hearing protectionThere are many contributing factors to hearing loss, but the items often overlooked are the auditory hazards around us all day: in our homes or at our job.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), auditory levels below 75 decibel (dB) are safe. However, prolonged exposure of sounds above 85 dB can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. This permanent health condition affects roughly 40 million adults in the US.

SoundArc 2Hearing Associates P.C. is now providing maintenance services for the Baha SoundArc for patients in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Mason City, and at their additional locations in Northern Iowa.

The Baha SoundArc is a non-surgical bone conduction wearing device acting as an alternative to the Baha Softband.

The SoundArc is a behind-the-head band designed to improve hearing in children with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single-sided sensorineural deafness. The device is recommended for children who are not yet eligible or ready for an implant but are in need of taking the first step to hearing.

hearing aid heartStudies have shown that your cardiovascular system can have a direct effect on your hearing. That’s because interrupted blood flow or trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can be contributing factors to hearing loss.

Studies have shown that individuals with cardiovascular issues are 50% more likely to experience hearing loss. Of patients who had at least one heart attack, 80% had damage to their inner ear.

According to David R. Friedland, MD, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, the inner ear is affected by blood flow so much that cardiovascular problems can be detected in this part of the body before other regions.

Because of this, hearing loss can in some cases be an early identifier of cardiovascular issues.

cell phone with app screenWith more people embracing new technology, hearing aid manufacturers are developing ways to assist people of all ages with hearing loss.

In-Ear Streaming

Utilizing a smartphone app, a hearing aid wearer can answer a call and have it stream directly into their hearing device. Aside from phone calls, the hearing aid wearer can stream music and driving directions, much like wearing earbuds. When you are in a crowded, noisy setting, the smartphone can be used as a directional microphone, which can stream a conversation directly to the hearing aid.

stress can cause hearing issuesStress is inevitable. Our fast-paced lives bring stressors daily or even hourly.

But did you know that stress can impact you emotionally and physically? In fact, it can even affect your hearing.   

Stress affects your body’s blood circulation, including in your inner ear. Hair cells in the inner ear are fragile and require a steady stream of blood to distribute oxygen and nutrients. If there isn’t a constant blood flow to the ears, the ear cells can be damaged, or even destroyed. 

Here are some ways to manage your stress and preserve your hearing.