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Ototoxicity and Hearing Loss

Author | American Academy of Audiology Up to 80% of adults have hearing loss after chemotherapy[1] Ototoxicity refers to damage to the hearing and/or balance organs that occurs after exposure to medications or chemicals that affect the inner ear.  Ototoxic medications can damage hearing, balance, or both. • Hearing System Sounds travel from the outer ear through the ear canal and eardrum, through the middle ear, and finally to the hearing organ located in the inner ear.  From here, sounds are converted into neural impulses that travel to the brain. The ears are fully formed at birth but mature through childhood. [...]

Tinnitus Management & Definition

Author | American Academy of Audiology • What is Tinnitus? The perception of noises within the ears or head (e.g., ringing, buzzing, whooshing, roaring, crickets, etc.) in the absence of an external sound. Candidates for Tinnitus Management Approximately 30 million Americans experience tinnitus on a regular basis. However, approximately 1-2% of the population have tinnitus severe enough that may lead to the following: anxiety, depression, problems with family and friends, an inability to concentrate and lack of sleep. Audiologists work with people with debilitating tinnitus for management of their symptoms. There is no one-size-fits-all program for tinnitus management.  In general, most [...]

5 signs you may be losing your hearing

You might think of hearing loss as something that only elderly people need to worry about. After all, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), age-related hearing degeneration (also known as presbycusis) affects one in three U.S. adults. However, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have found that 20 percent of Americans over the age of 12 experience some degree of hearing loss. The notion that hearing loss is exclusively age-related keeps many older adults from seeking help for what is a very treatable condition. Only 30 percent of Americans who need a hearing aid actually use one. [...]

Medical Screenings: You should get as you age

Our health needs change quite a bit as we age. Barring an emergency, most of us can get by on a yearly checkup when we’re young. But, as we grow older, it's important we begin taking preventative health measures more seriously with these medical screenings. While it’s easy to associate a visit to the doctor's office with bad news, the opposite is actually true. By regularly consulting with your primary care physician and their staff, you'll enable them to form an accurate and ongoing understanding of your medical needs. That understanding is vital to your staying healthy, active and independent [...]

6 Things a Hearing Loss affects in your life.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15 percent of US adults have some degree of hearing loss. Sadly, according to the "Journal of American Medicine," only 33 percent of those afflicted treat their condition with the use of the hearing aid. There is a group of people nearly the population of Texas goes through their days without the full use of one of their five senses. Consequently, these individuals have effectively opted out on some of life’s most pleasurable experiences. Here are six things you may be missing out on by turning down the help offered by a [...]

Medical Insurance and your hearing

There are several reasons why hearing aids aren’t more widely adopted, but one significant factor is their perceived high cost.  According to one 2017 study, only 33 percent of Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid actually use one.  However, the truth is that, in many cases, health insurance can make the purchase of a hearing aid more affordable. Medicare and Other Government Programs Currently, Medicare does not cover hearing tests, individual devices or fittings. Yet older Texans can still save on their hearing care costs thanks to two special state-operated assistance programs. The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) [...]

Understanding the causes of age-related hearing loss

Hearing loss is a condition that affects millions of Americans — 37.5 million, to be exact. These numbers bear out what we know experientially: that age plays a significant role in the deterioration of our hearing. But what actually causes our ability to hear to lessen as we grow older? What happens within the ear as we age? And is there any way to prevent age-related hearing loss? What is age-related hearing loss? Hearing loss is among the most common maladies affecting Americans over 65. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), almost 1 in [...]

5 Health Conditions Linked to Hearing Loss

ALZHEIMER’S & DEMENTIA Risk increases as hearing loss becomes more severe and is untreated. DIABETES High blood glucose levels associated with diabetes cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear resulting in hearing loss, the same way it can damage eyes and kidneys. HEART DISEASE Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss. KIDNEY DISEASE Toxins that accumulate in the kidney can damage nerves, including those in the ear. CANCER TREATMENTS Hearing loss is a side effect for many after treatment. Most cancer treatments can be [...]

Why Loud Sounds Damage Your Ears

(Noise-Induced Hearing Loss 101) As a licensed hearing aid fitter and dispenser, I see people dealing with the profound effects hearing loss has had on their relationships and quality of life daily. Despite this, as a musician, I understand that players need enough volume to feel the music and, more importantly, hear themselves over all of the other players. In a band setting, this typically means a cyclical scenario of everyone turning their state monitors up louder than necessary to hear clearly over the other players too-loud monitors. In a orchestral or acoustic setting, this can mean an instrumentalist playing more [...]

Untreated hearing loss affects brain structure and function

Recent studies shed light on the importance of timely treatment of hearing loss and it's relation to your brain. Most people believe that hearing loss is a condition that only affects their ears. In reality, untreated hearing loss can affect so much more, including brain structure and function. According to a 2013 John Hopkins University study, hearing loss may increase the risk of cognitive problems and dementia. A 2011 dementia study monitored the cognitive health of 639 people who were mentally sharp when the study began. The researchers tested the volunteers’ mental abilities regularly, following most for about 12 years, [...]