Hearing Basics 101

Hearing Basics 101
man_hard_of_hearing

In the 1950s people said that Rock and Roll was evil, they might be right. With good reason because there are raised concerns about hearing loss in young people. This is largely due to their increased use of iPod’s and Mp3′s and Ear Buds playing rock music at higher than acceptable volumes.

 

In this article you will find all the necessary tools and information to learn about the ear, the types of hearing loss. Including the use of autotoxic (unsafe) drugs that cause hearing impairment. There is also a choice of hearing tests on this web site that will immediately let you know if you do have any hearing problems and what can be done about them. Other articles on this site will then explain natural ways to improve your hearing and give hearing aid device recommendations.

 

Did you know there’s was actually a pill designed eleven years ago by the US Navy that returns hearing loss? You might you be interested to find out that if your hearing loss goes unattended or ignored, you can go into serious dementia. Even the number of teeth you have lost can predict your level of hearing loss.

 

Clearly the cracks are showing in the of the foundations walls of the Hearing Aid/Audiologists monopoly on hearing devices. The fact that some are charging up to $6,000.00 for only one hearing aid is just preposterous. A simple $200.00 iPhone has more circuitry than a hearing aid.

 

Some online Doctors and Audiologists are challenging the monopoly

Hearing aids have traditionally been very expensive to obtain. Many couldn’t! Like ourselves, some online Doctors and Audiologists are also challenging the monopoly on hearing aids and have started web sites with the best of credentials and inexpensive aids.

These Doctors are now taking a stand and recommending that people think twice about spending so much money for one hearing aid, let alone the recommended two. You do hear out of both ears don’t you? Especially when you can get them of equal craftsmanship for only one tenth the costs.

 

Learn how everyday over-the-counter drugs can make you stone deaf!

 

Since the 1980′s, there have been many personal music devices around like the Walkman and portable CD players. They used up their batteries long before any real hearing loss could occur. However since MP3s, Ear Buds, and the iPod have come along they have enough power to last for days with a capacity of thousands of songs. The real damage is occurring without you even being aware of it.

iPods can reach 110 decibels and damage your hearing in just one day!

Most people begin noticing their hearing loss in their mid forties. Today more and more young people are starting to experience hearing loss in their twenties and sooner. The fact is that one in seven North Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss today. Largely due to Ipod or MP3 use. In the ear and in the ear canal sound amplifiers like Ear Buds are some of the most powerful assailants on young peoples hearing today and should not be used period.

Ear buds make ear drums go bust faster than anything else!

Granted, the average sound level in metropolitan cities has increased a whopping one third more since the sixties and has a debilitating effect on the senses. Interestingly, in the last fifteen years hearing impairment has also gone up one third also.

Everywhere you turn your senses are being assaulted, and need to be defended. Twelve point five percent of young people from 6-19yrs now suffer from hearing deterioration. One of the top three most common chronic health conditions today.

 It only takes one day’s exposure of 85 dB’s to cause permanent damage!

Research shows in the British Medical Journal that more than three quarters of all young people are more likely to play music at levels far above eighty five decibels. One days exposure at that rate can cause permanent hearing damage. Fifty decibels is a quiet conversation. Eighty five is a blender.

You can listen to music at a respectful level for long periods of time and still experience some hearing loss. But five hours at a higher rate of volume can definitely create more damage to your hearing than any noisy work place. This translates into music is a greater contributor to hearing loss than all occupational deafness alone.

Listen less often with less volume

You need to give your ears a break. If once every hour you stopped listening to music for fifteen minutes and gave your ears a rest, you stand a better chance of improving your hearing naturally and keeping some of your hearing you have left. Ignore some basic ground rules about ears and hearing and you won’t have any. The bottom line is listen less often with less volume.

Depending on the volume and the period of time spent listening, using an iPod or MP3 can lead to early hearing loss and most certainly predisposes you to suffering an increased risk of hearing impairment later in life.

Lots of young people enjoy the new “Mosquito Tone” ring on their phones. Adults over thirty cannot hear them because the register or tone is to high to be perceived. But the kids always know they are secretly being hailed by a friend. There is even contemporary music called Buzzin’ that plays one audio track for the general public and another for younger people who listen to a different track altogether.

Do not believe a miracle drug will return you to hearing again

Hearing impairment is not just for the elderly, it’s for young people as well. Most young people do not believe that using music players will not cause them harm to their hearing. Nothing could be further from the truth except the notion or belief that some miracle cure will help you out if they do. They’re are however, some supplements that can help restore some of your hearing, so please check out our article on natural supplements or “The Hearing Pill” at this web site.

Don’t turn your iPod higher than what you are trying not to hear

Another mistake users fall prey to is adjusting your music player above the sound you are trying to drive away. For example, turning your sound above the lawn mower. The lawn mower is already too high and you are just adding to your own catastrophe by making the music higher in range than the lawnmower.

 

Help is out there. “Inside the ear filters” really work

MP3′s and the like can be used more safely if you use “inside the ear” filters. The outer layer blocks the damaging background sounds so the music can then be delivered at a more comfortable lower register for your ears.

There’s lots of information out there detailing the negative effects of using MP3s and iPods. Dr. Josef Shargorodsky an Otolaryngologist from Harvard Medical School shows us in the prestigious Journal of American Medicine that loss of hearing in young people 12 to 19 years has risen five percent in the last twenty years alone.

Hearing loss doesn’t start in the late teens, it starts in elementary school

Australia has also published a study this year showing that the use of personal music players was directly associated with a whopping seventy percent increase in the risk of slight to mild hearing loss from a sample group of many thousands of “elementary” students.

The British Medical Journal cited in a recent editorial the reasons why this is even possible. Apparently ninety percent of young people there are using mp3′s and everything else like it for hours and hours a day at top volume or 100 decibels.

One of the first symptoms of hearing loss is a disorder called tinnitis. That’s a ringing in the ears, one or both, without there being anything around that could make that noise. That ringing is also a waving banner telling your body that it is stressed and needs relief.

That ringing in your ears is like the ringing out the dead

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear that others cannot typically hear. Usually described as a ringing, buzzing, popping, pulsating, or squealing sound. Tinnitus can range from something mild to severely impairing. Treatment could include intense therapy and sound programs or possibly a vitamin or supplement regime.

Use Your Hearing Sense To Keep Your Hearing Senses

Hearing is one of our five senses that we have from birth that takes a very complex group of sounds and makes meaning from them. For simplicity in understanding, the three parts of the ear leading to the brain are, the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.

Sound comes in the outer ear through the canal and hits the ear drum making it vibrate. Behind the ear drum in the middle ear is a space where three small bones called ossicles pick up the vibration from the ear drum and send that vibration to the fluid of the inner ear, that then causes changes in the small structures called follicles or cilia hair cells that send electric signals through the auditory nerves to the brain which interprets the signals as sound.

 Hearing loss is described as the inability to hear

Damage, blockages, noise, lack of nutrients or exercise to any part of your ear system can cause hearing loss. Poor circulation, infections, impacted ear wax, free radicals and even measles can cause your tiny hair follicles to die.

 

Hearing Basics 101

There are basically three forms of hearing loss. These are categorized by what part of the ear system is damaged. They are Conductive hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss, and Mixed hearing Loss.

Conductive hearing loss is when the sounds you hear are not getting through the outer ear to the ear drum or middle ear. Basically your overall hearing level goes down. This loss may also be a result result from earwax blocking the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, middle ear infections or obstructions in the ear canal, perforations in the eardrum or disease of any of the three middle ear bones.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss is when there is damage to the inner ear or cochlea and the nerves or hairs that go from there to the brain, reduce your ability to hear faint sounds. Even if speech is loud enough to hear it may be garbled or muffled. This is the most common form of impairment that makes up ninety percent of the hearing impaired population.

Mixed Hearing loss is when a conductive hearing loss happens at the same time as sensorineural hearing loss. Combined damage to the outer, middle ear and inner ear constitutes mixed hearing loss.

The warning signs that indicate hearing loss are:

People begin to mumble and not speak clearly to you. You turn up the radio, iPod or TV even louder to compensate for volume. You have irritability, nervous tension and fatigue that accompanies you when constantly straining to hear and always having to ask everyone to repeat themselves. You ask people more frequently to face you when they are talking to you. It’s always helpful if they are in the same room.

Not attending to your hearing loss can literally make you go crazy!

Another warning sign is when you procrastinate to do anything about it. Permanent damage, even dementia, can easily result from unattended hearing loss. The quality or essence of your being and your entire life is completely affected by hearing loss. Not to mention trying to get some of your hearing loss back!

The quality of your life is directly connected to your ability to hear

Hearing loss causes arguments with loved ones, makes you feel isolated and totally affects how you meet new people and new experiences in your life. Many succumb to a silent and lengthy depression. Hearing truly is a Sneaky Pete. As hearing decreases and exposure to loud sounds increases, your mind will compensate without your even being the slightest bit aware of it!

You can’t see it or feel it happening until you wake up one day and it’s too late!

 Drugs That Deafen Permanently

For years now, Vicodin has been known to contribute to hearing impairment and complete loss of hearing. Many pain killers do. Rausch Limbaugh, the radio show host, is a classic case. Aspirin and many other over the counter products as well as natural remedies also release free radicals (garbage) to your cilia hair follicles in your ear. Plus there are many pharmaceuticals that cause permanent hearing damage, especially in chemotherapy.

Aspirin can cause permanent hearing loss!

There are more than 200 known ototoxic (harmful) medications on the market today. Both prescription and over the counter. These even include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease. Do some homework on whatever you are taking right now or have taken a lot of in the past and then check out our article on Natural Alternatives to hearing loss. You will be glad you did.

What are the first effects from using ototoxic medications?

The first signs of ototoxicity are ringing in the ears, called tinnitus. Over time you may also develop some hearing loss that go’s unnoticed until your ability to understand speech has diminished. As a result of ototoxic medications your balance system can become impaired causing you to feel dizzy and unsteady on your feet.

That ringing in your ears is a loud and clear banner saying Help Me

Hearing VS Listening

Hearing and listening are completely different. Hearing is passive. It’s what comes to your ears. Like listening to the radio. Listening is when you are engaging your brain and awareness with who or what you are listening to. And your ability to listen can be improved with a few small tips.

The first is the environment. Make sure that you have adequate lighting to see the person you are with. Especially the face. A man once remarked to me that he never felt more listened to than when communicating with a deaf person. He said they listened and looked at every part of you. Even your big toe.

          Three feet is the normal intimacy boundary in North America.

Make sure that you are always under six feet away from the person you are talking too and no closer than three. Three feet in North American culture is the normal intimacy boundary people require for safety and feeling at ease.

If at all possible, see if you can reduce any background noises and distractions if possible. Turn off a clothes dryer or a car engine or running tap of water or the TV to help you hear better. You’d be surprised what a difference it makes. Even hearing people lip read to some extent in a busy environment.

 

You are not your thoughts

One really helpful hint is a psychological one. Always remember that you are not your thoughts. You are the person who is noticing them go by. Just keep noticing. All to often we think are thoughts are more important than they are. When you hold on to your thought, answer, or advice, while waiting for the other person to finish speaking, you are not listening. You are waiting for the other person to finish what they are saying so you can offer up your two bits worth.

 

New Studies Show Air Pollution Causes Hearing loss

As one pediatric otolaryngologist (Ear specialist) from UCLA, Dr. Nina Shapiro say’s. “Air pollutants have been shown to damage cilia in the body.” There is also evidence from Dr. Shapiro’s study that found that the amount of particulate matter in the air is affecting us more that we knew. Air pollution is now being factored into our understanding of our growing hearing loss problems. The air in our cities now carries three times the particulate matter in it than it did fifty years ago.

Connecting air pollution and respiratory problems is pretty clear. However studies for many years show air pollution is connected to two different disorders. Appendicitis, and of all things, ear infections. Who knew?

Francine Laden of the Harvard School of Public Health has suggested there are a number of possible connections between air pollution and a host of other common conditions that are being explored every day.

The pollution in the air is 30% worse than 50 years ago

Air pollution does damage the cilia and makes a person more susceptible to ear infections. Studies by the American Academy of Otolaryngologists concluded that where there is less air pollution there are clearly less evidence of ear problems.

Noise, noise, noise and more noise

Both the length of time and the loudness of the sound can cause hearing impairment. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but after seven and a half minutes at a rock concert, damage, or noise induced hearing loss has clearly started taking place. The levels for noise are measured in what is known as decibels or dB for short. 85 decibels can cause you permanent hearing loss. A rock concert is 105, so is your MP3 player. Whispering is 30. Here are some average everyday decibel conversions.

These are the guidelines on how much exposure to sound and for what length of time spent listening each day, that should not be exceeded. Whenever you listen to music at a level of three decibels higher, you need to remember that listening for half as long is producing the same degree of hearing loss.

 Can you hear me now?

An MP3 at 110 decibels is the same as a plane taking off right beside you!

This is alarming when you consider that most music players are listened to at around a hundred and ten decibels. Equal to a plane taking off right beside you. Here are some numbers on sound limits:

90 dB(decibels) for 8 hours, 92 dB for 6 hrs, 95 dB for 4 hrs, 97 dB for 3 hrs. 100 dB for 2 hrs. 105 dB for 1 hr. 110 dB for 30 minutes and 115 dB for only seven and a half minutes of duration before the damage begins.

Thousands already are suffering hearing loss, should you?

There are many people already that are suffering severe permanent hearing loss from using personal music players of all kinds. iPod’s can produce a sound level of 110 decibels. What chance do your unprotected ears have against that?

Just to get another idea of what a decibel is, here are a few stats;
The sound of a person breathing is 10 decibels.
Whispering is twenty.
Fifty decibels is a normal quiet conversation.
Eighty is heavy traffic, horn honking, etc.
Ninety to one hundred is your lawn mower or chainsaw that can cause damage after eight hours.
One hundred and twenty to twenty five is a night club a thunder clap or a jet taking off and damage to your ears will occur in just fifteen minutes.

Painful Noise

150 dB = Fireworks at 3 feet 140 dB = Firearms Jet engine 130 dB = jackhammer.

120 dB = Jet plane takeoff or an ambulance siren.

Extremely Loud Noise

110 dB = maximum output of some MP3 players, Model Airplanes or Chain Saws.

106 dB = Gas Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers. 100 dB = Hand Drill or Pneumatic Drill.

90 dB = Subway or Passing Motorcycle.

Very Loud Noise

80–90 dB = Blow-dryers, a Kitchen Blender or Food Processor.

70 dB = Busy Traffic a Vacuum Cleaner or an alarm clock.

Moderate Noise

60 dB = A Tpical Conversation, A Dishwasher or clothes dryer.

50 dB = Moderate Rainfall.

40 dB = A Quiet Room.

Faint Sounds

30 dB = Whispering or a quiet library.

How do I know when noise is too loud?

If you have to raise your voice to be heard should be a good first clue. Or if someone is only a few feet away and you can’t hear them should be another. Sometimes after leaving a concert sounds might sound somewhat muffled or duller than you normally experience. Another common effect of loud music or sound is called tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing in the ear that can also lead to:

  • High blood pressure.
  • An increased or abnormal heart rate.
  • Upset stomach disorders.
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping long after the noise has stopped.

 

How does loud music cause hearing damage and impairment?

Understanding how you hear, will help you understand how loud music can hurt your hearing ability. The worst side effects of loud music are permanent hearing loss. This is how it happens;

First the loud sound waves are collected by the ear and travel through the ear canal with enough force to damage the fragile hearing system. A really loud sound will actually dislodge the three tiny ossicles or bones in your middle ear.

Then the sound travels from the middle to the inner ear or cochlea. As the loud sounds hit the cilia or tiny hair cells of this fluid filled chamber, the hairs are damaged. Those tiny hairs can no longer send any electrical impulse data to the brain if they are damaged in any way. For more information go to Johns Hopkins Hospital: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/otolaryngology/

More about this later. First let’s look at what you can do to protect your hearing ability now.

An ounce of prevention is worth a whole world of hearing

Obviously the people who manufacture the music players need to take more responsibility in warning everyone of the risks of listening to music played to loudly. As well the user is also responsible for playing music at safe and acceptable level for ear protection. Using filtered ear phones can also help reduce music to safe levels. Given that you only use them for short periods of the day.

Put up “Sound Limit” signs, just like roads have “Speed Limit” signs

One healthy way to look at what we are doing to our ears is this. When cars first came out people went for speed and crashed a lot. So they put up speed limit signs to limit the damage we did to each other. If we could only do the same thing by limiting the volume with listening devices the world and you would be further ahead.

You now have the knowledge about how to use your iPod or music listening device more responsibly. Along with a better understanding of some of the effects you will experience by using them.
There are a lot of daily sounds that can cause permanent damage to your ears. Especially after a prolonged time. Leaf blowers and lawn mowers, hair dryers and power tools and kitchen appliances. Heavy traffic or subways (not the sandwich), long air flights, tractors or motorcycles, snow mobiles, rock concerts or MP3 players can all cause permanent hearing damage.

What can you do? Wear Protection!

The common ear plug that fits into the inner ear canal that can be purchased at your local drug store can lower sound up to 15 to 30 decibels. Sticking some cotton batten into your ears will not help you that much. I remember when I would scrunch up a wad of table napkin at a loud dance to help with the decibel levels.

Another winner is ear muffs. They can reduce your hearing by 15 to 30 percent like ear plugs do. The best form of ear protection is using ear plugs and ear muffs at the same time.

The biggest winner is when you take full responsibility for the noise around you. Like covering your ears as a siren goes by. Walking away from loud sounds like diesel trucks, machinery or loud motorcycles. Keep your personal listening devices at half volume. Don’t be afraid to ask others to turn the music down. Don’t listen to any loud sounds for too long.

Ears Never Get Used to Noise

Start looking at noise ratings on your appliances, sporting equipment, hair dryers or power tools etc. and then choose the quieter ones.

If you wake in the morning and your hearing is gone, it’s gone! …not true!

Contemporary understanding is that once your ears are damaged, the damage is final. Not true! New studies show that there are a number of choices available to return some of your hearing to you.

Hearing Loss is The Sneaky Pete of disorders

Please keep in mind that hearing loss is called a “Sneaky Pete” of disorders. You just wake up one day and everything you hear has suddenly changed. There use to be no turning back. However, now there are natural remedies that can help with hearing loss and in some cases reverse it. But only if you catch it early!

You are fooling your self if you think that ears get accustomed to noise. That your ears somehow toughen up over time, or that you can simply just block unwanted sounds out. You don’t! If you do think that you have damaged your ears or ear drums, check out these hearing tests on our web site and see if or how badly your hearing has been affected.

Cleaning your ears can make a difference to your hearing ability

Determine from the hearing tests at this web site if your hearing is in any way damaged or impaired. Then, let’s take a look at some natural ways that you can reverse this process before turning to hearing assisted devices.

Included are some recommendations on how to purchase a hearing assisted device or aid if necessary. What you should look for, and what you should clearly look out for. And what’s new and exciting in the hearing amplified world.

Natural supplements can return some of your hearing

Other articles on this website that took months to research will give you all the additional information on making all your hearing choices about improving your hearing naturally a little easier to make. Find out what drugs are toxic and cause hard of hearing and deafness. Discover how natural supplements are proven to improve your hearing naturally and help you actually regain your hearing loss if you start right now.

Learn a few helpful ear training exercises from our website. And get a much clearer understanding of everything you ever needed to know about your ears and hearing, but were afraid to ask.