Invigorating exercise + happy ears = win-win.

Making Moves — and Protecting Your Hearing, Too

Planning to bust some moves at the gym as part of your 2019 goals? You’re not alone. As a tried-and-true strategy for losing weight, feeling more fit, or simply stepping up physical activity for overall wellness, working out is a perennially popular New Year’s resolution, and exercise classes can be a fun way to fit the bill.

The catch? Whether it’s cycling, kickboxing, step aerobics, dance, or another high-energy track, these classes often crank up the music to harmful levels — well above the danger threshold of 85 decibels — giving your ears a workout you didn’t bargain for. It can lead to instant or gradual hearing loss that could be permanent.

To protect your hearing while getting into the exercise groove, here are four things you can do:  

Speak Up

Turning down the volume in the first place goes a long way toward reducing the risk of noise-induced …

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Looking Out for Your Hearing Health

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Key Reasons to Consult a Hearing Care Professional Instead

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss? What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help?

With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart devices, and increase accessibility to a wider reach of people.

So where do self-fitting hearing aids fit into the equation of better-hearing options? Let’s take a look.  

What Are Self-Fitting Hearing Aids?

Definitions of SFHAs can vary slightly across experts. In the simplest terms, they’re sound-amplifying devices designed to let the user measure their own hearing loss, appropriately install the devices in their ears, and …

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Can Osteoporosis Cause Hearing Loss?

No Bones About It: Osteoporosis May Nearly Double Risk of Sudden Hearing Loss

What does osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting some 10 million Americans and 2 million Canadians, have in common with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, dementia, and other selected conditions? It can go hand in hand with hearing loss.

More specifically, at least one study links osteoporosis to a nearly doubled risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a disease that can touch people of all ages around the globe but primarily affects those in their 50s and 60s.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by weakened bones that are more vulnerable to breakage. It occurs when the normal process of old bone being replaced by new bone slows down, putting the person at greater risk of serious problems such as hip, wrist, and spine fractures.

Though some osteoporosis risk factors

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Are Portable Music Players Putting Your Ears at Risk?

Turn the Music Up, Dude — But Not Past 85 Decibels

You probably use your tablet or smartphone often to stream music, TV shows, or movies. In fact, many websites these days auto-play videos regardless of whether you want them to.

Smartphones, tablets, and other types of portable music players (PMPs) are now commonplace, as are earbuds and headphones. But if your PMP is turned up too loud while wearing earbuds or headphones, you can damage your hearing quickly. Let’s look at why.

NIHL

This isn’t some new sports league — NIHL stands for noise-induced hearing loss, and it’s the second-largest cause of hearing loss worldwide.

You’re able to hear because of hair cells in your inner ear. These cells convert sound signals to electrical signals and send them to your brain, where they’re interpreted as sounds. But loud sounds can actually damage or destroy your hair cells.

Every time a hair cell gets damaged, you lose a little bit …

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Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection?

To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell.

The Hair Cell

Your brain doesn’t understand sound waves. Tiny, hair-like structures in your inner ear, called hair cells, translate sound waves into a language — electrical signals — your brain understands. It sends those signals to your brain through the auditory nerve, and your brain interprets the signals as sound information.

Care and Feeding of Your Hair Cells

Hair cells need plenty of oxygen, which they get from strong, rich blood flow. …

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The Inner Ear: A Tale of Two Systems

Are Balance Problems Related to Hearing Loss?

It’s common for people with hearing loss to have balance issues, and vice versa.

This phenomenon might even affect you or a loved one. Do they occur together as a coincidence, or are hearing and balance actually related? It turns out the answer is, “It depends.” Let’s look at some basics first.  

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is also known as the bony labyrinth, and it consists of both the cochlea and the vestibular system.

The cochlea (hearing): The cochlea is where sound signals are captured, converted to electrical signals, and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound. The vestibular system (balance): This comprises three bony canals and two pouches. These work together to tell your brain where your head is in space, as well as when and how it’s moving.

 

Hearing and Balance Problems

Both hearing and balance depend heavily on the status of …

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High Blood Pressure + Hearing Loss: 3 Things to Know

What Does Hypertension Have to Do With Hearing? Plenty!

We’ve got a tip for your wellness checklist: Keeping your blood pressure down may help keep your hearing up!

Both hearing loss and hypertension, or high blood pressure, impact millions of people around the world, but few realize that these two chronic conditions might go hand in hand.

For your best health, here are three important things to know:

Hypertension and Hearing Loss Are Connected

Like hearing loss, which affects an estimated 466 million people worldwide, hypertension is a serious public-health challenge that can take a toll on your health and overall quality of life. It could also put you at greater risk of hearing impairment.

In one study of 274 men and women ages 45 to 64, researchers found a strong relationship between high blood pressure and age-related hearing loss, with hypertensive patients having a higher threshold below which they couldn’t hear — …

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Noise Is Bad for My Heart? How Noise Pollution Affects Your Health

Health Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise is just noise, right? You learn to tune it out and, unless it’s really loud, you don’t worry about it. You definitely wouldn’t worry about its effects on your heart — would you?

As far back as 1972, awareness of the adverse health effects of noise pollution was so strong that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Noise Control Act to establish “a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.” This naturally leads to the question, “How bad can noise pollution really be?”  

What Is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution isn’t just rush-hour traffic, living near an airport, or working near a long-standing construction site. To truly understand noise pollution, let’s try a little experiment, either in real life or in your imagination:

Go to your favorite spot in nature. Keep your headphones packed away …

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Celebrate Lawn & Garden Month by Protecting Your Hearing

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

Celebrate by Protecting Your Hearing

Spring has sprung, and so has the annual spring cornucopia of sounds: birds singing, children laughing, neighbors chatting — and lawn equipment.

Maintaining your burgeoning plant life is a noisy affair. Once you’ve used the mower, leaf blower, chain saw, and string trimmer, your ears have put up with quite a racket.

With noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affecting one in four U.S. adults ages 20 to 69, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it might be worth exploring the question, “But how dangerous is all that noise, really?”  

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing happens when the hair cells in your inner ear convert sound signals to electrical signals, and these electrical signals get sent to your brain to be interpreted as sounds. Every hair cell that gets damaged, therefore, means a reduction in your ability to hear. NIHL, then, is hearing damage …

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Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss

Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss

Your Refrigerator Is Running — Can You Hear It?

You’re probably familiar with the many telltale, well-known signs of hearing loss — asking people to repeat themselves frequently, turning up the TV to uncomfortable levels for others in the room, or leaning into a conversation on one side to use your “good ear.”

But what if speech is clear to you and you never turn up the TV — but you can’t hear whether the car you’re standing next to is running? This is an actual type of hearing loss, called reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL), and people with this type often don’t realize they have a hearing impairment.

What Is Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss Basics

The most common type of hearing loss — the kind most people think of when they think of hearing loss — is characterized by loss of sounds at higher frequencies and is sometimes …

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