There can be a number of different causes for each type of hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus are typically caused by being exposed to loud noises. Hearing loss can also be caused by a birth defect, genetics and a reaction to different types of drugs, particularly ones used for cancer treatments or for chemotherapy.
Causes of Two Different types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss
If you, or a loved one, have experienced any of these types of hearing loss, schedule a free-hearing test and consultation with us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.
According to the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus.
1. Tinnitus Defined
Tinnitus refers to the sensation of hearing sounds in your ear, even if there are no actual external noises. Typically, tinnitus is subjective, which means that the person who has this condition is the only one who can hear the noises. Generally, those who have the condition have characterized the sound as a “ringing in the ears”. Others have explained it as a chirping, buzzing, hissing, roaring, or whistling noise.
Not only do the sounds vary from person to person, but the effects are also unique for each individual. Some have experienced irregular instances, while others have relentless symptoms.
The need for some relief is so great that many will do anything from getting acupuncture, to using eardrops, herbal solutions, hypnosis, etc.
2. Causes of Tinnitus
Experts have not determined the precise cause(s) of tinnitus. There are many sources that are known to trigger or worsen ringing sensations in the ears:
Aging - Natural aging will gradually destroy the cilia. This is one of the main causes of hearing loss. Tinnitus is a frequent syndrome when it comes to age-related hearing loss.
Hearing Conditions - Conditions like Ménière's disease can cause tinnitus.
Health Conditions - There are numerous health conditions that have been linked to tinnitus, including:
Loud sounds - Being exposed to loud noises can destroy cilia (small hairs) located in the cochlea. These small hairs cannot regenerate, which causes permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Tinnitus that is noise-induced is the result of exposure to very loud noises from your surroundings, which may include a loud concert, a factory environment, being around heavy machinery, or from gunshots.
Ototoxic medications - Certain prescription medicines like antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, etc. can be ototoxic (harmful to the inner ear and the nerve fibers that connect the cochlea and the brain).
3. Is tinnitus curable?
Tinnitus has no known cure. According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), there are therapies and treatments available that may help lessen the problems associated with tinnitus.
One of the options is using hearing aids. Hearing health care professionals have noted that 60 percent of patients who suffer from tinnitus have felt a sense of relief when wearing them.
Sound therapy is another alternative to treating tinnitus. Hearing aids can be used effectively during acoustic or sound therapy sessions, making the ringing or buzzing sensations less evident.
4. What to do if You or Someone you know has Symptoms of Tinnitus
Because the precise cause of tinnitus is unknown, it is recommended that you see a professional for a hearing test evaluation. There are specific features that are measured for tinnitus:
5. How to Relieve Tinnitus
As aforementioned, there’s no cure for tinnitus, but there are hearing aids that can help relieve symptoms.
If you suffer from tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation for the best options that we have available for you!
Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Muffled noises can sound and feel as though there are cotton balls in your ears. It's a similar feeling to the pressure that is felt when reaching a high altitude while flying in an airplane. There isn't a total inability to hear, but you may struggle to hear clearly.
The phenomenon of muffled hearing develops when sound waves have difficulty transferring through the inner ear. Different circumstances can cause an obstruction in the ear. Some cases are insignificant and can be resolved immediately, but other instances need immediate medical attention in order to prevent further hearing loss.
Signs of muffled hearing
Experiencing muffled hearing is not only identified by the sensation of having cotton balls in your ears. Here are some other symptoms:
Causes of muffled hearing in one ear
The symptom of muffled hearing can be caused by multiple conditions. Some of these include:
Buildup of earwax
Earwax stops dirt and debris from getting into the ear canal. It's also a natural lubricant for the ears. Occasionally, earwax can build up and be impacted in one or both ears. Earwax that builds up and obstructs the ear canal can be a small problem, but excessive buildup can cause muffled hearing.
Other problems that may arise due to earwax build-up include earaches, too much pressure, and tinnitus.
This type of hearing loss is caused by aging and those who experience it are unable to hear high-pitched sounds. Those who suffer from this type of hearing loss may have difficulty hearing a phone ring.
Other signs of presbycusis include difficulty hearing while there is background noise, tinnitus, and struggling to hear women or small children's voices.
Middle ear infection
Bacterial or viral infections develop when fluid builds up in the middle ear due to swelling or inflammation in the eustachian tube. This tube siphons the liquid from the middle ear.
There are some middle ear infections that are moderate and tend to clear out on their own. Other middle ear infections may cause pain in your ears, ear drainage, or hearing loss if left untreated.
Symptoms of an ear infection in children include tugging at the ear, crying more than usual, a loss of appetite, and fever.
The common cold may induce muffled hearing from congestion blocking the Eustachian tube. Colds are generally innocuous. A clogged ear will clear up as soon as the congestion clears up.
Symptoms of hay fever are similar to symptoms of cold and sinus infections. Allergies can cause congestion in the ear, which can trigger a mild muffled hearing.
Airplane ear is caused by an imbalance of air pressure in the middle ear, and the air pressure in your surroundings. This tends to occur in an airplane, elevator, or while going up a tall mountain.
You may experience ear pain, bleeding from the affected ear, or vertigo. Normally, this is not considered a serious condition, but it can lead to persistent tinnitus or hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) occurs when there is damage to your auditory nerve. You may experience mild, severe, temporary, or permanent hearing loss. It only takes a one-time, brief exposure to loud noise to cause NIHL, or repeated exposure thereafter.
Blockage in the ear
In addition to earwax, any foreign object in the ear canal can cause muffled hearing. This could include an insect, water, or any small object. This is a common culprit for children.
If there is a foreign object obstructing your ear, seek immediate medical attention to avoid further damage to the ear. These types of blockage may cause pain, feelings of fullness in the ears, and hearing loss.
Some types of medication can adversely affect the nerve cells in your inner ears. These include:
Anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin and ibuprofen)
Other symptoms of medically induced hearing loss include fullness in the ear, tinnitus, and vertigo.
A perforated eardrum is also known as a ruptured eardrum. This is also another cause of muffled hearing. It happens when a hole or tear forms in the tissue, which separates the middle ear from the ear canal.
A ruptured eardrum normally doesn't require urgent attention and can heal on its own. Other symptoms may include:
If you are experiencing hearing muffled sounds, it could be a sign of a tumor. Acoustic neuroma is a benign growth that forms on the main nerve that leads from the inner ear to the brain. Other signs are losing your balance, facial numbness, tinnitus, or vertigo.
A lump on your neck can be a symptom of nasopharyngeal cancer. This type of cancer grows in the upper part of your throat and may cause muffled hearing, tinnitus, and pain in your ear.
This disease occurs in the inner ear. Symptoms include muffled hearing, pain in the ear, tinnitus, vertigo.
It is not known as to what causes Meniere's disease. Some speculate that it could be linked to abnormal fluid in the inner ear. There's no cure for it, but symptoms might improve or go away with time.
Brain injury or trauma to the head
Serious injury to the brain or head trauma can damage bones in the middle ear or nerves located in the inner ear. This can occur due to a serious fall or impact to the head.
Treating muffled hearing
Remove anything that is blocking your hearing.
If earwax is obstructing your ear canals, you may use an earwax removal kit which will soften and flush out the wax.
Do not use a Q-Tip. That could push whatever is obstructing your ear further into your ear.
In some instances, the muffled hearing won't improve. This might happen with Meniere's disease, age-related hearing loss, NIHL, or hearing loss caused by trauma or medication.
If your hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids may help to amplify sounds.
Pure Sound will only be open by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings.
About one out of six Americans, or 50 million people, are affected by tinnitus. Here are some questions that are commonly asked in regards to the condition.
How can you determine if you have tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a perception of buzzing, hissing, or ringing in your ears, with no outside source of the sounds. Symptoms vary for each person. There are some who may experience signs of tinnitus when they are in a quiet room, and others will constantly hear those noises. It’s important to note that tinnitus is a symptom and not a diagnosis. It’s important to get properly diagnosed by a hearing healthcare professional.
If you have tinnitus, what can be done about it?
There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are things that you can do to relieve the symptoms. You may engage in counseling and sound therapy. You can also get programmed hearing aids that are customized for your needs. Many people who have tinnitus notice that the better you can hear, the less likely you are to experience its symptoms.
In a survey from 2007, 60 percent of people who have tinnitus felt some relief when they used a hearing aid. About 22 percent had expressed feelings of significant relief.
Can tinnitus be caused by medications that you take?
Yes, there’s a possibility that you can experience tinnitus as a side effect of certain medications. Those medications include antidepressants, aspirin, some antibiotics, chemotherapy, and diuretics.
Do tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand?
In most instances, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss. It’s possible to have tinnitus and not have hearing loss. Tinnitus can be a first sign that you have some damage to your hearing.
What may cause worsening symptoms to your tinnitus?
Consuming too much caffeine, or salt can worsen your tinnitus. Stress, being exposed to loud noises, and some medications can also worsen your tinnitus.
How can you treat tinnitus?
Hearing aids are a good way to treat tinnitus. You can also try tinnitus retraining therapy, changing your diet (notice if anything works based on your individual diet adjustments), exercising on a regular basis, to help relieve the symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Tinnitus is the perceived sound of buzzing, clicking, hissing, ringing, etc. with no outside source of the noise. Over 45 million Americans suffer from this condition, and 90 percent have some range of hearing loss.
When it comes to tinnitus, sometimes the symptoms are tolerable and other days they are unbearable. The pitch and volume levels can change from day to day. It is not precisely known as to why the symptoms last long on some days, and don’t last long on other days.
Common Causes of Tinnitus
A shift in a person’s hearing is a prevailing cause of tinnitus. The cause of these shifts may be:
Other Possible Causes of Hearing Loss:
In some cases there are no clear causes for tinnitus. The root cause can be treated, or it could be a sign of a serious condition related to high blood pressure or heart disease. Tinnitus may also be the side effect of a medication that you take.
Triggers for Tinnitus:
Medications that may Affect Your Hearing:
Some medications are classified as ototoxic. This means that they are toxic to the ears, particularly on the ear’s nerves. Common drugs are:
If you notice symptoms of tinnitus contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. There is no cure for tinnitus, but treatment options are available to ease the symptoms.
Have you ever felt your ears clog up for no reason? Have you ever heard muffle sounds when there was nothing obstructing your ear canals?
Here are four typical reasons why your ears may feel clogged.
Earwax is generally a great way for your body to protect your ears. It helps to catch dirt and other particles by acting as a coating, and it easily falls out of your ear canal on its own, serving as a way of self-cleaning. In some cases, the earwax can become impacted and influence how well you can hear.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery have listed the following symptoms as an indication that earwax is probably causing an issue:
Do not try to remove the earwax by using a cotton swab, baby oil, or hydrogen peroxide. You could unintentionally puncture your eardrum or push the earwax further into your ear canal, which can become impacted. Getting rid of this naturally occurring, protective lubricant can cause dry, itchy ears.Find out whether your ears need to be thoroughly cleaned by discussing it with a professional.
Swimmers generally encounter this problem more than others. Occasionally, non-swimmers can also get fluid in their ears. Fluid build-up in the ear can happen for a number of reasons:
Excessive noise exposure
This can cause feelings of clogged ears or tinnitus. You may have felt this after going to a crowded sports stadium or concert. These symptoms normally go away within 48 hours, but it’s always a good idea to prevent this from happening by:
Pressure due to sinuses
Hearing loss, due to sinus infections, pressure or sinusitis, is usually temporary. Hearing should go back to normal when the sinus congestion clears up. If you, or a loved one, experience pain or unexpected hearing loss from sinus congestion, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. You can have your hearing evaluated. An initial test will help you, and your hearing healthcare provider, monitor your hearing health.
Hearing loss can affect anyone of any age, race, or gender.
In honor of Women's History Month, here is a list of well-known women who had, or have, hearing loss and were able to live with it and manage it.
Juliette Gordon Low
The founder of Girl Scouts of America, Juliette Gordon Low, suffered from hearing loss throughout her adult life. When she was 29 years old, a grain of rice was thrown at her wedding, which caused a puncture in her eardrum. This resulted in her becoming deaf in one of her ears. She never allowed her hearing loss to deter her life. In 1912, she established the Girl Scouts organization.
Low encouraged girls with disabilities to be involved in society. She started offering opportunities to others like her and gave young girls more fulfillment in their lives.
American actor, comedian, author, and TV personality, Whoopi Goldberg has suffered from hearing loss over the years. She has shared the fact that she wears hearing aids, and pinpointed the cause of her hearing loss to listening to loud music.
After experiencing hearing loss first-hand, she became an advocate for Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides free hearing aid devices to children across the globe. Goldberg shared her past experiences and encouraged others to be careful of overusing music listening devices.
In a 1985 interview with broadcast journalist Barbara Walters, American singer, actor, and filmmaker, Barbra Streisand revealed that she has suffered from tinnitus since she was 9-years-old. As a child, she would wrap scarves around her head in order to block the noise. She stated that she felt different and isolated from other kids. She lived with this secret for several years, until she got help from a medical professional.
Her successful career, as someone who suffers from tinnitus, is a great example of not allowing a hearing problem discourage her.
Halle Berry, one of the most famous actresses today, is partially deaf with 80% of hearing loss in one ear due to domestic violence.
She has devoted her time to speak out against domestic violence and supporting victims of abuse. Berry not only lives with hearing loss but uses her status to promote effective change.
These historic and modern women have been able to show everyone that it is possible to live with and well beyond hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, please contact us for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid devices for a wide range of hearing loss!
The symptoms of tinnitus vary from person to person. For some, a sudden ringing may occur. It could have been triggered by a loud noise, but maybe you do not recall being near any boisterous sound.
Perhaps it was something you ingested that triggered the noise. Diet and hearing health generally aren’t discussed as frequently as age-related or noise-induced hearing loss.
Alcohol and Tobacco
The most important things to abstain from to reduce the risks of tinnitus are alcohol and tobacco products.
Your overall health can be affected by alcohol and tobacco. It mainly affects your blood pressure. Tinnitus is more prone to occur the more you drink and smoke.
Caffeine that is consumed late in the day can interfere with a restful night’s sleep. Poor quality of sleep increases the chance that tinnitus will occur.
The caffeine is not what causes tinnitus. It’s the lack of rest. Only drink caffeinated beverages in the morning, and drink non-caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evenings.
Find the best diet for you
Each person’s hearing and tinnitus symptoms are different, therefore each person’s diet to reduce tinnitus symptoms will be different. Keep a journal that tracks your diet, hearing and tinnitus symptoms. Make adjustments where necessary.
In the journey, you can make better choices by identifying what affects you and how much it affects you. Observing how your hearing system reacts might shed some light on the tinnitus symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, continue to experience tinnitus symptoms, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aid devices that can help those who have tinnitus.
Making resolutions to improve your life is always a great idea, as long as you follow through with them!
This year, it might be a good idea to prioritize your hearing health. So many people, of all ages, frequently engage in unhealthy hearing habits. There are many things that you can do to support and protect your hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most common cause of hearing loss. It can also be easily prevented. NIHL refers to hearing loss that is caused by very loud noises that cause damage to your auditory system. This type of hearing loss can result in lowering your sensitivity to hearing, tinnitus, or even cause physical deterioration to your ears.
Prevent NIHL by protecting your hearing when you are near loud noises. Lower the volume when watching a show or when listening to something through your headphones. Wear hearing protection when using a lawnmower or if you are at a loud concert. A good way to determine whether your surroundings are too loud is if you, or others, need to shout in order to hear each other.
Engage in exercises
Exercising is usually part of many people’s New Year resolution. Did you know that exercising is also helpful for your hearing health? High blood pressure and obesity is related to problems with hearing. Exercising regularly can help you manage these issues.
Some good routines to help with your hearing health include low-impact cardio exercises such as cycling, hiking, tai chi, walking, or yoga. Discuss which exercises would work best for you with your healthcare provider.
Get a hearing test
An easy way to protect your hearing is to monitor it. Get a hearing test. Most family healthcare physicians do not check a patient’s hearing health, unless the patient explicitly expresses concern about it. The next time you get your annual examination, talk to your healthcare provider about getting a hearing test.
You should also schedule a hearing test if:
Wear your hearing aids each day
If you already have hearing aids, you should wear them every day. Many people who suffer from hearing loss have a tendency to wear them only when they believe they need them. Not wearing hearing aids every day can cause hearing and cognitive decline.
Wearing your hearing aids on a regular basis helps you “break in” the devices. As time passes, your ears will have an easier and easier time hearing sounds and your brain will effortlessly be able to interpret the sounds that you hear. Remember that adapting to hearing aids takes time.
No matter how old or young you are, please take good preventative measures for your hearing health. Many people don’t realize how important their hearing is to them, until it’s gone. If you, or a loved one are in need of a hearing aid solution, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer hearing aid options for a wide range of hearing loss.
Statistics and history of hearing loss and tinnitus among those in the dental care industry
It has been reported that dentists suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus at double the rate of the overall population. The cause is due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from the sounds of high-speed dental drills.
Since the 1960s, the high-speed dental drills have not decreased in noise intensity. During the 1970s, American and Canadian governments authorized legislation in workplace safety. This included laws that determined what the limits were for being exposed to noise. There were surveys given to occupations that were normally not associated with dangerous noise levels. This interest raised concerns for dental clinics and universities that had dental labs. The surveys showed a strong connection between the use of high speed dental drills, and increased risks of NIHL and tinnitus among those in the dental care profession.
Addressing NIHL in the dental care profession
Dentists, and dental hygienists, may wear protection for their hearing or reduce how often they use the high-speed dental drills. The easiest solution is to wear custom-made high-fidelity earplugs for musicians. They have a snug fit, are discrete, and will not disturb communication or interfere with the procedure.
The only other alternative for a high-speed dental drill is a dental laser. A dental laser will provide the same quality service, minus the excessive noise.
NIHL has been reported in many other professions from construction workers to those who work in the public transportation industries. Even though high-speed dental drills produce less noise than larger machines, there is still a risk of hearing loss. It’s similar to using a hairdryer. The noise is loud, but tolerable as long as it stays at a distance from your ears.
Enduring many years of practice around these loud tools can cause dental care professionals to become accustomed to the intense noises, just like any job that uses loud equipment. Long-term exposure to high-speed dental drills can cause permanent hearing loss.
Losing the ability to hear high-pitched frequencies
Higher-pitched frequencies are the first regions impacted by age and NIHL. Even mild hearing loss in this region that distinguishes speech sounds will affect communication, especially if there are distracting background noises. There isn’t much that can be done about age-related hearing loss, but it can be possible to reduce workplace NIHL by using hearing protection.
Noise levels in operating rooms and university labs
Although there have been many advances in dental tools, they remain just as loud as they were in the 1960s. The average high speed dental drill can reach sound levels between 70 to 105 dBA. Noise from the ultrasonic scalers can produce 80 to 92 dBA, and suction tools can produce 74-80 dBA. To put this in perspective being exposed to sounds that reach at least 85 dB can cause hearing loss.
It has been reported that 25 percent of dental students who are exposed to harmful sound levels while practicing in labs, have experienced an average of 15-minutes of a temporary threshold shift (TTS) after they practice using a high-speed dental drill. This is a temporary shift in the auditory threshold that can abruptly occur after being exposed to a high noise level. Many people’s hearing abilities are temporarily reduced as a result. If someone frequently experiences a TTS, it can cause permanent hearing loss.
Tinnitus and other comorbidities
Hearing loss can effect secondary neurological, physiological and psychological shifts. The most common symptoms are ringing or buzzing noises that are heard as a result of tinnitus. Although tinnitus is typically associated with NIHL, it’s not noticeable by 84 percent of people.
Tinnitus symptoms that are irritating tends to occur when three connected neural systems - the aural system, autonomic nervous system, and limbic system - react by misinterpreting the tinnitus as a threat. The limbic system creates negative emotions, or the fight-or-flight response, and the basic process of interpreting sound in the aural centers which affects the response. This causes a combination of stress-induced physiological and psychological shifts which include growth in producing stress hormones, higher blood pressure, and a lack of restfulness.
These symptoms can range from an annoying distraction, to being unable to tolerate the sounds. This can cause distress to an individual’s mental and physical well-being. In some instances, tinnitus sufferers have considered ending their own lives as a way to escape the sound. Dentists suffer from tinnitus at twice the rate of academic and laser dentists, medical doctors, and the population in general.
Hearing loss that goes untreated has been associated with depression, being hospitalized, socially isolated, decrease in motor coordination, and poor cognitive abilities. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurons that aren’t being used by your auditory system, will then be used by your visual center. The auditory centers will move out to your frontal lobes, searching for neurons that can be used, which is what causes the decline.
If you are a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental student who is experiencing hearing loss due to noise exposure from high-speed dental drills, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Researchers of tinnitus have been trying to find out why there are so many individuals who experience a ringing sensation in their ears with no surrounding causes, in addition to the methods of how to stop it. There have been new advances in genomics, cognitive psychology, and MRI technology.
Here are some of the latest facts, understandings, and developments:
Fundamental Facts About Tinnitus
Research on MRIs
MRIs have been very helpful in researching tinnitus. New information, and suggestions show that there may be answers to how tinnitus is caused, and the possibility of treatment.
Patients who have tinnitus had the component of their brain that is identified with emotions restructured. It was discovered that these individuals process emotions differently than those who have normal hearing abilities.
Methods to Treat Tinnitus
Those who have tinnitus can use hearing aids, which can stimulate the ear with sound. Over time, symptoms of tinnitus can be relieved.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus, contacts us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free consultation on tinnitus relief.
Statistics on SSNHL
Every year, out of 100,000 people between five to 30 individuals suddenly lose their hearing within a minute or a few hours due to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Unfortunately, most people do not seek immediate medical attention because SSNHL and other forms of hearing loss are very much alike and can be confused with a temporary obstruction that is caused by earwax or fluid. SSNHL should be treated as a medical emergency, and any instances of sudden hearing loss needs to be addressed immediately.
A background on SSNHL
SSNHL, or sudden deafness, is characterized as having a drop of 30 dB or more in over three frequencies over a brief period of time. Normally, it only affects one ear, but it’s possible that both ears can become affected. It appears to be most prevalent for those between the ages of 30 and 60. About 50 percent of those individuals regain their hearing within two weeks without any treatment. In order to have a better chance of restoring your hearing, some medical professionals may treat you with steroids and antiviral medication. These treatment should only be used with the guidance of a medical professional, who should take into account any possible side effects.
If you experience SSNHL, you may hear a pop in the ear that is affected. After this popping noise occurs, the hearing could immediately disappear, or slowly decline within a few hours. You may only notice SSNHL when you use a phone on the ear that is affected, and it might be accompanied by vertigo, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing noise in the ear), or if your ear feels full.
Causes of SSNHL
Some causes of SSNHL include:
In many cases, the precise cause is never discovered. SSNHL can occur at any age, whether or not you’ve had any previous hearing problems. Approximately 10 percent of people who are diagnosed have a detectable cause.
A high dosage of steroids are commonly used to treat SSNHL. Get treatment within two to three days for the best outcome. Even if you wait two weeks to get help, there’s a chance that steroids will not be helpful. You might need follow-up tests and frequent hearing assessments in order to observe the progress or your recovery.
Preventative care for SSNHL
It’s difficult to prevent SSNHL, but the best practice is to monitor your general well-being and take care of your ears:
Who would typically experience SSNHL?
If you recently experienced an ear infection, problems with blood circulation, head trauma, neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, or Meniere’s Disease, you could be at a higher risk of SSNHL. This type of hearing loss can happen without a warning, so it’s important to address any sudden hearing loss that you experience.
If you have already sought immediate medical attention for SSNHL, but continue to experience any range of hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will discuss hearing solutions for your specific needs.
Consuming alcohol can not only lead to liver damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, but it can also cause hearing loss.
Drinking alcohol and your brain health
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can be harmful to the brain’s auditory cortex, which will affect the way your brain processes sound. The auditory nerve translates the auditory information from the noises that are heard through the cochlea, located in the inner ear to the brain where they are translated. Even if your ears are properly able to hear, your brain may not be accurately processing sound waves.
German researchers from the University of Ulm determined that abusing alcohol for a long period of time will harm the central auditory cortex, which will lengthen the time it takes for someone to process sound. In other words, you could have difficulty with hearing people who speak quickly or identifying individual voices or sounds if there is too much background noise.
How does alcohol affect hearing?
Drinking excessively produces a toxic environment in your inner ear. The inner ear has tiny hair cells that translate sound that your ears collect and turn into electronic vibrations. The inner ear then transfers them to the auditory nerve and then to the brain. The toxins that are produced in the inner ear from overconsumption of alcohol damages and destroys the hair cells, and they cannot regenerate. Since damaged hair cells are permanent, hearing loss is also permanent.
A study on young adults living in London showed that overconsumption of alcohol may lead to difficulty with comprehending low frequency noises. This syndrome is known as “cocktail deafness”. Hearing abilities would go back to normal when the participants stopped drinking. Researchers hypothesized that recurring instances of alcohol induced hearing loss could cause permanent hearing damage.
Dizziness and tinnitus
Drinking can cause imbalance issues and feelings of dizziness.
The Vestibular Disorders Association claim that alcohol changes the composition and volume of fluid in the inner ear. As a result, it can cause dizziness and imbalance in addition to loss of hearing.
Alcohol will absorb into the inner ear’s fluid and remains there, even when it is no longer present in the blood or the brain. The inner ear oversees balance, and this may cause vertigo and spatial disorientation. Tinnitus - a ringing or buzzing noise - can also occur in addition to the dizziness. Tinnitus may happen if alcohol causes the blood vessels to swell. This can then cause more blood to flow in the inner ear. This problem is not life-threatening and will go away within a few hours, but it can be bothersome.
Ask yourself if you, or a loved one, have alcohol use disorder (AUD). You may use this information to seek treatment.
Even if you do not excessively drink alcohol, reducing the amount that you consume can be beneficial to your overall health and protect the hearing that you still have.
If you think you are noticing hearing loss, or want to find out whether you do have hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for hearing loss and tinnitus.
Determining whether or not you have hearing loss requires a hearing test conducted by a professional, but if you suspect you may have hearing loss here are some indications.
Five signs that you have hearing loss
Solutions to Your Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is generally a type of sensorineural hearing loss, indicating that hair cells located in the inner ear have been damaged. These hair cells translate sound into signals and transfer them to along the auditory nerve and into the brain in order to be interpreted. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by a multitude of things, including disease, genetics, infection, or noise exposure. There’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, but it can be treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants. It is important to get diagnosed early and seek treatment. Early diagnosis allows for early intervention, which will help preserve the hearing abilities that you still have. Additionally, hearing loss that goes untreated has been associated with mental health conditions like anger, anxiety, decrease in cognitive abilities, depression, frustration, isolation, and loneliness.
Get help from a professional hearing aid provider
The majority of modern hearing aids are discreet, stylish and advanced. They can strengthen the sounds in high frequencies that you may be missing, without amplifying the lower frequencies that you are able to hear.
Even if you are not experiencing any signs of hearing loss, it’s best to get a yearly hearing test. Treat your hearing health like your vision or overall health care. Do not wait for these issues to arise.
Get a free hearing test from us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. Our hearing instrument specialists will evaluate your test results and discuss the best options that we have available for you.
Essential oils have recently become very popular, mainly because of the growth in interest for using alternative medicine.
What exactly are essential oils?
These are concentrated liquids that are extracted from plants, such as fruits and herbs. Popular essential oils are lavender, lemon and peppermint. Normally, these oils are used in foods or other products, like candles, to add flavor or a pleasant scent.
There have been several claims made about essential oils, which are not FDA regulated. There is little to no evidence that essential oils can help with ear infections, hearing loss, tinnitus or vertigo. There has not been enough clinical research on whether essential oils are helpful, and most claims are either unfounded or only based on people’s self-evaluations.
CBD Oils and Tinnitus
CBD oil is one of the few types of oils that has been thoroughly researched. There has been conflicting research demonstrating that CBD oil is helpful for tinnitus.
Essential Oils for Vertigo and Ear Infections
There has been no evidence that essential oils are useful when it comes to treating vertigo, or ear infections.
Do Essential Oils Pose Any Risks?
Essential oils are not severely dangerous, and most likely won’t cause permanent damage. If you decide to use them, be aware of any allergic reactions to your skin.
Essential oils should never be applied in your ear canal. The oil may burn delicate mucous membranes in the ear if it is not diluted upon application.
What to do if You are in Need of Care for Your Hearing Health
As previously mentioned, essential oils are not proven to help with any hearing problems that you may have.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, or any other issues related to your hearing health, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule a free hearing test and consultation.
Veterans with Hearing Loss or Tinnitus
There are many veterans who suffer from hearing loss and/or tinnitus. Those who have served in our military may receive hearing healthcare benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Every year, approximately one million veterans collect disability compensation for their hearing loss.
Due to regular exposure to loud noises during active combat, and other job-related duties, hearing loss is the most common service-related injury among veterans.
In order to help veterans deal with their hearing loss, or tinnitus, the VA provides these two services:
How do you know if you are eligible for hearing aids from the VA?
In order to obtain hearing aids, you have to qualify for VA Health Benefits. After being enrolled, veterans may search for benefits for hearing tests, exams and hearing aids. You may apply here, you may call 1-877-222-VETS or visit your local VA healthcare facility or regional office.
Not every veteran will receive hearing aids. The following veterans are likely to benefit from hearing aid care:
To speak to a representative from your nearest VA medical center, contact them here.
Preventative Measures for Hearing Loss in the Military
Veterans who are at least 65-years-old - particularly those who served an extensive amount of time in combat zones - are twice as likely to develop severe hearing loss than others.
Here are some things that current service members can do to protect their hearing health:
Veterans with Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a prevalent issue for veterans. If you constantly hear a ringing, buzzing or whistling sound, you might be eligible for hearing care, disability payments, and the VA’s tinnitus management program. Please contact your local VA office for more information. There is no known cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments to help those who suffer from it.
If you, or a loved one, are a veteran who does not qualify to receive hearing aids from the VA, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer a free hearing test and a variety of hearing aid solutions for any range of hearing loss.
Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, are rare noncancerous tumors that push on nerves located in the inner ear, which affects hearing and balance. They develop on the vestibulocochlear nerve, which is the nerve that is connected from your inner ear to the brain and is responsible for the function of your hearing and balance. They slowly grow due to an overproduction of vestibular schwannoma (or Schwann cells).
This is a rare tumor that is typically found in middle-aged individuals, between the ages of 30 and 60. They affect women more than men. It is diagnosed through hearing tests and imaging tests.
Two Types of Acoustic Neuromas
Unilateral acoustic neuromas: This usually affects one ear. It’s the most prevalent type of acoustic neuroma, and can progress at any age. Acoustic neuroma may be caused by nerve damage from environmental circumstances.
Bilateral acoustic neuromas: This affects both ears and is hereditary. Neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2) is a problem that affects the makeup of genes.
Causes of Acoustic Neuroma
Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma
A number of physical issues may arise as a result of tumors growing and pushing against brain structures or cranial nerves. Here are some symptoms:
To lower the risk factors of acoustic neuroma, be mindful of loud noise exposure. Symptoms of these tumors can be similar to issues with your middle or inner ear, which makes it difficult to diagnose. Procedures prior to a diagnosis include an exam for your ears and a hearing test.
A computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can aid in figuring out the location and size of the tumor. An early diagnosis can give you the best chance for a successful treatment. Be sure to wear hearing protection if you do need to get an MRI scan.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Our digital media assistant, Vi, is working on an article about tips to improve your sleep if you have tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids, if you need hearing aids to help relieve your tinnitus symptoms.
Struggling to Sleep while Suffering from Tinnitus
Sleep is very important for the health of your mind and body. If you have tinnitus - the sensation of hearing a ringing, whistling, or similar sound when no external noise is actually present - the noise is always present. As a result, the ability to sleep becomes a huge struggle which can affect your daily life.
Your anxiety from it makes it difficult to fall asleep, and being deprived of sleep makes the tinnitus worse, thus a vicious cycle begins.
Using the right methods can help you quickly fall into a deep, restful sleep.
Here are 12 tips to help you quickly fall asleep, stay asleep longer, and improve your sleeping conditions each night.
1. Reduce the amount of caffeine that you consume
Tinnitus is frequently caused by consuming too much caffeine. In instances when it does not trigger tinnitus symptoms, it still makes it difficult to sleep if you drink it in the afternoon or evening. It diminishes your quality of rest.
It may be a good idea to completely remove caffeine from your diet because it activates your nervous system. If you are already irritated by tinnitus, your nervous system is worked up, and caffeine tends to increase your stress and feelings of restlessness.
If you do not want to completely take out the caffeine from your diet, the best thing you can do is cut down on your overall caffeine consumption and avoid it for at least eight hours before going to bed at night.
2. Reduce screen-time with your devices
Everyone has an internal day and night cycle. This is called the circadian rhythm. Being awake during the daytime causes our bodies to release what are known as daytime hormones. At night, when the sunlight is gone, your brain releases melatonin - a hormone indicates that it is nighttime, and that you should sleep.
The bright blue light the comes from our phones, computers, TVs or any other screens with light will send a signal to your brain to stop releasing melatonin. Falling asleep becomes a bigger struggle after exposing yourself to this blue light.
It is recommended that you refrain from looking at any electronics with blue light for at least 90 minutes before going to sleep.
You may also use blue light blocking technology if you do not want or cannot give up your screen time. A simple option is to get a pair of glasses that can block out the blue light.
Another option is to download an app onto your smartphone and computer that will make the screen dimmer and add a filter that is tinted in red, which will remove most of the blue light spectrum.
Apple and Android phones have a setting that will allow you to filter out the blue light from your screens.
3. Mask the sounds
If you still have partial hearing abilities, sound masking is a simple way to improve your sleep if you have tinnitus. You can do this by playing background noise (it’s best to play it at a volume level that is just under the volume of your tinnitus) to drain out the perceived volume of sound, and it should help you ignore it so that you can sleep.
Masking the volume of your tinnitus isn’t completely possible for everyone, but it can still be useful. Masking forms a barrier of sound that obstructs quiet sounds that may wake you. It also prevents you from waking up in total silence, which is generally a difficult environment for most who suffer from tinnitus.
You may use any sounds that are relaxing to you. This can include anything from ambient music to nature sounds.
4. Write down your thoughts
Another reason why people struggle to sleep is due to thoughts running through your mind. Consciously, and subconsciously, we think about random thoughts that we want to remember, making it harder to get a good night’s rest. When tinnitus is thrown into the mix, your endless thoughts and feelings of anxiety make the tinnitus worse.
You can calm your thoughts and ease your mind by writing down what ever is that is keeping you up. By doing this, you are freeing up your mind and should fall asleep better.
It may also be useful to create a to-do-list for the following day, along with any thoughts you have about your tinnitus. This could help take it off of your mind.
5. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
Although this is not a fast way to improve your sleep if you have tinnitus, it is a good idea to improve the consistency of your sleeping routine. Go to bed and set your alarm to wake up at the same time each day. If you end up waking up earlier than you had planned, due to your tinnitus, that does not mean you are doing it incorrectly. This is mainly a way to train your body to fall asleep at a certain time each night.
If you go to sleep and wake up at a different time every day, this can cause your body to experience a physiological state that is akin to jet lag. As a result, this will most likely prevent you from getting a restful night’s sleep.
6. Create a relaxing routine in the evening
A very helpful way to quickly fall asleep is to have a relaxation routine every evening before going to sleep.
Watching TV, using your smartphone, or computer before bedtime makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Develop a routine that helps you relax, so that you will be able to better manage your tinnitus.
Physical relaxation Tips: Take a hot bath, engage in trigger point self-massage with a tennis ball, stretch, and engage in progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
Mental relaxation Tips: Read a book (an actual, physical book, not an e-book), meditate, listen to relaxing music, spend your time with a loved one or pet, and practice breathing techniques.
Select any of these relaxation techniques, and be consistent by doing the same routine every evening. Your brain will begin to make the connection between your routine and going to sleep.
7. Darken your bedroom to make it pitch black
Having a bedroom that is pitch-black can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
A simple and inexpensive way to do this to wear a sleep mask to cover your eyes. You may also use blackout curtains over your windows, or use blankets and black electrical tape to cover any light sources emanating from electronics.
8. Replace your night lights
Night lights tend to use white or blue light, which can make it more difficult to sleep. There is a red light option that won’t disturb your sleep. If you use nightlights, replace blue, white, or clear bulbs with the red night light bulbs. This will obstruct the blue light spectrum, or you can purchase red night lights.
9. Turn down the thermostat
Some studies have indicated that the best room temperature for a good night’s rest is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Author and sleep expert, Shawn Stevenson, explained in his best-selling book “Sleep Smarter” that when it is time for your body to rest, your core body temperature drops to help initiate sleep. If the temperature remains too high, it can be a physiological challenge for your body to get into the best condition for a restful night’s sleep.
To feel comfortable with a blanket over you, it would be a good idea to wear socks if you tend to get cold feet.
You don’t need to turn your thermostat to 60 degrees if you have difficulty sleeping with tinnitus. You can just try to turn the temperature down a few degrees.
10. Brainwave entrainment
Brainwave entrainment is a technology that helps you sleep faster, generates shifts in your mental state, and how you feel, by only using sound.
You can alter your mental state, and how you feel, by influencing your brainwave pattern to change by using external stimulation. The effect is called brainwave entrainment. This can be accomplished by using a flashing light, sounds, and vibrations.
You may synchronize your brainwave frequencies to the frequencies that complement with falling asleep. As a result, you will begin to feel more relaxed, sedated, and sleepy in minutes. All you need to do is push a play button.
11. It is not advised to toss and turn
If you haven’t been able to fall asleep, whether you haven’t gotten any sleep or you woke up at night and struggled to fall back asleep, do not simply toss and turn with the0 hope that the buzzing or ringing will stop.
What you can do instead is get up, and make yourself a light snack. Digestion requires physiological energy, and eating a small snack normally makes you feel tired. After eating, sit down on a comfortable chair or couch. You can play music to cover up the tinnitus and read an actual physical book, not an eBook.
When you begin to yawn or feel tired, go back into your bed. This change in routine makes it easier to fall back asleep.
12. Get help for your tinnitus
There is hope for those who struggle with tinnitus. The first step is to improve your quality of sleep. Hearing aids can also be used to help drown out the noise, in addition to taking your focus away from the tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
A Study on Hearing Loss
According to a study from Johns Hopkins Medicine, in 2060, the amount of individuals over 20-years-old who have some form of hearing loss will double. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, but it is mainly due to living an average modern life.
The activities that we engage in and the environments that we put ourselves into all pose a risk to hearing health. The main culprit is high decibel levels. It takes 85 decibels (dB) or more to cause permanent NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss) or tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ears). That is nearly the same level of noise that is emitted from a typical lawn mower.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your hearing, without sacrificing the things you enjoy doing.
When Using Earbuds
Refrain from blasting the volume when listening to music. Keep the volume at a low level, and take breaks from wearing them. A good tip is to keep your device under 60% of its volume level.
Going out to Bars and Restaurants
Bars and restaurants can be noisy when there’s a big crowd of people. On average, conversations between people reach 50-65 dB. When there are several conversations happening at the same time, while music is playing in the background, it can be difficult to understand others. Sports bars are widely known for having many TVs and bustling crowds.
When you are out at one of these places, if the area is too loud, ask your waiter or bartender to turn the volume down on the TV or music. Your hearing health should be a priority, so your bartender or waiter should be accommodating.
When seeing a Movie in the Theater
Watching an action-packed movie is entertaining, but can also be loud. There are some films that can reach up to 100 dB. Unfortunately, movie theaters across the U.S. do not have regulations for the volume level on speakers.
If you don’t want to miss out on a theater experience, wear protection for your ears. You could also wait until the movie is available to watch from home, so you can save money and adjust the volume to a comfortable setting.
Experiencing a live performance from your favorite band or musician is always exciting, so don’t let noisy venue ruin your hearing. A typical rock concert can reach 110 to 140 dB. This can cause NIHL, even after one concert. Have you ever noticed symptoms of tinnitus? If you have, there may be permanent damage to your hearing.
When you go to a concert, remember to carry a pair of earplugs. If you have children coming along with you, there are special earmuffs available for them. If possible, look for a spot that is not too close to a speaker or rowdy concert goers.
Going to Sports Arenas
Attending a live sporting event is exciting, but it can get loud at these games. It was reported that two of the loudest stadiums in the U.S. - Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MS and Centurylink Stadium in Seattle, WA, surpassed 100 dBs, which is very dangerous for your hearing health! In 2013 the Seattle Seahawks reached 137.6 dB, while the Kansas City Chiefs reached 142.2 dB! Remember, it only takes at least 85 dB to cause permanent NIHL or tinnitus. This is why it’s very important to wear protection for your ears.
Modern life can cause issues for your hearing health, but never let these things stop you from enjoying fun experiences.
If you, or a loved one, have hearing loss and want to enjoy fun activities again contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids and we’ll find a hearing aid solution!
The Strengths of MRI Scanner Noise
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners have been helpful for doctors and patients to see a clear image of the brain, spinal cord, or other body parts. The images are used to make a medical diagnosis.
A common concern are the powerful sounds that emanate from the 3-Tesla (3T) MRI scanners, which can reach noise levels between 125.7 to 130.7 decibels (dB) and on average have the equivalent of 110 to 115 dB. To put that in perspective, it can take at least 85 dB to cause permanent hearing loss or tinnitus.
The noise created, has mainly a low frequency. This causes less damage to a patient’s hearing than noise in the higher 4 kHz range.
When considering the dangers of hearing loss from an MRI scanner, it’s important to take into account the intensity, spectrum, and the amount of time spent being exposed to these noises. The highest permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 adjusted decibels (dBA) for eight hours. The PEL rises by 5 dB, when the exposure duration is cut in half. For example, 95 dB for four hours, and 100 dB for two hours. If the average MRI scan is one hour long, the PEL would rise up to 105 dBA. Today’s 3T MRI scanners can go past the PEL and cause hearing loss.
Patients are usually given hearing protection during the scan, which would then only expose them to 30 dB. This is safe enough to prevent any permanent hearing loss.
A study that was conducted showed that patients who wore earplugs during an MRI scan may have minor, temporary hearing loss, but are not likely to suffer permanent damage. Patients who did not wear earplugs while they were scanned, had a higher risk of hearing loss if they needed frequent MRIs or are more inclined to develop noise-induced hearing loss.
Additional Concerns About Scanner Noise
Generally, MRI scanning sounds are not necessarily dangerous to your hearing, as long as patients wear properly fitted hearing protection during the scans. It’s important not to be over confident about this matter. If patients do not wear the earplugs properly, the risk of hearing loss would increase, especially from patients who regularly need an MRI scan.
Even more powerful 9T MRI scanners have been distributed to medical facilities, which could increase the risk of noise levels reaching past 150 dB. With these levels, any type of hearing protection would be futile in preventing hearing loss. Scanner manufacturers should look for ways to make modern machines quieter. Using some of the noise reducing techniques that are used in cars and airplanes might help tackle this problem.
If you, or a loved one, are getting an MRI scan, make sure whomever is undergoing the scan is wearing properly fitted hearing protection. This will diminish any risk of temporary or enduring hearing loss. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Football Season and Noise-induced Hearing Loss
It’s fall, which also means it’s football season! With all of the excitement surrounding the game and your favorite players, you may not consider one factor: football games can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus.
Whether it’s at a high school, or you’re watching the NFL from the stands, be prepared before attending the game. There are long-term consequences of loud stadium noises.
How do you know when it’s too loud?
Noises are measured in decibel units. A humming refrigerator typically reaches up to 40 decibels, whereas firework noises can be as high as 145 decibels.
Irreversible damage to your hearing can happen when being exposed to 85 decibels or more. It’s important to be cautious when you are in a location where noise goes past this level, even if you don’t think it appears to be very risky. An average game at the NFL stays at about 90 decibels, although they can - and have a tendency to - become louder.
The amount of time exposure and decibel levels are factored in to the damage that is done to your hearing health. The loud blow of an air horn can reach up to 129 decibels, and it only takes a very short amount of time for it to cause permanent damage to your hearing. If the decibel level stays at 85 for an extended period of time, it can take 15 minutes to affect your hearing. Staying at a game for three and a half hours with decibels between 90 to 130 can raise your chance of losing your hearing.
Suffering from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
The most common hearing problems that may arise from being at a football game are Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus.
If you have NIHL, it means that the hair cells in your inner ear have been damaged by the loud sounds. When these hair cells are damaged it is very difficult, or nearly impossible, to restore them. In some instances, hair cells can be reconstructed from nutrients that are released by chemicals in the ear. There is a minor possibility that hearing can be restored.
NIHL tends to gradually happen over time, which is why people don’t immediately catch on to their own hearing loss. Some symptoms of NIHL include hearing muffled or garbling noises, while being unable to comprehend speech. They might be able to still hear sounds, but may not understand them.
Tinnitus can be experienced as a buzzing, clicking, whooshing, or more commonly a ringing noise in your ear. People with normal hearing abilities may notice these noises right after you leave a loud area, like a football stadium. This syndrome fades in minutes or hours, but some people suffer from enduring tinnitus. Suffering from tinnitus is a sign that you have been in the presence of dangerous noise levels.
What to do to Protect Your Hearing Health
There is no known cure for NIHL, but hearing aids can help in nearly all cases. Hearing aids can help treat symptoms of tinnitus. It is important to take precautions by wearing earplugs to games, or other noisy environments. Use earplugs or earmuffs. Earplugs are small and affordable. Earmuffs can be used by people of any age-range. It’s a good idea to get ear muffs that are specifically designed for infants and children in order to efficiently protect their hearing from harmful levels of noise exposure.
If possible, sit away from loud sources of noise, such as the speaker, band, or fans with noisemakers and megaphones.
In addition to loud noises that are met at stadiums, sports bars can also get loud (especially during an exciting game). Turn the volume down to a safe level when you are at home with surround sound, or if you are listening with earbuds through your smartphone.
An easy way to conclude that you are being exposed to dangerous noise levels is if you, and others, need to scream in order to hear each other. You may also download a decibel app onto your smartphone, which can provide an estimate of the decibel levels in your surroundings.
If you, or a loved one, have concerns of hearing loss due to noise exposure, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation from our hearing instrument specialist.
There are specific medications that can affect your body and disturb your hearing capabilities, which could cause brief or enduring hearing loss.
In addition to having an active and healthy lifestyle to maintain your healthy hearing abilities, you should be informed about medications and treatments that could cause loss of hearing in some patients. These types of medications are categorized as ototoxic, which means it is harmful to your ears. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are over 200 of these medications that are being sold to the public.
If you, or a loved one, are using a medication and experienced signs of hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo, talk to your health care professional to avoid additional damage and consider different options.
Here is a list of popular medications that are known to cause hearing loss:
Keep Your Hearing Health in Mind When Taking New Medication
There are so many factors that result in hearing loss, so it is vital to document any changes in your hearing health when you start to take a new medication. You can have a hearing test done before and after you begin your medication treatment to determine any hearing loss that has occurred.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, or tinnitus, as a result of taking any of the medications listed above, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists to determine the best option for you.
Inflammation in Brain and Tinnitus Symptoms
A new study that was published in PLOS Biology, a monthly peer reviewed scientific journal that covers every aspect of biology, discovered that inflammation in the brain’s sound-processing area mediates tinnitus symptoms of mice that have noise-induced hearing loss. Research was conducted to study the neuroinflammation in the brain’s auditory cortex after suffering noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and its function in mice who suffer from tinnitus.
Research showed that NIHL is linked to an increase in levels of molecules known as pro-inflammatory cytokines and activated non-neuronal cells - microglia - located in the primary cortex.
Mice who had NIHL showed that a cell-signaling molecule, known as a tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), mediates neuroinflammation, tinnitus, and synaptic imbalance. A decrease of microglia blocked tinnitus in mice with NIHL. Researchers of this study believe that neuroinflammation may, so far, be the best target to treat tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss.
Get Help for Your Tinnitus
Although it is too early to draw conclusions of these results from mice in humans, this is a start to acknowledging that neuroinflammation may be a component in causing tinnitus.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer tinnitus relief and solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.
At least 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. There is no cure for this ringing sensation, which is caused by an audiological and neurological condition. Those who suffer from this ailment are forced to find what relief they can. Some individuals have turned to cannabidiol, or CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is just one of several chemical combinations that can be derived from the Cannabis plant’s buds, flowers, and leaves.
CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive drug in marijuana. CBD users do not experience a high. CBD can be turned into gels, oils, tinctures, or sprays.
The Acceptance of CBD
In 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act was passed by Congress, which withdrew hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. This allowed the non-narcotic elements of the plant to be marketed to the public.
Today, many companies advertise CBD claiming it has medicinal benefits such as relieving pain or treating conditions which include acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and tinnitus. Accurate research from the medical field is currently missing for the treatment of these conditions. The omission would be two rare types of epilepsy, both which can be treated with a drug that contains CBD known as Epidiolex. This drug has been approved by the FDA.
A Study on Tinnitus and CBD
CB1 and CB2 are two receptors found in the brain that react to CBD being present. These two receptors have been shown to possibly be responsible for restoring balance and hearing. These results have led some to speculate as to whether CBD may help those who have hearing disorders like tinnitus. So far, that information remains unknown.
On Trying CBD
Since tinnitus patients typically suffer from high amounts of mental distress, due to the consistent ringing in their ears, anything that would relieve the ringing would tempt them to try it.
One man documented his experience of using CBD to treat his tinnitus. He had doubts that the CBD would help him. After his first dose of CBD, he felt the effects in just 30 minutes. His anxiety was gone, and he had no feeling of being sedated, high, or impaired.
Results May Vary
It would be advised to do research before consulting your primary care physician, and then use a small dosage if the doctor believes it would benefit you.
Everybody has a different reaction to CBD. Some may notice an immediate effect, while it may take at least a week for others to notice a difference. Some may not have a reaction to it at all.
Please be cautious when using CBD. There are no tests that CBD products need to pass in order to be considered effective. The laws are vastly different for each state, and the FDA does not regulate the compound. This means that the condition of supplements with CBD are not verified. It is important to determine whether CBD can be legally obtained where you live before buying or ingesting products that claim to have the compound, and talk with your primary care physician about any concerns that you may have.
It would be best to arrange an appointment with a hearing health care professional who specializes in tinnitus. They will most likely suggest a range of solutions. This may include hearing aids that can conceal tinnitus and help you feel some relief from your symptoms.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from tinnitus and would like to use hearing aids as a solution, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.