Los Gatos Audiology https://losgatosaudiology.com Your Life. Your Style. Fri, 01 Nov 2019 18:07:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://losgatosaudiology.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/favicon-1.png Los Gatos Audiology https://losgatosaudiology.com 32 32 EAR INFECTIONS AND HEARING LOSS https://losgatosaudiology.com/ear-infections-and-hearing-loss/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/ear-infections-and-hearing-loss/#respond Mon, 04 Nov 2019 19:05:48 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30739 Have you had a child with ear infections? If so, you know they can be scary. For the sufferer, they are very painful, and there can be an accompanying concern of possible long-term hearing loss. Ear infections can rarely cause permanent hearing loss: any hearing loss related to an infection will usually resolve with the […]

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Have you had a child with ear infections? If so, you know they can be scary. For the sufferer, they are very painful, and there can be an accompanying concern of possible long-term hearing loss.

Ear infections can rarely cause permanent hearing loss: any hearing loss related to an infection will usually resolve with the infection.

Ear infections themselves are not all equal: they can have different causes. Because an ear infection is in the ear, any ear infection can cause temporary hearing loss. The category of infection that is most often related to hearing loss is otitis media, or middle ear infection.

Middle ear infection, or acute otitis media, involves ear canal inflammation and can be quite painful. Temporary hearing loss may result from buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. This hearing loss is merely the result of a physical blockage, however, and will subside with the swelling.

What Causes Middle Ear Infections?

The common cold or other upper respiratory infections may lead to a middle ear infection. The Eustachian tube (connecting the throat and middle ear) can become inflamed, resulting in an imbalance of pressure. Pain and temporary hearing loss can then follow.

An outer ear infection such as Swimmer’s Ear is most often caused by water trapped within the ear canal. You may feel as if your head is in a box, making sounds muted or distorted. This type of ear infection can usually be resolved by removing the fluid. Lay down or tilt the head towards the affected side, and this will allow the water to come out by itself. Another option is an over-the-counter bottle of swimmer’s ear drops, which will help to dry up the moisture quickly. 

Why Children Get Ear Infections More Commonly Than Adults

Middle ear infections occur more often in children than in adults because the Eustachian tubes of children are less developed. This makes drainage of excess fluids more difficult during an infection. Children also possess less-advanced immune systems, and they are more likely to get infections in general.  

Symptoms of Ear Infections

Infants and very young children are not able to express the pain they are feeling. Here are some signs to help you recognize if your baby has an ear infection:

  • Pulling on ears
  • Not reacting to voices or sounds
  • Irritability
  • Fluids draining from ears
  • Fever

Sometimes it can be hard to recognize ear infections in older children and adults too. Here are some clues:

  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Pressure in the ears
  • Feeling boxed in or sounds being muted
  • Imbalance, Dizziness
  • Ear Pain
  • Nausea, Vomiting

Recurring ear infections are more likely to lead to permanent hearing loss, so visit your physician or audiologist to investigate prevention methods.  

Treatment Options

Ear infections usually do not last more than a few days and often resolve on their own. The best thing you can do is to keep your child hydrated and rested.

Annual hearing check-ups are important to catch any potential hearing damage as early as possible. Contact us today to schedule a quick, easy hearing evaluation for you or your child!

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR HEARING LOSS? https://losgatosaudiology.com/what-are-the-risk-factors-for-hearing-loss/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/what-are-the-risk-factors-for-hearing-loss/#respond Mon, 21 Oct 2019 16:04:46 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30735 As we age, it’s natural to wonder what the risk factors are for developing hearing loss. Since hearing damage is often cumulative, it only makes sense that hearing loss becomes more common in older populations. First, let’s discuss exactly what a risk factor is. The definition of a risk factor is something that increases the […]

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As we age, it’s natural to wonder what the risk factors are for developing hearing loss. Since hearing damage is often cumulative, it only makes sense that hearing loss becomes more common in older populations.

First, let’s discuss exactly what a risk factor is. The definition of a risk factor is something that increases the chances that you will develop an illness or ailment.

There are several risk factors that can lead to hearing damage over time. Just because you have a risk factor does not guarantee that you will develop hearing loss, but the more of them you have the more likely you are to develop hearing loss. Some risk factors can be decreased or avoided, which can lower the chances that you will develop hearing loss.

Common Risk Factors for Hearing Loss

Genetics

Otosclerosis, Usher Syndrome, and other genetic irregularities can up your chances of hearing damage. There are also conditions that can alter the shape of the face and the head, which are risk factors as well.

Lower Birth Weight

Low birth weight and premature birth are also risk factors for hearing loss. Complications at birth such as jaundice and asphyxia can also lead to hearing loss later in life.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

The most common risk factor for hearing damage is exposure to loud noises: either shot bursts of very loud noise, or repeated/continual exposure to lower frequencies of loud noise over time. Fortunately, prevention of noise-induced hearing loss is not difficult. The best way to prevent this type of hearing loss is to be prepared: carry earplugs with you so you’re ready when confronted with loud noises. Custom ear plugs can provide even more protection if you are repeatedly exposed to loud noise on a predictable basis.

Aging

Hearing damage as we age (presbycusis) progresses gradually, can be hereditary and is most often the cumulative damage from noise exposure over the long term.

Illnesses and Diseases

Meniere’s disease and other diseases can alter the fluid in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. Diabetes, vascular disease, tumors, and autoimmune disorders can also affect hearing ability. Trauma such as an injury to the head may lead to hearing loss as well.

Ototoxic Chemicals and Medications

NSAID medicine, some antibiotics and chemotherapy can cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss. High doses of aspirin, for example, can cause tinnitus or a temporary loss of hearing in some people. When these medications are no longer used, the symptoms usually cease. Factory or agricultural chemicals can also be ototoxic (lead to hearing damage). Ototoxic chemicals are also present in most cigarettes.

Medical Interventions

We have discussed the ototoxic properties of some antibiotics and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is another medical intervention that can affect hearing health, especially when the radiation is concentrated in the areas around the ears.

Hearing damage can result from exposure to any of these things, but it doesn’t always happen that way. This is also not a comprehensive list, and there are other factors that can contribute to hearing loss. One thing is certain: if you make an effort to prevent hearing damage, you can make it less likely that you will suffer from hearing damage.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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THE FACTS ABOUT TINNITUS AND HEARING LOSS https://losgatosaudiology.com/the-facts-about-tinnitus-and-hearing-loss/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/the-facts-about-tinnitus-and-hearing-loss/#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2019 15:26:13 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30717 Have you ever experienced ringing in your ears? It’s a condition called tinnitus and depending the severity it can be a transitory, minor irritation or it can become an overwhelming noise that follows you everywhere. Tinnitus is common and has several causes, so here are some facts about tinnitus that could help you cope with […]

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Have you ever experienced ringing in your ears? It’s a condition called tinnitus and depending the severity it can be a transitory, minor irritation or it can become an overwhelming noise that follows you everywhere.

Tinnitus is common and has several causes, so here are some facts about tinnitus that could help you cope with it successfully.

About 10-15% of adults will have at least one episode of tinnitus in their lifetimes. 50 million people in the U.S. deal with with some degree of tinnitus, and about 25% of those people seek medical treatment.

Approximately 20% of teenagers have permanent tinnitus, and for them the ringing never stops. As tinnitus can be caused by loud noises or continual exposure to loud noise, and only 5% of teens report using any kind of hearing protection when they are exposed to loud noises, this is a significant cause.

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors besides exposure to loud noises. In some cases, tinnitus develops with no obvious cause. Both genders are affected equally, and it does not discriminate between any age, profession or socioeconomic background.

People who suffer from hearing damage, including tinnitus, are often embarrassed to seek help or even mention it to friends or family. They hope that it will just go away. Tinnitus rarely just “goes away,” however, unless it was caused by a temporary influence such as ototoxic medication. If you hear ringing in your ears, it is wise to visit your audiologist or other doctor.

Not everyone experiences tinnitus in the same way. Some people describe it as a ringing, while other people have described tinnitus as a chirping, whistling, clicking, hissing or whooshing sound.

Veterans from the military seem to be at high risk for tinnitus: 60% of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have reported either tinnitus or hearing loss. That makes hearing damage the most typical war wound!

People who suffer from anxiety and stress are more likely to experience tinnitus. People suffering from depression, high stress levels, anxiety, or panic attacks are also prone to tinnitus.

There are two types of tinnitus: objective tinnitus and subjective tinnitus (more common).

  • Objective tinnitus can actually be perceived by another person with a stethoscope!
  • Subjective tinnitus is more common, however, and is only audible to the sufferer.

There is no psychiatric condition that leads to tinnitus: it is an actual noise the sufferer hears in the ears or in his or her head.

Cigarette smoking can cause tinnitus. The chemicals in cigarettes are ototoxic, meaning they cause damage to the inner ear and can result in chronic ear infections and tinnitus.

If you suffer from tinnitus, it is worth seeking medical attention to see if it can be treated and you can find relief.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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HAVE YOU DELAYED GETTING A HEARING AID? https://losgatosaudiology.com/have-you-delayed-getting-a-hearing-aid/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/have-you-delayed-getting-a-hearing-aid/#respond Tue, 17 Sep 2019 07:47:41 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30677 Hearing loss is a widespread problem today, affecting people of every age group, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. Hearing damage is also cumulative and irreversible, so early detection and treatment are key to preventing further loss. Do I have hearing loss? Your audiologist can help you take a quick, easy hearing evaluation that will let […]

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Hearing loss is a widespread problem today, affecting people of every age group, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. Hearing damage is also cumulative and irreversible, so early detection and treatment are key to preventing further loss.

Do I have hearing loss?

Your audiologist can help you take a quick, easy hearing evaluation that will let you know if you have any hearing damage. That way you can both assess the situation and know how to plan for the future.

If you find out that you do have hearing loss, your audiologist may discuss the benefits of hearing aids with you. The great thing about hearing aid technology is that it can effectively reestablish hearing to the level you are used to. When you get back your hearing, you also get back your enjoyment of entertainment, your social life, easy everyday communication, and worry-free family gatherings.

Now is Better Than Later

Research shows that adults in the US who suffer from hearing loss tend to wait an average of 7-10 years before they consider hearing aids or other options. Unfortunately for them, hearing loss is not curable or reversible, so an earlier diagnosis can preserve your hearing longer. Detecting hearing damage as early as possible is your best bet to keep your normal, active lifestyle.

Why do people wait? Well, hearing aids are often not covered by health insurance, so the out-of-pocket cost can be significant. But think of it in terms of an investment: if you invest in your health and your life now, you will most definitely see this investment was worth the money.

Hearing aids can benefit you in quite a few ways:

Overall health and improved hearing are linked.

Health conditioner such as heart disease, dementia and cognitive decline have been linked to hearing loss. From this perspective, staying on top of your hearing health can actually save your life!

Aside from the immediate health correlations, hearing damage can result in issues such as anxiety and social isolation. This stress caused by these problems can then bring about depression, loneliness and anger.

A decreased in stimulation of the brain can result in gradual cognitive decline as well. An imbalance of inner ear fluids can also cause balance issues, so falls can become a concern.  

Emotional well-being and social life can benefit from hearing aids.

Miscommunication often results from hearing loss, which in turn may distress friendships and family relationships. Better communication will benefit your relationships, and better relationships prevent loneliness and isolation.  

Get your social life back by improving the communication between yourself and your family and friends!

Hearing loss sufferers can also become dependent on others because we rely on our hearing for so many things. This dependence on others can result in feelings of depression and feeling out of control.

Get your hearing back and get your independence back!

Better hearing can increase professional success.

Professional success is another result of having your hearing back. If you have begun to have difficulty communicating in your work environment, your productivity may suffer, which could result in a demotion. Learning new things for your job is also very dependent on good hearing. When you think of it in terms of your livelihood, not acting now could end up costing money in the long run!!

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR HEARING? https://losgatosaudiology.com/did-you-know-you-can-train-your-hearing/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/did-you-know-you-can-train-your-hearing/#respond Mon, 02 Sep 2019 15:42:24 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30579 Hearing loss is permanent, so if you know that you already have hearing loss, it’s a great idea to prevent further hearing damage. Did you know you can do “workouts” to strengthen your hearing skills and help prevent further loss? Here are five simple ways. Get Moving! When you keep blood circulating by staying active […]

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Hearing loss is permanent, so if you know that you already have hearing loss, it’s a great idea to prevent further hearing damage.

Did you know you can do “workouts” to strengthen your hearing skills and help prevent further loss? Here are five simple ways.

Get Moving!

When you keep blood circulating by staying active all day long, you benefit to your ears as well as the rest of your body!

As long as you do it daily, even light exercise like walking is great. Cycling, jogging and swimming can also help get your heart pumping. Pilates, yoga and other stretching exercises will also boost circulation and your health. You may also know from experience that chores like housework and gardening can get your heart pumping too!

Many people love exercising to music, so if that’s you, try remembering to lower the volume, especially if you use ear buds. Since noise-induced hearing damage is the most common type and music is often a culprit, this will help prevent hearing loss as well.

Stretch it Out

Stretching exercises and deep breathing can also help with hearing.

We have all heard that yoga has health benefits, and it can also strengthen hearing by increasing circulation to your ears! The stretching and deep breathing are a light effort and qualify as exercise! Increased blood flow allows your body to efficiently detoxify, and that improves nerve function. All of these things are good and will contribute to a strong hearing ability.

Play Games!

Which organ plays the biggest role in hearing?

Did you say your ears?

Wrong!

When it comes to listening comprehension and hearing, your brain is the heavy lifter. Your ears physically bring sound in, like sound funnels, but your brain interprets and makes those sounds understandable. So, anything you can do to workout your brain will also impact your hearing ability.

The brain needs exercise just as much as the rest of your body does! Puzzles, games and riddles are fun and are also brain exercises that strengthens your brain’s connections, combating atrophy. Dementia is the eventual result of brain atrophy, so we must avoid that at all cost.  

The good news is that any game will work:hearts, poker and bingo are all exercise for your brain and are also really fun!

Focus 
Your audiologist may also be able to recommend some great hearing exercises, and they can be found online as well. These exercises not only improve hearing ability and help you to distinguish sounds, they can serve as great brain stimulators as well.

Here’s one workout that can aid in focus and encourage hearing in a noisy environment:

Turn the radio or TV so it is clearly audible. Then turn on another competing noise (like music). Ask a friend or family member to walk around the room and read from a book or magazine. Close your eyes and repeat the sentences they read. Also picture where the other person is in the room. This exercise can help tremendously with focus in a noisy environment.

Concentrate on Sounds

One more exercise that you can do when you are alone in public: close your eyes and listen. Think about the noises around you and recognize the sounds: pinpoint each sound’s location. This workout will help your brain translate noises and refine your focus.  

Annual hearing screenings are also highly recommended. Reach out to your audiologist today—regular hearing evaluations are quick and painless and will give you a good idea if there has been any hearing damage so far. The earlier hearing loss is diagnosed,   the better you can deal with it and prevent further loss.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 20 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

You are invited to attend our Listen Up Café!

Listen Up Café, Friday, September 13, 2019 from 10 am -12 pm

We’ll be discussing Alzheimers and the connection of hearing health and brain health.

RSVP by calling us at 408.290.1279 to reserve your spot! We’ll have light refreshments and a great discussion—see you there!

Los Gatos Audiology – 15899 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd. Suite 8, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (on the corner of National and Los Gatos-Almaden Rd.)   www.losgatosaudiology.com

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HEARING LOSS MYTHS AND HEARING AIDS https://losgatosaudiology.com/hearing-loss-myths-and-hearing-aids/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/hearing-loss-myths-and-hearing-aids/#respond Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:50:57 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30565 Hearing loss is an invisible yet incredibly common issue, especially among older people. Since people with hearing loss don’t look any different, that makes it a challenge for others around them to know and understand what they are going through or know how to help them. There is also a stigma attached to having hearing […]

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Hearing loss is an invisible yet incredibly common issue, especially among older people. Since people with hearing loss don’t look any different, that makes it a challenge for others around them to know and understand what they are going through or know how to help them. There is also a stigma attached to having hearing loss and using hearing aids. This stigma causes a majority of people (about 80%) to delay or avoid getting hearing aids altogether. Those that do eventually use hearing aids wait an average of ten years before taking steps to get them.  

Hearing devices can be costly, and are usually not covered by medical plans, which is another reason people with hearing damage wait to get them, even if they are really needed. These reasons on top of the fear to admit they have a hearing problem means there are a lot of people around us people with untreated hearing loss.  

There are a few hearing loss misconceptions that can help us to better understand the challenges hearing loss sufferers face, and give us some ideas for solutions.

Hearing Loss Misconceptions

1.    Hearing loss is only a problem in the elderly.

Hearing loss is definitely common among the older population, but hearing damage is an issue for all age groups. A lot of things can cause hearing damage, most commonly frequent, loud noise exposure. Loud noises can be anywhere: your lawnmower, a noisy factory work environment, fireworks or loud music.

2.    Hearing devices are a quick fix.

Hearing aids are different than a pair of glasses: you don’t just magically hear perfectly as soon as they are inserted. Your audiologist may need to adjust your hearing aids to your brain’s specific needs to achieve the best hearing experience. Your ears and your brain collaborate so you can identify and recognize sounds in your environment. Hearing aids are simply a means for your brain to understand and interpret sounds.

3.    If you speak louder, people with hearing loss can hear you better.

Many people thing that hearing loss is just turning down the volume. Hearing damage, however, is more akin to a broken microphone that distorts sound whether it’s loud or soft. This is why shouting at someone who is hearing impaired usually doesn’t help at all.  

4.    Take a pill for it: hearing loss is fixable.

As of right now, permanent hearing loss is irreversible. That makes hearing loss prevention very important. The best way to ensure you know about hearing loss before you even notice it yourself is to get quick, easy, yearly hearing screening with your audiologist. Call our office today to set one up!

5.    Hearing loss is just laziness; they aren’t paying attention.  

When people have hearing loss are not being lazy or ignoring you: they really don’t hear you! Hearing fatigue is another problem for people who suffer from hearing damage: listening and understanding takes much more effort than it does for people with normal hearing. They must focus to understand sounds that are for everyone else just come naturally. Once they have a break, they are usually ready to put forth the effort once again.

6.    Lip reading is easy.

If you have ever tried to lip read you know it’s not something anyone can do! Lip reading is a skill and it takes time to master it. Even the best lip readers are playing a guessing game, so we can help by gesturing and giving them other clues.

7.    There is only one sign language.

Wrong again! There are over 130 different sign languages, which vary by country, language and region!

8.    Driving is not for people with hearing loss.

Even people who are deaf can drive–they have to be very careful of their environment and pay attention to everything happening using the other four senses.

9.    Deafness is genetic.

Deafness and hearing loss can be caused by a large range of reasons. Loud noise exposure, accidents, illnesses, congenital defects or ototoxic chemicals can all play a role, but deafness is rarely genetic.

10. Hearing aids are cumbersome and ugly!

Modern hearing aids have advanced with today’s technology: they are now much less conspicuous than they have ever been! Hearing aids are now “smart” too and can be run and adjusted by your phone or other devices! Modern hearing devices are super small and can fit completely into the ear canal making them are practically invisible! Many hearing aids are also wireless, and come in lots of shapes, colors and sizes.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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HOW CAN I PROTECT MY HEARING? https://losgatosaudiology.com/how-can-i-protect-my-hearing/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/how-can-i-protect-my-hearing/#respond Wed, 07 Aug 2019 17:24:03 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30560 Since permanent hearing loss is irreversible, it is very important to slow and prevent hearing damage any way we can. Here are a few tips to help you protect your hearing now and prevent hearing loss in the future. 1.    Protection is Key Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common type, and it stems from […]

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Since permanent hearing loss is irreversible, it is very important to slow and prevent hearing damage any way we can. Here are a few tips to help you protect your hearing now and prevent hearing loss in the future.

1.    Protection is Key

Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common type, and it stems from noises around us like lawnmowers, fireworks, work environments and other loud settings. Even if we are only occasionally exposed, this damage has a cumulative effect.

The easiest way to prevent hearing damage is to carry earplugs with you wherever you go. Earplugs can be purchased almost anywhere: they are compact, inexpensive and easy to use. They even make specialized earplugs for musicians and other people who need them for specific reasons. These custom earplugs allow them to hear what they need to hear while blocking out harmful noise that can damage hearing. Your audiologist can help you decide if custom ear plugs are right for you.

2.   Turn it Down!

We live in a world of constant entertainment: music, videos, radio, advertisements and other loud sounds constantly bombard our senses.

A recent study shows that over 1 billion young adults and teenagers are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss worldwide: this is as a result of the ubiquitous access to audio devices.

It’s great to be able to listen to music and entertainment with earbuds and our phones, and we can protect our hearing too. Follow the 60/60 rule: limit your earbud time to no more than 60 minutes per day, and at no more than 60% volume on any device.

Instead of earbuds, opt for over-the-ear headphones. They expose the ear drum to fewer direct sound waves.

3.    Avoid Over-the-Counter Pain Meds

NSAIDS, over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, are ototoxic. That means they can cause hearing loss (either temporary or permanent). Avoid these medicines whenever possible.

4.    Give Yourself Recovery Time

If you are exposed to a lot of noise, as in a club or concert, try to take a few breaks in a quiet area while you are there. Just 5 minutes away from the noise several can allow your ears to rest and guard against permanent damage.

The next day try to take it easy as well: after a loud night out, our ears need at least 16 hours of peace to recover.

5.    Nix the Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs are a favorite for cleaning ears, but you have probably heard they are no longer recommended. The ear wax in our ears is a good thing: it helps to protect our ear canals and our brains from harmful invaders like bacteria, dust and dirt.  Ear wax will naturally move down the ear canal and is easily removed with a towel after you shower. Cotton swabs or other items can damage the ear drum if inserting too deeply, so don’t take the risk.

An earwax softening solution or a damp towel can remove excess earwax if needed, and if you are concerned about overproduction of wax, speak to your audiologist.

6.    Lower Your Stress

High levels of stress can trigger tinnitus and other issues, as well as other issues like lower blood flow. Anxiety also tenses the body, putting pressure on nerves and organs. Take deep breaths and take time out today and every day to relax your mind and your body. Think about the things for which you are thankful: gratefulness is a long-established stress relief!

7.    Get Some Exercise!

Exercise gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow all over the body (including your ears)! All movement works! Walk around the block at a brisk pace, take a jog or a bike ride. Increased oxygen and circulation are crucial to the function of the inner ear to keep you hearing well.

8.    Keep Them Dry

Swimmer’s Ear and other infection can result from moisture that gets trapped in the ear canal. Infections like this can temporarily or permanently affect hearing ability. Use a towel after bathing to gently dry your ears, avoiding cotton swabs. If you are uncomfortable because you can feel moisture in your ears, try laying down on the affected side or tilt your head and pull gently on your ear lobe to let  water to flow out naturally.

Swimming ear plugs can also be a great option to prevent water from getting stuck in your ear canal. Just make sure the ear plugs fit well, or moisture could still get in and get trapped in the ear canal. If you swim a lot, ask your audiologist about swimming ear plugs.

9.    Annual Hearing Tests

Annual hearing screenings are important for hearing health. Hearing loss is progressive, and it’s often is overlooked until it is too late. If you have regular screenings, you will catch hearing damage earlier; even before you notice it yourself.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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WHY HEARING AIDS ARE A GOOD INVESTMENT https://losgatosaudiology.com/why-hearing-aids-are-a-good-investment/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/why-hearing-aids-are-a-good-investment/#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2019 05:35:36 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30554 Many American adults experience hearing loss at some point, yet only about 20% of people who have hearing damage will address it. Hearing loss is irreversible, so it is important to stop the development of hearing damage by diagnosing and treating it as early as possible. How do I know if I have hearing loss? […]

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Many American adults experience hearing loss at some point, yet only about 20% of people who have hearing damage will address it.

Hearing loss is irreversible, so it is important to stop the development of hearing damage by diagnosing and treating it as early as possible.

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

The easiest way to find out if you have any hearing damage is a visit to your audiologist where you can get an easy, painless hearing evaluation. That will tell you your level of hearing loss and the best way to proceed.

Most people with hearing damage will benefit from hearing aids. Hearing aids are an effective way to reestablish hearing ability. Along with your hearing, you will get back your social life, entertainment enjoyment, stress-free family get-togethers and normal communication.

Don’t wait!

Surveys show that American adults with hearing loss wait 7-10 years before addressing it in any way. That’s too bad, because the earlier hearing damage is diagnosed, the better. Further hearing damage can be stopped and prevented by acting now.  

Hearing aid cost can be a deterrent: they are usually not covered by insurance and there is a large out-of-pocket cost. But think of it as an investment: you are investing in your life and your health now, and in the future, you may see this investment was worth the cost.

Here are a few reasons you should consider investing in hearing aids.

Improved hearing can benefit overall health.

Hearing loss correlates with a lot of other health conditions, from dementia and heart disease to cognitive decline. Paying attention to your hearing health can literally save your life!

Besides the direct health implications, hearing loss can also cause problems like social isolation and anxiety when in public. This stress may lead to depression, anger and anxiety.

Cognitive decline often results from hearing loss because of decreased brain stimulation. Balance issues may follow as well, when an imbalance of inner ear fluids is the cause of the hearing damage.  

Hearing aids can improve social life and emotional well-being.

Hearing loss leads to miscommunication, which can affect family relationships and friendships. Making communication easier will then help to improve your relationships as well, which will lead to fewer feelings of isolation and loneliness.  

Restore communication with family and friends and your social life back!

Navigating the world independently is very difficult with hearing loss, which makes hearing loss sufferers dependent on others. This dependence can lead to feelings of depression because they feel out of control of their own lives.

Get your independence back and get your life back by getting your hearing back!

Increase professional success with restored hearing.

Restoration of normal hearing with hearing aids can also improve professional success.

If you have difficulty communicating in a work environment your work productivity can decline, which may result in decreases in pay or demotions.

Cognitive decline also makes learning new things much more difficult. When you consider that, not investing in hearing aids could actually end up costing you money!

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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HEARING HEALTH AND YOUR BALANCE https://losgatosaudiology.com/hearing-health-and-your-balance/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/hearing-health-and-your-balance/#respond Mon, 01 Jul 2019 08:10:51 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30547 You may or may not know, but hearing health is connected with balance. If you’ve ever experienced Vertigo, you probably learned that it is a balance disorder (usually temporary) that causes episodes of dizziness. You may also have heard that it is somehow related to your inner ear. Our Vestibular (balance) system orients our bodies […]

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You may or may not know, but hearing health is connected with balance.

If you’ve ever experienced Vertigo, you probably learned that it is a balance disorder (usually temporary) that causes episodes of dizziness. You may also have heard that it is somehow related to your inner ear.

Our Vestibular (balance) system orients our bodies and lets us stay upright without falling. Our sensory systems, such as our inner ears and our eyes, support our body’s balance and equilibrium and connect our brains with what is going on around us.  

Johns Hopkins researchers have revealed that the fluids in our inner ears are affected by hearing loss. These fluids are what regulate our sense of balance. When there is hearing loss, balance issues may follow.

There are a few things you can do to decrease your risk of balance issues:

  • Exercise. Daily movement like regular walks or trips to the gym can improve balance and will increase circulation, which assists in regulating things like inner ear fluid as well.
  • When you take medications, notice how you feel. If you feel sleepy or dizzy, you might want to look into another option.
  • Don’t miss your yearly hearing screenings! Also if you need hearing aids, invest in yourself and use them! Annual hearing exams are designed to alert your audiologist to any potential balance issues and hearing loss you haven’t noticed yet.
  • During your annual health examination, ensure you get a vision check, as poor vision can also increase the likelihood you will have balance issues.

All health is important and our bodies are one unit with every part linked to the others. Your hearing health is an important part of your overall health, so take care of it!

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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LIFE WITH HEARING AIDS https://losgatosaudiology.com/life-with-hearing-aids/ https://losgatosaudiology.com/life-with-hearing-aids/#respond Tue, 04 Jun 2019 16:54:09 +0000 https://losgatosaudiology.com/?p=30507 If you suffer from hearing loss, the right hearing aid may seem to give you your life back. There are a few things to consider and a period of adjustment, however. Though it may take a short time to become accustomed to your hearing aids, don’t be discouraged Make sure to reach out to your […]

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If you suffer from hearing loss, the right hearing aid may seem to give you your life back. There are a few things to consider and a period of adjustment, however.

Though it may take a short time to become accustomed to your hearing aids, don’t be discouraged Make sure to reach out to your audiologist for help if you are having trouble with the adjustment or you are confused as to how to care for your hearing devices.

What Should I Expect from My New Hearing Aids?

You should expect better hearing! Though it may take an adjustment period, the purpose of your hearing devices is to correct your hearing and improve your quality of life.

When shopping for hearing aids, take into account expert advice from your doctors and audiologist, and take time to learn the differences of all the various models.

To prepare for the big purchase, you can do several things:
Take an online hearing test

  • Find an audiologist near you that you can trust.
  • Have a hearing evaluation done with your doctor or audiologist.
  • Ask to see several models that may be appropriate to your needs.
  • Ask what is included in the purchase price. Are there insurance coverage options or ways to save on replacement, repair or maintenance costs?
  • Once you purchase your hearing aids, make sure they are fit to your ears and adjusted according to your hearing needs.
  • Take time to learn everything your hearing devices can do, from connections with phone apps to help with listening to music or television through your hearing aids. Make sure you know how to use all of the features for which you are paying!
  • Let others know that you have gotten hearing aids so they know they don’t have to speak up when talking to you any more!

When You First Get Your Hearing Aids

Give yourself time to become accustomed to your new hearing devices. You may not be used to having something in your ear, or things may sound a little different than you are comfortable with, but you will adjust and soon you will be hearing more normally.

In the first few weeks, you should notice that sounds that were muffled become clear and you can pick out specific sounds that you didn’t recognize before. These daily sounds may sound abnormally loud as you begin to adjust to how the devices translate sound to your ears and to your brain.

Familiarizing yourself with new hearing devices includes adjusting to the physical sensation of having devices in your ears as well as the changes in noise level and how some things sound compared to what you are used to. Background noises may sound new and may be harder to filter out at first, but you will get used to that as well.

How Can I More Easily Adjust?

Adjusting to hearing aids takes time, so allow yourself to gradually experience your new sensations of sound. If it seems overwhelming, only use them at home and only for a few hours a day, then gradually introduce yourself to the outside world and social interactions. If you are patient you should soon experience improved hearing capabilities and your ideal sound experience.

We’ve served San Jose and the Bay Area for over 40 years, providing the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Los Gatos Audiology, with a convenient hearing center located in Los Gatos, CA, by clicking here or by calling 408.703.0772.

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