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Hearing Loss

Do Allergies Cause Hearing Loss?

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Hearing Loss

Common Hearing Hazards in the Workplace

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Do Allergies Cause Hearing Loss?

For individuals who’ve led a life with optimal hearing, sudden hearing loss or impairment can be startling and concerning. Sometimes hearing problems like ringing or roaring can happen after someone is exposed to loud noises. Whether it’s a loud entertainment venue or occupational work exposure, abrupt onset of any hearing issues should cause anyone to look into the issue further. While things like exposure to loud noises or decrease in hearing due to age are common and sometimes expected, it may come as a surprise to know allergies can cause hearing loss. Knowing that abrupt onset hearing loss caused by allergies is more common than most people understand might be reassuring to people who are experiencing these issues.

Do Allergies Cause Hearing Loss?

Allergy season affects millions of people every year. While the typical symptoms include stuffy noses, itching, red eyes and sometimes respiratory issues, it’s important to understand how the body’s reaction to allergens can also impact hearing. It makes sense that one might question “do allergies cause hearing loss?!” as allergies and hearing impairment can seem unrelated.

Consider that allergic response to any allergen amps an individual’s body into a state of response. By definition, an allergy affects any person whose body has a hypersensitive response to something that is harmless to most people. Some people who experience severe allergy symptoms may not even notice that their hearing has been affected. Swelling and congestion are the most common symptoms of allergies, so when questioning how allergies and hearing loss can go hand in hand, it might be more relatable than we realize. When allergens are introduced to our ears, or even as far as the ear canals, inflammation and irritation can cause a build up of fluid and pressure, which means our body’s response ultimately impacts the sound waves entering our inner ear.

Impairments or hearing loss caused by allergies can be simply explained. The immune response our bodies have to allergens tend to make anyone impacted by them physically uncomfortable. Sometimes allergies can make someone so uncomfortable they don’t pay attention to a dimming of their normal hearing. An excess in mucus production can obstruct the Eustachian Tube, which happens to be the draining passage for the middle ear. The middle ear’s job is to amplify sound from the outer ear – if there is a build up of fluid or mucus, it will distort the sound you may hear.

Allergies and Hearing Loss – Causes and Symptoms

There are 3 major types of hearing loss related to allergies to be aware of when allergy season hits.

Inner Ear – Inner ear issues related to allergies are moderately uncommon. Your body has defenses in place to keep allergens out of your inner ear! Most symptoms present because your body is attempting to keep allergens from reaching your inner ear.

Middle Ear – Because there are so many small tubes and openings in the inner ear, a sense of fullness can be experienced when allergies affect your middle ear. This buildup of fluid and the potential for blockages can lead to ear infections. This can also impact your equilibrium and can cause balance issues.

Outer Ear – Issues like itching and irritation are common problems you may experience from allergies in regards to your outer ear. It’s important to note that scratching any irritations in on your outer ear can compound problems with your hearing. Scratching can lead to infection and other damage to the ear structure.

Allergies and Hearing Devices

When allergy season hits, consider that hearing loss caused by allergies can negatively impact people who utilize hearing devices. For the same reasons, swelling, congestion and fluid buildup can negatively impact how your devices function.

If you’d like to discuss further, come in and meet the team at Hearing Help Associates. We can check your device for any potential issues, and help advise on ways to reduce the impact of your allergies on your hearing. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

Posted by Admin

Common Hearing Hazards in the Workplace

Did you know that hearing loss due to occupational noise is one of the leading workplace injuries worldwide? Workplace noise hazards can lead to significant hearing loss, and in most cases is 100% preventable. Protecting your hearing in the workplace is a pretty simple step to prevent long term hearing loss that can stay with you the rest of your life. To be proactive, it’s important to take appropriate steps and utilize the proper personal protective equipment to ensure that workplace noise hazards don’t cause permanent damage to your hearing. Below is a list of common occupational noise risks that may impact your hearing over a long period of time.

Common Workplace Noise Hazards – Protecting Your Hearing in the Workplace

Repeated exposure to loud noises in the workplace can cause temporary hearing loss or a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or can sometimes lead to permanent loss. Severe hearing loss can affect productivity, ability to communicate effectively, it can cause psychological and physical stress and can cause greater risk in the workplace. Here are some common workplace noise hazards to be aware of.

  • The use of heavy machinery in any application – Most pieces of large equipment come with a moderate amount of occupational noise. From agricultural to construction applications, waste management, industrial manufacturing and many processing plants, the equipment used to manufacture and process materials is typically large and loud. Every workplace will have their own set of protocols, but it’s important to ensure you have the proper PPE and pay attention to manufacturers protocols too.
  • Pneumatic tools – Using high pressured air power tools comes with some hefty sound! These types of tools can cause hearing loss in the workplace over an extended period of time if the proper preventative measures aren’t enforced.
  • Impact tools – Drop hammers, riveters, and drop forges are good examples of heavy impact tools that can cause serious workplace hearing loss over time.
  • Any workplace that has consistent loud ambient noise – Amusement parks, bars, somewhere with vacuums running constantly or machines like hand driers or back pack blowers can be the cause for hearing loss due to occupational noise .
  • Workshops or auto shops – Anytime there is the constant use of high power tools, or heavy equipment that requires a variety of energy sources to operate, occupational noise risks should be taken into consideration for employees.
  • Construction work areas – Among other risks and hazards, construction zones and development areas use equipment that exceeds healthy sound levels almost daily. From hand held tools to heavy equipment, hard laborers at construction sites are exposed to occupational noise hazards almost daily.

Noise levels in the workplace should be monitored, and if they consistently exceed 85 decibels in an 8 hour work period, your workplace should be taking immediate action to protect workers from noise, while attempting to mitigate employee exposure to sound. Typically, if amendments or alterations to equipment cannot be made, supplying workers with the proper personal protective equipment is enough to protect their hearing for the long term.

Being proactive in the workplace is the best way to ensure workplace noise hazards don’t leave lasting damage to worker’s hearing, If you’re concerned about occupational noise in your workplace, be sure you bring up your concerns with supervisors.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

The easiest way to check for hearing loss is with an annual hearing assessment. This can detect small changes in your hearing that you may not have noticed. Hearing assessments are quick and painless. At Hearing Help Associates, we’ll talk you through the entire process and review your results at the end. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

Posted by Admin

Google Live Transcribe & Other Apps to Help the Hearing Impaired

Life for people with a hearing impairment can be complicated. It doesn’t matter if your hearing impairment is minimal, or you have lost your hearing entirely, finding ways to help you navigate the world without perfect hearing can be challenging. Thankfully, through technology and ingenuity, more and more tools and resources are made available to impaired persons all the time. From driving to talking on the phone, having a hearing impairment can be frustrating and hard to live with. One great resource that has helped the non hearing population is smart phone and computer apps. While hearing aids are ideal in most situations, they can be used in conjunction with some of the below top 8 apps for people hard of hearing.

  1. Google Live Transcribe – This app takes all noise it can detect through your phone’s microphone speaker, and turns it into a text transcript to read. The app supports over 70 languages and can even work with 2 different languages at once. It’s still in beginning phases, so be patient. It is still usable though, so feel free to check it out.
  2. Web Captioner – Made for your computer, web captioner captures audio and turns it into a running transcript. A bit like Google Live Transcribe.
  3. Hearing Helper – Only available in the apple store, this app follows the same premise. You have to hold down the button for it to start capturing, but it will transcribe for you. It also helps out individuals whose primary language isn’t English.
  4. ASL Dictionary – Another great app for the hearing impaired is the ASL Dictionary. You can find it it in the play store and in iTunes. It’s unfortunately not free, but it can teach you up to 5,200 signs!
  5. NGTS – This app utilizes a third party relay assistant to help transcribe and relay messages from a hearing impaired individual to a hearing person and back.
  6. Interpreter Now – Another video relay interpreter service, Interpreter now will connect you with a third party who can make calls to hearing people on behalf of a person with a hearing impairment.
  7. SoundHound – Apps for hearing loss span all sorts of functions! SoundHound allows music lovers with hearing impairments to enjoy music, too. Utilizing the phone’s microphone speaker, lyrics are transcribed to make concert going and music listening more enjoyable.
  8. Skype – A pretty well known app, Skype offers video calls to make communication using sign language or lip reading a convenient means of communication.

Of course, there are countless other awesome apps out there that can help with a variety of scenarios. Mobile banking apps help with communication when dealing with your financial institutions. Travel apps can keep you alerted to emergencies and delays, and can help redirect drivers to less hectic routes. There are entertainment apps that allow you to enjoy shows, movies and video clips by including captions. There are even apps that help you learn and translate sign language from around the globe. In conjunction with hearing aid devices and other resources, apps for people hard of hearing are coming a long way. If you’re a person with a hearing impairment, hopefully you spotted a few helpful apps to make life just a little easier!

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

If you’d like to discuss further ways of helping you with your hearing loss, our hearing care professionals at Hearing help Associates are on hand on help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

Posted by Admin

5 Ways Hearing Loss Can Affect You

Despite how common hearing loss is, with 15% of Americans over 18’s having some difficulty hearing: many do not seek treatment. Of the 28.8 million U.S. adults who could benefit from using hearing aids, only 30% of those 70 and older use them (Source: NIDCD). Even more concerning is that it can take a person on average 7 years to seek professional advice.

Many see hearing loss as just part of ageing. For others, accepting a hearing loss can be difficult. To raise awareness of how important this issue is, here are 5 ways that hearing loss can affect you.

  1. Depression. Hearing loss can impact your ability to listen and engage with people or to fully participate in activities. Social isolation is a reaction to this, i.e. avoiding going to places that you feel you cannot enjoy anymore or that could lead to embarrassment. The things you used to look forward to now seem impossible. This, alongside stress and feeling nobody understands your problem can lead to depression.
  2. Lifespan. A study published on JAMA otolaryngology-Head and neck surgery online edition, (Sept 24, 2015) suggested that adults with untreated hearing loss may have a shorter lifespan than those who treat their hearing problems.
  3. Balance. Even mild hearing loss can triple your fall risk. Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases that risk by 1.4 times, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and National Institute on ageing.
  4. Cognitive Decline. A related study from the same team found that untreated hearing loss also speeds up age-related cognitive decline by as much as 30-40%. Some possible explanations include social isolation and the fact that the brain may be expending too much energy processing sound at the expense of memory and thinking.
  5. Dementia. Another John Hopkins study found that adults with mild untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. Those with severe hearing loss are 5 times as likely.

The message is clear, look after your hearing, look after your health.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

The easiest way to check for hearing loss is with an annual hearing assessment. This can detect small changes in your hearing that you may not have noticed. Hearing assessments are quick and painless. At Hearing Help Associates, we’ll talk you through the entire process and review your results at the end. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

Posted by Admin

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