How Ibuprofen can Lead to Hearing Loss

Did you know that everyone will lose some level of hearing loss as they age? Well, if you did, then you would know that there are some ways that we can prevent ourselves from losing hearing as well. One of the best options for keeping our hearing intact as we age is to limit the amount of times that we take ibuprofen. This medication has recently been linked with hearing loss in a large study.

Conclusive Findings

The study was completed and released in the American Journal for Advanced Epidemiology. It took into account a study that was completed last year. This study used 60,000 women from all walks of life, and followed their hearing for fourteen years as they consumed ibuprofen two or more times in a single week. The findings were nothing short of disturbing, as one quarter of the participants had experienced some form of hearing impairment as a result of taking these medications.

Causes

People that suffer from hearing loss as a result of ibuprofen and acetaminophen typically know that there is a problem when they begin experiencing symptoms like tinnitus and dizziness on a frequent basis. These two symptoms occur in two different forms; one caused by chemical interactions in the ear and the other caused by intense physical damage to the inner ear. The blood flow into your ears can be subjected to change by using medications such as ibuprofen. It actually lessens the amount of blood within the ear and makes that section less able to process sounds. The other thing that happens is called ototoxicity, where the chemical concentrations of the pills can interfere with hearing, not allowing the ear to process sound, and, over time, this can cause the receptors to become damaged forever. If this seems like it is happening to you, see a doctor immediately.

More Research

There is a huge research project that is currently taking place that is looking to examine the ways that women are specifically prone to hearing loss through medication. Two of the areas that researchers are looking into with this 150,000 person test are hormone changes throughout the course of one’s life as well as the effect that their diet can have on hearing.

What to Do

You do not need to live your life without the benefits of pain medication as a result of hearing loss risks. There are several other medications that you can use to help you along the way that will not put you at an extra risk of damage to your hearing health. You can also speak with a physician about different ways to go about saving your hearing health from damage as well as the right medicinal choices to make in your life. Overall, you stand a great chance at lowering your risk of hearing loss just by not taking ibuprofen as often.

How Hearing Loss Can Affect Your Holiday Gatherings

The holidays are supposed to be a time when friends and family can gather together to reminisce about the past and future together. While this is the case for most people during this time of year it is all too common that our friends and family with hearing loss are left out of the conversations and celebrations. That is why we are going to take some time to examine the different ways that hearing loss can harm holiday celebrations and what we can do to make them easier and more pleasant for people that are hard of hearing.

What are the difficulties?

When looking at hearing loss during the holiday times there are several areas of social interaction that are typically overlooked and taken for granted by people with normal levels of hearing. The first area is something as simple as having a one-on-one conversation. Individuals with hearing loss must constantly worry about not being able to communicate effectively with friends and family members and that the other person in the conversation will become annoyed with them. They must also take special precautions when it comes to traveling to areas where family gatherings are being held for the holidays.
Together these two aspects of hearing loss are frustrating but they can also lead to serious medical conditions such as anxiety and depression. Anxiety occurs in people that are worrying too much about their inadequacy in conversation and other social areas. This can cause them to spend less time in social groups as well as less time with family during the holidays. As a result of this, depression can set in and make these people question their own self worth and value as a human being. Sadly, this can result in even more troublesome medical situations. Fortunately there are steps and measures that we can take to help our family and friends who do suffer from hearing loss.

Making a difference

There are ways that we can positively affect the outcome of our family members at holiday events. The most important thing that everybody can do is to make their hard-of-hearing guests feel more welcome in their home. Introduce them to other guests that you have and make sure that they understand that the person that they are speaking to have certain limitations, but that does not make them any less valuable to conversation and good times. This person first attitude will go a long way in many family situations period
Another thing step that people can take in order to help those around them who suffer from hearing loss is asking them to visit a hearing specialist. This is a doctor that is trained in the intricacies of the ear. For the most part, they will come up with two solutions for people who have hearing impairment. The first will be surgery to repair any damage that will make a significant difference in the patients hearing. The other way that a hearing specialist can help is by recommending a proper hearing piece for the individual. Whether it is a traditional hearing aid or a cochlear implant, technology has come a long way in its journey to help people hear better. One of these two outcomes will let people who have had difficulty in social situations in the past enjoy themselves and those around them throughout the holidays this year and in holidays to come.

How Hearing Aids are Programmed

Any person that suffers from hearing loss may have considered buying a hearing aid from the shelf of a store and putting it in their ear to help their hearing loss. What many people do not consider beforehand is the fact that hearing aids require a great deal of customization in order to be worn successfully. Here we will look at the different ways that people who have hearing loss can benefit from getting their hearing aid programmed by a trained audiologist.

What Factors Can Be Adjusted?

When it comes to changing the abilities of a hearing aid device, you need to consult your hearing specialist. Not only will they have the ability to help you determine what the best method is for you to experiment to find your perfect hearing settings, but they can change them in increments to find the perfect levels. Some of the most famous forms of customizations that are used for hearing aids are volume level, frequency input, noise reduction, and the parameters which govern the microphone. By adjusting the types of sounds that are allowed into the hearing device, an individual can completely transform the way that they experience their hearing.

Processing Time

For people that have suffered from hearing loss for some time, they know the struggle that involves trying to adjust their hearing aid on their own with a little ingenuity and a tool kit. Rest assured that in the age of digital hearing aids you have the option to go to your audiologist and have them run a series of tests on you so that you can find out what the best option is for your hearing needs. This may take some time because they need to trouble shoot your hearing, but at the end of the day it will be worth putting in the time and effort to get better hearing outcomes. Be sure to note that some people still need to return to the doctor afterwards because of the way that their brain acclimates to the hearing changes. Eventually, you will find the golden area of hearing which allows you to have the best options available on your hearing aid device.

Programming Hearing Aids

Programming your hearing aid requires several specialized forms of equipment that can be plugged directly into the device to interface with it. Although you can buy all of these tools on your own, the fact of the matter is that most people do not have the required expertise to program a hearing aid so that it can reach the utmost levels of its potential. This requires you to go to a hearing specialist that can measure several different aspects of your hearing. For example, they need to measure how sound impacts your ear drum, and then specifically how speech is interpreted by your brain. There are tests and probes that are used to discern this information so that it can be recorded and used to improve your hearing device. After the measurements have been taken, the functioning hearing device is put through its paces by being subjected to surround sounds that simulate all manner of environments for the person to hear. Once they are satisfied that the device is versatile, then the individual has their own, customized hearing aid available for their needs.

Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

There is a new way of improving your hearing abilities thanks to the hard work of researchers and scientists around the globe. For years they have looked to find new ways to go about improving the hearing capabilities of people. Since many people still think of hearing aids as hose old clunky types, it is important to look at how drastically they have changed with the recent invention of brain hearing. In particular, we need to examine what brain hearing is, where to get these hearing aids, and the benefits it offers to the hearing impaired community.

What Is Brain Hearing?

Brain hearing is a development by hearing aid producers that has allowed them to take a more targeted approach to hearing improvement. In the past, the best way to help hearing was to amplify as much sound as possible and send it through the hearing aid. Now that we have technology and proper brain mapping, we know that the best way to treat hearing loss is by focusing on the brain. After all, it is easier to treat the source than the symptoms. With a precision based hearing aid that focuses on the brain’s needs, brain hearing is possible.

How Does It Work?

The brain hearing process is very similar to the hearing aid process that has been used for years, but instead of taking in all of the sounds in the environment, it actually filters most of them out. You see, the majority of people who suffer from hearing loss have very specific areas that they cannot hear. By only allowing a fraction of the sound into the hearing aid device, a precise amount of sound is put through the hearing aid. This increases the ability to process the sound and reduces the amount of hearing exhaustion suffered by the listener.

What Benefit Do They Offer?

There are many reasons why the brain hearing aid is superior to others. For starters, the precision approach to hearing makes sure that only the sound that the person needs help hearing enters the ear. This puts less strain on the brain to hear all of the sounds happening around them and allows for a more natural form of sound to enter the brain. Along with this come four unique advantages to using the hearing device.

  1. Sound Focusing: There are many different sounds that you do not need to hear while using the device, so it makes sure that you can focus on one among many other noises.
  2. Sound Filtering: unlike older models that have excess background noise, the brain hearing device focuses on filtering out sounds that are not pertinent to your activity.
  3. Spatial Recognition: brain hearing devices allow the user to identify the source of sound as it is coming into their ear canal.
  4. Speech Recognition: In order to hear speech better, brain hearing aids have focused on speech sounds so that they are specially amplified to help the listener.

Where Can We Get One?

In order to get your hands on a brain hearing aid you need to go to an audiologist. They have the ability to measure your hearing and program your custom brain hearing aid so that you can get the most out of the device. While the process may be more difficult than going into a store and purchasing a hearing aid off the shelf, it is a superior product that will change the way that you hear sounds around you.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

Some of the greatest advancements in technology today have been included in our modern mobile devices. Cell phones, in particular, have thoroughly evolved into something that is impressive to behold simply because of the power that it has to foster communication between people. A great deal of the technology that is being used for cell phones has also been made to work in conjunction with hearing aids, resulting in powerful devices and a revolution in the hearing aid industry. We will examine this emergence throughout this article.

Smartphones- Powerful Tech

Smartphones represent a complete paradigm shift in the world of technology. What used to take a computer hours to do can be done within minutes on a device that fits in the palm of your hand. In terms of helping people who use hearing aids, smartphones have advanced technology to new heights in a rather short time. Using hardware within the phone, these modern devices have the ability to boost signal strength and make calls more clear than ever before. Another way that hearing aids are being helped by smartphones is through their applications. These mobile apps give people with hearing loss the ability to access various parts of their lives with ease. They can grant the user the ability to hear or see email, text, and call notifications that may have gone unnoticed before.
Beyond those basic applications are some absolutely innovative abilities for smartphones. Some cell phone companies have chosen to work together with people from the hearing aid companies in order to design devices that can function with one another. In essence, these smartphones have been turned into mobile remotes for people who use hearing aids. This allows the user to take control of their device and change the settings to work for their needs. A person with a hearing aid can change the level of volume and even turn the devices on and off at will. The best part about this is that it comes with an entirely new level of privacy for the hearing aid user, allowing them to customize their hearing experience without having to retire to another room.

Early Cell Phones

All of this amazing technology did not simply sprout up; there were many smaller steps along the way. For example, the cell phones that most people were familiar with, from the period of 2000 until 2008, represented a somewhat accidental leap forward in technology in the implementation of telecoils. These were included in order to help with call quality, not originally to help people who use hearing aids. However, the benefits were soon discovered and put into practice in many other cell phone models, eventually leading to a rating system being established to make shopping choices simpler for hearing aid users. In all of these ways and more, hearing aid technology has benefitted greatly from cell phones.

Advancements in Digital Hearing Aids

Watching the progression of hearing aids over the years is nothing short of amazing. Today’s digital hearing aids are considered revolutionary, thanks to remote controls, Bluetooth connections and omnidirectional microphones. It’s been awhile since hearing impaired individuals in the 1800s only had the ear trumpet at their disposal when they wanted to amplify sound back in the 1800s. Fast forward many years later and digital hearing aids have revolutionized the way we hear. These devices underwent several models and prototypes until the ones we see today came out. With one eye on the future, audiologists can now customize each device depending on the requirements of each user, such as automatic adjustments on volume to ensure a comfortable level for the user. Taking out distracting background noise is another advantage, something that plagued users for many years.

The First Digital Hearing Aids

DSP is what makes digital hearing aids possible. They first were invented back in the mid-90s. Also referred to as digital signal processing, DSP allows users to benefit from higher processing speeds for improved hearing and farther range of amplification.

DNR

Digital noise reduction technology has surpassed that of multi-directional microphones, where it used to be that hearing devices were based on separation of speech to create speech modulation and other factors. However, today they are based on physical traits related to noise and speech.

Self-Learning

Were you aware that digital hearing aids have the capability to regulate settings like volume? This is so individuals don’t have to set these factors every time they wear their devices. Added control for the user gives peace of mind.

Better Connections

In regards to improved connections, Bluetooth and other wireless technological services can further add to the overall listening experience. Three perks in particular include digital noise reduction, improved frequency transposition and increased range.

Single Sided Deafness

Used to be, if you were deaf on one side, you had to contend with background noise, which means you had to use your “good ear” to be able to hear and conduct conversations. Now, CROS devices and bone conduction devices make it possible to receive signals from the good ear and send them to the bad ear for sound amplification.

The Outlook

Looking ahead for hearing aid technology, the outlook for digital hearing aids is vastly superior because they are able to offer so many benefits to hearing impaired individuals. These benefits range from noise reduction to automatic volume setting adjustments, made possible by up to the minute wireless technology and microelectronics.

Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

There are many different ways that the hearing industry has changed and evolved over the last ten years or so. In this time there has been an emergence of new techniques and technologies which are able to influence the lives of people who suffer from hearing loss. However, some forms of hearing loss are so significant that the sufferer is not able to use their ears in order to pick up any sound at all. The new solution to this form of hearing impairment is the electric cochlear implant, a device that has the medical community extremely excited.

What Is The Excitement About?

There are many reasons that the people in the hearing industry are excited about the electric cochlear implant. It does not use the inner ear in order to generate hearing like most other contraptions and surgeries. Rather, it uses an implant to directly stimulate the auditory nerves which control hearing in the human body. The result is that a person is able to “hear” a synthetic form of sound even if their ears have been unable to hear sound before. The outcomes for most people are that they are eventually able to speak to others in normal conversation and also engage in leisure activities that require hearing.

The Product

A hearing device like the electric cochlear implant is an amalgamation of five different pieces of technology that need to work together for a successful outcome. There are parts of the device that are inside the body and those that are outside of the body. Inside the body is the receiver device as well as the electrode bundle that is implanted near major nerves in the head. Worn on the outside of the body are the microphone, transmitter, as well as the speech interpretation box. Together, these comprise the electric cochlear implant.

Making It Work

There are many steps to the process of making synthetic hearing take place in the brain of the implantee. The first thing that needs to happen is that the device needs to pick up sounds from the environment around the person using the active device. The microphone brings sounds in and then sends them to the speech processing center in the implant, which is usually worn near the neck or around the ear. From there, the sound is reconfigured and pumped into the transmission device that is worn behind the ear piece. The transmitter has to send the sound through the skin layer and into the receiver that is actually implanted with the person’s body. After that, the receiver takes the sound waves in their magnetic form and sends the impulse down the implant and into the electrode bundle, which stimulates the nerve that it is near in order to create the sensation of sound within the wearer’s brain. In the end, they hear a metallic sound representation of the original sound that took place in less than a few seconds after it occurred outside of the body.

10 Ways Good Hearing can Help Keep Seniors Young

Your hearing health is correlated to your overall youth and vitality, just like physical exercise helps you keep illness and disease at bay. When you care for your ears throughout your senior years, you are making an investment in your youth. Who new better hearing was the secret to unlocking the fountain of youth? This is particularly important in areas of life where you have to be alerted to danger quickly or must interact with coworkers and friends.

 

  1. Keep your mind sharp as a tack. No one wants to think about it, but dementia is a very real possibility for older seniors. The National Institute on Aging has linked hearing loss with dementia, thanks to the brain shrinkage we experience as we get older.
  2. Lower your risk of falls. Individuals can trip and fall more readily when they have difficulties hearing. This is due to an unstable awareness of their surroundings, thanks to the fact that you are three times more likely to fall than others with no hearing issues. This is according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  3. Improve your hearing while on the job. When you strain to hear, you obviously can’t pick up on important instructions or safety precautions. You certainly can’t readily participate productively in coworker discussions or meetings, which can impact your overall performance.
  4. Have a quicker reaction time. When you have a healthy hearing level, you can better react to fire alarms, sirens and even blaring car horns so you can get out of danger quickly.
  5. Maintain productive interactions. This is crucial, as hearing loss can sadly alienate people from getting the information they need to go about their daily lives. It’s tough to effectively communicate with anyone from friends and co-workers to check-out clerks and butchers when you suffer from hearing loss.
  6. Increase the blood flow to your ears for good health. Exercise is great for the ears. Via aerobic activity, you send oxygen-rich blood flow to the ears which protects them from additional hearing loss.
  7. Take advantage of a better social life. Interacting with others is key in staying young. Studies point to the fact that hearing impaired seniors who wear hearing aids, as well as seniors who have no hearing loss, tend to have an improved social life and sex life, along with improved mental health and independence.
  8. Flourish in school. When you find yourself back in the classroom after many years in the workforce, you may be at a disadvantage if you strain to hear. It’s not productive to ask the teacher to repeat herself or ask your classmates to speak up.
  9. Lift your self confidence. Don’t fall victim to a lack in self esteem just because you have hearing loss. You may fear engaging in conversations with others and thus stay away from social situations, leading to further feelings of isolation.
  10. Enjoy better mental and physical health. Being hospitalized due to falls and other problems can make you depressed because you’re not active and can’t move about on your own. Staying out of the hospital can increase your sense of vitality and worth.

Take a Gander at the Many Advantages of Digital Earplugs

A proactive take on hearing health is sweeping the nation in the form of digital ear plugs. These devices are known to have come far in terms of technology over the last few decades. Following the history of ear plugs is imperative to understanding the evolution of this most popular way of protecting and improving hearing. Like most forms of modern technology, we can trace its evolution over the years to a point where now, digital earplugs help in the daily lives of many hearing-impaired individuals. They can even prevent certain degrees of hearing loss. Take a gander at how digital earplugs operate and the benefits they deliver.

How Do Digital Earplugs Work?

Digital earplugs are desirable due to many factors. First off, they provide a level of safety for those in loud prolonged situations. They also help to clear up limitations that may frustrate the user in everyday use. Another advantage of digital ear plugs? The support and protection that acts as a buffer between the inner ear from exterior sound. Each one works a little bit different even thought they’re all pretty similar. Blending protection, form, prevention and function, digital earplugs meet the same underlying criteria. The range of frequencies is limited when it comes to filtering sounds through the earplug, which helps change the frequency response, to positively impact the quality of your hearing.

Specific Uses of Digital Ear Plugs

Whether you need protection from loud, prolonged noises or sudden blasts, digital ear plugs can provide a benefit to you. They are designed to guard against the effects of sound inherent in anything from combat training to law enforcement. Digital earplugs can also aid rescue workers in detecting far-off sounds in the distance.

Benefits of Digital Ear Plugs

Because technology is such an integral part of how digital ear plugs are used, they offer several perks, such as being able to prevent sound from entering the ear canal. Other models feature a stop-gap technology that allows users to hear certain levels of sound, or only at certain intervals. Digital ear plugs, used to helping people detect speech more clearly, are designed to work even in a loud situation, such as a factory setting. They also are great for the need to pick up on some sounds but not others. Choosing the right pair of digital ear plugs that can benefit you is critical to your everyday functioning.

How Diabetes and Hearing Loss Relate

Due to the reasoning that many health conditions tend to affect each another, it’s no wonder that diabetes and hearing loss – the top two health concerns in the U.S. today, according to the American Diabetes Association – have been linked. Take a look at the statistics are incredible: 30 million people suffer from diabetes, while 34.5 million people have some degree of hearing loss. Recent studies have shown that you are twice as likely to have hearing loss if you have diabetes than other people without the disease. The recent studies in question culled information from 20,000 people from various places around the globe, including the U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Certainly these many studies have illustrated a link between diabetes and hearing loss, but the fact remains that researchers still aren’t sure exactly why diabetes causes hearing loss or vice versa. One theory as to curbing this correlation? Diabetics should better control their blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of hearing impairment, but this is not proven yet. Even though loud noises contribute hearing loss in many people, a noisy workplace has also been ruled out as a factor in the above studies. The medications and diuretics diabetics take to keep their blood pressure low may incur hearing loss rather than the actual diabetes, so that’s one factor researchers must delve into to explain the connection. Or, the prevalence could involve the fact that high blood glucose levels tends to damage the small blood vessels in the inner ear, leading to hearing impairment.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Signs to look out for include if you can’t distinguish words within a large noisy crowd, if words are muffled rather than clear, and if you have others repeat themselves over and over. You don’t want this to lead to the avoiding of certain social situations just so you don’t get embarrassed, so take action and see an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment so you don’t put yourself or others at risk. Usually, your spouse, partner, friend or family member will alert you to these displays of hearing impairment. Be on alert when looking for signature signs and symptoms of hearing loss so you can get diagnosed and begin treatment immediately. You could suffer from some degree of hearing impairment if you have trouble keeping track of conversations with two or more people, constantly only hear mumbling from others, put the volume on the TV or radio way up, or can’t easily pick out the voices of small children or women.

Testing for Diabetes

Hopefully, the results of the studies outlined above will spur more doctors to test for hearing loss in their diabetic patients. This is why you should get your hearing tested at the doctor’s office during your annual diabetic checkup and alert him to the correlation you’ve heard between diabetes and hearing loss. If the results come back showing you need further evaluation, your doctor can refer you to an audiologist. Hearing tests, often overlooked at doctor’s visits for adults, should be more widespread. Hopefully, the results of these current studies will encourage more doctors to test for hearing loss in their diabetic patients.