Typically, hearing loss is considered to be a problem only effecting older people – as a matter of fact, it’s estimated that around 50% of individuals who suffer from hearing loss are 75 or older. And even though it’s often totally avoidable, new research reveals an alarming number of younger people are losing their hearing.
The National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing recently carried out research on 479 freshmen spanning three high schools and revealed that 34% of those youngsters showed signs of hearing loss. The reason? Mobile devices with earbuds or headphones connected are suspected to be the primary cause. And the young are not the only ones in danger of this.
What is The Cause of Hearing Loss in People Below The Age of 60?
There’s a very simple rule regarding earbud volume for teenagers and everyone else – if other people can hear your music, then it’s too loud. Your hearing can be injured when you listen to noises above 85 decibels – which is approximately the volume of a vacuum cleaner – for an extended period of time. If the volume is cranked all the way up on a normal mobile device it’s volume is around 106 decibels. In this scenario, injury begins to occur in less than 4 minutes.
Though this sounds like common sense stuff, in reality kids spend around two hours each day on their devices, commonly with their earphones or earbuds connected. They’re listening to music, playing games, or watching videos during this time. And if current research is to be believed, this time will only increase over the next few years. Studies reveal that smartphones and other screens trigger dopamine generation in younger kids’ brains, which is literally what addictive drugs do. It will be increasingly difficult to get kids to put down their screens, and their hearing may suffer as a result.
How Much Are Young People at Risk of Hearing Loss?
Clearly, hearing loss presents several struggles to anyone, regardless of age. Younger people, however, have to deal with additional problems concerning after school sports, job prospects, and even academics. The student is disadvantaged if they have a hard time hearing and understanding concepts in class because of early hearing loss. It also makes playing sports much more difficult, since so much of sports entails listening to teammates and coaches give instructions and call plays. Teenagers and young adults who are joining the workforce will have unnecessary hurdles if their loss of hearing has a negative effect on their self-esteem.
Hearing loss can also result in persistent social struggles. Kids whose hearing is damaged often end up requiring therapy because they have a harder time with their friends due to loss of hearing. Mental health problems are ordinary in people of all ages who have hearing loss because they commonly feel separated and have anxiety and depression. Mental health treatment and hearing loss treatment often go hand in hand, particularly during the important developmental stages experienced by teenagers and kids.
How You Can Avoid Loss of Hearing?
The first rule to follow is the 60/60 rule – offending devices should be at less than 60% of their maximum volume for less than 1 hour a day. If you can hear your kids music, even if if the volume is at 60%, you should ask them to turn down the volume.
Also older style over-the-ear headphones might be a better choice than earbuds. Earbuds, which are put directly in the ear, can actually produce 6 to 9 extra decibels in comparison to traditional headphones.
Throughout the day in general, you should do anything possible to minimize your exposure to loud noise. If you try to listen to your music without headphones, that is one of the few things you can control. And, see us immediately if you think you are already suffering from loss of hearing.
Tinnitus flare ups are rarely constant; it seems difficult to understand when and why these sounds occur. At times, it seems like, for no recognizable reason at all, your ears just start buzzing. As you lie in bed, you think back over your day, and there are no clear causes for this event: There is no apparent reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is taking place, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.
So possibly the food you ate may be the reason. We don’t typically think about the link between hearing and food, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by particular foods. In order to stay away from those foods, you need to find out what they are.
What Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?
Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You won’t want to experience a food triggered tinnitus event so it’s important to identify which foods can cause it. Some foods to avoid may include:
High on the list of items to steer clear of are alcohol and tobacco. You will certainly want to abstain from smoking and drinking in order to lessen your chance of a tinnitus episode even though tobacco isn’t actually a food.
Your general health can be substantially affected by alcohol and tobacco especially your blood pressure. The more you drink (and smoke), the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.
One of the top predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s the reason why when you make your list of foods to stay away from, sodium needs to be at the top. Whether you love eating french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.
There are certain foods that you don’t usually consider to be high in sodium like ice cream. But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep track of sodium content.
It shouldn’t be surprising that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Most fast-food places (even the ones that bill themselves as a healthier alternative) serve food that is packed with salt and fat. And, once again, that’s going to have a substantial impact on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the giant drinks they serve that are very high in sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on this list.
Sweets And Sugars
Candy is something that all of us love. Well, maybe not everyone, but most of us. From time to time, you’ll run into someone who sincerely prefers veggies over candy. We try not to pass judgment.
Sadly, the glucose balance in your body can be greatly disrupted by sugar. And as you’re attempting to fall asleep at night, a small disturbance to that balance can mean lots of tossing and turning. And the more you toss and turn, the more you start listening for that ringing and buzzing.
There’s an apparent reason why we saved this one for last. This is the one we’re least pleased about having to give up. But using caffeine late in the day, whether from soda, tea, or coffee, can really wreck your sleep cycle. And the less quality sleep you get, the more likely your tinnitus is to flare up.
So it’s not really the caffeine per se that’s the issue, it’s the lack of sleep. Switch over to a drink that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.
What Are Your Smartest Practices?
This is definitely not an exhaustive list. Your hearing expert is the best place to begin when it comes to the dietary adjustments you need to undertake. Let’s remember that dietary adjustments affect everyone differently, so it might even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can track what affects you and by how much.
Going forward you will have an easier time making smart decisions if you understand how particular foods affect you. When you start tracking what you eat, and what happens to your ears subsequently, you may begin to note patterns, and that can remove some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.
If you decide on that evening of coffee, at least you know what you’re in for.
Multiple studies have confirmed that hearing loss can have an impact on your brain. (Just have a look at some of our recent blog posts.) Hearing Aids, luckily, have been shown to be able to help you restore some of that cognitive ability.
We’re not stating that you will get more intelligent just by using hearing aids. But there’s some compelling research that suggests hearing aids can improve cognitive abilities, lowering your risk for depression, dementia, and anxiety.
Your Brain is in Charge of a Large Portion of Your Hearing
To understand the link between your ears and cognition, it’s important to know that a significant portion of your hearing actually happens in your brain. It’s the brain’s job to convert sound vibrations into recognizable sound information. The parts of your brain that translate sound will suddenly have less to do when hearing starts to wane.
In combination with other factors (such as social solitude), the alterations in your brain (and hearing) can trigger the onset of specific mental health issues. In persons with untreated hearing loss, it’s not uncommon to notice an increase in the dangers of depression, anxiety, and dementia.
Your essentially “treating” your hearing loss when you’re using hearing aids. That means:
- Because you’ll be capable of coupling your hearing aids with regular screening and other treatment options, you can help keep your hearing from getting progressively worse.
- Social isolation won’t be as likely. Conversations will be easier to understand and follow, so you’ll be more inclined to engage.
- Your brain stays healthier if it continues working; your brain will be getting a more consistent workout in the parts responsible for hearing.
Hearing aids stimulate your brain and your social life and can prevent depression, anxiety, and dementia.
- Creating better awareness: Occasionally, because you aren’t aware of your environment, you may have a fall. Your situational awareness can be significantly hindered by hearing conditions. Not only can it be difficult to hear sounds, but it can also be a challenge to determine what direction sounds are coming from. Without treatment, this can end up resulting in injury or a fall.
- State of the art technology: Hearing aids have begun incorporating novel technology that is able to alert emergency contacts (or emergency services) when a person using the hearing aids experiences a fall. This can minimize long lasting injuries and complications though it won’t stop the fall itself.
- The health of your inner ear: Inner ear injury is not caused by loss of hearing alone. Notwithstanding, sometimes hearing loss and inner ear issues have a mutual cause. At times, a hearing aid is part of the treatment program for hearing loss which can also help inner ear injury.
Ultimately, when you’re using a hearing aid, you’re more likely to avoid a fall to begin with. A hearing aid helps you stay more alert, more perceptive, and more connected, maximizing cognitive abilities and general health at the same time.
Stop Neglecting Your Hearing Aid
We haven’t even yet dealt with the basic hearing benefits of hearing aids. So when you take that amplified hearing, factor in the mental health advantages and physical well-being, it seems like wearing these devices should be an easy choice (Pretty obvious).
The problem is that many people don’t know they have hearing loss. It can be difficult to recognize hearing loss when it develops slowly over time. That’s why it’s significant to have your hearing checked routinely. A wide range of other health problems can be exacerbated by loss of hearing.
Hearing aids will minimize the chances of physical damage while helping to delay dementia and depression. That’s a stunning combination of benefits that hearing aids provide, and they also help you hear.
Your brain develops differently than it normally would if you’re born with loss of hearing. Shocked? That’s because we normally think about brains in the wrong way. Your mind, you believe, is a static thing: it only changes because of trauma or injury. But the reality is that brains are a little more…dynamic.
Hearing Affects Your Brain
You’ve most likely heard of the notion that, as one sense wanes, the other four senses will grow more powerful to compensate. Vision is the most popular example: as you begin to lose your vision, your hearing and smell and taste will become ultra powerful as a counterbalance.
There might be some truth to this but it hasn’t been established scientifically. Because hearing loss, for example, can and does alter the sensory architecture of your brain. It’s open to question how much this is true in adults, but we do know it’s true with children.
CT scans and other studies of children with loss of hearing reveal that their brains physically alter their structures, transforming the part of the brain normally responsible for interpreting sounds to be more sensitive to visual information.
The newest studies have gone on to discover that the brain’s architecture can be effected by even moderate hearing loss.
How The Brain is Changed by Hearing Loss
A certain amount of brainpower is dedicated to each sense when they are all working. The interpretation of touch, or taste, or vision and so on, all make use of a specific amount of brain power. A lot of this architecture is developed when you’re young (the brains of children are incredibly flexible) because that’s when you’re first developing all of these neural pathways.
Established literature had already validated that in children with total or near-total loss of hearing, the brain modified its general architecture. Instead of being dedicated to hearing, that area in the brain is reconfigured to be dedicated to vision. The brain devotes more power and space to the senses that are offering the most input.
Minor to Moderate Loss of Hearing Also Causes Changes
Children who have minor to medium loss of hearing, surprisingly, have also been seen to show these same rearrangements.
These brain changes won’t produce superpowers or substantial behavioral changes, to be clear. Helping individuals adapt to loss of hearing seems to be a more practical interpretation.
A Relationship That Has Been Strong For a Long Time
The research that loss of hearing can alter the brains of children definitely has implications beyond childhood. The vast majority of individuals dealing with loss of hearing are adults, and the hearing loss itself is usually a direct result of long-term noise or age-related damage. Is loss of hearing modifying their brains, as well?
Noise damage, according to evidence, can actually trigger inflammation in certain areas of the brain. Other evidence has connected neglected hearing loss with higher chances for dementia, depression, and anxiety. So although we haven’t proven hearing loss boosts your other senses, it does affect the brain.
People from around the country have anecdotally borne this out.
The Affect of Hearing Loss on Your General Health
It’s more than superficial insight that hearing loss can have such a substantial effect on the brain. It’s a reminder that the brain and the senses are intrinsically connected.
When hearing loss develops, there are commonly substantial and obvious mental health impacts. Being mindful of those effects can help you prepare for them. And being prepared will help you take steps to maintain your quality of life.
How drastically your brain physically changes with the onset of hearing loss will depend on numerous factors ((age is a significant factor because older brains have a harder time developing new neural pathways). But regardless of your age or how severe your hearing loss is, untreated hearing loss will definitely have an effect on your brain.
You just swapped out the batteries, but your hearing aids still don’t sound right. Everything sounds muffled, distant, and just a little off. It seems like some of the sound isn’t there. When you troubleshoot the issue with a basic Google search, the most likely solution seems like a low battery. And that’s frustrating because you’re really careful about putting your hearing aid on the charging station before you go to bed each night.
But here you are with some friends and you can’t really hear their discussion. This is exactly the situation you got hearing aids to avoid. Before you get too aggravated with your hearing aids, there’s one more cause for this weak sound you might want to check out: your own earwax.
You’re Hearing Aids Live in Your Ears
Your ears are where your hearing aids reside under typical circumstances. Even when you use an over-the-ear design, there’s at least contact with your ear canal. And for best efficiency, other designs have been created to be placed directly in the ear canal. Regardless of where your hearing aid is situated, it will encounter an ever-present neighbor: earwax.
A Shield Against Earwax
Now, earwax does a lot of great things for the health of your ears (numerous studies have shown that earwax ,in fact, has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can help ward off various infections). So earwax can actually be a good thing.
But hearing aids and earwax don’t always work together quite as well–the standard operation of your hearing aid can be impeded by earwax, especially the moisture. Fortunately, that earwax is predictable and manufacturers are well mindful of it.
So modern hearing aids have shields, known as wax guards, created to prevent earwax from interfering with the general performance of your device. And those wax guards might be what’s creating the “weak” sound.
Things to Know About Wax Guards
There is a tiny piece of technology inside your hearing aid known as a wax guard. Wax can’t get through but sound can. In order for your hearing aid to continue to work effectively, a wax guard is crucial. But issues can be created by the wax guard itself in some circumstances:
- You have a dirty hearing aid shell: And let’s not forget your hearing aid shell, which also has to be cleaned when you change your wax guard. If your hearing aid shell is covered with earwax, it’s possible, while you’re changing the wax guard, some of the earwax gets into the interior of the hearing aid (and this would clearly hinder the function of your hearing aids).
- When you bought your new wax guards, you got the wrong model: Each model and maker has a different wax guard. If you buy the wrong model for your specific hearing aid, your device’s functions could be impaired, and that could lead to the hearing aid sounding “weak.”
- A professional clean and check is required: In order to be certain that your hearing aid is functioning properly, it needs to be cleaned once per year. You should also consider getting your hearing evaluated on a regular basis to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed at all.
- It’s been too long since the wax guard has been cleaned: Cleaning your wax guard needs to be a monthly (or so) upkeep routine. A wax guard filters out the wax but sometimes it gets clogged and just like any kind of filter, it has to get cleaned. Sound waves can be blocked if earwax is clogging up the wax guard and every now and then, you will want to clean it.
- It’s been too long since the wax guard has been replaced: Wax guards wear out like any other filter. A wax guard can only be cleaned so much. When cleaning no longer does the trick, you might have to replace your wax guard (so that you can make this smoother, you can buy a toolkit made specially for this).
Make sure you follow the included instruction for best success with your wax guard.
After I Change my Earwax Guard
Once you’ve changed over your earwax guard, your hearing aids should begin producing clearer sounds. Hearing and following discussions should get much better. And if you’ve been dealing with weak sound from your hearing aids, this can be quite a relief.
There’s undoubtedly a learning curve in regards to maintaining any complex device such as hearing aids. So just remember: It’s most likely time to change your wax guard if the sound quality of your hearing aid is weak even with a fully charged battery.
According to one recent survey, nearly 30% of people have gone more than ten years without getting a hearing test. One of those people is Sofia. She knows she has to get her oil changed every 3000 miles, she sees the dentist every six months, and she reports punctually for her annual medical exam. But she has no idea the last time she had a hearing exam or underwent any type of accurate hearing evaluation.
Hearing assessments are beneficial for a wide variety of reasons, detecting early symptoms of hearing loss is perhaps the most significant one. Knowing how often she should get a hearing test will help Sofia keep her ears (and hearing) as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
How Many Times Per Year Should my Ears Get Checked?
We may be alarmed if Sophia hadn’t had a hearing exam in a decade. Or perhaps it doesn’t phase us. Depending on Sophia’s age, reactions could vary. That’s because hearing professionals have different recommendations based on age.
- It’s normally recommended that you take a hearing test every three years or so. There’s no problem having your ears examined more frequently, of course! The bare minimum is every three years. If you are subjected to loud noise regularly or work in a field where noise is commonplace, you should decide to get checked more often. There’s no reason not to do it, it’s painless and simple.
- If you are older than fifty: The general recommendation is that anybody older than fifty should undergo hearing checks yearly. As you get older, the noise damage you’ve suffered over a lifetime can begin to speed up, which means loss of hearing is more likely to start affecting your life. Plus, there are other health issues that can impact your hearing.
As far as your hearing is concerned, more often is absolutely better. Since you last had a hearing test, you may have new damage you should know about, so more frequent hearing exams could be practical.
Signs You Should Get Your Hearing Checked
Naturally, your annual (or semi-annual) hearing exam isn’t the only good occasion to make an appointment with a hearing professional. As an example, if you recognize signs of hearing loss. And in those instances, it’s often a good plan to promptly contact a hearing specialist and schedule a hearing exam.
Some of the signs that might prompt you to get a hearing test could include:
- When you’re talking to people, you constantly need to ask people to repeat themselves.
- Phone conversations are always difficult to hear.
- Your hearing is dull as if there is water in your ears.
- Trouble hearing discussions in noisy situations.
- Listening to your favorite tunes at extremely high volumes.
- It’s common for hearing loss in the high pitched register to go first and since consonants are in a higher pitched register than vowels, they normally go first.
When these warning signs start to add up, it’s a good sign that the ideal time to have a hearing test is right now. The more frequently you have your hearing checked, the sooner you’ll know what’s going on with your ears.
What Are The Advantages of Hearing Testing?
Sophia might be late for her hearing exam for several reasons. Maybe she hasn’t considered it. Possibly thinking about it is something she’s simply avoiding. But getting your hearing tested on the recommended schedule has tangible benefits.
Even when your hearing is totally healthy, a hearing exam can help create a baseline reading, which makes deviations in the future simpler to detect. If you catch your loss of hearing before it becomes obvious, you can safeguard it better.
The reason for regular hearing assessment is that someone like Sofia will be able to identify issues before her hearing is diminished permanently. Early diagnosis by a hearing assessment can help your hearing be healthy for a long time. It’s important to think about how hearing loss will affect your general state of health.
Public opinion surrounding marijuana and cannabinoids have transformed remarkably over the last few decades. The majority of states now allow the use of marijuana, THC, or cannabinoid compounds for medicinal applications. Not as many states have legalized pot for recreational purposes, but even that would have been impossible even just a decade ago.
Cannabinoids are categorized as a group of substances derived from the cannabis or marijuana plant. Notwithstanding their recent decriminalization in certain states, we’re still finding out new things about cannabinoids. Despite the fact that we now are starting to acknowledge the countless medical benefits of these compounds, it has been recognized for a while that tinnitus may be brought about by cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids Come in Several Types
Today, cannabinoids can be consumed in lots of forms. It’s not just pot (or refer, or grass… ok, let’s just all agree upfront that marijuana has many nicknames and move on). These days, THC and cannabinoids are available in pill form, as topical spreads, as inhaled mists, and lots of others.
The forms of cannabinoids available will vary depending on the state, and many of those varieties are still technically illegal under federal law if the amount of THC is over 0.3%. That’s why many people tend to be rather cautious about cannabinoids.
The concern is that we don’t yet grasp much about some of the lasting side effects or risks of cannabinoid usage. Some new research into how cannabinoids influence your hearing is a good example.
Cannabinoids And Your Hearing, Some New Research
Whatever you would like to call it, cannabinoids have long been connected to improving a wide variety of medical ailments. According to information that is anecdotally available, conditions including vertigo, nausea, seizures, and many more seem to be helped by cannabinoids. So is it possible that cannabinoids assist with tinnitus? That’s what scientists resolved to find out.
Seems as if cannabinoids might actually trigger tinnitus. Ringing in the ears was described by more than 29% of participants after implementing cannabinoids. And that’s in people who had never experienced tinnitus before. Additionally, marijuana users were 20-times more likely to report having tinnitus symptoms after 24 hours.
Further research suggested that marijuana use could exacerbate ear-ringing symptoms in people who already deal with tinnitus. So, it seems fairly certain that tinnitus and cannabinoids aren’t really compatible.
How Cannabinoids Make Tinnitus Worse
Your tinnitus can be aggravated by cannabinoids in a couple of concrete ways. First, the incidents of tinnitus symptoms can become more frequent, you might experience the buzzing or ringing in your ears more often. Also, your bouts of tinnitus can get more intense when you’re using cannabinoids. The discomfort from the ringing might become more intense or harder to ignore.
The study also seems to suggest that cannabinoids can cause the onset of the initial symptoms of tinnitus. Or, explained another way: after you begin using cannabinoids you might develop tinnitus symptoms even if you had no symptoms before.
The Causes of Tinnitus Are Unclear
Just because this connection has been discovered doesn’t necessarily mean the root causes are all that well understood. That cannabinoids can have an affect on the middle ear and on tinnitus is pretty clear. But it’s much less evident what’s causing this impact.
But we recognize that using marijuana, as opposed to other mood altering substances like alcohol, will cause tinnitus.
Research, unquestionably, will continue. Cannabinoids today come in so many types and forms that understanding the root connection between these substances and tinnitus could help people make better choices.
The Miracle Cure Beware
There has undeniably been no shortage of marketing hype concerning cannabinoids in recent years. Partly, that’s due to changing attitudes about cannabinoids themselves (and, to an extent, is also a reflection of a desire to move away from opioid use). But this new research clearly demonstrates that cannabinoids can and do produce some negative consequence, specifically if you’re concerned about your hearing.
The marketing for cannabinoids has been particularly aggressive and you can’t completely avoid all of the fanatics.
But cannabinoids and tinnitus are clearly linked based on this research. So if you have tinnitus, or if you’re worried about tinnitus it may be worth avoiding cannabinoids if you can, regardless of how many advertisements for CBD oil you may run into. It’s worth being careful when the connection between cannabinoids and tinnitus has been so solidly demonstrated.
If you’re a professional musician, your ears are your living. So you’d think musicians would be fairly protective of their ears. But overall, that’s not the situation. Instead, there’s a pervading culture of fatalism regarding hearing in the music business. They believe hearing loss is just “part of the job”.
That mindset, however, is starting to be challenged by various new legal rulings and concerted public safety campaigns. It shouldn’t ever be considered to be just “part of the job” to cause hearing loss. When there are proven methods to safeguard the hearing, that’s particularly true.
When You’re in a Noisy Surrounding, Protect Your Hearing
Of course, musicians are not the only people who are subjected to a loud workplace environment. And some other professionals undoubtedly have also developed a fatalistic perspective to hearing issues brought on by loud noise. But other occupations, such as manufacturing and construction, have been quicker to embrace basic levels of ear protection.
more than likely this is because of a couple of things:
- However severely you’re treated as an artist, there’s normally a feeling that you’re lucky and that someone would be pleased to be in your place. So some musicians might not want to rock the boat or complain about poor hearing protection.
- The saying goes “hard hat required”. That’s because the manufacturing and construction environments have a lot of hazards. So donning protective equipment is something site foremen, construction workers, and managers are more likely to be accustomed to doing.
- Even if a musician is playing the same music nightly, they have to be able to hear very well. If it seems as if it might impede hearing, there can be some opposition to using hearing protection. It should also be mentioned, this resistance is commonly due to false information.
This “part of the job” mindset impacts more than just the musicians, sadly. Others who are working in the music business, from crew members to bartenders, are implicitly supposed to buy into what is fundamentally a very damaging mindset.
Norms Are Changing
Thankfully, that’s changing for two significant reasons. The first is a milestone case against the Royal Opera House in London. While in a certain concert, a viola player was placed immediately in front of the brass section and exposed to over 130dB of sound. That’s about the sound equivalent of a full-blown jet engine!
In most cases, if you were going to be subjected to that much noise, you would be given hearing protection. But the viola player experienced long bouts of tinnitus and overall hearing loss because she wasn’t provided hearing protection.
When the courts found The Royal Opera House negligent and handed down a ruling in favor of the viola player, it was a very clear message that the music industry would need to take hearing protection laws seriously, and that the industry should stop thinking of itself as a special case and instead commit to appropriate hearing protection for every employee and contractor involved.
Loss of Hearing Shouldn’t be a Musician’s Fate
The number of individuals in the music business who have tinnitus is mindblowingly high. And that’s the reason that around the world there’s a campaign to raise awareness.
Everyone from rock star and their roadies to wedding Dj’s to classical musicians are in danger of experiencing “acoustic shock,” a response to very loud noises which includes the onset of tinnitus, hyperacusis, and loss of hearing. There is an escalating chance of having permanent injury the more acoustic shock a person endures.
You can be protected without reducing musical capabilities by using earplugs that are specifically manufactured for musicians or other cutting-edge hearing protection devices. Your hearing will be protected without diminishing the quality of sound.
Transforming The Music Attitude
The right hearing protection equipment is ready and available. At this point, safeguarding the hearing of musicians is more about transforming the culture within the music and entertainment industry. This endeavor, though it’s a difficult one, is one that’s already showing success (The industry is getting an eye opener with the decision against The Royal Opera House).
Tinnitus is very common in the industry. But this doesn’t have to be the way it is. It doesn’t make a difference what your job is, hearing loss should never be “just part of the job”.
Do you play music professionally? If you don’t want to miss a beat, ask us how to safeguard your ears.
As we age, loss of hearing is generally perceived as an inescapable fact of life. Hearing loss is experienced by lots of older Americans and so is tinnitus or a ringing in the ears. But if a condition like this is so accepted, why is it that so many people won’t admit that they have loss of hearing?
A new study from Canada posits that more than 50 percent of all Canadians middle-aged and older suffer from some kind of hearing loss, but that 77% of those people do not document any problems. Some type of hearing loss is impacting over 48 million Americans and goes un-addressed. It’s up for debate whether this denial is on purpose or not, but it’s still true that a significant number of people allow their loss of hearing to go unchecked – which could bring about considerable issues later on in life.
Why do Some People Not Know They Have Hearing Loss?
It’s a complex question. Loss of hearing is a gradual process, and problems understanding people and hearing things go undetected. Or, more frequently, they may blame it on something else – the person they’re speaking to is mumbling, the TV volume is too low, or there’s too much background interference. hearing loss can be blamed, unfortunately, on quite a few things, and getting a hearing test or getting checked out, usually, is not a person’s first reaction.
It also happens that some people just won’t accept that they have hearing loss. Another study conducted in the United States shows that lots of seniors who have hearing issues flat out deny it. They do what they can to cover up their issue, either because they don’t want to admit to having a problem or because of perceived stigmas associated with hearing loss.
The problem with both of these scenarios is that by rejecting or not noticing you have a hearing problem you could actually be negatively influencing your overall health.
There Can be Serious Consequences From Neglected Hearing Loss
Loss of hearing does not exclusively affect your ears – high blood pressure and heart disease have also been linked to hearing loss along with anxiety, depression, and mental decline.
Research has demonstrated that people who have loss of hearing generally have shorter life expectancy rates and their general health is not as strong as other people who have treated their hearing loss using hearing aids, changes in their diet, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge the indications of hearing loss – chronic ringing or humming in the ears, problems carrying on conversations, having to crank up the volume of your radio or TV.
What Can be Done About Hearing Loss?
There are a number of treatment options you can do to get your loss of hearing under control. Hearing aids are the most prevalent form of treatment, and you won’t have the same kinds of problems that your grandparents or parents did because hearing aid tech has progressed considerably. Hearing aids now have the ability to filter out background noise and wind, while also wirelessly connecting to devices like your radio, TV, or tablet.
A dietary changes may also have a beneficial impact on your hearing health if you suffer from anemia. Since anemia iron deficiency has been demonstrated to cause hearing loss, people who have tinnitus can be helped by consuming foods that are high in iron.
Getting your hearing examined on a regular basis, however, is the most significant thing you can do.
Are you concerned you may have hearing problems? Make an appointment to have a hearing test.
When you suffer from tinnitus, you learn to cope with it. You leave the television on to help you tune the constant ringing out. And loud music at bars is making your tinnitus worse so you avoid going dancing. You check in with experts frequently to try out new therapies and new techniques. You just work tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. Changes could be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus may be coming soon.
You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a buzzing or ringing (or in some cases other noises) with no objective cause. A problem that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s incredibly common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
And it isn’t a cause itself but a symptom of something else. In other words, something triggers tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the outcome of some root problem. One reason why a “cure” for tinnitus is challenging is that these underlying causes can be hard to narrow down. There are numerous possible causes for tinnitus symptoms.
It is true, most people attribute tinnitus to hearing loss of some type, but even that relationship is not clear. There is some connection but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
The new study published in PLOS Biology highlighted a study lead by Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor of physiology at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus triggered by noise-induced loss of hearing. And a new culprit for tinnitus was revealed by her and her team: inflammation.
According to the scans and tests performed on these mice, inflammation was found around the areas of the brain responsible for listening. As inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury, this finding does suggest that noise-induced loss of hearing could be causing some harm we don’t fully understand yet.
But this discovery of inflammation also brings about the opportunity for a new kind of therapy. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at a minimum, those symptoms were no longer observable.
Does This Mean There’s a Pill for Tinnitus?
One day there will probably be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of investing in these various coping elements, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus at bay.
There are a couple of obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- These experiments were performed first on mice. This method is not approved yet for humans and it may be quite some time before that happens.
- There are a number of causes for tinnitus; it’s really difficult to know (for now) whether all or even most tinnitus is related to inflammation of some kind.
- All new approaches need to be confirmed to be safe; it may take some time to determine precise side effects, concerns, or problems related to these specific inflammation-blocking medications.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus might be a long way off. But it isn’t impossible. If you suffer from tinnitus today, that represents a substantial boost in hope. And other strategies are also being researched. Every new finding, every new bit of knowledge, brings that cure for tinnitus just a bit closer.
Can Anything be Done Now?
If you have a prolonged ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill might give you hope – but probably not relief. There are current therapies for tinnitus that can produce real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the root problem.
Some techniques include noise-cancellation devices or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you ignore the sounds connected to your tinnitus. A cure may be several years away, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with tinnitus by yourself or unassisted. Spending less time stressing about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you should let us help you discover a treatment that works for you. Contact us for a consultation now.
Connect with your audiologist through a convenient, safe, and secure environment.
Meet the Team
The best way to pick the right hearing expert is to get to know them.
Talk to the Experts
Call us today to cut through the confusion about hearing loss and hearing aids.
“I have been with Evanston Audiology for almost eight years. During this time, the staff has always responded in a timely fashion to all my hearing needs: testing, fitting, aid changes, questions and appointments. I have been so pleased with the service, I have recommended the group numerous times to friends. They too have been satisfied with the professional advice and service.”
Tom H., Patient