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Related terms: Age-related hearing loss, Deafness

Pop! Goes That Balloon, and Maybe Your Hearing

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Blowing up your kid's birthday balloons could end in a bang – and hearing loss, new research suggests. The Canadian study found that a bursting balloon can create sound that's louder than a shotgun and might damage hearing. "Hearing loss is insidious – every loud noise that occurs has a potential lifelong impact," said study lead author Bill Hodgetts, an associate professor of audiology at the University of Alberta. His team measured the noise made by busting balloons three different ways: popping them with a pin, inflating them until they ruptured, and crushing them until they burst. The loudest noise was made by the ruptured balloon. At 168 decibels, it was louder than a 12-gauge shotgun, according to the investigators. The maximum impulse level a person is exposed to should not exceed 140 decibels, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ear Wax Impaction

For Millions of Americans, Everyday Life Takes Toll on Their Hearing

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – The noise of modern life causes permanent hearing damage to many U.S. adults who don't even suspect they've experienced a loss, federal researchers reported Tuesday. Up to now, it's been suspected that work-related noise has been the culprit behind most hearing loss, the researchers said. But about 53 percent of adults with noise-induced hearing damage reported no exposure to loud sounds while on the job, according to the study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, their hearing apparently has been damaged by exposure to loud noise at home (think headphones) or in their community (blame those leaf blowers). Many of these people don't even know they've lost hearing. One in four adults who believes his or her hearing is good or excellent actually has hearing damage, the CDC found. "About 20 million American adults have hearing damage ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes Mellitus, Hearing Loss, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

Why Certain Noises Really Irritate Some People

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 – Most people can recall a time when a certain sound annoyed them – say when your office mate was repeatedly clicking his pen – but some people find such sounds utterly unbearable. And new research suggests that brain abnormalities may explain why. People with a disorder called misophonia have an intense hatred of specific sounds, such as chewing, breathing or repeated pen clicking. These triggers can cause an immediate and strong "fight or flight" response in those with the disorder. "I hope this will reassure sufferers," the study's senior author Tim Griffiths said in a news release from Newcastle University. "I was part of the skeptical community myself until we saw patients in the clinic and understood how strikingly similar the features are," he added. Griffiths is a professor of cognitive neurology at Newcastle University and University College London in ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Agitation, Agitated State, Psychiatric Disorders, Hearing Loss, Aggressive Behavior

Brain-Training May Help Ease Ringing in the Ears

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 – An online program that "trains" the brain may help people cope with the constant ringing in the ears called tinnitus, a small study suggests. People with tinnitus can have poorer working memory, deficiencies in attention, and slower mental processing speeds and reaction times. However, an internet-based program to improve mental acuity appeared to help them deal with the bothersome ear noise, researchers said. "Fifty percent of the patients in the study reported improvements in memory, attention and ability to deal with tinnitus," said study co-author Dr. Jay Piccirillo. He's a professor of otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present, according to the American Tinnitus Association. While it's referred to as "ringing in the ears," tinnitus can cause many ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Earwax There to Protect Your Hearing, Doctors Say

Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2017 – Trying to remove your earwax can lead to ear damage, doctors warn. The body produces earwax (or "cerumen") to clean and protect ears. The wax collects dirt, dust and other matter, preventing them from getting farther into the ear, according to an updated clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. "There is an inclination for people to want to clean their ears because they believe earwax is an indication of uncleanliness. This misinformation leads to unsafe ear health habits," said Dr. Seth Schwartz, chairman of the guideline update group. Everyday activities like moving your jaw and chewing help new earwax push old earwax to the ear opening where it flakes off or is washed off during bathing. This is a normal continual process, but sometimes this self-cleaning process fails. The result: a buildup ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Ear Wax Impaction

Could Anemia Cause Hearing Loss?

Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 29, 2016 – Hearing loss may be linked to iron deficiency anemia – a combination of low levels of iron and red blood cells, new research suggests. The study found that people with iron deficiency anemia have more than twice the rate of hearing loss as people without the blood disorder. The association between hearing loss and iron deficiency anemia was particularly strong for two types of hearing loss – one called sensorineural and combined sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the nerve pathway from the inner ear to the brain is damaged, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Conductive hearing loss is when sounds aren't efficiently conducted from the outer ear to the eardrum or middle ear. Combined hearing loss is a mixture of the two, according to ASHA. Sensorineural hearing ... Read more

Related support groups: Anemia, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Hearing Loss, Anemia Associated with Iron Deficiency

Mumps Cases Hit 10-Year High in U.S.

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – Mumps cases have hit a 10-year high in the United States, and the contagious disease is especially common on college campuses, an infectious disease expert says. Before a mumps vaccine became widely available in the United States in 1967, nearly every child would get infected. Since then, cases have declined more than 99 percent, but outbreaks still occur, according to Dr. Cristie Columbus. An infectious disease specialist, she is vice dean of Texas A&M College of Medicine's Dallas campus. Symptoms include enlarged salivary glands – which cause puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw – along with fever, fatigue and head and muscle aches. Up to 40 percent of people with mumps have mild symptoms or none at all and may not realize they are sick. But, they can still spread the disease to others. Mumps symptoms typically begin 16 to 18 days after infection. They last a ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Mumps Virus Vaccine, Measles Virus Vaccine/Mumps Virus Vaccine/Rubella Virus Vaccine/Varicella Virus Vaccine, Measles Virus Vaccine/Mumps Virus Vaccine/Rubella Virus Vaccine, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Mumps Virus Vaccine/Rubella Virus Vaccine, ProQuad, Mumpsvax, Mumps Polyneuropathy, Mumps Skin Test Antigen, M-M-R II, Mumps Prophylaxis, Biavax II

Everyday Pain Relievers May Be Linked to Hearing Loss in Some Women

Posted 19 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 – Long-term use of over-the-counter pain relievers may be associated with increased risk of hearing loss in some women, a new study says. Women who used ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for six years or more were more likely to suffer hearing loss than those who used the pain relievers for a year or less, said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. They found no significant association between long-term aspirin use and hearing loss. "Although the magnitude of higher risk of hearing loss with analgesic use was modest, given how commonly these medications are used, even a small increase in risk could have important health implications," study senior author Dr. Gary Curhan said in a hospital news release. "Assuming causality, this would mean that approximately 16.2 percent of hearing loss occurring in these women could be due to ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Aspirin, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Paracetamol, Fioricet, Motrin, Excedrin, Endocet, Darvocet-N 100, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol PM, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325

Fewer Americans Under 70 Have Hearing Loss, Study Finds

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 – Americans younger than 70 may be hearing better now compared with 15 years ago, a new government study suggests. Researchers found that hearing loss appears to be on the decline among Americans in their 40s, 50s and 60s – which may be partly related to reductions in on-the-job noise and smoking rates. However, while that's "good news," it needs to be balanced with a reality check, said lead researcher Howard Hoffman, of the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Hearing loss is still common, he said. Among study participants in their 60s, for example, 39 percent were hearing-impaired. And based on other research, hearing loss grows in prevalence after age 70. "We're not really preventing hearing impairment, we're delaying it," Hoffman said. With the elderly population expanding, he added, that means the "overall burden" of ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

FDA Eases Up on Hearing Aid Rules

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – Getting a hearing aid should be less of a hassle – and eventually less expensive – under new rules introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said on Wednesday it will no longer enforce a requirement that people aged 18 and older receive a medical evaluation or sign a waiver before buying most hearing aids. The agency said it will also consider creating a category of over-the-counter hearing aids that could provide innovative and lower-cost devices to millions of Americans. Currently, a pair of hearing aids typically costs $4,000 or more, putting them out of reach for the majority of older Americans who need them, according to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. "Today's actions are an example of the FDA considering flexible approaches to regulation that encourage innovation in areas of rapid scientific progress," ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Having Trouble Hearing? Maybe It's Not Your Ears

Posted 30 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Seniors who struggle to make out what people are saying around the dinner table or on a noisy street may have perfectly "normal" hearing. The problem could actually be in the brain, a new study suggests. Trouble processing conversations in a loud setting may indicate that the brain's ability to quickly and easily process speech is diminished. The findings demonstrate that "separately from any typical hearing loss that might occur as we age, our brains also get worse at processing the sound of talking when there are other sounds at the same time," said study co-author Jonathan Simon. He's an associate professor at the University of Maryland's Institute for Systems Research. "The background noise may not even be considered especially loud by younger listeners," he noted. But "the implication is that typical older adults need to exert more effort, and take more ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Now Hear This: Wind Noise Can Pose Threat to Cyclists

Posted 14 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 – Cyclists may be at risk of hearing loss from wind noise, researchers report. For the study, microphones were attached to cyclists' ears to measure wind noise at various speeds. Wind noise ranged from 85 decibels at 15 mph to 120 decibels at 60 mph. "These findings are important because noise-induced hearing loss can begin with sounds at or above 85 decibels," said study co-leader Dr. Anna Wertz. She is an otolaryngologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. How loud is that? Heavy city traffic registers 85 decibels; an ambulance siren or a clap of thunder from a nearby storm can reach 120 decibels, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "Short-term exposure to loud sounds isn't likely to have a lasting effect on hearing, but prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to permanent damage," Wertz added in a hospital news release. More information The ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections

Posted 7 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 – Researchers say they've found a potential genetic link to a child's higher risk of middle ear infections. These painful infections are the most frequent reason kids are given antibiotics, according to the researchers. They said the new discovery could lead to more effective treatments. The analysis of DNA samples from 13,000 children revealed a link between middle ear infection and a site on chromosome 6 that contains the gene FNDC1. Follow-up studies showed that the corresponding gene in mice was expressed in the middle ear. The study was published online recently in the journal Nature Communications. "Although the gene's function in humans has not been well studied, we do know that FNDC1 codes for a protein with a role in inflammation," said study leader Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of ... Read more

Related support groups: Otitis Media, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Chronic Otitis Media, Perforated Tympanic Membrane

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss

Posted 7 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – When background noise makes it hard to carry on a conversation, many older people chalk it up to hearing loss. But a new, small study finds that the problem may not just be in your ear, but also in your brain. Researchers from the University of Maryland in College Park have found that the brain's ability to process speech declines with age. For the study, Alessandro Presacco and colleagues divided 32 English-speaking adults into two groups – one with an average age of 22, the other with an average age of 65. Study participants were given a speech comprehension test and also underwent brain scans. In both quiet and noisy settings, the older people had more trouble tracking and understanding speech. Evidence of these hearing-related deficits in the older participants was also evident in the brain scans, the investigators found. The findings suggest that ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

The 'Love Hormone' May Quiet Tinnitus

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears – called tinnitus – may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests. Oxytocin – dubbed the "love hormone" because it promotes social connections – might also help relieve the annoying and sometimes disturbing noises of tinnitus. "Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief," said lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo. She is with the department of otolaryngology at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo. But, at least one hearing specialist was unconvinced that oxytocin would help. And, even Azevedo said it isn't clear how oxytocin might work to relieve tinnitus. She speculated that it may have an effect in the ear, probably related to fluid regulation in the inner ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Oxytocin, Hearing Loss, Pitocin, Syntocinon

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