How Swimming Affects Your Hearing

Whether you enjoy swimming in a pool or in the ocean it could be jeopardizing your hearing if you aren’t careful. Although swimming doesn’t cause hearing loss it can cause a condition known as otitis externa (a.ka. swimmer’s ear) that’ll affect your hearing later in your life if improperly managed. How Swimming Affects Your Ears Swimmer’s ear occurs when your ears are exposed to a type of bacteria that’s commonly found in natural bodies of water. It can also happen if you swim in an improperly treated pool. When it occurs your ear canal may become inflamed and very often painful. Typically this only occurs when you’ve been exposed to water repeatedly but it only takes a few drops of water to irritate your ear. Suffering From Severe Swimmer’s Ear When you have a swimmer’s ear you’ll have moderate to Read More +

Surprising Reasons Seniors Are Experiencing Back Pain

For seniors whose back starts to hurt on a regular basis should know they’re not alone. In fact, about 6 million older adults in the United States are living with chronic back pain. Gbolahan Okubadejo, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon says this is because as we age we lose fluid in our discs which causes them to collapse making us feel stiff. Of course, lifestyle habits increase the likelihood of this happening. Some of these culprits are quite surprising. Uninterrupted Sitting Although seniors probably know that sitting too much isn’t good for their health what they may not realize is that it can also result in back pain. This is because when immobile for a while a cycle of pain and spasms will start with the end result being a painful spine. PM&R published a small study in which researchers Read More +

Tips For Staying Healthy This Summer

There’s been a “mega heatwave” in the western areas of the United States (e.g. Arizona, California, Utah, Wyoming) recently. This has caused planes to be grounded, people to stay indoors, and a rise in health-related illnesses such as dehydration. Unfortunately, the older you get the less you realize how hot it is because your body isn’t as hydrated so it doesn’t sweat as much. Nevertheless, people over 65 make up 36% of heat-related deaths because heat is more of a threat to them. This is because many of them have health conditions (e.g. heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes) that make them more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Many of the medications that are used to stay healthy also make it more difficult for people to cool off. Since this heatwave isn’t even coming in the middle of the summer, some Read More +

Cicada’s Sounds Are Problematic For People With Hearing Loss

Cicadas are a type of insect that spends the majority of its lifetime underground. They make their return every 15 years and this year the cicadas have returned. This is because they’re ready to mate before they die. For this reason, they make a loud clicking sound that’s used to attract their mate and repel birds. Cicadas are noisy insects but they’re also beneficial insects as well. This is because they help prune mature trees, aerate the soil, and once they die, their bodies act as an important source of nitrogen that trees need in order to help them grow. However, even though these insects are mostly harmless, they’re still annoying nevertheless. This is because their high-pitched buzzing sound is so loud. In fact, it can be loud enough to drown out the sound of a jet plane flying overhead. Read More +

How Auditory Perception Is Improved By White Noise

There are different types of noise. For instance, when you have a continuous background of white noise you’ll be able to hear pure sounds better. This is something that researchers from the University of Basel have recently discovered. They’ve included a summary of their findings on their website and in Cell Reports. Although we know that hearing is an important part of communicating, we don’t have a good understanding of how acoustic signals are perceived or processed so that we can make sense of them. What is clear is that the more precisely we’re able to distinguish sound patterns the better we’re able to hear. This is especially true in noisy backgrounds. Understanding the “Auditory Brain” The University of Basel’s Department of Biomedicine Professor Dr. Tania Rinaldi Barkat led this investigation into the neuronal foundation of sound perception and discrimination Read More +

The Link Between Playing Musical Instruments And Hearing

Learning to play a musical instrument early in life is a huge benefit. Not only has it been proven to help with math, language, and time management skills but the skill of listening carefully to music is also beneficial. Some researchers have also discovered that playing a musical instrument and hearing loss are also interrelated. Learning to Play an Instrument Affects Your Need of Hearing Aids Northwestern University’s Professor Nina Kraus (neurobiologist, physiologist, and otolaryngologist) conducted a study in regards to how a person detects and processes sounds. In doing so Kraus discovered that when it came to musicians who were suffering from hearing loss or wearing hearing aids were able to detect, process, and remember sounds better than nonmusicians. According to Kraus, a person’s hearing system can “tune in” to different sounds better when you have a background in Read More +

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea And Hearing Loss

When you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea you should also schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist. Although this is something researchers are still looking into there does seem to be a relationship between the two – something that’s been discovered by several recent studies. Understanding What Sleep Apnea Is Although several types do exist, the most common is known as obstructive (OSA). It occurs because the muscles around your airway have relaxed so much that they’re now blocking your breathing. When this happens you’ll snore until you wake up gasping or choking and feeling out of breath. This may leave you feeling sleepy and irritable throughout the day. It also places a strain on your heart which then increases your likelihood of developing heart disease. Research also suggests that it also increases the likelihood you’ll develop hearing loss. Why Read More +

A History Of Migraines May Result In Dementia

Researchers have discovered a definite pathway that links migraines to the development of dementia (e.g. Alzheimer’s) later in life. Their underlying hypothesis here is that since severe headaches are associated with metabolic diseases, allostatic load, cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, and behavioral factors this could result in brain atrophy, changes in brain networks, lesions, and neurodegeneration. Over the course of many years, this may result in this disease. What a Denmark Study Shows Researchers in Denmark conducted a first-of-its-kind study. This was a population-based longitudinal study that looked at the national register’s data consisting of individuals who were born between 1935 – 1956 (those who turned 60-years-old prior to 2017). They then determined who’d received a hospital diagnosis of migraines since 1988, especially if they had a validated case of dementia for which they received medication after they turned 60-years-old. Overall they included Read More +

Technological Advances In Hearing Loss

There are lots of things that occur in our environment today that we may give little to no thought to – fire alarms going off, doorbells ringing, babies crying. Typically, all that’s needed is an auditory alert to know how to react to these things. However, if you find yourself suffering from hearing loss you may miss out on these alerts. This is why there are a lot of other types of alerting methods available for use today. Turn Up the Alert’s Volume When you find that your hearing loss is preventing you from hearing an alert you may simply need to make the alert louder. This is something that can be done with most items. In fact, you may be able to amplify these alerts to as much as 100 dB (decibels). For instance, when it comes to making Read More +

How To Avoid Ear Pain On Airplanes

Regardless of your air travel accommodations one thing you may share in common with the other passengers on your flight is ear discomfort in the form of pressure, popping, or severe pain. Although this is typically just an annoyance it can occasionally become more serious. When this happens it may result in hearing loss which is why you need to take precautions when you travel. Why Flying Increases Ear Pressure Flying causes air pressure to fluctuate. While the air pressure inside and outside your middle ear is normally the same the quick change in altitude that occurs when you fly causes results in the air pressure not having enough time to equalize. This is something that’s known throughout the medical world as “ear barotrauma.” When you’re a passenger on an airplane the pilot will start the plane and it’ll slowly Read More +