There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity harms hearing aids.
Let’s Talk About Humidity
Humidity is a word that gets talked about a lot, especially during the summer months, but what is humidity? PBS defines 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 larger the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Humans cool down their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is high. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
In General Electronic Devices Have a Hard Time Dealing With Humidity
Too high or, too low, humidity can affect your hearing aids. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the delicate mechanisms that make electronics work, and low humidity can result in brittle core materials.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to function. Newer digital hearing aids use a sophisticated audio processing chip to manage noise. Because of this, you get amazing features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can collect within the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. Batteries get ruined and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. You might as well drop your hearing aid in a tub full of water, and the effect is the same.
How to Control Humidity
If you are looking at hearing aids, try to find products that are water-resistant. This feature will give you some protection against humidity and bad weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to lessen indoor water vapor by using a dehumidifier. It’s not just your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronics in the home will also be protected. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. Although a house or room dehumidifier will help protect your hearing aids, it’s not enough. There are a few other things you can and should do.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Drying kits rely on silica gel crystals to protect the 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. In a pinch, you could use a bag of uncooked rice to remove moisture.
Get in the habit of opening the battery compartment every time you store your hearing aids. By pulling that door open before you put the hearing aid down, you expose the batteries and other elements to the air, allowing any condensation built up to evaporate naturally. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.
A cool dry place is the ideal for storage. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment, in a hot room or on a table in the sun.
Thinking Past Humidity
Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. Don’t forget to think about other types of wetness like:
- 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.
- When exercising wear a sweatband. It’s a good practice whether you wear your hearing aids when you workout or not. 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. Keep in mind how moisture can damage your hearing aids and make sure to prevent water from getting in them. If your hearing aid already has water damage make an appointment for service with a hearing aid specialist.
That out of date ear horn is certainly not cutting-edge and needs to be upgraded. It’s usually tough to know whether your hearing aids really should be upgraded. Your hearing aids seem like they still work, right? Can you believe those hearing aids are more than 10 years old?
Older hearing aids may be better than none, but what’s the real cost of not updating. We have made many huge developments in hearing aid development in past few years. It’s moved from analog to digital, first of all, and there are features now that weren’t yet in the design phase a decade ago. Take into consideration some reasons it is time for you to be thinking about a new hearing aid.
Dependability is a Problem With Out of Date Hearing Aids
Out of date or even cheap hearing aids have several issues including that aggravating buzzing you hear every now and then. It’s not much fun when you go near a phone and your older hearing aids begin to feedback. At times that harsh feedback comes all of a sudden with no explanation, too. What caused it this time?
You Can’t Keep Denying That Your Hearing Aid Usually Fails When You Need it The Most
It’s not unusual for you to sit by yourself and miss the stimulating discussion. How unfortunate was that time when your grandson sang you a song he learned but you could only hear little bits and pieces? But you still clapped.
If you don’t upgrade to new hearing aids, you will always have all of these issues. With the last generation technology, we just turned up the volume. Today, hearing aids accomplish amazing tasks such as filtering out background noise. So say goodbye to that air conditioner noise. That fan was actually not as noisy as those obsolete hearing aids made it sound.
It Can be Costly Having Out Of Date Hearing Aids
One concern when you are shopping for new hearing aids is certainly cost. Keeping your old dated hearing aids won’t be any less expensive than purchasing new ones ultimately. Analog devices require new batteries regularly. It can be costly to replace your batteries once or even a couple of times every day.
Older hearing aids break frequently and will need repair service. Think of it like having to deal with an old truck. It’s in the shop more often than it’s in your ear and repair services are not cheap.
Smart Technology Gives us Great Advantage Over Older Outdated Devices
Bluetooth capability is an important feature in new hearing aid technology. You will never find that with an old analog device. Having Bluetooth built into your digital hearing aid means it’s compatible with your smartphone, your computer, maybe even your television (unless they’re ten years old, too.)
In Your Life, if You Can’t Communicate Your Lost
Hearing problems will most certainly result in a lower pay rate according to studies. Doesn’t it make sense then, that quality hearing aids would definitely be a career asset? When you’re working, it is important to be able to hear your bosses directions or maybe a customer’s request. No more stress over whether you lost important information, or whether your hearing aids will stop working at the worst time.
Of course, better communication means a better quality of life, also. It’s not necessary to sit like a wallflower during conversations any longer. Jump right in and engage with the people around you.
Did You Know How Awesome The Newer Hearing Aids Are?
When you glance in the mirror at your out of date hearing aid, what words come to mind? Awkward? Noticeable? Oh my god? When you replace your old hearing aids you get the significant benefit of improved flexibility and superior style. There is an endless variety of personalizations available with modern hearing aids including size, color, and shape. If you would like to make a fashion statement, choose a custom color, or maybe choose one that is invisible inside the ear.
Is it Time to Buy a New Hearing Aid?
At this point you are aware of all the reasons you should upgrade your hearing aids. Nevertheless, some telltale signs will reveal that your hearing aid is obsolete:
- Your ability to hear has changed. you’re not hearing as well as you once did even with the hearing aid in your ear.
- Your life has changed, and your hearing aid has a difficult time keeping up. It’s annoying to remove it just so you can have a conversation on the phone, or maybe you’ve changed jobs and now you have to cope with more background noise.
- Your hearing aid won’t stop quitting. It’s just not reliable any longer, and that’s a concern.
- You know for a fact your hearing aid is analog. Ouch, time to go digital.
- Your hearing aid is heavy. Clunky, older technology is heavier.
- When you look in the mirror, your hearing aid is all you can see. That old technology takes up a lot of space, too.
- You are changing the batteries every day. Contemporary hearing aids are much more energy efficient and some come with rechargeable batteries.
It’s not brain surgery. If you’ve had your hearing aids for more than seven years, it’s time to trade up and hear better. Contact a hearing aid professional to get started.
Summer is cool because you can fill your schedule with parties and plans. It’s almost Independence Day and nearly everybody you know will be outside enjoying. Parades, marching bands, and live music are often part of the good times, and don’t forget fireworks! When going out to celebrate this summer, don’t pass up on the good times, just take a second to consider how you should take care of your hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss has an effect on around 6 percent of the U.S. adult populace below the age of 70; that equals around 40 million people. The sad part is this type of hearing damage is virtually 100 percent preventable. What’s necessary is a little forethought and good sense. Take into consideration some reasons you really should protect your ears as you celebrate this season and how to do it.
At the top of the List of Hearing risks are Booming Fireworks.
At the top of the list of potential dangers associated with fireworks, hearing damage is at the top. Experts frequently warn people about burns or fires, but usually don’t say much about hearing damage.
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. 150 to 175 decibels is the typical range of fireworks. Even though adults may tolerate up to 140 decibels for a short time, children can only deal with short periods at 120 decibels. This is according to the World Health Association. Fireworks are commonly louder than both those numbers.
The good news? The further away you are away from the explosion, the lower your risk of hearing damage. People watching, for example, from their porch, would be less at risk than someone in the stands where the fireworks show is happening. 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.
Because You Love Live Music
Who doesn’t? Summer is the greatest time for some of the best musicians come out to play. 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. Almost all concerts are longer than that!
Then There are the People
The most underestimated danger for hearing damage is crowd noise. When the crowd is into the celebration everyone is talking and yelling loudly. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association claims that crowd noise at sports games ranges between 80 to 90 decibels. Unfortunately, it will probably be higher and more consistent at a celebration or parade.
Use Common Sense When Celebrating
How can you keep your ears protected? Even though you might 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 practical choices based on what you expect from the celebration. It is important to wear hearing protection if you are going to be around loud music, crowds, or fireworks. With something simple like foam earplugs, you can still hear what’s going on, but at a much safer level.
The family should be kept at a safe distance during a fireworks show. Fireworks can easily be enjoyed from a safe distance. Plan on watching from at least a block or two away. There will be fewer people back there, too, so you’ll be able to enjoy the show more comfortably.
The Sumer Season has Other Risks Besides Hearing Damage
There is more to talk about here than just sound. Celebrations bring with them hot sun, too much drink, too little water and fatigue. If you already have some hearing loss or if you suffer from tinnitus, these things will get worse.
Remember to celebrate in moderation. Maybe consider starting a bit later if you plan on partying into the night. 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? Are you anywhere near a public building with air conditioning?
Don’t expose yourself to permanent hearing damage for a once a year celebration. You can take care of your ears and still have a great time. If you are worried that you may have already suffered hearing damage it is important to make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.
As we get older we tend to think that hearing loss only affects people of advanced age. You most likely had older people around you trying to understand words or using hearing aids.
But much like 30 or 60 only seemed old to you up until it fast drew near, when you discover more with regards to hearing loss, you find out that it has much less to do with aging and much more to do with something else.
Feeling old is the leading reason why many people won’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
It Doesn’t Make a Difference What Your age is, you may Still Have Hearing Loss
By the age of 12, hearing specialists already begin to detect some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. You’ll recognize, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. Within 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teenage hearing loss.
What’s at work here?
Out of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% currently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.
The challenge is not with aging. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is totally avoidable. Appreciably reducing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, identified medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently instigated by noise.
For a long time people have presumed that hearing loss was just part of aging. But thanks to today’s science we understand substantially more about hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.
The Reason why Loud Noise Causes Hearing loss
The initial step to safeguarding your ears is realizing how something as “harmless” as loud noise can cause hearing loss.
Sound is composed of waves of pressure. These waves go into your ear canal. They move downward beyond your eardrum and into your inner ear.
Inside of the inner ear little hairs vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can translate this code into the sound of peoples voices, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a yell or anything else you might hear.
The trouble is that when noises get too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations get to be too strong for them to handle.
When these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Hearing Loss Caused by Loud Noise is not Reversible
If you cut your hand, the injury will heal. But when you injure these tiny hair cells, they cannot heal, and they never grow back. Each and every time you are exposed to loud noise, more of these cells die.
As they die, hearing loss progresses.
Common Noises Which Will Cause Hearing Damage
This is a surprising thing 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
You don’t have to give up these activities. Fortunately, you can take positive steps to reduce noise-induced hearing loss.
How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” old
If you already suffer from hearing loss, accepting it does not have to cause you to feel older. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will wind up feeling older much sooner because of:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s far more common for people with untreated hearing loss to be dealing with one or more of these.
Stop Further Hearing Problems
Start by learning exactly how to avoid hearing damage.
- Sound meter apps are readily available for your smart-phone that can tell you how loud things actually are.
- Unsafe volumes should be avoided without the proper hearing protection. Above 85 dB (decibels) will cause irreversible hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
- Understand that If you’ve ever had trouble hearing briefly immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. Over time it will become worse.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
- Follow work hearing safety regulations.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Steer clear of standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which have integrated volume control. They never go higher 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen practically non-stop all the time to do permanent damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications can make you more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers vary.
- Use your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid if you need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much harder to walk.
Make an Appointment With a Hearing Specialist
Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Stop it. You need to know so you can be proactive to lessen further damage.
Talk to Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time to get a hearing aid.
You Should way the Cost Compared to the Benefits of Getting Hearing Aids
Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids make them feel old. Or perhaps they believe they are too expensive.
However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause various health and relationship difficulties, it’s simple to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care professional today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are recommended, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much more streamlined and more advanced than you may think!
It is a intelligent monetary investment to buy hearing aids. People who have hearing loss are usually concerned with the price. However, despite the fact that a home is a costly investment, it’s better than being homeless. You must go further than the price to identify the actual worth of hearing aids.
Before purchasing a big-budget item such as this you have to ask yourself, “what do I get from wearing hearing aids and what’s the impact of not having them?” If you need hearing aids it will end up costing you more if you don’t get them. These expenses should factor into your decision also. Over time hearing aids can save you money. Here’s why.
Bargain Hearing Aids Cost More Than You Would Think
If you have shopped around for hearing aids, you understand that there are low-priced, apparently less expensive devices out there. In fact, if you browsed on the Internet, you could buy a hearing aid for less money than you might pay for a meal.
You can expect to get what you pay for in quality when you purchase over-the-counter hearing devices. When you purchase these devices, you are basically purchasing an amplification device much like earbuds, not an actual hearing aid. All they do is turn the volume up on the sound all around you, including background noise.
With cheap hearing devices you don’t get the most important features, such as customized programming. Having your hearing aid keyed to deal with your unique hearing problem can stop it from getting even worse and give you with excellent hearing quality.
Some of the low-quality hearing devices run on equally cheap batteries, too. What this means is you can expect to spend cash for batteries on a regular basis. When you wear the amplification device day today, you could wind up exchanging the battery up to a couple of times per day. The battery is likely to fail when you need it the most, also, so plan on carrying lots of extras around with you wherever you go. Do you actually save money if you need to replenish worn out batteries on a daily basis?
Better electronics helps the better quality hearing aids to have a life. Rechargeable batteries in the higher quality hearing aids means no more buying batteries.
Issues at Work
If you actually need hearing aids and you decide not to invest in them, or if you choose low-quality ones, it will cost you at work. A 2013 study published in The Hearing Journal states that adults with hearing loss make less money – as high as 25 percent less, and are more likely to be without a job.
Why is this? There are numerous factors involved, but the most common sense explanation is that conversation is essential in pretty much every field. You have to hear what your employer says to be able to give good results. You must be able to listen to customers to assist them. When you spend the conversation trying to figure out precisely what words people are saying, you’re much more likely missing the entire content. Simply put, if you cannot participate in verbal interactions, it’s not easy to be on point at work.
The effort to hear what people are saying at work takes a toll on you bodily, also. Even when you manage to make it through a day with inadequate hearing ability, the stress and anxiety associated with wondering if you heard something right plus the energy necessary to make out just enough will make you fatigued and stressed. Here are some impacts associated with stress:
- Your immune system
- Your ability to sleep
- Your relationships
- Your quality of life
All of these have the possibility to alter your work efficiency and reduce your earnings as a consequence.
Having to go to the ER more often
There is a safety concern that comes with loss of hearing. Without appropriate hearing aids, it becomes risky for you to go across the road or drive a car. How could you avoid something if you can’t hear it? How about environmental safety systems like a twister alert or smoke alarm?
For a lot of jobs, hearing is a must have for workplace safety such as construction sites or production factories. That means that not using hearing aids is not only a safety risk but also something which can limit your career choices.
Financial protection is a factor here, as well. Did the cashier tell you that you owe 35 dollars or 75? What did the salesperson say about the features on the microwave oven you are looking at and do you actually need them? Maybe the less expensive model would be all you would need, but it’s difficult to know if you can’t hear the salesperson discuss the difference.
The Health of Your Brain
One of the most imperative problems that come with hearing loss is the increased possibility of getting dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine has found that Alzheimer’s disease costs people above 56,000 dollars per year. Dementia accounts for 11 billion dollars in Medicare expenditure every year.
Hearing loss is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and different types of dementia. It has been calculated that someone with severe, untreated hearing loss multiplies their chances of brain degeneration by five times. A moderate hearing loss carries three times the danger of dementia, and even a mild hearing issue doubles your risk. Hearing aids bring the risk back to normal.
There is little doubt that a hearing aid is going to cost you a bit more. If you examine all the troubles that come with going without one or buying a cheaper device, it’s surely a smart monetary decision. Consult a hearing care professional to learn more about hearing aids.
Summertime means splashing in the water, holidays, and lots of delicious stuff to eat. There are specific things to eat that go to the top of the list when summertime comes. If you suffer from tinnitus, you may discover that some of these tasty goodies can provide relief. How well you hear, and not what you consume is really the issue. A contributing factor might be the food that you eat though. Consider seven summertime goodies that might assist with your tinnitus.
The real explanation for tinnitus is often hearing loss. At times buzzing, clicking, or ringing are sounds you might notice with declining hearing. Tinnitus is poorly understood, but it’s feasible that this is the brain’s way of dealing with the loss of sound.
There is no remedy for it and no way to eradicate the phantom sounds entirely. Managing it is your best hope. Here are some ways of doing it:
- Amplification devices like hearing aids
- Masking devices such as white noise machines
- Relaxation techniques
- Diet and lifestyle changes
If you Suffer From Tinnitus, There Are Some Things You Might Want To Avoid Consuming
It’s not just about what you do eat, but also what you don’t, if you want to control your tinnitus this summer. Some foods to steer clear of include:
- Salty meals
- Processed sugar
- Flavor enhancers like MSG
- Fatty foods
Summertime is a good time to think about what you are putting in your body and what treats might affect your tinnitus in a positive way.
Try These Seven Savory Summertime Treats to Reduce Your Tinnitus
What kind of diet will help with your tinnitus this summertime? Try these seven options.
1. Grilled Chicken
One way to go for a delicious and healthy summer meal is grilled chicken. It is delicious enough that you don’t have to over season it with salt, too. Tinnitus symptoms have been shown to lessen with vitamin B12 which barbecued chicken is high in.
Keep in mind these few ideas when barbecuing chicken:
Get rid of the skin before cooking. Because that is where a lot of the fat is hiding.
After dealing with raw chicken make sure you thoroughly clean your hands and the countertops.
While cooking chicken make sure you keep the barbecue hot. That better keeps in the flavor and makes certain the meat reaches a safe temperature of 170 degrees.
2. Frozen Bananas
If you pop a banana inside the freezer it’s not just a sweet treat but it’s also a refreshing one. Just put a popsicle stick into a peeled banana and put it in the freezer.
Prior to placing these little goodies in the freezer, experiment with dipping them in a little peanut butter or chocolate. Bananas are packed full of potassium, which helps the numerous fluids in the body to flow better to decrease tinnitus.
Being an effective anti-inflammatory, pineapple could be helpful to people that are suffering from tinnitus. It’s an adaptable fruit, too. You can serve it raw as a dessert or a snack. You can chill it in juice to create a fruity popsicle or add a piece to a glass of iced tea for flavor. You can make a kabob or barbecue it with a little meat.
Fluid consumption is not the only appeal to watermelon, it additionally cools you down and tastes great. It also contains antioxidants that enhance your general health and reduce your danger of becoming ill. Watermelon is rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
It’s a great summertime treat because it has very few calories and no fat.
5. Ginger Spice Iced Tea
Tinnitus in the ear that might be triggered by pressure levels may be alleviated with ginger. When you incorporate it with different spices, you get a refreshing and Yummy summer drink. Beginning by boiling one teaspoon of:
Use four cups of water for 15 minutes to steep three pieces of ginger. After the tea cools pour it over ice. Play around with the recipe some, for instance including a lemon slice to suit your personal preference.
Help reduce your blood pressure by eating kiwi. It contains a larger amount of vitamin C than an equivalent sized orange and also has magnesium, calcium, and potassium. This brown, fuzzy fruit goes with salads, desserts and grilled meats. If you drop a piece into your favorite summer beverage, you get a distinctive flavor.
The avocado is a super-food that is great for your heart, as well as helping to control your tinnitus. In only one half of an avocado you get:
- 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
It also contains beneficial fats and carotenoids to fight disease. The downside to the avocado is calories, so a little goes a long way. Add it to your favorite summertime salad dish.
This summer, go out and experience some smart, nutritious goodies. Your hearing may just thank you by ringing less.
It’s not always straight forward to make healthy decisions. Usually our hesitation can be conquered if we remind ourselves what is good for us. But what if some of the things you’ve been doing for your health are harming your hearing? It’s more likely than you’d suspect.
Daily Health Practices
You care about the way you look to others when out and about. Probably brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and maybe cleaning your ears is a frequent practice.
It can be bothersome when a small trickle of earwax builds up with time. Despite earwax having quite a few very important purposes in your ear, it does have to be cleared from time to time. The method you use to clear away earwax determines the potential harm.
Cotton swabs can be damaging and should not be used at all. Permanent harm can be done by using cotton swabs to take out your earwax. Consulting a hearing health provider would be your best bet. Removing Earwax is a basic solution for them.
Your Exercise Procedures
Part of looking good is feeling good, and what better way to do that than to stay in shape? Exercising can help get your blood flowing, relax your muscles, help you lose weight and clear your mind, all of which are great for your hearing. But workouts performed incorrectly are the concern.
Physical fitness trends are moving toward high-impact workouts that test your stamina. While that may help you to build your muscle, if you’re participating in these kinds of exercises you might be straining your body and your ears. Strenuous exercise can cause a build up of pressure in the ears. Resulting in balance and hearing problems.
That doesn’t mean that you should quit exercising. The important factor is correct workout technique. Don’t hold your breath and avoid stressing when you’re at the gym. If you feel like you’ve reached your limit, stop.
Your Successful Career
Stress goes with a prospering career. While everyone can agree that working hard and achieving professional accomplishment is a great thing, high stress levels can impact your health.
Stress has been known to cause weight gain, impaired thinking, and muscle pain, but did you know it can also cause hearing loss? The issue is actually the poor blood flow caused by strain. When you have poor blood flow the delicate hairs in your ears don’t get the blood flow and oxygen they need. These hairs don’t grow back. When they’re dead, they’re gone. Why are these little hairs important? Your brain uses them to hear. Because without them your brain has no way to receive sound waves.
But don’t believe your job has to cost you your hearing. Blood flow can be increased when you use strategies to reduce strain. Taking breaks from tense situations is a must. Reading or watching something funny is helpful. When you laugh, you naturally shake off your stress.
Enjoying the Arts
It’s certainly healthy for your mind to be exposed to the arts regardless of what form they come in! But different forms of art have different levels of impact on hearing.
The volume of movies and live music is usually much louder than you imagine. While enjoying our favorite art form we we usually don’t worry about whether it is harming our hearing. Unfortunately it may possibly be.
This is easily solved. Be sure to plan for ear protection before attending a loud event. While you wouldn’t wear large earmuffs at an opera, you might use small discreet in-ear noise reduction devices instead.
As usual the best defense is being prepared and informed. Schedule a hearing test with a expert if you imagine you may have already experienced hearing injuries from a high volume activity. Only then will you know for certain.
What do people in this country do on their days off? You can understand more about a person by looking at the things they do to relax. For instance, the American Time Use Survey produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states you are able to judge how much a person makes if you know their favorite hobby. It seems the more money you have, the more free time you spend improving your appearance at the gym, jogging or playing games on the weekend. Clearly, there is a major difference between the person who jumps out of a plane for fun and the one who hits the golf course once a week, right? The skydiver is looking for adventure, and the other person wants a life without the adrenaline surge.
These same things you do to relax relate to your hearing health, as well. You think what you enjoy on your days off is fun but what is it doing to your ears? Take some time to think about what you like to do and how it might affect your hearing.
Could a Hobby Lead to Hearing Problems?
When it comes down to it, noise is the major culprit in hearing loss. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noise that falls at a certain volume level will damage to the delicate mechanisms of the ear like:
- Hair cells
Sound goes into the ear in a wave. How strong that wave depends on different factors like volume and distance, which are two of the most important. The sound goes through the ear canal to be amplified by the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, as it enters the middle ear.
In your middle ear, you’ll find three small bones that work together to transmit vibrations caused by this amplified sound wave, pushing it towards a flexible membrane that sits at the base at of the inner ear. The combination of the bones and the membrane further strengthen the wave.
The vibration caused by this stronger sound wave vibrates the fluid in the cochlea, a chamber in the inner ear. When that happens, the movement sways the tiny, and very delicate, hair cells to create a kind of electrical message. Simply put, the hair cells translate this sound wave into something the brain can understand. Once it gets that electrical signal, the brain can tell you what you are hearing.
For example, think about when you turn the radio on in the car. The music goes into the ears as a sound wave with the help of the pinna, or outer ear. The wave is strengthened by the tympanic membrane to move the small bones, so they can vibrate the membrane at the entrance to the cochlea. This membrane moves the fluid in the cochlea which causes the hair cells to send an electrical message to the brain. The brain decodes the message and sends a signal that tells you there is music playing. All the happens in a nanosecond and without you even having to think about it. Not only do you hear the sound, you understand it, you know what direction it is coming from and whether you enjoy or hate it.
What If You Turn the Volume Up
Now, consider someone running in the park wearing headphones. It’s a little bit like firing a gun from point blank range. The sound wave that goes the ear is already loud, maybe enough to damage the eardrum. It’s certainly strong enough to cause the bones in the middle ear to move dangerously fast, creating a larger wave in the fluid of the inner ear; one that will eventually break the hair cells.
What if your favorite hobby is motorcycle riding. The noise of the engine roar can cause similar damage. Decibel (dB) is the measurement associated with sound. Any sound above 85 dB can cause hearing damage. The average motorcycle engine can generate up to 100 dB of sound. The traffic you hear when driving in your car to the golf course is around 85 dB. The lawn mower comes in at about 107 dB.
What Hobbies can Cause the Most Hearing Damage
Anything you do that involves sound over 85 dB is a problem. Normal conversation or music playing at a reasonable volume measures at about 70 dB to give you an idea of what sounds might be a problem. Some of the top hobbies that can cause ear damage include:
- Motorcycle riding
- Home Improvement
- Sporting or music events
- Driving with the top down
Add to this list anything you do with headphones or earbuds in place including video games or listening to music.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Hearing
You don’t have to give up your favorite hobby, just be smart about it. First and foremost, avoid wearing headphones or earbuds for anything. If you enjoy a hobby that requires you to used drills or hammer, get hearing protection like ear plugs or muffs. If you go to a concert, sports arena or a local bar to enjoy live music, consider musician earplugs that preserve sound quality but reduce the noise exposure.
You only have two ears, so treat them right. Go ahead and have some fun on your day off, just turn down the volume.
It’s just a little noise in your ear, right? When you put it that way, it sounds harmless but the reality is that tinnitus alters your view of things right from day one. Tinnitus is not a real noise but it still takes a toll and not in a good way. For some sufferers, it is a life changer that gets in the way of talking to others, a good night’s sleep and the ability to concentrate. It alters your perception of your world by interfering with many different parts of it. To understand how this happens you need to know more about this condition.
Tinnitus: What is it?
Tinnitus means you hear noises that no one else can hear. People think of it as a condition but it is actually a symptom of something else like the age-related hearing loss. If you have tinnitus, it is important to know many other people do too. According to the American Tinnitus Association, about 15 percent of the U.S. population have tinnitus at some level.
Tinnitus can be different for everyone, as well. Some people hear ringing in their ears while others describe it as:
- Wind blowing
These are all sounds indicative of tinnitus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
That tells you a lot but it doesn’t explain the cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus is a bit of a medical mystery, in part, because there may be more than one cause. For many, it is a symptom of profound hearing loss. The brain gets used to hearing sounds all the time because it’s always around you. It’s there when you go for a walk or read a book. There is some kind of noise even as you sit in a quiet room.
Noise is always there for your ears pick up on even if it is slight. Faint sound creates small waves that the brain can interpret. It then decides whether you actually should hear the noise or not.
When someone develops hearing loss things changes gradually. Over time, the sound stops coming to the brain the way it used to, so it tries to figure out why. Researchers believe that it tries to fix the problem by creating the ringing, buzzing or wind sound associated with tinnitus. It would rather “hear” a phantom noise then live in silence.
There are other medical problems that can cause tinnitus beside age-related hearing loss such as:
- Ear canal blockage
- Head or neck trauma
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Sinus conditions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ototoxic drugs
- Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroid
- An autoimmune disorder like Lyme disease or fibromyalgia
- Circulatory disorders such as high blood pressure
- Vestibular disorders like thoracic outlet syndrome
- Tumor-related disorders such as acoustic neuroma
It’s clear that if you suddenly start hearing the phantom noises of tinnitus, the first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. It’s important to find out why you have tinnitus and to rule out very serious medical problems like high blood pressure.
How Does Tinnitus Impact Your Perception?
Tinnitus has a negative impact on most lives. Even in mild forms, it can be distracting. The frustration of not being able to turn it on and off can lead to:
- Emotional distress
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor concentration
People with severe tinnitus are at risk for:
- Social isolation
- Sleep deprivation
- Anxiety disorders
- Major depressive disorder
The loss of control and frustration can bleed through to everything else you do.
What Can You Do About Tinnitus?
Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about your options. If the cause is hearing loss, getting a hearing aid for that ear may help. Hearing aids amplify sound, so your brain starts getting the daily noise once again. White noise machines simulate environmental sounds when you take your hearing aids out like at night. You can also try to create your own kind of noise with a fan or by running a dehumidifier.
Perception is a word that describes your awareness of the world around you. That improves when you eliminate the distracting noise of tinnitus.
When someone says hearing loss, you naturally think about ears, and why not? Clearly, a person with hearing loss has a problem with the elements of the ear. If you injure your leg, it doesn’t affect your hearing, right? While it is normal to connect hearing loss with your ears, it’s a little more complex issue. If you or someone you love has hearing loss, think about the other ways it changes a person’s life.
How Hearing Loss Affects the Brain
Technically, your ears are not the only organs injured if you suffer from the untreated hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is the third most common chronic problem among seniors, right after hypertension and arthritis, and that’s a concern because of how it affects the brain.
Age-related hearing loss damages the hair cells found in the inner ear. They move in a way that creates an electrical message that the brain interprets as sound. Noise is something people experience all day long even when they try to avoid it. Quiet rooms still have sound in the background like the buzzing of a computer hard drive, for example, or the air conditioner running so quietly you fail to notice it. Even if you were able to eliminate all sound around you, there would still be the noise caused by your breathing.
In fact, your brain translates these impulses sent by the hair cells all day long, you just do not know it. When they disappear with the age-related hearing loss, the brain feels confused and tries to figure out what’s going on. Typically, a small amount of sound is still getting through, but the brain has to work harder to understand it, and that stress causes a number of medical problems.
Research shows that individuals with untreated hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia, for instance, maybe as much as fives times the risk. There is evidence when a person has difficulty hearing, their brain shrinks faster, and their cognitive function declines, too. The brain may try to use the area set aside for hearing for other things further decreasing your ability to hear.
Tinnitus or phantom noises is a side effect of diminished hearing. No one knows why this happens but one theory is that the brain is trying to create sound because it is missing it. If your mind is used to hearing a noise all the time and it slowly fades away, tinnitus could be an attempt to compensate for that loss.
Listening to this phantom noise has a negative impact on most lives. It can interfere with your ability to sleep or concentrate. It can cause depression and other mental health issues, as well. It’s not easy living with that constant ringing or buzzing without feeling stress.
How It Affects Relationships
It is not easy having the people in your life point out your hearing loss, especially since it usually has to do with aging. You don’t like being told you are getting older. It is estimated that about 50 percent of older adult have problems with their hearing. It’s hard to accept, so when the subject comes up, there is denial and resentment.
A person who has hearing loss can begin to fade into the background, too. They stop socializing because they can’t follow conversations, so they feel stupid. Maybe they are worried about making other people angry by asking them to repeat things all the time. Friends might stop asking them to do things, too, because the conversation is too awkward.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures the impact of hearing loss on quality of life using a measurement labeled disability-adjusted years. In other words, they measure how many fewer quality years come with this condition. They estimate that a person loses 2.5 healthy years with each year of hearing impairment.
Hearing Loss and Your Paycheck
There is some indication that hearing loss can lead to less money in the bank. A study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found that people with hearing loss make up to 12,000 dollars less a year. Using hearing aids can mitigate the effects and lead to more money, though.
There is little doubt that the impact of hearing loss is significant in many areas of life including your physical and mental health. It’s not just about your ears, which is why it is so important to be aware of your hearing health and to get a professional exam and hearing test if you think there is a problem.