BLOG



22/Jan/2018

A recent study at University of British Columbia did a study on seniors aged 60 to 69 to examine the impact of diagnosed or untreated hearing issues. Result indicated that for every 10dB drop in hearing sensitivity the odds of social isolation increased by 52%. This was also associated with a cognitive decline equivalent to almost four years of chronological aging. Social isolation has been shown to have similar impacts on mortality rates as smoking and alcohol consumption. Studies continue to investigate if interventions such as regular hearing screening programs similar to those that are in place for young children could positively impact health outcomes for Senior citizens. For more information contact Raji Parangad at ‘My Audiologist’… your local hearing health professional…on 07 3446 5845


22/Jan/2018

 


A common complaint we often see patients for are itchy ears. The don’t hurt or drain… They just itch… a lot…There are a few common causes of such itchy ears including earwaxallergies, and a piece of hair in the ear canal. However, there are a few other etiologies which are not often considered.

Ear Canal Dermatitis

Yes… the skin of your ear canal can become dry and irritated (just like the hands after washing your hands too often). People sometimes complain of very dry flaky earwax with this condition, similar to the dry flaky skin of psoriasis.

Treatment is easy… steroids! Whether it be in cream form (elicon, triamcinolone) or drops (dermotic). For those a bit wary of using steroids, one can try facial lotion, mineral oil, or sweet oil.

Fungal Otitis Externa

Also known as thrush of the ears. This often happens when antibiotics are given repeatedly over time for an “ear infection” whether in ear drop or oral pill form. Pain may be present, but even with pain, the adjective itchy is always included.

Treatment is also a snap… anti-fungal cream! We like to use lotrisone for this condition. However, the other key to successful treatment is complete debridement of the ear canal prior to cream insertion. Also, when the cream is used, one needs to completely fill the ear canal from eardrum to ear canal entrance.

Often, one single treatment is all that is required!

Worst comes to worst, antifungal powder can be tried.

 


22/Jan/2018

National Office for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels every year. In addition to damaging workers’ quality of life, occupational hearing loss carries a high economic burden. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app can be used by safety and health professionals and industrial hygienists to assess risks, similar to how they would use a professional sound level meter, and by workers to make informed decisions about the potential hazards to their hearing in the workplace. The app allows the user to acquire and display real-time noise exposure data and help promote better hearing health and better prevention efforts. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (NIOSH SLM) app for iOS devices is now available on iTunes freely to the occupational safety and health community as well as the general public.

In order to interpret results, it is important to recognize that NIOSH establishes recommended exposure limits (REL) for various hazards on the basis of the best available science and practice. The REL for noise is 85 decibels, as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) using the A-weighting frequency response and a 3-dB exchange rate. Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous. The app provides a readout of the sound levels using the built-in microphone (or preferably using an external, calibrated, microphone) and reports the instantaneous sound level in A, C, or Z weighted decibels. The app also contains some basic information about noise and hearing loss prevention. In addition, the app allows the user to save and share measurement data with others using the device communication and media features. For additional information and detailed guidance on how to use the app, please visit the NIOSH app page at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/app.html

Further information contact ‘MY AUDIOLOGIST’ Raji Parangad on 07 3446 5845


22/Jan/2018

Sneeze.. medically known as the “closed-airway sneeze,” it may be socially preferable, but health wise may be harmful if not dangerous. Sneeze causes tremendous air pressure build up in lung which ideally should be released out the mouth… but if internalised to prevent release out the mouth, can cause immense pressure to buildup internally which may cause significant damage ranging from minor to severe even requiring hospitalisation ! Although most of the time, no adverse health consequences occur, here are some of the reported damage that has happened by stifling a sneeze:

• Tympanic membrane ( ear drum) rupture
• Breaking the cartilage around the larynx (voicebox)
• Cervical pain
• Facial fracture
• Rupturing the eardrum
• Rib fractures
• Hernia
• Eye damage
• Vision damage
• Spinal injury
• Arterial rupture
• Hematoma formation in the neck and other locations

A matter not to be sneezed at


shutterstock_269925053-1200x800.jpg
22/Jan/2018

One of the more challenging listening situations for individuals with a hearing loss is trying to communicate in a restaurant. Even the most elegant restaurants tend to be on the noisy side. Numerous conversations are going on all around you, dishes and silverware are constantly clanging and music is playing in the background. And being in a seated position eliminates your ability to move closer to the person or persons you want to hear.
Plan ahead by picking a quieter restaurant. For example, unless you’re content to read the captioning on the televisions, avoid sports bars.
Try to find carpeted restaurants that have chairs with rollers on the legs (helps to prevent an annoying scraping sound when they are moved), plants, and sound absorbent materials on the tables and walls.
Make reservations ahead of time, and ask for accommodations.
Go to your favourite restaurants, so you already know their specialities and options, such as choices of salad dressings or side dishes.
Look on the restaurants website to preview the menu.
Choose to dine with a smaller number of dining partners.
Pick a table in the least noisy part of the restaurant (e.g., away from the kitchen, bar, wait service stations, etc.).
Ask for seating in a well-lit area.
Remember that even people with normal hearing experience greater difficulty in a noisy listening environment than they do in a quiet listening environment. So, dont expect to do as well with your hearing aids in the noisy restaurant as you do in the quiet of your home.
Sit with your back to the window, so that lighting is on the speakers face, not in your eyes.
Request that staff turn down background music (you are probably not the only patron bothered by the volume of the music).
When possible, indicate choices before youre asked. Examples: Id like a salad with Italian dressing or I would like a burger, no fries.
Ask the waiter/waitress for a printed list of the specials of the day.
If restaurant dining is for business, request to meet in a quieter location.
Enjoying the company of your friends and family is important to your well being. By following the tips above and with a little pre-planning, dining out can be more of a pleasure and less of a burden. Do all that you can to ensure that your dining experience, at least the listening part is a great one.


30a1700985728223827dcb5dc13f3bc1.jpg
22/Jan/2018

No matter how much money you spend on toys for your pets they will inevitably play with, chew or outright eat something you dont want them too. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to your hearing aids.

Dogs seem to prefer to chew and ultimately swallow all or part a hearing aid. Cats seem to prefer swatting a hearing aid across the floor from one end of the house to the other. Neither of these scenarios will typically have a positive outcome for the hearing aid.

If you discover a partially eaten hearing aid or cant find your hearing aid and suspect your pet may be the culprit, contact your veterinarian immediately. Ingesting a small electronic device that is powered by a battery has the potential to cause a serious problem for your pet. The acid from the battery can damage their mouth, esophagus and/or the lining of the stomach, pieces of the hearing aid can cause internal bleeding and so on.

PETS, HEARING AIDS AND INSURANCE

If your hearing aid is damaged by your pet its unlikely that your homeowners insurance policy will cover the cost to replace the hearing aid. Damage from pets typically falls under the realm of negligence and is rarely covered.

If your hearing aid is still under warranty with our office, contact us immediately. We can determine if the damage caused by your pet will require replacing or repairing the unit and whether or not the damage will be covered by the warranty.

PREVENTION IS THE SOLUTION

The easiest way to prevent the problem is to not to leave your hearing aids or batteries out where your pet can get to them. If the hearing aids arent in your ears make sure theyre stored safely in a dri-aid kit or the case you were given when you purchased the hearing aids. The old adage better safe than sorry is definitely one that applies to pets and hearing aids!


hearing-loss.jpg
22/Jan/2018

The US Office of Naval Research is sponsoring the development of a new app to help navy personnel learn more about hearing protection, reports Lemoore Navy News.

Noise is inevitable in the navy environment and hearing loss and tinnitus are among the most common disability claims received by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed the app, called the Warfighters Hearing Health Instructional Primer (WHHIP), to provide specific information via personal devices. The idea is that using the app will help foster a better understanding of hearing risks, and the proper selection and use of hearing protection. It has four different sections or activities Learn, Demos, Hearing Protection Device (HPD) Check, and Glossary.

Hearing loss is a major concern for the Navy, says Kurt Yankaskas, who manages ONRs Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Program and oversees WHHIPs development. It affects everything from mission productivity and effectiveness to the retention of personnel. The app is another tool in the Navys Hearing Conservation Program.

We envision WHHIP as a resource similar to WebMD, says Dr. Kelly Watts from the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory. Its not intended to replace the advice or expertise of a hearing professional such as an audiologist, but its a useful way to answer questions or get information about hearing health and well-being.

Source: Lemoore Navy News


22/Jan/2018

Have you ever heard a high pitched buzzing or ringing in your ears but nothing around you is the cause? Then you have experienced something called tinnitus. The incidence of tinnitus peaks between 60 and 69 but it can happen at any age. A recent study of 170 students aged 11 – 17 revealed an astoundingly high level of tinnitus at 55%. This is a sign that these adolescents are at serious risk for developing hearing loss as young adults.

Some 50 million US adults have reported having tinnitus. Sixteen million had it frequently while 2 to 3 million have tinnitus severe enough to be debilitating. Tinnitus increases with age and is associated with loud noise exposure including the use of firearms, leisure time and occupational exposure to loud noises, smoking and high blood pressure. Tinnitus is often associated with other health issues including emotional difficulties, lifestyle detriment, increased risks for depression, anxiety, insomnia and decreased overall health. The adolescents in a recent study were tested using a psychoacoustic hearing examination along with loudness discomfort and intensity of their tinnitus. Nearly 30% of those tested experienced tinnitus while being tested. Those with tinnitus were more sensitive to loud sounds. Among the 55% of the adolescents who self-reported having experienced tinnitus in the previous year, half experienced it after listening to loud music, 20% heard it at bedtime and 22% perceived it any time in silence. The tinnitus they experienced often affected their concentration and sleep and the majority heard it in both ears. They also were much more sensitive to loud sounds.

The research subjects were asked about their leisure habits that could put their hearing at risk. Listening to music using headphones was nearly universal, but also included attending parties and shows and raves. Surprisingly, exposure to music using headphones was less frequent and at lower volumes among those with tinnitus. They also attended fewer events with loud sounds. This may indicate that the subjects with tinnitus were more sensitive to sounds. These subjects also reported being more sensitive to noises that did not bother others. This implies they could be more vulnerable to the sounds in their environment and may reflect damage to the auditory pathways.

The high prevalence of tinnitus in the adolescents in this study raises concerns for their future hearing. In animal models the pace of hearing loss later in life is accelerated even by a single exposure to loud noise trauma of 100dB for 2 hours, that level of sound is equivalent to the noise from a chainsaw or jackhammer. Age related hearing loss in men correlates with their histories of noise exposure.

Tinnitus is associated with damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear that respond to sound vibrations. Very loud noises can overload these hair cells causing temporary or permanent damage. Neighboring hair cells try to compensate for the damaged hair cells also contributing to tinnitus. If these adolescents continue to expose themselves to loud sounds, they are likely to further the damage to their hearing and risk eventual deafness.


22/Jan/2018

The American Academy of Otolaryngology ‘ Head and Neck Surgery Foundation published an
updated set of guidelines on managing ear gunk in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The
recommendations don’t contain many surprises, but they will definitely give you another reason to
worry screw around inside your ears too much and you might give yourself earwax impaction,
which is basically a stuffy nose for your ear.
Earwax, also known as cerumen, is essentially the snot that serves to grease up the inside of your
ears and trap any invading dirt particles. Your body normally deals with earwax buildups just fine,
by circulating old wax out of the ear where it crusts up on its own, and by growing more skin
cells, according to the report. If that process breaks down, though, earwax might build up in your
ears, making it difficult to hear or resulting in a feeling of stuffiness. Around 10 per cent of
children and five per cent of adults suffer from this problem, with numbers higher in older or
developmentally-delayed folks. New data on cerumen impaction motivated the release of new
recommendations for how to deal with it.
The report can be summarised as follows:
1) Don’t clean your ears too much.
2) Don’t put small things like cotton buds into your ear. Sorry, I know, but cotton buds can
push earwax further inside your head, making impaction worse or irritating the inside of
your ear. Call a doctor if you have symptoms like ear pain, hearing loss or stuffy-headedness that
might not be from earwax.
3)If you’re suffering from earwax buildup, ask your doctor about safe ways to treat it.
And don’t even try ear candling, an alternative medicine procedure that involves lighting a candle
over your ear to try and draw the wax out. It doesn’t make any sense and you’ll probably just get
candle wax in your ears.
Your biggest takeaway should be that the earwax belongs inside your ears, and if you do end up
with earwax impaction, call your doctor who can remove the wax manually.

 

For more information contact My Audiologist team on 07 34465845


22/Jan/2018

Almost all musical instruments are capable of producing damaging sound levels and almost all musicians are at risk of music induced hearing disorders (Tinnitus, hearing loss, pitch perception problems ). The ER-15 musicians ear plug is appropriate for most musical applications. The ER-25 was developed mainly for drummers and those who perform in amplified venues. The ER-9 provides 9dB of attenuation at 2KHz and 15dB at higher frequencies appropriate for ex solo practice. Attenuator buttons are often referred to as filters and are often interchangeable. ETY-Plugs are the inexpensive non customised ear plugs which gives a flat 20dB attenuation across frequencies. all the experienced team at ‘My Audiologist ‘ on 07 3446 5845 for an appointment to get custom ear plugs..


All Rights Reserved. ©2017 MyAudiologist. Developed by Probuk Solutions LLP.