Hearing Loss

Can Hearing Loss Leave You Accident Prone?

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Hearing Aids

Why is My Hearing Aid Buzzing?

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Can Hearing Loss Leave You Accident Prone?

Hearing loss is often accepted as a natural part of aging. While it’s true that 1 in 3 adults in the US between the ages of 65 – 74 has a hearing loss, hearing loss can occur at any age.

While the most recognizable symptom is impaired hearing, hearing loss has wider implications. It may surprise you to learn that researchers have found a link between accidental injuries and hearing loss.

The Research

A team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston led a study where they investigated the link between hearing loss and accidental injuries. Commenting on the results, lead study author, Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, said, “Hearing is a special sense that plays an important role in warning us of danger in our surroundings.”

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital team analyzed data from the US National Health Interview Survey. They found 6.6 million respondents had experienced an accident in the previous three months. Of these, people with poor hearing were twice as likely to have suffered an injury over people who reported having excellent hearing.

How Can Hearing Loss Leave You Accident Prone?

The study doesn’t implicitly prove that hearing loss caused the risks of accident to rise. It does, however, illustrate “a strong relationship between poorer hearing and accidental injury, especially since the rate of injury increased steadily as the reported hearing worsened.”

The data highlighted that injuries occurred more commonly during leisure activities. In a leisure setting, background noise can be excessive, and distractions can be everywhere. You may have someone telling you “watch out”, or perhaps someone is approaching you at speed from behind. A hearing loss can make this auditory information all the more difficult to hear, particularly in a noisy environment.

Tips to Help Avoid Accidents

If you have a hearing loss, these tips can help you avoid accidents:

  • Wear your hearing aid. Make sure that its working correctly, and that the settings are appropriate for the environment that you’re in. If you would like the settings on your devices checked, please do contact the Hearing Help Associates team.
  • Pay attention to your hearing, and watch for any changes in your environment. Pay particular attention if someone tells you that you’re missing things being said to you.
  • Take regular breaks in a quiet space. This will give your ears (and brain!) a time to rest.
  • Let people know about your hearing loss. By giving people a head’s up, they can let you know if they’ve noticed or heard something before you may have.

Regular hearing assessments are the best way to stay on top of your baseline hearing. Identifying changes to your hearing can help reduce your risk of accidents. If you want to learn more or book in a hearing assessment, get in touch today. 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.

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How to Find Quiet Places with the SoundPrint App

Have you had to raise your voice when dining out in a restaurant? If you have, you’re not alone. Restaurant dining can be loud! With a hearing loss, dining out in noisy environment can be difficult. There are, however, apps that can help. In our blog today we discuss how to find quiet places with the SoundPrint App.

Why Are Restaurants So Loud?

Many of us love heading out for a good meal with friends and family. But increasingly, noise levels in restaurants are raising concerns among patrons and restaurant staff and owners. A survey by Zagat Dining Trends looked at what people find the most frustrating when dining out. Noise topped the list, with 24% of diners mentioning it, followed by service at 23%.

According to Restaurant Briefing, reviewers have reported noise levels of 80 dB and up in dining establishments around the country. To put this into perspective, the average conversation averages around 60 dB. So what is causing the increasing noise in restaurants?

Most modern restaurants share a few design features: High ceilings, hard surfaces and virtually no soft cushions such as carpets or curtains. While this may be visually appealing, it does little to create a quiet dining experience. The lack of cushioning and high ceilings mean nothing is absorbing sound energy. The hard surfaces serve to reflect sound around the room.

When combined, these design features result in a loud space. Conversation can be difficult, and prolonged exposure can present a threat to your hearing. If you have a hearing loss, finding somewhere quiet to eat is increasingly challenging. Thankfully, the SoundPrint App can help.

What is the SoundPrint App?

SoundPrint was founded by Gregory Scott. As someone with hearing loss, he struggled to hear in noisy restaurants and bars. As he said: “I recall many times sitting at a restaurant table feeling completely lost in the conversation while others conversed and connected with each other. I would often nod my head in unison with the conversation, pretending to hear my companions when I could not, and then idly pass the time by entertaining myself with whatever fiction entered my head.”

Gregory would try to Google “quiet spots” near him, but was often left frustrated with the results. Often he found places that were listed as “quiet” were blasting loud music. He started to build up his own database of quiet spots, using a decibel meter on his smartphone and making a note of the quieter venues. From this, SoundPrint was born.

SoundPrint is “like Yelp, but for noise.” According to their website, “SoundPrint allows you to rate and review places based on their sound levels. This way you can plan your next meeting, date, or family outing around a great place to eat to hear and connect with each other.”

How to Find Quiet Places with the SoundPrint App

SoundPrint providers users with a database of venues, and includes information on how quiet or noisy they are. In addition, it includes other variables such as cuisine type, distance, and venue type.

The app ranks restaurants, bars, cafes, reading spots and more. The unique thing about SoundPrint is that the information presented is provided by real time users. Think TripAdvisor Reviews, but for sound!

Users can add new venues to SoundPrint, and outline the noise levels in the establishment. The app’s built in decibel meter allows you to record the noise in the venue, and upload to SoundPrint’s database.

Similarly, if you visit a venue that has been listed on the app, you can submit your experiences of the noise in the venue.

SoundPrint is still building its database, and welcomes user contributions. What this means for you, is that if you find a wonderfully quiet place, upload it to the app so other people can enjoy the venue too!

If you prefer to seek out quieter spots and struggle to hear in loud environments such as restaurants, you may be experiencing hearing loss. Hearing loss causes your brain to work harder to decipher sounds or conversation. The added workload on your brain can leave you feeling exhausted, particularly if you’ve been in a noisy environment. Modern hearing aids may offer significant relief and improved social engagement as they have the ability to filter out and minimize background noise while amplifying speech.

Excessive noise in restaurants can pose a risk to your hearing. If you are concerned that you may have hearing loss, don’t delay booking a hearing assessment. 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.

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Why is My Hearing Aid Buzzing?

You rely on your hearing aids for your day to day life. If they’re not working as expected, it can be frustrating. If your hearing aid has been making a buzzing sound, it can be annoying. In some cases, the buzzing can even be painful if it’s loud or sustained. In our blog today, we’re looking at common problems with hearing aids and what you can do to troubleshoot them.

Troubleshooting Your Hearing Aid(s)

If your hearing aid is buzzing, the first thing you should check is your batteries. If the batteries are in good shape with no visible damage, it’s likely that the buzzing you’re hearing is feedback from your hearing aids.

4 Common Causes of Hearing Aid Feedback

The Volume Is Too High

It’s only natural that you’re going to want to adjust the volume on your hearing aids. In loud social settings, you may be tempted to increase the volume on your device. However, setting it too high can cause feedback.

Before adjusting your volume, ask yourself how often you’re actually having to make these adjustments? When was the last time that you had a hearing assessment? Is it possible that your hearing has actually changed? If it’s been over a year since your last hearing assessment, we recommend booking one in. At Hearing Help Associates, our hearing care specialists will be able to check your baseline hearing and your hearing devices. Click here to request an appointment with the team today.

Your Hearing Aid Was Touched Or Bumped

If you’ve heard a quick burst of feedback, the most common cause is something coming in contact with your hearing aid. If you’ve just given someone a hug, they may have bumped your ear.

Occasionally, wearing something on your head such as a hat or headgear can obstruct sound waves. If you are wearing something on your head and experiencing feedback, try removing the item and see if it resolves the issue.

Your Ears Are Dirty

Earwax is an important part of a healthy ear. It serves to protect the skin in your ear canal, helps to clean your ear, and protects against bacteria, water and foreign objects.

Although earwax is a good thing, too much of it is not! Excess ear wax can stop sounds from getting to your hearing aids. In some cases, the ear wax will force the sounds back out, or even trap the sound. This can cause your hearing aids to make whistling or buzzing sounds.

You can see if earwax is an issue by removing your hearing aids and checking to see if there is any wax buildup. If you need some tips on cleaning your hearing aid, our team would be happy to help!

Your Hearing Aids Do Not Fit

Hearing aids should comfortably fit your ear. When your hearing aids don’t fit correctly, the sounds can bounce around your ear and cause feedback. In some cases, poor fit is the result of incorrectly inserting your hearing aids. Check your hearing aids are not too loose by removing your hearing aids and reinserting them. Make sure they’re seated snugly in your ear.

If you’ve ruled out placement as causing the issue, there are other reasons that your hearing aids no longer fit. Weight loss or gain can actually impact the fit of your devices. You may have also inadvertently damage your device. We recommend coming in to meet the hearing care specialists at Hearing Help Associates who can check the fit.

Still Need Help?

If your hearing aids are buzzing, it’s not an immediate cause for concern. If, however, after going through the above troubleshooting tips your aids are still buzzing, please do 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.

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Link Between Hearing Loss and Diabetes

It is estimated that in the United States, 30 million people have diabetes. Of these people with diabetes, the CDC estimates that roughly 90 – 95% have type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a long-lasting (chronic) health condition. It affects how your body is able to turn food into energy, and managing diabetes is crucial. Without management, the risk of developing complications as a result of the diabetes increases. What you may not be aware of, is that when left unmanaged, diabetes may contribute to hearing loss.

Link Between Diabetes And Hearing Loss

In research conducted by The National Institutes of Health (NIH), results indicated that adults with diabetes were twice as likely to have a hearing loss than those without diabetes.

Senior author Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) said, “Hearing loss may be an under-recognized complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss… Our study found a strong and consistent link between hearing impairment and diabetes using a number of different outcomes.”

How Does Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss?

It isn’t yet clear what exactly contributes or causes hearing loss in people with diabetes. However, research is increasingly outlining that diabetes may contribute to hearing loss by damaging blood vessels and nerves. This damage is the result of high blood sugar (A1c levels). When this damage occurs in our sensitive auditory system, hearing can be affected.

If you struggle to manage your blood sugar levels, you may be more likely to develop hearing loss. It’s important to follow your treatment plan, monitor your condition and stay on top of your regular health assessments.

Individuals who are at higher risk should also be aware that damage to the sensitive auditory system can also increase the risk of falling by causing balance or dizziness symptoms.

What Can You Do?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are a number of steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of a hearing loss:

  • Book annual hearing assessments
  • Follow your diabetes treatment plan
  • Take your medication as prescribed
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels
  • Exercise regularly, daily where possible
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Manage your weight, eat healthy

Managing diabetes is one of the best ways to help protect your hearing. Additionally, understanding the signs and symptoms of hearing loss can help you identify any changes to your hearing as soon as possible. Read more about other medical conditions that could cause hearing loss.

If you’d like to book in a hearing assessment with the team at Hearing Help Associates, call us today on (866) 604-8057. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

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