devices. Where hearing protection.
4. Earwax Buildup
Earwax helps trap dust and other tiny particles that enter your ears before they reach your eardrums. Earwax naturally falls out of your ear canals, but sometimes the wax becomes impacted and obstructs the ear canals. This blockage can lead to sudden hearing loss in one or both ears, which can interfere with sound waves as they make their way through the ear canal and towards the eardrum. A malfunctioning eardrum can lead to poor hearing. It can affect one or both ears and usually doesn’t cause pain.
5. Side Effects from Medication
Some easily accessible drugs, like aspirin, have been connected to hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears. If you notice anything different about your hearing after taking a new medication, inform your healthcare provider. You may be advised to switch medications. This form of hearing loss is typically temporary, but there are some instances - particularly if another medication isn’t available for serious conditions - when hearing loss can become permanent.
Don’t ignore hearing loss, whether it’s temporary or you have been experiencing it for a while now. Untreated hearing loss can worsen and cause additional problems other than the inability to hear.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
It’s that time of year when many people are traveling by plane to visit loved ones. Not only should you, as passengers, be aware of potential hearing hazards, but employees at airports should also be aware of dangerous noise levels.
In the U.S., one of the most prevalent injuries that happen while working is occupational hearing loss. There are numerous noises that workers come in contact with when they are coordinating flights.
Noise Sources on Aircrafts
CDC Recommendations for Noise Levels in Work Environments
The Unknown Correlations between Aircraft Noise and Hearing Loss
What Should You Do to Protect Your Hearing Health on an Aircraft?
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss due to a job environment or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Think about the sound of birds chirping, the siren alarms from an emergency vehicle, listening to a funny joke (and hopefully the laughter that follows), or your favorite music.
These are the sounds that make us aware of our surroundings and allow us to enjoy simple pleasures in life.
The ability to hear is important. Here are five tips for better hearing.
1. Recognize the signs. According to the World Health Organization, over 466 million children and adults across the globe have a debilitating form of hearing impairment. Nearly every type of hearing loss can be treated. First, it’s important to recognize the signs. Do you hear muffled sounds when others speak? Do you have trouble hearing someone over the phone or if you’re in a crowded area and someone is standing/sitting within arms-length of you? Is it difficult to hear women or children’s voices? Do family members complain that your TV, movie, or music is too loud?
Family members will usually recognize hearing loss in their loved ones first.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
2. Reduce your exposure to noise. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. It impacts people of all ages, and it’s on the rise as one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Whether you are at a concert, watching fireworks, using power tools/vacuum cleaners, or working in a construction zone, limit your time in those loud environments when possible and wear proper hearing protection.
3. Do not use cotton swabs. It’s common to insert cotton swabs into your ear, but it is dangerous. Pushing the swab too far can damage your eardrum. If you are using them to clean, here’s news for you: the swabs are actually pushing earwax (cerumen) further into your ear canal, which can cause the earwax to become impacted. Remove excess cerumen by rubbing a soft, warm cloth on your ears after showering or soften the wax with drops of warm olive oil, water, or over-the-counter ear drops. These should only be used if you don’t have a perforated eardrum.
4. Follow a healthy diet with regular exercise. A proper diet is not only beneficial for your hearing, but also for your overall health. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes that are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like folate, magnesium, and zinc should be incorporated into your diet.
5. Get your hearing tested annually. Hearing tests are rarely conducted during routine physical exams with your primary care doctor. Other pressing matters tend to take up more time during your appointment. If your hearing health is an urgent concern, you may be referred to a hearing healthcare professional.
At Pure Sound Hearing, we offer free hearing tests and consultations. Contact us today.
There are no medications or surgeries that can treat noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Once the tiny hair cells on your ears are damaged, they do not grow back. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when possible.
If you currently experience hearing loss, here are some precautions you should take to prevent the loss from worsening:
6 Tips to Navigate Life with Hearing Loss
Use an External Device to Help you Hear
If you currently experience hearing loss, hearing devices can work with the hearing that you still have.
Hearing aids amplify sounds while reducing distracting background noises. Programming the hearing aids and adding different channels can help you hear in different environments while honing in on sounds that are picked up through the hearing aids’ directional microphone.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
An assistive listening device can help someone with hearing loss hear better while on the phone with telephone amplifiers. An alarm clock or a fire alarm that flashes or vibrates can alert you. Loop, FM, and infrared systems can send sounds to some earphones and hearing aids. These can help you hear TV broadcasts, movies, theater shows, and announcements in other public areas.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss and need guidance for treatment options, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Poisoning from carbon monoxide (CO) can induce hearing loss and brain damage. This type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss, meaning damage occurs in the cochlea or vestibular nerve.
CO exposure causes hair cells in the ear to die off and intensifies symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss.
Make sure your home, apartment complex, and place of business have a carbon monoxide detector.
There is currently no way to restore damaged inner ear hair cells, but treatment with hearing aids can be beneficial if there is any loss of hearing.
If you or a loved one experience hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you live in a bustling city or work in a loud industrial environment, you are well aware of how harmful ordinary noises can be. Long-term noise exposure can cause serious damage to your hearing health and may lead to permanent hearing loss. In addition to these noises, alarms for company fire drills - or even a smoke detector in your own home - can increase that potential harm.
The Average Noise Levels of a Fire Alarm System
Fire alarms and smoke detectors identify possible dangers and alert anyone in the building about them. Most fire alarms give off audio and visual signals from a loud beeping noise to flashing strobe lights which warn people that there may be an emergency that needs your attention and action.
In the U.S., most fire alarms can range from 65 decibels (dB) to 120 dB. The average smoke detector in your home usually reaches 85 dB.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reported that recurrent exposure to sounds that reach at least 70 dB can induce hearing loss.
The distance between you and the sound source, along with the amount of time you are exposed to it will determine how harmful it is to your hearing.
Other common noises that can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) include:
Why do some Alarms Sound off Louder than Others?
Fire alarms vary in their loudness. It’s based on the fire alarm manufacturer and model, in addition to its intended purpose.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported the fire alarms that have been installed in public areas like offices, shops, and restaurants, should be at least 15 dB above the average sound level of the surrounding environment.
The sounds of normal speaking voices in an office setting can reach between 50-60 dB. The fire alarms in those environments might only reach 75 dB or more, although a busy commercial kitchen or a large commercial space that has tall ceilings can have a higher decibel range for the fire alarm.
If you have hearing loss, a standard smoke detector may not be loud enough to alert you. It is recommended that you install a smoke detector that uses strobe lights and vibrates. Read more information about this from What Style of Alarm Systems Should You Use if You Have Hearing Loss?
What can you do to Protect Your Hearing when a Fire Alarm goes Off?
If you live or work in a setting that practices routine fire drills, and you want to be ready to protect your hearing, there are a couple of things you can do.
First, you should have a fire evacuation plan. Everyone must evacuate the building when there is a fire. Discuss the plan and steps that need to be taken with others who occupy the buildings that you live and work in. This will help reduce confusion and the amount of time that you spend in a potentially unsafe environment. When there is a fire dill, always cover your ears with your hands or arms when possible. You could even keep a pair of earplugs in a safe place that is easy to access when there is a drill.
Make sure your fire alarms are thoroughly examined to figure out the best decibel levels that are required to alert you during an emergency.
If you or a loved one are experiencing NIHL, or hearing loss that is caused by any other reason, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It’s important to be aware that hearing loss can occur at any age. Parents, grandparents, and guardians should monitor their child’s listening routines and volume levels on toys and other electronic devices. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss.
What to Look out for in Children's Toys
Toys with sirens and rubber toys that squeak and squeal can produce noises that reach up to 90 decibels (dB). That’s as loud as a gas-powered lawnmower or a subway train. This can harm a child’s hearing, especially if they are exposed to this noise for an extensive amount of time. Workers who are exposed to environments with these similar noise levels should wear earplugs or industrial-grade ear muffs.
Toys that reach up to 90 dB can actually be more dangerous because children have a tendency to hold the toy directly by their ears. As a result, the toy can expose the child to 120 dB of sound. That level of noise is equivalent to the sound of a jet plane lifting up into the air. This frequency of noise can lead to permanent hearing loss.
A child’s risk of hearing loss can increase if they take medication that influences hearing health. Some medications include chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, carboplatin, and certain antibiotics that are placed in their IV.
Toys that Expose Risks
Here’s a list of certain toys that can endanger your child’s hearing:
Being careful about dangerous noise levels in toys should be as important as checking for small parts on a toy that your child or grandchild can swallow.
Listen to a toy before purchasing it. If the sounds are too loud do not purchase them. You can easily download a decibel meter app onto your smartphone and measure the sounds. Safe listening levels for babies are 60 dB or lower, and 82 dB or lower for children.
Test the toys that are already in your home. If necessary, remove batteries or get rid of toys that are too loud.
If you or a family member are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids that can be tailored and programmed for your specific needs.
We are continuing our coverage on diabetes and hearing loss.
Your levels of blood sugar, whether they are too high or too low, can harm your hearing health. Here is some advice on how to help prevent hearing loss if you are a diabetic.
There are many causes for hearing loss, such as natural aging or over-exposure to loud noises. Diabetes is another potential factor in hearing loss. Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels is a crucial part of taking care of your diabetes. This can also help preserve your hearing.
Diabetes and Hearing Loss
Nerve damage can occur due to diabetes. This can affect your entire body from your feet to your ears.
As time progresses, small blood vessels and nerves found in the inner ear can deteriorate from high levels of glucose that enter your blood. If you have low blood sugar, it can negatively impact how nerve signals are transferred from your inner ear to your brain. Hearing loss can occur as a result of both of these types of nerve damage.
Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss than people of the same age group who do not have diabetes. People who have prediabetes (blood sugar levels that are higher than average, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes) are 30% more likely to experience hearing loss than individuals with normal blood sugar levels.
How do I know if I Have Hearing Loss?
As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss happens gradually over time. It may be undetected by the person affected. Friends, family, and colleagues usually notice your hearing loss before you do.
Protect Your Hearing by Protecting Your Ears
Hearing loss cannot be cured, but here’s a guide on how you can protect your hearing health:
Hearing loss can negatively affect your relationships and interactions with family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers, and other professionals. Hearing health is just one out of several reasons why taking care of your blood sugar levels needs to be a priority. You can also feel better and have more energy by doing it!
If you or a loved one notice hearing loss for any reason, please get in touch with one of our hearing instrument specialists who will help you towards a journey of better hearing and overall health.
Experiencing hearing loss can be contributed to high levels of glucose.
Both diabetes and hearing loss is very common among American adults. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) have reported difficulty with their hearing. These symptoms increase as people age. About 25% of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 fall under this category. Nearly 50% of people who are 75 years of age, or older, experience a disabling hearing loss. These two groups, those with diabetes and those with hearing loss, have an overlap.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reported that people with diabetes are two times more likely to have hearing loss, than those who do not have diabetes. American patients who have prediabetes blood glucose levels tend to have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss than individuals with normal blood glucose levels.
The ADA recently started recognizing that hearing loss is prevalent among people with diabetes. Recently, hearing healthcare referrals are now being provided to patients for initial diabetes care management.
Difficulty with hearing in both high and low frequencies is a prevailing symptom in diabetic patients.
Stronger links have been detected in studies on younger individuals.
According to an analysis by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), deterioration of one’s hearing was two times more likely in patients with diabetes, as opposed to those without diabetes. This assessment was made after adjusting for each patient’s age and other possible risk factors for hearing impairment.
Risk factors for hearing impairment for patients with diabetes include coronary heart disease, low HDL cholesterol, peripheral neuropathy, and poor health in general, but a connection between hearing loss and blood glucose levels has not been routinely observed.
Patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases have been encouraged to get a hearing test because medications related to the disease have affected patients’ overall health, which can impact their hearing health.
How Diabetes can Induce Hearing Loss
There are theories that diabetes can negatively affect hearing and vestibular function. The ear’s physique makes it more complicated to research this information. The small and fragile structures of the ear make it extremely difficult for the dissection and medical imaging studies to inspect the effect of diabetes in the inner ear.
There are animal models that can be dissected to see where damage is done, then from that information you need to interpret what that suggests for humans. A lot of the science leans on interpretations which is what makes it so difficult.
It’s important to note that the majority of studies have shown a distinct parallel between hearing loss and diabetes. There are three central theories for how diabetes can directly or indirectly damage your hearing health.
Diabetes can Contribute to Falls
Other concerns for anyone with hearing loss and diabetes are falls. The vestibular system - the sensory system that provides the primary sense of balance and spatial orientation in one’s movement with balance - is located in the inner ear, and can become damaged due to diabetes. Dizziness is the number one complaint in patients over 70 years old.
A hearing test can be administered in diabetic patients, and if hearing loss is identified in the results, hearing aids can be worn. This can slow down hearing loss and help with balance issues.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or balance problems caused by hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It should be no surprise that whether you are listening to music or media, a long length of time spent listening plus a high volume level can eventually lead to hearing loss.
This can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time.
Across the globe, children, teens, and young adults spend time listening to music for several hours each day. The volumes often surpass the recommended limits for each person. Awareness of this issue, and actions taken against it, is the best way to practice self-care.
The previous threshold for listening was 85 decibels (dB), but that has currently been lowered to 70 dB by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 50 percent of people between the ages of 12 to 35 are susceptible to hearing loss after long and disproportionate exposure to powerful sounds from music playing through earbuds or headphones.
It’s important to remind readers that serious levels of hearing loss are not signs of normal aging. It’s a result of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
It’s similar to how many falsely believe that large wrinkles and dark spots of skin are signs of normal aging. They are the result of harmful exposure to solar and UV rays.
Important Hearing Statistics
Anyone who frequently uses a personal listening device, along with earbuds or headphones, is damaging their hearing health.
The younger population tends to have listening devices that come with earbuds or headphones. While others can’t hear their chosen media, they are doing serious harm to their hearing.
Many of these young people will begin to notice difficulty with their hearing by the time they reach their mid-40s. They will struggle with hearing just as much as their grandparents, who are at least in their 70s.
Hearing loss not only impacts your ability to hear and communicate but as frequently mentioned in this blog, cognitive decline and risks of dementia become more serious.
In a study from 2011, people with hearing loss had a higher chance of having dementia symptoms if:
Research indicates that anyone who does not receive treatment for their hearing loss promptly is at higher risk of dementia.
There have been studies that showed hearing loss that was treated with hearing aids reduced risks of cognitive decline and dementia.
Even though this information is important, the key to healthy hearing is preventative care. General health habits like diet and exercise help your overall health, which can impact your hearing health.
Follow Healthy Limits to Noise
As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss from noise can occur instantly or gradually over time.
Some people live in bustling cities or work in loud environments, causing recurring exposure to unsafe levels of noise which could impact long-term health.
Here are tips on how to keep your hearing health safe:
Hearing health in children and teens is particularly important. Their bodies are still developing. They need to hear to learn and acquire social skills. Hearing loss impedes that process for social development and education, which can negatively impact work performance and income.
Sound Level Meter App
You may use a free or inexpensive sound level meter app to measure noise levels in any environment and determine whether you should leave the area for a quieter space.
Detect Warning Signs of Hearing Loss
It’s important to know what the warning signs of hearing loss are so that you can immediately seek help. Oftentimes, it’s family members, friends, or co-workers who notice your hearing loss before you do. Here are some common signs:
This rounds up our work of raising awareness for Protect Your Hearing Month.
If you are noticing hearing loss, or if you haven’t had your hearing checked in a long time, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids and some assistive listening devices for a wide range of hearing loss.
Have you ever wondered if you heard a real noise, or if it was all in your head?
If you are hearing a beeping, buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound that nobody else around you hears, there’s a possibility that it is tinnitus. You should get it checked immediately by a hearing healthcare professional. After going over your medical history with them, they will examine your ear canal with an otoscope and check for earwax build-up. After carefully cleaning out the earwax, your hearing may be restored. If it’s not caused by earwax obstruction, a hearing test will be conducted.
If there is an obstruction or tinnitus, you may be referred to a physician. If there are no other obstructions present, i.e. a foreign object, and no other possible causes are found, you may have hearing loss. Tinnitus and hearing loss usually go hand-in-hand. If you are experiencing tinnitus, chances are that hearing loss is inevitable. Nearly 90% of individuals who have tinnitus, also have some range of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Tinnitus Assessments from a Hearing Healthcare Professional
At Pure Sound Hearing, our hearing care providers may conduct a pure tone audiometry test. This test would have a high chance of being administered if your tinnitus is single-sided (unilateral) or if you also experience hearing loss. The pure tone audiometry test will play a range of frequencies at different volume levels. Even if you cannot detect any difference in your hearing, this test can show areas where your hearing has weakened. Remember, hearing loss occurs gradually over time and you might not notice the loss until it becomes very severe. Catching your hearing problems early can potentially slow down the loss. You may be asked to repeat words back to your hearing healthcare provider so that they can hear how accurately a patient repeats these words.
Tinnitus is the perceived noise that a person hears, which cannot be heard by anyone else. Our specialists will use sound matching to determine what the patient experiences. This practice involves playing audio clips to recognize which sound is closest to the sound that the person hears internally.
Our hearing instrument specialists may use a minimal level of masking to conclude whether a patient experiences tinnitus. This will also determine how loud a sound is conveyed. Our providers will play an audio clip at gradually increasing volume levels until the patient indicates that the external noises completely cover up the phantom sounds.
Your Experiences with Tinnitus
By discussing your tinnitus with our hearing instrument specialists, they will be able to help you understand how your symptoms are negatively affecting your daily life and overall well-being.
Tinnitus is not a disease, but the symptom of an underlying health condition. If you are noticing a beeping, buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to talk about the problems you are experiencing and we'll help you find a solution.
This blog has covered various causes of hearing loss. There’s noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), presbycusis, hearing loss that is caused by illness, infection, or may be present at birth. While playing sports is a great form of exercise and helps build teamwork skills, it may also lead to a higher risk of hearing loss and tinnitus. Athletes are more prone to injuries and tend to be exposed to excessive noises.
Hearing Loss in relation to Sports Injuries
Hearing injuries while engaging in sports on the field are one of the highest risks to an athlete. Damage to the ear or auditory system of the brain can be caused by a head or neck injury, which may lead to permanent hearing loss. In contact sports, like football, the injuries in athletes are more frequent. The majority of football players have experienced at least one concussion throughout their professional career. A number of them have had multiple head injuries, and endured damage to the inner ear or ear canal.
These head injuries do not only affect cells in the inner ear, but they could also cause harm to the bones in the middle ear, or obstruct the ear canal. This creates challenges for sounds to reach the inner ear. Concussions and head injuries may also induce symptoms of tinnitus.
The obvious loud noises that are associated with sports stadiums can also cause hearing loss. Athletes and fans express excitement over scores during live games. In addition to the music that plays during the games or at halftime shows, fans will cheer, shout, and stomp their feet. This can be overwhelming for the ears and cause hearing loss for athletes and fans.
Hearing loss usually goes unnoticed at first, so there’s a risk for athletes who participate in games where the noise is intense.
If You’re an Athlete, Protect Your Hearing
It’s important for athletes to wear hearing protection, when they are in high risk situations. It’s also important for them to avoid injuries while playing on the field. Wear earplugs that are customized for your ears, so that they don’t fall out while engaging in sports.
If You’re a Sports Fan, Protect Your Hearing
If you’ve been to live gaming events, there’s a chance that you have been exposed to harmful levels of noise. If you have left an arena and notice everything sounds muffled or hear a buzzing/ringing sound, that indicates the environment was too loud and there may be damage to your hearing.
Protect your hearing when you go to sports games, and encourage friends and family to do the same. You can easily purchase earplugs made from foam, plastic, or wax. You can tell if your environment is too loud if you find yourself shouting in order to communicate with someone who is sitting or standing right next to you.
Get Your Hearing Tested
There’s a higher risk of hearing loss among athletes, so regular hearing screenings and hearing tests need to be administered during their healthcare check-ups. Sports fans who regularly attend live sporting events, or even watch them on loud TVs, should also be conscious of their hearing health.
Start by getting a baseline hearing test. This will show you your specific hearing range. When you go to follow-up appointments, you can use the baseline hearing test results and compare them with your latest hearing test results. Getting treatment for your hearing loss can help you keep the hearing abilities you still have while slowing down further loss. It will also be easier to adjust to your hearing aid or assistive listening devices, to improve your overall hearing and health.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you are experiencing hearing loss. Our providers will patiently work with you to find the best solutions.
The ripple effect of hearing loss on your life and the life of your loved ones is serious, which is why it’s important to be aware of potential ways that you can lose your hearing.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
The only avoidable type of hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Being in a loud environment, like a concert or a noisy workplace, could pose a danger to your hearing health.
It’s important to practice preventative measures because once you lose your hearing, you cannot get it back.
Ears have tiny hair cells that help you hear. Once the hair cells are damaged, they cannot be reconstructed and hearing cannot be restored. This is why it’s so important to start protecting your ears at a young age. If you already have difficulty with hearing, it's still important to take precautions in order to slow down or prevent worsening symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus.
3 Hearing Loss Facts
Decibels: A Unit of Noise Measurement
Noise is measured in decibels (dB). Listening to sounds that are 85 dB or higher can eventually lead to hearing loss or tinnitus. Consider this “equation”:
volume level + length of time spent listening = risk of damage to your hearing health
Examples of Sounds and their Decibel Levels
Whispering - 30 dB (Safe noise level)
A humming refrigerator - 40 dB (Safe noise level)
Dishwasher - 45 to 65 dB (Safe noise level)
A conversation (with your normal speaking voice at arm’s length) - 65 to 80 dB. This is considered a safe noise level, but if you need to yell at someone during your conversation who is at arm’s length, the background noise is probably too loud.
Lawnmower - 80 to 100 dB. You may lose some of your hearing, so wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing.
A movie playing in the theater - 70 to 104 dB. Protect your ears by sitting far away from the speakers, and wear earplugs.
Motorcycles - 80 to 110 dB. Riding or being around a motorcycle after an hour can lead to hearing loss. Wear earplugs and then put on a helmet before you start your ride.
Sports events - 94 to 110 dB. Hearing loss can occur in less than half an hour at a sports game. A combination of a cheering and/or stomping crowd, and blaring music can lead to hearing loss. Wear earplugs.
Headphones - 96 to 110 dB. If you listen to music through headphones at the highest volume, you could lose some of your hearing within a few minutes. Protect your hearing by lowering the volume.
Rock concerts, parties, or nightclubs - 95 to 115 dB. Hearing loss can occur within a few minutes, so it’s important to wear earplugs. The band wears them as they play. Don’t stand near the speakers.
Sirens - 110 to 129 dB. The sirens from an ambulance, police car, or fire truck can cause some hearing loss in under a minute. When you see one of these vehicles approaching, get away from the noise, if it’s possible (you can close your car windows.) If you are outdoors, simply plug your fingers in your ears until after they pass by.
Fireworks - 140 to 160 dB. Fireworks are fun to watch, but they can harm your hearing. If a firecracker explodes close to your ear, you can completely lose your hearing. Protect your ears by wearing earplugs or earmuffs, and watch from a safe distance.
Hearing Loss Warning Signs
Warning signs, such as pain or ringing in the ears, don’t occur until there is hearing damage. If you notice that loud noises aren’t as aggravating as they used to be, this indicates that you have lost some of your hearing.
You can figure out whether your environment is dangerous to your hearing if you need to yell at someone who is standing just a couple of feet away, in order to communicate with them. This means you should put your earplugs in, or go to a quieter space.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Just about everyone has experienced getting a song stuck in their head. But have you ever heard a tune that isn’t actually playing?
You could have a condition known as, musical ear syndrome (MES) or musical tinnitus. This is similar to tinnitus, except you hear music or singing when there’s no actual source for the sounds.
If you are experiencing this, be aware that this is NOT an early sign of dementia. However, it may be the result of hearing loss.
Let’s learn a little more about MES, treatment options, and whether there are tricks to lower the volume.
Musical Ear Syndrome: An Explanation
MES is a chronic condition that causes musical auditory hallucinations. It’s actually fairly common but rarely diagnosed. It’s derived from hearing loss, but the basic details of this condition are still unknown.
The brain gathers information from your five senses to help you understand your environment. When you have complications with your hearing, the brain won’t completely shut off its functioning. Instead, the brain will find something to replace the lack of ability to hear with a sound that will stimulate it. It essentially fills in the void with noises that it has heard in your different environments. An assortment of sounds can be produced. When it comes to MES, the brain will replace the void with music.
Do we know the causes of Musical Ear Syndrome?
Even though the logistics of MES are still being researched and studied, some causes of the syndrome have been identified.
1. Hearing Loss
Disregarding other hallucinatory or cognitive symptoms, hearing music that is not actually playing may be caused by hearing loss. It is possible to have MES and other conditions like dementia.
2. Wearing a Cochlear Implant
Some reported cases that caused MES includes the insertion or removal of a cochlear implant.
The connection between cochlear implants and MES has not been thoroughly analyzed, so there is insufficient information. A study on 82 patients, showed that 22 percent had developed MES - 7 prior to implantation and 11 post-implantation.
Some medications can induce hallucinations, which include auditory hallucinations. These instances generally include hearing voices or noises.
It is very uncommon that medications would cause MES. If you do notice that your medication is causing any type of hallucinations, mention it to your healthcare provider.
What are treatments for Musical Ear Syndrome?
1. Hearing Aids
Getting treatment for hearing loss could reduce the symptoms. If your hearing can be improved with hearing aids, that could help stop your brain from trying to fill in the blanks.
If your MES is not being induced by your medication and you have run out of options, other medications might help. Here are some medications that have been used to treat MES:
There are possible side effects to every medication, so talk to your healthcare provider before selecting a treatment option.
Changes in Your Lifestyle
Other things that you can do, besides hearing aids and medical treatments, are little changes to your daily routine that may reduce the impact of MES.
If you can hear, whether it’s with or without a hearing aid, add some external noises. This may seem unusual or unhelpful, but listening to music or background noise might deter your brain from creating its own noise.
Strategies to practice if the music is distracting you:
Activities to practice in order to lower stress in connection to MES:
MES happens when you hear music even when there’s no outer source that is creating it.
It is created in your brain. It is NOT a psychological problem or symptom of dementia. It’s generally caused by some range of hearing loss, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids could be a solution to MES. If you have MES, find out whether you have hearing loss by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
It’s important to protect your hearing health. Poor hearing can negatively impact your daily life, interactions with other people, your job, your income, and your overall health. This is why it is crucial to learn the difference between earplugs and earmuffs. Both of them can protect your ears, but they help in very different ways. It all comes down to your personal preferences. Before selecting hearing protection, do some research.
Protection for Your Hearing
Hearing protection can help preserve your hearing health and the health of your ears. They are meant to be worn either in or around your ears when you are in an environment with noise levels that exceed the average human’s hearing threshold of 80-85 decibels.
Devices used for hearing protection are made to decrease the risks of noise-induced hearing loss, which can be annoying and in some instances irreversible. Equipment used for hearing protection can help shield your ears from noise-related syndromes such as overall discomfort, hypertension, stress, and tinnitus. There are two primary types of hearing protection: earplugs and earmuffs. Let’s learn about their differences and similarities.
Earplugs will provide the most protection for those who wear them. Generally, they are small, shaped like a tube, and can be inserted in your ear canal. There are disposable and reusable versions. You may select foam earplugs, custom molded or preformed earplugs, musician earplugs, electronic earplugs, or non-linear acoustic earplugs that are filtered.
Earplugs are easy to take with you when you’re on the go, because they are small and lightweight. They are more affordable than earmuffs, and disposable earplugs are even less expensive than reusable ones. Earplugs are comfortable to wear, especially if you have to work in a hot, humid environment or an area that has confined space.
The downside of earplugs (both reusable and disposable) is that it takes extra time to place them in your ears correctly. They need to be properly placed in your ears in order for them to function at an optimal level. It is recommended that you place the earplugs in your ear’s canal, then use your fingers to dig them in and out of the canal until they feel comfortably fitted.
Good hygiene is important while touching your earplugs. Your hands should be clean whenever you handle your earplugs, otherwise, they can become infected or irritated with dirt and bacteria. Keep your earplugs in a case or purchase a pair with cords attached, so that you don’t misplace them.
Earmuffs have a basic design that is intended to block out noise. It looks like a headband that features ear cups on each end. The ear cups are donned on the outer part of the ear while utilizing the headband’s clenching force to ensure that it fits comfortably on the head as it obstructs loud sounds. You may select the standard earmuffs, click-onto helmet earmuffs, active electronic earmuffs, or active noise reduction earmuffs.
Earmuffs are easier to wear and remove than earplugs. They are usually worn in environments with an irregularity of noise. They are also designed to fit most head shapes. No matter what size your head is, you can find earmuffs that will fit. It’s easier to find and keep track of where your earmuffs are since they are larger than earplugs.
The less convenient aspects of earmuffs are that they are heavier and not easily portable. Due to their size and difficulty to travel with, earmuffs can also be a hassle to wear along with your current personal protective equipment (PPE). Earmuffs also tend to be uncomfortable to wear in warmer weather.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. We offer hearing aid solutions, assistive listening devices, and hearing protection for your individual needs.
A study conducted on American adults explored the possible connection between hearing loss and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that blocks airflow from entering the lungs. When oxygen levels in your blood drop, this can harm your hearing by preventing healthy blood flow to your ears. Like all of the organs in your body, your ears need healthy blood flow to function properly.
Symptoms of COPD:
Causes of COPD include long-term exposure to:
Complications related to COPD:
When you have poor blood flow, this can negatively impact your hearing health. Just like all of the organs in your body, your ears need healthy blood circulation to function properly.
The best way to prevent COPD is to:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss caused by COPD, or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
According to a 2016 study from the JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, wearing earplugs is effective in preventing temporary hearing loss that is caused by exposure to loud music over the course of several hours.
In a study on 51 adults (with an average of people who were 27 years old), researchers randomly selected 25 people and asked them to wear earplugs that were provided by the researchers while attending an outdoor concert. The other 26 concert attendees did not wear earplugs. The earplugs had a reduced rate of 18 decibels (dB). Before and after the 4.5-hour concert, a standard hearing test was conducted on each participant.
The authors of the report concluded that eight percent of the participants who wore earplugs for the duration of the concert had some temporary hearing loss; whereas 42 percent of the participants who did not wear earplugs experienced some hearing loss.
Tinnitus - a beeping, buzzing, hissing, ringing, etc. noise that can be caused by exposure to loud noises - was diagnosed in 12 percent of participants who donned earplugs, compared to 40 percent of participants who did not wear earplugs.
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of reasons from machinery used in a work environment to leisure activities. The only way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), is by wearing hearing protection - such as earplugs or earmuffs - or limiting the amount of time you are exposed to dangerous noise levels.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer many hearing aid styles and some assistive listening devices for your specific hearing needs.
When experiencing a health problem, you want to quickly get answers for it so that you can begin treatment options as soon as possible. The best and timely treatment can help get better and quicker results.
When you have a cold or allergy, you treat them with different medications. The same thing goes with hearing loss. When you give more details about your experiences and problems, it makes it easier to narrow down the possible causes and treatments. You can think about:
When thinking about these things, you can address the specific issues with your hearing loss, discuss the best treatment options for you, and then go back to living your best life.
What type of hearing loss am I experiencing?
Hearing loss can be classified under three categories: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, or mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells have deteriorated - as a result of age, exposure to excessive noise, an injury, or an illness. This type of hearing loss cannot be corrected with medication or surgery, but it can be treated with hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a blockage in the outer or middle ear. The blockage can be from earwax, fluid, a tumor, or even the way your ear is naturally formed. This obstruction prevents noise from traveling into the inner ear. Treatment options for conductive hearing loss include surgery or medication.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is simply a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss
There are a number of causes for hearing loss. The top two causes are aging and exposure to loud noises. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) are causes of sensorineural hearing loss.
Here’s a list of other less common forms of hearing loss:
How severe is my hearing loss?
The only way to find out is to get a hearing test by a trained professional on an audiogram. A number of tests will be administered, and there will be a record of your hearing thresholds. Your hearing instrument specialist will make note of the softest sounds that you are able to hear at various frequencies and tones. The results will be recorded on an audiogram - a visual depiction of the sounds you struggle to hear and how severe your hearing loss is.
Schedule an appointment A.S.A.P.
To get answers to these three questions, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and schedule an appointment. Our providers will give you a hearing test, go over your results, and treatment options.