After I Get an Ear Infection, Will I Get my Hearing Back?

Woman recovers her hearing after an ear infection and listens to her grandaughter whisper something in her ear.

An ear infection is the popular name, but it’s medically named otitis media or AOM. Ear infections are very common after a sinus infection or cold and they not only affect children but adults too. Even a bad tooth can cause an ear infection.

If you get an infection in the middle ear you will usually have some hearing loss, but how long will it last? To come up with a complete answer can be fairly complicated. There are quite a few variables to take into consideration. To understand the potential risks, you need to learn more about the damage these infections can cause and how they affect hearing.

What is Otitis Media?

Put simply, otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. Bacteria is the most common cause, but it could be caused by any type of micro-organism.

The principal way in which an infection is defined is by what part of the ear it occurs in. Otitis externa, otherwise known as swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the pinna or outer ear. An inner ear infection, also called labyrinthitis is caused by bacteria in the cochlea.

The space in front of the cochlea but behind the eardrum is known as the middle ear. The membranes of the inner ear are vibrated by three tiny bones called ossicles which are housed in this area. An infection in this part of the ear tends to be very painful because it puts a lot of pressure on the eardrum, often until it breaks. Your failure to hear very well is also because of this pressure. The infectious material accumulates and blocks the ear canal enough to interfere with the movement of sound waves.

A middle ear infection includes the following symptoms:

  • Ear drainage
  • 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 is resolved. Sometimes there are complications, though.

Chronic Ear Infections

The majority of people experience an ear infection at least once in their life. The issues can become chronic for some people and they will keep getting ear infections. Chronic ear infections can lead to problems that mean a more significant and possibly permanent hearing loss, especially if the problem is neglected.

Conductive Hearing Loss Caused by Chronic Ear Infections

Conductive hearing loss can be brought on by repeated ear infections. Which means that the inner ear doesn’t receive sound waves at the proper intensity. The ear has components along the canal that amplify the sound wave so by the time it gets to the tiny hair cells of the inner ear, it is strong enough to cause a vibration. Sometimes something changes along this route and the sound is not correctly amplified. This is called conductive hearing loss.

Bacteria don’t just sit and behave themselves inside the ear when you get an ear infection. The components that amplify sound waves are broken down and eaten by the bacteria. The damage is normally 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 come back once they are gone. You don’t just get your hearing back once this damage happens. Surgically putting in prosthetic bones is one possible way that a doctor may be able to correct this. The eardrum may have scar tissue after it repairs itself, which can affect its ability to vibrate. Surgery can correct that, also.

This Permanent Hearing Loss Can be Prevented

It’s essential to see a doctor when you think you may have an ear infection. You shouldn’t wait if you want to protect your hearing. Always get chronic ear infection examined by a doctor. More damage is caused by more severe infections. Ear infections normally begin with allergies, sinus infections, and colds so take measures to avoid them. If you are a smoker, now is the right time to stop, too, because smoking increases your risk of having chronic respiratory issues.

If you are still having difficulty hearing after having an ear infection, consult a doctor. It could be possible that you have some damage, but that is not the only thing that causes conductive hearing loss. Hearing aids can be very helpful if you have permanent hearing loss. You can schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to get more info on hearing aids.

Wearing Hearing Aids Can Put You Back in Control of Your Life

Woman with hearing loss happy to have her freedom and independence while riding in a convertible.

Remember when you got your first car? Nothing can compare to that sense of freedom. It was your choice when and where you went and with who you went with. Many people who suffer from loss of hearing have this exact same experience when they get their first hearing aids.

How could investing in your first pair of hearing aids be similar to getting your first car? There are some subtle reasons why having hearing aids can help you keep your independence. It so happens that your brain’s functionality is significantly impacted by hearing loss.

Neuroplasticity

The following example illustrates how your brain responds to changes: You’re on your way to work, taking the same way you always take. Now, suppose you go to make a turn only to discover the road is closed. How would you react? Is quitting and going home a good decision? Probably not unless of course you’re trying to find an excuse to avoid the office. Seeking out another route is most likely what you would do. As long as your regular route was closed this new route would become your new routine. If this new route turned out to be even more efficient, you would substitute the old one with it.

In your brain, when normal functions are blocked the very same thing takes place. Brand new pathways are routed in the brain due to a function defined as neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity can assist you in learning new languages, or to learn new abilities such as playing an instrument or building healthy habits. Activities that were once-challenging come to be automatic as physical modifications to the brain slowly adjust to match the new pathways. Neuroplasticity can be equally as good at causing you to forget about things you already know as it is at assisting you in learning new things.

Hearing Loss And Neuroplasticity

Hearing loss is the perfect example of how neuroplasticity has a negative impact on your day-to-day life. As explained in The Hearing Review, The pathways in your brain will quickly begin to get re-purposed if they quit processing sound according to a study done by the University of Colorado. And it probably isn’t ideal for them to change in that way. This reordering of your brain function explains the connection between loss of hearing and cognitive decrease.

When you have hearing loss, the areas of your brain responsible for functions, like vision or touch, can solicit the less-utilized pathways of the brain responsible for hearing. The available resources inside your brain which are used to process sound are diminished and so is your ability to comprehend speech.

So, if you are repeatedly asking people to speak up, hearing loss has already started. And even more significant is the fact that your brain may already be beginning to restructure.

How Hearing Aids Can Help You

As with anything, you get both a negative and positive side to this astonishing ability. Neuroplasticity may possibly make your loss of hearing worse, but it also elevates the performance of hearing aids. You can really make the most of current hearing aid technology because of the brain’s ability to regenerate tissue and reroute neural paths. As the hearing aids stimulate the parts of the brain that handle loss of hearing, they stimulate mental growth and development.

In fact, a long-term study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Cognitive decline was lessened in people with hearing aids, according to this study. The study, titled Self-Reported Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study, followed over three thousand adults age 65 and older over a 25 year period. What the researchers discovered was that the speed of cognitive decline was higher in those with hearing loss compared to those with healthy hearing. 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.

We already understood quite a bit about neuroplasticity and this study verifies that understanding: the brain will manage functions according to the current need and the amount of stimulation it receives. In other words, you need to, “use it or lose it.”

Having a Youthful Brain

It doesn’t matter what your age is, the adaptability of the brain means it can change itself at any point in time. It’s also important to note that hearing loss can speed up mental deterioration and that simply using hearing aids prevent or minimize this decline.

Hearing aids are not cheap over-the-counter sound amplification devices, they are high-tech hearing enhancement technology. According to leading brain plasticity expert Dr. Michael Merzenich, by challenging yourself to engage in new activities, being active socially, and maybe even practicing mindfulness you can enhance your brain’s functionality no matter what your age.

To ensure your quality of life, hearing aids are a must. Becoming isolated and withdrawn is a common problem for people with hearing loss. If you want to stay active and independent, get a pair of hearing aids. Don’t forget that if you want your brain to stay as young as you feel it needs to keep processing sound and receiving stimulation.

While Vacationing You Need to Know How to Deal with Your Hearing Aids

Couple enjoying vacation thanks to buying new hearing aids to treat their hearing loss.

 

You make a financial investment when you purchase hearing aids, so take steps to keep them safe and secure as you hit the road. It would be great if all getaways were stress-free, but unfortunately, that’s often not the case. Taking precautions to protect your hearing aids will give you one less thing to be worried about when going on vacation. What protective steps can you take for your hearing aids when you go on vacation.

Start With the Basics

Make certain to bring along a complete cleaning kit to begin. Everything you do while at home to keep your hearing aids clean, you’ll need to do while you travel. Most good quality hearing aid brands come with or offer a specialty cleaning kit that includes a brush or pick. You will also want to pack a soft dry cloth to wipe the surface down and a carrying case to store them in when you are not wearing them.

It’s a prudent idea to pack replacement batteries, as well. You will probably wear your hearing aid more than normal so backups are a smart idea. Don’t forget that extra charger if you have a hearing aid that has rechargeable batteries. Your replacement charger should be put somewhere separate in case one gets lost.

Here are a few other things you should bring along:

  • Tubing
  • Soft domes
  • Sport clip

Creating a checklist is crucial to be sure you don’t forget something you might really need. You never know for sure when you might need one of your hearing aid supplies, so pack them in an easy to get at place. Carry on luggage is the perfect spot to put these items if you are going on a plane.

An Expert Cleaning And Checkup is a Good Move Before You Leave

Take your hearing aids in for a cleaning and tune-up a week or two before your trip. When traveling it’s important that they are properly functioning. Ask the retailer about any warranties you may have on the hearing aids and take any paperwork with you just in case something happens. Learn how to file a claim otherwise you might miss something and you could void the warranty.

It won’t hurt to find out if there is an office close to where you will be staying, as well. Or look up hearing aid repair or retailers by yourself. This will make it that much more convenient if you need servicing or a replacement battery.

Using Hearing Aids at The Airport

With all of the changing security specifications, going to the airport is often puzzling. When you are walking through the security checkpoint, wear your hearing aids. Inform security that you have a hearing aid as you approach so that they know ahead of time. If you adhere to the security agent’s direction you most likely won’t have to take them out to pass through the metal detector.

It’s also not a problem if you wear your hearing aids on board the plane. You will not need to turn them off before the plane takes off like you do a cell phone, either. Be prepared because sometimes your hearing aid doesn’t work as well on the plane. Use visual indicators to let people know you might not hear as well. Cupping your ear, for instance, sends a signal that you can’t understand.

A Drying Kit or Dehumidifier is a Good Idea

Vacations typically go right along with water fun and humidity. Even if you don’t plan on going swimming, that doesn’t mean humidity is not still a potential problem. A dryer is very important while on vacation and also year round.

Make Sure You Know How Your Hearing Aids Function

Different features work best in different settings. For instance, you’ll need to filter out background noise in a restaurant or at an amusement park. You will have more fun at the beach if you use outdoor settings. You can’t know what feature to take advantage of if you are not familiar with how your hearing aid works.

A Remote Microphone is a Good Thing to Bring Along

A remote microphone will come in handy in noisy environments, when driving in the car, or if you are on a plane. You just clip the microphone to the person who you are talking with which enhances their voice so that you can converse freely.

Call Ahead to The Resort or Hotel

Usually, popular vacation spots accommodate for the hearing impaired. Since you won’t be using your hearing aids at night you will want to take advantage of that. Ask them about rooms with smoke alarms that flash the lights or shake the bed. Find out if they have special phones for the hearing impaired and televisions with closed captioning.

Vacationing is enjoyable, but it can be frantic, too. Deal with your hearing aids before you go, so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Schedule an appointment for a tune-up today.

Is Loss of Hearing Stopping You From Having Fun This Summer?

Man grilling unaware of his hearing loss and how getting a hearing aid could help him enjoy time with his family.

Why let your summer be ruined by flawed hearing? Most likely it’s much worse if you don’t know it. A few ear diseases and getting older can bring a prolonged loss of hearing that you might not even recognize. You might also stay away from engaging in fun summertime events you love simply because you can’t hear as well. You will still be able to get out and have a blast if you look for some practical solutions to your hearing loss difficulties.

Summer Barbecues

Barbecuing in the summer can be tricky when you have loss of hearing. Background noise is one big problem. There are a lot of conversations happening around you. On the lawn and in the swimming pool youngsters are shouting and playing. You get the sounds of nature such as singing birds, barking dogs, and the sound of food cooking on the grill.

All that noise interferes with any residual hearing you have left. Background sounds will overtake someone who has hearing loss.

Here are some tips to help you compensate:

Some of the overwhelming background noise can be lessened by finding a peaceful place to sit for a while. Turning away from the sun will allow you to see people when they are talking and read their lips to figure out words you miss.

  • You can turn down the volume of background music. You could choose to go without the music if you are hosting the barbecue. Tell the host about your problem if you are going to someone else’s cookout.
  • Walk away from time to time. It takes a lot of energy struggling to hear. Step indoors and away from everyone for a short time each hour and go somewhere quiet to recharge.
  • Let people know if you can’t hear. People will get annoyed when you attempt to fake it. If you don’t hear what someone said, let them know. Visual clues such as cupping your ears will help others realize you’re having trouble hearing. Usually, people will step closer or speak louder to help you.

Don’t attempt to hear everything. The fact that you can’t take part in every discussion is something you need to recognize. Set realistic limits for yourself and try to engage in smaller groups instead.

Go Outdoors

Do you truly realize what you might be missing outside? Don’t be afraid to go outdoors and concentrate on the sounds of the natural world. No, you won’t be able to hear everything but with a little focus, you might hear more than you might think.

Make a game out of it and listen for:

  • Chirping birds
  • Insects buzzing
  • Crickets in the evening
  • Blowing leaves
  • The rain falling
  • Kids running around and playing
  • Dogs barking
  • Waves splashing

Temper expectations when going outdoors, to the beach, or for a walk in the park by attempting to hear one thing at a time.

Enjoy Day Trips or Even a Much Needed Vacation

That’s truly what summer is meant for, isn’t it? What sort of vacation do you enjoy? What constraints come along with your hearing loss that will affect it? For instance, an amusement park might be a little too much stimulation, but sailing or fishing work nicely. Going out into nature should also work. 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. Alert the hotel or resort, too, so they can offer you a room that has accommodations for the hearing impaired such as smoke alarms with flashing lights or shaking beds and TVs that have closed captioning.

Improve Yourself

Learn how to paint or maybe take a fitness class to better yourself this summer. Show up early, so that you can find a place up front. If you miss anything, it would be prudent to bring a couple of friends with you to fill in the blanks.

Safety Precautions Should Be Taken This Summer

There are a number of summertime traditions 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 enjoying the pool or beach, make sure you play it safe. Use earplugs to prevent ear infections and keep your hearing aids dry.
  • Take a friend with you when you go on those enjoyable evening walks. There are potential risks like a vehicle driving toward you or somebody lurking close to you which you probably won’t hear.
  • Safeguard what hearing you do have left by wearing ear protection if you go to watch the fireworks for Independence Day or to an outdoor concert.

Making the Most of It This Summer

Three easy things will help you avoid most of these things.

  • Get your ears examined by a hearing care specialist. It may be possible your hearing loss is treatable.
  • Get a professional hearing test, to determine if you do have hearing loss.
  • Wear high-quality hearing aids. They will filter out background noises so that you will hear what is relevant.

Summertime is all about having fun. Don’t let the loss of hearing take it away from you.

Are Your Hearing Aids Getting Wrecked by Humidity?

Dog jumping into water to demonstrate how hearing aids can get wet easily when you're having fun this summer because moisture damages hearing aids.

There are a lot of different things that can damage the delicate that makes a hearing aid function the way it does, but few have the impact of water. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Even if you already know that and take care to protect your investment from the shower, pool, or a good face washing, chances are you are missing the most common reason for water damage in hearing aids: humidity.

Invisible moisture has the greatest chance of causing permanent damage. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity harms hearing aids.

Understanding Humidity

Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. When presented as a percentage, for example, the relative humidity is 40 percent today, it refers to the amount of water vapor in the air compared to what air could hold. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.

Human beings are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most efficient way to cool down the body. When humidity levels are high our sweat will not evaporate as fast. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.

As A General Rule Electronic Devices Have a Hard Time Coping With Humidity

Oddly enough, electronic devices are not only sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the intricate elements that make electronic devices work, and low humidity can result in brittle core materials.

Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. A sophisticated audio processing chip controls noise levels in a modern hearing aid. It’s what is behind elegant functions like:

  • Noise reduction
  • Anti-feedback
  • Targeted listening programs
  • Digital sound streaming

Moisture can accumulate inside the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. Batteries get destroyed and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the same as dropping your hearing aid in a tub of water.

Controlling Humidity

Water resistant models are currently available. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can go swimming with your hearing aids in your ear, but it does give some protection against humidity and other weather-related concerns such as getting caught in an unforeseen rainstorm or even sweat when you exercise.

If you live in an area prone to high humidity, think about using a room or house dehumidifier to decrease water vapor indoors. It’s not just your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronic devices 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. 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. Drying kits rely on silica gel crystals to protect the electronics. You put the device in the dehumidifier for a couple of hours to eliminate moisture. 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.

Don’t forget to leave the battery door open when you store your device. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.

Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. On the table in the sun, in the glove compartment, or in a hot room are examples of where not to store your hearing aids.

Other Moisture Concerns

Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. 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. It’s a good practice whether you wear your hearing aids when you workout or not. Later that sweat will cause problems.
  • Check surfaces before you put your hearing aid down. 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.

Old Hearing Aids Should be Updated

Small robot made of old tech is suggesting those with old hearing aids upgrade to new digital hearing aids.

That out of date ear horn is definitely not cutting-edge and must be updated. The question is, should I do it now, or should I hold off? Your hearing aids seem like they still work, right? Did you realize they are more than 10 years old?

Do you think that your old hearing aids are good enough? Ask yourself “what is the actual cost”? In the past couple of years, hearing aid technology has come a long way. We’ve moved from analog to digital, first of all, and there are features now that weren’t yet in the design phase a decade ago. It’s definitely time to consider an upgrade. Think about several reasons why.

Old Hearing Aids Quit Regularly

Older or maybe even cheap hearing aids have many problems including that irritating buzzing you hear every now and then. How about that feedback anytime you go near a phone, that’s lots of fun. Then for no apparent reason at all, it begins to make weird noises. “What now”?

You Can’t Keep Denying That Your Hearing Aid Usually Fails When You Need it The Most

It’s not unusual for you to hang by yourself and miss the good discussion. How distressing was the time when your grandson sang you a tune he learned but you could only hear little bits and pieces? You had to pretend that you heard it but you didn’t.

Old hearing aids have all of these failings. With the past generation technology, we just turned up the volume. Today’s technology filters out frustrating loud background noise like a humming fan. It was not even that loud.

Over Time Out Of Date Hearing Aids Can Cost You More

One consideration when purchasing new hearing aids is definitely cost. When you consider all the factors, you will come to realize that out of date hearing aids will wind up costing you more than new ones. Analog devices need new batteries regularly. If you are changing the battery on a daily basis, or even more frequently than that, the expense adds up.

Don’t forget the repair costs with out of date technology. You can compare it to an old truck. Repair services are expensive when your hearing aid is in the shop more than it’s in your ear.

Smart Technology Gives us Great Advantage Over Out of Date Devices

Most modern hearing aids come with Bluetooth capabilities. Old analog devices won’t have that. Having Bluetooth built into your digital hearing aid means it’s compatible with your phone, your computer, and maybe even your television (unless they’re a decade old, too.)

In Your World, if You Can’t Communicate Your Lost

Studies indicate that hearing loss could mean a lower paycheck. Doesn’t it make sense then, that better hearing aids would certainly be a career asset? When you’re working, it is important to hear your bosses instructions or maybe even a customer’s questions. You will follow instructions without wondering whether you got it right and will take part in essential discussions without worrying about whether your hearing aids will work or not.

And we all know that quality communication is the foundation of a quality life. It’s not necessary to sit alone like a wallflower during discussions any longer. Jump in and engage with the people all around you.

Did You Realize How Awesome The Newer Hearing Aids Are?

How do you really feel when you see yourself in the mirror with those out of date hearing aids on? Awkward? Obvious? Seriously?? One of the most important benefits that come with replacing those old hearing aids is stylishness and flexibility. There is an endless variety of personalizations possible with modern hearing aids including size, color, and shape. You can have one tucked so tightly into your ear, no one will ever see it, or you can make a fashion statement by getting a visible hearing aid in your favorite color.

Is it Time to Buy a New Hearing Aid?

Now you are aware of all the reasons to upgrade your hearing aids. However, some telltale clues will indicate that your hearing aid is an antique:

  • Your hearing has changed. You don’t hear as well as you once did even with the hearing aid in place.
  • Your life has changed, and your hearing aid has a rough time keeping up. It’s difficult to take it out just so you can talk on the phone, or maybe you’ve switched jobs and now you need to cope with more background noise.
  • Your hearing aid keeps cutting out. It just isn’t reliable anymore, and that’s a concern.
  • You know for sure your hearing aid is analog. Ouch, time to go digital.
  • Your hearing aid is heavy. Clunky, old 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 replacing the batteries constantly. Modern hearing aids are much more energy efficient and have 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.

When You Are Attending Events and Festivities be Sure to Consider Ear Protection

Family enjoying independence day celebration oblivious to the risk of hearing loss from fireworks.

The warm weather season is here, and your schedule is probably already packed with lots of parties and plans. Almost everyone you know will be outside for some event the next couple weeks as The Fourth of July is just around the corner. You love to attend concerts, parades, marching bands, and of course-fireworks. There is no cause to stay in your house and miss out on the fun, but take a minute to think of how you will protect your ears when you do go out to celebrate this holiday season.

Noise-induced hearing loss has an effect on around 6 percent of the U.S. adult population under the age of 70; that equals around 40 million people. The sad part is this form of hearing damage is pretty much 100 percent preventable. All you need is a little planning and good sense. Take into consideration some reasons you need to take care of your hearing as you enjoy yourself this season and the best ways of doing it.

Fireworks are the Summers Most Harmful Hearing Risks.

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. Noise-related hearing loss can begin at 85 decibels with repeated exposure. 150 to 175 decibels is the typical range of fireworks. For short durations 140 decibels is the limit for adults and 120 decibels for children before hearing damage may happen. Both those numbers are lower than fireworks.

The good news? Your risk of hearing loss is reduced the further you are away 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. Children should be 70 yards away to protect their hearing and babies shouldn’t be there at all.

Because You Love Live Music

Who doesn’t? And summer celebrations bring out some of the best musicians in the world! 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. It’s safe to say; most people attend concerts for longer than that!

Then There are the People

Crowds are the most underestimated hearing danger at celebrations. When the crowd is into the celebration everybody is talking and yelling loudly. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says that at sporting events the crowd volume is 80 to 90 dB. Unfortunately, it will probably be higher and more consistent at a parade or celebration.

A Small Amount of Common Sense Goes a Long Way

What can you do to take care of your ears? It’s a lot more common sense than you may think. Try to determine what the hearing risk is before the event:

  • Will there be loud music?
  • Large crowds?
  • Fireworks?

What precautions you take depends on how loud you think the celebration will be. 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. A block or two away is the safest minimum distance. Being a little further away helps you avoid large crowds making the show more enjoyable

Hearing Damage is not the Only Risk of the Summer

Noise is only one of several concerns. Celebrations bring with them hot sun, too much drink, too little water and fatigue. If you have tinnitus or suffer from hearing loss these things will make them worse.

Try to take it easy. Don’t go to the celebration too early if it’s going to be a late 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. Can you find some shade? Can you get access to an air-conditioned building?

Celebrations come and go but your ears are a one time deal. Enjoy the holiday but be sure to take care of your ears also. If you are worried that you may have already suffered hearing damage it is important to schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist.

What’s the one Thing to Know About Hearing Loss?

Woman not letting hearing loss and use of hearing aids stop her from feeling young and playing with her grandkids.

As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only has an effect on the older generation. Almost all of us have had experience with older people attempting to comprehend conversations, or using hearing aids.

As you become more mature, you start to learn that there is a different factor regarding hearing loss other than aging.

Most people are afraid to admit they suffer from hearing loss because it causes them to feel old.

Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Problem”

Even before we turn 13, audiologists already begin to diagnose some amount of hearing loss in 13% of cases. You’ll recognize, this is not because 12-year-olds are “old”. In the past 30 years there has been a 33% increase in teen hearing loss.

What are the key factors involved?

2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds already have debilitating hearing loss.

It’s not an aging problem. It’s 100% possible to avoid, although most people might consider it an aging problem. Considerably minimizing your hearing loss is within reach.

Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical term for age-related hearing loss, is generally brought on by loud noise.

For ages hearing loss was believed to be inevitable as you age. However thanks to today’s science we know a lot more concerning hearing loss prevention and also hearing regeneration.

How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise

Step one to safeguarding your hearing is recognizing how something as “innocent” as noise causes hearing loss.

Sound is composed of waves of pressure. Going down into your ear these waves go beyond your eardrum and into the inner ear.

Here, tiny hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. A neurological code is made up of how fast and how frequently these little tiny hairs vibrate. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone crying for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which might be near you.

The problem is that as noises get too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. The sound shakes them until they die.

If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.

Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Permanent

Various kinds of damage can be healed by your body. But when you harm these little hair cells, they don’t heal, and they will not grow back. Every time you are subjected to loud noise, a few more of these cells die.

Hearing loss progresses as they die.

Common Sounds Which Cause Hearing Damage

Most people are surprised to discover that everyday activities can cause hearing loss. It’s very easy to overlook:

  • 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 manufacturing plant or other loud profession
  • Hunting
  • Playing music in a band

It’s not necessary to quit these activities. Fortunately, you can take practical steps to reduce noise-related hearing loss.

How you can Keep Hearing Loss From Making You “Feel” old

If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, admitting it doesn’t need to cause you to feel older. The longer you disregard it, the worse it’s going to get, and you will end up feeling older much sooner because of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Increased Fall Risk
  • Social Isolation
  • More frequent trips to the ER
  • Strained relationships

It’s significantly more common for people with untreated hearing loss to have problems with one or more of these.

How can you Avoid Continued Hearing Damage?

The first thing you have to do is learn how to to avoid hearing loss.

  1. Put a sound meter app on your phone, and find out how loud things truly can be.
  2. Harmful volumes should be avoided without the proper ear protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) will cause permanent hearing loss in just 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause permanent hearing loss. 120 dB and above results in immediate hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
  3. Know that If you’ve ever had difficulty hearing temporarily after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. Over time it will become worse.
  4. Wear earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
  5. Observe workplace hearing safety policies.
  6. Minimize your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Steer clear of standing in close proximity to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when at home.
  8. Invest in earbuds/headphones that come with built-in volume control. These never go over 90 decibels. Most people would need to listen pretty much non-stop all the time to cause permanent damage.
  9. High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and some medications can cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be certain, never listen to headphones at above 50%. Car speakers vary.
  10. Wear your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s the same as your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to start walking again.

Get a Hearing Test

Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right choice now rather than later. The faster you make the wise decision the less damage you will continue to do.

Speak to Your Hearing Professional Concerning Hearing Solutions

There are no “normal cures” for hearing impairment. If you have serious hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.

Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hearing Aids

Lots of people are either in denial about hearing loss, or maybe, they choose to “tough it out.” They presume hearing aids make them seem old. Or they believe that they cost too much.

But as soon as they realize that hearing loss will decline faster and can cause various health and personal complications, it’s simple to see that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Talk to a hearing care expert now about getting a hearing evaluation. And if hearing aids are needed, don’t worry about “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much more streamlined and more sophisticated than you probably think!

Why Investing in Hearing Aids is a Good Decision

Man suffering from hearing loss saving money buy buying hearing aids to earn more money and stay safe.

Hearing aids are a worthwhile investment. People with hearing loss are regularly concerned with the price tag. However, when you invest in a house you don’t determine the price and state, “well being homeless is less costly!” You have to go past the price to decide the true worth of hearing aids.

Before purchasing a big-ticket item like this you need 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 invest in them. You really should factor these expenses into your choice as well. Take into consideration some good reasons why investing in hearing aids will help save you money over the long haul.

As Time Goes by, Cheap Hearing Aids Tend to end up Being More Expensive

There certainly are cheap hearing aids out there which appear more affordable. You might even buy a hearing aid off of the internet costing less than a dinner.

You get what you pay for in quality with over-the-counter hearing devices. When you buy these devices, you are really getting an amplification device similar to earbuds, not a hearing aid. These devices turn up the sound of everything around you. That includes unwanted background noise.

You miss out on the most effective functions and features hearing aids provide, custom programming. Having your hearing aid tuned to correct your distinct hearing issue can stop it from getting worse and provide you with amazing hearing quality.

Some low-quality hearing devices are powered by equally cheap batteries, too. Needing to swap dead batteries frequently can become expensive. When you wear the amplification device every day, you could very well end up replacing the battery once or twice a day. When it’s most important, these cheap batteries regularly fail, so make sure to bring plenty of emergency batteries. Do you really save cash if you have to exchange worn out batteries on a daily basis?

Because the technology is better, the batteries live longer. Rechargeable batteries in the high-quality hearing aids means no more buying batteries.

Work Related Worries

Deciding to go without hearing aids, or choosing low-quality ones will be costly at work. A 2013 study published in The Hearing Journal says that adults that have hearing loss often earn less money – as high as 25 percent less, and are more likely to be without a job.

Why? There are several reasons for this, but the basic explanation is that communication is essential in virtually every industry. You need to be able to hear what your supervisor says to be able to give good results. You should be capable of listening to clients to help them. If you spend the entire discussion trying to figure out precisely what words people are saying, you’re probably going missing the total content. Simply put, if you can’t take part in conversations, it’s not easy to succeed at work.

The struggle to hear what people are saying at work takes a toll on you bodily, also. And if you do find a way to get through a day with sub-par hearing ability, the stress and anxiety associated with wondering whether you heard something correctly plus the energy required to hear just enough will keep you fatigued and stressed out. 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 potential to impact your work efficiency and reduce your income as a consequence.

More Trips to the ER

There are safety issues which come with hearing loss. Without correct hearing aids, it becomes unsafe for you to cross the street or drive a car. How could you stay clear of another vehicle if you can’t hear it? How about public warning systems like a tornado warning or smoke alarm?

For a number of jobs, hearing is a must have for job-site safety such as construction zones or processing factories. That means that not wearing hearing aids is not only a safety risk but also something which can minimize your career possibilities.

Financial safety is a factor here, too. Did the waitress say that you owe 25 dollars or 75? What did the salesperson tell you regarding the functions of the dishwasher you are shopping for and do you actually need them? Maybe the lower cost unit would be all you would need, but it’s difficult to tell if you can’t hear the sales clerk describe the difference.

The Health of Your Brain

One of the most critical concerns that come with hearing loss is the increased possibility of dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine has found that Alzheimer’s disease costs individuals more than 56,000 dollars a year. Dementia accounts for 11 billion dollars in Medicare expenditure annually.

Hearing loss is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is calculated that a person with acute, untreated hearing loss multiplies their possibility of brain impairment by five times. A modest hearing loss carries three times the chances of getting dementia, and even a minimal hearing issue doubles your risk. Hearing aids will bring the risk back to a regular amount.

Certainly a hearing aid is going to cost you a bit. When you look at all the costs that come with going without one or buying a cheaper device, it’s surely a financial choice. Make an appointment with a hearing aid specialist to find out more.

These Seven Yummy Goodies Might Help to Reduce Tinnitus

Family in the park enjoying foods that help reduce tinnitus symptoms.

Along with splashing in the water, and holidays, the summertime brings a lot of delicious food. When summertime comes, specific foods go to the top of everyone’s must-have list. A few of these yummy snacks may offer relief from tinnitus. Fundamentally, tinnitus isn’t really about what you eat; it’s connected with how well you hear. The food that you consume might be a contributing factor, though. Consider seven summer treats that you may want to think about that might help with tinnitus.

Making sense of Tinnitus

Tinnitus isn’t a disease, it’s a sign of something else taking place with your body, and, for most, that implies hearing loss. Clicking, buzzing, or ringing, are noises you might begin to hear as your hearing declines. Tinnitus is poorly understood, but it’s possible that this is the brain’s way of coping with the loss of sound.

Eliminating or curing these phantom sounds is currently not possible. Your best chance is looking for ways to manage it. 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

There are Some Things You Should Avoid Consuming if You Suffer From Tinnitus

It’s not just about what you do consume, but also what you don’t, if you want to regulate your tinnitus this summer. Try steering clear of these:

  • Salty meals
  • Processed sugar
  • Flavor enhancers like MSG
  • Fatty foods

Summer is a good time to think about what you are putting into your body and what goodies may affect your tinnitus in a positive way.

You Could Try to Decrease Your Tinnitus With These Seven Yummy Goodies

This summertime what can you consume that might help out your tinnitus? These are seven tips for you to try.

1. Grilled Chicken

Barbecued chicken is a good, low-fat option for summer grilling. It is tasty 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.

Keep in mind these few things when grilling chicken:

The skin should be taken off prior to cooking. The skin is the place where most of the fat is.

Be certain to thoroughly wash your hands and counters immediately following handling raw chicken.

A hot grill is important when cooking chicken. That better seals in the taste and makes sure 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 also a refreshing one. Just put a popsicle stick in a peeled banana and put it inside the freezer.

You can even put chocolate or peanut butter on them prior to freezing. The bodily fluids are helped by the high levels of potassium in bananas which then helps reduce tinnitus.

3. Pineapple

Pineapple is an effective anti-inflammatory, so it may be beneficial for people that suffer from tinnitus. It’s also a versatile fruit. You can serve it up it uncooked as a dessert or a snack. You can freeze it in juice to make a fruity popsicle or add a piece to a glass of iced tea for flavor. And on the barbecue you can dress up meats with it.

4. Watermelon

Watermelon is a enjoyable means to boost your liquid consumption and cool yourself down at the same time. It reduces your danger of becoming sick simply because of the antioxidants it contains. Watermelon is rich in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Copper
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B1

Having zero fat and almost no calories, it is the perfect summertime snack.

5. Iced Tea With Ginger

Tinnitus in the ear that may possibly be triggered by pressure may be relieved by eating ginger. It becomes a tasty and refreshing summer beverage when you incorporate it with a couple different other spices. Beginning by boiling one teaspoon of:

  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Cinnamon

Use four cups of water for 15 minutes to steep three slices of ginger. Once the tea cools pour it over ice. You can add to it for more flavor such as a lemon slice, or play with the recipe to suit your flavor taste.

6. Kiwi

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. Grilled meats, desserts and salads are all complemented by this fuzzy brown fruit. If you drop a piece in your favorite summertime drink, you get a unique flavor.

7. Avocado

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 recipe.

This summertime, go out and enjoy some smart, nutritious treats. Your hearing might just thank you by ringing less.