This short video explains the basics of how we hear that all ages can enjoy and understand. Enjoy Eddy as he explains the two most common types of hearing loss: conductive ( hearing loss in our middle ear) and sensorineural hearing loss (hearing loss in the inner ear including our cochlea and the nerves to our brain). Conductive loss can happen when we have an ear infection in our middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss can be congenital, genetic, develop due to loud noise exposure, or worsen as we get older.
How do you know when a sound is too loud and might be damaging to your hearing? Sounds greater than 85 decibels can cause damage to your inner ear and hearing. I found this sound ruler very helpful to understand how common sounds in our lives and environment can be damaging to our hearing and make us aware we need sound protection. Simply click on any of the numbers and have your speakers turned on to appreciate these brief examples of what type of sounds and noise levels can damage our hearing.
Click on this link to learn more about the Interactive Sound Ruler How Loud Too Loud.
Noise induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss that we see in our practice, and it can be prevented with good sound protection. Many times it is obvious to us that a sound is too loud if we are having pain, ringing in our ears, or difficulty hearing. However, many times I see patients who slowly over years of repetitive loud noise exposure develop hearing loss and tinnitus. Common sources of noise exposure include firearms, sirens, law mowers, power tools, and our personal devices for listening to music. Noise induced hearing loss can be prevented when we understand just how damaging loud noises can be for our hearing and our health.
Can Noise Induced Hearing Loss Be Prevented?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable. If you understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good hearing health, you can protect your hearing for life. Here’s how:
- Know which noises can cause damage (those at or above 85 decibels).
- Wear earplugs or other protective devices when involved in a loud activity (activity-specific earplugs and earmuffs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores).
- If you can’t reduce the noise or protect yourself from it, move away from it.
- Be alert to hazardous noises in the environment.
- Protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own.
- Make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the hazards of noise.
- Have your hearing tested if you think you might have hearing loss.
To read more about this click here to learn about Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
Earwax build-up is one of the most common conditions I see on a daily basis. This article from the Wall Street Journal gives an excellent overview of the “Good, Bad…. ( I would add) …the Pain and Hearing loss “ which can result from self–care wax cleaning techniques. I typically clean ears using my microscope for visualization along with a curette and suction. I see many patients for ear wax buildup due to the use of Q-tips. Mom’s advice of never putting anything smaller than your elbow is well heeded when it comes to cleaning ones ears themselves. Q-tips should not be used in the ear canal- it’s very easy to turn a nuisance of ear wax or ear itching into a blocked painful ear with decreased hearing. Some people just produce a lot of wax and need to come in for periodic cleaning. When patients comes to see me for hearing loss and the problem is earwax, it is very gratifying and a temporary source of hearing loss which resolves with a simple cleaning.
Shared via “The Good, the Bad and the Eww of Earwax Removal“
Otolaryngology (pronounced oh/toe/lair / in/goll/oh / jee) is the earliest medical specialized area in the United States. Otolaryngologists are doctors trained in the surgical as well as medical management and treatment of clients with illness and conditions of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and allergies. They are typically referred to as ENT physicians.
Their unique abilities consist of diagnosing and handling illness of the sinuses, larynx (voice box), elements within oral cavity, and upper throat (mouth and throat). Otolaryngologists detect, deal with, and handle specialty-specific ailments in addition to lots of primary care problems in both children and adults.
Within this New York Times article, published February 11th, 2013, it summarizes some of the latest research exploring the correlation between hearing loss and dementia. It makes sense to me, that while not definitely proven, that anything we can do to stimulate our brains through improved hearing can only help our cognitive function and social interactions as human beings.
Here at Enhanced Hearing Professionals we concentrate on total hearing healthcare. Dr. Shafer and I provide collaborative hearing healthcare, combining her audiology background with my medical perspective. We offer competitive pricing for state of the art technology, and most importantly, the ongoing training and care you need to have a successful hearing aid experience.