What is typically referred to as an ear infection, is medically called otitis media or AOM. Ear infections like this are often found in infants and young kids but they can affect adults, as well, especially during or after a cold or sinus infection. If you have a bad tooth, that can also lead to an ear infection.
Hearing loss is one of the major symptoms of an infection in the middle ear. But is it going to last forever? The answer to this question might be more challenging than you think. There are a lot of things happening with ear infections. To understand the risks, you need to learn more about the damage these infections can cause and how they impact hearing.
Otitus Media, What is it?
Otitus media is an infection of the middle ear to put it simply. It could possibly be any kind of microorganism causing the infection however bacteria is the most common.
It’s what part of the ear that the infection develops in that identifies it. When the infection is in the pinna, or outer ear, or in front of the eardrum, the condition is known as otitis externa or swimmer’s ear. The term labyrinthitis is the term for an infection of the cochlea or inner ear.
The area behind the eardrum but in front of the cochlea is referred to as the middle ear. This area contains the three ossicles, or very small bones, that vibrate the membranes of the inner ear. The eardrum will often actually break as a result of the pressure from this kind of infection, which tends to be extremely painful. That pressure is also the reason why you don’t hear very well. The ear canal can be obstructed by infectious material that can then cause a loss of hearing.
The symptoms of a middle ear infection in an adult include:
- Drainage from the ear
- Ear pain
- Reduced hearing
For most people, hearing returns in time. The ear canal will open up and hearing will come back. This will only happen when the infection gets better. Sometimes there are complications, though.
Repeated Ear Infections
Ear infections affect most people at least once in their lifetime. Some people, however, will get ear infections again and again so they become chronic. Chronic ear infections can cause problems that mean a more considerable and maybe even permanent loss of hearing, especially if the problem is neglected.
Conductive Hearing Loss Caused by Chronic Ear Infections
Ear infections can lead to conductive hearing loss. As a result, the sound waves going to the inner ear are not strong enough. By the time the sound reaches the tiny hairs in the inner ear, they are amplified by the elements of the ear canal and reach their maximum power. Sometimes things change along this route and the sound is not correctly amplified. This is known as conductive hearing loss.
Bacteria are very busy in your ear when you have an ear infection. The mechanisms that amplify sound waves are broken down and eaten by the bacteria. The damage is in most cases done to the tiny little bones and the eardrum. The bones are very delicate and it doesn’t take much to break them up. These bones will never grow back once they are gone. That’s permanent damage and your hearing won’t return on its own. In certain cases, surgeons can install prosthetic bones to restore hearing. The eardrum can repair itself but it may have scar tissue influencing its ability to move. This can also potentially be fixed with surgery.
This Permanent Hearing Loss Can be Avoided
It’s important to consult a doctor when you think you may have an ear infection. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Always have chronic ear infection checked out by a doctor. The more serious the infections you have, the more damage they will cause. Ear infections normally start with allergies, sinus infections, and colds so take measures to avoid them. It’s time to quit smoking because it leads to chronic respiratory issues which will, in turn, lead to ear infections.
If you are still having problems hearing after having an ear infection, see a doctor. It could be possible that you have some damage, but that is not the only thing that can cause conductive hearing loss. If it turns out it’s permanent, hearing aids can help you hear once again. You can schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to get more info on hearing aids.
Are you starting to hear a high pitch noise coming out of your hearing aids? The well-known problem of feedback inside of your hearing aids can most likely be fixed. Knowing how hearing aids function and what might be the reason for that incessant high pitched whistling noise will get you one step closer to eliminating it. What can you do about hearing aid feedback?
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
At their core, hearing aids are just a microphone and a speaker. After a sound is picked up by the microphone, the speaker then plays it back. When the microphone picks up the sound but before it is played back by the speaker, there are some intricate functions that happen.
Once a sound wave enters the microphone it is transformed to an analog signal to be further processed. The analog version is then translated into a digital signal by the device’s processor. The sound is clarified after it becomes digital by the device’s functions and settings.
The signal is sent to a receiver after being modified back to analog by the digital signal processor. You’re ears don’t hear these electrical signals that were once a sound. The sound waves, which the receiver converts the signal back to, are then sent through your ears. Elements in the cochlea turn it back into an electrical signal that the brain can interpret.
It’s hard to believe but all of this takes place in around a nanosecond. What goes wrong to cause the feedback whistle, though?
How do Feedback Loops Happen?
Feedback happens in other systems besides hearing aids. If the sound system uses a microphone, chances are there is some amount of feedback. The receiver produces sound which the microphone then picks up and re-amplifies. After going into the microphone and getting processed, the receiver then turns the signal back into a sound wave. The sound is then re-amplified after the microphone picks it up again which produces a loop of feedback. Put simply, the hearing aid is listening to itself and doesn’t like it.
What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback?
There are quite a few things that might go wrong to create this feedback loop. A very common cause is turning the hearing aid on in your hand and then putting it in your ear. Your hearing aid begins processing sound waves as soon as you hit the “on” button. This feedback is produced when the sound coming out of the receiver bounces off of your hand and then right back into the microphone. If your hearing aid is snuggly in your ear before turning it on, you will have resolved this particular feedback issue.
Feedback is sometimes caused when your hearing aid isn’t fitting properly. Maybe you’ve lost some weight since you last had your hearing aids fitted, or possibly if your hearing aids a bit older, you may have a loose fit. In that case, you need to go back to the retailer and have the piece re-adjusted so it will fit your ear properly again.
Feedback And Earwax
Earwax isn’t a friend of hearing aids. One of the main explanations for why hearing aids don’t fit right is because of the accumulation of earwax on the casing. And we already know that a loose fitting device will cause feedback. If you consult your retailer or maybe if you study the users-manual, you will find out how to safely clean this earwax off.
Perhaps It’s Only Broken
This is your next thing to consider when you’ve tried everything else. Feedback can certainly be caused by a broken or damaged hearing aid. The casing might have a crack in it somewhere, for example. You should not attempt to fix this damage at home. Schedule a session with a hearing aid repair service to get it fixed.
Occasionally What Sounds Like Feedback is Really Something Else Entirely
There is a possibility that what you are hearing is actually not feedback to begin with. A low battery or maybe even other potential issues will cause a warning sound in many devices. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it a tone or a beep, or does it really sound like feedback? Check your users-manual to find out if your device includes this feature and what other warning sounds you should listen for in the future.
It doesn’t make a difference what brand or style you own. Many brands of hearing aids are capable of producing it and the cause is usually very clear.
You will never forget getting your first car. Nothing can compare to that feeling of freedom. You could go where you wanted, when you wanted, with who you wanted. Many people with loss of hearing have this exact same experience when they get their first hearing aids.
Why would investing in your first pair of hearing aids be like getting your first car? There are some subtle reasons why using hearing aids will help you make sure you don’t lose your independence. It so happens that your brain’s functionality is significantly affected by loss of hearing.
Your brain’s capacity to react to changes can be explained as follows: You’re on the way to your job, following the same way you always do. You soon discover that there is an accident stopping you from going through. How would you react? Is quitting and going home a good decision? Probably not unless of course you’re looking for an excuse to avoid going to work. You would most likely immediately seek an alternate way to go. For as long as your primary route was closed this new route would become your new everyday routine. If the new route ended up being even more efficient, you would replace the old one with it.
In your brain, when normal functions are blocked the same thing happens. New pathways are routed in the brain due to a function called neuroplasticity.
Perfecting new abilities like juggling, or learning a new language are accomplished by neuroplasticity. It also helps you build healthy habits. Tasks that were at one time challenging become automatic as physical changes to the brain slowly adjust to match the new pathways. Even though neuroplasticity is usually helpful for learning new things, it can also be just as good at causing you to you forget what you know.
Hearing Loss And Neuroplasticity
A perfect example of how neuroplasticity can have a negative impact is hearing loss. As explained in The Hearing Review, The pathways inside your brain will immediately start to be re-purposed if they stop processing sound according to a report conducted by the University of Colorado. And it may not be ideal for them to alter in that way. The connection between loss of hearing and cognitive decrease can be explained by this.
The parts of your brain that are responsible for hearing will be re-purposed for other functions such as vision and touch. The available resources in your brain which are used to process sound are lessened and so is your capacity to understand speech.
So, if you are constantly asking people to speak up, hearing loss has already started. And even more important is the fact that your brain may already be starting to restructure.
Can Hearing Aids Help You
This ability of your brain has an upside and a negative. Neuroplasticity may make your loss of hearing worse, but it also enhances the overall performance of hearing aids. You can really make the most of current hearing aid technology because of the brain’s amazing ability to regenerate tissue and reroute neural pathways. Hearing aids encourage mental growth by exciting the parts of your brain linked with hearing loss.
As a matter of fact, a long-term study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It found that having a set of hearing aids lessened cognitive decline in people with hearing loss. The study, titled Self-Reported Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study, followed over three thousand adults over the age of 65. The study showed that people with hearing loss had a higher rate of cognitive decline. However, people that used hearing aids to correct their hearing loss showed no difference in the rate of cognitive decline as compared to those with normal hearing.
The best part of this study is that we can verify what we already understand about neuroplasticity: the brain will coordinate functions according to the current need and the amount of stimulus it is given. To put it another way, you need to, “use it or lose it.”
Preserving a Youthful Brain
In short, the brain is versatile and can change itself drastically no matter what your age or stage in life. It’s also important to note that hearing loss can accelerate mental decline and that this decline can be decreased or even averted by wearing hearing aids.
Hearing aids are state-of-the-art hearing enhancement technology, not just over-the-counter amplifiers. According to leading brain plasticity expert Dr. Michael Merzenich, you can increase your brain function regardless of any health conditions by pushing yourself to accomplish challenging new tasks, being socially active, and practicing mindfulness amongst other techniques.
Hearing aids are an essential part of ensuring your quality of life. Becoming isolated and withdrawn is common for those with hearing loss. Simply by investing in a pair of hearing aids, you can make sure that you remain active and independent. Don’t forget that if you want your brain to stay as young as you feel it needs to continue processing sound and receiving stimulation.
You make an investment when you purchase hearing aids, so take measures to keep them safe and secure as you jet around the world. Often times getaways are not as worry-free as you would wish. If you plan ahead to take care of and protect your hearing aids properly, that’s one less thing to stress about when you travel. What protective steps should you take for your hearing aids when you go on a trip.
Start With the Essentials
Be sure to bring along a full cleaning kit to start with. Keep cleaning your hearing aids the same as when you are at home. Almost all good quality hearing aid brands come with or offer a specialized cleaning kit that contains a brush or pick. It’s a prudent idea to bring a case for storage and a soft cleaning cloth.
It’s a prudent strategy to pack extra batteries, as well. You will probably use your hearing aid more than usual so backups are a good idea. If your hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries, bring an additional charger, as well. Carry your chargers in separate bags in case one gets misplaced.
Consider some extra items you will probably need for your hearing aids like:
- Soft domes
- Sport clip
Make a checklist of everything you use at home before leaving and check twice to make sure you have everything with you before you pack up the automobile. Pack your hearing aid supplies in an easy to get to spot to be sure that you can get at them when you need them. If you are flying, as an example, keep these items in your carry on luggage or bag.
Be Certain to Get Them Cleaned And Checked
Take your hearing aids in for a cleaning and tune-up one week or two before you go on your trip. Properly working hearing aids will make your travels safer and more pleasant. Ask the retailer about any warranties you have on the devices and take any paperwork with you just in case something happens. Make sure you know how to file a claim, so you don’t neglect anything and void your warranty.
You should find out if there are any hearing aid repair shops near where you are staying. Then you will know where to go if you need quick service, a new battery or even a replacement hearing aid.
Some Considerations If You Are Using Hearing Aids at The Airport
Sometimes it is challenging to comprehend all of the constantly changing security expectations when you’re at the airport. One thing you should know is to wear your hearing aids while walking through the security checkpoints. Inform security that you have a hearing aid as you approach so that they know ahead of time. most of the time, you probably won’t have to take them out as you step through the metal detector, but adhere to the instructions of the security officer.
It’s also perfectly fine to use your hearing aids on board the plane. You will not need to turn them off before take off like you have to with a cell phone, either. Be prepared because sometimes your hearing aid doesn’t work quite as well when you’re on the plane. Use visual hints to let people know you might not hear as well. As an example, you can cup your ear to show that you don’t understand.
A Drying Kit or Dehumidifier is a Smart Idea
Water fun and humid weather go hand in hand with vacationing. Even if you aren’t planning on swimming in a pool or going into the ocean, it is a smart idea to have a way to dry out your hearing aids during the night to prevent water damage. A dryer is a precaution worth having all year round, but it’s especially important when you travel.
Make Sure You Know How Your Hearing Aids Work
Certain features work best in one kind of setting, other features work better in a different kind of setting. For instance, you’ll need to filter out background noise in a restaurant or at a theme park. You will get more enjoyment out of the beach if you use outdoor settings. But you have to be familiar with how your hearing aid works if you want to take advantage of these features.
Bring a Remote Microphone
A remote microphone will come in handy in noisy settings, when driving in the car, or if you are on an airplane. When you are chatting with someone, clip the mic to them and you will be able to hear them better.
Notify the Hotel or Resort
Prominent vacation venues usually have amenities for the hearing impaired. You’ll want to take advantage of that because you won’t be wearing your hearing aids at night. Ask them about rooms with smoke alarms that have flashing lights or shake the bed. Closed caption televisions and special phones can be requested.
Going on vacation is enjoyable, but it can also be crazy, too. Get your hearing aids situated before you go, so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Schedule an appointment for a tune-up today.
Is hearing loss getting in the way of your summertime fun? The worse thing is when you don’t know you have loss of hearing. Some ear diseases and aging carry a prolonged loss of hearing which you might not even recognize. If you love summer fun, then why would you really want to get left behind because you can’t hear very well? Look for remedies to the difficulties which come along with hearing loss, so you can go out there and enjoy the good times with all your friends.
Summer barbecues do get a bit tricky when a person has hearing loss. To begin with, there is a lot of background noise. Lots of people are chatting everywhere. Kids are running about shrieking and enjoying themselves. You have the sounds of nature including singing birds, barking dogs, and the sound of food cooking on the grill.
All that noise interferes with any remaining hearing you have left. Background sounds will overwhelm someone who has hearing decline.
Here are a few ideas to help you compensate:
Some of the overpowering background noise can be minimized by going to a quiet place to sit for a while. You may need to look at peoples lips so put your back to the sun.
- Turn off any background music or turn it down, at least. Deciding not to play music is an option if you’re the host. If you are going to somebody else’s barbecue, mention the problem to the host.
- Walk away from time to time. It can be fatiguing when you are struggling to hear. Every hour or so go inside or a little ways away from all the noise.
- Inform others that you can’t hear. Don’t try to fake it because that can irritate others. If you can’t hear what someone said, let them know. You should also make use of visual clues that you are struggling such as cupping your ear. Normally, people will come closer to you or speak up to help.
Don’t attempt to hear everything. Understand that you can’t take part in every discussion. Set reasonable limits for yourself and try to participate in small groups instead.
If you just stay inside you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be scared to walk outside the house and focus on the sounds of nature. No, you won’t be able to hear everything but with a little concentration, you may hear more than you think possible.
Make a game out of it and listen for:
- Chirping birds
- Buzzing insects
- Crickets in the evening
- Rustling leaves
- Falling rain
- Kids running around and playing
- Barking dogs
- Splashing waves
Manage expectations when you go outdoors, to the beach, or for a walk in the park by attempting to hear one thing at a time.
Enjoy a Vacation or Maybe Just a Day Trip
Isn’t that what summertime is meant for? Decide what kind of vacation you would like and if there are limitations that come with your hearing loss. Sailing or fishing would be perfect but an amusement park could be a bit too much. Spend a day at a nature preserve or go to the zoo. Walk on the boardwalk near the beach or head to a museum.
Don’t let your hearing loss take away your chance to travel this summer. Tell the airline about your condition when you get your ticket if you are flying. Inform the hotel or resort, also, so they can get you a room with accommodations for the hearing impaired such as smoke alarms with flashing lights or shaking beds and TVs with closed captioning.
Learn to paint or maybe take an exercise class to better yourself this summer. If you would like to find a spot in the front, be sure to get there early. Take a couple of friends with you and have them fill you in on what you are missing during the session.
Safety Precautions Should Be Taken This Summer
There are a couple of summertime activities which require you to take precautions to protect yourself, your ears, and any expensive hearing assistance devices you own. Play it safe by:
- While you are at the pool or beach, play it safe. Make sure you protect your hearing aids from water damage and put in some earplugs when you go swimming to prevent ear infections.
- If you want to walk after dark to enjoy the cool night air, bring a friend with you. The loss of hearing means you won’t always hear things such as automobiles driving towards you or even a stranger lurking behind you.
- Wear ear protection at fireworks shows and at concerts.
Try to Make The Most of it This Summer
Three simple things will help you prevent most of these things.
- Get your ears examined by a hearing specialist. It may be possible that your hearing loss is treatable.
- Get a professional hearing examination, so you know if you do actually have hearing loss.
- Wear good-quality hearing aids. They can get rid of any background noises so you will hear what is important.
Having fun is what summer is all about. Don’t allow the loss of hearing rob you of that.
There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Permanent damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s essential to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. The relative humidity refers to the ratio of water molecules in the air compared to how many the air can actually hold. The greater the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Humans cool their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When humidity levels are too high our sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
Why Electronics Have difficulty with Humidity
Strangely enough, electronic devices are not just sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the intricate mechanisms that make electronics function, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to work. A sophisticated audio processing chip manages noise levels in a newer hearing aid. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
High humidity causes moisture to collect in the hearing aids destroying that chip. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the same as throwing your hearing aid in a pool of water.
How to Control Humidity
Water resistant models are currently available. This feature will give you some protection from humidity and wet weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to cut down on indoor water vapor by using a dehumidifier. It’s an investment that will benefit you and your family in many ways and protect other electronic devices like that expensive TV you got for Christmas. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. However, protecting your hearing aid more completely will require additional thinking. You will need to take other steps at the same time.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Silica gel crystals in a drying kit are used to protect electronics. Moisture is eliminated by putting the hearing aids into the dehumidifier for a couple of hours. There are also storage containers that dry hearing aids out each night as you sleep. If it is very humid and you have no other way, uncooked rice can reduce moisture.
Get in the habit of opening the battery compartment every time you store your hearing aids. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. Don’t just do this in the summer, do it all year round.
Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment, in a hot room or on a table in the sun.
Other Moisture Issues
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. Take precautions to protect them from other kinds of wet such as:
- Don’t touch your hearing aids with hands that are still moist from lotion.
- Leave your hearing aids in a safe place before you go swimming.
- Wear a sweatband when exercising. If you are wearing your hearing aid then it’s a good idea in general. Sweat in your ears can cause problems later.
- Try not to put your hearing aid down on wet surfaces. You don’t want to place it in a wet spot left by a glass or coffee cup.
Treat your hearing like the valuable asset that it is. Consider how moisture and humidity can impact them and take steps to prevent water damage. If your hearing aid already has water damage make an appointment for service with a hearing aid specialist.
Now that it’s summer you probably have your agenda filled with parties and other plans. It’s almost The Fourth of July and nearly everybody you know will be outside celebrating. Parades, marching bands, and live music are typically part of the good times, and let’s not forget fireworks! There is no reason you have to stay in your house and miss out on the fun, but take a moment to think of how you should take care of your ears when you do go out to celebrate this holiday season.
Noise-induced hearing loss affects around 6 percent of the U.S. adult populace less than the age of 70; that equals around 40 million people. It’s unfortunate that this kind of hearing damage is just about 100 percent preventable. It just takes a little planning and good sense. Consider some reasons you should really protect your ears as you have fun this summer and how to do it.
Fireworks are this Seasons Most Harmful Offenders.
There are many potential dangers of fireworks but hearing damage tops the list. Despite that, you rarely hear experts warning people about this threat like they do with fire or burns.
Boys Town National Research Hospital states you’re at risk of hearing loss from fireworks regardless if you’re shooting them off yourself or watching them at a public show. After all, any sound over 85 decibels is capable of causing noise-related damage with extensive exposure. Fireworks typically range from 150 to 175 decibels. The World Health Association estimates that adults could withstand up to 140 decibels of sound for a short time, but children will surely have damage at just 120. Fireworks are usually louder than both those numbers.
The good news? The potential for hearing damage is exponentially lowered the further you are from the explosion. Watching the fireworks show from nearby is definitely more damaging than watching them from your porch at home. Boys Town recommends you stand at least 30 yards away if you are an adult. Babies should not be there and children should be at least 70 yards away.
You Really Love Live Music
Who doesn’t? And of course some of the best musicians in the world come out to perform in the summer. The World Health Association states that a billion teens are at risk for hearing loss from music whether it is coming from ear-buds, a parade or a favorite band playing on stage.
Any person exposed to loud music faces the same possible consequence, but time is a factor when it comes to live music. Live shows are usually louder than 100 decibels which becomes dangerous after only 15 minutes. Most of the time a live concert is much longer than that.
Then There are the People
At celebrations, crowd noise is usually the most underestimated hearing danger. At a good event, there will be people on all sides of you shouting to talk over everybody else. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says that at sporting events the crowd volume is 80 to 90 dB. Unfortunately, it will probably be louder and more consistent at a parade or celebration.
A Small Amount of Common Sense Goes a Long Way
What type of protection should you use for your ears? Even though you may not know it, its actually common sense. Start by assessing your hearing risk at the event:
- Will there be loud music?
- Large crowds?
You can make some useful choices based on what you expect from the celebration. If there is loud music or crowds, plan on wearing ear protection. Something simple like foam earplugs will allow you to hear what’s going on still, but at a safe level.
If there is a fireworks show, take the family back to a safe distance. Fireworks can easily be enjoyed from a safe distance. Watch from a couple of blocks away, at least, to be safe. There will be fewer people back there, too, so you’ll be able to enjoy the show more comfortably.
What About the Non-Sound Risks at Celebrations?
Noise is only one of several concerns. Hot sun, not enough water, excessive drinking, and fatigue also can be a concern. If you have tinnitus or suffer from hearing loss these things will make them worse.
Remember to celebrate in moderation. If the celebration is going to last all day and into the night, maybe start later. If you’re planning on partaking of alcohol try moderation and don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Getting out of the heat for short periods is essential. Where is the nearest shade? Is there an air-conditioned building nearby?
Celebrations come every year, but you only get one pair of ears. Do what you must to keep them safe while still enjoying the good times. If you are worried that you may have already suffered hearing damage it is important to schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist.
Early in life, you most likely started to connect hearing loss with getting old. You may have had older adults around you trying to hear conversations or using hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you begin to learn that there is another factor regarding hearing loss besides aging.
This is the one thing you should know: accepting that you have hearing loss will not make you old.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Dilemma”
Even before we turn 13, audiologists can already identify some hearing loss in 13% of cases. Obviously, someone who is 12 is not “old”. Within 3 decades we have seen a 33% rise in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% presently suffer from disabling hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
It’s not an aging issue. It’s absolutely possible to prevent, even though many people may consider it an aging problem. Significantly lessening your hearing loss is within reach.
Age-related hearing loss, identified medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently caused by loud noise.
For decades hearing loss was thought to be inescapable when you age. However thanks to modern-day science we know a lot more about hearing loss prevention and even hearing regeneration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
The initial step to taking care of your ears is learning how something as “innocent” as noise can cause hearing loss.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves go into your ear canal. They travel all the way down past your eardrum into your inner ear.
Here, little tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up from how fast and how regularly these tiny hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of traffic, someone yelling for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be around.
The trouble is that when noises become too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. They die because the vibrations become too strong for them to deal with.
Without them, you can not hear.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Sound is Permanent
Countless types of damage can be healed by your body. But when you harm these tiny hair cells, they won’t heal, and they will not ever come back. The more often you’re subjected to loud sounds, the more tiny cells die.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
There are Sounds That are Common Which can Cause Hearing Loss
This is a unexpected fact for most people to learn. It’s easy to discount:
- Going to a concert/play/movie
- Wearing earbuds/head phones
- Turning the car stereo up too loud
- Mowing the lawn
- Using farm equipment
- Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
- Driving on a busy highway with the windows or top down
- Working in a factory or other loud profession
- Playing music in a band
These activities don’t need to be given up. It is possible to reduce noise associated hearing loss by employing pro-active strategies.
You Don’t Need to Feel old Simply Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can admit that you suffer from hearing problems without having to feel old. The longer you disregard it, the worse it will get, and you will wind up feeling older much earlier because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
These are all substantially more prevalent in people with neglected hearing loss.
Prevent Continued Hearing Problems
The first step is to learn to protect against hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy everyday sounds really are by using a sound meter app on your smart-phone.
- Learn about dangerous volumes. More than 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing damage in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- You should know that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing temporarily immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. It will become a lot more pronounced over time.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Respect work hearing protection policies.
- Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing near to loudspeakers or turning speakers up when at home.
- Get earbuds/headphones which come with built-in volume control. These don’t go over 90 decibels. You would have to listen practically non-stop all the time to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, not enough blood oxygen, and some medications can make you more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be certain, don’t ever listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you require them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much more difficult to walk.
Make a Hearing Appointment
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right decision now rather than later. You need to be aware so you can be proactive to reduce further damage.
Get in touch with Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions
There are not any “normal cures” for hearing damage. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They think hearing aids make them appear old. Or they believe that they are too expensive.
But when they recognize that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause numerous health and relationship complications, it’s simple to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Call a hearing care professional now about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids today are much more streamlined and more advanced than you probably think!
Hearing aids are a worthy financial investment. Hearing aids may seem a bit un-affordable at first. Even so, at the time you buy a house you never determine the cost and say, “well being homeless is cheaper!” The true value of hearing aids goes beyond the price.
Ask yourself, when shopping for costly items, “what’s the price of deciding against hearing aids and what will I truly get out of them?” As it turns out, there is a monetary cost for choosing not to get hearing aids. These costs must factor into your decision as well. Ultimately hearing aids will save you money. Here’s why.
Cheaper Hearing Aids Become More Expensive Than You Might Think
If you have shopped around for hearing assistance devices, you realize that there are bargain, apparently less expensive devices available. You could possibly even pick up a hearing aid from the web costing even less than a dinner.
You get what you pay for in quality with over-the-counter hearing devices. When you get these devices, you are really buying an amplification device much like earbuds, not an actual hearing aid. They only crank up the sound around you, that includes unwanted noise.
With cheap hearing devices you don’t get the most important features, such as customized programming. Getting your hearing aid keyed to correct your distinct hearing issue can prevent it from becoming more serious and provide you with excellent hearing quality.
There are also bargain batteries which low grade devices employ for power. What this implies is you can be expecting to spend cash for batteries on a regular basis. You could even need to change the batteries more than once every day. Plan on carrying a lot of replacement batteries because the inexpensive ones usually quit when you need them the most. When you add up the amount of money you spend for the new batteries, are you really saving anything?
Higher quality hearing aids, on the other hand, have superior technology and use less power. Rechargeable batteries in the high-quality hearing aids means no more purchasing new batteries.
Issues at Work
Opting to go without hearing aids, or purchasing cheap ones will be costly at work. A 2013 study published in The Hearing Journal says that adults with hearing loss usually earn less money – as much as 25 percent less, and are more likely to be without a job.
What accounts for this? There are several factors involved, but the dominant factor is that communicating is necessary in pretty much every profession. You must be able to listen to what your supervisor is saying to deliver results. You should be capable of listening to customers to assist them. When you spend the discussion attempting to figure out exactly what words people are saying, you’re probably going to miss out on the general content. To put it simply, if you can’t interact in conversations, it is very hard to succeed at work.
The effort to hear what people are saying at the workplace exacts a toll on you physically, as well. Even if you do manage to get through a workday with sub-par hearing, the stress associated with worrying about if you heard something correctly plus the energy needed to hear just enough will leave you fatigued and stressed out. Stress impacts:
- Your immune system
- Your ability to sleep
- Your relationships
- Your quality of life
These all have the potential to have an affect on your work efficiency and decrease your earnings as a consequence.
Regular Trips to The ER
There are safety issues which come with hearing loss. Without correct hearing aids, it is hazardous for you to go across the street or drive a car or truck. How can you avoid something if you can’t hear it? How about environmental warning systems like a tornado warning or smoke alarm?
For a lot of jobs, hearing is a must have for workplace safety practices like construction sites or processing plants. That means that not wearing hearing aids is not only a safety hazard but something that can restrict your career options.
Financial safety is a factor here, also. Did the cashier say that you owe 25 dollars or 85? What did the salesperson say about the features of the microwave oven you are looking at and do you need them? Maybe the lower cost model is the better choice for you, but it’s hard to tell if you can’t hear the clerk discuss the difference.
The Health of Your Brain
One of the most crucial problems which come with hearing loss is the increased possibility of getting dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine has found that Alzheimer’s disease costs sufferers above 56,000 dollars per year. Dementia makes up about 11 billion dollars in Medicare expense annually.
Hearing loss is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia. It has been calculated that a person with serious, untreated hearing loss increases their chances of brain impairment by five fold. A moderate hearing loss carries three times the possibility of getting dementia, and even a minor hearing issue doubles your risk. Hearing aids will bring the chances back to a regular amount.
Without a doubt a hearing aid will probably cost a little more money. If you examine all the concerns that come with not having one or buying a cheaper device, it’s clearly a prudent monetary investment. Make an appointment with a hearing specialist to learn more.
Summertime means playing in the water, holidays, and plenty of good stuff to eat. When summertime comes, specific foods go to the top of everyone’s must-have list. Some of these tasty snacks might provide relief from tinnitus. How well you hear, and not what you consume is really the issue. A contributing factor may be the food that you eat though. Consider seven summer treats that you might want to consider that may assist with tinnitus.
Tinnitus is not a disease, it’s a symptom of something else going on with your body, and, for most, that implies hearing loss. When your hearing declines, you can begin to experience phantom noises like ringing, buzzing, or clicking. Despite the fact that it’s not well understood, it may be your brains response to hearing loss.
The phantom noises can’t be entirely cured or gotten rid of. Your best chance is finding means to manage it. This can be done with:
- Amplification devices like hearing aids
- Masking devices such as white noise machines
- Relaxation techniques
- Diet and lifestyle changes
If you Have Tinnitus, There Are Some Foods You Should Stay Away From Consuming
It’s not just about what you do eat, but also what you don’t, if you want to manage your tinnitus this summer. Here are some foods to stay away from:
- Salty meals
- Processed sugar
- Flavor enhancers like MSG
- Fatty foods
The results of your dietary lifestyle on your health as well as your tinnitus this summer is something to take into consideration.
You Could Try to Reduce Your Tinnitus With These Seven Delicious Treats
What kind of diet will help with your tinnitus this summer? These are seven ideas for you to try.
1. Barbecued Chicken
A smart low fat and delicious summer choice is grilled chicken. It is flavorful enough that you don’t have to over season it with salt, too. Being high in vitamin B12 means that grilled chicken can help lessen tinnitus.
When barbecuing chicken remember these couple of ideas:
Take off the skin before cooking. The fat hides in the skin.
After dealing with raw chicken be sure to wash your hands and the countertops.
A hot barbecue is very important while cooking chicken. That better keeps in the flavor and makes certain the meat gets to a safe temperature of 170 degrees.
2. Frozen Bananas
If you place a banana in the freezer it’s not only a sweet snack but it’s also a refreshing one. Just peel your bananas, push a popsicle stick in the bottom and freeze.
Go ahead and play around with these frozen goodies by covering them in peanut butter or chocolate prior to putting them in the freezer. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps the various fluids in the body to flow better to decrease tinnitus.
Pineapple is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it could possibly be beneficial for people who have tinnitus. It’s also a versatile fruit. Uncooked it makes a yummy snack and is great in desserts. For a fruity popsicle you can chill it with juice or flavor a cup of water or tea using it. Pineapple is even delicious on the barbecue by itself, used to garnish meat or as part of a shish kabob.
With watermelon, you don’t only cool off but additionally boost your fluid intake. It lowers your danger of getting sick simply because of the antioxidants it contains. Watermelon is high in:
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
Having no fat and almost no calories, it is a great summertime treat.
5. Iced Tea With Ginger
There is some research which shows that ginger can assist in relieving pressure in the ear which might induce tinnitus. It becomes a yummy and refreshing summertime drink when you incorporate it with a couple different other spices. Beginning by boiling one teaspoon of:
Use four cups of water for 15 minutes to steep three pieces of ginger. Pour the tea over ice once it has cooled down. you should add to it for more flavor like a lemon slice, or play with the recipe to suit your flavor palette.
Kiwi fruit is a natural choice to help reduce your blood pressure. It has more vitamin C than an equal sized orange and also has magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Barbecued meats, desserts and salads are all complemented by this fuzzy brown fruit. You may even put a slice in your favorite summertime beverage to give it a unique flavor.
The avocado is a super-food that is great for your heart, as well as helping to control your tinnitus. Just one-half avocado gives you:
- 1 percent of your daily recommended intake of calcium
- 5 percent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium
- 10 percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium
Additionally it has healthy fats and carotenoids to combat infection. The downside to the avocado is calories, so a small amount is all you should eat. Add it to your favorite summertime salad recipe.
This summer, go out and appreciate some smart, nutritious goodies. Your hearing may just thank you by ringing less.
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 the Advanced Hearing & Balance 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