6 Ways to Save Your Hearing

The World Health Organization reports that 1.1 billion people are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, generated by exposure to elevated sound levels from personal music devices and very loud settings such as nightclubs, bars, concerts, and sporting events. An projected 26 million Americans currently suffer from the condition.

If noise-induced hearing loss occurs from being exposed to intense sound levels, then what is considered to be excessive? It turns out that any noise higher than 85 decibels is potentially damaging, and regrettably, many of our day-to-day activities expose us to sounds well above this threshold. An music player at maximum volume, for example, hits 105 decibels, and police sirens can hit 130.

So is hearing loss an unavoidable consequence of our over-amplified life? Not if you make the right decisions, because it also happens that noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable.

Here are six ways you can save your hearing:

1. Use custom earplugs

The optimum way to prevent hearing loss is to avoid loud noise completely. Of course, for most people that would lead to leaving their jobs and dropping their plans to watch their favorite band perform live in concert.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to live like a recluse to salvage your hearing. If you’re subjected to loud sounds at work, or if you plan on attending a live concert, rather than avoiding the noise you can lower its volume with earplugs. One approach is to pick up a low cost pair of foam earplugs at the convenience store, understanding that they will probably create muffled sound. There is a better option.

Today, several custom earplugs are obtainable that fit comfortably in the ear. Custom earplugs are molded to the curves of your ear for maximum comfort, and they incorporate advanced electronics that lower sound volume symmetrically across frequencies so that music and speech can be heard clearly and naturally. Speak to your local hearing professional for additional information.

2. Keep a safe distance from the sound source

The inverse square law, as applied to sound, says that as you double the distance from the source of sound the intensity level of the sound declines by 75%. This law of physics might possibly save your hearing at a rock concert; rather than standing in the front row adjacent to the speaker system, increase your distance as much as possible, weighing the benefits of a good view versus a safe distance.

3. Take rest breaks for your ears

Hearing impairment from subjection to loud sound is influenced by on three factors:

  1. the sound level or intensity
  2. your distance from the sound source
  3. the length of time you’re exposed to the sound

You can reduce the intensity of sound with earplugs, you can increase your distance from the sound source, and you can also limit your collective length of exposure by taking rest breaks from the sound. If you’re at a concert or in a recording studio, for example, be sure you give your ears recurrent breaks and time to recuperate.

4. Turn down the music – follow the 60/60 rule

If you frequently listen to music from a portable music player, make sure you maintain the volume no higher that 60% of the maximum volume for no longer than 60 minutes each day. Higher volume and longer listening times raise the risk of long-term damage.

5. Purchase noise-canceling headphones

The 60/60 rule is challenging, if not impossible to stick to in certain listening conditions. In the presence of loud background noise, like in a busy city, you have to turn up the volume on your MP3 player to hear the music over the ambient noise.

The remedy? Noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones will filter out ambient sounds so that you can enjoy your music without breaking the 60/60 rule.

6. Schedule regular hearing exams

It’s never too soon or too late to book a hearing assessment. Along with the ability to determine present hearing loss, a hearing exam can also establish a baseline for subsequent comparison.

Given that hearing loss develops slowly, it is difficult to perceive. For the majority of people, the only way to know if hearing loss is present is to have a professional hearing test. But you shouldn’t wait until after the harm is done to schedule an appointment; prevention is the best medicine, and your local hearing specialist can provide personal hearing protection solutions so that you can avoid hearing loss altogether.

Professional musicians at greater risk of developing hearing loss

Celebrity, wealth, and screaming fans — these are a couple of of the terms and phrases you’d include to describe the lifestyle of a professional musician. But what you more than likely wouldn’t consider is “hearing loss” or “tinnitus,” the not-so-pleasant side-effects of all that fame, wealth, and screaming. The unfortunate irony is, a musician’s hearing is what is most predisposed to damage from the performance of their trade.

In reality, musicians are close to four times more likely to experience noise-induced hearing loss compared with the average person, according to scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. The study also reported that professional musicians are approximately 57% more likely to develop tinnitus — a condition connected with a prolonged ringing in the ears.

The reason: frequent exposure to deafening sound. Through the years, very loud noise will irreparably destroy the hair cells of the inner ear, which are the sensory receptors responsible for transferring sound to the brain. Like an abundant area of grass worn out from repeated trampling, the hair cells can also be wiped out from frequent overexposure to loud noise – the difference, of course, being that you can’t grow brand new hair cells.

Louder is not better

To show the issue, hearing loss starts with routine exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels (decibels being a unit used to calculate loudness). That may very well not mean much to you, until you have a look at the decibel levels associated with typical events:

  • Whisper at 6 feet: 30 decibels (dB)

  • Regular conversation at 3 feet: 60 – 65 (dB)

  • Motorcycle: 100 dB

  • Front row at a rock show: 120 to 150 dB

In non-technical terms, rock shows are literally ear-splittingly loud, and repetitive unprotected exposure can cause some considerable harm, which, regrettably, numerous notable musicians have recently attested to.

Chris Martin, the lead singer for the music group Coldplay, has suffered with Tinnitus for ten years. According to Martin:

“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I’d thought about it earlier. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears. You CAN use industrial headphones, but that looks strange at a party.”

Other notable musicians that suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus include Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Bono, Sting, Ryan Adams, and more, many of which voice regret that they hadn’t done more to protect their ears all through their careers. Lars Ulrich from Metallica stated::

“If you get a scratch on your nose, in a week that’ll be gone. When you scratch your hearing or damage your hearing, it doesn’t come back. I try to point out to younger kids … once your hearing is gone, it’s gone, and there’s no real remedy.”

How musicians can protect their ears with custom ear plugs

Although musicians are at greater risk for developing hearing loss or tinnitus, the threat can be greatly reduced by using protective measures. As a result of the unique needs of musicians — and the importance of preserving the detDue to the unique requirements of musicians — and the importance of preserving the fine details of sound — the first step is to make an appointment with an audiologist.

Here’s a prevalent mistake: musicians will frequently delay seeing an audiologist until they experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • A ringing or buzzing noise in the ears

  • Any pain or discomfort in the ears

  • Difficulty understanding speech

  • Difficulty following conversations in the presence of background noise

The issue is, when these symptoms are present, the harm has already been done. Therefore, the leading thing a musician can do to prevent long-term, permanent hearing loss is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist before symptoms are present.

If you’re a musician, an audiologist can prescribe specialty musicians’ plugs or in-ear-monitors that will give protection to your hearing without diminishing your musical abilities. As a musician, you have distinctive needs for hearing and hearing protection, and audiologists or hearing specialists are the professionals specifically trained to render this customized protection.

Additionally, bear in mind that it’s not only musicians at risk: concert-goers are just as vulnerable. So the next time you’re front row at a rock show, know that 120 decibels of hair-cell-killing volume is pumping right from the speakers right into your ears.


Preventing work related hearing loss with high fidelity, custom-fit ear plugs

85 decibels. That’s the sound level at which repeated exposure can result in significant hearing damage.

100 decibels. that is the noise degree reached by a rock show, which is not-so-good news for musicians or live concert goers.

It’s also part of a bigger problem: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 30 million people in the U.S. are exposed to detrimental sound volumes, representing one of the biggest occupational threats over the past 25 years.

And performers aren’t the only ones at risk; here are some of the decibel volumes associated with conventional work related activities: a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newsprint press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting show 105, and a jet plane takeoff 150. performers, factory workers, construction workers, airport staff, emergency workers, plumbers, and craftsmen are all at risk of developing major hearing loss and tinnitus.

Work-related hearing loss impacts thousands

Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England understands all too well about the occupational dangers of noise. Twigg worked on diagnosing and repairing police car sirens — which get to between 106 to 118 decibels — for more than 30 years.

After retirement, Twigg started to suffer intense tinnitus in addition to substantial hearing loss that obligated the usage of hearing aids. Having failed to take on the defensive measures that would decrease the noise levels, Twigg’s employer was found accountable in court, losing a case in which Twigg would obtain a considerable settlement.

This is a experience that is all too familiar: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 only there were 21,000 cases of occupational hearing loss documented.

How to protect your ears at work

So here’s the problem: the world requires music players, craftsmen, and emergency and construction staff, but you can’t really make power saws and law enforcement sirens any quieter.

The remedy? minimize the level of noise that comes in through your ear. Simple, right? Well…not so fast.

You could simply travel to the neighborhood store and pick up some disposable foam ear plugs, but as it turns out, there is a much higher quality alternative.

The ideal method requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, sometimes referred to as musicians plugs, that your hearing consultant can personalize specifically to you, your job, and your needs.

4 reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are superior than the off-the-shelf foam variety

Here are four reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are far superior to foam ear plugs.

1. maintenance of sound quality

Regular foam ear plugs muffle speech and music. By limiting sound mainly in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices sound unnatural and indecipherable. Foam ear plugs also minimize sound by 30-40 decibels, which is excessive for the prevention of hearing injury.

Custom-fit ear plugs will minimize sound more evenly across frequencies while lessening sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby maintaining the all natural quality of speech and music.

2. Prevention of the “Occlusion Effect”

With foam ear plugs, the user will hear a hollowed out or boomy sound in their voice when speaking, singing, or playing an musical instrument. This aggravating noise is referred as the “occlusion effect.”

Custom-fit ear plugs are shaped to the ear, generating a deep seal that helps prevent this distracting sound.

3. Price & convenience

Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, almost always at a price tag of well below $100.

Let’s do some math on the disposable foam plugs:

$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair

$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60

With custom-fit ear plugs, you will certainly save money in the long run and will prevent all of those visits to the store. No one looks forward to picking out ear plugs, so while the initial visit to the audiologist seems like a burden, in the long run you will also conserve time.

4. preserving the environment

Disposable ear plugs create a lot of waste:

5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs thrown out every single year.


Schedule a consultation and give protection to your ears

The many advantages of custom-fit ear plugs speak for themselves.

If you work in a occupation that exposes you to a high risk for hearing damage, or if you attend rowdy live shows or sporting events, schedule an appointment with a hearing expert today. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears, and distinct from the disposable foam varieties, will also conserve the high quality of sound.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have gone through a large number of iterations in their 200-plus year history. The technology that is utilized in hearing aids has historically been developed in consequence of a dedicated scientist who is either impacted by hearing loss or has a friend or family member impacted by hearing loss. For instance, Alexander Graham Bell’s mother had profound hearing loss and his wife was deaf.

Here are 10 other little-known facts about hearing aids:

1. Hearing aids can be synced up with wireless devices through advanced technology like Bluetooth, so users can enjoy direct signals from their smart phone, MP3 player, TV, and other electronic products.

2. Hearing aids are not one size fits all – as a matter of fact, they can and should be programmable. This indicates they have the ability to recall the most comfortable configurations for the user, often adapting in real time to the immediate environment.

3. Digital hearing aids – a recent advancement — have considerably minimized the occurrence of pestering feedback, echoes, and background noises. These were par for the course as part of older technologies, and they made paying attention much more challenging.

4. Hearing aids have the capacity for enhancing and clarifying sound, in addition to making it louder for the user.

5. When used in conjunction with special induction or hearing loops, hearing aid users can more clearly hear notices in public places, meetings, airports, arenas, and other congested environments. This technology enhances sounds and minimizes all the background noise.

6. Hearing aids were once only manufactured in beige and similar colors to fit in with people’s skin color, so that they were not easily recognizable. Today, users are welcoming their hearing aid technology, wearing assorted colors and patterns to showcase their devices and attract attention in a crowd.

7. In the same vein, hearing aids are smaller in size than ever before. They used to be massive, cumbersome gadgets that weighed several pounds and didn’t really do much to amplify sound. Today, they only weigh a few ounces and provide superior sound quality.

8. Today, you can invest in water resistant and waterproof hearing aids to better fit in with your lifestyle. Water resistant hearing aids can withstand low levels of humidity and moisture, while waterproof hearing aids can withstand higher levels of moisture during showering and even swimming.

9. Many hearing aids are now made with rechargeable technology; instead of having to frequently replace batteries, hearing aids can simply be recharged, thereby avoiding maintenance costs and hassle.

10. Hearing aids are not only for the hard of hearing — individuals suffering from tinnitus can often obtain relief from the constant ringing with the special tinnitus therapy components contained in many hearing aids.


Now that you learned some interesting tidbits about hearing aids and their accompanying technology, you can better understand what they have to offer the young and the old alike.


How Ibuprofen can Lead to Hearing Loss

Pain medication found over the counter can do untold damage to your ears. If you ever wondered what brings on hearing loss, chances are you wouldn’t think that over the counter medications could harm your ears. It’s true, thanks to a conclusive study that shows ibuprofen as a source of hearing loss in women. It’s commonly known that age as well as prolonged noise exposure can harm hearing, but now we know ibuprofen can too. One way to prevent this from happening is to avoid certain medications in order to protect the health of your hearing, according to the American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology through its recent research.

More Research

Anything from diet and hormones to alcohol consumption and noise exposure over long periods of time can affect your hearing. This is why more research into the causes of hearing loss is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This next study is following 150,000 women country wide, with a goal to find out the many factors that can contribute to hearing damage.


Researchers already knew that this effect happened in men. Well, how does ibuprofen encourage hearing loss? It’s related to the reduction in normal blood flow to the cochlear, situated in the inner ear. Acetaminophen, in particular, can attack those structures that are meant to protect your cochlear. This, in turn, can lead to hearing damage over time. Keep in mind that any medicine, like analgesics, that can damage your kidneys also has the potential to damage your ears. This is the first time research on women has been done in connection with ibuprofen. In previous studies, ibuprofen has even been found to worsen symptoms of tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo – all common inner ear problems.

Conclusive Findings

The American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology study mentioned above was done on 60,000 women spanning 14 years. It brought to light the fact that a quarter of women who, more than twice a week, took ibuprofen and acetaminophen regularly reported increased incidents of hearing loss. The purpose of the study was to find out whether pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen could incur hearing loss in females. The answer is yes.

What to Do

To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor and take a look at all labels on cold and sinus medications at the store, as many have ibuprofen in them. Rather than take ibuprofen, pop naproxen for pain instead, especially if hearing loss is concerning you. This type of pain med has not been found to affect hearing negatively. You don’t necessarily have to stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen if you suffer from muscle pain or headaches, but it is a wise idea if you worry about hearing health.

How Hearing Loss Can Affect Your Holiday Gatherings

During the holidays, it can be hard going to parties as a person with diminished hearing capabilities. In fact, hearing loss can negatively impact the enjoyment of people with hearing impairment without those around them even knowing. This can lead to many other negative health impacts, which will be examined in this article, plus, we will the different ways that people with hearing loss can be helped during this time of year. There are many different ways that hearing loss can affect the life of the person who is suffering from sub-par hearing.

The Potential Harm

While not being able to hear someone talk to you can be a frustrating experience, it is much more mentally trying to never be able to hear someone properly, especially when it is your own friends or family. They are not capable of talking to one another, and tend to find that people are less willing to talk to them when they discover that they are hearing impaired.
While it can be difficult to conceptualize for people who have been able to hear their entire lives, not being able to hold a conversation during the holidays can have severe effects on them.
The difficulty talking to other people and understanding them causes the anxiety in social interactions, and self-imposed isolation to avoid this may lead to depression. Not being able to hear people speak is just a small overall symptom of the larger problem that is caused by hearing impairment. There are two other very difficult ailments that can accompany hearing loss throughout one’s life: anxiety and depression. Both of these ailments can cause even more serious effects, but the bottom line is that they can absolutely destroy the chances that they will enjoy the holidays.

Hearing Loss Treatment

First off, bring them into conversations and do not be afraid to lead by example when it comes to talking loudly and slowly for their benefit to make sure that they understand. However, hearing loss does not have to ruin the holidays for people with hearing loss any longer. There are many different ways that we can help them enjoy social interactions once again. You can take a people first method of making your friends and family with hearing loss feel more welcome in your home this year.
Let other guests know that they should take time to meet everyone at the gathering so that the individual does not feel left out. Encourage your friend to visit a hearing specialist, who can go through the diagnosis for their hearing loss and find the best way to go about treating it. If they have not had their hearing diagnoses, they may be surprised to find the different options that they have available to them. Surgery and hearing devices are the most common, and both can help a person regain significant amounts of hearing. These improvements can lead to happier holidays.

Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

A new component of hearing research is reaching the masses. Hearing aids, progressing a lot in the last 10 to 15 years or so, are no longer the cumbersome, expensive, and ineffective models they once were. Now, they are nearly invisible, work well and are not as costly. Best of all, they are capable of reproducing the subtleties of natural sound.

Where it gets tricky is, hearing aid technology is advancing faster than hearing aid reputation, and many people continue to associate hearing aids with the ugly, massive contraptions of the past. Nevertheless, in sharp contrast to their dodgy ancestors, modern hearing aids are sleek and nearly invisible. There’s been a gradual change in the overall approach to research and design – a new approach researchers are calling “brain hearing.”

So what is brain hearing, exactly?

Brain hearing begins with the simple acknowledgment that sound actually occurs in the brain, and not in the ears. Traditional hearing aids, designed with the ears in mind, tend to amplify any and all sounds, pushing through a mass of noise directly to the brain. The result is terrible sound quality that causes the brain to become overwhelmed and fatigued. And that, unfortunately, sums up the majority of the history of hearing aids.

The good news is that researchers have finally figured out that the processing of sound within the brain, and quality of the signal the brain receives, are just as important as the amplification of sound in the ear. By considering the entire hearing process, brain hearing research is leading to the development of some incredible hearing aids.

How do brain-focused hearing aids work?

Simply put, brain hearing leads to drastically improved hearing aid performance. By modifying only the sounds that the inner ear cannot already hear well, the natural quality of sound is preserved, and the brain is not fatigued and overwhelmed with unnecessary amplification. By preserving a natural, clear signal that is full of detail, brain-focused hearing aids work with the brain’s four key functions used to make sense of the sound it receives:

  1. Spatial recognition – brain hearing preserves the difference in sound between the two ears, allowing for the ability to accurately locate sounds.

  2. Sound filtering – brain hearing preserves the ability to identify and separate relevant information from background noise.

  3. Sound focusing – brain hearing preserves the ability to focus on relevant sounds and speech, even in noisy environments with abrupt changes in background noise.

  4. Speech recognition – brain hearing preserves the natural characteristics of speech, making it easier to focus on conversations and switch between speakers.

How you can benefit from brain hearing

At this point, you may be asking yourself how you can get your hands (and ears) on this new brain hearing technology. While hearing aids must be custom fitted and programmed, the process is likely to be easier than you think.

The first step is to schedule a hearing test with any board-certified audiologist. Next, your audiologist will precisely measure your hearing loss, using that information in the custom programming of your new state-of-the-art hearing aid. Now it’s possible to break through the walls of hearing loss and begin enjoying life again.

Consumers love brain-focused hearing aids

Companies like Oticon, a global leader in the hearing industry, are currently producing brain-focused hearing aids and receiving outstanding feedback. Oticon says that while average hearing instrument user satisfaction is 79%, user satisfaction associated with one of its brain-focused hearing aids is 96%.

“BrainHearing is a natural evolution of Oticon’s long-standing commitment to putting the needs of People First,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon. “This comes back to our research from our Eriksholm research facility, where we have understood that treating hearing loss is much more than presenting sound through amplification. We have known for some years that the brain has a unique ability to process sound if it receives a robust signal that is full of detail.”


Which Kinds of Vertigo or Dizziness May Benefit from Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)?

Over 90 million people (42% of the United State population) experience feelings of dizziness, vertigo, and loss of balance during their lifetime; for many of them, this experience becomes a long-term condition. Dizziness is the number 1 reason that people over the age of seventy five visit doctors, and falls due to a loss of balance are the leading cause of serious injury and death in people over the age of 65.

Most (75%) of these cases are caused by peripheral vestibular disorders in the inner ear; examples of these conditions include labyrinthitis, perilymphatic fistula, vestibular neuritis, acoustic neuroma, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and Ménière’s disease. All of these conditions affect the inner ear and the delicate system that handles our sense of balance and enables us to maintain control over it. Although most cases of chronic dizziness and vertigo occur in adults, the condition can affect children suffering from it even more, because they are so active that a lack of balance can prevent them from engaging in sports or other activities.

There are drug and surgical treatments for these conditions, but one of the alternative therapies is called Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT), a form of physical therapy that uses specialized sets of movements to stimulate and retrain the vestibular system. The VRT exercises are individually prescribed for each patient’s symptoms and complaints, but in general they consist of gait training, head movements and eye exercises designed to reduce symptoms and improve stability. VRT cites its goals as seeking to improve balance, decrease the experience of dizziness, improve patients’ stability when walking or moving, improve coordination, minimize falls, and reduce anxiety.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms for many people suffering from the conditions mentioned above, and for those with other forms of bilateral or unilateral vestibular loss. Several studies have confirmed VRT’s effectiveness in patients who did not respond to other treatment methodologies. It is not as likely to be beneficial if a patient’s symptoms are the result of reactions to medications, migraine headaches, anxiety or depression, transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or low blood pressure.

Because the specific exercises in a regimen of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy vary according to the patient’s symptoms and conditions, it is not easy to give an overview of them. But most of the exercises involve therapist-led movements of the head and body to help your brain and body retrain themselves to compensate for the erroneous information they are receiving from their inner ear, and thus regain control over their balance and equilibrium. Consult a balance specialist if you have experienced dizziness or vertigo for long periods of time, and if an inner ear cause of the problem is indicated, ask for more information about Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. You may also want to contact the Vestibular Disorders Association and take advantage of many of their short publications and resource materials.

Recommendations for Do-it-Yourself Ear Wax Removal and Cleaning

Blockage of the outer ear canal from an accumulation of ear wax is one of the most typical reasons for short-term hearing loss. If you are fairly confident that ear wax is the resource for your temporary hearing loss, you almost certainly want to clean out your ears. Even though this is a normal wish, it is important to understand how to clean your ears safely, without causing hearing or tissue damage.

It is best to get started with a few tips on what not to do when cleaning your ears. Never insert any foreign objects into your ear. Regardless of whether it‚Äôs a cotton swap, Q-tip or other object, you are very likely to make the problem even worse by further compacting the ear wax if you go poking around in your ear. On top of that, don’t use any gadget that injects a pressurized stream of water into your ears, such as a WaterPik, because this can rupture the eardrum. Finally, if you know that you have a ruptured eardrum, leave cleaning your ears to a hearing specialist. The same holds true if you suspect you have an ear infection. If you suspect an infection, common signs and symptoms to look for include fluid draining from the ears, vomiting or diarrhea, ear pain and fever.

For gentle ear cleaning at home, all you need is a syringe or bulb at the pharmacy and a safe rinse solution. You can purchase a carbamide peroxide solution at the drug store, or mix your own solution by combining equal parts of glycerin, mineral oil and 3%-4%.

To apply it, lay down on your side with a towel underneath you or lean to one side over a sink and slowly squeeze the carbamide peroxide solution into one ear, without actually touching the inside of the ear with the syringe or bulb. Allow the solution to remain in your ear for a couple minutes (or, if you use hydrogen peroxide, until you no longer hear bubbling), and then repeat for the other ear.

After this rinse solution has softened and loosened the ear wax, rinse your ears with lukewarm water, and then dry your ears completely with a soft towel, taking care not to insert the towel into the ears themselves. If the obstruction persists, repeat this process of cleaning your ears two times a day for 2 to 3 days. If the problem still persist, see your a hearing specialist or audiologist.

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) Treatment Options

Diagnosing Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is difficult for several reasons. The disorder isn’t because the child can’t hear words being spoken to them, but because their brains have an inability to interpret the words and understand their meaning, which implies that conventional hearing tests don’t always identify CAPD. Also, children who have CAPD frequently acquire coping behaviors to conceal or disguise their condition; they cannot truly understand the words people are saying, yet they figure out how to read their lips or their expressions to pretend to understand.

The same traits that make CAPD challenging to diagnose also make it difficult to treat; anyone treating a child with CAPD needs to keep these characteristics in mind at all times. There is currently no sure-fire cure for CAPD, and treatment of the disorder must of necessity be personalized and adjusted to the limitations of each CAPD patient. Having said that, there are a variety of treatment methods which are considerably boosting kids’ educational prospects.

There are three major categories of CAPD treatments: environmental change, compensatory strategies and direct treatment.

Compensatory Strategies – The group of methods including attention, memory, problem-solving and language improvement skills is called compensatory strategies. These strategies give learners improved coping techniques and skills which allow them to realize success at learning, and also teach them to be accountable for their own academic success. Such techniques routinely include lessons in “active listening” and activities or games grounded in solving of word problems.

Direct Treatment – Computer-assisted learning and one-on-one therapy sessions fall under the category of direct treatment. These techniques rely on the brain’s natural plasticity and ability to develop new neural pathways and abilities. These treatment plans typically consist of, in the classroom, at home or in therapy sessions, the use of Scientific Education’s “Fast ForWord” software or Hasbro’s “Simon” game to help learners to improve the sequencing, discrimination, and processing of acoustic inputs. Some professionals use dichotic training to cultivate the childrens’ ability to hear many sounds in different ears and process them the right way, while others use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s “Earobics” program to improve an awareness of phonemes.

Environmental Change – Because background noise considerably hinders a person with CAPD’s ability to comprehend speech, lowering the amount of environmental noise by way of soundproofing (wall hangings, acoustic tiles and curtains) can help. Amplifying voices in the classroom is also helpful; the instructor wears a microphone and the CAPD student wears a tiny receiver that enhances the teacher’s voice to make it more distinguishable from other sounds or speakers. Another environmental change is improved lighting. A well-lit face is a lot easier for an individual with CAPD to read for clues.

So therapies are available if your child is identified as having CAPD, but keep in mind that step one is identifying the problem, and doing this early. If you have additional questions regarding CAPD diagnosis and therapy options, commentary ask any of us. In the event that our fantastic team cannot assist you we can refer you to the best area resources.