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Hearing Loss News

Related terms: Age-related hearing loss, Deafness

Health Tip: Hearing Loss May Affect Brain Health

Posted 5 days ago by

-- About a third of people aged 65 to 74 are affected by hearing loss, as are about half of those 75 and older, the U.S. National Institute on Aging says. Aside from missing out on spirited conversation, hearing loss can affect the health of your brain, the agency says. A 2011 study funded by the NIA found that older adults with hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia than older adults with normal hearing. The degree of hearing loss was directly related to the increase in dementia risk. Mild hearing loss was associated with a two-fold increase, moderate loss with a three-fold increase, and severe hearing loss with a five-fold increase in dementia risk. And it appears memory isn't the only brain function affected. A more recent study found that concentration declined faster in older adults with hearing loss, as compared to older adults with normal hearing. Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Hearing Loss

Health Tip: Relieve Ear Pressure While Flying

Posted 17 Oct 2017 by

-- The feeling of pain or popping in your ears during a flight is a common reaction to altitude-related changes in cabin air pressure. The air in the middle ear passes to the Eustachian tube. This connects the nose with the middle ear and allows your body to maintain a proper balance of air pressure on both sides of the ear drum. The National Sleep Foundation suggests frequent yawning and swallowing during takeoff and landing to help your body adjust to the changes in air pressure. You can also chew gum or suck on hard candy. If you have a cold or sinus infection, the NSF advises taking a decongestant before flying. Read more

Related support groups: Afrin, Astelin, Azelastine, Oxymetazoline, Sinus Symptoms, Dymista, Hearing Loss, Otrivin, Olopatadine, 4-Way, Astepro, Tetrahydrozoline, Xylometazoline, Four-Way Nasal Spray, Otitis Media with Perforation of Ear Drum, Afrin Pump Mist, Twice-A-Day, Patanase, Nostrilla, Neo-Synephrine Nasal

Clues to How You Hear in a Crowd

Posted 17 Oct 2017 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 17, 2017 – Voice pitch plays a role in your ability to hear someone in a crowded setting, British researchers say. This process is called selective attention. It was known that selective attention occurs in a part of the brain called the auditory cortex, which processes speed information. But what triggers it was unclear. "Humans excel at selectively listening to a target speaker when there are a lot of background noises, such as many competing voices," explained study author Tobias Reichenbach. "In this din of chatter, the auditory cortex switches into action and with laser focus, processes information that enables us to zone in on one conversation. But how these selective process works have been debated," said Reichenbach, of Imperial College London's bioengineering department. In experiments, 14 volunteers listened to competing conversations while electrodes were ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Hearing Loss Can Challenge Relationships

Posted 12 Oct 2017 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – People with hearing loss face daunting challenges, but so do those who love them, researchers report. Problems with hearing can be socially isolating for everyone involved, the British researchers explained. "This is research which reviews the existing evidence we have on the impact of hearing loss on those diagnosed with the condition, as well as those around them," said study leader Venessa Vas, who's with the National Institute of Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Center. Vas and her colleagues analyzed more than 70 existing studies investigating the problems faced by people with hearing loss. The studies also examined the issues faced by people who are close to someone with hearing impairments. "Hearing loss is a chronic condition that affects the whole family," Vas said in a University of Nottingham news release. "Yet, to our knowledge, our ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Hearing Loss

Health Tip: Understanding Loud Noise and Hearing Loss

Posted 5 Oct 2017 by

-- Hearing loss can occur after exposure to a single loud sound such as an exploding firecracker, but more commonly occurs because of repeated exposure to loud noise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyday activities that can lead to long-term hearing loss include: Listening to loud music from smartphones and similar devices. Participating in a fitness class where loud music is played. Using children's toys that produce loud sounds. Attending popular sporting events and music concerts. Using power tools. Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Some Newborns Don't Get Heart Defect, Hearing Loss Tests

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Some newborns in the United States still aren't getting screened for hearing loss or congenital heart disease, a new report shows. "Newborn screening at birth is crucial to quickly identify infants at risk of hearing loss and congenital [inherited] heart disease so they can receive early intervention and follow-up care," said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Finding these conditions early can give infants the best chance to properly develop, and lead healthy lives," Fitzgerald added in an agency news release. Since the 1970s, newborns in the United States have been screened for numerous health conditions through dried bloodspots, the agency explained. An estimated 4 million babies undergo screening each year. Now, national recommendations suggest that newborns be screened for hearing loss and critical ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Premature Labor, Hearing Loss, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Heart Murmur, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Patients' Hearing Loss May Mean Poorer Medical Care

Posted 24 Aug 2017 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 24, 2017 – Many seniors may not hear everything their doctors tell them, new research suggests, and that could raise the risk of medical errors. "In our study of 100 patients 60 and older, 43 reported mishearing a doctor or nurse in an inpatient or community health care setting, lending vulnerability to unintended error," said researcher Simon Smith, from the University College Cork School of Medicine, in Ireland. Earlier research has found that improved communication between doctors, nurses and families could prevent 36 percent of medical errors, Smith added. The problem is not just a matter of doctors speaking louder. "The ability to separate speech from background noise is more intricate than volume alone," he explained. Often hearing tests don't capture the complexity of how patients process medical information, and hearing aids may not be the answer, Smith said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety and Stress, Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Hearing Loss Rates Holding Steady for U.S. Teens: Study

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – There's good and bad news from a new study on the noise blasted in American teenagers' ears – more kids are listening to music via earphones than ever before, but rates of hearing loss have not increased. Still, "the overall take-home message ... is that not only are the elderly at danger of significant hearing loss – so are our children, at a time in their lives when education is key to their success in life," said hearing expert Dr. Darius Kohan, who reviewed the new study. He directs otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new research was led by Dr. Brooke Su and Dr. Dylan Chan of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). They noted that the number of teens listening to loud music through headphones is on the rise, and even minor hearing loss in children and teenagers can take a toll on their school performance. Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Noise Pollution a Problem in Black Urban Neighborhoods

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by

TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 – Noise pollution levels are highest in black neighborhoods in segregated cities in the United States, a new study shows. Researchers looked at 13 years of information gathered from across the United States. They found as percentages of Asian, black or Hispanic residents rose, so did noise levels during both day and night. Neighborhoods with at least 75 percent black residents had median night-time noise levels 4 decibels higher than neighborhoods with no black residents. The study also found that neighborhoods with high levels of poverty and low levels of education had high levels of noise. "We've known that poor communities and communities of color are likely more exposed to toxic landfills and air pollution, but until now we really have not heard much about noise pollution," said study author Joan Casey. She's a postdoctoral scholar at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Hearing Loss, Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Targeting 9 Risk Factors Could Prevent 1 in 3 Dementia Cases: Study

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – One-third of dementia cases worldwide might be prevented by paying attention to nine risk factors throughout life, researchers say. These measures include: staying in school until you're at least over the age of 15; reducing hearing loss, obesity and high blood pressure in mid-life (ages 45 to 65); and reducing smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes in later life (65 and older). Taking care of these risk factors would possibly prevent 35 percent of dementia cases, the study findings suggested. In comparison, targeting the major genetic risk factor – known as ApoE – would prevent less than one in 10 dementia cases (7 percent), the study authors said. The three risk factors that could potentially make the most difference in preventing dementia include: staying in school (which would reduce dementia cases by 8 percent); reducing ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Major Depressive Disorder, Hypertension, Smoking, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Dysthymia, Pre-Diabetes, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Hearing Loss, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Dementia with Depressive Features

A Cheaper Alternative to Hearing Aids?

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – A handful of over-the-counter "personal sound amplification products" fared as well as an expensive hearing aid in helping people pick up more words in conversation, researchers report. While the study took place in a sound booth, "in this controlled environment, some of these devices helped people with mild to moderate hearing loss as well as a hearing aid," said study author Nicholas Reed. He is an audiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore. An estimated 16 percent of Americans have trouble hearing, and the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that almost 30 million people could benefit from hearing aids. But hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, and Medicare doesn't cover them, the researchers noted. "Hearing aids are regulated medical devices and should all be able to aid someone with ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Guard Against Hearing Loss From Fireworks

Posted 4 Jul 2017 by

TUESDAY, July 4, 2017 – Watching a fireworks display can be a treat for your eyes, but the noise can be a threat to your ears. If you plan on watching fireworks this Fourth of July, there are a number of things you should do to protect your hearing, according to Dr. Maria Suurna. She is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. "The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise exposure. Exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss," she said in a hospital news release. Maintain a safe distance from the source of fireworks, Suurna advised. Be sure to protect children and infants from loud fireworks. They're more likely to suffer hearing damage at lower noise levels than adults, she explained. "If you cannot avoid excessive firework noise, ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

Was It Love at First Smell?

Posted 18 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – Beauty isn't always in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes, it's in the ears or nose of the beholder, too. New research indicates that a person's voice and scent can be just as important as physical appearance in how attractive someone is to others. The findings – from a review of 30 years of published research – appear in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. "Recently, most reviews have focused on visual attractiveness – for example, face or body attractiveness," said lead author Agata Groyecka, a researcher at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. But more research has been done on other senses and their role in social relations, and these findings shouldn't be neglected, she added. "Perceiving others through all three channels gives a more reliable and broader variety of information about them," Groyecka said in a journal news release. Along with gender and ... Read more

Related support groups: Nasal Congestion, Hearing Loss

Hear This! Keep Cotton Swabs Out of Kids' Ears

Posted 8 May 2017 by

MONDAY, May 8, 2017 – Thousands of kids wind up in U.S. emergency rooms every year for ear injuries caused by cotton swabs, a new study reveals. The analysis of federal data found that about 263,000 children were treated in emergency departments for ear injuries caused by cotton swabs over the 21-year period from 1990 through 2010. That works out to about 12,500 such injuries a year, or about 34 injuries a day. "The two biggest misconceptions I hear as an otolaryngologist are that the ear canals need to be cleaned in the home setting, and that cotton tip applicators should be used to clean them; both of those are incorrect," said senior study author Dr. Kris Jatana. He's with Nationwide Children's Hospital's department of pediatric otolaryngology, in Columbus, Ohio. "The ears canals are usually self-cleaning. Using cotton tip applicators to clean the ear canal not only pushes wax ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Ear Wax Impaction

Did Syphilis Cause Painter Goya's Hearing Loss?

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 – Spanish artist Francisco Goya's hearing loss may have been caused by the sexually transmitted infection syphilis or a rare autoimmune disorder, a researcher suggests. "This required real detective work," hearing expert Ronna Hertzano, from the University of Maryland, said in a university news release. "The question of Goya's ailment was a fascinating medical mystery. I think his case has several plausible possibilities." Goya was 46 and at the height of his career in 1793 when he developed a severe, undiagnosed illness that left him bedridden for months. He had hallucinations, constant headaches and could barely walk. Most of his symptoms eventually went away, but he never regained his hearing. Hertzano analyzed the evidence of Goya's illness and concluded he may have suffered from either syphilis or an autoimmune disease called Susac syndrome. The main ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss

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