Hearing Tips

How Your Hearing Can be Impacted by a Few Too Many Extra Pounds

By: Scot Frink : June 19, 2019

Obese woman watching her weight after learning it was causing hearing loss.

It’s well known, that over time, eating way too much will be harmful to your health. There are a number of health conditions related to obesity. Heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and you can put hearing on the list, also. It’s calculated that approximately 48 million individuals in the United States, loss of hearing is an obstacle for approximately 20% of the U.S population, and nearly twice that number of adults, 93 million, are obese. These numbers are shocking and point to a serious health issue throughout the country.

What is The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Being Overweight?

Numerous studies have revealed that there’s a link between obesity and loss of hearing. While scientists are still investigating the relationship, it’s believed that obesity is linked to loss of hearing because the circulatory system is affected. Also, hearing loss is connected to high blood pressure and diabetes which are known to be linked to obesity.

Sound in the ear is detected by small hairs in the inner ear. To be able to work effectively, these small hairs, called stereocilia, have to have a steady blood flow. Obesity confines the flow of blood throughout the body since the heart will have to work harder to get the blood to flow around the body, which means that your inner ear is functioning on less-than-optimal blood flow. The ears can be irreversible harmed by this. Because all of these illnesses impact the flow of blood, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure impact the inner ear in the same way.

It’s particularly worthwhile to keep control of your weight as you get older since age-related hearing loss is also related to a high fat mass index. Your body’s metabolism won’t work as fast or as well as it did in the past, which is why you need to attempt to follow healthy habits that you started when you were younger.

Your hearing and your overall health are helped by good nutrition.

Obesity Associated Hearing Loss Treatments

If your hearing loss is brought about by obesity, you may never be able to get it back, however, it’s always good to get your hearing examined to determine the extent of your hearing loss. If the injury is permanent, you might require a hearing aid or other device to begin hearing properly again.

If the damage is not that serious, you might need to see your physician about creating an exercise and diet routine to reduce the impact your weight has on your well being before it gets any worse. Your doctor should recommend a cardio intensive exercise program that will strengthen your general health and get your blood pumping. There will be, most likely, other improvements in your life also, mental health, for instance, since regular exercise will lessen depression according to many studies.

How Can You Prevent Obesity-Related Hearing Loss

In order to stop obesity-related hearing loss day to day exercise and a nutritious diet are necessary. Your ears will certainly be kept in better condition if you keep your body healthy. A program that can assist you to achieve your goals and that is personalized for you can be created by a nutritionist. The nutritionist can make certain you’re consuming nutritious foods with the best blend of nutrients, foods that have plenty of iron, for instance, because of course, a lack of iron in your diet can result in tinnitus and cause hearing loss.

Learn more about hearing loss and the treatment options available to help you hear better.

Are Earplugs Helpful For Your Hearing

By: Scot Frink : June 12, 2019

Man using earplugs to protect his hearing before a concert.

Earplugs can be helpful if you’re exposed to loud sounds, such as for example, something as basic as a snoring spouse, or a lawnmower in your yard, or going to a concert at an arena. In the first two situations, they can help safeguard your ears by turning down the volume. They assist in saving your peace of mind and possibly even your relationships, in the last instance, by enabling you to get a good night’s sleep. But is your hearing being damaged by these protectors?

What’s The Purpose of Wearing Earplugs?

The argument for earplugs is quite simple: Properly used, earplugs can help protect your ears by minimizing your exposure to extreme sound levels. Maybe you’ve noticed that your hearing seems different when you leave a loud venue, for instance, a football game with a noisy crowd, and you may also have symptoms of tinnitus. This happens because those super-loud noises actually bend the tiny hair cells in your inner ear. In a day or two, when the hairs have recovered, it often goes back to normal.

But if you’re subjected to high decibels continuously, say you work on a construction site or at an airport, the aural assault on those tiny hair cells is relentless. In this case, those hairs cannot get better, they are permanently injured. you have just about 16,000 of those little cells inside each cochlea, but up to 50% of them can be harmed or destroyed before your hearing has changed enough for the problem to show up in a hearing test.

Is it Possible That Your Ears Could be Damaged by Earplugs?

With regards to safeguarding your ears, it seems like it would be obvious to wear earplugs. But primarily if you’re in situations where you’re subjected to loud noises on a regular basis (like on the job or with the above mentioned snoring spouse), headphones that decrease, but don’t completely cancel, sound or over the head earmuffs are a much smarter choice. Earplugs are better suited to one-off situations such as a concert or sporting event than for regular use.

Why? For one, earwax. Your ears create wax to protect themselves, and if you’re frequently wearing earplugs, more earwax will be produced, and the earplugs will jam it in further. Tinnitus and other complications can be the outcome from impacted earwax.

An ear infection can be another issue for those who wear earplugs. They can become bacteria breeding grounds if you use the same pair but fail to properly clean and disinfect them. At the very least, ear infections can be a disruption to your day to day life. If neglected, in the worst cases, they can trigger an ear infection.

How Can You Safely Use Earplugs?

Whether it’s a restful night sleep or safeguarding your hearing, there’s still a formidable upside to using earplugs. You just have to be sure you’re using the correct kind and utilizing them in the proper way. Foam earplugs are the least costly, which is good because you really should not use them more than once, the cushy, porous material is a germ’s paradise. Wax or silicone earplugs are reusable, but you need to keep them sanitized, use warm water and mild soap to wash them, and you shouldn’t put them back in your ears until they’re completely dry. Accumulation of humidity can cause bacteria or mold so store your earplugs in a well ventilated place.

You may want to speak with us concerning custom fit earplugs if you want or need them on a regular basis. These are constructed from unique molds of your ears, they can be reused and because they’re fitted to your ears, their comfortable. But it’s crucial not to forget, good earplug hygiene can prevent hearing impairment.

Hearing Aids Connected to a Decrease in Depression

By: Scot Frink : June 5, 2019

Man isolated and depressed in a cafe because he has hearing loss.

About half of those over 70 and one in three U.S. adults are affected by age related loss of hearing. But in spite of its prevalence, only about 30% of older Americans who have loss of hearing have ever had hearing aids (and for those younger than 60, the number drops to 16%!). At least 20 million Americans suffer from neglected hearing loss depending on what statistics you look at; though some reports put this closer to 30 million.

As people grow older, they overlook seeking treatment for hearing loss for a variety of reasons. (One study found that only 28% of people even had their hearing examined, even though they reported suffering from hearing loss, much less looked into additional treatment. It’s simply part of growing old, for some people, like wrinkles or grey hair. It’s been possible to diagnose hearing loss for some time, but currently, thanks to technological advancements, we can also deal with it. That’s important because a growing body of data demonstrates that treating hearing loss can improve more than just your hearing.

A recent study from a Columbia research team adds to the body of knowledge linking hearing loss and depression.
They administer an audiometric hearing test to each subject and also evaluate them for symptoms of depression. After correcting for a range of factors, the researchers discovered that the odds of showing clinically substantial symptoms of depression climbed by around 45% for every 20-decibel increase in loss of hearing. And to be clear, 20 dB is very little noise. It’s about the same as rustling leaves and is quieter than a whisper.

It’s amazing that such a slight difference in hearing creates such a large increase in the odds of being affected by depression, but the basic link isn’t a shocker. There is a large body of literature on hearing loss and depression and this new study adds to that research, like this multi-year analysis from 2000 which found that mental health worsened along with hearing loss, or this paper from 2014 that revealed that both individuals who reported having problems hearing and who were discovered to suffer from loss of hearing based on hearing exams had a significantly higher risk of depression.

Here’s the good news: the connection that researchers think exists between hearing loss and depression isn’t biological or chemical, it’s social. Difficulty hearing can cause feelings of stress and anxiety and lead sufferers to stay away from social situations or even normal conversations. Social isolation can be the result, which further feeds into feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s also one that’s easily disrupted.

The symptoms of depression can be eased by treating hearing loss with hearing aids according to several studies. A 2014 study that investigated data from over 1,000 individuals in their 70s revealing that individuals who used hearing aids were significantly less more likely to experience symptoms of depression, though the authors did not define a cause-and-effect relationship since they weren’t looking into statistics over time.

Nonetheless, the theory that managing loss of hearing with hearing aids can help the symptoms of depression is born out by other studies that evaluated participants before and after using hearing aids. Although this 2011 study only checked a small group of individuals, 34 people total, after just three months using hearing aids, according to the research, they all displayed significant progress in both depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning. The same outcome was found from even further out by another small scale study from 2012, with every single person six months out from beginning to use hearing aids, were still experiencing less depression. Large groupings of U.S. veterans who were suffering from hearing loss were examined in a 1992 study that discovered that a full 12 months after starting to use hearing aids, the vets were still experiencing fewer symptoms of depression.

You’re not by yourself in the intense struggle with loss of hearing. Get in touch with us for a hearing exam today.

Your Skin is Not The Only Thing That is Affected by Psoriasis

By: Scot Frink : May 29, 2019

Woman scratching at psoriasis not realizing it can lead to hearing loss.

The word psoriasis normally recalls recollections of people with skin issues like the ones on all those commercials. Psoriasis impacts your overall health and not just your skin. Psoriasis is often misunderstood and minimized, due to a lack of knowledge of how psoriasis impacts sufferers as well as the serious conditions that can be related to this disorder. Though plaques on the skin are its most visible indicator, they’re indicative of what psoriasis can do in the whole body: The chance of metabolic problems that are increased by chronic inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

New research strengthens the body of research connecting another serious problem to psoriasis: Hearing loss. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, The link between mental health, hearing impairment, and psoriatic arthritis were examined in this study. Psoriatic arthritis has an influence on the joints, and is a kind of psoriasis, causing soreness, difficulty moving, and swelling. The tell-tale plaques might not be experienced by people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

When someone has psoriatic arthritis, the body is basically attacking its own healthy tissue in the same way that it does with rheumatoid arthritis because they are all autoimmune diseases. But unlike rheumatoid arthritis, you might have psoriatic arthritis on only one knee due to the fact that it’s asymmetrical, and it doesn’t only affect joints but leads to painfully swollen toes and fingers while it targets sufferer’s nails and eyes.

Based on the findings of this recent study, hearing may also be impacted by psoriatic arthritis. A large control group of individuals with neither psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis were contrasted against people who had one or the other problem. They found that hearing loss was more likely to be documented by the group that had psoriasis, and audiometric testing backed up the self-reports. Even when other risk considerations are considered, psoriatic arthritis sufferers were significantly more likely to suffer from hearing loss than either {psoriasis sufferers or the control group}.

But that’s not to say there’s no connection between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and loss of hearing. A 2015 study discovered that people who have been diagnosed with psoriasis are at a considerably higher danger of developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss, also referred to as sudden deafness. With sudden sensorineural hearing loss, sufferer’s ability to hear decreases considerably in three days or less. There are numerous possible causes for this, but researchers think that sudden psoriasis flare-ups might be responsible. If this happens in or around the cochlea, it may impede hearing. In certain instances, treatments that alleviate psoriasis symptoms could be used to target this form of hearing loss, but hearing aids are often recommended when sudden deafness doesn’t react to other treatments.

If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, it’s important to monitor your hearing. Schedule your yearly healthcare appointment along with normal hearing exams. The inflammation due to these diseases can lead to inner ear damage, which can cause loss of balance and psoriatic arthritis. There are also connections between psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, depression and anxiety, which can both exacerbate hearing loss. Other health issues, like dementia, can be the outcome if you don’t detect hearing loss sooner than later.

With early intervention, you can stay ahead of the symptoms by having your hearing tested regularly and cooperating with your doctor, knowledge is key. You shouldn’t need to sacrifice your quality of life for psoriasis or for hearing loss, and all the difference is having the proper team by your side.

If your Ear Gets Plugged, How do You Handle it?

By: Scot Frink : May 22, 2019

Woman trying to clear a clogged ear by shaking water out of it.

You try to swallow hard and yawn but it’s no use, your ears are clogged and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will just unclog by themselves, eventually, you may just stop trying. And honestly, you wouldn’t be incorrect to try waiting a while to see if the problem goes away by itself unless, of course, you have soreness, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that attaches your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure level in your ears, can become blocked if it stays closed or open for too long. You may hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. A virus, sinus infection or allergy could possibly cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. It could take your ears a while to go back to normal but both problems will recede with time.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of clog, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are some suggestions when dealing with plugged ears:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if properly applied, can dissolve earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to gradually put it in your ear is the expert’s suggestion. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to break up the wax clog. You might have to repeat this several times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear.

Sticking Something in Your Ear is Not The Right Way to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: it will only make the predicament worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs actually force earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Actually, anything that gets inserted in your ears could result in an earwax blockage, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. To avoid earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on your outer ear.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

Blocked ears are usually made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s advice on how to manage it. Avoid any unnecessary allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Away From it

It probably goes without saying, but you certainly should not put a lit candle into your ear in order to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old technique of sticking a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The idea is that the heat of the flame creates a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This doesn’t work and you will likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t seem correct, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to consult a specialist. Don’t chance losing your hearing by simply trying anything.

You should contact us if your ears don’t clear up. Improper wax removal can trigger serious issues in your ears, like a burst eardrum or irreversible loss of hearing.

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