Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Greatly Affecting Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

Approximately 20 percent of all Americans have experienced some form of hearing loss, however, there is one portion of the population in which that percentage is substantially higher – veterans, particularly those More »

Parental Guide to Indicators of Childhood Hearing Problems

Based on data from the National Institutes of Health, out of every 1,000 children in the United States, 2 to 3 are born deaf or with impaired hearing abilities. During childhood, hearing More »

Crowds, Background Noise and Your Hearing

Patients often inquire why hearing in crowds of people is particularly tough for them. They report that they don’t seem to have any problem hearing people and understanding what they say when More »

Tinnitus Signs and Symptoms

Tinnitus is defined by The American Tinnitus Association as the condition in which a person hears sounds that most often no one else can hear. It is a condition that seems to More »

Why is My Hearing Getting Worse?

When treating patients, this is one of the questions most often asked of us. If you are concerned that you are experiencing some hearing loss, you are not alone, because the hearing More »


Common Health Problems Of Musicians

Through the years, musicians of all genres have gone through various health difficulties. Learning about the most common health problems in musicians is important so that proper medical treatments can be obtained in order to improve one’s quality of life and continue to perform well in the industry they are in. Vocalists of rock music or any other genre is the person with the most common health issue. The problem with vocalists is unlike other band members, their “instrument” is a part of their anatomy and is subject to the most wear and abuse not only during recording sessions and performances, but also when they communicate on a daily basis. Factors that affect one’s voice is improper singing techniques caused by incorrect vocal training. Overusing one’s voice is another factor: excessive rehearsals; concerts and lengthy performances; and recording sessions can take its toll especially when there is inadequate vocal warm up before every performance/recording.

Having to travel constantly is another cause of health problems among musicians. For example, airplane cabins, tour buses or even cars have air conditioning always on full blast; the low temperatures and humidity causes dryness in the throat making it very difficult to sing. Having to sit for long periods of time during flights or road travel between performances can cause back problems in musicians. Musicians can also develop hearing problems during traveling since noise levels in aircraft get pretty high. Hearing problems are also developed among musicians when they are exposed to excessively loud noise and music during concerts or performances. Musicians also suffer from fatigue since they travel constantly during tours, often for several weeks and even months. Instrumentalists also suffer from visual impairment; playing keyboards and guitars and percussion for several hours and having to do it repeatedly can cause strain in the wrists and fingers.

Using and abusing recreational drugs and alcohol can also cause physical and emotional health issues. The abuse of drugs and alcohol lowers the inhibitions of a person so instead of singing and performing, vocalists and other band members scream the lyrics to the song and overtax themselves, causing physical strain. It is also common among musicians to suffer from stress related ailments such as headaches, body pains or hypertension. This is the reason it is important to learn a few tips that can help prevent if not entirely avoid health problems. There should be enough time between recording sessions and performances so the body would have enough time to rest and recover from having to travel and perform in concerts. You can also avoid getting dehydrated and fatigued by getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water.

Helping You Select The Best Hearing Aid For Your Developing Child

It is possible to fit a hearing aid or other system to children from 4 weeks of age. Together with a hearing specialist, you must firstly determine which type of aid is best for your child. Assessing this is done by an audiologist, working together with an early intervention team. You will work with them to determine what your child’s specific needs are. You must do this because young children can’t adjust their hearing aids. Hence, you must learn to understand the device, and it has to be easy to manipulate. As your child grows, more sophisticated aids can be used. The first hearing aid your child will have will be easy to adjust in terms of amplification and frequency response. More often than not, this will be a digital model. Naturally, your child will grow and his ears will grow as well. As such, a new hearing aid will need to be fitted regularly. As your child ages,he will require new hearing aids less and less frequently. Most schools and homes use HATS (hearing assistive technology system), and this means that the hearing aid has to have features to connect to these systems.

There are many different types of hearing aids. However, most children will be fitted a BTE (behind the ear). Firstly, this is because they can be fitted to various ear molds. Additionally, the mold itself can easily be detached and remade to fit the growing ear. Plus, cleaning and handling the BTE is very easy. Furthermore, it is very easy to do a listening check with them. Furthermore, a BTE can be employed in different types of hearing losses. Also, it can easily connect to other listening devices. Finally, the material is soft, safe and comfortable.

Once the hearing aid is selected, it will be set by an audiologist using test results. In most cases, real ear measurement will be used in order to fit the aid. Doing this will make it possible for the audiologist to compute the RECD (real ear to coupler difference). Working with the RECD permits the setting and adjustment of a hearing aid using a hearing aid test box. Hence, the settings will be a lot more accurate. All of this sounds incredibly complicated and technical, but you must remember it is done together with a team of specialists. Also, we quickly get used to things as people, meaning that after awhile, you will find that it is not that complicated anymore.

Understanding How Hearing Loss And Dementia Are Connected

In 2011, a groundbreaking study determined that there is a link between hearing loss and dementia. It was the Baltimore John Hopkins School of Medicine, working together with other United States researchers, who uncovered this relationship. There were 639 participants to this study, aged between 36 and 90. The first part of the study took part between 1990 and 1994. This part of the study focused on assessing the aural and cognitive health of the participants. The second part of the study, lasting until May 2008, monitored the participants. During these years, participants were monitored for the development of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia. When the study began, no participants had dementia. Mild hearing loss was identified in 125 of the participants. Of the participants, 53 had moderate hearing loss. Six had severe hearing loss. The other participants (455) had no hearing issues at all.

A first progress report was released after 12 years. After 12 years had passed, 58 participants had dementia and 37 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was then uncovered that those who had hearing loss when the study began were more likely to also have developed dementia. Scientists then determined that those with the most severe hearing loss were at greatest risk of also developing dementia. For every 10 decibels of hearing that participants lost, their chance of developing dementia rose by 20%. There some other factors that were also found to be important. Age being the most vital factor. Those who were over 60 saw their chance of dementia increase from 20% to 36%.

A study cannot be classed as conclusive unless it is supported by others, however. Another independent study took place, which totally backed up the results. This study was even larger, using 1,984 adults. The study commenced in 1997 and has recently been completed. It came up with the same conclusions as the first one. This second study also uncovered that those with hearing loss experienced a 40% increase in the rate of decay of memory in those with hearing loss. One of the most worrying aspects it uncovered was that those with hearing aids did not notice an improvement in their rate of decay. As such, it could be concluded that those who have hearing issues cannot stop the onset of dementia. This is a worrying and sad conclusion, although scientists are now obviously looking into what can be done. Unfortunately, both dementia and Alzheimer’s are still poorly understood, which also needs to change. As such, although it is now known that there is a link between the condition and hearing loss, it is not clear why that link is there.

iPhone Owners Currently Get Their Very Own Assistive Hearing Devices

We have recently seen the launch of a brand hew hearing aid. What makes it different is its capability to connect to all iOS devices, including the iPhone. With this device, people can use their phone and listen to music. Danish GN ReSound is the brains behind this device. The LiNX device is the only hearing aid to date that is classed as MFi (made for iPhone). This is because it does not require an intermediary device to connect.

In order to use the LiNX, wearers must download the iOS app. The app is the hearing aid’s remote control. All features and settings of the hearing aid can be adjusted through this app. As such, people can immediately ensure their settings are correct for all types of environments. This is made easy through the different types of modes included with the app. It even includes geo fencing, which means it can recognize different environments. Lastly, if someone loses their hearing aid, they can use “find my hearing”, which will help them locate it. The goal of the app is to make sure that hearing aids can connect to the internet. Additionally, the geofencing functionality makes it possible for people to always have the best possible hearing automatically. The 2.4GHz protocol that it uses is one of a kind. It has been made solely to allow communication between hearing aids and iOS devices. This is why a completely unique hearing aid processor had to be designed too. One of its unique features is the speed at which is can switch on and off, but also how little electricity it uses. Indeed, a single charge can last as much as six days.

Before this device, changing settings on a hearing aid would involve lots of complicated actions, including wearing pendants and other devices. Now, they simply need to press a button on their iPhone and they are done. Plus, it means that people no longer have to wear any additional devices with them, since everything is done through their iPhone, which they have on them anyway. Additionally, it means they can use all of their phone’s functionality and hear them as well. Again, this is something that would require the use of an intermediary device in the past. It is no surprise, therefore, that the device has been so well received by hearing aid wearers. It is, when you think about it, a device that can really alter someones quality of life for the better.

What’s The Link Between Consuming A Glass Of Red Wine And Hearing Difficulties?

Resveratrol is found in red grapes and red wine. Scientists have long known that resveratrol protects the heart, but they now also know it slows down cognitive and hearing decline. It was found that the damage caused by loud noises was reduced in lab rats who had taken resveratrol. Bioinflammation is the main research area of the study. The science of bioinflammation looks at how our body reacts to injuries, including hearing loss.

Resveratrol is found in all red wines, but the concentration depends on the variety, ranging from 0.30 to 1.07 mg in a regular glass of wine. Through the study, scientists are building their understanding of how resveratrol helps our body cope with internal inflammation. These inflammations can lead to cognition loss, hearing loss and aging. Scientists have discovered long ago that resveratrol is an anti-aging agent and that it is good for the heart. The fact that it has links to hearing improvement is new, however. We know that 20% of people in this country have a type of hearing loss. In most cases, progressive deterioration is also involved. Army personnel is at particular risk of having hearing problems. Their hearing loss is noise induced. This causes a number of problems, besides loss of hearing. For instance, they struggle to sleep and to communicate properly and are at increased risk of heart disease due to associated stress. The current research on the positive effect of resveratrol (present in grapes, blueberries, peanuts and so on) on these issues is highly exciting. Red grapes seem to contain the highest concentration, which is why they are studied in greatest detail. The concentrations of resveratrol in red wine are higher than what they are in red grape juice or white wine.

The study looked specifically at the effects of red wine on hearing loss. It conclusive proved in animal tests that it reduces the rate of hearing decline, as well as cognitive decline. Scientists have already established that there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, which makes this study even more important. Scientists know that the risk of developing dementia is increased in people with hearing issues, even if they use a hearing aid. If these people can truly be helped simply by drinking a glass of red wine a day, this could be really beneficial. We already know that the French have less incidents of all age-related heath problems, and this is believed to be due to their copious consumption of red wine. Indeed, for them, red wine isn’t even classed as an alcoholic drink.

Factors That Cause Unilateral (Single-Sided) Hearing Impairment

When someone experiences hearing loss in one ear, they have SSD (single-sided deafness) or UHL (unilateral hearing loss). People who suffer from this can have mild to profound hearing loss. The conditions can be progressive or congenital. A variety of different symptoms can be associated with the syndrome. More often than not, people will experience vertigo, otalgia and tinnitus. It is also commonly found that otitis media with effusion causes UHL.

Different people experience UHL in different ways. It is often very difficult for people with UHL to follow group conversations, particularly if they are placed in a reverberant environment. Loud noises are also highly problematic. Very often, people who have UHL lose confidence in themselves and feel unsafe, which leads them to become isolated. It must also be recognized that people who are born with UHL to experience problems in their educational and psychosocial life. Scientists have not spent a lot of time yet identifying how prevalent UHL actually is. This is due to the fact that bilateral hearing problems are more commonly studied. Yet, it is now believed that around 10% of all people in this country have a degree of SSD. It is known, however, that it is more common to have conductive hearing loss rather than sensorineural hearing loss.

One of the reasons why not much attention is paid to SSD is that it often is the start of a bilateral condition. The classifications of SSD are sensorineural or conductive, genetic or non-genetic and acquired or congenital. Very often, when children have SSD, the aetiology is unknown. In the case of adults, however, the cases are generally clearer. It is important to fully review someone’s medical history and perform a clinical examination on someone who is suspected of having UHL. Generally, otoscopy is able to tell what the cause is. Very often, tuning forks can be used to determine whether the UHL is conductive or sensorineural. By using a tuning fork on both ears, the pure tone hearing threshold of both can be determined. This means that it is a great tool in terms of confirming UHL. If it is found that the difference between the two is large, a masking noise will be employed. Without this, good ears often transfer sounds to the bad ear. Clearly, it is very important for people who suspect they have SSD to speak to a professional to determine the best plan of action for future treatment. Unfortunately, it is almost never possible to determine the exact cause of SSD, but it is possible to help people achieve a greater quality of life and stop themselves from becoming socially isolated.

Ronald Regan’s Unique Tale Of Hearing Loss

Some 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan was fitted with a Starkey INTRA hearing aid. This was huge news, because he was the first big public figure to be seen in public with hearing assisted technology. It is thanks to this move that hearing aids became far more publicly accepted. Of course, it was also monumental for Starkey Technology. It took just two weeks for the business to quadruple in size. The custom-made hearing aid worn by Reagan cost $1,000. It is widely accepted that exposure to loud gunshot noises on the sets of the Western movies is what caused his hearing loss. Although his hearing loss was classed as “moderate”, he was actually totally deaf in one ear, once missing an entire message delivered by Donald Reagan, his chief of staff.

The important thing is that Reagan was a true hearing loss advocate. He also made sure that more money was spent on creating better pieces of technology. And it must be recognized that it was Reagan who influence other public figures to wear hearing aids, making this far more publicly acceptable all over the globe. This is why companies like Starkey Technologies have been able to make such great advances. The Clinton family were heavily influenced by the actions of Reagan. Bill and Chelsea Clinton worked together with Starkey in 2013, visiting Rwanda and Zambia to deliver hearing aids. This is because Starkey has made a commitment towards philanthropic actions. As such, they have stated the Clinton Global Initiative, which involves donating 100,000 a year to people in need.

Various other global leaders have signed up as well. Also in 2013, George W. Bush partnered up with Starkey to deliver hearing aids in Tanzania. Barbara Bush joined the Global Health Corps to deliver hearing aids in Uganda. Thanks to Reagan, thew world now understands that we must work together to ensure every human being has the greatest quality of life. Almost overnight, Reagan removed the social stigma associated with hearing loss by stepping out publicly with a hearing aid himself. This also meant that people were suddenly happy to speak out about the fact that they needed more help. Additionally, it made it possible for Starkey and other similar companies to make huge technological advances. It could be said, therefore, that Ronald Reagan really is the patron saint of hearing aids and hearing loss.

The Results If A Hearing Aid Gets Wet

A hearing aid requires careful attention and treatment simply because it is a very complex device. If not properly cared for, a hearing aid can easily be damaged regardless if it is made from flexible materials that are designed protect it. Moisture is among the most detrimental conditions for a hearing aid; as a matter of fact, audiologists strongly advice their patients against using their hearing aids near sources of water. This also means that you should not wear your hearing aid when you are swimming; taking a bath or a shower; during workouts that would cause excessive sweating and most especially, when it is raining and you have to walk outside. Getting the hearing aid wet can cause serious damage especially when you did not take steps to ensuring it has properly dried.

This does not mean you should stay away from water completely; just make sure that there is no direct contact between your hearing aid and the water. But if you happen to get caught in the rain and you are wearing your hearing aid, remove it and put it in a water proof case right away but if this is not possible, at the very least make sure that your head is kept dry to prevent moisture from reaching the device. This is because water has corrosive effects on the internal circuitry of a hearing aid, causing it to get damaged and stop working. So in the event that your hearing aid – despite all your best efforts at keeping your head and the hearing aid dry – gets wet from the rain?

In truth, it is not just in the rain that a hearing aid can get wet. But depending on the amount of moisture, you can prevent your device from significant damage provided that you act quickly. For instance, a few drops of water on the casing of the hearing aid should be wiped off right away using a soft cloth or tissue. If you live in an area where there is rain most of the time or moisture levels are higher, you should ask your audiologist to recommend water resistant hearing aids. This is important especially if you need to be in an area where your hearing aid would be exposed to water or excessive amounts of moisture. If you must take off your hearing device, whether you are at home or not, make sure that you only use waterproof protective wrapping. In the event that your hearing aid gets thoroughly wet, use a dehumidifier that is recommended by your audiologist and dry the device overnight.

Dehumidifiers And Hearing Aids – The Lowdown

A lot of people require the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids make it possible for people with hearing problems to avoid social isolation and generally enjoy a much greater quality of life. People must learn how to look after their hearing aids, since they are so incredibly important. Considering the fact that hearing aids can be expensive, the importance of looking after them becomes even clearer. A hearing aid can cost anything from $500 to $6000. You must, therefore, look at your hearing aid is if it was an investment. A variety of steps can be taken to prolong the life of a hearing aid. Generally speaking, an audiologist will explain all of this when the device is fitted. Generally, people will be advised to use a dehumidifier on their hearing aid.

Hearing aids regularly break down because of moisture. However, it is almost impossible to avoid moisture because our body sweats when it is warm outside, and creates condensation when we go inside and outside during the colder months. By investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier, people can avoid the biggest problems associated with moisture. There is a range of different models available on the market today, but most operate on the principle of leaving the hearing aid inside a jar-like structure overnight. One of the greatest benefits of these devices is that they operate overnight, meaning they cause no disruption to the hearing of people either.

Experts agree that using a dehumidifier will significantly improve the lifespan of a hearing aid, sometimes even doubling it. When using a dehumidifier, your hearing aid is protected from both skin acid and moisture. They help to avoid various malfunctions and costly repairs. What many people don’t realize is that these devices were originally developed during WWII, long before the hearing aids we know today became available. However, they weren’t made for hearing aids but rather for other sensitive equipment such as radars and radios. Clearly, however, it was a hugely important piece of technology and nowadays, even NASA uses it. It cannot be stressed enough that hearing aids are really sophisticated machines. Mixing them with moisture, when they are electrical tools, is always a bad idea. Using a dehumidifier also fully protects the internal components of a hearing aid. Every make, model or brand of hearing aid needs this. Hence, there is no obligation for you to use a dehumidifier on your hearing aid, but it would not be a good idea to not use it. It is best to speak to your hearing specialist in order to find out which brand of dehumidifier best suits your particularly hearing aid.

What You Should Know About The Directional Microphone Functionality In A Hearing Aid

Analog hearing aids have grown in popularity as years pass and have been easily available for many years. These devices have a microphone that collects sounds and convert them to electrical energy; an amplifier to increase the volume of the energy as well as receivers that convert the energy to sounds. An analog hearing aid works by amplifying sounds without making it too loud; a simple enough process when you get right down to it but this simple device does come with a number of advanced features. Some of the more popular hearing aid features are directional microphones. If you are a little undecided about choosing analog hearing aids with directional microphones, a close look at this feature can help you decide whether or not it is beneficial for you. If so, then how does a directional microphone in a hearing aid works?

One of the most challenging situations in listening when you have hearing impairments is to understand conversation especially in noisy places. And the most efficient method of cutting down the effects of ambient noises is to use two microphones on each hearing aid you are going to wear; one for the front area of the device and one on the back. Each of these microphones give information to the processor in the hearing aid, that in turn analyzes the sound in the environment. When the analysis comes back with a heightened level of background noise, the sensitivity level of the microphone at the back of the hearing aid is reduced which means that background noises are also reduced. In a cheaper hearing aid, you can minimize the sensitivity of the microphone by pushing a button on the device or by remote control in order to reduce the level of background noise.

There are also more expensive hearing aids that have more powerful processors that can automatically reduce the sensitivity of the back microphone when the surrounding noises gets too loud. These processors would also increase the sensitivity of the rear microphone or put it back to normal levels as soon as background noises are minimized, allowing you to hear sounds coming from behind you. It is important to understand however, that directional microphones are designed to REDUCE noise, and not eliminate them so you would still be able to hear background noises, albeit significantly reduced in volume which would help you understand conversations even in crowded, noisy places. Before buying hearing aids with this feature, do study all the information you have gathered very carefully.