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Hearing Loss

Recognizing The Symptoms of Tinnitus

Posted by Admin |

Hearing Loss

Recognizing The Symptoms of Tinnitus

Posted by Admin |

Recognizing The Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus can affect anyone. It can be a temporary (acute) condition, or a long term (chronic) one. It’s unpleasant, but rarely a sign of anything serious. Most tinnitus symptoms are subjective, meaning that only the sufferer can hear them.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus symptoms can be frustrating; they can interfere with sleep, your ability to hear and concentrate. Tonal sounds are almost constant and the volume can vary. Pulsatile sounds are often in-time with the heartbeat. On infrequent occasions, sounds can involve music or singing.

Here are just some sounds that sufferers of tinnitus describe:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Hissing/static
  • Whooshing
  • Ocean waves
  • Crickets
  • Music

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) put together a list of the most commonly heard tinnitus sounds, which you can listen to here. This can help you to identify those sounds that most closely matches the symptoms you’re experiencing. Understanding this can help you more accurately explain your tinnitus to your hearing care professional, doctor, or loved ones.

Understanding Your Symptoms

If you’ve decided to speak to a hearing care professional about your tinnitus to explore how to relieve the symptoms, you’ll be asked questions such as:

  • How long have you had the symptoms?
  • Are they worse at any time of the day?
  • How often do you hear them?
  • Does the sound ever change?
  • Which ear is causing the issue? Both?
  • How loud is the noise?
  • Is the pitch high or low?
  • Does the issue cause you significant problems or just a little irritating?
  • Does anything make it worse, such as exposure to noise or caffeine intake?

These will be followed by a physical ear exam and hearing assessment. Pitch and loudness matching tests will assess the frequency and level of your symptoms. You may be asked to move your jaw, eyes, head or limbs too.

Underlying Conditions

Treatments are available to relieve the symptoms. However the tinnitus itself may be caused by an underlying condition that requires treatment. This is why seeking professional advice is important.

Potential underlying causes include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Otosclerosis (abnormal middle ear bone growth)
  • Acoustic neuroma (benign tumor)
  • Atherosclerosis of the carotid artery (plaque build up)
  • High blood pressure
  • Impacted ear wax
  • Poor diet
  • Head or neck trauma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis of the neck

Risk Factors

The following can increase your risk of developing tinnitus:

  • Loud noise exposure, i.e. music or machinery which damages inner ear hair cells.
  • Age-related hearing loss.
  • Men are more prone to tinnitus.
  • Smoking.
  • Cardiovascular problems, i.e high blood pressure or narrowed arteries increase the chances of tinnitus.
  • Taking certain medications in high doses, i.e some antibiotics, aspirin, antidepressants, cancer drugs, water pills, quinine medication for malaria etc and ototoxic drugs.

Left untreated, tinnitus can lead to depression and anxiety. This is avoidable; our hearing care professionals can advice on how to relieve your symptoms. Book in your appointment by clicking here, or call us on (864) 546-5708.

Posted by Admin

How Does Hearing Loss Affect Speech?

Initial concerns about hearing loss tend to focus on how much or little we can hear i.e what is being said to us and what’s happening around us. If this becomes difficult it’s common for someone suffering with untreated hearing loss to isolate themselves socially. Unfortunately for some individuals with hearing loss, their speech can also become less clear. In this blog we explore how this happens, and some tips on how to manage it.

The Connection Between Speech & Sound

Affected speech is usually seen in those who have had a hearing loss since childhood, or in adults with a long term or severe hearing loss. But it can also potentially happen to someone with untreated hearing loss after a period of time.

This is because as your hearing capability reduces, so do the frequencies at which you can hear sounds. In speech, each verbal sound and letter is associated with a unique frequency range. If you lose the ability to hear that range, the following may happen:

  • Initially, the letters, words and sounds that use these frequencies become difficult to hear and more difficult to understand.
  • Then, if the hearing loss stays untreated, your brain will start to adjust to not being able to hear those sounds and frequencies. This can affect how the brain interprets, and uses, speech.

The connection between the sounds you can hear and how your brain interprets them is important. Letters and sounds you struggle to hear within words are those you may begin to struggle to say.

Treatment

Having both a hearing loss and a speech impairment can lead to withdrawal, depression, anxiety and problems concentrating. Here are some tips to help manage this:

  • Have regular hearing assessments and professionally fitted hearing aids.
  • Avoid unnecessary and loud background noise that can be distracting and damaging.
  • Use gestures, visual cues and speak clearly and deliberately. Communicate in the easiest way for you, i.e. pointing, writing, sign language etc.
  • Seek out support groups.
  • Utilize assistive technology.

It can be difficult to accept that the impact a hearing loss has is greater than just how much you can hear. If you have any concerns about your speech after reading this blog, please do get touch. Early treatment and detection is the best way to reduce the impact of hearing loss on your life, so take the first step today. Call us on (864) 546-5708 or click here to Request An Appointment.

Posted by Admin

Ten signs of hearing loss you can’t afford to miss

If you had hearing loss, would you know it? Not necessarily. Hearing loss often starts subtly and symptoms can take decades to manifest themselves as it progresses slowly over time. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), can shift so gradually that you may not realize how much you are missing. In fact, as hearing worsens, you may subconsciously adjust everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties. In time, you might not notice how gradually hearing loss has diminished your ability to live your life to its fullest. Luckily, you can do things to improve this situation and re-engage with loved ones.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss is key to success

There are many signs of hearing loss. It starts with everyday annoyances. Some are blatant, others are subtle. If you or a loved one are showing these signs, we encourage you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment.*

  1. “People are mumbling” – This could indicate hearing loss.

    You may notice that certain words are difficult to understand. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” all the time. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

  2. Are restaurants too loud?

    Restaurants are among the hardest places to navigate for people with untreated hearing loss. Background noises, such as clinking dishes, people speaking loudly at other tables and loud music all make it exceptionally challenging to follow a conversation.

  3. Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore

    People talking passionately, music, laughter and other competing sounds can make it harder to take part in get-togethers with family and friends. Perhaps you find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early. There is good news. You don’t have to. The professionals at Come Hear Hearing Center can help you with ways to cope with hearing loss so you can enjoy the holidays with this simple guide to enjoying social events with hearing loss.

  4. Conversations take too much effort

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, or a end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your wellness.

  5. Telephone conversations are a struggle

    Telephone, and especially cell phone, transmission is not perfect. Most people can fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to take in the information. This may lead you to avoid phone calls and resort to texting.

  6. Hearing loss affects you and your loved ones

    Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.

  7. High volume is a sign of hearing loss

    Even if you think the volume is fine, if your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you watch television or listen to music, you may be experiencing a well-known sign of hearing loss. Are you tired of the constant battle to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that makes everyone happy? It might be worth it to check your hearing, if only to make your family happy.

  8. Are your ears ringing?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus impacts people of all ages, and may be attributed to trauma, exposure to loud noise or illness. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 56% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.[i]

  9. You are out of balance – loss of balance is a sign of hearing loss

    Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityii found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.

  10. You are opting out of engaging with people

Is hearing loss putting you in solitary confinement? Have you noticed that you are embarrassed to meet new people? Perhaps you are afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. Perhaps you withdraw if it is easier to live without straining to hear people.

Other signs of hearing loss – You are not yourself

Have you felt depressed, distracted or unengaged? Hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression and other brain-related ailments, including stroke.

Take the first step to better hearing

Perhaps you’ve avoided getting treatment because you are afraid of the stigma that some people associate with hearing aids. That’s old-school thinking. Besides, today’s hearing aids are minicomputers that subtly fit your ears – and your lifestyle.

To get started, we encourage you to come in for a professional hearing assessment. Book an appointment to speak with a professional about addressing your hearing loss.*

ihttps://www.ata.org/understanding-facts/related-conditions. Accessed December 6, 2018.

iihttps://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_linked_to_three_fold_risk_of_falling. Accessed December 6, 2018.

Posted by Admin

Holiday Gift Ideas For People With Hearing Loss or Hearing Aids

Finding the perfect gift can be tricky. If the person in mind has a hearing loss or wears a hearing aid, you may find yourself wondering what a suitable gift would be. Don’t worry, we’ve put together some ideas to get you started!

Consider the senses.

These gifts can be enjoyed by anyone. But for someone with a reduced sense of hearing, giving a gift that will stimulate one of the other senses could be a novel idea. Why not consider:

  • Scented candles.
  • A hamper filled with tempting goodies.
  • A voucher for a massage, reflexology or other treatment.
  • A sculpture or picture.
  • An adult coloring book and good quality pens.

Gifts to make their life a little easier.

Getting someone a gift that makes their life a little easier is always a good option, but even more so if they help someone with a hearing loss.

  • Accessories such as a hearing aid clip could be a thoughtful and inexpensive gift for someone active.
  • A dehumidifier is an inexpensive option, although not the most exciting gift. Exposure to humidity can shorten the lifespan of a hearing aid. A dehumidifier may therefore prolong the life of hearing aids, making them a great gadget to gift.
  • A vibrating alarm clock is an extra loud product that can connect wirelessly to your phone and vibrate your pillow or shake the bed. Philips offer another variation, with a clock that lights up naturally from sunrise.
  • Assistive listening devices are portable personal items that can help when out for a meal or at home watching tv. The most common kinds include Personal amplifiers, FM systems, induction loop systems or bluetooth friendly devices that can also connect to hearing aids.
  • Smart jewelry is fashionable but can also track your movements, measure your heart rate, record voice memos or prevent missed cell phone calls. Some products can either vibrate or light up when a call is incoming.
  • A captioned telephone will keep you connected and improve your conversations by translating speech into text.

We hope these ideas make it easier to spread some holiday cheer. Of course another gift worth considering is a hearing test with the offer of your support by accompanying your loved one. If you would like advice on how to approach this topic, we are happy to help. Give us a call on 864-325-3584 or click here to request an appointment.

Posted by Admin

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