Do You have High-Frequency Hearing Loss? Discover the Symptoms, Preventative Measures, and Treatment Options.
You may not think that you have any form of hearing loss. It’s usually subtle, except in severe cases. You may have hearing loss and not realize it, especially if it’s in the high-frequency range.
There are two different frequencies: high-frequency and low-frequency.
A person with high-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing sounds between 2000-8000 Hz. Some examples of these sounds include birds chirping, children’s voices, and high-pitched instruments like flutes or violins.
A person with low-frequency hearing loss has trouble hearing 2000 Hz or lower sounds. Some noise examples include a large dog’s bark or low-pitched instruments like the tuba. Hearing loss in low-frequencies is also known as reverse-slope hearing loss.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is common among people with loss of hearing. The causes of this particular hearing loss include:
Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
One of both ears can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss. The range of severity is as different as the symptoms. Some may not notice it, while others see a significant change.
Here are the most common signs to observe:
Are There Preventative Measures to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
Like noise-induced hearing loss, the only way to prevent high-frequency hearing loss is by avoiding loud settings and wearing proper hearing protection when necessary. If you cannot hear someone speaking to you within arm’s length, this means your environment is too loud. Aging and genetic factors can also cause high-frequency hearing loss, making it unavoidable for some people.
Treatment Options for High-Frequency Hearing Loss
A pure tone screening test determines whether you or a loved one have high-frequency hearing loss. The test will have a range of various frequencies played for the patient to listen to and identify. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and pure tone screening. There is no cure for high-frequency hearing loss, but a hearing aid can help manage your symptoms. Our specialists at Pure Sound Hearing will be able to guide you through your treatment options and recommend hearing aids if necessary.
It’s Springtime! The nice weather is probably drawing you outdoors more often.
Unfortunately, the beautiful flowers that have blossomed have raised the production of pollen and allergies. Even though airborne allergens can be breathed in at any time of the year, there tends to be a spike in allergy-related hearing loss and tinnitus during the spring season.
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, can induce symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, ear pressure, feelings of fullness in the ears, or clogged ears. For some, inflammation and/or too much fluid affects a person’s hearing abilities or causes tinnitus. Those who suffer from tinnitus might notice a louder ringing or worsened symptoms of tinnitus.
Can Hearing Loss be caused by Allergies?
In response to allergy exposure, the body’s immune system will produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamine is what causes itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. This is basically hay fever. When mucus overproduces, this can block the Eustachian tube - this tube is the draining passage for the middle ear. The middle ear makes sounds louder and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. If this area becomes inflamed or obstructed your hearing can be affected and/or you can get an ear infection.
Generally, patients who have allergic reactions may notice minor hearing loss with feelings of fullness or pressure in the ear. This indicates that the person may have hearing loss and possibly fluid or inflammation in the middle ear.
Categories of Allergy-Related Hearing Problems
Fullness: Excessive fluid in the ear causes pressure or a feeling of clogged ears. The fluid gets pushed up against the eardrum, creating irritation and making it challenging to hear. Usually, the irritating feeling will eventually go away. If you are noticing any pain, you may have an ear infection and should get help immediately.
Conductive Hearing Loss: This type of hearing loss happens as a result of sound waves that are unable to correctly travel through the ear and into the tiny bones of the middle ear. If there is excess fluid or ear wax, sound may not properly travel through the cochlea. Conductive hearing loss can be treated and may improve on its own, but it is hard to figure out whether hearing loss is short-lived, treatable, or permanent without thorough tests. If you experience sudden hearing loss or noticeable hearing loss, make an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing right away. If you wait too long, it can be difficult to treat.
Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by allergies happens when the ringing only occurs simultaneously with other symptoms of allergies. If you have allergy-induced tinnitus for many months during the year contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for hearing aid treatment options.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
When your tinnitus symptoms get worse with allergies, it can impact your hearing abilities, your general mood, sleeping patterns, and overall quality of life. If you or a loved one has tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Many people experience tinnitus. It’s a symptom of an underlying disease. Making a few modifications to your lifestyle can help make your symptoms more manageable.
Things You Can Change to Manage Tinnitus
If your tinnitus becomes triggered due to stress, finding ways to manage your stress should be a priority. Symptoms of tinnitus can worsen from stress. Yoga and other exercises can help alleviate these symptoms. Check out some other easy and effective techniques to manage stress from these articles:
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Additional Treatment Options for Tinnitus
If you are looking for other treatments, maybe try:
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and would like to try hearing aids as a treatment option, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
To better understand your hearing loss or your loved one’s hearing loss, think back on situations where there were miscommunications.
1. What is the Severity of Your Hearing Loss?
It’s the simplest and most common way of characterizing your hearing loss as mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
Mild hearing loss will still let you hear a conversation without straining as long as you are in a quiet space, without too much background noise, while the person speaking is nearby.
In most cases, if you have severe to profound hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear what anyone is saying.
Hearing loss is more than the inability to hear distinct sounds and tones.
2. Types of Sounds that People can Hear
Presbyacusis is a type of high-frequency hearing loss most common among the elderly. Speech will sound muffled and challenging to understand. Children and other people with higher-pitched voices will be difficult to hear.
You might experience low-frequency hearing loss, mid-frequency hearing loss, or hearing loss on all frequencies.
Sensitivity to certain sounds is also a type of hearing problem.
These issues will affect your ability to follow speech and your comfort level in different environments.
Your hearing healthcare provider might use terms like conductive, sensory, sensorineural, or mixed when characterizing your hearing. These words describe which part of your auditory system has deteriorated. Getting a better sense of them can help you understand why you hear sounds in a certain way and how hearing aids can help.
3. Is Your Hearing Consistent?
Do you notice any changes in your hearing throughout the day or from week to week? Hearing loss that varies can be confusing if you are unaware that you have hearing problems.
4. Do You Experience Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can make hearing even more challenging with any range of loss. If the intensity of your tinnitus fluctuates, it indicates that you may be able to hear better in certain situations, even if your hearing stays the same. The noises caused by tinnitus will intercept whatever you are trying to hear.
Tinnitus can also lead to poor rest. Some therapies may alleviate tinnitus symptoms, including noise machines, meditation, or masking features on apps and hearing aids.
5. At What Age was the Onset of Your Hearing Loss?
Suppose you’ve had hearing loss since infancy (congenital hearing loss). Your residual hearing abilities will be different than if you start losing your hearing later in life due to aging (presbycusis).
Your voice may change and sound different, relationships with others may become strained due to misunderstandings or an impatient partner, and your emotional connection with hearing might also be different.
If you’ve been able to hear during your whole life and that slowly changes, it can be challenging to adjust to this new reality.
6. Did your Hearing Change Suddenly or Gradually?
Seek treatment immediately if you notice sudden or rapid hearing loss. Early treatment can give you a better chance of preserving the hearing abilities that you still have.
Gradual hearing loss can usually get detected by loved ones, colleagues, or other people you see regularly based on your interactions with them.
If you, or a loved one, notice any signs of hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that 25 percent of people with hearing loss, don’t realize they have it?
Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, is the most common type of hearing loss. It’s also the type of hearing loss that occurs very slowly over time, making it difficult to notice the loss until it’s too late to treat it.
Early signs of hearing loss are hard to recognize, but it is possible to identify them. There are clues that you, or others in your life, need a hearing test.
9 Signs You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
1. Everyone sounds like they’re mumbling
Do others sound like they aren’t speaking clearly? Are you able to hear certain speech sounds, but not other sounds? Most people with hearing loss start to notice they cannot hear women with high-pitched voices, or children’s voices.
If everyone sounds like they aren’t speaking clearly, you should get a hearing test.
2. Not being able to follow a conversation
Can you mostly hear when others speak, but have difficulty following along during a conversation?
When a person loses their hearing, the brain has to work harder to listen, interpret, and fill in the blanks. This makes it challenging to follow along during conversations. If more than one person is talking, it becomes even more challenging.
3. Others notice your hearing loss before you do
If your family members are constantly telling you to turn the volume down on your TV, computer, or any other device, it’s time to get your hearing tested. If you are both feeling frustrated when trying to communicate with each other, it’s definitely time to get your hearing tested.
4. Easily distracted when there’s background noise
No matter what level of hearing abilities you have, background noise can distract you from your conversations. Most people with healthy hearing can mentally block out most noises and focus on the person/people they are talking to. Someone with hearing loss will stop being able to do this because they are too tired to block it out. Staying on task can be difficult, so if you are easily distracted it’s time to get your hearing checked.
5. Difficulty hearing phone conversations
Some people with hearing loss cannot hear others clearly enough over the phone. The reception can make this experience worse.
Speech that is heard through any phone sounds slightly different than human speech. For anyone with hearing loss, this can make conversations more challenging.
Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand-in-hand, but not always. It’s usually a high-pitched ringing noise that is heard with no outside source. It gets worse when the person who has it is in a quiet environment.
Tinnitus can also sound like a beeping, chirping, hissing, humming, thumping, or roaring sound. If you notice these noises, which tend to occur after being exposed to very loud sounds, get help immediately.
7. Unequal levels of noise
Hyperacusis, also known as hypersensitivity to some noises, is a rare symptom of hearing loss. Losing your hearing can actually make certain sounds louder. Your brain will compensate for the hearing loss by making different sounds louder.
8. Forgetting conversations you had
Do some conversations go through one ear and out the other? It may not be your memory, but rather the fact that your brain is overworked and therefore you have trouble recalling conversations that you weren’t able to hear in the first place.
9. Problems with balance
It’s possible, but rare for hearing loss alongside balance problems. The inner ear controls equilibrium, and anything that affects its function can make it harder to remain balanced and standing upright.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus affects each patient differently. Just like hearing aids, some treatments that work for one person won't work for others. You should get a hearing test from a licensed professional before exploring treatment options.
If the tinnitus is caused by an underlying condition, treating that problem could relieve symptoms. Usually, tinnitus is managed through different therapies. Here are some common treatments:
This is a simple treatment where those who experience tinnitus can listen to sounds in order to refocus the brain from the tinnitus noise to the sounds that are heard through an app, white noise machine, or everyday appliances that are found in the home or workspace like air conditioners. Specialized sound therapy equipment can be used to train and distract your brain from hearing the ringing noises. A tinnitus assessment must be performed in order to identify the frequency and volume of your symptoms.
Programmed Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be programmed to treat tinnitus symptoms. Hearing instrument specialists can program comforting sounds that match the range of frequencies that the patient experiences, in order to mask the distracting ringing noises. Hearing aids can also be programmed to help those who have both tinnitus and hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
We’ll be discussing how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and tinnitus can be connected to one another, and how a person can be affected by experiencing these issues simultaneously. Research has shown that there’s a link between what reinforces the condition and illustrates how each condition gets worse when experienced in tandem. A guide on how to manage these conditions through various therapies will also be discussed.
Defining Tinnitus and PTSD
Tinnitus is when a person hears a phantom buzzing or ringing noise that is not caused by an external factor. Tinnitus can be experienced by any age group. It can be the result of hearing loss caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, trauma to the head, or diseases/infections in the inner ears.
PTSD is a disorder that is connected to trauma and stress. It is typically linked with members of the armed forces or emergency services because of the high exposure to stressful experiences on the job. PTSD that is experienced by the general public is usually caused by physical or emotional trauma.
Who may experience both Tinnitus and PTSD?
There are a number of at-risk populations that are prone to experience PTSD. Civilians who experienced verbal/sexual abuse, domestic violence, motor accidents, and trauma that occurred at a young age may have PTSD episodes. Military service personnel who endured trauma from combat, survivors from blasts or were held captive for an extended period of time also join this list of the at-risk populace.
Subsets within these groups who experienced trauma have also noticed tinnitus. This includes people who were exposed to blasts, had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whiplash, and problems with head trauma, noise trauma, temporomandibular (TMJ joint), and areas of the neck.
The primary disability claim by U.S. veterans is tinnitus. It makes up more than 80,000 claims each year. The second highest is hearing loss, which makes up 60,000 claims, and there are at least 40,000 claims of PTSD each year. Acoustic trauma can lead to tinnitus. Acoustic trauma is basically loud noise exposure, head trauma, stress, and related medical complaints. These are the daily risks that members of the military experience.
Tinnitus is also common among most of the older population. Even though experiencing PTSD and tinnitus is high among military service personnel, just tinnitus is high among the elderly population. Both conditions are experienced by the general population. Three percent of the general population may experience PTSD symptoms at some point in their life and 10% of the population may experience tinnitus.
Some factors that influence the pervasiveness of PTSD and tinnitus in the general population include physical and emotional domestic abuse, violent crime, stress, exposure to noise, and high numbers of traffic-related collisions. Some of the safest roads in the world are in the UK, but in they also experience an average of 336 accidents per day, or 122, 365 each year. Accidents on the road can cause trauma, PTSD, and tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, head and neck injuries, and shock.
The connection between PTSD and Tinnitus
PTSD and tinnitus may be experienced simultaneously if a person undergoes head trauma during active combat, a car collision, whiplash, or acute stress. These conditions would be diagnosed individually, but they are closely linked by their physiological structures. If PTSD and tinnitus are the results of the same event, when a person tries to deal with both conditions simultaneously the symptoms can underscore each other. The stress from PTSD can trigger tinnitus.
PTSD and worsened Symptoms of Tinnitus
The interference of tinnitus itself can traumatize a person, particularly if that person has trauma that has gone unresolved. Having tinnitus and not being able to properly manage it can remind them of their traumatic experience. Studies from the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Centre Tinnitus Clinic in Tennessee revealed that patients diagnosed with PTSD experienced very severe tinnitus than patients who only had tinnitus. Those who had endured trauma may also have a tendency to focus on the symptoms, which made them worse. Focusing on the noises does not help patients habituate to the phantom sounds. Those who have tinnitus that is worsened by PTSD may also experience hyperacusis - an extreme sensitivity to noise.
Tinnitus and worsened Symptoms of PTSD
Studies on Cambodian refugees at an American psychiatric clinic revealed that symptoms of PTSD were severe in half of the patients who also experienced tinnitus compared to patients without tinnitus.
How to Manage PTSD and Tinnitus Symptoms
Simultaneously experiencing PTSD and Tinnitus can cause each condition to feed off of the other. Tinnitus habituation - experiencing tinnitus to the point where you are no longer bothered by it - can occur after facing and managing your trauma through therapy. Tinnitus symptoms can be managed through sound therapies including apps or noise machines. After the PTSD is processed a more long-term approach to dealing with tinnitus can be managed by wearing hearing aids that can mask the symptoms of tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
6 Hearing Aid Features for Tinnitus
When looking for tinnitus features in hearing aids, sound amplification should be the primary step to help with your selection.
Hearing aids can make speech sounds clearer through amplification. That is the most crucial feature you should have for your hearing devices. It can help mask the noises from tinnitus.
2. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) style
The next most important feature of hearing aids with tinnitus masking is the device’s style. One option is the “receiver-in-canal.” It’s the best hearing aid style for anyone with tinnitus. Most people with tinnitus also experience high-pitched hearing loss. It indicates that trouble with clarity of speech progressively worsened.
This device features a small wire connected to a dome or earpiece placed inside your ear and a piece that rests behind your ear. The receiver with rubber-tipped vents is inserted inside the ear canal. The vents provide a more natural sound. Please be patient, as it will take some time to acclimate yourself to how different noises are heard, but your brain will eventually adjust. It is important to note that your voice will sound different than what you are used to. If you have high-pitched hearing loss, the RIC style would work best for that type of loss.
If you prefer something discreet, the RIC style has a thin wire that goes up along the side of the head and is attached to the hearing aid which rests behind the ear. It still has some visibility, but not as much visibility as other styles.
3. Volume Settings
Volume control is the third most important feature of hearing aids. This feature controls the sound levels of your surroundings with your hearing aids, along with masking noises that cover up the sound of your tinnitus.
You can hear speech sounds better. Your brain needs to be aware of the tinnitus sound to make it seem less threatening. This is necessary for the initial months and years of managing tinnitus.
Being able to adjust the sounds for when the tinnitus symptoms change is also essential. The volume doesn’t need to change in their hearing aids or environment. Instead, they need to make the soothing sounds streaming in their ears louder.
4. Resonant Sound Environment using Sounds that Soothe
Another vital feature of hearing aids is streaming sound therapy. “Soothing sounds” indicate sounds that can be played directly through devices or your smartphone. Users can experience sounds that comfort, soothe, and relax so that the tinnitus isn’t as noticeable. Sound therapy should be used every day to make tinnitus more manageable.
These soothing sounds can range from ocean sounds to white noise.
5. A Strong Battery Life
The fifth crucial feature of hearing aids is their battery life. Accessibility at the touch of a button is helpful when those tinnitus spikes sneak up on you, or you wind up in a space that’s too quiet. The hearing aids use Bluetooth, so strong battery life is important. Carry around an extra pair of batteries, or make sure your hearing aids are fully charged if they are rechargeable.
Some rechargeable hearing aids can last up to 15+ hours on a single charge.
You may get hearing aids with disposable or recyclable batteries. It’s convenient if you don’t have an outlet to recharge. Simply remove the batteries from the packaging, remove the tab, and immediately insert them into the hearing aids. As soon as the battery tab is removed, the hearing aid life will begin to drain.
6. Great Bluetooth Connectivity
Having a good connection to Bluetooth lets hearing aids easily stream sounds from your smartphone or other Bluetooth-supported devices. You can use it to listen to sound therapy apps, podcasts, music, and any other form of media.
You can connect to iTunes, YouTube, or Spotify, and choose a sound that relieves your tinnitus. As long as there’s battery life, you’ll be able to stream these sounds.
If you have tinnitus contact Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing aid trial. Our hearing instrument specialists will guide you and help you figure out what works best for you.
Tinnitus symptoms become triggered for different reasons in each person. It can range from poor sleeping habits to your diet. We’re sharing some foods to avoid along with lifestyle changes that can help make symptoms more manageable.
Certain foods and eating habits can directly impact your overall health. A diabetic with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels follows a specific diet. Most are unfamiliar with ototoxic foods.
Ototoxicity refers to the harmful effects on the ears that certain substances (like foods or medications) can induce. If you have problems with your ears and/or hearing health, you should avoid these substances.
Some foods are good for protecting your ears. These foods are rich in folic acid, Omega 3, and Vitamin C. some foods are harmful to the ears.
Which Foods can be Harmful to Your Hearing Health
Hearing healthcare providers urge anyone with hearing problems to cut down their consumption of the following:
4 Bad Habits
Alcohol and tobacco: Everyone knows that consuming these substances can take a toll on your health. It’s also worth noting that tobacco smoke can decrease blood flow to the inner ear.
Frequent noise exposure: overexposure to loud noises harms the auditory cells located in the inner ear. Hearing slowly worsens over time if the exposure lasts too long. Background noise, excessive workplace noise, or listening to loud audio with headphones/earbuds, pose serious risks to hearing health. Always carry around earplugs and wear them if you are exposed to loud noises.
Poor hygiene: Too much earwax that isn’t removed correctly can lead to a blockage in the ear canal. Gently rinse your ears with warm water and a cloth. DO NOT insert anything small like cotton swabs to remove the wax. Depending on the amount and type of earwax you produce, you are pushing the earwax further into your ears. Some people’s earwax can be dry and flakey, and others can be moist and sticky.
Medications: Ototoxic drugs can worsen symptoms of hearing loss or induce other hearing problems. Salicylate, used in common anti-inflammatories, can harm a person’s hearing if taken in high doses. Discuss medications that you currently take or ones that you plan on taking with your hearing healthcare provider.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We're kicking off Tinnitus Awareness Week with some informative blogs.
Did you know that tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? TMD is any dysfunction associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints can be on either side of a person’s face, directly in front of the ears. TMJs attach the lower jawbone to the skull and help with chewing and speaking.
However, tinnitus is mainly due to sensorineural hearing loss. The brain creates tinnitus in sensorineural hearing loss due to impaired neurons and sensory cells. Management strategies, including counseling and sound therapy, may be utilized.
In contrast, tumors, metabolic or cardiovascular diseases, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, and middle ear injuries or diseases represent a smaller portion of tinnitus cases. Treating the underlying condition, in these cases, usually alleviates tinnitus symptoms. The good news is that TMJ sufferers are under this category, which means it’s treatable.
The link between TMJ problems and Tinnitus
The temporomandibular joint is in front of your ears - where the jawbone (mandible) connects to the temporal bone. Besides being physically close to the ear, it also shares some nerves and muscles with the middle ear. For example, a ligament connects the middle ear bone, or malleus, to the jaw. In addition, particular nerves serve both the eardrum and jaw. Also, a nerve supply from the TMJ connects to the part of the brain associated with hearing. For these reasons, difficulties with the cartilage, ligaments, and muscles of TMJ can lead to tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TMJ Problems
There is a relatively small number of people with tinnitus connected to jaw problems. Check with your physician or dental specialist. You might already see the connection. Ask yourself these questions:
TMJ problems may be causing your tinnitus problems if you see any connection with the above elements.
TMJ problems causing Tinnitus are Treatable
The great thing is that tinnitus caused by TMJ problems often goes away when the underlying problem gets addressed. If you think your tinnitus may be associated with your TMJ, talk with your dental specialist or physician. Once you know if there is a connection, they will offer the proper treatment. If you are experiencing tinnitus and hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The top three chronic physical conditions for people of any age are arthritis, heart disease, and hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Statistics from 2022
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) found that:
Older Adults: Hearing Loss Statistics
Statistics on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Too much exposure to loud noises is the top cause of NIHL. Nearly one in five employees is exposed to dangerous noise levels in their work environment. The CDC has found the following reports on NIHL:
Statistics on Children with Hearing Loss
Statistics on Veterans with Hearing Loss
U.S. veterans are at high risk of noise exposure while on the job. Services for hearing aids and hearing loss is available to them through the VA.
Statistics on Hearing Aid and Hearing Care
What is the number of hearing aid users?
According to the 2022 MarketTrak data:
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Cognitive Decline, and Balance Problems
MarketTrak’s 2022 survey also revealed that anyone with hearing issues also has higher rates of common conditions and is more than 3.5 times more likely to have tinnitus, cognitive/memory problems, falls, and balance problems. Those who do not wear hearing aids have higher rates of depression due to isolation, which worsens based on the severity of hearing loss. When you have trouble hearing, and those with whom you communicate don’t try to adopt an easier style of communication, it drives the person with hearing loss to give up on trying to interact with people altogether.
Studies have also shown that those with heart disease are at a higher risk of hearing loss. When your blood flow has poor circulation, oxygen can’t reach the delicate hair cells in the cochlea which damages or destroys them. Hair cells cannot regrow, so once they are destroyed it will lead to permanent hearing loss.
For people with diabetes, hearing loss is twice as common than in those who don’t have hearing problems.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
As we wind down from this year and prepare to welcome the new year at a friend or family member’s party or an event, please remember to protect your ears from loud noises that are bound to occur.
New Year’s Eve is commonly associated with celebrating with loud music, dancing, fireworks, and alcohol. Do you ever think about how loud a cork removed from a champagne bottle can be? Even getting hit in the ear with it flying nearly 25 miles per hour can cause damage to your eardrum.
A fireworks display is beautiful to watch and enjoy after the clock reaches midnight, but be aware that the bursts of noise can range from 150 to 175 decibels (dB). The average human’s listening threshold is 70-85 dB. That noise level can cause permanent damage to your hearing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should not be in an area with over 140 dB of peak sound pressure. Many people have endured some damage to their ears due to the sound of fireworks. Similar noise levels, such as live concerts, sound systems, and explosions, can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. If you experience tinnitus due to fireworks noise, the phrase ‘ringing in the New Year’ can have a new meaning.
The importance of Distance between You and the Source of the Sound
One element of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by sounds like fireworks is the range of distance a person is from the source of sounds. The closer you are from where the sound originates, the more likely you experience hearing loss. To reduce the damage that noise does to your ears, make sure you are 15-20 meters away from the sound source. Children’s hearing is much more sensitive, so keeping them at a further distance is highly recommended.
Protect Your Ears with Ear Plugs
Is the sound nearby also loud? Earplugs aren’t just helpful in blocking out annoying background noises. Use them to protect your ears from dangerous levels of sound.
Indirect Noise Exposure
Anyone who lives near a popular/loud venue could be experiencing noise disturbance. Most people will tolerate the noises during celebrations. When these events last too long throughout the night and into the early morning hours, this can be considered noise pollution.
Night hours last from 11 pm to 7 am. The law allows a maximum noise level between these hours. A warning may be issued if there are complaints about the noise levels. For anyone who chooses not to expose themselves to the noise from these events, it can impact their mental and physical health. Noise pollution can raise blood pressure, causing hypertension and heart disease.
Homes nearby can be protected if New Year’s Eve event organizers block out some noise by using acoustic barriers. These barriers stop noise from being heard by people who did not attend the event.
If you are experiencing hearing loss caused by noise exposure or for any other reason, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
You don’t think twice about getting annual check-ups for your teeth, eyes, or general health, so why not do the same for your hearing health?
Your hearing can deteriorate gradually over time, so it’s always good to get it checked out before it becomes more challenging to manage.
The overall quality of your life depends on hearing. From education to enjoying simple things like the sound of laughter or nature, being able to hear can impact your mental health (depression caused by social isolation) as well as your physical health (balance problems). Like every other health problem, catching any issues early can significantly help with your care and treatment options.
Too many people with hearing loss wait years to seek treatment. By the time they finally get help, it’s often so bad that they experience other problems dementia, or speech problems.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Nearly 2.5 billion people around the world are estimated to have some range of hearing loss by 2050. Hearing loss usually occurs slowly, so it’s difficult to figure out there’s any loss until it becomes a little more severe. High-frequency hearing loss is more common than low-frequency hearing loss. Examples of high frequencies are children’s voices and domestic fire alarms. Examples of low frequencies are deep voices and diesel engines.
Primary Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss usually gets worse as you age. Here’s why:
The Inability to Hear Certain Volumes
A normal, healthy ear can harness sounds that range from a single decibel to sounds in triple decibels. As hearing abilities worsen, the volume that is needed for the ear to pick up sound rises.
If there’s mild hearing loss, a person will not be able to hear sounds under 20 dB (decibels).
A person with moderate hearing loss cannot hear noises between 41 to 55 dB.
When a person cannot recognize sounds between 55 to 70 dB, it can negatively impact their quality of life. The average volume of human speech reaches 65 dB. Not being able to hear others speak can cause confusion, and create isolation because one or both parties are unaccommodating. As a result, this can lead to loneliness and depression.
Those with profound deafness cannot hear any sounds under 90 dB. Having a verbal conversation is nearly impossible.
Loss of Sound Frequencies
A young person with healthy hearing abilities can hear from 20 to 20,000Hz. The higher frequencies are harder to hear as people age. On average:
Most sounds that we hear on a daily basis range between 2,000 and 5,000Hz. The sounds of birds singing can range between 1,000 to 8,000Hz. The majority of human speech frequencies range between 2,000 to 4,000Hz. When a person can no longer hear frequencies below 7,000 to 8,000Hz, their hearing abilities have significantly declined and should be tested.
The inability to hear frequencies is why some struggle to hear a conversation when there’s any background noise.
What Are Early Symptoms of Hearing Loss?
It’s tough to notice early symptoms of hearing loss. A person’s ability to hear high frequencies will start to worsen when a person reaches their 30s, but no negative effects will be noticeable.
Here are early symptoms of hearing loss:
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation with us at Pure Sound Hearing. The appropriate solution will be recommended by our providers.
Tinnitus and Your Mental Health
According to a 2021 study that the JAMA Psychiatry published, the relationship between tinnitus and mental health was studied among over 6,000 middle-aged Rotterdam residents for five years.
Participants were examined in order to evaluate age-related conditions and health problems like tinnitus. Test subjects who had tinnitus (those who found it bothersome and not bothersome) had more concerning issues than those who did not have the condition in three main areas: symptoms of depression, anxiety, and their quality of sleep.
Tinnitus and its Impact on Your Mood
Just like with any new diagnosis, patients can become devastated by their new symptoms. This can be irritating when a person develops or already has another chronic illness.
Mild chronic tinnitus and other comorbidities can overwhelm patients, and that can lead to emotional/mental health problems.
Tinnitus can also be a sign of hearing loss, particularly presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). Hearing loss that goes untreated can worsen and cause even more isolation, loneliness, and depression, along with cognitive decline caused by brain atrophy.
People with tinnitus need to be reassured that they’re not crazy because they can hear sounds that nobody else can, but it can impact their mental health.
There is no cure for tinnitus but in addition to counseling or support groups, there are ways to manage it. Don’t mistake an incurable symptom with no treatment options. If you also have hearing loss in addition to your tinnitus, hearing aids feature a tinnitus masking option that can be programmed into your devices. Simply using other masking techniques, such as white noise machines, can also be helpful in tuning out the tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing aid providers.
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.
There are still so many unknown factors about tinnitus, and there isn’t much proof that there is a link between the two. There have been some complaints from people who have tinnitus that reported their symptoms got worse when they consumed specific foods or drinks.
We know that consuming alcohol can be a primary factor in worsened tinnitus and hearing issues, but there are other things that we consume that can also worsen these symptoms.
Consuming caffeine and sodium can also exacerbate symptoms of tinnitus for some individuals. For others, those things might actually help. Everyone is different, and so are their tinnitus symptoms to certain foods.
Reports on Tinnitus and Nutrients
It’s difficult to do research and analyze how nutrients impact tinnitus, but a study from the U.K. made an attempt. Over 34,000 residents completed a questionnaire about their challenges with hearing, tinnitus, and diet. Researchers observed patterns among the three. They concentrated on vitamins and minerals. Salt consumption was not analyzed.
A Diet that is High in Fat can be Detrimental
Generally, consuming foods that are high in calcium, fat, and iron are linked to a higher risk of tinnitus. On the other hand, higher intakes of B12 and meat consumption were connected to lowered risks of tinnitus.
Consuming too many foods that are high in fat may affect blood vessels, which provide healthy circulation throughout the body, including the ears. Unhealthy blood vessels are the reason why heart disease and diabetes are connected to hearing loss.
Limits of this Research
The study was unable to determine the cause and effect of tinnitus. It was not made to test if adding an abundance of vitamin B12 will ease hearing problems. Rather, it was created to distinguish patterns in the self-reported diets and symptoms of tinnitus. There would then be a controlled trial that was randomized. In this scenario, test subjects’ diets were rigidly controlled for a certain amount of time, and tinnitus symptoms were measured.
It’s important not to completely change your diet based on this report, but you may want to start keeping a journal or record of what you eat on a day-to-day basis while taking note of how the tinnitus symptoms sound and how your ears feel. Adjust your diet and find out what works for you. Things like alcohol, caffeine, dark chocolate, red meat, cheese, or salty foods might need to be avoided.
Tinnitus and hearing loss tend to occur simultaneously. If you are experiencing tinnitus and or hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is the third leading chronic physical condition in the U.S., following high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related illness, due to dangerous noise levels in these environments. Here are some recommendations to reduce the risks of exposure to noise in the workplace.
Nearly every industry can put employees at risk of work-related hearing loss
Prevention is important because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable type of hearing loss and it’s the easiest to manage.
Preventing Hearing Loss on the Job
Find out whether the noise in your work environment is dangerous. Just like with any loud space, if you need to speak louder when the person you are talking to is just an arm’s length away, the noise level is too loud.
Use a noise level meter app to determine the noise level in your environment. Discuss checking noise levels in your workplace with your manager or supervisor.
Decrease noise from the source. Use quiet tools and equipment, or wear hearing protection - like earplugs or earmuffs - while using them.
Reduce exposure to noise:
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Defining Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, or a hearing impairment, makes it difficult to hear or interpret sounds. It occurs as a result of a complication with one or multiple components of the ear, the nerves in the ears, or the part of the brain that interprets sounds.
Some people with hearing loss are born with it. Hearing loss can happen suddenly, or gradually over time. Hearing loss can be hereditary, caused by birth defects, infections, or medications. If you know ahead of time that the medication that you need to take can induce hearing loss, try to look for an alternative before taking it.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only preventable form of hearing loss. Exposure to a sudden noise - like a loud explosion or frequently being around loud sounds over time can cause damage to the tiny hair cells found in the inner ear, making it challenging to hear clearly. You can tell whether your environment is too loud if you need to shout for someone close by to hear you. If you find yourself in a crowded area and have trouble hearing the person/people you are speaking to, you may have some hearing loss.
If you’ve ever noticed a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears after being at a loud concert, a sports stadium, or any other loud event, you’ve had tinnitus. It normally quiets down after a day or two. Continuous tinnitus or hearing muffled noises indicates that there is some damage to the hair cells in your ear. Hair cells harness sound waves and translate them into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. When hair cells become damaged, they can no longer transmit sound signals as clearly as they normally did. Tinnitus and hearing loss often, but not always, go hand in hand.
Repeated exposure to loud noise or music can worsen symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss. This is why musicians, construction workers, airport runway employees, and people who work in other noisy settings wear ear protection. Common tools and appliances like lawnmowers, power tools, or blenders are also loud enough to induce hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent NIHL:
If you are noticing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
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.
7 Signs of Hearing Loss
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Hearing loss can affect anyone. There are different causes and ranges of hearing impairment. Detecting hearing problems early and receiving proper treatment is key to health management, preventing or slowing down a further decline.
1. Have Others Noticed a Change in Your Hearing?
If other people complain about needing to repeat themselves or if you don’t hear them when they say something to you, this can be another sign of hearing loss. Your loved ones or other people that you frequently interact with are usually the first to notice there’s something wrong with your hearing.
2. Do You Have Difficulty with Hearing Consonant Sounds in Words?
If you can’t clearly hear the beginning of words, especially consonants, this might be an early sign of hearing loss. If you have problems with differentiating some words from each other, like ring and sing, this can also be an early sign of hearing loss.
3. Do You find it Difficult to Hear in Loud Environments?
If you avoid certain places, spending time with others, or frequently need to ask others to repeat themselves, particularly in busy or loud areas, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
4. Are You Cranking up the Volume on Entertainment Systems?
This is one of the most common signs people experience when they start to lose their hearing. If others ask you to turn the volume down when watching or listening to something, you should get your hearing tested.
5. Do You notice a Phantom Ringing Sound?
Tinnitus is a common type of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among those who experience regular exposure to loud noises. Get a hearing test immediately if you notice consistent ringing noises that are difficult to ignore and have no outside/physical source.
Tinnitus can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so get your hearing tested as soon as possible so that you can receive immediate treatment.
6. Do You Hate Talking on Your Phone?
Hearing conversations through a phone is difficult for some people with hearing loss. Voices may not sound loud or clear enough. If you tend to switch to the loudspeaker option, this can be a sign of hearing loss. All modern digital hearing aids have Bluetooth® technology, so it’s possible to stream your phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
7. Do You Often Feel More Fatigued?
If you feel tired more often, this could be due to the amount of energy you use to pay attention to what others are saying. Get a hearing test if this is the case for you. Listening fatigue is a real problem among those with hearing loss. Receiving adequate treatment can help you focus easier, and make you feel less drained.
If any of these issues have occurred to you, or a loved one, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Les Paul: Award-winning Musician, Innovator, Creative Genius, and Hearing Aid User.
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.
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.
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.