Have You Heard? Here’s a Great Way to Add Years to Your Life!


It’s estimated that 20 percent of adults have hearing loss in Lake Charles. Impaired hearing presents many challenges to daily life, but hearing aids prove beneficial to nine out of ten people with hearing loss. Not only do they improve your ability to communicate, reduce stress and fatigue and enable you to enjoy a happier, more productive social life – evidence shows they can actually help you live longer, too.

How Do Hearing Aids Help?

Balanced rocks on the side of the ocean

Hearing aids are sophisticated devices that boost audio signals, helping those with poor hearing communicate more effectively. Yet there are people who are hesitant to treat their impairment with hearing aids. Reasons vary – doubt, fear and self-confidence are all factors – but the benefits to wearing them are simply too great to ignore.

Hearing aids can help you enjoy a longer life by:

  • Improving your balance. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older individuals. Wearing hearing aids relieves your brain of some of the burden involved in processing sounds. Studies show that even mild forms of hearing loss increase your risk of falling by three times, as the brain is unable to devote its full attention to the balance system.
  • Helping in emergency situations. Hearing loss usually affects the higher frequencies, so when you are in dangerous situations, you might not be able to avoid injury (or worse) if you suffer from impaired hearing. Emergency vehicle sirens, car horns and smoke detectors all emit high-pitched sounds to alert you to danger. Compromised hearing means you might not receive adequate warning
  • Preventing depression. Numerous studies show a positive link between untreated hearing loss and feelings of anxiety, sadness and depression. This is particularly true in older adults. A study by the National Council on Aging shows that wearing hearing aids reduces your risk of depression by at least 8 percent.
  • Reducing social isolation. Withdrawal and social isolation are common in people with hearing loss; many find participating in activities too exhausting, both mentally and physically. Studies show a strong correlation between loneliness, isolation and higher mortality rates.
  • Lowering your risk of dementia. In people with hearing loss, the brain must work harder to process sounds. Doing so is costly, as cognitive resources must be diverted from important areas such as memory and cognition. This increases your odds of developing memory impairment and dementia.

If you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss in Scottsdale, schedule a consultation with an audiologist to learn more about the positive benefits of hearing aids.

Why Are There Different Types of Hearing Loss?


They say that variety is the spice of life. While it’s nice to have options, in some cases the fewer your choices, the better. If there were only one type of hearing loss, for instance, treatment would be fairly standard, and everybody’s prognosis would be similar. But the ear is a complex organ consisting of three separate structures; damage to any of these sections will result in a different type of hearing loss.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

woman struggling to hear

If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss by a Lake Charles audiologist, you are part of a not-so-exclusive club. About 48 million Americans suffer from impaired hearing, a group that includes people of all ages – not just the elderly, as is commonly assumed. The most common causes of hearing loss in Louisiana include:

  • Aging. Presbycusis (hearing loss resulting from natural aging) affects one-third of adults by the age of 65. By age 75, half of all adults will experience some degree of hearing loss. It develops gradually and is the culmination of a lifetime of noise exposure. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. In addition to noise, other factors such as heredity, disease and ototoxic medications can cause hearing loss. Because presbycusis develops slowly, many people are unaware of their problem for months (or years).
  • Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Noise exposure is a common cause of hearing loss, especially in younger individuals. Unlike presbycusis, NIHL is preventable. It is the result of prolonged exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels; the louder the sound and the longer you are in contact with its source, the quicker NIHL can occur. About 15 percent of adults in Lake Charles aged 20 to 69 experience NIHL, and 12.5 percent of children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 suffer from it. Activities that increase your risk include concerts, sporting events, hunting, and riding motorcycles, boats or snowmobiles. Earplugs are the best way to prevent NIHL and preserve your hearing.

Other Hearing Loss Factors

There are three main types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss. Conductive hearing loss is the result of damage to the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear. It can be caused by structural deformities, fluid or wax accumulation in the middle ear, ear infection, allergies, eardrum perforations, foreign objects in the ear, otosclerosis and benign tumors. Conductive hearing loss may be reversed with surgery or medications.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Sensorineural hearing loss, also referred to as “nerve deafness,” occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. In addition to aging and noise exposure, it may be caused by trauma, viruses, autoimmune disorders, otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease, malformations of the inner ear and tumors. Hearing aids are the usual prescribed treatment for sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss. This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss and, as its name applies, affects both the inner ear and middle and/or outer ears. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and might include a combination of medications, surgery and hearing aids.

But wait…we’re not done quite yet. Hearing loss is further categorized as being either monaural or binaural. Unilateral hearing loss (sometimes referred to as single-sided deafness) affects one ear only, while bilateral hearing loss affects both ears.

And you thought hearing loss was straightforward!

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, your Lake Charles audiologist can help answer any questions you might have and provide you with additional information.

Feeling Off-Balance: What Makes You Dizzy?


15 percent of residents will experience dizziness in Lake Charles in 2019. This sounds like a big number, but in most cases, dizziness is temporary and not a cause for concern. It’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with an audiologist or ear, nose and throat doctor if you experience multiple episodes of dizziness, or your balance issues are accompanied by other symptoms.

Reasons You Might Feel Dizzy

Woman holding her head in pain

Dizziness is a generic term describing any sensation of unsteadiness or imbalance. It occurs when your brain senses movement that isn’t actually happening. It can be triggered by something as simple as standing up too quickly from a seated position. Symptoms associated with dizziness include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Vertigo
  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Blurry vision

Sometimes, more serious symptoms will occur. If your dizziness is accompanied by vomiting, double vision, shortness of breath, chest or back pain, stiffness in the neck, fever, difficulty walking or trouble using your arms or legs, contact your Lake Charles doctor immediately or get yourself to the ER. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment from a health care profession.

Many conditions cause dizziness. Low blood pressure, anemia, dehydration, hypertension, endocrine system disorders, cardiovascular conditions, viral and bacterial infections, head trauma, neurological disorders, hyperventilation, heat-related disorders and medication side effects are all common causes of dizziness.

Treating Dizziness in Scottsdale

An occasional spell of dizziness is common and nothing to worry about, but repeated episodes require medical attention – especially if you’re older. 40 percent of elderly people in Scottsdale experience chronic dizziness, putting them at risk of falling – one of the top causes of death in individuals aged 80 and older.

How your dizziness is treated depends on what is causing it. Your Scottsdale audiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist will administer a thorough medical evaluation in order to determine the reason for your unsteadiness. Popular treatment options include:

  • Medications (antihistamines, sedatives, antibiotics, steroids)
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Surgery
  • Repositioning exercises
  • Vestibular retraining programs
  • Lifestyle modifications (e.g., reducing sodium intake, quitting smoking)

To ensure a happy and healthy new year, if you’re experiencing repeat episodes of dizziness, contact a Scottsdale ENT doctor or audiologist without delay. It’s likely nothing serious, but always best to err on the side of caution.

Traveling with Hearing Loss

Lake Charles is a great place to live, but everybody needs to get away occasionally in order to recharge their batteries. Vacations are a great way to unwind, but for people with hearing loss, a little advance planning is necessary before hitting the road.

Making the Most of Hearing Aids when Traveling

airplane on a runway

Whether you’re vacationing on a lush tropical island or traveling to a trade show in Scranton for business, your hearing aids will help make your travel experience more enjoyable. If you wear hearing aids in Lake Charles and are traveling, be sure to do the following:

  • Pack extra batteries. You can expect most hearing aid batteries to last between 5-14 days. In case they die on you at an inopportune moment, pack enough to last you the entire trip. To err on the side of caution, bring more than you think you’ll need. Cold weather this time of year can sap battery life. This won’t be such a problem in Tahiti but if you do find yourself in Scranton, you’ll be thankful you brought extras!
  • Arrive to your departure point early. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, bus or cruise ship, it’s best to arrive at your departure point early. This will allow you to make special arrangements with the boarding agent, gate host, flight attendant or Captain Stubing if necessary and will ensure you don’t miss boarding calls and other announcements.
  • Take advantage of your smartphone. Texting lets you keep in touch with traveling companions and can be a lifesaver if you accidentally get separated. In addition, apps can help provide access to public resources and assist you with reservations, maps and travel alerts.
  • Leave your hearing aids in place. Some people worry about exposing their hearing aids to x-rays, but the equipment used in security checkpoints won’t cause any harm to your devices. It’s a good idea to let the TSA agent or security personnel know you are wearing them in case they trigger the metal detector; doing so may prevent an embarrassing pat-down.
  • Don’t put hearing aids in checked bags. Packing hearing aids in checked luggage is a risky proposition. If you’re headed to Montego Bay and your baggage ends up in Modesto, you’ll find yourself without your hearing aids for much (if not all) of your trip. Keep them with you in your carry-on luggage instead. Even if there’s an upcharge, that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
  • Protect your hearing aids from moisture. They say it never rains in Southern California, but why risk it? Moisture can damage your hearing aids, so consider buying a waterproof case and dehumidifier, even if you are traveling to a supposedly dry climate. Mother Nature has a way of springing surprises on you!
  • Book hearing aid-friendly lodging. Many lodging facilities offer amenities for the hearing-impaired. When booking a room, features such as closed-caption televisions, looping systems and visual alerting devices can help make your stay more pleasant.
  • Print all important documents in advance. Bringing along printed copies of reservation acknowledgments, travel itineraries and maps will help ensure communication difficulties don’t prevent you from getting from Point A to Point B safely and soundly. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a foreign country where the native language differs from yours.

Contact your Lake Charles audiologist for more information on how to travel with hearing aids.

How to Choose the Best Hearing Aid for You

Hearing loss is widespread throughout the country. Approximately 20 percent of people in Lake Charles experience some degree of hearing impairment. Fortunately, the majority of them will benefit from hearing aids. Unfortunately, this means the majority of them will be faced with the difficult task of choosing a hearing aid. There are almost as many hearing aids as there are used cars in a typical lot!

Hearing Aid Factors to Consider

A line full of closed doors to choose from

There may be roughly a bazillion hearing aids available but narrowing it down to a few hundred isn’t as difficult as it might seem.

Actually, you can do better than that. Finding your perfect hearing aid depends upon the following factors:

  • Your type and degree of hearing loss.

    Just as no two snowflakes are identical, the same applies to hearing loss. Your Lake Charles audiologist will schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the severity and frequency of your impairment, a critical first step in finding a hearing aid that will meet your unique needs.

  • Your lifestyle.

    Whether you’re a social butterfly who enjoys catching the latest movie or dining out with friends in fancy restaurants, or prefer quiet evenings at home in the intimate company of – well, yourself – there is a hearing aid designed for your lifestyle. No need paying for expensive features you don’t need and won’t use; conversely, an under-equipped hearing aid is likely to end up sitting in a drawer at home. It certainly won’t do you any good there!

  • Your cosmetic preferences.

    Your hearing aids won’t make a bit of difference unless you wear them, so it’s important to choose a style you find appealing. If you’re shy about your hearing loss and wish to conceal your hearing aids, you’ll want discreet ones that are hidden from others. If you’re the type who doesn’t mind flaunting them, a more visible option might be right up your alley. The important thing is to find a pair that will give your self-confidence a boost.

  • Your budget.

    It’s all about dollars and sense. Hearing aids aren’t the cheapest devices in the world, so pricing is undoubtedly a factor. But don’t let it be the only factor: the most important thing is selecting a pair that will address your hearing needs, so you’ll benefit from them.

We get it – that’s still a lot to take in. While these factors should help you narrow down your options, your Lake Charles audiologist is happy to help in the final decision-making process. We urge you to schedule an appointment for a consultation and to ask as many questions as possible before taking the plunge.

Why Does The Ringing in my Ears Come And go?

Man on plane whose ringing in the ears worsened.

With tinnitus, it’s typical to have good and bad days but why? More than 45 million Americans experience ringing in their ears due to a condition called tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, and comes along with hearing loss by around 90 percent of them.

But what is hard to comprehend is why it’s virtually non-existent on some days and on others the ringing is so intrusive. It is not entirely clear why this occurs, but some ordinary triggers might clarify it.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus describes a condition where the patient hears phantom noises such as:

  • Hissing
  • Roaring
  • Ringing
  • Clicking
  • Buzzing

One of the things that makes tinnitus so troubling is that you hear it but no one else does. Also, the pitch and volume can vary. One day it might be a roar and the next day be gone completely.

What is The Cause of Tinnitus?

The most prevalent cause is a change in a person’s hearing. The cause of these changes could be:

  • Noise trauma
  • Ear bone changes
  • Aging
  • Earwax build up

There are other potential causes, also, including:

  • TMJ problems
  • An issue with the carotid artery or jugular vein
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Tumor in the neck or head
  • Head injury

Sometimes there is no apparent reason for tinnitus.

Consult your doctor to have your ears checked if you suddenly observe the symptoms of tinnitus. The problem might be a symptom of a life threatening condition like heart disease or it could be something treatable. A side effect of a new medication could also be the cause.

For some reason the ringing gets worse on some days.

It’s a bit of a medical mystery as to why certain days are worse than others for those who have tinnitus. And there may be more than one reason depending on the person. However, there might be some common triggers.

Loud Events

Loud events like concerts, club music, and fireworks are enough to irritate your tinnitus. The number one way to go is to wear ear protection if you expect a lot of noise. You can enjoy the music at a live performance, for instance, without injuring your ears by putting in earplugs.

Another thing you can do is to put some distance between you and the source of the noise. When you attend a fireworks show don’t sit up front and avoid the front row when you’re at a concert. Combined with hearing protection, this could lessen the impact.

Loud Noises at Home

Loud noises in your house can also be a problem. For example, mowing the lawn is enough to induce tinnitus. Here are some other sounds from around the house that can cause injury:

  • Wearing headphones – It might be time to get rid of the earbuds or headphones. Their job is to increase the volume, and that might be irritating your ears.
  • Woodworking – Power tools are loud enough to be an issue.
  • Laundry – For example, if you fold clothes while the washer is running.

If you can’t stay away from loud noises at least use hearing protection.

Workplace Noise

Loud noises at work have the same impact as a concert or the lawnmower. If you work near machinery or in construction it’s particularly important to use hearing protection. Your employer will most likely supply hearing protection if you let them know your concerns. Let your ears rest during your off time.

Air Pressure Changes

Many people have experienced ear popping when they take a plane. The change in air pressure and the noise from the plane engines can trigger an increase in tinnitus. Think about hearing protection if you are traveling and bring some gum to equalize the air pressure.

You can experience changes in pressure without leaving your home, as well. Taking the right medication to relieve sinus pressure is also helpful.

Medication

Speaking of medication, that could also be the issue. Some medications impact the ears and are known as ototoxic. Included on this list are these common medications:

  • Antibiotics
  • Diuretics
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers

Talk to your doctor if you experience an intensifying of tinnitus after you start taking a new medication. Changing to something else may be feasible.

Tinnitus is an aggravation for some people, but for others, it can be debilitating. To be able to determine how to control it from day to day, step one is to figure out what’s causing it.

Health Conditions That Can Cause Hearing Loss

Woman with diabetes thinking about hearing loss.

Studies reveal that you are twice as likely to have hearing loss if you have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you are somebody that associates hearing loss with aging or noise trauma, this might surprise you. Close to 500,000 of the1.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 were below the age of 44. Some form of hearing loss likely impacts at least 250,000 of the younger people with this disease.

A person’s hearing can be damaged by quite a few diseases other than diabetes. Apart from the obvious factor of the aging process, what is the relationship between these illnesses and hearing loss? Give some thought to some diseases that can lead to loss of hearing.

Diabetes

It is unclear why people who have diabetes have a higher occurrence of hearing loss or even if diabetes is related to hearing loss, but the clinical research does point in that direction. A condition that indicates a person may develop type 2 diabetes, called prediabetes, causes people to lose their hearing 30 percent faster than people who don’t have it.

While researchers don’t have a definitive answer as to why this happens, there are some theories. It is feasible that high glucose levels might cause damage to the blood vessels that feed the inner ear. Diabetes is known to influence circulation, so that is a reasonable assumption.

Meningitis

This infectious disease causes loss of hearing. Meningitis by definition is inflammation of the membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain, normally due to infection. Studies show that 30 percent of people will lose their hearing in part or in full if they get this condition. This infection is the second most common cause of hearing loss in American young people.

The delicate nerves which send signals to the inner ear are potentially injured by meningitis. Without these signals, the brain has no means of interpreting sound.

Cardiovascular Disease

Conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels are covered under the umbrella term “cardiovascular disease”. This category contains these common diseases:

  • Heart attack
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Normally, cardiovascular diseases have a tendency to be associated with age-related hearing loss. The inner ear is vulnerable to injury. Damage to the inner ear causes hearing loss when there is a change in blood flow and it doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to thrive.

Chronic Kidney Disease

A 2012 study published in The Laryngoscope found that people with this condition also had an increased risk of hearing loss. A separate study found that chance to be as high as 43 percent. It is possible that this relationship is a coincidence, though. Kidney disease and other ailments associated with high blood pressure or diabetes have lots of the same risk factors.

Another hypothesis is that the toxins that collect in the blood as a result of kidney failure may be the culprit. These toxins may damage the nerves in the inner ear, closing the connection it has with the brain.

Dementia

The connection between hearing loss and dementia is a two-way street. There is some evidence that cognitive deterioration increases a person’s chances of developing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Brain shrinkage and atrophy are the causes of dementia. That process is accelerated by hearing loss.

It also works the other way around. As injury to the brain increases someone who has dementia will show a decline in their hearing even though their hearing is normal.

Mumps

Mumps is a viral infection that can cause children to lose their hearing when they’re very young. Hearing loss might affect both ears or only one side. The reason this occurs is the virus damages the cochlea in the inner ear. It’s the part of the ear that sends signals to the brain. The good news is mumps is pretty rare nowadays due to vaccinations. Not everyone who gets the mumps will experience hearing loss.

Chronic Ear Infections

Treatment gets rid of the occasional ear infection so it’s not very risky for most people. However, the little bones of the inner ear or the eardrum can take serious damage from constantly recurring ear infections. This form of hearing loss is called conductive, and it means that sound cannot reach the inner ear with enough force, so no messages are transmitted to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss or nerve damage can also be caused by infections.

Prevention is the key to steering clear of many of the illnesses that can cause you to lose hearing. Throughout your life protecting your hearing will be achievable if you exercise regularly, get the right amount of sleep, and have a healthy diet. You should also get regular hearing exams to make sure your ears stay healthy.

How Can You Approach a Loved One About Their Loss Of Hearing?

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

If you discover someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should be done. It’s not an easy thing to talk about because often those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t recognize it. It’s a frustrating problem for everyone and ignoring it isn’t the way to go. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one as soon as possible so that their life can be bettered. Consider these strategies to help get you there.

Do the Research

First off, you should comprehend what is happening yourself so you are able to explain it. When you get older your chance of being affected by hearing loss increases. About one person out of every three suffer from some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the medical name for this kind of ear damage. The effect is gradual and usually affects both ears equally. Years before anyone noticed, it’s probable that this person started losing their hearing.

There are many reasons why presbycusis occurs. To put it simply, decades of listening to sound takes its toll on the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, especially the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are generated which go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.

Chronic sicknesses can play a role, as well, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be damaged by all of these.

Make a Date

What you say to your loved one is important but it’s equally important where you have the discussion. The best choice is to schedule something so you both can get together and have a talk. You don’t want to be interrupted so pick a private location. Bringing written material on the subject can be quite helpful. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, as an example.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person to be a little defensive. Hearing loss is a sensitive topic because it is related to growing old. It’s tough to acknowledge that you are getting older. Senior citizens fight to stay in control of their daily lives and they might believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be prepared to provide particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

They will need to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people talk to them. Keep the discussion casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Once you have said what you need to, be ready to settle-back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. So that you can help them come to a realization concerning their hearing loss, ask questions that motivate them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Hearing loss comes along with a lot of fear and that could be hard to get past. Many people feel isolated with their condition and don’t realize they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have found a way to cope with the same issue.

Come Armed With Solutions

What to do next will be the most important part of the conversation. Make your loved one aware that hearing loss is not the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come in many sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. If you can bring a tablet, use a computer or have some brochures that show the different devices which are now available.

Going to the doctor is the first step. Some hearing loss goes away. Have an ear examination and rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that may be causing the problem. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

Some Medications That Commonly Cause Hearing Loss

Medications that cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

It’s normal to check out the side effects of a medication when you start taking it. Will it cause you to get a dry mouth or cause you to get nauseous? There is a more severe possible side effect that you may not know about which is hearing loss. Medical specialists call this condition ototoxicity. Broken down, ototoxic means ear poisoning.

It’s not completely clear how many drugs lead to this problem, but there are at least 130 that are known to be ototoxic. What are some of the most common ones you should look out for and why?

A Little About Ototoxicity

How does a pill go from your stomach to reap havoc in your ears? these drugs can damage your hearing in three different places:

  • The cochlea – That’s the seashell-shaped component of the inner ear that takes sound and converts it into an electrical message the brain can comprehend. Damage to the cochlea impacts the range of sound you can hear, usually starting with high frequencies then escalating to include lower ones.
  • The stria vascularis – Located in the cochlea, the stria vascularis makes endolymph, the fluid in the inner ear. Too much or too little endolymph has a significant impact on both hearing and balance.
  • The vestibule of the ear – This is the part of the ear that sits in the middle of the labyrinth that comprises the cochlea. It helps regulate balance. Vestibulotoxicity drugs can cause you to get dizzy or feel like the room is spinning.

Tinnitus is caused by some drugs while others lead to hearing loss. If you hear phantom sounds, that could possibly be tinnitus and it commonly shows up as:

  • Thumping
  • A windy sound
  • Ringing
  • Popping

Usually, the tinnitus ends when you stop taking the medication. Unfortunately, some of these drugs can cause permanent hearing loss.

What Drugs Put You at Risk?

Permanent hearing loss can be caused by a list of drugs that may surprise you. Many of them you could have in your medicine cabinet right now, and there’s a chance you take them before you go to bed or when you have a headache.

Topping the list for ototoxic drugs are over-the-counter pain relievers such as:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen

You can include on the list salicylates that you may know better as aspirin. The hearing problems induced by these drugs are generally reversible when you quit taking them.

Ranking a close second for well known ototoxic medications are antibiotics. Not all antibiotics are ototoxic, however. a few that aren’t which you might have heard of include:

  • Gentamycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Vancomycin

As with the painkillers, the issue goes away once you quit taking the antibiotic. The common list of other drugs include:

  • Quinidine
  • Chloroquine
  • Quinine

Tinnitus Can be Caused by Several Common Compounds

Diamox, Bumex, Lasix and Edecrin are diuretics which result in tinnitus but there are greater offenders in this category:

  • Caffeine
  • Marijuana
  • Tonic water
  • Nicotine

When you get up every morning and have your morning coffee you expose your body to a substance that can cause tinnitus. The good news is it will go away once the drug leaves your system. Some drugs, ironically, that doctors give to treat tinnitus are in fact on the list of culprits.

  • Prednisone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Lidocaine

The prescribed dosage should be less than what triggers ringing, though.

Ototoxicity Has Specific Symptoms

The symptoms of tinnitus can vary depending on your ear health and which medication you get. Slightly irritating to completely incapacitating is the things you can usually be anticipating.

Look for:

  • Poor balance
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss on one or both sides
  • Blurring vision

Contact your physician if you notice any of these symptoms after taking medication even over-the-counter drugs or herbal supplements.

Should you still take your medication even you notice the symptoms of ototoxicity. You should never stop using what your doctor tells you to. Don’t forget that these symptoms are not permanent. Keep yourself aware by always asking your doctor about the potential side effects of a medication and don’t be reluctant to ask about ototoxicity. Also, get a hearing test with a hearing care expert.

Improve Your Ability to Hear When Talking on The Phone

Women avoiding talking on the phone because of hearing loss.

Are you talking less often on the phone because you can’t hear very well. As time passes, you might feel isolated because of your loss of hearing. It isn’t necessary to give up talking on the phone. There are ways to work it out so you can remain in touch with your loved ones.

It’s All About Communication

With any relationship, communication is the key and the same goes for your phone. Can anything be done to improve the situation?

  • Are the voices hard to hear? Check to make sure the volume is all the way up on the phone.
  • Bluetooth or headphones could be possibilities if you’ve already turned the volume up. It will make your phone sound better and it might be an inexpensive way to get what you need.
  • An ear exam is a smart idea. Get a good diagnosis because not all loss of hearing is permanent. Basic things including earwax buildup or an ear infection will cause temporary hearing loss.

When you rule out some of the more obvious issues, you can look at other possible solutions that will get you back on the phone.

There’s an App For That

You will really have a choice between quite a few apps. There are some pretty cool apps that will get you comfortable being back on your phone.

What the other person says can be turned to text with some of these apps. Not all of these apps work perfectly, but they give you some option that could be helpful. Brands to look up include:

Most voice to text apps are affordably priced though not all are free.

They Make a Phone For That

If you want to find a landline solution, you can get phones for your home that function the same way as an app. They can amplify the voice on the other end, making it less difficult to hear. High pitched sounds on the other end become clearer because they can equalize the sound.

A captioning phone is yet another solution. The captioning service requires a unique phone which has an LCD screen. With this service, the words are repeated or typed into software by a third party operator and are then displayed on your phone’s screen. You will need the internet to use a captioning service.

An old school phone system that is still around which works in a similar way to a captioning service is Text-to-Voice Teletype (TTY). You need to get a TTY device that sits next to the phone to show the text, though.

The Best Choice Are Hearing Aids

The days when you would get ear piercing feedback when your hearing aids got near a phone are over. The current technology can work with a hearing aid compatible phone to improve the sound and remove interference such as background noise. The best thing is these wireless hearing aids will still work even when you’re not on the phone.

State of the art, quality hearing aids can also have a more cutting edge program that permits them to be compatible with nearly any phone whether it’s a landline or smartphone. You just hold the phone up to the hearing aid and allow the technology to work its magic by streaming the sound from one device to the other.

Bluetooth compatibility is also a normal feature of today’s hearing aid tech. Pairing your hearing aid up with your smart-phone is exactly the same as pairing your phone with any other Bluetooth device. The sound goes right to your hearing aids when it rings.

There’s no reason to allow hearing loss damage a perfectly good relationship. Make up with your phone whatever it takes so you can start talking again. You can check out the newest hearing aid technology by making an appointment with a hearing care specialist.