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Hearing Loss

Recognizing The Symptoms of Tinnitus

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Hearing Loss

How Does Hearing Loss Affect Speech?

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The National Campaign for Better Hearing

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The Link Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

A study by NIH recently concluded via their research that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Their research helped draw attention to the potential link between these two common conditions. In the U.S., there are roughly 30 million people with diabetes and 84 million with pre-diabetes. Of these individuals, approximately 34.5 million have some sort of Hearing Loss. And there’s plenty of overlap occurring between the two conditions. [source: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/hearing-loss-common-people-diabetes]

It is still unclear exactly how having diabetes could cause hearing loss, and more research is needed. However, recent studies have highlighted that high blood sugar (A1c levels) can damage blood vessels and nerves. This could also happen within the auditory system, thereby potentially impacting an individual’s hearing.

The importance of  managing blood sugar levels is not only to help manage diabetes, but to reduce an individual’s risk of developing a hearing loss. Studies have also shown that women with diabetes need to take extra care because they tend to experience a greater loss of hearing.

Individuals who are at higher risk should also be aware that damage to the sensitive auditory system can also increase the risk of falling by causing balance or dizziness symptoms.

Sugar and Tinnitus

Of course we already know that too much sugar is bad for us, and those with diabetes should be monitoring their intake. But did you know that the American Tinnitus Association has reported that some people have found eating foods with high sugar content has increased the severity of their tinnitus? They recommend monitoring how your hearing and any tinnitus is impacted after eating something sweet. By monitoring foods consumed, and the impact on tinnitus, individuals can help to create a food diary tailored to their individual sensitivities.

What can you do?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are a number of steps that you can take to reduce likelihood of a hearing loss:

  • Have a yearly hearing test
  • Follow your medication plan
  • Monitor your blood sugar closely
  • Exercise daily if you can
  • Manage your weight and eat healthily
  • Take steps to reduce high blood pressure
  • Reducing or stopping smoking can improve both conditions
  • Get to know the common signs of hearing loss

It’s truly remarkable how interconnected our bodies are. Staying on top of your yearly health checks gives you the best chance to stay in the best shape possible. If you know it’s time to book a hearing check, call us today on 864-325-3584 or click here to request an appointment.

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5 Signs Hearing Loss is Haunting You

It’s a dark, chilly, frightful time of year for your hearing health. Fireworks, coughs and colds, loud celebrations and tempting treats all threaten your hearing. Perhaps your hearing concerns have been haunting you for some time now.

It’s not always obvious that your hearing has been slipping away. Much like a ghost, it could be haunting you. Perhaps you get an odd feeling something isn’t quite right but you don’t want to admit it’s real. Maybe you get tired after social events, having had to really concentrate on hearing anyone. This then leads to you staying home alone more often.

Like Edgar Allen Poe’s raven tap-tap-tapping on the door, you can’t just ignore these messages. They will continue to haunt you, even if you try to hide from them.

Here are the top five symptoms that your hearing is becoming a ghost of its former self:

  1. You often ask people to repeat what they said, or feel like they are mumbling.
  2. You find you miss parts of group conversations, especially in crowded situations.
  3. You frequently need to turn up the volume on the TV or your car stereo.
  4. You have difficulty on the phone and rely on using the speakerphone.
  5. You have started avoiding going to noisy parties and restaurants.

In addition to the above, you may find that you struggle to hear high pitched sounds. These can include:

  • Female and young children’s voices.
  • Certain sounds like s, sh, f, v, th, f, p, which makes some words difficult to understand.
  • The car’s turn signal.
  • Beeping sounds on timers and microwave ovens or alarm clocks.
  • Songbirds.

If you recognize some or all of these tell-tale signs, who are you going to call? And this time, it’s not the Ghostbusters! We are here to help; call us today on 864-325-3584 or click here to request an appointment.

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Is Weight Connected To Hearing Loss?

The holiday season brings with it many things: good food, friends and family, and social gatherings. For many of us, it can also bring about the unwanted side effect of an extra few pounds. There are a plethora of studies that document the impact of being overweight on the overall health of the body. We don’t often tend to associate being overweight and being at risk of hearing loss. So let’s explore this connection a bit further.

The Hair Cell

To understand how weight can affect your hearing, it’s important to first understand a tiny, yet extremely important part of your inner ear: the hair cell. These tiny, hair-like structures in your inner ear translate sound waves into electrical signals that your brain can understand. These signals are transmitted the auditory nerve. Your brain then interprets the signals as sound information.

In order for the hair cells to function properly, they require plenty of oxygen. This is carried to the cells through strong, rich blood flow. Poor circulation can restrict the oxygen that reaches your hair cells, reducing the opportunities for sound information to reach your brain. Hearing loss due to damaged or destroyed hair cells is permanent.

Blood Pressure & Your Hearing

The higher the concentration of fatty tissue in our body, the harder our heart has to bump to get blood where it needs to go. Although our hearts are working harder, blood doesn’t move through the body any easier. This can result in high blood pressure.

High blood pressure not only increases a person’s likelihood of a stroke, it also increases your risk of developing hearing loss. High blood pressure can also cause symptoms such as tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sensation in your ears.

Diabetes And Prediabetes

Fatty tissue isn’t the only thing putting your hearing health at risk. High levels of blood glucose can also play a role. A 2008 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Kathleen Bainbridge, PhD, found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes than those without the condition.

“Hearing loss might be another complication of poorly managed diabetes or perhaps diabetes of long duration, much like diabetic kidney disease or diabetic retinopathy,” she says. “Like the kidneys, the structure of the inner ear is highly vascularized, so hearing loss might be the result of changes to the small blood vessels of the inner ear,” Bainbridge noted.

Hearing loss is an often unconsidered side effect of obesity. However, more and more research is pointing to a link between the two. Losing weight can help to mitigate the risks posed to your hearing health. If you would like to find out more, why not book an appointment with our hearing care experts today? Call us today on 864-325-3584 or click here to request an appointment.

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8 Celebrities with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can feel very isolating, like a barrier between you and a full life, but it doesn’t have to! We have compiled a list of inspiring household names who have a hearing loss. Some of these stars raise awareness of the condition, but some of them may also surprise you.

  1. Rush Limbaugh

Hugely successful entertainer, radio talk show host, writer, and conservative political commentator. Thanks to a cochlear implant in 2001, he was able to regain much of his hearing. But that took acknowledging that he had gone almost completely deaf. Testament that ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away.

  1. Whoopi Goldberg

Oscar and Emmy award winning actress, comedian, author and television host.  Goldberg wears hearing aids in both ears and believes her hearing loss is due to consistently listening to very loud music in the past.

  1. Robert Redford

The iconic and Oscar award winning actor, director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, and philanthropist. Redford suffered from a severe ear infection that led to 60% hearing loss in one ear in 2013 when he insisted on performing his own water stunts in ‘All Is Lost.’ His story serves as warning how common the threats to our hearing are.

  1. Pete Townshend

Songwriter and guitarist for rock band, The Who. Townshend has hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears, most likely due to loud noise exposure from performing and earphone use in the studio. He now struggles with high frequencies and relies upon technology to help. Townshend has used his platform as a celebrity to help fund the non-profit hearing advocacy group H.E.A.R.(Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers).

  1. Lance Allred

Lance Allred was born deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. He faced some adversity from teachers and coaches throughout his career due to his hearing loss. But he never let that stop him from becoming the first legally deaf player in the NBA. Allred has also written a book about his journey.

  1. Halle Berry

Actress Halle Berry has 80% hearing loss in her left ear. The victim of domestic violence at around the age of 25, she was hit in the head which punctured her eardrum.

  1. Rob Lowe

Actor Rob Lowe has been deaf in one ear since he was 8 or 9 months old, thought to be the result of undiagnosed mumps. He doesn’t let it impact on his life as he states he “doesn’t know any differently.” Despite difficulties hearing in noisy environments, he has a positive attitude and embraces life.

  1. Arnold Palmer

Professional golfer in the 1950s nicknamed ‘The King’ who is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history. Palmer struggled with hearing loss for years after discovering it at the age of 40. He now wears a hearing aid.

Other famous names worth mentioning are Bill Clinton, William Shatner, Marlee Matlin, Thomas Edison, Derrick Coleman, Helen Keller, ‘Lou’ Ferrigno, Holly Hunter, Leslie Neilsen, Jane Lynch, Stephen Colbert, Gerard Butler and Phil Collins.

As you can see, various causes led to a hearing loss, but none of these individuals let that define them. Please do not sit in silence if you have a concern about your hearing. We are here to help; call us today on 864-325-3584 or click here to request an appointment.

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