The New England Journal of Medicine stated that the fourth leading cause of disability around the globe is hearing loss. One in three Americans between 65 to 74 years old experience hearing loss. The pervasiveness of hearing loss also doubles for each decade of life. It’s crucial for people of all ages to get regular hearing tests and interventions, but it is especially true for the elderly.
As frequently mentioned in our blog, hearing loss can lead to more hospitalizations, falls, isolation, and dementia. It can also increase anxiety, depression, isolation, and loneliness. Poor communication skills can strain relationships across every aspect of your life.
The Primary causes of Hearing Loss
Being more aware, taking the right precautions, and making better decisions when it comes to your overall health can help with hearing health.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing any changes in hearing contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that you can gradually lose your hearing if you drive with the windows rolled down?
The Journal of the American Academy of Audiology published a study revealing that people who drive on a daily basis with their windows rolled down, for at least an hour, are three times more susceptible to hearing loss.
Another study from the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Otolaryngology showed that cyclists are subject to 85 decibels (dB) of wind resistance when traveling at the speed of 15 MPH and 120 dB at the speed of 60 MPH.
These studies confirm that operating a vehicle with the windows open can put you at more risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) since a car has more resistance than a bike.
On average, driving a vehicle on a highway with the down can reach 90-115 dB.
Noise exposures that reach over 100 dB can cause permanent damage to your hearing in under 15 minutes.
The only way to prevent NIHL is to avoid loud environments that reach over 70 A-weighted decibels (dBA) - this is an expression of relative loudness of sounds that are perceived by the human ear. Constant exposure to noises between 70-85 dBA (depending on your personal sensitivity to sounds) can slowly harm your hearing.
3 Ways to Protect Your Hearing Loss
1. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up
Studies have proven that keeping your windows up lowers the risk of hearing loss related to driving. If you drive a vehicle that has a loud engine, especially at higher speeds, you can experience symptoms of tinnitus. Heavy city traffic noises (80-85 dB) are also something to consider while driving. When assessing your risks for hearing loss and tinnitus, think of this formula: Noise level + length of time = risk of hearing loss/tinnitus.
2. Lower the Volume of Your Music
Traffic noises are already a risk factor that you can’t control, so listening to loud music while driving can worsen symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus. Turning the volume up to cover up heavy traffic noises will put you at an even higher risk of hearing loss, and you may miss important environmental cues that can make you a safe driver.
3. Get a Hybrid or an Electric Car
If you are looking for a new car and it’s within your budget, get a hybrid car, an electric car, or a 4-cylinder engine vehicle.
These cars produce less noise compared to gas-powered vehicles because of the electric motor.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can come in many different forms. Some have it from birth. Others get it from an autoimmune disease or medications. It can be caused by noise exposure after being in an environment with dangerous sound levels.
Physical abuse is rarely discussed as a culprit of hearing loss.
Academy award-winning actress Halle Berry has hearing loss after being struck by a former boyfriend in the early 1990s. The impact caused her left eardrum to become punctured.
Maria Halle Berry was born in 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s the youngest daughter of an English mother and an American father. Her parents got divorced when she was four years old because her father was mentally and physically abusive.
Berry moved to New York City in 1989 to start her acting career. She became one of Hollywood’s most successful and highest-paid actresses of the early 2000s. Sadly, she personally endured abuse.
She confirmed that she encountered battery and sexual assault as a child and adult. She stated in a speech during an NYC benefit that she “devalued” herself and didn’t deem herself worthy. She chose partners who were like her father.
It wasn’t until after the abusive relationship where she lost 80% of her hearing abilities that she realized she needed to stop this vicious cycle.
Berry still has 20% of hearing in her left ear. She was able to overcome this disability by winning an Oscar for best lead actress. She has been a strong advocate for domestic abuse prevention.
If you, or someone that you know, are experiencing domestic abuse call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or text START to 88788.
If you, or someone that you know, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time, but you may not expect it to happen after giving birth.
After Edda Collins Coleman had her third C-section, her baby daughter was checked out for standard complications. While this was happening, Coleman felt a strong pain after her vitals were taken and a nurse pressed down on her stomach. She then experienced hearing loss.
The anesthesiologist went over Coleman’s condition and reassured her that her hearing would go back to normal after the head congestion, a common symptom in pregnancy, went away. In Coleman’s case, her hearing never came back.
The Mysteries of Hearing Loss during Pregnancy or Childbirth
There is still no explanation as to why hearing loss may occur during pregnancy or childbirth. We do know that changes in hormones or high blood pressure can lead to hearing loss. This may include ears that feel blocked up or hearing buzzing noises in the background. It’s worth noting that losing your hearing during pregnancy and/or childbirth is rare.
Coleman’s head congestion went away the following day, but noises were muted and her hearing did not feel normal. For months, things did not get better. She heard loud humming noises in her ears, her children’s voices sounded unclear while they were sitting in the back seat of her car, she couldn’t hear the cashier at the grocery store, and she was unable to hear co-workers who spoke to her while approaching her desk. She frequently had to ask others to repeat themselves while they were speaking directly to her.
The Delay in Seeking Help for Hearing Loss
It took Coleman nine months after giving birth to seek help, with some encouragement from her husband.
She was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in both ears. Over a quarter of her hearing was lost in her left ear and nearly 40 percent was lost in her right ear. She has difficulty hearing the differences in lower tones. This affects the way she hears music and people speaking.
According to the British Tinnitus Association, more than one-third of pregnant women develop tinnitus. It can be triggered by stress, headaches, high blood pressure, and other conditions that are associated with pregnant women. Most of the time, tinnitus will go away after the baby is born.
Otosclerosis, which is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, can occur during pregnancy. It might be the result of changes in a woman’s hormones. Mild or severe hearing loss may occur, but hearing aids or surgery can relieve these symptoms.
It is unknown whether pregnancy directly causes otosclerosis, but there does seem to be a connection. It’s more common in women who are in their 20s and 30s, and it can be genetic or caused by their environment.
Coleman’s hearing loss did not happen during her pregnancy, so otosclerosis was eliminated as a probable cause.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), or sudden deafness, is when there is nerve damage in the inner ear. This became another possible cause that was examined by her physicians. She was informed that this type of hearing loss is permanent.
A Closer Examination, but with No Concrete Answers
After undergoing a number of other tests, she was diagnosed with another problem that her doctors believe caused her hearing loss: Coleman has an abnormally shaped cochlea - this is located in the inner ear and converts sound into nerve signals to the brain. Even though this does not explain why childbirth caused her hearing loss, she can get more genetic testing done to understand why her cochlea is deformed. This will also help her three daughters understand if they also inherit this problem.
The year after her daughter was born, Coleman started wearing hearing aids. They significantly helped her hear again. Her tinnitus is unnoticeable while wearing the devices, but can be heard again when taking them out before bedtime. It’s not disruptive enough to affect her sleep. Hearing aids helped her hear her daughter’s first words, laughter, music, theater, birds chirping, and important conversations during meetings. Asking others to repeat themselves and enunciating their words is still something she has to deal with, but it’s better than it was before she started wearing hearing aids.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Exposure to loud sounds for an extended period can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Whether it’s noises you don’t like, for example, construction noises or noises from city traffic, or noises that you enjoy like a concert, your hearing is at risk.
The Loudest Instruments: A Study
Researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney conducted a study to determine which musical instrument was most likely to cause hearing loss.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene published the results in 2013. They studied 143 professional French horn players. The musicians who were 40 years of age and younger were 18 to 33 percent more likely to develop noise-induced hearing loss. Just 18 percent of professional musicians wore hearing protection.
About 81 percent of those who wore hearing protection, only wore them ‘sometimes’ and 50 percent responded that they use generic foam earplugs or other substandard forms of hearing protection.
A professional French horn player and doctoral researcher from the University of Sydney discovered from their research that they still need to educate horn players, their mentors, and hearing healthcare providers about protecting their hearing and the best way to accomplish this while not interfering with their ability to play.
Everyone should take hearing loss seriously. Musicians, and anyone who is repeatedly exposed to loud noises, should get regular hearing tests. Any loss in the hearing range can make distinguishing different pitches difficult, cause tinnitus, or make some sounds abnormally loud. This can affect their performance and their musical career.
Instruments and their Decibel Levels
The French horn is the loudest instrument, but it’s not the only instrument that produces dangerous sound levels. Here are some common instruments and their decibel ranges:
Protect Your Hearing
By wearing proper hearing protection, you can continue playing your favorite instrument while preserving your hearing abilities. Musicians can get custom earplugs that allow them to still hear the music while keeping their ears safe.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Power tools are noisy and annoying to anyone within a certain radius. There are ways to curtail the noise, but understanding why they are so loud can help you discover a good solution. In some cases, a loud power tool may be a signal of mechanical problems but most of them are naturally noisy.
The Reason Why Power Tools are so Noisy
Power tools create so much noise because they feature loud fans that prevent overheating. Metal gears whirr while making the motor louder. Drill bits that get dull, motors that deteriorate, unlubricated gears, and higher RPMs (Rotations Per Minute) cause the power tool to be louder than usual.
We’ll go deeper into why power tools are so loud.
1. Metal gears make the motor louder. Most of the noise from your power tools comes from the gear train. Multiple gears rotate around one another, creating a loud grinding noise. These movements generate vibrations and produce power and direction for the tool.
2. Power tools feature loud cooling fans. Every electric tool needs to cool off. Friction between metal pieces produces heat. If fans were not part of the tool, they would be too hot to handle, and the motors would be damaged within minutes of usage. The pricier tools have fans that are quieter than cheaper tools.
3. If there isn’t any lubrication, the internal components will scrape against each other and screech. Just like ceiling fans, lubricants are applied to avoid overheating. Lubrication can be found where moving parts come in contact. The gears need to be pre-lubricated to prevent the tools from being worn down, otherwise grinding sounds will be heard.
4. Dull bits can make your tool loud. When the bits are worn down, they will vibrate more frequently. Drill bits need to be replaced whenever they get dull. The metal that they are comprised of will affect how long they last. For example, low-quality aluminum will chip, vibrate, and become dull very quickly.
5. A motor that’s failing or if it runs at high RPMs will make more noise than usual. The more power that the tool creates, the louder it will sound. High RPMs make everything function at an accelerated speed, including fans. A defective motor can overheat, grind, and create irritating noises.
How Loud Can Power Tools Get?
Power tools can get loud enough to harm your ability to hear based on how long you are exposed to the noise, as well as the distance between you and the noise source. Wear hearing protection whenever you use power tools.
Power tools and decibel output
Table Saw: 93 dB
Belt Sander: 94 dB
Router: 95 dB
Hand Drill: 99 dB
Circular Saw: 101 dB
Chain Saw: 109 dB
Hammer Drill: 114 dB
Steady exposure to any noise that reaches at least 70 dB can start to harm your hearing.
How to Muffle the Noises from Power Tools
As mentioned, the main reasons why power tools are so noisy are because of vibrations, metal rubbing against each other, and overheating. To reduce noise from power tools:
1. Fasten the project you are working on to reduce excessive vibrations.
If possible, anchor the material onto a solid surface. An unclamped board will move around, making the tool struggle to work and the material will produce a loud noise.
2. Get a new bit set that is sharper and made of high-quality materials.
Cheaper materials will become dull and won’t remain steady. High-quality drill bits are sharp and sturdy, so they should last longer, drill with precision, and be less noisy.
3. Regularly clean your power tools. This will prevent the fan from overheating.
Inspect the vents to make sure there isn’t any dust or debris causing an obstruction. This makes them work harder. Use an air compressor to clear out anything that can’t be reached with a soft cloth.
4. Lubricate gears in tools, if possible.
Some tools cannot be opened. Check your manufacturer’s guide. If the gears on a power tool are in an enclosed case and do not feature screws, you’ll have to wear hearing protection to deal with the noise. Enclosed gearboxes are usually lubricated and infrequently need to be replaced.
Should You Use Cordless Tools?
Batter-powered tools are less noisy if you don’t want to deal with noisy power tools.
The most powerful tools are often the loudest, but a high-quality, battery-powered tool can make up for it. Here’s why cordless tools make less noise than corded tools:
1. Most cordless tools are not as powerful.
The majority of power tools that use a battery are quiet because they don’t feature RPMs. The fewer RPMs there are, the less likely you’ll be able to tackle challenging projects. This may not be a problem for your tools or needs.
2. There isn’t as much pressure put onto gearboxes as corded power tools.
Weaker power equals fewer cracks caused by friction, less grinding, and less weathering. Some cordless gearboxes are made to withstand the force, and others were made to make less noise by being coated in lubricant.
3. Traditional drills with cords do not feature modern cordless technology.
You may notice that your oldest tools make more noise than battery-powered ones. These power tools were not designed to be quiet due to the material that was available. It was naturally loud, so there’s not much you can do to muffle the noises like today’s cordless tools.
If you want quieter tools, get a high-end style. Low-quality tools won’t have the power you need to get your projects done.
If you are experiencing hearing loss that was caused by exposure to loud power tools, or for any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Researchers have discovered the first gene that is connected to otosclerosis, a common cause of hearing loss that affects three million Americans.
In a study that was published in Human Genetics, a team of researchers from Canada’s Memorial University and Western University identified the gene as FOXL1. This discovery indicates that there may be the imminent possibility of earlier diagnosis and advanced treatment options.
How does Otosclerosis lead to Hearing Loss?
Patients who experience otosclerosis have an abnormal bone growth that causes the tiny bones, known as the stapes, to lack the ability to vibrate which is crucial to hear. The bones are unable to create sound waves that are supposed to travel to the inner ear, which is how hearing loss occurs.
There is currently no cure for otosclerosis, which normally worsens over time. Many people who have this condition wear hearing aids or receive a surgical procedure where a prosthetic device is inserted into the affected ear. This prosthetic device conducts sound vibrations that travel to the inner ear.
The Otosclerosis Gene
It’s already known that otosclerosis can be passed down from one parent to a child, so researchers only needed to locate a single gene mutation instead of a pair of genes.
Gene mapping, along with advanced sequencing techniques, was utilized to separate DNA so that it could be analyzed. The mutation takes place in the FOXL1 gene.
The new gene that is responsible for otosclerosis helps researchers better understand the biology of this bone disease while helping to figure out new drugs and therapies, or even stopping the condition from occurring.
The FOXL1 gene was identified in a family from Newfoundland in eastern Canada by researchers in the field. The family was given a simple genetic test which identified members who were at risk and those who were not at risk of developing otosclerosis.
A genetic test allows healthcare providers to verify whether a patient has otosclerosis. It’s recommended that family members of those with this condition should also take a test to find out if they have otosclerosis.
Early Confirmation of Otosclerosis
Knowing whether you have otosclerosis through genetic testing before you begin to notice changes in your hearing, can allow you to seek early treatment options and prevent any worsening decline by protecting your hearing health. This can be beneficial for younger family members who have yet to show signs of hearing loss. Even if treatment is not necessary for these family members, it’s still helpful to understand why you and some of your family members are experiencing issues with hearing and know how to protect themselves from noise exposure.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
There are many different root causes of tinnitus, but the symptoms are nearly universal. Everyone who has it described hearing a “phantom sound” that has no external source. Each patient who has tinnitus would handle it differently. Sound machines, a different diet, sleep routine, or hearing aids may be recommended to make the noises bearable. Let's go over some of the signs and symptoms.
Hearing sounds, such as buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming, or ringing that have no external source is the primary symptom of tinnitus. The noises can be constant or intermittent. Your hearing care professional can determine what type of noise you are hearing, the underlying cause, and proper treatment options.
Tinnitus tends to lead to depression and insomnia, due to its consistent and bothersome nature. Some can train themselves to ignore the sounds through sound therapies or meditation, while others may need a white noise machine or a masking feature through hearing aids.
A poor night’s rest can worsen symptoms of tinnitus. A very quiet environment can make tinnitus more noticeable. Most patients can go about their day without noticing the noise. But once they find themselves in a quiet space, for example, when they wind down for bedtime, it can become unbearable. Insomnia is not only dangerous for your health but it can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
An obvious indication that a patient’s tinnitus is caused by earwax buildup would be pressure that is felt in the ear canal. When there is more pressure on the eardrum, tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo can occur. This can be found in one or both ears.
Tinnitus that goes untreated can become permanent. When hearing health declines as you age, there’s also a higher chance of experiencing tinnitus. Slowing the process of hearing loss is important for your overall health.
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing immediately for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can occur as a result of multiple reasons.
The ear and our auditory system are made up of many different parts:
The following terms describe types of hearing loss where there is an abnormality in a person’s auditory system:
The following terms describe the range or amount of hearing loss a person has:
The following terms explain the side or sides on which the hearing loss occurs:
The only type of hearing loss that is avoidable is called noise-induced hearing loss. It’s important to always be prepared to protect your hearing with earplugs or earmuffs if you find yourself in a loud environment.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is the third leading chronic physical condition in the U.S., following high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related illness, due to dangerous noise levels in these environments. Here are some recommendations to reduce the risks of exposure to noise in the workplace.
Nearly every industry can put employees at risk of work-related hearing loss
Prevention is important because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss and it’s the easiest to manage.
Preventing Hearing Loss on the Job
Find out whether the noise in your work environment is dangerous. Just like with any loud space, if you need to speak louder when the person you are talking to is just an arm’s length away, the noise level is too loud.
Use a noise level meter app to determine the noise level in your environment. Discuss checking noise levels in your workplace with your manager or supervisor.
Decrease noise from the source. Use quiet tools and equipment, or wear hearing protection - like earplugs or earmuffs - while using them.
Reduce exposure to noise:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Defining Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, or a hearing impairment, makes it difficult to hear or interpret sounds. It occurs as a result of a complication with one or multiple components of the ear, the nerves in the ears, or the part of the brain that interprets sounds.
Some people with hearing loss are born with it. Hearing loss can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, caused by birth defects, infections, or medications. If you know ahead of time that the medication that you need to take can induce hearing loss, try to look for an alternative before taking it.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. Exposure to a sudden noise - like a loud explosion or frequently being around loud sounds over time can cause damage to the tiny hair cells found in the inner ear, making it challenging to hear clearly. You can tell whether your environment is too loud if you need to shout for someone close by to hear you. If you find yourself in a crowded area and have trouble hearing the person/people you are speaking to, you may have some hearing loss.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears after being at a loud concert, a sports stadium, or any other loud event, you’ve had tinnitus. It normally quiets down after a day or two. Continuous tinnitus or hearing muffled noises indicates that there is some damage to the hair cells in your ear. Hair cells harness sound waves and translate them into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. When hair cells become damaged, they can no longer transmit sound signals as clearly as they normally did. Tinnitus and hearing loss often, but not always, go hand in hand.
Repeated exposure to loud noise or music can worsen symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss. This is why musicians, construction workers, airport runway employees, and people who work in other noisy settings wear ear protection. Common tools and appliances like lawnmowers, power tools, or blenders are also loud enough to induce hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent NIHL:
If you are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Science researchers directed by King’s College London, Karolinska Institute, and Erasmus University have discovered 10 new genes that are connected to hearing loss and detected which areas of the ear were affected by them.
In June 2022, this discovery was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. As a result, it created some skepticism about current knowledge on the origins of age-related hearing loss that stems from sensory hair cells. Based on their findings, researchers strongly believe that the stria vascularis, an area of the cochlea - which is located in the ear, is a new area of focus for treatments that help individuals with hearing loss.
Due to various factors, many people experience hearing loss as they age. By 2050, about 2.4 billion people will have some range of hearing loss. Age-related hearing problems are one of the primary chronic disabilities. It’s also a high-risk factor for dementia.
This group of researchers also reviewed genetic analyses that were made by different centers across the globe. They used samples from 723,266 patients in 17 studies who were clinically diagnosed or self-reported hearing impairment. This is currently one of the largest studies conducted on the genetic factors of hearing health. The researchers found 48 genes connected to hearing loss, including 10 new variants that are recently related to hearing.
This discovery identified genes that can be focused on for screening purposes, developing drugs, and gene therapy. It’s a secure foundation to help improve therapies against hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids may be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. In most instances stress from the current situation has exacerbated chronic conditions.
These circumstances - the social isolation, unpredictability, the news, financial troubles, an interruption in our routines, inaccessibility of or challenges with visiting healthcare providers, have caused hardships for everyone, including people with tinnitus.
Stress and how it Affects Tinnitus
Stress triggers many chronic conditions, like tinnitus. More stress can make tinnitus louder and more difficult to tune out.
Here’s a simple way to mentally visualize this issue. Imagine the capacity of managing your stress in the form of a big glass tank. The tank symbolizes the amount of stress you can handle each day. When your stress rises and the tank overflows, you begin to have symptoms of anxiety or other negative health problems.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that the stress that comes while living with this condition can flood the tank. Even if the stress that you associate with tinnitus is not flooding the tank, it can still be very distracting. Other stress factors that usually don’t affect you, may be enough to overwhelm you and induce anxiety.
When people are able to habituate to their tinnitus and experience some relief, the ability to manage stress will be reinforced.
Stress can come from anything, so it’s not just stress from the tinnitus that you need to take charge of. Other factors can be related to work, relationships, family, finances or lack thereof, health problems, the pandemic, etc.
Reduce stress by checking out tips from these articles:
How can Stress Lead to Hearing Loss?
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Do you have Hearing Loss and Anxiety?
If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Regular check-ups and hearing tests to detect hearing loss in its early stages, along with preventative care, are crucial for properly treating and managing your hearing health. If you are exposed to loud noise or notice hearing loss, seek help immediately. Do not wait until you notice signs of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss: The 10 Signs
If you experience at least one of these signs, your hearing loss may have been caused by noise exposure:
A hearing test can be administered if you:
A pure tone test will be administered, and you will listen to different tones through headphones. This is how your hearing healthcare provider identifies the quietest tone that you can hear. You may be asked to repeat a series of words or press a button when you hear a tone.
Risks for Hearing Loss
These are some causes and susceptibilities of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing loss factors:
Noise Exposure can also Lead to other Developmental Problems
If you are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Les Paul, has been bestowed with many titles including award-winning musician, innovator, creative genius, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing, and other music advancements. He also wore hearing aids in both ears.
In 1969 his hearing started to deteriorate when a friend playfully smacked the side of his right ear, which led to his eardrum rupturing. It wasn’t a hard slap, but his friend’s open palm made contact with Paul’s right ear. The abrupt pressure popped his eardrum. A surgical procedure complicated his hearing, and he lost his ability to hear out of his right ear. A couple of years later, another guitar player slapped over his left ear, and again, that eardrum also popped.
In total, he had five operations on his inner ear and eardrums. His hearing loss eventually became permanent, and he has been wearing hearing aids ever since. He always looked for ways to improve the quality of hearing aids and hearing health until he passed away in 2009.
His work continues through the Les Paul Foundation, which provides yearly funding to Hearing Health Foundation’s Emerging Research Grants program to discover a cure for tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation if you experience hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Some people with hearing loss are still irritated by loud noises. In fact, some sounds are more annoying and even painful than before they started experiencing hearing loss. The term for this is auditory recruitment or auditory distortion.
Why are certain Noises too Loud?
When the delicate, auditory hair cells (cilia) deteriorate due to aging or sensorineural hearing loss, they can’t respond to sound waves in the same way they used to. This is when hearing loss occurs.
Cells do not worsen evenly. Some hair cells stay in good condition, while others are over-exposed to sounds and the healthy cells immediately need to replace the dying cells. This can lead to sounds that make people feel distressed.
Generally, what happens is a person who cannot hear clearly does not respond to a person who is trying to speak with them at a normal or low volume. In turn, the speaker will talk much louder and the person with hearing loss will suddenly hear them and react in pain.
Hyperacusis is similar. This is when there is an intensity in someone’s sensitivity to sound. The way it's different from auditory recruitment is that hyperacusis can feel painful, but is not related to hearing loss. For example, a child who has autism and auditory processing disorder may experience sensitivity to specific sounds.
Auditory recruitment can be treated by wearing high-quality hearing aids. A hearing instrument specialist can program the hearing aids to compress sounds for the exact range of noises that irritate you. Hearing amplifiers and cheap hearing aid models won’t be useful because they do not feature adjustable compression bands, which can negatively impact your overall hearing health.
It’s crucial to have an experienced hearing instrument specialist who can recognize recruitment and program your hearing aids accordingly.
Recruitment, just like hearing loss, can gradually occur over a long period of time. Pay attention to whether you notice sensitivity to sound after wearing hearing aids. Tinnitus retraining therapy can give relief to those who suffer from it. Discuss this with your hearing instrument specialist.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
The staff from Pure Sound Hearing wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July!
All office locations will be closed on Monday July 4, 2022.
Are you ever roused from your sleep by the sound of tinnitus? For 1 out of 5 adults, it’s a common problem that interferes with a restful night.
A research team from the University of Oxford hypothesized the reason for this phenomenon, which may also hold the key to improving treatment options for tinnitus.
Why does Tinnitus Stir You from Your Sleep?
Researchers came up with a new model for how tinnitus interferes with sleep using current evidence.
When a person falls asleep, the brain obstructs noises that are occurring in the room. For example, this is how people can fall asleep to certain music or a TV that’s playing something. It’s uncertain how this occurs. It is also unknown how a person’s sleep patterns change when responding to internal experiences of pain or tinnitus.
There are five stages that your brain repeatedly goes through when you sleep. Non-REM sleep falls under stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. The fifth stage is REM sleep. The stages where you do not dream make up about 75% of your total sleep time. The brain produces different kinds of wave activity that gradually disperse throughout the brain during that time.
Initially, the wave activity might repress the brain signals that cause tinnitus. When the wave is less severe, tinnitus symptoms might worsen and then wake you up or interfere with a deeper rest.
Tinnitus might cause the Brain to Stay Awake
This can cause wakefulness in a resting brain, which can stop you from starting the dreaming stage known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Night terrors, which have been connected to adults with tinnitus, also occur during this transition stage.
Sleep patterns are connected to the way tinnitus develops. This information will help researchers figure out a moment when providing tinnitus treatment will be the most effective before it becomes permanent. The research will also help them find out how the quality of sleep is affected by tinnitus. This may evolve into other research about whether better rest can help repair irregular activity in the brain that is connected to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Poor Rest
Those with tinnitus tend to be light sleepers. In a survey of over 14,000 Japanese residents between the ages of 45 and 79, roaring tinnitus nearly tripled the risk of insomnia. Even a mild case of tinnitus made it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or feel rested. Sleep apnea was another condition connected with tinnitus. It can cause snoring, sleepiness during the daytime, high blood pressure, stroke, and other health issues.
Difficulties with sleep are different for each age group. Night terrors, which are common in young boys, are connected to adults (age 20-44) with tinnitus.
Poor rest can lead to difficulty in managing tinnitus symptoms or any other chronic conditions. Women with tinnitus and bad rest are more likely to experience headaches, neck pain, or feelings of anxiousness, whereas men are more likely to experience depression.
Even though there’s no cure for tinnitus, counseling and different therapies - including sound therapy - can reduce the severity of the problem and make sleeping easier.
Tips for Better Rest
First of all, stop looking at your phone, computer, and TV screens. The blue light from your devices causes your brain to remain active.
Try listening to restful music for two hours. It’s important to only listen for two hours - after that period of time, the white noise may over-stimulate the brain.
This technique was tested on 30 patients with tinnitus by an audiology and speech specialist at Gaziantep University in Turkey.
Some patients claimed they stopped noticing their tinnitus, and others heard quieter tinnitus noises after six months. These patients’ symptoms of depression also felt eased. The objective was to help patients “fall asleep with less exposure to the disturbing effects of tinnitus”, instead of stopping them from waking up. On average the length of the first non-REM sleep cycle is 70 to 100 minutes, therefore it should only take about two hours to cover up your tinnitus.
If these techniques did not prove to be effective, try hearing aids. Hearing aids feature a tinnitus masking technology, so the symptoms won’t be noticeable as long as you are wearing them. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation from one of our providers.
Have you noticed a cold or flu can also make your ears feel stuffy? Your ears, nose, and throat are interconnected, so when you have a problem in one area, it can cause problems in the other areas. Congestion in the ear(s) is just one of numerous symptoms that can occur when there’s an issue with the nose, sinuses, or throat.
The Cause of Ear Pressure
The small passageway that links your middle ear to your throat is known as the Eustachian tube. This tube helps to balance the pressure in your middle ear by opening up whenever you sneeze, swallow, or yawn. This system stops air pressure and fluid from accumulating inside your ear canal, behind the eardrum.
When there’s an obstruction in the Eustachian tube, noises can sound muffled. It’s normal to feel pressure, pain, and fullness in your ears. Your Eustachian tubes can become partially blocked due to allergies, colds, flus, or sinus infections. Inflamed tissues and mucus discharge are primary reasons for dysfunction in the Eustachian tube.
Air travel or traveling up high altitudes can also change the way your Eustachian tubes are not functioning properly.
Tips to Relieve Ear Pressure
In order to use the best remedy, you must identify the cause.
Primary Causes of Sinus Congestion:
Managing Fluid Buildup
If there are drainage issues in your ears, fluid can build up. As a result, fluid can become trapped behind the eardrum. Here are some symptoms that you may notice:
If the problem is not resolved, the fluid build-up behind the ear can lead to a rupture.
Remedies to remove fluid from the ear canals:
Earwax, or cerumen, can build up when it becomes pushed deeper into the ear canal or obstructs the ear canal. This blockage can lead to hearing loss, dizziness, pain/fullness in the ears, pressure, and tinnitus. Q-tips should not be used to clean the ears. This will push the earwax further in the canals. Wearing hearing aids or earplugs can also cause cerumen buildup.
The best way to remove earwax is by running warm water in the ear canal (during a shower) for a couple of minutes. You may use an irrigation kit for this. When the water softens the wax, it will drain through the outer ear.
Ear congestion can be caused by allergies. Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve allergy-related ear pressure, along with other symptoms. Be aware that some medications can cause hearing loss, so discuss this with your hearing healthcare provider.
Traveling by Air or High Altitudes
When you are on a plane that’s about to take off or land, a sudden pressure change can occur in your environment and the middle ear. This imbalance stops your eardrum from vibrating the way it should. Ear pain, full feelings in the ear, and pressure can cause “airplane ears”.
Remedies to reduce pressure:
Infections in the Middle and Outer Ears
Otitis media, or more commonly middle ear infections, can cause symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss, and pain in the ears. The culprit is usually viruses from respiratory infections.
Swimmer’s ear, or outer ear infections (otitis externa), is usually caused by water that’s left in your ear after it is exposed to moisture. Water that becomes trapped after swimming or bathing is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive.
Usually, ear infections will resolve themselves. Ear drops and over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve symptoms.
Remedies for infection:
There are various causes of ear pressure. It’s important to find the cause of it and treat it appropriately. A simple home remedy will generally suffice.
If symptoms worsen, seek professional help. If you are noticing hearing loss as a result of ear pressure, or any other reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Work plays a significant role in your social status. A general sense of achievement and self-worth is felt in us when we work. Tinnitus Hub, a group of people with tinnitus who work for the tinnitus patient community, focus on patient support and education, promote research, and raise awareness, gathered data indicating that over a third (38 percent) of employees have expressed that their symptoms had a negative impact on their work.
This doesn’t just disrupt the workflow of the employee, but it can affect their income and the economy in general. Tinnitus Talk is a worldwide online community for tinnitus patients. Volunteers who run this organization are pushing to raise awareness so that it’s taken more seriously as a problem that can impact work environments.
Tinnitus Hub Statistics from 2018
A survey with 1,800 participants asked, “Has tinnitus affected your job or work prospects?”
Difficulty with Concentration
The main effect of tinnitus on the job is the inability to focus. There’s a spectrum of how patients with tinnitus struggle. According to the survey, tinnitus affected concentration mildly (41 percent), moderately (33 percent), or severely (20 percent). Only a small percentage reported a lack of problems with concentration.
This is significantly different from the “concentration/listening fatigue” that individuals with hearing loss may encounter. In some cases, their brain needs to make an extra effort to interpret what they heard. It’s due to constantly hearing the tinnitus in their head while refocusing it to the background in order to concentrate on something else.
Anyone who struggles with tinnitus can find coping mechanisms from sound machines or hearing aids, to meditation. Patients with severe forms of tinnitus generally experience anxiety and/or insomnia, which can affect their performance at work. Most people cannot grasp the daily stress of constantly hearing a high-pitched sound.
Difficult Work Environments
There are certain jobs that frequently expose people to loud noises that can damage hearing or induce tinnitus. These include construction, manufacturing, military service, and the music industry.
Low-level exposure to sounds on a regular basis for hours at a time, like in a call center, school, or restaurant can cause some harm to a person’s hearing health. Anyone with tinnitus may notice more sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis). As a result, normal office work environments can lead to ear pain or loud instances of tinnitus.
Commuting to work can be a struggle for someone with hyperacusis. Traffic noises can spike tinnitus symptoms.
Potential Negative Reactions from Employers and Coworkers
Many people with tinnitus have pointed out the ignorance of employers or colleagues, along with how unwilling they are to make changes that would benefit a person with tinnitus. Some are hesitant to reveal this information for fear of discrimination.
How to Help
Every employee should be accommodated. If the tinnitus is stress-induced, the anxiety tends to pass for most people. It can take weeks, months, or even years to obtain habituation. Others may turn to permanently adjust their situation by working a less demanding job.
If you’d like to consider using hearing aids to mask tinnitus symptoms, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. Please be aware that hearing health is just as important to keep up with as regular checkups for your overall health. Hearing loss affects men differently than women.
Men are almost twice as likely to Experience Hearing Loss than Women
Researchers have concluded that the reason why hearing loss is so widespread among men is due to their lifestyle. Even though more women are now working jobs that were mostly dominated by men, more men continue to work in high-risk fields. For some, especially in the older generation, there’s still a stigma surrounding hearing loss. This means that most men are less likely to reach out for help when they need it.
An Increased Risk of Developing Hearing Loss is Type II Diabetes
For patients with hearing loss and Type II diabetes, the patients who had diabetes were at a higher risk of hearing loss than those who did not have Type II Diabetes. Researchers hypothesize that small blood vessels in the inner ear can be harmed by high blood glucose levels.
Regular Doses of NSAIDs can Increase the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), like Advil and Tylenol, can have a major effect on younger men’s hearing health. A survey that was filled out every 18 years by approximately 27,000 men between the ages of 40 and 74, showed that regular use of aspirin increased the possibility of hearing loss by 50% and 61% in men under the age of 50. So, if you or a loved one in your life uses these drugs, get your hearing tested regularly.
Untreated Hearing Loss in Men Show Symptoms of Depression
Hearing loss can lead to difficulty with communication. This in turn can cause a loss of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, poor work performance, and depression.
Using hearing aids has proven to provide the opposite. Men have reported that their relationships, social life, work-life/income, confidence, sense of safety, and overall mental health have improved when wearing their hearing aids.
Preventative Measures can be Practiced
Maintaining a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables can help with your hearing health, and overall health. Foods that are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc can reduce the risks of hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus levels can vary each day for different reasons. Sometimes it’s a physiological condition within your body, your surrounding environment, or the type of tinnitus management that you practice. We’ll go over some factors that can affect the sounds of this phantom noise.
Stressors can Affect the Volume of Tinnitus
Stress is one of the primary agents of tinnitus. Tinnitus symptoms may become bothersome during a stressful moment in life, or when we’re having a stressful day.
When there’s a significant shift in life, whether it’s at home or with your job, stress lets the body react and respond mentally, emotionally, and physically. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to an imbalance which can trigger louder tinnitus on some days over other days.
Common causes of stress can include life-altering circumstances such as grieving a loved one or losing a job. A steady flow of stress that is caused by ordinary circumstances such as deadlines for work, or caring for loved ones, can worsen tinnitus symptoms. Living through these situations can make your tinnitus sound louder on some days and quieter on other days.
Conditions caused by stress are also associated with tinnitus and make the phantom noise worse. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus have comparable structures and can bring attention to one another.
Taming Internal Stressors
Even though external stress can impact the perceived loudness of your tinnitus, the way you manage the stress (a.k.a. internal stress) is just as important. If your body is not sufficient or healthy enough to deal with external stress, tinnitus symptoms can get worse.
In order to better manage stress, you need proper nutrition, exercise, and an adquent amount of sleep that’s consistent.
Your Diet’s Influence on Stress
It’s easy to ignore the persistent messages from experts encouraging you to eat healthily, but it’s one of the crucial elements to lowering your stress levels and keeping them down in order to better manage your tinnitus.
Processed foods should be left out of your diet, as consuming them makes it harder to manage stress. These foods are often high in sugar. If there’s too much change in your blood sugar levels, the sympathetic area of the nervous system becomes stimulated. This is the area of the brain that handles our fight or flight and makes us ready to react. When this occurs, stress hormones are released which can lead to symptoms of stress. These could include anxiety, irritability, nervousness, and interruptions in sleep patterns, which can be common while experiencing symptoms of tinnitus.
A healthy and well-balanced diet also lets us replace nutrients and vitamins, which may be expended during stressful moments. For example, vitamins B complex, iron, magnesium, and zinc can help aid with stress.
Tinnitus can seem worse after consuming caffeine, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. These tend to raise your adrenaline. It doesn’t need to be a permanent change, but it’s helpful to let your body get used to this new diet to see if it has any impact on your symptoms.
Sleepless Nights and Stress
Sleep is VERY crucial in keeping a healthy body and mind. Less sleep = more stress and louder symptoms of tinnitus.
A good night’s rest allows you to better handle stress. Giving your body a chance to recover and rest is important to properly manage stress. Poor rest can affect your mood, memory, and judgment.
Exercise to Manage Stress
Struggling to manage your stress, can make tinnitus worse. And tinnitus itself can be stressful. It’s a vicious cycle. This can trigger the sympathetic part of our autonomic nervous system. That indicates that there are more stress hormones moving throughout the body like adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline.
Try to lower these hormones by engaging in a relaxing exercise, like yoga. The more relaxed you feel the quieter tinnitus symptoms can be.
Quiet Environments and Tinnitus
Tinnitus can seem louder because of your surroundings. If your environment is too quiet, tinnitus will be more noticeable.
Lower noise levels in the background that are meant to mask tinnitus can actually make the symptoms seem louder.
Also, silence can activate a response to stress in the body which increases internal auditory sensitivity. Your hearing can become more perceptive while getting yourself ready for a possible threat. This form of hearing can make internal noises, like tinnitus, louder.
Going from a loud environment to a quieter area can make it seem like the tinnitus has gotten worse. Give yourself time to adjust. This might involve rubbing our ears, doing breathing exercises, and practicing mindfulness when we respond to symptoms of tinnitus.
Focus your attention on something else, meditate with music in the background, use a sound machine, or if you are also noticing difficulty with hearing in addition to tinnitus, try hearing aids. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and hearing trial.
Seniors are at a higher risk of a number of health problems. It’s important to take care of your overall health and make better decisions about your diet, exercise routines, and lifestyle. This can help you better manage any potential health problems that stand in the way.
Hearing and vision loss are two of the most prevalent health conditions that seniors experience. More than 42% of individuals over 50 years of age have some hearing loss, and about 71% of individuals over 70 years of age have some range of hearing loss.
There are a lot of preventative measures, treatments, and daily habits to help you live a healthier life, even with presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). With knowledge and ways to manage health concerns, you can help your condition from getting worse.
Taking precautions now can make a huge difference. Listening to music or media at a low volume can help lower your risks of hearing loss. If you are in a noisy environment for an extensive period of time, wear earbuds or, if possible, move yourself to a quieter space. Wear earbuds when using loud tools or any motor-powered devices.
With age-related hearing loss, you may notice tinnitus, you may struggle to keep up with conversations, or have memory issues. Built-up earwax can obstruct sounds and should be softened and removed by a professional, not by inserting cotton swabs in the ear canal.
Diabetics should be attentive when taking care of their blood sugar. A healthy weight can help reduce the chances of hearing loss, along with regular exercise and eating healthily.
Immediately seek help if you begin to notice hearing loss.
Alleviating the Symptoms of Hearing Loss
To help manage your hearing loss, hearing aids can, and should, be worn. Hearing loss can deteriorate brain function because the brain is not reacting to sounds like it used to. Listening is a brain exercise that needs to be worked out on a regular basis.
Managing your hearing loss also means that you need to communicate your needs to family, friends, and coworkers so that they can better understand your situation and adapt accordingly. Maybe you’ll need to tell them to face you in a well-lit room when they speak, or they need to talk louder in certain situations. Communicating these things will help a great deal. Those with hearing loss may need to be patient with them, as they work through this new normal with you. Make a plan.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing problems with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss crosses all age groups. We’ve gone over hearing loss among older adults, and the risks associated with hearing loss as you age.
It’s important to raise awareness that more and more young adults are experiencing hearing loss for a number of different reasons. Young adults who have hearing loss face a unique set of challenges as they go through college, dating, employment, growing relationships, and parenting.
How prevalent is Hearing Loss in Young Adults?
According to the CDC, around 12% of adults between the ages of 18-39 report struggling with following along during conversations when there is too much background noise. Nearly 6% have tinnitus. These numbers are higher in older age groups.
People who have hearing loss are more likely to experience low rates of employment, lower work productivity, and higher healthcare costs compared to their peers.
Causes of Hearing Loss for Young Adults
Noise exposure is one of the most widespread causes of hearing loss for young adults, as well as older adults. This can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Across the U.S. millions of Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Y have been exposed to hazardous levels of noise, including hobbies like woodworking, music, city noises, and workplace environments.
Additional risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, taking ototoxic medications, viruses, bacterial infections, genetics, or they were born with it.
Young Adults with Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is one of the other most common medical causes of hearing loss in people of this age group and middle-aged adults. This is when there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear section. Nearly 3 million Americans are affected by it - the people with the highest risk being middle-aged women.
The Affect of Hearing Loss on Young Adults
The different causes of hearing loss for young adults differ greatly from the older generation but wearing hearing aids when you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s can look and feel different than wearing them when you are older. Occupation, family, relationships, and activities are - for the most part - different than older people.
Working with hearing loss, while NOT impossible, can be tricky at times. People in their 20s are fresh out of college and looking for their first job. They have the choice of when they should inform their potential employer that they wear hearing aids. Depending on where your job path takes you, you may need special equipment - like a telephone with amplification or captions. Your employer is required by law, via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to accommodate you for your hearing needs. You can apply for any job that you want, but there are some careers that may be easier to navigate through if you have hearing loss. Take a look at our article “Careers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing”.
Working Remotely with Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, depending on the job, working from home can have its ups and downs. You can raise the volume on your computer as much as you want, without bothering coworkers. The technology for virtual meetings doesn’t always work smoothly, so it can hamper communication. Read up on some tips on how to prepare for video conferences or virtual meetings.
Parents or Guardians Raising Children and Young Adults
Taking care of a child as a hearing aid user has its challenges. Hearing aids are needed for better communication and safety, but using them requires consideration from those who are communicating with the hearing aid users. A parent may need a baby monitor that flashes, vibrates, and has a video monitor. Making sure your hearing aids are always in good condition is also important, especially if there’s a sudden emergency.
Attending College or Higher Education
Another concern that differs among generations is that young adults are deciding whether to attend college or higher education. People in this age group might not receive the support that is needed to thrive in school. Young adults may be learning how to be their own advocates for the first time.
Hearing Aids can help You Maintain or even Raise Your Income and Improve Overall Health
The ability to hear in a work environment can impact your household income, which is a common concern for people who are in their prime age of employment. According to a survey that was done through Better Hearing Institute 40,000 households in the U.S. indicated that using hearing aids and assistive listening devices was beneficial to one’s earning potential. There was also a 90 to 100 percent reduced risk of income loss for anyone with mild hearing loss, and a 65 to 77 percent reduced risk for anyone with moderate to severe hearing loss.
Hearing aid usage has a more obvious asset to mental health for younger people. A study from 2014 indicated that hearing loss is linked to depression in adults of every age, but it's more common in young adults. Even though hearing aids help people of all ages, younger users appear to gain the most out of them when it comes to depression. Socializing leads to a healthy overall quality of life.
Hearing Aid usage is becoming Less Stigmatized
In regards to hearing aid usage, there are major distinctions between the older generation and the younger generation. Most people of the younger generation are more accepting of wearing hearing aids. Today, just about everyone wears something in their ears, whether they are earbuds, headphones, or hearing aids; therefore hearing devices draw less attention. The stigma of hearing aid usage is dwindling and the younger generation is noticing that their untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than the hearing aids themselves.
If you are a young adult or middle-aged with hearing loss, you have the chance to seek treatment and engage in practices that protect and slow down the hearing abilities that you still have.
For a complimentary hearing test and consultation, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to set up an appointment.