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Latest Updates on Audiology

12/Aug/2020

If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone within arm’s length, the noise is probably in the dangerous range. Here are the warning signs:

  • You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area.
  • You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise.
  • You suddenly have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise; you can hear people talking but can’t understand them.

We hear sound when delicate hair cells in our inner ear vibrate, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. But just as we can overload an electrical circuit, we also can overload these vibrating hair cells. Loud noise damages these delicate hair cells, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss and often tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The cells that are the first to be damaged or die are those that vibrate most quickly—those that allow us to hear higher-frequency sounds clearly, like the sounds of birds singing and children speaking.

Studies have shown that concert  lovers who wore earplugs were roughly five times less likely to have some temporary hearing loss than those who didn’t wear them. The earplug-users also were less likely to suffer from tinnitus afterwards. Prolonged exposure to lawn mowers, power tools, motorised recreational vehicles, target shooting, sporting events and fireworks can potentially damage hearing. But you can avoid or minimise hearing damage by wearing earplugs or other ear protection. Your local hearing care professionals at ‘ My Audiologist’ can provide custom ear protection that is crafted to fit each unique ear. Custom protection ensures a proper, optimal fitting each time, further reducing the risk of unwanted noise exposure. We  can also provide a hearing test to determine your baseline hearing level and determine if you already have any hearing loss.

Please call ‘ My Audiologist” on 07 3446 5845…..


12/Aug/2020

People are staying in the workforce longer. And research suggest that we’re seeing an increase in adult hearing loss at younger ages, particularly among those in their 20’s and 30’s. In fact, more than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem, and another 30 percent suspect they have a problem but have not sought treatment.Employees who suspect they have a hearing problem but have not sought treatment say they believe their untreated hearing loss impacts them on the job. From asking people to repeat what they have said , to misunderstanding what is being said , to even pretending to hear when they can’t . The burden that comes with leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on the worker. Today, many employers offer wellness promotion initiatives by including hearing tests and hearing health information in workplace wellness programs—as well as including hearing aids as an employee benefit—employers encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it. Not only does this help the worker, but it creates a work environment where employer and employee can team up to ensure that a worker’s hearing difficulty does not interfere with job performance, productivity, safety, quality of life, morale, opportunities, or success in the workplace. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, where organisations are coming to rely more heavily on maturing workers who have valuable experience and expertise, and at a time when we seem to be seeing an increase in adult hearing loss at younger ages, this employer-employee partnership is critical for bottom-line success. By empowering workers with information on hearing health and options for addressing hearing loss, they can become more informed healthcare consumers and more productive, satisfied employees.  People who currently wear hearing aids say it helps their overall ability to communicate effectively in most situations and has had a positive impact on their relationships at work. Brushing off hearing loss can limit our ability to communicate effectively and can negatively—and unnecessarily—affect productivity, job performance, and earnings; lead to fatigue and distress; restrict interpersonal interactions; make it difficult to receive and interpret auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals; pose a risk to our ability to hear sounds that signal hazards in the work environment; increase sick leave and disengagement from work; and diminish overall quality of life.Research shows that hearing loss is linked to depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, dementia, cognitive decline, moderate chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, and the risk of falling and hospitalisation.  Today’s hearing aids make it easier to hear sounds and people from all directions and filter out noise. Many sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal and out of sight; and many are wireless, so they can interface easily with other high-tech devices like smartphones, conference-room speaker phones and hearing loops. Some are even waterproof, and others are rechargeable. The bottom line? As many as 91 percent of owners of the newest hearing aids—those purchased in the last year—are satisfied with their hearing aids, and 90 percent of people who purchased their hearing aid within the last four years say they’d recommend a hearing aid to a friend or family member, according to BHI research.


12/Aug/2020

I have helped many people in my career at an Audiologist.. to hear better, by improving their quality of life ….As professionals we do our best to program the aid and give the individual the best hearing solution as possible…. Many years back a good friend of mine who happens to be an audiologist and a long term hearing aid user herself mentioned to me that after a long day of listening one thing that really relaxes her is the quietness… I don’t think I fully understood her then… But I guess this article sums it up…. Good read.. with or without a hearing loss….with or without a hearing aid….. Please read the complete blog from the face book page or twitter ac…


12/Aug/2020

Single sided deafness can be caused by a number of things, from viral infections or thrombi to brain tumours  and is currently incurable and difficult to treat. Symptoms include difficulty localising sound (direction of sound source) have significant difficulty hearing in noisy situations, especially when the noise is comingssd4from their hearing side.  The noise becomes part of the speech and very difficult to separate. Technology has evolved as we now have sophisticated Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) and Bilateral Contralateral Routing of Signals (BICROS) .

Researchers have been studying brain plasticity in response to Single sided deafness.  Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to modify its own structure and function in response to changes, such as disease,  within the body or external factors.  It is at the base of normal brain function:  it helps us to learn and change our behaviour  as children, and as adults can help us to overcome brain injuries, use prosthetic limbs and of course, as well as many other things – including hearing devices.

Researchers found that the spread of cortical activation was symmetrical across the hemispheres of the brain in normal-hearing subjects, while in those with the single sided deafness the spread of neuron activation was extended in one hemisphere and reduced in the other.  This discovery demonstrates plasticity in both hemispheres of the brain in SSD sufferers, and is an important step toward the possible development of biomarkers that will assist in the guidance of treatment choices. Ultimately, it may even be possible to use this plasticity to develop therapies to cure the condition: by using brain stimulation as a process to restore a normal interhemispheric relationship.  Additionally, it may be that scientists may be able to restore normal auditory processing, returning SSD sufferers to a life less affected by their hearing and communication handicap.

Would you like to read the complete journal…. Please view ‘My Audiologist’ twitter page….. Alternatively you could call us on 07 3446 5845


12/Aug/2020

Here are my tips for a successful experience when dining out.

  1. Provide information early. Note your desire for a quiet table in your reservation and remind the restaurant if they call to confirm. This gives them a better chance of meeting your needs than if you walk in cold. If they seat you at a less than ideal table at first, ask for a quieter spot. Persistence often pays off.
  2. Request a table in the corner. A corner table or other location beside a wall works best since there is a barrier between you and the rest of the restaurant noise. This also eliminates distractions from noise behind you and lets you better focus on the speakers at the table. A booth is also often a good choice if it has high back seats.
  3. Choose restaurants with sound absorbing decor. Carpet, curtains, cushioned chairs, cloth tablecloths and acoustic tiles are my decor of choice. Many restaurants today prefer hard surfaces like glass and wood. Preview the decor online or look for “old school” restaurants which may have a more classic design.
  4. Read online reviews. Many restaurant rating systems now include noise level as one of the criteria.
  5. Ask around. I like to trade restaurant tips with my hearing loss friends and also with my hearing friends.

12/Aug/2020

Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear. There are 4 typical symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease:

  • spontaneous, recurrent episodes of vertigo (coming and going attacks of dizziness or giddiness);
  • hearing loss;
  • tinnitus (a constant noise in one ear, often described as a buzzing or humming sound); and
  • a sensation of fullness or pressure in the ear.

Meniere’s disease usually affects one ear, but can affect both. People aged 40 to 60 years are most likely to develop Meniere’s disease, but it can affect people of all ages.

The disease is thought to be due to an increase in the pressure of the fluid (called endolymph) contained in the membranous labyrinth, a part of the inner ear.

Medications that reduce fluid (diuretics) may help reduce the pressure of fluid in the inner ear and help control the frequency and severity of symptoms. Medicines that improve circulation to the ear, such as betahistine (brand names Seniere, Serc), may help control symptoms in some people. A hearing aid may help with hearing loss.

Eating a salt-reduced diet can help reduce fluid retention and help decrease the volume and pressure of fluid in your inner ear, and is generally recommended. This may help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms.

Avoiding caffeine may help reduce tinnitus, and avoiding nicotine can also help improve symptoms.

Learning techniques to manage stress and anxiety and joining a support group may also help people with Meniere’s disease. Minears organisation, Whirled Foundation are few such support groups….Need more information or a friendly chat free feel to call ‘ My Audiologist” on  07 3446 5845


12/Aug/2020

Eardrum or Tympanim membrane is a  thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. This membrane prevents water, bacteria and other contaminants from getting into the middle ear.  The eardrum also plays an important part in enabling us to hear sounds, so damage to the eardrum can lead to problems with hearing. Sometimes this membrane may rupture or tear due to an ear infection, injury, exposure to loud sound etc…Symptoms may include ear pain, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), discharge from the ear and sometimes dizziness. If you think you may have perforated ear drum ; keep your ears dry and avoid blowing through yous nose (this puts pressure on the ear drum).  Visit your doctor and an audiologist. If the ear drum does not heal properly with medications your health professional may then refer you to an ENT ( Ear nose throat) Surgeon. If necessary, the eardrum membrane can be repaired using a surgical procedure. Eardrum repairs are usually successful.

Do you suspect your hearing is not as good as it had been and have  a history of perforated ear drum or suspect you have  a ruptured ear drum.  Please call ‘ My Audiologist” on 07 3446 5845 for a  comprehensive hearing assessment and advise…..

 

 


12/Aug/2020

Researchers have found that older patients with hearing loss appeared better able to be balance when their poor hearing was enhanced with hearing aids. The study found that participants for the study used sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmark to help maintain balance…..

Do you suspect your hearing is not as good as it had been and also have trouble with your balance.  Please call ‘ My Audiologist” on 07 3446 5845 for a  comprehensive hearing assessment and advise…..


12/Aug/2020

NIHL can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense “impulse” sound, such as an explosion, or by continuous exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time, such as noise generated in a woodworking shop.Recreational activities that can put you at risk for NIHL include target shooting and hunting, snowmobile riding, listening to MP3 players at high volume through earbuds or headphones, playing in a band, and attending loud concerts. Harmful noises at home may come from sources including lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and woodworking tools.

Sound is measured in units called decibels. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss. However, long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for NIHL to happen.

Here are the average decibel ratings of some familiar sounds:

    • The humming of a refrigerator
      45 decibels
    • Normal conversation
      60 decibels
    • Noise from heavy city traffic
      85 decibels
    • Motorcyles
      95 decibels
    • An MP3 player at maximum volume
      105 decibels
    • Sirens
      120 decibels
    • Firecrackers and firearms
      150 decibels

Your distance from the source of the sound and the length of time you are exposed to the sound are also important factors in protecting your hearing. A good rule of thumb is to avoid noises that are too loud, too close, or last too long.

If you are exposed to noise recreational or work related get your hearing measured…… But make sure you have at lease 24 hours of no exposure to noise before getting your hearing assessed.  Please call ‘ My Audiologist” on 07 3446 5845 for a  comprehensive hearing assessment….  And yes we do Workcover claims and assessment…. We are GEPI trained and certified…. Yes we do Aviation Medical Hearing test


12/Aug/2020

Exposure to some chemicals can result in hearing loss. These chemicals are known as Ototoxic substances. Hearing loss is more likely to occur if a worker is exposed to both noise and ototoxic substances than if exposure is just to noise or ototoxic substances alone. There are three major classes of ototoxic substances: solvents, heavy metals and asphyxiants. Work activities that commonly combine noise and ototoxic substances include:

• painting

• printing

• boat building

• construction

• furniture making

• fuelling vehicles and aircraft

• manufacturing, particularly of metal, leather and petroleum products

• degreasing

• fire-fighting

• weapons firing

Some medications have also been identified as ototoxic substances. These include some anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, anti-malarial, anti-rheumatic and antibiotic drugs. Quinine and salicylic acids (such as aspirin) are also considered to be ototoxic substances. Some of these can be absorbed through the skin and are considered particularly hazardous.  Control measures such as substitution, isolation and local ventilation should be implemented to eliminate or reduce chemical exposures. Personal protective equipment should be used to prevent skin and respiratory absorption when other controls are insufficient.

If you work with Ototoxic substances with or without exposure to noise please do get your hearing checked… Call ‘My Audiologist’ on  07 3446 5845 for a  comprehensive audiological assessment.


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