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Hearing Health News & Events

Omega 3 can reduce the risk of hearing loss

The Blue Mountains Hearing Study reveals  that at least two servings of fish a week can reduce the risk of hearing loss in adults 50 years of age and older. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can also reduce the risk of hearing loss. The complete article follows.

Omega-3 protective against hearing loss

Blue Mountains Hearing Study findings revealed that a least two servings of fish weekly is related to a cut down of 42 per cent in the risk of developing hearing loss in adults over 50 years of age, as compared to those who consume less than one serving per week.

Consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids also yielded similar risk cut down, and there was a cut down of 14 per cent in the risk of hearing loss with higher consumption.

The researchers reported, “Dietary intervention with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids could prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss.”

The data from the study was collected from a total of 2,956 men and women enrolled in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study. The subjects were questioned on their dietary consumption of fish using food-frequency questionnaires.

The scientists concluded that there is an inverse association between total and long-chain omega-3 consumption and hearing loss and with higher fish consumption, there is a reduction in the risk of developing presbycusis – age-related hearing loss.

However, further research which includes a human intervention trial is needed to fully grasp the correlation between the consumption of omega-3 and hearing loss.

iPods and MP3 players cause hearing loss

The trend toward personal entertainment devices is the leading cause of noise-induced hearing among teens and young adults. An iPod can play music as loud as 120 decibels (db)—the level of a chainsaw. For more information, read the following article.

Your iPod could be as loud as a chainsaw.

You see them every where, from the class rooms to the mall, iPods have taken America by storm, it’s practically a fashion statement to have an iPod blasting in your ear. Have iPod’s or MP3 players started a new trend in teens and young adults?  Noise induced hearing loss is now the leading cause of hearing loss in younger generations.  Reports indicate that Apple’s iPod is capable of playing music at levels up to 120 db which is comparable to a chainsaw.  People may question whether or not playing their music all the way up is detrimental to their hearing, but still don’t turn the volume down.  A study done in Newsday in July 2005, stated that 12 % of children and teens suffer from hearing loss due to over exposure of loud noises coming from the music devices.  This number is considerably higher than previous studies indicating that hearing loss was present in 10% of the entire population.

This increase in hearing loss could be due, in part, to the fact that some users of the iPod may assume that Apple’s maximum default setting for volume is safe. They may not realize that even listening to music for only a few minutes at the maximum volume level can damage their hearing.  The truth is, listening to music at 80% volume for 90 minutes or more could put their hearing at risk. It is recommended that the maximum volume a person should listen to their iPod is no more than 70% volume level for up to 4 ½ hours at a time.  Fortunately the maximum volume can be limited in the settings menu on your iPod to prevent the volume from going higher than a pre-set limit. Activating this feature may prevent people, especially children and teens from turning up the volume too high. There are also earphones available, such as those from iHearSafe that automatically limit volume levels to 80 db, which is considerably safer for your hearing.

How to help a loved one deal with hearing loss

Repeating yourself or speaking louder is not the best way to help a family member who denies having a hearing loss. Read the following article link for smart ideas on how to help.

Hearing helper? Help loved ones deal with hearing loss—the right way.

(ARA) Does someone you love often ask you to repeat what you’re saying? If so, you may not be doing your loved one a favor by repeating what you just said.

Helping a loved one who isn’t willing to help himself is one of the most painful challenges a family can face. And helping a family member deal with hearing loss is no exception. Sadly, denial – when someone will not acknowledge hearing loss – poses the most significant barrier to the improved well-being of people with unaddressed hearing loss.

Some people associate hearing loss with growing older. But in reality, hearing loss can – and does – affect people of all ages, especially in this day of loud music and other loud noises that can damage hearing.

To compensate for hearing loss, people in denial often ask those around them to repeat information at greater volume, unintentionally compelling their loved ones to act as their ears. Yet acting as ears for a loved one with hearing loss in denial can actually do more harm than good.

“Being the ears of your loved one is not an act of love,” writes Dr. Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), on his blog. “Acting as ears for loved ones in denial doesn’t help them. Rather, it encourages unconstructive codependent relationships. By compensating for their hearing loss in this manner, you’re actually enabling the hearing loss to have a negative impact on many aspects of your loved one’s quality of life, including job performance.”

Studies link hearing loss to feelings of irritability, negativity and anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, social isolation, reduced alertness, impaired memory, poor job performance and earning power, and diminished psychological and overall health, according to the BHI Web site.
“Clearly, the more loving course to take with your family member with hearing loss in denial is to help him or her come to terms with his hearing loss and get treatment to help him hear better,” Kochkin says.

So how can you help your loved one overcome denial? In his book “How Hearing Loss Impacts Relationships: Motivating Your Loved One,” BHI advisor Dr. Richard Carmen offers practical advice on how “hearing helpers” can help their loved ones end their dependent behavior and seek treatment for their hearing loss:

First, understand that although you may think your efforts are loving and helpful, acting as ears for someone you love is actually counter-productive, Carmen says. With you to act as their ears, why would they seek treatment for their hearing loss?

So stop repeating yourself, raising your voice, and acting as messenger. Rather, involve your entire family in your efforts to help your loved one hear independently of your help. A concerted effort can help your loved one finally admit he has a hearing problem.

Carmen suggests family members explain to their loved one with hearing loss – in a calm loving voice without condemnation – that they will no longer repeat themselves or raise their voices. Instead, when the person with hearing loss asks for information to be repeated at greater volume, you will use words like “Hearing Helper” or some other signal to alert the family member with hearing loss that he is relying on someone else to act as his ears. By doing this, you help your loved one with hearing loss realize how often he has to ask for help. Hopefully, the inescapable realization will finally move him to seek treatment for his hearing loss.

Protect yourself from the damage caused by loud noises

Noise is a very common cause of hearing loss. Knowing how to protect yourself can pay off in better hearing for years to come. Learn how in this article.

One-third of the hearing loss in the world could be prevented, if only people better protected themselves from the damaging effects of loud sounds.

Did you know that noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss?  We put ourselves in many situations that can have a negative effect on our hearing without even knowing it!  With proper hearing protection, 1/3 of hearing loss in the world could be prevented.  All it takes is a little knowledge and motivation and you can keep your hearing in great shape for years to come.

What are you doing to prevent hearing loss?  What situations should you look out for?  Here are some examples of loud situations that can effect your hearing:

  • Concerts, movie theatres, sporting events, motorcycles, fire crackers and snowmobiles are just a short list of many situations you can be in where there can be dangerous noise levels.
  • People who are firefighters, police officers, farmers, musicians, construction workers or in the military are at a high risk for hearing loss.

Ways to protect your hearing:

  • If possible avoid the loud noise or decrease the volume. Any sound over 85 dB could possibly harm your hearing over time. Any sound over 130 dB could harm your hearing, instantly. A good rule of thumb is if the sound is so loud that it prevents you from carrying on a conversation at a normal conversational level, it’s likely the sound could be harmful to your hearing.
  • Wear ear protection: properly fit earplugs and ear muffs can greatly reduce the volume of the sound and its ability to harm your hearing. Wear these, whenever you may be potentially exposed to loud sounds.
  • If you find yourself in any of these situations or occupations, educating yourself on the proper hearing protection will benefit you greatly and help you keep your hearing strong and healthy.  After all, you only have one set of ears.  Let’s keep them happy!

Diabetes can lead to hearing loss

People with diabetes can suffer from both vision problems and hearing loss. They are more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss and need regular hearing examinations. Read more.

People with diabetes more likely to suffer from hearing loss

(NU) – A new study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that diabetics are susceptible not only to vision problems, but to hearing problems as well.

“For years, physicians who treat people with diabetes have regularly ensured that their patients receive regular vision check-ups,” said Dr. William Luxford, Better Hearing Institute Board member and an Otolaryngologist at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles. “This important study underscores the need for physicians now to encourage each of their patients to get their hearing checked as well.” In the study, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers analyzed data from hearing tests administered to 5,140 participants between 1999 and 2004 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Their findings? Patients with diabetes are more than twice as likely to suffer hearing loss than non-diabetics. More than 40 percent of the patients who participated in the study had some hearing damage.

“People with diabetes should get their hearing examined by an audiologist,” says Lisa Monardi, Au.D., President and C.E.O. of Whisper Hearing Center. “Knowing whether or not you have a hearing loss, gives you the opportunity to receive treatment to possibly prevent further hearing loss and/or hearing aids which can provide invaluable assistance.”

Studies conducted by Better Hearing Institute, a not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to educate the public about hearing loss treatment and prevention, show
that people with untreated hearing loss experience a lower quality of life than people with normal hearing or people who use hearing aids.

Your teeth can transmit sound

Sonitus Medical has developed a device that uses the teeth and jawbone to transmit sound. It is particularly useful for single-sided deafness, which can make it difficult to determine where sound is coming from. Read the complete article.

New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth to Transmit Sound

Single sided deafness affects around 200 out of every million people the world over. The loss of stereo or binaural hearing can make determining where sound is coming from difficult and makes it harder to hear in noisy environments. Sonitus Medical has developed a new device, SoundBite, that uses the natural conduction of teeth and bone to transmit sound to the inner ear even if the outer and middle ear are damaged.

SoundBite sends sound by mildly vibrating the teeth and jaw bone. Once it is in the mouth, the hearing aid is almost imperceptible. SoundBite detects sound using a microphone connected to a small transmitter device that is worn on the affected ear. This device transmits to an in-the-mouth (ITM) device that sends small sound waves through the jaw to the inner ear (cochlea). There is no surgery needed, and both devices are easily removed to be charged inductively. Sonitus Medical is still preparing the SoundBite for eventual FDA trials for single sided, and (eventually) other forms of hearing loss

There are other hearing aid devices that utilize bone conduction. Most, however, use a titanium pin drilled into the jaw bone (or skull) to transmit sound to the cochlea. SoundBite seems to be the first non-surgical, non-invasive, easily removable device. “This device sounds very promising for people with good hearing in one ear and little or no hearing in the other ear. We are looking forward to one day being able to offer this technology to our patients that may benefit from it.” Says Dr. Lisa Jaschke, Audiologist with Whisper Hearing Center.

While they are likely years from retail production, Sonitus Medical plans on having SoundBite ITMs fitted to each individual’s upper back teeth and fabricated fairly quickly (1 to 2 weeks). SoundBite may only be fit for relatively specialized use. Still, no surgery required, compact size and the ability to easily upgrade or replace individual components makes the device competitive.

Hearing aids contribute to a great social life

A recent study reveals that two out of three people found it easier to take part in social activities when they used their hearing aids—and that they were more likely to do so. The following article link provides more detail.

Hearing aids are indispensable

Hearing aids are extremely important for the hearing impaired when taking part in social activities

87.7 percent of those who use hearing aids say that their hearing aids are important when taking part in social activities. As many as 71% say that their hearing aids are extremely important.

Those are the findings of an online survey carried out in spring 2010 by the organization Hear-It among hearing aid users.

The users were also asked how useful their hearing aids were during social activities. 51.1% answered that their hearing aids were extremely helpful, while 28.9% answered that they were somewhat helpful.

Two out of three found it easier to take part in social activities when they used their hearing aids and said that they were more likely to take part in social activities than before they had their hearing aids.

“Our study clearly shows, that users think their hearing aids make a big difference, and that they are more willing to participate in social activities, as well as it being easier to take part when they use a hearing aid,” said secretary general Kim Ruberg.

“Taking part in social activities with our families, friends and colleagues is an extraordinarily important part of our lives, and very important for our well being, so I can only encourage everyone with a noticeable hearing loss to use a hearing aid to improve their quality of life,” Kim Ruberg said.


For more information or to schedule a free hearing consultation and screening, call us toll-free at 888-986-4327.