Earwax Removal – How you’re doing it wrong

The only person who should be cleaning out your ears is a professional audiologist. If you do it yourself, you’re risking severe harm to your precious ear canals. Although ear wax can look and feel gross when it gets out of control, the worst thing you can do is try to remove it with cotton swabs, tissues and pinky fingers. Leaving your ear wax alone will help preserve its natural function, which is to protect the ear canal. If it does build up, causing a degree of hearing loss, you can have it removed – just have it done by a professional. Let’s examine why these three  cleaning techniques are hurting your ears and why you should therefore see a professional for cleanings.

Cotton Swabs

Far and away the most common technique people use to clean out their ears after a good long shower is the cotton swab. When you do this, you’re damaging your sensitive ear canal no matter how clean and refreshing it may feel. You’re not only harming your ears, you’re also setting yourself up for discomfort in the future. Although the use of a cotton swab can get rid of that first layer of wax, the rest of the wax simply gets pushed into the ear, causing impaction. You can also cause hearing loss when you use a swab in this manner.

Ear Drops

Available at any store, ear drops can seem harmless, but you may want to think twice about them. Although they’ve been known to keep earwax from getting out of control, each person is different. That variation in ear canal composition means you won’t always get the results you’re promised on the box. This involves dripping the liquid into each ear, waiting for the liquid and earwax to come out when you tilt your head to the side. Everyone has a different sized ear canal, so what works for one person won’t for another.

Ear Candle

Ear candling is just what it sounds like, and it can have disastrous results, such as burning your clothes, hair or skin. The candles are actually made of wax-coated fabric with a long wick that you light and then use to lure out the melted earwax. Ideally, a vacuum is created in the ear through the heat coming off the flame but usually there’s not enough suction to be as effective as it should be. You may be able to draw out some amount of wax in this manner, the risk of burns is too great.

An Audiologist for Ear Care

A professional audiologist is who you should see when it comes to regular cleaning of your ears. They can remove impacted earwax with special tools, using the expertise and know-how they have accumulated over the years to provide an effective solution. You’ll feel cleaner and hear better as a result. The professional can also provide a complete eardrum exam to inspect for any damage. Make regular appointments so you can stay on top of your ear health.

How Noisy Workplaces are Causing Hearing Loss

While going to work each day can feel fulfilling, one of the growing work injuries suffered by people who do them involves hearing loss from performing in a noisy environment consistently. Whether you settle lawsuits or fix machines that transport materials for a living, there’s always a positive element that comes from working. Just be aware that there are dangers to your health when it comes to your ears, so check out these noisiest jobs so that you can understand the impact they have on your ears, along with how you can avoid permanent damage.

Farming

Agriculture, possibly one of the most gratifying jobs in the world, requires the frequent use of loud machines that can easily reach 85 decibels of sound and beyond. While farmers may derive satisfaction from feeding people and selling products grown with their own two hands, they can fall victim to hearing loss.

General Construction

Contractors are constantly hearing loud noises on the job, between the rapping of hammers on walls and the insistent puff of air from a nail gun, there are many ways construction workers expose themselves to a great amount of acute noise trauma daily. This is why many contractors decide to wear ear plugs or noise dampening headphones for their own safety.

Mining

Mining is a dangerous job but it is a very valuable one to everyone on the planet, providing us with crucial raw materials and fuel that we need to do other jobs. The roar of heavy equipment underground and in small spots compounds the effect on the hearing of all workers. As such, many individuals in this line of work end up with hearing loss.

Working in a Club

You may not pay it much mind, but the people who work in nightclubs don’t have as much fun as you do. Between the adults and teens screaming and the pulse-pounding music, this fun pastime on the weekend for the rest of us actually causes hearing loss in club workers. DJs, bouncers, bartenders and waitresses all risk their hearing health when taking jobs in these types of establishments.

Military

Boasting some of the noisiest work environments possible, the military blends elements of construction with the sounds of explosives and artillery, providing several ways people in the armed forces can suffer from hearing loss. This risk is compounded when you add in frequent weapons training and exposure to heavy machines such as tanks. This is why so many returning veterans have lasting acoustic trauma.

Ground Workers at Airports

Airports are loud places even if you’re not working outside on the ground. So you can imagine that ground worker has perhaps the noisiest job there is. Individuals are regularly exposed to jumbo jet noise on the runway, which is actually double the amount of decibels needed to trigger hearing loss. You’re at an even greater risk when working in commercial and military plane services. Think of that the next time you see those workers wearing noise-dampening ear pieces.

Closed-Captioning Glasses allow people with hearing loss to enjoy the the movies!

Most people who frequent movie theaters for the latest releases tend to take it for granted that they can enjoy the movie immediately with no extra effort to interpret it. Compare this to the thousands of people who are deaf or hearing impaired – they really can’t enjoy the movies until they are released with the captions added. However, that is all about to change, thanks to new closed-captioning glasses available at movie theaters now. This allows everyone to enjoy the films together. Let’s explore this new technology and where you can expect to find the glasses.

The Ins and Outs

Called Access Glasses,these provide many advantages to those who suffer from hearing loss, with the unique ability to be customized for brightness based upon the individual user. You can therefore see the captions best in optimal lighting. Adjustments can be made to fit your seat in the movie theater, allowing you to see the film and captions better. Initial trial places the middle of the theater as the best seat in the house when it comes to perspective.

Once configured to your face, the movie begins and you are treated to a cinematic delight. This is when sensors on either side of your head pick up on the captions via a data transmitter, with a display that shows right in front of you. You’ll appreciate that the captioning text appears to be floating about 10 feet before your face so you can read it comfortably while enjoying the whole movie experience. This is a big leap forward for those who are hearing impaired, with more implementation at more locations at future dates.

Concept and Design

The closed-caption glasses, developed by a joint partnership between Sony and Regal Cinemas, are officially known as Sony Entertainment Access Glasses. They are the end result of a lifelong dream of the chief administrative officer of Regal Cinemas, Randy Smith. It took years and years of testing, but Sony has now released the glasses with availability at over 6,000 screens by the close of summer.

A Seamless Design

Boasting an interesting design great for people of all shapes and sizes, these glasses resemble an oversized pair of glasses with two detectors on either side. They’re able to fit over most pairs of glasses that you own already, and are designed with your comfort in mind so you’re not tired by the end of the experience.

Where are they Found?

Right now the plan is to make the glasses available on a trial run at Regal Cinema theaters peppered across the United States. While it’s not known yet how long the testing phase of this project will last or even if expansion is planned for additional screens, it’s generally believed that the success of this new technology will rely on how many people they are able to draw into the theaters.

Hearing Dogs – Assistance for hearing loss and the deaf

You’ve most likely heard of how helpful seeing eye dogs can be. These dogs help blind or sight-impaired people live with freedom on a daily basis. In the last 10 years or so, there’s been an increased focus on hearing dogs who are capable of helping individuals get around every day within the hearing-impaired community. The result? Many different breeds of dogs, most notably Labradors and Golden Retrievers, can be trained to help people who suffer from hearing loss of some kind. Check out the training and benefits that these dogs offer.

Training Regimen: What’s Involved

Hearing dogs can take part in a training program lasting between four and six months so they can be specially trained to perform tasks to alert individuals with hearing damage. As such, they are able to respond to various sounds, like telephones, door knocking and smoke alarms. When placed with a partner who’s the right match for them, the dogs go through additional training so they can pick up on sounds that are unique to their new owners.

Helping Hearing-Impaired Individuals

Once they’re matched with their partners, they endure a few weeks of personalized care to determine a good match. The dogs are then able to provide many services to hearing-impaired individuals upon completion of the training course. Not only can they alert their owners to the various sounds around the house, they can also communicate in several other situations specifically tailored to their owner.

For example, hearing dogs aren’t necessarily trained to alert their owners to the loud sound of a fire engine coming down the road, but hearing-impaired individuals will know from their dog’s body language that something is wrong. Once you’ve been matched with your dog for a few weeks, you’ll begin to understand more sounds and situations based on the reaction to your dog. They will soon be able to detect anything to which you need an alert.

How to Obtain a Dog: Requirements

You can’t just go out and get a hearing dog. You need to go through a few hoops first to ensure you’re a good candidate. You have to be at least 18 years old in order to go through this process. You must also fill out an application with all the pertinent information. Make sure a friend or family member is available to assist you with in-home training. Throughout the application process, it will be determined whether you can provide your dog with a proper living space. It’s also imperative that you agree to attend canine training, and then follow up with training and tracking activities on a yearly basis. Soon, you will be living on a daily basis with a hearing dog whose sole mission is to make your everyday life easier through top-notch hearing assistance.

5 Unhealthy Habits That Can Cause Hearing Loss

Those unhealthy habits you partake in could be damaging your ears. Anything from loud noises to a sedentary lifestyle can damage your hearing in ways you never thought about before. There have been several studies over the years illustrating how your body’s health is closely connected with the health of your hearing. Take a look at these bad habits and see how you can change them in everyday life to guard against hearing loss. Lessening your risk and exposure sometimes means making small changes in your daily habits.

Loud Noises

If you enjoy taking in a rock concert, then you probably know the ear-splitting effects of standing close to a speaker. Unfortunately, those loud noises can bring on both temporary and long-term hearing loss. It’s important to stay away from the immediate area of the stage and sound system, instead taking a seat towards the back. It doesn’t always take the loud volume of a concert to incur hearing loss. You can also damage your hearing when you consistently listen to TV or video games at loud levels.  The energy and power sent out by these extremely loud noises can result in significant temporary and long-term hearing loss for you.

Neglecting the Doctor Visits

For the best in preventive maintenance, regular doctor visits are crucial. Sure, you may go to the doctor when you feel something is wrong, but you should go on a yearly basis in order to track any changes that may come about. Early detection is an important component to successfully treating or even reversing hearing damage, thanks to exams and evaluations which can detect hearing losses. Your doctor will also recommend ways you can take on a healthier lifestyle, which will lead to healthier hearing.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Failing to get enough exercise or eat right is part of a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to hearing damage. Why? Obesity is often a result of a sedentary lifestyle, and one side effect of obesity is diabetes. This disease does not allow for proper circulation of the blood, leading to a heightened risk for hearing loss. One way to cut your risk of diabetes and therefore hearing loss is to develop a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Smoking

It’s not just your lungs that suffer when you smoke. Your ears can, too. This can seriously affect your hearing in ways you never assumed could happen. Cigarettes have chemicals in them that can hurt the vibration sensors in your ears. This in turn can make it more difficult for your ears to pick up on small amounts of sounds.

Listening to Your MP3 Player

One of the worst habits you can partake in is blasting music through your MP3. Using ear buds puts this loud sound right into your ear, causing hearing loss in anyone, young and old. Although you may find listening to music in this way quite relaxing, you’re actually doing a lot of damage when it comes to hearing loss. You’re essentially blasting a large amount of sound right at your inner ear where it has nowhere to go, leading to a loss in hearing.

F.R. – Former Naval Submarine Captain

I have had five sets of hearing aids from various audiologists in the U.S. and England, but none can compare to the ones I received at Sound Advice. The friendliness and professionalism shown by Beverly Lew and her office staff was outstanding. The hearing instruments prescribed for me have changed my life. I can hear my home and cell phone in comfort and clarity for the first time since I started wearing hearing aids. I am now directly connected to the sound output of the television which has completely eliminated the battles between my wife and I over adjusting the television volume.

D.P. – High School Orchestra Conductor

Beverly Lew  at Sound Advice made my hearing go from black and white to color! I need to hear all the different tone colors (frequencies) of each instrument. Bev encouraged me to try different hearing instruments and fine tuned them to my needs. Now, I can rock and Bach hear every note!

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