Anatomy & Physiology

A Hearing Test: Discover Four Ways One May Just Save Your Life

Do you think that a hearing test is only necessary if there is a problem with your ears? Like when your family complains that you turn the volume up the TV too high or voices seem so mumbled lately. Those are both good reasons to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that around 15 percent of the adults have some hearing loss, many of them seniors. If you have symptoms then it is likely that there is some hearing loss and getting the test done will help you find a solution. What you might not realize, though, is getting screened for hearing loss is a lifesaver because that change in your hearing might indicate something much bigger is affecting your health. Consider four ways getting a hearing test could save your life.

5 Startling Reasons You Should Really Love Your Ear Wax

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), your box of swabs, and your hearing care professionals would like to echo the sage wisdom of your grandmother: Do not stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear—and that includes swabs. Even the swab box itself comes with that warning, so take our advice and use the swabs for some other, safer application. Because ear wax is actually your ears’ best friend; trying to aggressively remove it can actually hurt your ears, so stop it today. Here’s 5 reasons why you need to let your ear wax alone:

Here are 7 Tongue Twisters You Really Need to Learn

Do tongue twisters help improve your ear health? One could make the argument that tongue twisters are effective for brain health and there is a clear overlap between the brain and ears. Tongue twisters bring with them a unique linguistic anomaly – the double onset. In one study, a team from MIT, working with a number of universities, looked closer at this phenomenon. They brought together some volunteers and had them record different tongue-twisting word groupings to see if they could create problem scenarios like word reversals – a good example of the double onset

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Tinnitus

Nearly 45 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, which is the perception of sound where no outside sound source exists. This phantom sound is normally identified as a ringing sound, but can also manifest as a buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, or clicking. First it is important to recognize about tinnitus is that it’s a symptom, not a disease. As such, tinnitus may signify an underlying health condition that, once treated, cures the tinnitus. Earwax buildup or other blockages, blood vessel disorders, select medications, and other underlying conditions can all bring about tinnitus, so the first step is ruling out any conditions that would demand medical or surgical treatment.

When Should I Get My Hearing Tested?

Most of the time, people are unaware that they have hearing loss. It develops so slowly that it’s commonly undetectable, and moreover, most family doctors do not consistently screen for hearing loss at the annual physical exam. Considering these two realities, it’s no wonder that most people first find out they have hearing loss by being informed about it from friends or relatives. But once people confront you about your hearing loss, it’s probably already relatively advanced. Since hearing loss worsens over time—and cannot be fully recovered once lost—it’s essential to treat hearing loss as quickly as possible rather of waiting for it to get bad enough for people to notice. So when and how often should you get your hearing tested? Here are our recommendations:

The Right Way to Clean Your Ears

That there is a right way to clean your ears implies that there is a wrong way, and undoubtedly, there is a very wrong way. The wrong way is widespread, and it violates the first rule of cleaning your ears: don’t insert foreign objects into your ear canal. That includes cotton swabs and any other object that will likely only shove the earwax up against the eardrum, possibly causing irritation, temporary hearing loss, or eardrum injury. So what should you be doing to clean your ears under ordinary conditions? In a word: nothing (I hope you weren’t expecting something more profound). Your ears are built to be self-cleansing, and the normal motions of your jaw force earwax from the canal to the outer ear. If you attempt to remove it, your ear just generates more wax.

6 Ways to Lose Your Hearing

The ironic part of hearing loss is that we don’t seem to start appreciating our favorite sounds until after we’ve lost the ability to clearly hear them. We don’t stop to think about, for instance, how much we value a good conversation with a friend until we have to repeatedly ask them to repeat themselves. Whether it’s your favorite Mozart album or the songs of a Bluejay first thing in the morning, your total well being is closely connected to your capability to hear—whether you recognize it or not. And if you wait until after you’ve lost your hearing to come to this recognition, you’re going to commit a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to get it back. So how can you defend your ability to hear? Here are 6 ways you could lose your hearing and what you can do about it.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Treat Your Hearing Loss

We all put things off, routinely talking ourselves out of stressful or unpleasant activities in favor of something more pleasant or fun. Distractions are all around as we tell ourselves that we will eventually get around to whatever we’re currently trying to avoid. Sometimes, procrastination is fairly harmless. We might want to clean out the basement, for instance, by tossing or donating the things we seldom use. A clean basement sounds great, but the work of actually lugging items to the donation center is not so pleasant. In the concern of short-term pleasure, it’s very easy to find myriad alternatives that would be more pleasant—so you put it off.

The Health Benefits of Better Hearing

It’s often said that we don’t fully appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this appears to be particularly true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only hard to detect; it’s also hard to appreciate just how much hearing improves our lives. As one of our principal senses, along with vision, hearing influences our mental, social, and physical health, so when we lose our hearing, we put our overall well-being in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have many health benefits that we never really stop to think about. Here are three ways restoring your ability to hear can improve your social, mental, and physical health.
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