Tinnitus impacts 10% to 20% of people in the U.S. It’s important to monitor your hearing if you notice a buzzing, chirping, clicking, or ringing noise and get a hearing test immediately. Prevention is the best course of action.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be the result of an underlying health problem, but it usually manifests after being exposed to loud noises.
Common causes of tinnitus include:
Tinnitus and hearing loss tend to occur simultaneously. This condition does not cause hearing loss, but hearing loss and tinnitus will feed off of each other, and make both symptoms worse.
Risks of Tinnitus
Tinnitus, like hearing loss, can affect anyone of any age. There are some risk factors that can increase the chances of developing symptoms of tinnitus.
The following demographic are at high risk of tinnitus:
Preventative Measures for Tinnitus
You can’t completely prevent the risks of tinnitus. There’s always a possibility of encountering loud noise no matter where you are (in the workplace or in your own home). Avoid risk factors when possible by:
Understand that there is no cure for tinnitus. There are however ways to manage symptoms which include sound therapy, meditation, or noise-masking features on hearing aids. If you are experiencing tinnitus and/or hearing loss, Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Anyone who has tinnitus can attest that it’s not just distracting but also very irritating. Going about your daily routines and being able to focus on them can feel impossible on some days.
There are some instances where tinnitus can be relieved by treating the underlying cause. In most cases, there’s no direct cause. But across the board, most patients with these symptoms note more stress.
But don’t worry. There are some ways to relieve tinnitus. Let’s go over them.
If tinnitus is something you are constantly experiencing, habituating is a handy tool. It’s the process of ignoring or tuning out the noise.
There are different types of habituation methods. Everyone’s tinnitus experience is unique, so try a few techniques.
You can close your eyes and visualize a space where you feel safe and comfortable. It might be a nature environment. Imagine a clear blue sky. You are sitting by a mountain with streams of water rushing nearby. Imagine the scent of the fresh mountain air and the cool breezes. Hear the gentle winds and movements of tree branches and bushes. You can imagine birds chirping or the buzzing of insects flying by.
Increase Relaxation in the Muscles
This technique can be accomplished while sitting or standing. To begin, tense up the muscles in your toes and feet for five to 10 seconds. Gradually relax these muscles for 30 seconds and repeat with your legs, hips, abdomen, lower back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, and jaw.
Daily Strategies to Handle Tinnitus
Protect your hearing with earplugs or noise-blocking earmuffs.
If your job involves handling or working near heavy/loud machinery, or you are near speakers at a live concert, wear foam earplugs or earmuffs so that the tinnitus doesn’t worsen. Noise exposure can provoke tinnitus in some people. It can also harm your hearing health, making the tinnitus symptoms sound harsher.
Deal with Stress by Exercising or getting a Massage
Exercise is a great stress reliever. It’s excellent for your body and mind. Tinnitus connected to high blood pressure can be relieved by becoming more physically active. It can help control your blood pressure, thus reducing tinnitus symptoms.
Yoga is an excellent exercise to practice. This workout integrates meditation, breathing, and relaxation in addition to a full-body workout.
Excess sodium and caffeine can worsen symptoms of tinnitus. Try to reduce your salt and caffeine intake. Eat foods that are rich in nutrients for your hearing. For patients with Meniere’s disease - a combination of dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus - reducing salt in your diet can help.
Your mental health and relationships can be negatively affected by tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you handle the emotional stress of tinnitus.
If you’ve tried everything on our list, and you still experience stress from tinnitus, maybe hearing aids will help. Hearing aids can be programmed to mask the noise you hear from tinnitus. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is prevalent but not exclusive to individuals 65 and older. Anyone can have a gradual or sudden hearing loss, making communication challenging.
Patients with signs of hearing loss, whether detected by you or others with whom you consistently interact, should seek a hearing test.
If you responded “yes” to any of these and believe hearing aids are a solution, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The Types of Hearing Loss
Multiple parts of the ear cooperate to create the ability to hear:
Three leading types of hearing loss alter different parts of the ear:
The Causes of Hearing Loss
If there’s an obstruction or damage in the external, middle, or inner ear, you may experience hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss include:
The Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You may experience hearing loss in one ear (unilateral hearing loss) or both ears (bilateral hearing loss). Indications of hearing loss include:
You may exhibit other symptoms in addition to hearing loss, like tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or problems with your hearing, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Are You Prepared for Summer Concerts? Wear Hearing Protection and Know how and when to use Hearing Aids Properly.
Are you looking forward to live music performances coming to Lancaster County this summer? Or are you traveling out of the area to see your favorite musician or band? Do you enjoy listening to the banter in between songs from the singers?
Whether you’re a hearing aid user or not, prepare for your upcoming concert.
Sometimes it can be challenging to hear at a comfortable and safe level. Most people with hearing loss face challenges with hearing higher frequencies. Therefore, some music or vocal ranges are difficult to hear.
On the other hand, some live shows, like rock concerts, can be dangerously loud for people of any hearing range. Being part of the audience at a rock concert can create risks for everyone who doesn’t take precautions beforehand.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 1 in 3 people between 65-74 and half of people older than 75 experience hearing loss.
Standing too close to speakers can lead to hearing loss in minutes. Exposure to noise that reaches over 70 decibels (dB) for a prolonged period can harm your hearing. Noise over 120 dB can instantly damage your ability to hear.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are common occurrences after attending a loud live concert. Sometimes it’s temporary, or it can last longer. Seek help immediately if you experience either of these symptoms.
Before Leaving to Attend a Concert
The JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery published a study in 2016 based on 51 concert attendees. They concluded that just 8 percent of concert-goers who donned earplugs with a noise reduction rate of 18 dB experienced noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) compared to 42 percent of those who did not wear earplugs.
Just 12 percent of earplug users experienced tinnitus compared to 40 percent of nonusers after a 4 ½ hour concert.
If you are ready to attend a concert, you’re in luck. Pure Sound Hearing has simple foam earplugs available in our offices.
Selecting the Safest Seats or Standing Area for Your Hearing
It doesn’t sound fun, but being further away from speakers or the stage would be safer. Staying about 500 feet away from anything that emits loud noise is safest.
Giant speakers are usually on the stage, but sometimes they can be located in other spaces in the venue. You can contact the concert organizers to figure out which area is safest for you.
Venues located outside can be safer because the sound doesn’t get trapped inside a confined space, as it does with an indoor venue.
If Necessary, Take a Break
Sometimes, if the sounds are overwhelming, temporarily move yourself to a quiet space - maybe you need to go outside the venue. You can rest your ears for as long as you need, which could help prevent hearing damage.
Use a sound meter app to measure the noise levels in your environment.
For Hearing Aid Users
If you have hearing loss and use hearing aids, you probably want the best possible experience at a concert.
In some cases, hearing aids might lead to a not-so-great listening experience. The devices have been designed with speech as the primary listening experience instead of music. Music has more ranges of frequencies than speech sounds that are difficult to reproduce with hearing aids.
With newer hearing aid features, there can be a problem with how music is perceived. Feedback suppression or blocking out background noises may inadvertently suppress sounds from other instruments, so you’d miss out on a full experience.
Talk to your hearing instrument specialist, who will demonstrate how to adjust your hearing aids’ volume setting while experiencing a live concert. You can also ask how to stop other features, like feedback suppression or noise reduction. Your hearing aids are programmable by your hearing instrument specialist with a “music setting” feature that automatically switches to this feature.
Before traveling to your concert venue, find out if it has a hearing loop system. This sound system is available in most public spaces that connect to people’s hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
If you experience hearing loss and need hearing aids, schedule an appointment with Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
For some, symptoms of tinnitus - a buzzing, clicking, chirping, or ringing noise in the ears - can be the most distracting and annoying health issue that one can have. It can interfere with your entire life.
This past year, about 10 percent of the U.S. population - about 25 million Americans - have experienced tinnitus that lasted for at least five minutes. For some people, the condition is chronic.
Some have felt so hopeless that they may not even bother to bring it up to a healthcare provider. Hearing aids or sound therapies are proven treatments for tinnitus. These treatments don’t work for everybody, but some have marveled at the lack of tinnitus symptoms.
Let’s learn more about the link between hearing loss and tinnitus - and why hearing aids are helpful in some cases to relieve symptoms of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss usually go Hand-and-Hand.
Tinnitus and hearing loss usually happen simultaneously. Not all people with tinnitus have hearing loss, but they are common comorbidities.
There are often moments when a patient will complain about hearing noises and not hearing loss. When they receive a hearing test, the hearing test administrator will usually reveal that the patient has hearing loss that they are unaware of.
It’s still uncertain as to why this happens.
The specific workings and causes of tinnitus are still under research. Studies on animals demonstrate that just about anything that causes hearing loss will also cause tinnitus.
Like hearing, tinnitus occurs in the brain and not in your ears. With hearing loss, your brain misses information, so you cannot process it.
To try and restore the missing input, the auditory neurons found in the brain become hyperactive and fail. As a result, tinnitus occurs.
Hearing Aids are Helpful for Some
Hearing aids cannot restore hearing, but they can help restore auditory stimulation to the brain. Essentially, your brain becomes hyperactive when you have hearing loss. The nerve cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus are overactive and may misinterpret as sound.
In theory, because hearing aids restore some of the stimulation that’s been missing in the brain, they may help manage tinnitus.
Hearing Aids can be Programmed to let You Hear or Block out Background Noise.
If you are in a busy environment and want to hear the people who came out with you, hearing aids use directional microphones that may be programmed to hear only their voices while blocking out distracting background noise.
Hearing aids can also help you hear quiet background noises. The ability to listen to these subtle background noises creates more contrast in the brain against tinnitus.
Hearing Aids may lower Stress Levels.
Tinnitus can become a vicious cycle of stress and worsened symptoms. Work, relationships, and the inability to communicate with those around you can become anxiety-inducing too.
Wearing hearing aids with a masking feature can help relieve the strain you may feel when trying to listen to others.
What are Tinnitus Masking Features?
Donning hearing aids lowers symptoms of tinnitus. Features that come with these devices can help too.
Masking features that are available for hearing aids are white-noise sounds, like rain noise or rushing waters. It’s known as a tinnitus sound generator (TSG).
When wearing them, you may no longer notice the symptoms. Hearing aids help the user make tinnitus more manageable by acclimating to the noise and using the hearing aids to control it.
Hearing aids let you connect to a phone to stream soothing sounds from an app.
There’s no cure for tinnitus, but sound therapies can help make them seem like it has temporarily gone away.
Hearing aids are helpful,l but there’s no guarantee that they will be effective for everyone. They are a treatment option, not a cure.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps people figure out how to deal with something that they cannot change. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) has methods to ignore tinnitus symptoms, along with coping strategies that include relaxation, visualization, and meditation.
Everyone reacts differently to tinnitus, so experimenting with multiple techniques is crucial to finding the right therapy.
Get a Hearing Test
If you think you are noticing tinnitus or a loved one is complaining about hearing phantom noises, get a hearing test to find out.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you need to take a new medication, it’s overwhelming to look at the possible side effects. Sometimes, a prescribed drug can improve one condition, worsen another, or create a new problem. It can be concerning if you need blood pressure (or hypertension) medication and have tinnitus. There have been cases of some blood pressure medication that was associated with tinnitus.
Tinnitus is the phantom noise (a buzzing, ringing, or chirping sound) only a person affected can hear. Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand-in-hand, but other causes of tinnitus may include ototoxic medications.
Work on Controlling High Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association revealed that almost half of all American adults experience high blood pressure. When a person has high blood pressure, the force of blood against the blood vessel walls is persistent. The average blood pressure is under 120 mmHg (the upper number) and 80 mmHg (the lower number). If you don’t get proper treatment for high blood pressure, it can lead to heart attack, kidney damage, stroke, and vision loss.
Medication and lifestyle changes are helpful. Your healthcare provider can treat high blood pressure with at least one type of prescription drug. There are possible side effects.
It’s currently uncertain why some blood pressure medications can induce tinnitus more than others. Some studies have suggested that tinnitus is caused by reduced cochlear blood flow, which happens when medication is taken to lower blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Medications and Tinnitus
According to a published piece from the National Library of Medicine, the following types of blood pressure medications are generally associated with tinnitus.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)
Inhibitors like benazepril, captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, ramipril, and quinapril are related to tinnitus/ototoxicity.
Some beta-blockers are associated with tinnitus or other types of ototoxicity, including bisoprolol and metoprolol.
All diuretics cause tinnitus, especially those in the thiazide and potassium-sparing categories. A well-known thiazide diuretics include hydrochlorothiazide (“HCTZ”) and chlorthalidone. Some potassium-sparing diuretics include spironolactone and triamterene.
Calcium channel blockers
A common and possible cause of tinnitus is calcium channel blockers. These include amlodipine, diltiazem, nicardipine, and nifedipine.
Discuss concerns with Healthcare Providers
Tinnitus caused by blood pressure medication may not be permanent. The American Academy of Otolaryngology stated that tinnitus usually subsides within 1-2 weeks after a patient stops taking the blood pressure medication. Talk to your primary care physician or cardiologist before you refrain from taking the medication.
A high dosage can worsen symptoms of tinnitus caused by medication usage. A lower dosage may be prescribed to reduce tinnitus symptoms. Talk to your provider before lowering your dosage and listen to what is recommended.
Blood Pressure Medications that have not been linked to Tinnitus
Although there are exceptions, here are some blood pressure medications that are not linked to tinnitus:
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
When these are taken on their own, without any other blood pressure medications, they do not induce tinnitus. Examples of ARBs:
There have been some reports of tinnitus when taking ARBs, but usually when combined with diuretics. These include:
Just as some beta blockers can be linked to tinnitus, others are not. Usually, beta blockers don’t cause tinnitus. These include carvedilol and labetalol.
What if changing Blood Pressure Medication is Not an Option?
Medication is specifically prescribed based on a patient’s heart symptoms. Sometimes you can’t substitute it with another drug. Complete a hearing test and consultation with a hearing healthcare provider. Hearing aids may be a treatment option to mask tinnitus and improve hearing.
If you, or a loved one, experiences hearing loss or tinnitus, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our hearing aid providers offer hearing aid options that can be custom fit and programmed for your specific hearing needs.
Tinnitus is an incurable ear disorder with symptoms that include a phantom ringing noise that only the person with these indicators can hear. It’s a continuous noise that can range from mild annoyance to torment.
Habituation exercises make the noises less bothersome.
The Hidden Ailment
Tinnitus is not a condition in and of itself. It is, however, the result of one or many underlying conditions.
Hearing loss, head and neck injuries, infections, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), vestibular disorders such as acoustic neuroma, circulatory disorders, and Meniere’s Disease can lead to tinnitus. Vitamins, supplements, and medications may also cause these symptoms.
About 50 million Americans and over 600 million across the globe are affected by it. That’s nearly 10-15 percent of the people, and most are unaware of this health issue.
Dismissive Reactions and Tinnitus Treatments
There are ways to treat tinnitus, from sound therapy to hearing aids with masking sounds.
Some people get used to the noise to the point where it becomes less annoying. Others are fortunate enough to learn that there are treatment options.
Ask yourself whether the noise bothers you. There’s a way to cope with it.
How an individual reacts to tinnitus is the key to better dealing with it. Some have an emotional, physical, or psychological reaction to it.
You can train your brain to filter out repetitive stimuli, such as sound, from your conscious awareness through habituation. It’s the same as concentrating on something while mentally blocking out background noises or not feeling the clothing on your skin.
Everyone who can hear is programmed to respond to noises that can suggest imminent danger, and it’s important not to miss these sounds.
The brain cannot distinguish differences between an imaginary threat (tinnitus) and an actual danger. As a result, the emotional reaction that we make is the same. We get the stress and fight-or-flight response. It’s a vicious cycle.
You can’t control the sound, but you can gain control over your reactions. How you react can lead to a healthier and more manageable way to deal with this phantom noise.
Habituation through Meditation
Meditation is a great tool to manage stress. It can be tricky to get the hang of it and focus at first, but with a lot of practice and patience, concentrating on something other than the noise, like breathing or the voice-recorded meditation, can help you ignore the tinnitus.
When your mind starts wandering, you may begin noticing the tinnitus again. Simply bring your attention back to focus. For some, meditation can reduce the sound of tinnitus.
If you’ve tried meditation, a change in diet, and various exercises, but the tinnitus remains, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Programmed hearing aids with a tinnitus masking feature might be the solution.
Generally, symptoms of tinnitus are fleeting, but some people do have symptoms that are so relentless that they can affect their sleep, which can lead to poor mood and difficulty with concentration.
Tinnitus is more of an annoyance than a life-threatening condition. It is the symptom of an underlying problem.
Anyone who constantly experiences symptoms of tinnitus may find navigating life a little more challenging than someone who does not have it. Even though there’s no cure, there are ways to find relief.
If you notice symptoms of tinnitus, contact a hearing healthcare provider immediately. The sooner you receive help, the easier it is to control symptoms. Narrowing down the underlying cause will help them determine your best treatment option.
1. White Noise Machines
A silent space is the worst environment for anyone with tinnitus. Your brain must redirect its attention to other noise and force the tinnitus into the background.
White noise machines or apps can help with this problem. A constant, low-frequency sound will muffle the tinnitus and teach your brain to disregard the noise. Air conditioners, air purifiers, or refrigerators can conveniently be used instead of a white noise machine.
2. Do Not use Ototoxic Medicines
If you notice tinnitus after taking a new medication, the pills may be the culprit. Some prescriptions or over-the-counter medications are ototoxic, indicating they can harm your hearing abilities.
3. Treatment Options
There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but training your brain to ignore it is possible. If this training, the white noise machines, or changing your medication does not work, find a specialist who focuses on tinnitus treatment.
Hearing aids or apps that connect to your hearing aids can drown out tinnitus symptoms. Some hearing aids feature a white noise generator which must be programmed into the device by a hearing instrument specialist.
Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We’re raising awareness for the month of May about communication which involves hearing and speech.
About five percent of the earth’s population has some range of hearing loss. About five percent of the world’s population also has difficulty with speech.
Good communication is crucial in every facet of life. Better Hearing and Speech Month informs others about problems when communicating with someone who hears or speaks differently and how to improve those interactions.
A Historical Overview of Better Hearing and Speech Month
Better Hearing and Speech Month has had formal recognition in the US for 90 years.
Established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 1927, Better Hearing and Speech Month will raise awareness about obstacles surrounding speech and hearing. Everyone is encouraged to reflect on their speech and hearing and make improvements if necessary. When a person’s hearing becomes impaired, they may slur their speech or mispronounce certain words because they haven’t heard these sounds for so long.
Ways to Observe Better Hearing and Speech Month
Throughout this month, think about how you hear and speak. Ask yourself if you are being effective enough with your communication or if you accurately receive verbal information.
Signs of hearing problems may include:
If you have children or grandchildren, this month also urges you to be aware of any changes in their hearing, speech, or language. Seek help and treatment immediately. Unaddressed hearing loss may impact their confidence and learning skills.
If any of these problems become noticeable, get a hearing test. Spread the word about taking care of your hearing and speech. Pure Sound Hearing offers complimentary hearing tests and consultations.
Life is full of ups and downs, and challenges are bound to occur. These challenges often lead to stress.
To anyone reading this blog, you are fully aware that hearing loss can cause stress.
Whether you feel anxiety over engaging in a conversation in a loud and crowded area, experience listening fatigue, or have tinnitus, we’ve got some tips on how to deal with the stress of these problems.
Simply receiving treatment for hearing loss can significantly lower your stress levels. Hearing better and having smoother interactions with others can be less stressful. Improving stress management skills can have a lasting effect on your overall health.
We’re recognizing Stress Awareness Month by sharing how hearing loss treatment with hearing aids can help with your interactions, reconnections, and lower stress.
1. Wearing Hearing Aids can Reduce Social Anxiety and Withdrawal
Connecting with others on a social level is a great way to relieve stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it helps to divert attention away from problems you may face while offering support and encouragement. Wearing hearing aids can make you feel more confident to talk to family and friends, participate in volunteer work within your community, or enjoy things like going to a movie theater and hearing live music again.
2. Tinnitus Relief
Tinnitus can cause a lot of stress. Wearing hearing aids can help lower those stress levels. According to one study, 60 percent of patients felt small to significant alleviation from their tinnitus while donning hearing aids. The rest of the patients felt significant relief with their hearing aids. These devices can be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist to feature tinnitus relief, which may be accessed through a customized channel on your hearing aids.
3. Keeping Fit with Hearing Aids
Being physically active has been a proven stress reliever. Your brain receives endorphins when focusing your attention away from daily problems to the movements in your body. Donning hearing aids helps with an active lifestyle (including light or intense exercises) by reducing the risks of tripping and/or falling. Hearing aids can help you be more aware of your environment with omnidirectional microphones programmed as an optional feature. These microphones will capture sound from every direction, but you can switch back to a directional microphone if you are in a situation where you want to focus on sounds that are coming from the angle in which you face. If you are biking, and want to be aware of sounds from all directions, use the omnidirectional feature.
4. Don’t miss out on a Joke
Everyone knows that laughter is a huge stress reliever. The Mayo Clinic has found that laughing decreases your mental load while starting up and lowering your stress response. Stream a comedy through your hearing aids or hang out with your funniest friends. It’ll make you feel much better and you’ll have a fun time.
Work on managing your stress this month, so that you can set yourself up for managing it better from now on. If necessary, get help from hearing aids by scheduling an appointment with one of our providers from Pure Sound Hearing in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
Everyone knows that hearing loss is generally caused by exposure to loud noise and aging. But did you know that some chemicals and medications can also damage the inner ear, and cause hearing loss? The literal translation of “ototoxicity” is “ear poison”. Medications or chemicals that are ototoxic can cause balance problems, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
There are five primary categories of ototoxicants, which include:
Most people do not store these powerful solvents and compounds inside their homes, therefore the ototoxicants that the general public comes across are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.
Ototoxic symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, nausea, nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), and vertigo. Before hearing loss becomes noticeable, tinnitus normally occurs first.
Are there Treatment Options for Ototoxicity?
The hair cells located in the inner ear are extremely fragile, so there’s no helpful treatment for ototoxicity. Once your hair cells are damaged, that is permanent along with your ability to hear. Preventative action is the best way to approach this. If your hair cells are not permanently damaged after an exposure, hearing, and balance may recover in a matter of months. If your hearing is permanently damaged, hearing aids and other hearing therapies can help. A professional hearing healthcare provider can help you choose the best options for you.
How to Avoid Ototoxicity
Ototoxicity can be averted by refraining from coming in contact with substances that contain ototoxic substances. It may be difficult to attain this as many life-saving medications like chemotherapy drugs are also ototoxic. You must decide by weighing the risks and benefits.
Raising awareness for the general public as well as drug manufacturers who are developing ways to diminish these side effects and figuring out advanced treatment options that won’t impact hearing health, is the first step to tackling this issue. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns with ototoxicity, and understand what substances you’ll be coming in contact with if there are any risks in your work environment. Understanding and reducing these risks will help keep you safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be helpful, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
These types of noises can aid with relaxation, but they are not meant for those who suffer from tinnitus.
Do you ever notice that you feel more relaxed when there is some gentle background noise from an air conditioner or TV? These sounds, known as color noises, can comfort people. They cover up distracting or undesirable sounds. Color noise, such as white noise, is often used to help with focus or getting a restful night’s sleep.
What is the Difference between Each Color Noise?
Brown noise, pink noise, and white noise are words that engineers use to illustrate the scale of sounds and the energy of an audible sound range.
When sound is depicted as color, it describes the frequencies, intensities, and variations. Audio engineering illustrates sound as a rainbow with individual properties.
Colors make describing noises easier to understand frequencies of sound through a color spectrum. This depiction is used for music production, tinnitus treatment, relaxation, auditory processing and integration, and to illustrate natural rhythms such as a heartbeat.
This noise utilizes low and high frequencies. They included the following sounds:
This noise utilizes lower frequencies than white noise. They include the following sounds:
This noise utilizes the deepest frequencies. They include the following sounds:
The first established color noise was white noise - or broadband noise. It has equal power for every sound frequency. This noise includes all frequencies across the audible sound spectrum. White noise absorbs all sounds in the auditory spectrum the same way that the color white absorbs all colors in the visual spectrum. White noise is commonly experienced as static from a TV or radio.
Cognitive and Rest Benefits
White noise may help with brain and hearing function. A 2017 study found that hearing white noise can improve cognitive performance in healthy adults that have low attention levels.
Another possible benefit of listening to white noise is quality sleep. A study on sleep problems among patients who were admitted into the critical care unit found that white noise reduced environmental sounds while enhancing and maintaining sleep. White noise might be beneficial for those with insomnia, or other sleep problems, or if they live in a disordered environment.
People with Tinnitus Should be Careful
Tinnitus is the experience of hearing phantom noise in the ears. It can manifest as a buzzing, clicking, hissing, or roaring noise that affects one or both ears.
White noise has been commonly recommended as a treatment to cover symptoms, but the benefits have been conflicting.
One study found that white noise machines can lessen some of the stress tinnitus causes in patients with normal hearing.
Another study found that listening to color noise could cause the auditory system to overstimulate, make tinnitus symptoms worse, and possibly impact cognitive abilities. They found that nonrandom noises, like music or speech sounds may be more beneficial.
Pink noise is the second most common color noise, after white noise. Pink noise is connected to the relaxing sounds of nature. Pink and white noise are similar in that they can be heard by the human ear and on the broadband spectrum. Lower frequencies of pink noise are easier to hear than white noise.
Pink noise is louder in low-frequencies and softer at higher frequencies. This creates a better quality of sound energy as frequency/pitch rises in a configuration that reflects the way we hear sound.
Pink noise may also help improve sleep quality and memory function in elderly adults.
Brown noise is another color closely linked to white and pink noise, but brown noise is mostly similar to pink noise. Brown noise is deeper and stronger in low frequencies. It does not have the high frequencies that white and pink noises exhibit.
Brown noise has lower, deeper, and more intense frequencies. There’s an even steeper decrease - by approximately 6 dB per octave - making the difference between lower and higher frequencies larger than with pink and white noise.
A study showed that brown noise improved the concentration levels of a group of employees in their work environment. The employees expressed that they were better at concentrating and performing tasks while listening to brown noise through earbuds.
Brown noise also improved sleep and anxiety.
If you are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
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.
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.