Better Hearing Blog

Painkillers Linked to Hearing Loss in Women

Painkillers Linked to Hearing Loss in Women

Regular readers of this column know that one of the best ways to avoid hearing loss is to reduce exposure to loud noise. Now, new research suggests that prolonged use of certain painkillers is also linked to hearing loss in women. While the magnitude of the hearing loss uncovered by researchers may be modest, the use of painkillers is sufficiently widespread to warrant a warning. An analysis of data involving 55,850 women found the risk of hearing loss to be modestly higher among women who use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium) for six years or more than their counterparts who used these painkillers for a year or less.

BETTER HEARING CENTER offers an array of affordable hearing aid options to meet every budget, cosmetic, and hearing loss need. Our certified hearing aid specialists use a personalized approach in recommending hearing aid options to best meet every patient’s preferences. To schedule a hearing assessment, please call us today. We’re excited to assist you in making decisions about your hearing health at New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. A link between painkiller use and hearing loss in men had been reported previously to the study mentioned above.

Auditory Fatigue

Auditory Fatigue

The inner ear contains delicate “hair cells” that are responsible for converting sound-induced vibrations into electrical impulses that are recognizable to the brain. These hair cells resemble blades of grass on a lawn. When subjected to loud noise, however, these hair cells look as though they had been beaten down by hard rain. This is physical evidence of a “temporary threshold shift,” which is characterized by hearing loss. Afterwards, the hair cells mostly return to their normal posture, although some of the hair cells die off. Each time the ears experience a dose of loud noise, they lose a bit more of their hearing ability. In time, noise-induced hearing loss may make it necessary to wear a hearing instrument.

Millions of people of all ages report having some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss has many causes, symptoms, and effects when untreated over time. Many people could reconnect themselves to the sounds they love if they chose to use hearing aids. To schedule an appointment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. We are New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. A “permanent threshold shift” results in permanent hearing loss.

Communicating with the Hearing Impaired

Communicating with the Hearing Impaired

Regardless of how old you are or what you do, you are likely to meet someone who suffers from hearing loss. To facilitate conversation, it is important not to begin speaking until you have the attention of the person with whom you wish to converse. Once you have engaged the other person’s eyes, make sure not to turn away or cover your mouth, because hearing- impaired individuals rely on facial expressions and lip reading to communicate.

Speaking of facial expressions, try to use them more than you might normally to convey your thoughts and emotions. Because someone who is deaf cannot discern changes in voice intonation, it helps to use facial expressions to gauge the emotional content of a conversation. Hearing loss can affect anyone and has a profound effect on our ability to communicate with the people around us. Many modern hearing aids are extremely effective and if fitted well by an experienced audiologist, can make a real difference. To schedule an appointment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. Hearing aids help put people back in touch with their family and friends by letting them enjoy participating in social activities again. New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. When speaking to a hearing-impaired person, it is important to speak at your normal rate. Talking too slowly can make it more difficult for lip readers to understand what is being said.

The Smallest of The Small.

The Smallest of The Small.

For those who are intent on wearing a hearing instrument that is so tiny that they will be the only ones to know that they are wearing one, there is the “Invisible-in-the-Canal” (IIC) hearing instrument. These instruments, which are custom-fitted from impressions of the wearer’s ear canal, are positioned so deeply inside the ear that they typically come in shades that are intended to mimic the shadows inside the ear. Virtually invisible, IIC hearing instruments are most suitable for those suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.

Because they are placed so close to the eardrum, IIC instruments ensure immediate response to sound with less ambient noise. Invisible-in-the-canal instruments are the choice of those who value discretion. BETTER HEARING CENTER offers a full range of diagnostic and hearing-loss prevention services, hearing instruments and assistive devices. We continue the tradition of better hearing through education, technology, and customer service. To schedule an appointment, please call our hearing center. We are the only hearing center that has served the Concord, New Hampshire, area for more than 55 years. New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. “Invisible-in-the-Canal” hearing instruments require that those who place and remove them from their ears have good manual dexterity (because of their small size).

Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome

Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome

The alliterative term “selective sound sensitivity syndrome” (or “misophonia”) is used to describe a condition whereby a person experiences an intense emotional reaction to a specific sound. It may be a constant tapping of a foot on the floor or a pencil against a desk surface that causes a misophonic individual to fly into a rage. The word “misophonic” literally means “hatred of sound.” This disorder is not caused by hearing impairment and is not the same as “hypercusis” (oversensitivity to the volume of sounds), but it is certainly worth noting. The sensitivity to certain sounds elicits extremely negative and immediate emotional and physiological responses that can significantly alter sufferers’ lives and their interactions with others.

Think the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard is unpleasant? This is a mild example of what people with misophonia experience when exposed to a trigger sound. In some cases, a person with misophonia can become socially isolated and pull back from family and friends in an attempt to reduce the associated physical symptoms that they experience when triggered. For more information, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. We’re excited to assist you in making decisions about your hearing health at New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. One possible treatment for misophonia is tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), which teaches misophonic individuals to improve their ability to tolerate certain noises.

Anemia Tied to Hearing Loss

Anemia Tied to Hearing Loss

Because hearing loss is so prevalent among older individuals, researchers have sought to find factors that will help identify those at increased risk. This research has recently yielded the finding that “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” (SSHL), during which hearing is severely reduced over a three-
day period, is linked with “iron deficiency anemia” (IDA). This common condition is caused by a lack of iron in the body, which leads to fewer red
blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. As a result, IDA reduces the amount of oxygen available to tissues. While the exact mechanism by which anemia leads to hearing loss is unknown, IDA is easy to treat. This correlation may prompt new ways to diagnose and treat SSHL.

Hearing loss has many causes such as disease or infection, ototoxic drugs, exposure to noise, tumors, trauma, and the aging process. This loss may or may not be accompanied by tinnitus, ringing in the ears. While most causes of hearing loss are well-understood, researchers are still studying all the possible causes, methods for prevention and treatment options. To schedule a hearing assessment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. We are New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.

P.S. Considered a medical emergency, “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” (SSHL), also known as “sudden deafness,” usually occurs in one ear, either immediately or over several days.