Every year, the Month of May is recognized as Better Hearing and Speech Month. This designation doesn’t seem to get a lot of notice outside the world of hearing and speech healthcare, but it should. When you think about it, our hearing often plays a vital role in how we live our lives and interact with the people and things around us.
The term ototoxicity is generally used to describe any medication that is harmful to balance and hearing. Some of the known side effects include tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness, and vertigo. There are more than 200 known drugs that have ototoxic effects; they comprise many prescription drugs that are used to treat specific medical conditions such as cancer treatments (i.e. cisplatin, carboplatin, etc.), and powerful antibiotics (such as gentamicin and other aminoglycosides).
Hearing loss does not discriminate by age, gender, or personality, and nobody chooses to have difficulty hearing. But when people find themselves struggling to hear, they often react by feeling embarrassed, angry, or even ashamed. It is not uncommon to deny that there is even a problem, though it may be apparent to themselves and everyone around them.
If you are struggling with your hearing, try to resist those negative reactions. There are very concrete ways that you can take control, and in doing so you will feel better about not only your hearing, but yourself.
Warm weather is coming, birds are chirping, spring is here! If you can’t hear the birds, the sizzle of the grill, or the splash of water in the pool, it is time to get your hearing checked. Better Hearing and Speech Month was created for awareness of communication disorders. Use the opportunity to talk to family members about your communication with them. Whether you notice yourself asking for more repetitions of conversation or a family member is watching television at a volume that is uncomfortable for others, now is the time to find out more!
A growing amount of research is providing evidence that hearing loss and cardiovascular disease are linked. How is it that our ears can be affected by our hearts? Cardiovascular disease causes decreased blood flow. Decreased blood flow in the body also affects the inner ear, which is particularly sensitive to blood flow. This can contribute to hearing loss.
Audiologists spend much of their time helping people cope with hearing loss, but the ultimate goal is to prevent people from suffering from hearing loss to begin with. As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine. A recent article published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery offered some encouraging news – hearing loss in U.S. adults aged 20-69 has declined over the last decade.
At Sound Hearing Solutions, we believe in what we do. Every day we strive to provide our patients with the best that hearing healthcare has to offer, because they deserve it. We also believe that the best way to treat hearing loss is to prevent it, and that begins with our children.
No matter who you are, engaging in regular exercise clearly benefits your overall well-being in many ways. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida indicates that it may also help stave off hearing loss. While past research has associated hearing loss with decreased physical function in older adults, this is believed to be the first to suggest that regular exercise can prevent age related hearing loss – in mice.
Though it isn’t the only one, perhaps the most harmful stigma associated with hearing loss is that it is an “old” person’s problem. While it is true that in many cases hearing loss is associated with aging, that is only part of the story.
If it becomes clear to you that someone you care about may be having problems with their hearing, as their friend or loved one you can play a key role in helping them deal with it. Let them know that it isn't their problem alone to deal with, but a problem that you both share. After all, communication is a two way street, and if they are missing out, so are you.