Can Humidity Damage Hearing Aids?

Dog jumping into water to demonstrate how hearing aids can get wet easily when you're having fun this summer because moisture damages hearing aids.

There are a lot of different things that can ruin the delicate technology that makes a hearing aid work the way it does, but not many have the impact of water. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a huge problem.

Moisture that you can’t see has the highest chance of causing irreparable damage. It’s time to understand more about why humidity is a bad thing for hearing aids.

Let’s Talk About Humidity

Despite the fact that the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. The relative humidity refers to the ratio of water molecules in the air compared to how many the air can actually hold. The greater the percentage, the wetter everything feels.

Humans cool down their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is very high. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.

Typically Electronics Have a Hard Time Dealing With Humidity

Strangely enough, electronics are not just sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the intricate mechanisms that make electronic devices function, and low humidity can result in brittle core materials.

Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to function. An advanced audio processing chip manages noise levels in a modern hearing aid. Because of this, you get amazing features like:

  • Noise reduction
  • Anti-feedback
  • Targeted listening programs
  • Digital sound streaming

High humidity causes moisture to accumulate in the hearing aids damaging that chip. It can corrode elements inside the casing and destroy batteries also. It’s the equivalent of throwing your hearing aid in a pool of water.

Keeping Humidity Under Control

Water resistant models are currently on the market. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can swim with your hearing aids in place, but it does give some protection from humidity and other weather-related issues such as getting caught in an unforeseen rainstorm or even sweat when you exercise.

If you live in an area prone to high humidity, think about using a room or house dehumidifier to minimize water vapor inside. It’s an investment that will help you and your family in numerous ways and protect other electronic devices like that expensive TV you got for Christmas. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. Although a house or room dehumidifier will help protect your hearing aids, it’s not enough. You will need to take other steps at the same time.

Look for the dehumidifier made for hearing aids. There is one out there for every budget. Silica gel crystals in a drying kit are used to protect electronics. Moisture is eliminated by putting the hearing aids into the dehumidifier for a couple of hours. There are also storage containers that dry hearing aids out each night as you sleep. If it is very humid and you have no other way, uncooked rice can reduce moisture.

Don’t forget to leave the battery door open when you store your device. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. Don’t just do this in the summer, do it all year round.

Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment, in a hot room or on a table in the sun.

Thinking Beyond Humidity

Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. Take precautions to protect them from other kinds of wet such as:

  • Make sure all lotion or sunscreen is fully absorbed before touching your hearing aids or putting them in your ears.
  • Find a safe place to store your hearing aids if headed for the pool or beach.
  • Wear a sweatband when exercising. If you are wearing your hearing aid then it’s a good idea in general. Sweat in your ears can cause problems later.
  • Try not to put your hearing aid down on wet surfaces. A glass or coffee cup can leave moisture behind.

Treat your hearing like the valuable asset that it is. Consider how moisture and humidity can impact them and take steps to prevent water damage. If your hearing aid already has water damage make an appointment for service with a hearing aid specialist.

Old Hearing Aids Should be Replaced

Small robot made of old tech is suggesting those with old hearing aids upgrade to new digital hearing aids.

If you have an old ear horn of a hearing aid, it’s time to replace it. The question is, should I do it today, or should I hold off? Your hearing aids seem like they still work, right? Did you realize they are over 10 years old?

Outdated hearing aids will probably be better than none, but what’s the actual expense of not updating. In the past couple of years, hearing aid engineering has come a long way. We’ve changed from analog to digital, for starters, and there are features now that weren’t even in the design phase a decade ago. Take into consideration some reasons it is time for you to be thinking about a new hearing aid.

Your Old One is Not Reliable

outdated or even low-quality hearing aids come with several problems such as that aggravating buzzing sound you hear once in awhile. And what about that awful feedback anytime you go close to a phone, that’s enjoyable. Sometimes that harsh feedback comes all of a sudden with no explanation, too. What caused it this time?

Even Though You’ve Become Complacent About it Quitting, That Doesn’t Mean it’s Not a Problem.

You’ve become accustomed to lingering off to the side in silent introspection while everyone else is engaging in the banter. How about the time when your hearing aids wouldn’t stop quitting while your grandson was singing a little song he learned at school. But you still clapped.

If you don’t upgrade to new hearing aids, you will keep having all of these issues. The focus a decade ago was on raising the volume. Today’s technology filters out irritating loud background noise such as a humming fan. It was never really that loud.

Out of Date Technology Can Wind up Costing More

One consideration when you’re thinking of buying new hearing aids is undoubtedly cost. Keeping your outdated hearing aids won’t be any less expensive than buying new ones ultimately. Out of date devices are analog and that means that it’s time to replace batteries constantly. It can get expensive to replace the batteries once or even twice every day.

Let’s not forget the repair costs with out of date technology. You can compare it to an old truck. It’s in the shop more often than it’s in your ear and repairs are not cheap.

Smart Technology Gives us a Huge Advantage Over Older Outdated Devices

The majority of modern hearing aids come with Bluetooth capabilities. Obsolete analog devices don’t have that awesome feature. With the new technology you hear the tv, Your cell phone, or your computer with your hearing aid.)

It’s Hard to Manage in Life if You Have Trouble Communicating.

Hearing problems will most certainly result in a lower pay scale according to studies. Doesn’t it make sense then, that quality hearing aids would definitely be a career advantage? You will be able to hear your boss and customers better. No more stress over whether you may have lost essential information, or whether your hearing aids will quit at the worst time.

And we all know that good quality communication is the foundation of a quality life. You don’t have to sit like a wallflower in the middle of discussions anymore. Jump in and engage with the people around you.

You Just Want Your Hearing Aid to be Cooler

When you look in the mirror at your old hearing aid, what comes to mind? Awkward? Obvious? Oh my god? One of the most significant advantages that come with updating old hearing aids is style and flexibility. Today’s hearing aids come in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s possible to have one concealed so tight in your ear, that no one will ever see it, or you can make a fashion statement by getting a visible hearing aid in your favorite color.

Is it Time to purchase a New Hearing Aid?

Now you know all the reasons you should upgrade your hearing aids. Nevertheless, some telltale clues will indicate that your hearing aid is obsolete:

  • Your hearing has changed. You don’t hear as well as you once did even with the hearing aid in place.
  • Your life has changed, and your hearing aid has a hard time keeping up. It’s difficult to take it out just so you can talk on the phone, or maybe you’ve switched jobs and now you need to manage more background noise.
  • Your hearing aid keeps quitting. It’s just not reliable anymore, and that’s a big concern.
  • You know for a fact your hearing aid is not digital. Ouch, time to go digital.
  • Your hearing aid feels heavy. Clunky, old technology is heavier.
  • Your hearing aid is all you see when you look in a mirror. That old technology takes up a lot of space, too.
  • You are replacing the batteries constantly. Modern hearing aids are more energy efficient and some come with rechargeable batteries.

It’s not rocket science. If you’ve had your hearing aids for more than seven years, it’s time to upgrade and hear better. Contact a hearing aid professional to get started.

The Reason why You Should Protect Your Ears at Celebrations and Parades

Family enjoying independence day celebration oblivious to the risk of hearing loss from fireworks.

The summer season is here, and your agenda is quite possibly already loaded with all kinds of parties and activities. Being outdoors partying on Independence Day is something lots of people do. Parades, marching bands, and live music are frequently part of the fun, and don’t forget fireworks! When going out to celebrate this summer, don’t miss out on the good times, just take a moment to think about how you might protect your hearing.

Noise-induced hearing loss impacts about 6 percent of the U.S. adult population less than the age of 70; that equates to around 40 million people. The sad part is this type of hearing damage is virtually 100 percent preventable. What’s necessary is a little planning and common sense. Think about some examples of why you should take care of your hearing as you celebrate this season and how to do it.

Fireworks are the Summers Most Harmful Offenders.

At the top of the list of potential dangers associated with fireworks, hearing damage is at the top. Hearing damage is not mentioned much by experts, but it tops the list of dangers associated with fireworks.

Boys Town National Research Hospital states you’re at risk of hearing loss from fireworks regardless if you’re shooting them off yourself or watching them at a public show. With extensive exposure, any sound over 85 decibels can cause noise-related hearing damage. The standard range of fireworks is 150 to 175 decibels. The World Health Association estimates that adults could withstand up to 140 decibels of sound for a short time, but children will surely have damage at just 120. Fireworks are commonly louder than both those numbers.

The good news? Your chance of hearing loss is reduced the further you are away from the explosion. Watching the fireworks show from nearby is definitely more damaging than watching them from your porch at home. Boys Town recommends you stand at least 30 yards away if you are an adult. Children should be 70 yards away to take care of their hearing and babies shouldn’t be there at all.

Live Music is Something you Love

Who doesn’t? And summer celebrations bring out some of the best musicians in the world! The World Health Association states that a billion teens are at risk for hearing loss from music whether it is coming from ear-buds, a parade or a favorite band playing on stage.

Any person exposed to loud music faces the same possible consequence, but time is a factor when it comes to live music. A sound at 100 decibels, which is typical level for live shows, becomes dangerous after just 15 minutes. It’s safe to say; most people attend concerts for longer than that!

It is Easy to Forget how Loud the Crowd is

At celebrations, crowd noise is usually the most underestimated hearing danger. At a good event, there will be people on all sides of you shouting to talk over everybody else. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says that at sporting events the crowd volume is 80 to 90 dB. Unfortunately, it will quite possibly be higher and more consistent at a celebration or parade.

Mix Celebratory good times with a Little Good Common Sense

What can you do to protect your ears? You may not realize that it’s actually common sense. Try to determine what the hearing risk is before the event:

  • Will there be loud music?
  • Large crowds?
  • Fireworks?

What precautions you take depends on how loud you think the celebration will be. If there is loud music or crowds, plan on wearing ear protection. Something simple like foam earplugs will allow you to hear what’s going on still, but at a safe level.

The family should be kept at a safe distance during a fireworks show. Fireworks can easily be enjoyed from a safe distance. A block or two away is the safest minimum distance. It can also be more enjoyable to be a little further back where the crowds are less.

What About the Non-Sound Risks at Celebrations?

Noise is only one of several concerns. Celebrations bring with them hot sun, too much drink, too little water and fatigue. These things can make hearing loss or tinnitus worse.

Try to take it easy. If the celebration is going to last all day and into the night, maybe start later. Always drink plenty of water and try to moderate your alcohol consumption. Getting out of the heat for short periods is essential. Where is the nearest shade? Is there an air-conditioned building nearby?

Celebrations come every year, but you only get one pair of ears. Enjoy the holiday but be sure to protect your ears also. If you are worried that you may have already suffered hearing damage it is important to make an appointment with a hearing care specialist.

What’s the one Thing to Know About Hearing Loss?

Woman not letting hearing loss and use of hearing aids stop her from feeling young and playing with her grandkids.

As we age we tend to think that hearing loss only affects the older generation. You probably had older adults around you struggling to understand conversations or utilizing hearing aids.

As you become more mature, you begin to realize that there is a further factor regarding hearing loss besides aging.

Most people are scared to admit they have hearing loss because it causes them to feel like they are getting old.

You can Begin to Lose Your Hearing at any age

By the age of 12, hearing specialists can already detect some hearing loss in 13% of instances. Clearly, a person who is 12 years old is certainly not “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% within the last 30 years.

What’s at work here?

Of all 45 – 55-year olds, 2% presently suffer from debilitating hearing loss, and with 55 – 65-year-olds it’s 8%.

It’s not an aging problem. What you might think of as age-related hearing loss is actually 100% avoidable. Significantly reducing your hearing loss is very achievable.

Sensorineural hearing loss, which is the medical name for age-related hearing loss, is usually brought on by loud noise.

For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was just part of the aging process. But today, scientists are more knowledgeable about how to protect your hearing and also restore it.

How Hearing Loss is Caused by Loud Noise

The initial step to safeguarding your hearing is realizing how something as “innocent” as loud noise causes hearing loss.

Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves go into your ear canal. They move all the way down beyond your eardrum and into your inner ear.

In the inner ear little hairs vibrate. Which hair cells vibrate, and how rapidly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. Your brain can turn this code into conversations, the sound of wind, a warning alert, a yell or anything else you might hear.

The issue is that as noises get too loud these little hairs are damaged beyond repair. They die because the vibrations are too loud for them to handle.

If you don’t have them, you can’t hear.

Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible

Many types of injury can be healed by your body. But when you damage these little hair cells, they won’t heal, and they will not ever grow back. Every time you are subjected to loud sound, a few more of these cells die.

As they die, hearing loss progresses.

There are Noises That are Common Which Will Cause Hearing Damage

Many people are surprised to find out that routine activities can be the cause of hearing loss. You may not think twice about:

  • Going to a concert/play/movie
  • Wearing earbuds/head phones
  • Turning the car stereo up too loud
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Using farm equipment
  • Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
  • Driving on a busy highway with the windows or top down
  • Working in a factory or other loud profession
  • Hunting
  • Being a musician

These activities don’t need to be given up. It is possible to reduce noise related hearing loss by employing pro-active strategies.

You Don’t Need to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss

You can acknowledge that you suffer from hearing loss without having to feel older. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will get, and you will end up feeling older much sooner because of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Increased Fall Risk
  • Social Isolation
  • More frequent trips to the ER
  • Strained relationships

For people with untreated hearing loss, these are significantly more common.

Prevent Further Hearing Problems

Start by understanding how to protect against hearing damage.

  1. Sound meter apps are readily available for your cellphone which can tell you how loud things actually are.
  2. Harmful volumes should be avoided without proper ear protection. More than 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in 8 hours. 110 dB takes around 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and higher will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is 140 to 170 dB.
  3. You should know that you have already caused hearing damage if you have had a hard time hearing, or if your ears were ringing, after a concert. As time goes by it will get worse.
  4. Use earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when appropriate.
  5. Adhere to workplace hearing safety regulations.
  6. Limit your exposure time to loud sounds.
  7. Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or cranking speakers up when listening at home.
  8. Invest in earbuds/headphones which come with integrated volume control. They don’t go over 90 decibels. You would have to listen pretty much non-stop all the time to do irreversible damage.
  9. High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and some medications tend to cause you to be more susceptible at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
  10. Put on your hearing aid. Not using a hearing aid when you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s comparable to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it will be much more difficult to walk.

Schedule a Hearing Exam

Are you procrastinating or are in denial? Make the right decision now rather than later. The faster you make the wise choice the less damage you will keep doing.

Speak to Your Hearing Specialist About Hearing Answers

There are not any “natural cures” for hearing damage. If hearing loss is severe, it could be time to get a hearing aid.

A Cost-Benefits Analysis is the First Step

Lots of sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They think hearing aids will make them feel old. Or maybe they believe they cost too much.

However as soon as they understand that hearing loss will get worse faster and can cause many health and personal complications, it’s simple to be certain that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Call a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing test. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids nowadays are much sleeker and more sophisticated than you may think!

Monetarily, Buying Hearing Aids is a Good Investment

Man suffering from hearing loss saving money buy buying hearing aids to earn more money and stay safe.

It is a intelligent monetary decision to invest in hearing aids. Hearing aids can sound a bit expensive at first. However, at the time you purchase a home you never see the price and state, “well being homeless is less costly!” The true worth of hearing aids goes beyond the price.

When you’re buying a big-budget item such as this you should ask yourself, “what do I get out of using hearing aids and what’s the expense of not having them?” As it turns out, there is a financial cost for deciding not to get hearing aids. Your ultimate decision needs to also take these costs into consideration. Hearing aids will save you money in the long run. Consider some reasons.

As Time Goes by, Cheap Hearing Aids Tend to end up Being More Costly

When browsing the hearing aids market, you will certainly come across less expensive devices which seem to be more affordable. You might possibly even get a hearing aid off of the web costing less than a dinner.

The trouble with over-the-counter hearing devices is that you get what you pay for in quality. When you buy these devices, you’re actually purchasing an amplification device much like earbuds, not a hearing aid. All they do is crank up the sound around you, that includes unwanted noise.

You lose out on the most effective features and functions hearing aids provide, individualized programming. A quality hearing aid can be specifically keyed to your hearing problem which will help stop it from becoming worse.

Over-the-counter hearing devices utilize low-quality batteries also. Spending large amounts of additional money on dead batteries will be costly. When you use the amplification device daily, you will probably end up replacing the battery up to a couple of times per day. When you need them the most, these cheap batteries typically fail, so be sure to carry lots of spare batteries. When you total up the amount of money you spend for the replacement batteries, do you actually save anything?

Better technology permits the higher quality hearing aids to have a longer life. Many even come with rechargeable batteries, cutting out the need for regular replacements.

Work Related Concerns

Opting to go without hearing aids, or buying inexpensive ones will be costly at work. A 2013 study published in The Hearing Journal states that adults with hearing loss usually earn less money – as high as 25 percent less, and are more likely to be unemployed.

Why? There are quite a few of factors involved, but the dominant factor is that conversation is necessary in nearly every industry. You need to be able to hear what your supervisor is saying to deliver results. You should be capable of listening to clients to help them. If you spend the entire conversation attempting to hear precisely what words people are saying, you’re likely missing the general message. To put it simply, if you can’t participate in discussions, it’s hard to be on point at work.

The battle to hear at the workplace takes a toll on you physically, also. And if you find some way to get through a day with inadequate hearing, the stress that comes with worrying about if you heard something right and the energy necessary to make out as much as possible will keep you fatigued and stressed out. Some impacts of stress:

  • Your immune system
  • Your ability to sleep
  • Your relationships
  • Your quality of life

All of these have the possibility to have an impact on your job performance and reduce your income as a result.

More Trips to the ER

There are safety issues which come with hearing loss. Without appropriate hearing aids, it is dangerous for you to cross the road or operate a car or truck. How could you avoid another vehicle if you can’t hear it? What about environmental safety systems like a tornado alert or smoke alarm?

For many jobs, hearing is a must for job-site safety practices such as building and construction sites or processing plants. That means that not wearing hearing aids is not only a safety hazard but something that can limit your career possibilities.

Financial security comes into play here, too. Did the cashier tell you that you owe 55 dollars or 85? What did the salesperson tell you about the functions on the microwave oven you are looking at and do you actually need them? Perhaps the less expensive model would be all you would need, but it’s hard to know if you can’t hear the salesperson describe the difference.

The Health of Your Brain

One of the most important issues that come with hearing loss is the increased danger of getting dementia. The New England Journal of Medicine says that Alzheimer’s disease costs people more than 56,000 dollars a year. Dementia accounts for 11 billion dollars in Medicare costs annually.

Hearing loss is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It is estimated that an individual with acute, untreated hearing loss multiplies their chances of brain degeneration by five fold. A modest hearing loss comes with three times the chances of dementia, and even a mild hearing problem doubles your risk. Hearing aids can bring the danger back to a regular amount.

There is little doubt that a hearing aid is going to cost you a bit. When you look at all the problems associated with not having one or buying a cheaper device, it’s definitely a good monetary choice. Make an appointment with a hearing specialist to learn more.

Help Decrease Tinnitus With These Seven Yummy Summertime Treats

Family in the park enjoying foods that help reduce tinnitus symptoms.

Along with splashing in the water, and holidays, the summertime brings a lot of delicious food. There are specific things to eat that move to the top of the list when summer comes. If you suffer from tinnitus, you might find that some of these yummy goodies can provide relief. How well you hear, and not what you eat is really the issue. The food that you consume may be a contributing factor, though. Consider seven summer goodies that may help with your tinnitus.

A Little About Tinnitus

The true reason for tinnitus is normally hearing loss. When your hearing diminishes, you can begin to experience phantom sounds like ringing, buzzing, or clicking. Tinnitus is poorly understood, but it’s feasible that this is the brain’s way of dealing with the loss of hearing.

The phantom noises can’t be entirely cured or eliminated. Managing it is your best chance. This can be done with:

  • Amplification devices like hearing aids
  • Masking devices such as white noise machines
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Diet and lifestyle changes

What You Shouldn’t Eat When You Have Tinnitus

It’s not just about what you do eat, but also what you don’t, if you want to control your tinnitus this summer. Try steering clear of these:

  • Salty meals
  • Processed sugar
  • Flavor enhancers like MSG
  • Fatty foods

Try, this summertime to consider the impact on your body and also your tinnitus, that your food will have.

You Could Try to Reduce Your Tinnitus With These Seven Delicious Treats

This summertime what can you eat that might help your tinnitus? These are seven suggestions for you to try.

1. Barbecued Chicken

Grilled chicken is a good, low-fat option for summertime grilling. Because it’s very tasty you won’t even need to have much salt. Chicken is also loaded in vitamin B12, which has been shown to decrease tinnitus symptoms.

While barbecuing chicken consider these few ideas:

Before cooking take off the skin. Because that is where a lot of the fat is hiding.

Your hands and the countertops need to always be washed after you deal with raw chicken.

A hot barbecue is needed while cooking chicken. That better keeps in the flavor and makes certain the meat reaches a safe temperature of 170 degrees.

2. Frozen Bananas

Bananas anytime you like are a sweet snack, but, in the summer, pop them in the freezer to make them refreshing, too. Just peel your bananas, shove a pop stick in the bottom and then freeze.

Before placing these little goodies in the freezer, play around with dipping them in a little peanut butter or chocolate. The bodily fluids are helped by the high amounts of potassium in bananas which in turn helps reduce tinnitus.

3. Pineapple

Being a natural anti-inflammatory, pineapple might be helpful to those who suffer from tinnitus. It’s also a versatile fruit. It’s perfect as a dessert or snack when it’s raw. You can chill it in juice to create a fruity popsicle or add a slice to a cup of iced tea for flavor. Pineapple is even delicious on the grill by itself, used to dress up meat or as part of a kabob.

4. Watermelon

Water consumption is not the only reward to watermelon, it also cools you off and tastes great. It also contains antioxidants which benefit your overall well being and Decrease your chances of becoming sick. Watermelon is rich in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Copper
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B1

Having no fat and very few calories, it is the perfect summertime snack.

5. Iced Tea With Ginger

There is some evidence that ginger may be able to assist in relieving pressure in the ear that might trigger tinnitus. It becomes a tasty and refreshing summertime drink when you incorporate it with a couple different other spices. Get started by boiling one teaspoon of:

  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Cinnamon

Use four cups of water for 15 minutes to steep three pieces of ginger. After the tea cools pour it over ice. Play around with the recipe some, such as including a lemon slice to suit your personal taste.

6. Kiwi

Kiwi fruit is an all natural choice to help you reduce your blood pressure. It contains more vitamin C than an equal sized orange and also has magnesium, calcium, and potassium. This brown, fuzzy fruit goes well with salads, desserts and barbecued meats. If you drop a slice into your favorite summer drink, you get a unique flavor.

7. Avocado

Avocado helps to control tinnitus but it’s also good for your heart. In only one half of an avocado you get:

  • 1 percent of your daily recommended intake of calcium
  • 5 percent of your daily recommended intake of magnesium
  • 10 percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium

Additionally it contains healthy fats and carotenoids to fight disease. The downside to the avocado is calories, so a little goes a long way. Add it to your favorite summertime salad recipe.

This summer, go out and appreciate some sensible, nutritious goodies. Your hearing might just thank you by ringing less.

Living a Healthy Life Might Still Harm you Hearing

Grandma and grandson are cooking healthy food together in the kitchen to prevent hearing loss.

It’s not always easy to make healthy choices. Usually our reluctance can be overcome if we remind ourselves what is good for us. But what if some of the things you’ve been doing for your health are harming your hearing? Actually it’s more common than you would believe.

Day To Day Health Practices

When you go out, you want others to notice how good you appear, and how well you take care of yourself. Like most everyone, you probably put on something sharp, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and possibly, clean your ears.

With time an annoying trickle of a small amount of earwax can build up. Earwax does need to be removed from time to time, in spite of the fact that it does have many essential purposes. The risk of hearing injury doesn’t come from eliminating the earwax, but instead, from the system you use to get rid of it.

If you are using cotton swabs you should stop as these are not the proper tool for the job. Irreversible harm can be done by using cotton swabs to clear away your earwax. Getting in touch with a hearing health provider would be your best bet. Getting rid of Earwax is a normal treatment for them.

Your Workout Program

The best way to look healthy and feel good is to stay in shape. Relaxing your muscles, getting the blood flowing, losing weight, and clearing your mind, are all benefits of exercising. The concern stems from incorrectly practiced workouts.

High impact workouts that push your cardio endurance are becoming more popular. While that might help you to build your muscle, if you’re participating in these kinds of exercises you may be straining your body and your ears. You might not even notice it at first, but that stress can cause pressure to build up in your ears. The result? Balance and hearing problems.

This doesn’t mean quitting your workouts is the right answer. Improper workout methods can lead to trouble. When exercising try not to stress or hold in your breath. When your limit has been reached, discontinue.

Your Prospering Career

Having a successful career usually means having a lot of strain. While working hard to achieve career accomplishment is great, high strain levels can impact your health.

Stress has been known to cause weight gain, impaired thinking, and muscle pain, but did you know it can also cause hearing loss? The issue is actually the poor blood flow caused by strain. Poor circulation means that essential parts of your body, like the delicate hairs in your ears, don’t get the supply of blood and oxygen they need. These hairs don’t grow back. When they’re dead, they’re gone. Why are these little hairs important? Those hairs are how your brain senses sound waves. In other words, without those hairs, you can not hear.

However, you can keep your career and your hearing. Simple strategies for lowering stress can be used to keep the blood flowing. It is necessary to take time away from a stressful situation. If you have time, read or watch something humorous. When you laugh, you naturally shake off your strain.

Enjoying the Arts

It’s certainly healthy for your mind to be exposed to the arts regardless of what form they come in! But different forms of art have different levels of impact on hearing.

We frequently underestimate how loud going to the movies or attending a concert can be. In most cases, you’re busy being swept up in the message of the medium to ask if it’s harming your hearing. The sad truth is, it very well may be.

The solution to this one is easy. If you’re planning to attend a potentially loud event, grab some ear protection. Earmuffs may look silly at a production of Phantom of the Opera, but there are plenty of discreet in-ear noise reduction products that you can pack in your pocket.

Like with anything else, being informed and prepared will help to protect. If you fear that participation in a high volume activity has already damaged your hearing, you should schedule an appointment with a hearing expert. Only then will you know for sure.

Are the Things You Do In Your Spare Time Putting You at Risk for Hearing Loss?

A man is playing guitar not realizing it may cause hearing loss as he is not wearing hearing protection.

What do people in this country do on their days off? You can understand more about a person by looking at the things they do to relax. For instance, the American Time Use Survey produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states you are able to judge how much a person makes if you know their favorite hobby. It seems the more money you have, the more free time you spend improving your appearance at the gym, jogging or playing games on the weekend. Clearly, there is a major difference between the person who jumps out of a plane for fun and the one who hits the golf course once a week, right? The skydiver is looking for adventure, and the other person wants a life without the adrenaline surge.

The things you do when you are not working can also say something about your hearing health. You might consider your hobby healthy and fun, but what is it doing to your ears? Take a minute to stop and think about your fun time and your hearing.

Why a Hobby Could Cause Hearing Problems

When it comes down to it, noise is the major culprit in hearing loss. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noise that falls at a certain volume level will damage to the delicate mechanisms of the ear like:

  • Hair cells
  • Membranes
  • Nerves

Sound goes into the ear in a wave. How strong that wave depends on different factors like volume and distance, which are two of the most important. The sound goes through the ear canal to be amplified by the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, as it enters the middle ear.

In your middle ear, you’ll find three small bones that work together to transmit vibrations caused by this amplified sound wave, pushing it towards a flexible membrane that sits at the base at of the inner ear. The combination of the bones and the membrane further strengthen the wave.

The vibration caused by this stronger sound wave vibrates the fluid in the cochlea, a chamber in the inner ear. When that happens, the movement sways the tiny, and very delicate, hair cells to create a kind of electrical message. Simply put, the hair cells translate this sound wave into something the brain can understand. Once it gets that electrical signal, the brain can tell you what you are hearing.

For example, think about when you turn the radio on in the car. The music goes into the ears as a sound wave with the help of the pinna, or outer ear. The wave is strengthened by the tympanic membrane to move the small bones, so they can vibrate the membrane at the entrance to the cochlea. This membrane moves the fluid in the cochlea which causes the hair cells to send an electrical message to the brain. The brain decodes the message and sends a signal that tells you there is music playing. All the happens in a nanosecond and without you even having to think about it. Not only do you hear the sound, you understand it, you know what direction it is coming from and whether you enjoy or hate it.

What If You Turn the Volume Up

Now, consider someone running in the park wearing headphones. It’s a little bit like firing a gun from point blank range. The sound wave that goes the ear is already loud, maybe enough to damage the eardrum. It’s certainly strong enough to cause the bones in the middle ear to move dangerously fast, creating a larger wave in the fluid of the inner ear; one that will eventually break the hair cells.

Maybe your favorite hobby is riding a motorcycle. The sound caused by the engine roar is will lead to similar damage. Decibel (dB) is the measurement associated with sound. Any noise above 85 dB can mean hearing loss. The average motorcycle engine generates around 100 dB of sound. The traffic you hear when driving in your car to the golf course is around 85 dB. The lawn mower comes in at about 107 dB.

What Hobbies can Mean the Most Hearing Damage

Anything you do that involves sound over 85 dB is a trouble. Everyday conversation or music playing at a sensible volume measures at about 70 dB; just to give you an idea of what sounds are a problem. Some of the common hobbies that can damage the ear include:

  • Motorcycle riding
  • Home Improvement
  • Woodworking
  • Sporting or music events
  • Driving with the top down
  • Paintball

Add to this list the things you do with headphones or earbuds in place including video games or listening to music.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Hearing

You don’t have to give up the fun things to keep your ears safe, just be smart about what you do. First and foremost, don’t wear headphones or earbuds for anything. If your hobby requires you to used drills or hammer, wear hearing protection such as ear plugs or muffs. If you love live music at a sports arena or local bar, consider musician earplugs that preserve sound quality but reduce the noise exposure.

You only have two ears, so do right by them. Go ahead and have some fun on your day off, just turn down the volume.

How Tinnitus Can Interfere With Your View of the World

Bells ring to represent suffering from hearing loss related tinnitus.

It’s just a little noise in your ear, right? When you put it that way, it sounds harmless but the reality is that tinnitus alters your view of things right from day one. Tinnitus is not a real noise but it still takes a toll and not in a good way. For some suffers, it is a life changer that gets in the way of talking to others, a good night’s sleep and the ability to concentrate. It alters your perception of your world by interfering with many different parts of it. To understand how this happens you need to know more about this condition.

Tinnitus: What is it?

Tinnitus means you hear noises that no one else can hear. People think of it as a condition but it is actually a symptom of something else like the age-related hearing loss. If you have tinnitus, it is important to know many other people do too. According to the American Tinnitus Association, about 15 percent of the U.S. population have tinnitus at some level.

Tinnitus can be different for everyone, as well. Some people hear ringing in their ears while others describe it as:

  • Buzzing
  • Wind blowing
  • Clicking

These are all sounds indicative of tinnitus.

What Causes Tinnitus?

That tells you a lot but it doesn’t explain the cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus a bit of a medical mystery, in part, because there may be more than one cause. For many, it is a symptom of profound hearing loss. The brain gets used to hearing sounds all the time because it’s always around you. It’s there when you go for a walk or read a book. There is some kind of noise even as you sit in a quiet room.

Noise is always there for your ears pick up on even if it is slight. Faint sound creates small waves that the brain can interpret. It then decides whether you actually should hear the noise or not.

When someone develops hearing loss things changes gradually. Over time, the sound stops coming to the brain the way it used to, so it tries to figure out why. Researchers believe that it tries to fix the problem by creating the ringing, buzzing or wind sound associated with tinnitus. It would rather “hear” a phantom noise then live in silence.

There are other medical problems that can cause tinnitus beside age-related hearing loss such as:

  • Ear canal blockage
  • Head or neck trauma
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Sinus conditions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ototoxic drugs
  • Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroid
  • An autoimmune disorder like Lyme disease or fibromyalgia
  • Circulatory disorders such as high blood pressure
  • Vestibular disorders like thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Tumor-related disorders such as acoustic neuroma

If you suddenly notice the phantom noises of tinnitus, it is time to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. You need to find out why you have this problem and to rule out very serious medical concerns like high blood pressure.

Why Does Tinnitus Impact How You See the World?

Tinnitus has a negative impact on most people and even faint ringing in the ears can be distracting. The irritation of not being able to turn it on and off can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration

People with severe tinnitus might experience:

  • Social isolation
  • Unemployment
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorder

That loss of control and frustration may bleed through to everything else you do.

What Treatment is Available for Tinnitus?

First, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about the medical options. If the cause is hearing loss, using a hearing aid for that ear may be the only thing you need. Hearing aids amplify sound, so your brain starts getting the daily noise it expects. White noise machines mimic environmental sounds when you take your hearing aids out like at night. You can also try to create your own kind of noise with a fan or by running a dehumidifier.

Your view of the world defines your awareness of what’s going on around you. That improves when you eliminate the distracting noise of tinnitus.

Why Hearing Loss Maims More Than Your Ears

A woman is in pain, but she doesn't realize the cause is her untreated hearing loss.

When someone says hearing loss, you naturally think about ears, and why not? Clearly, a person with hearing loss has a problem with the elements of the ear. If you injure your leg, it doesn’t affect your hearing, right? While it is normal to connect hearing loss with your ears, it’s a little more complex issue. If you or someone you love has hearing loss, think about the other ways it changes a person’s life.

How Hearing Loss Affects the Brain

Technically, your ears are not the only organs injured if you suffer from the untreated hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is the third most common chronic problem among seniors, right after hypertension and arthritis, and that’s a concern because of how it affects the brain.

Age-related hearing loss damages the hair cells found in the inner ear. They move in a way that creates an electrical message that the brain interprets as sound. Noise is something people experience all day long even when they try to avoid it. Quiet rooms still have sound in the background like the buzzing of a computer hard drive, for example, or the air conditioner running so quietly you fail to notice it. Even if you were able to eliminate all sound around you, there would still be the noise caused by your breathing.

In fact, your brain translates these impulses sent by the hair cells all day long, you just do not know it. When they disappear with the age-related hearing loss, the brain feels confused and tries to figure out what’s going on. Typically, a small amount of sound is still getting through, but the brain has to work harder to understand it, and that stress causes a number of medical problems.

Research shows that individuals with untreated hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia, for instance, maybe as much as fives times the risk. There is evidence when a person has difficulty hearing, their brain shrinks faster, and their cognitive function declines, too. The brain may try to use the area set aside for hearing for other things further decreasing your ability to hear.

About Tinnitus

Tinnitus or phantom noises is a side effect of diminished hearing. No one knows why this happens but one theory is that the brain is trying to create sound because it is missing it. If your mind is used to hearing a noise all the time and it slowly fades away, tinnitus could be an attempt to compensate for that loss.

Listening to this phantom noise has a negative impact on most lives. It can interfere with your ability to sleep or concentrate. It can cause depression and other mental health issues, as well. It’s not easy living with that constant ringing or buzzing without feeling stress.

How It Affects Relationships

It is not easy having the people in your life point out your hearing loss, especially since it usually has to do with aging. You don’t like being told you are getting older. It is estimated that about 50 percent of older adult have problems with their hearing. It’s hard to accept, so when the subject comes up, there is denial and resentment.

Someone with hearing loss may begin to fade into the background, too. They stop going out with others because they can’t follow the conversations, and it makes them feel stupid. Perhaps they worry about making their friends mad by asking them to repeat things all the time. Those same friends don’t come around as much, either, because the conversation is too awkward.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures the impact of hearing loss on quality of life using a measurement labeled disability-adjusted years. This means they measure how many fewer quality years come with hearing loss. They estimate that a person loses 2.5 healthy years with each year of hearing impairment.

Hearing Loss Affects Your Ability to Earn

There are some studies that show hearing loss can lead to less money in the bank. One conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found that individuals with hearing loss make as much as 12,000 dollars less annually. Using hearing aids can mitigate the effects and lead to more money, though.

There is not much doubt that the problems created by hearing loss are significant in many areas of life including your physical and mental health. It’s not only about your ears. That is why it is so important to be aware of your hearing health and to get a professional exam and hearing test if you think there is a problem.