Hearing Aids Paducah Purchase Ear Technology

Hearing Loss and Meniere’s Disease

If you’ve ever experienced a feeling of dizziness or the room spinning, you may be familiar with the term ‘vertigo,’ but do you know it by its proper name of Meniere’s disease? While there are other causes of vertigo, Meniere’s disease is the most common culprit of chronic unsteadiness. Meniere’s disease most frequently begins in those in the 20 to 50-year-old age range, continues into older age, and affects around 615,000 Americans.

Symptoms of Meniere’s

Feeling the room spinning is one of the most common symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly if this feeling begins and ends at random intervals. This feeling – vertigo – tends to last up to a few hours, but no longer. However, vertigo is often chronic for sufferers of Meniere’s. Another possible symptom is tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Meniere’s disease can cause other types of hearing loss and pressure within the ear, though symptoms generally occur in only one ear at a time. These symptoms, along with headaches, light sensitivity, and blurry vision tend to disappear and reappear infrequently and can clear up after only one incidence.

Diagnosing Meniere’s

Doctors conduct three different tests to confirm a diagnosis of Meniere’s. The first is a hearing test focused on pitches and volumes since those with Meniere’s tend to struggle with lower frequencies. The next test assesses the inner ear and balance. Did you know some of the ear’s balance sensors are connected to your eye movements? A test called videonystagmography blows warm and cold air into the ear canal to measure eye movements to test potential balance issues. Other balance tests involve walking on a platform without shoes, testing eye movements in relation to different stimuli, or sitting in a rotating chair. Finally, a patient’s blood work and imaging are tested to confirm no other cause of symptoms.

Unfortunately, there is no cure, but there are treatments available to both counteract current vertigo attacks and prevent future discomforts. The most popular course of action is decreasing sodium in a diet. Sodium leads to water retention and can cause pressure in the inner ear. There are water-reduction pills for an added boost, but a change in diet alone can create great benefits. Other pills like Valium, Dramamine, and Ativan are helpful during vertigo stints by decreasing dizziness and nausea. There is also Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, which can help the brain alter its reactions to imbalances and movement. This helps prevent future episodes of dizziness.

Often one of the easiest, non-invasive treatment options may be hearing aids. Symptoms like tinnitus and hearing loss are quickly treated with hearing aids which do not require extensive lifestyle changes or drug interference.   If you suffer from hearing loss due to Meniere’s, call Purchase Ear Technology at (270) 558-3996 or visit us at 2008 Broadway Street, Paducah, KY  42001 to find out how we may be able to help.

Paducah Hearing Aids

Tips To Protect Your Hearing

Life is loud. Spending just an hour cutting your lawn without wearing hearing protection can cause irreversible damage to your hearing. But whether you’re cheering on your favorite sports teams, flying on an airplane, or getting your teeth cleaned at your dentist’s office, remember that you could be exposing your ears to unsafe noise levels.

The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. You can avoid damaging your hearing by establishing safe listening levels, understanding how much exposure is safe and by wearing hearing protection.

Listen Carefully recommends following three easy steps to prevent noise induced hearing loss:

  • Distance yourself from loud sounds
  • Lower the volume
  • Protect your ears

So, just how loud is too loud?

Understanding what noise levels are safe and how long you can be exposed to those levels before damage occurs can be confusing. Professionals use a complex formula to calculate risk, but in simpler terms, the chance of hearing loss greatly increases as the sound level and duration of exposure increase.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged exposure to sounds 85dB and above can be hazardous to your hearing.

Our musical devices and headphones:

Unfortunately, in today’s world, it is our headphones and personal listening devices that pose the most damage. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that as many as one in five teens in the United States have a hearing loss, which is a 30 percent increase over the last decade. More than 20 percent of teens have measurable hearing loss because of noise exposure, and experts believe one in six teens may have permanent hearing loss due to loud sounds.

Personal audio devices bring sound into the ear canal and closer to the eardrum, increasing sound intensity and subsequently the risk of permanent damage. To ensure safe listening levels for personal audio devices, keep volume at or below half of the maximum output. Keep in mind that electronic manufacturers are not required to designate safe listening levels on electronics, therefore parents are encouraged to listen through their children’s headphones to make sure the levels of loudness are comfortable and safe.

The importance of protection:

Healthy listening levels should be established while using personal listening devices, especially for children, and hearing protection should be utilized when attending concerts or other loud events.

Hearing protection is especially important when it comes to occupational and recreational noises such as a construction site, a factory or when out hunting or shooting. Using hearing protection can reduce your risk of noise exposure and can be worn during everyday activities such as riding a motorcycle, mowing the yard or attending a concert.

Protection and Prevention:

There are a number of protective options including custom-fit earplugs, digital hearing protection or simply foam earplugs you can keep in your car or purse. For those involved heavily with music, consider custom headphones and stage monitors.

If you have questions about other ways to protect your hearing, please feel free to contact us at Purchase Ear Technology of Paducah at 270-558-3997 or stop by our office at 2008 Broadway St, Paducah, KY  42001.

Hearing Aids Paducah KY

Spring Cleaning For Your Hearing Aids?

You’ve heard of spring cleaning for your home, but what about your hearing aid?

The ritual of “spring cleaning” comes from the old practice of cleaning out the home after it was closed for months, keeping winter cold at bay. When wood fires and coal furnaces were the primary sources of heating and cooking, interior furnishings and surfaces would become coated with soot and ash and infused with the aroma of smoke. Even though we use cleaner forms of energy today, the ritual remains. Spring is a great time to freshen things up; and that includes your hearing aids.

Spring Cleaning Hearing Aids

Your in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is a marvel of electronic engineering reduced to a miniature size. All that wonderful technology operates in a warm, damp environment that creates earwax. To keep your hearing aid technology in optimal shape, follow the below tips:

Wax Removal. Firmly, but gently, hold the hearing aid in your hand. Remove earwax using the tool that came with your hearing aid. Concentrate on brushing wax from the holes in a downward motion so that it falls away from the device and not into the holes. Use a wax hook or wax pick to remove the earwax from the holes.

Wipe Gently. Once all wax and debris are removed, wipe the entire device gently with a soft, dry, clean cloth.

Clean the Battery Compartment. Open the battery compartment and remove the batteries. Gently clean the battery compartment with your cleaning brush. Return batteries to their place. If you do this at bedtime, leave the compartment open to air dry.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids need routine maintenance as well! It doesn’t take long, but it can help your hearing aids last longer. Since it requires some drying time, its best to do your spring cleaning just before you go to bed. Consider the following tips:

Remove Debris. First, remove all wax and debris with the wax pick or wax hook, brushing it away from any key components.

Clean the Earmold. Remove the earmold and clean it with a small amount of warm, soapy water.

Drying. Using a hearing aid dryer, remove water from tube. Then, lay the tube on a clean, absorbent towel to dry overnight.

Clean the Battery Compartment. Clean the battery compartment in the same manner as described for ITE hearing aids.

Most of these things you can do on your own.  If you are hesitant to do this, stop by Purchase Ear Technology located at  2008 Broadway Street in Paducah, KY.  We would be glad to assist you.

 

How Often Should You Tune-Up Your Hearing Aid?

Every year, you get your car serviced at the mechanic and your teeth cleaned at the dentist. You even take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. If you have hearing aids, you can add ‘get a yearly tune-up’ to that list! A weak hearing aid is useless, so make sure yours is functioning at its best by following these hearing aid check-up tips.

Hearing Aid Tune-Up

Every six months to year, you should get your hearing aid checked and reprogrammed to fit your hearing needs. Just as your eye doctor gives you a new eyeglasses prescription, Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah can adjust your hearing aid levels as needed. Even a slight adjustment in programming can make a world of difference. During the tune-up, the hearing aids will also be examined to ensure they are working properly, so it is imperative to get this checked regularly. There are also several adjustments you can make at home to improve the quality of your hearing aid experience.

Changing Hearing Aid Batteries

There are many batteries compatible with hearing aids, but to make things easier, the batteries are color-coded for each hearing aid. If you are unsure which battery works with your hearing aid, open the battery door and take a peek inside. You will know when to change the battery when your hearing aid starts beeping or you notice a decrease in the hearing aid’s power.  Changing the battery is one of the simple ways to maintain the lifespan of your hearing aid.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aid

Because of the placement of a hearing aid inside your ear, it’s easy to get wax or residue build up, which blocks the sound from moving through the hearing aid and into your ear. In order to maintain the effectiveness of the hearing aid, you can regularly clean your hearing aids at home. Start with a gentle cloth rub of the hearing aid with a dry cloth. This will get rid of the outside debris. You can then remove the dome (if your hearing aid has one) and clean the inside with a brush – a dry toothbrush will work just fine. The dome is the rubbery portion that goes inside the ear. You can also change the wax guard on your hearing aid with a little more effort involved. This requires having a replacement wax guard and a special tool.

Hearing Aid Improvements

Over the course of three to five years, the technology behind hearing aids vastly improves. Whether it is the size, effectiveness, or features, advancements are regularly made to hearing aids. The processing speeds can quicken, wireless connections can be improved, and settings are added to decrease feedback and increase hearing. As technology evolves with cell phones, televisions, and streaming devices, hearing aid tech will have to keep up. During a regular hearing aid tune-up, Purchase Ear Technology may recommend purchasing an all-new pair to improve your hearing further, particularly with older pairs.

Keep up to date with your hearing aids and prevent future hearing loss!  Give Purchase Ear Technology of Paducah a call at (270) 558-3996 to schedule an appointment or stop by our office at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY.

Hearing Aids Paducah

Winter Effects On Your Hearing

When it comes to hearing loss, it can come from a variety of sources.  Some hearing losses stem from some genetic disorder, others come from improper hearing or ear care such as enduring loud noises or improperly cleaning.  Hearing loss can even come from something as simple as the aging process.  One particular source however, many do not think about; cold weather.

According to new research, hearing loss can stem from extensive exposure to cold weather.  When the temperature drops, the risk of ringing in the ears and hearing loss increases. This is because there is a higher risk of rogue bones growing in the ear canal along with hardening of ear wax.

Bone growth in the ear canal is known as surfer’s ear because this condition is fairly common among those who surf, as they spend a lot of time in colder water. This condition forms on the top of existing bone in the ears and travels down the canal to the ear drum. The condition can potentially lead to hearing loss and also results in constant pain and ringing in the ears.

In severe cases, cold weather can cause abnormal bone growths within the ear canal, known as ‘exostosis.’ This is the body’s way of attempting to protect the ears by creating a barrier against the cold. Exostosis can constrict the ear canal, contributing to increased ear wax build-up as the ear can no longer expel earwax effectively. This can be heightened in cold weather as wax can harden when ears are exposed to low temperatures, making ears more likely to become blocked.

Along with contributing to surfer’s ear, cold weather has the unfortunate ability to harden earwax inside your ear.  This creates a blockage in your ear canal, preventing you to perceive noises properly.

Unfortunately, individuals who use hearing aids are at a much higher risk for hardening earwax because having a “foreign object” in the ear causes it to produce more wax. When wax builds up in the ear, it can lead to infections, earaches, headaches, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

During the winter time, it’s important to take good care of your ears.  Be sure to keep them warm as you would your hands and feet.  Wear earmuffs or a hat to keep them warm and cozy.

If you are experiencing hearing issues during the cold weather, call at Purchase Ear Technology at (270) 558-3996 or visit our hearing center at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY.

Hearing aids Paducah

Will devices cure my hearing loss?

This is a question that we hear a lot at Purchase Ear Technology.  Hearing aids are just what the name implies: they are an aid to your hearing, not a cure. That is, they are sophisticated devices to help you to compensate for hearing loss and function well as a listener. Properly fitted hearing aids will not make your hearing worse, either. A trained audiologist will not fit you with a hearing aid that is too loud and poses potential hearing damage. All aids have a cut off level to protect the listener from excessive noise. Some people report that their hearing loss feels worse when they remove their hearing aids, compared to the hearing ability before the aids. That’s a common experience for a user who benefited from new amplification and now realizes how much they were missing before! Some hearing losses are progressive, so if you really feel your ability to hear has decreased, give us a call at (270) 558-3996 or stop by Purchase Ear Technology located at 2008 Broadway St, Paducah, KY or visit our website at www.purchaseear.com/contact-us.

Hearing Aids Paducah

Music and Hearing Loss

Whether you are a young listener trying to protect your ears from future damage or an older listener enjoying music with hearing aids, there’s no need to compromise sound quality for protected hearing. Take measures at every stage of life to care for your ears, and you will be able to enjoy music for years to come.

It’s no secret that some types of hearing loss are caused by listening to music or other sounds at too loud a volume for too long of a time period. Instead of compromising your hearing, take these steps:

1 – Think about your listening device. The smaller the device and the closer it is to your eardrum, the more damage can be done. While driving, utilize a car’s speakers instead of headphones for a surround sound less likely to damage your inner ear. When wearing headphones, remember that earbuds can add nine decibels of sounds on top of whatever is playing. They also do not block out surrounding noises, so you may be more tempted to turn up the volume. Consider headphones that go over your ear to take away some of the extra sound.

2 – Think about how long you are listening. The general rule of thumb when using headphones is 60 percent volume for 60 minutes a day. With any increase in volume or time exposed to sounds, there is a chance of ear damage. 15 to 20 percent of headphone users turn up the volume too loud, risking the future of their hearing.

3 – Think about your surroundings. When going to your daughter’s piano recital, you may not need earplugs, but things drastically change when you’re at a rock concert. Higher decibels cause damage in a much shorter amount of time. With the evolution of technology and increased awareness of hearing loss, there are now options of earplugs that still let in enough sound to avoid distorting music. This leaves no excuse not to protect yourself!

We hope that you will protect your hearing.  If you or a loved one do find that you need help with your hearing, we hope you will call Purchase Ear Technology at 270.558.3996.

Hearing Aids Paducah

Earbuds And Hearing Loss

The age group most often affected by hearing loss is senior citizens. However, reports in recent years show hearing loss is also on the rise among teenagers. What’s behind the rise? Researchers believe earbuds and headphones are to blame. Do earbuds cause hearing loss? Not on their own! It’s actually the loud music being pumped directly into your ear canal for hours a day that ruins your hearing.

A World Health Organization report found over 1 billion teens and young adults are at risk of losing their hearing due to unsafe listening practices.

How do earbuds cause hearing loss?

Inside your inner ear tiny hair cells transmit sound to your brain. Loud sounds cause these tiny hair cells to bend and break leaving you with hearing loss. Unfortunately, once they’ve been broken there is no way to repair them.

Any noise that measures over 85dB can damage the hair cells after a certain length of time. A blow dryer runs about 90dB, a lawn mower hits 106dB and a jet plane lands about 120dB. Hearing loss can occur after 8 hours of unprotected exposure to noise over 85dB in your lifetime.  As the decibels increase the length of time it takes to damage the delicate structures of your inner ear decreases.

How to stop hearing loss from earbuds?

Anyone looking to protect their hearing, but still use earbuds should use the 60/60 rule. Limit the use of headphones to 60 minutes at a time and at 60 percent of the device’s maximum volume. If you are frequently on a subway or an airplane and find yourself turning up the volume to tune out the noise around you, you should consider investing in noise cancelling headphones. These allow you to reduce ambient noise, thereby saving your ears from painfully loud music. You should also take frequent listening breaks to allow your ears some rest.

Symptoms of hearing loss

Teens who have been exposed to loud noise over a period of time may complain of ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus) or of a sensation of fullness, as if their ears are plugged. It can be difficult to diagnose teen hearing loss because teenagers often seem to be in their own world, not paying attention to what’s happening at home or in school.

Even minor hearing loss can make communication difficult, and can have long-lasting consequences.  A young person’s self-image may be negatively affected by hearing loss, their ability to learn may be compromised, and teenagers with hearing loss may experience difficulty developing social skills.

Hearing loss Treatment

Just like seniors, early hearing loss treatment is key to minimizing long-term impact. If you think your loved one, no matter their age, could be suffering from hearing loss call us at Purchase Ear Technology of Paducah at (270) 442-3561 to schedule a hearing test.

Hearing Aids Paducah

Hear Loss – What You Should Know

Hearing Loss Association of America facts:

  • About 20 percent of Americans (48 million) report some degree of hearing loss
  • At age 65, 1 in 3 people has hearing loss.
  • 60% of the people with hearing loss are either in the workforce or in educational settings.

Hearing loss can occur for many reasons including aging, overexposure to loud noise, medication use, infection, head/ear trauma, congenital or hereditary factors, or disease.

Approximately 48 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss including nearly 50% of adults 75 years and older. Aging is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. As you age your auditory nerve becomes weaker and the hair cells in your inner ear begin to die, the fewer hair cells you have the harder it becomes to hear.

Another major cause of hearing loss is prolonged exposure to loud noise. Sounds you’ve likely encountered during your life can easily damage your hearing if they measure above 85 decibels, that includes sounds such as lawnmowers, headphones, snowmobiles, rock concerts, gunshots, and fireworks. The longer you are exposed to noises like these over your life the more damage your hearing sustains.

While a large number of Americans have some form of hearing loss, 90-95 percent of all hearing loss can be improved with hearing instruments.  We can help!  Give Purchase Ear Technology a call today at (270) 558-3996 for more information.

Hearing Aids Paducah

Reasons People Don’t Get Their Hearing Tested

There are 3 primary reasons people don’g have their hearing tested:

1) Hearing loss can naturally happen over time and isn’t always noticeable. In today’s world there are so many sounds around us it makes it hard to focus. Hearing loss is not like turning down the sound on TV. Most of us will lose hearing in the high frequencies first while maintaining good hearing in their bass. This is why you will hear many with a hearing loss complain that they hear as loud as they use to but no longer can understand what is being said to them.

2) It is easy to dismiss a potential problem if you’re not ready to face the possibility of it. On average, it can take up to 7 years before someone will do something about their hearing upon initial diagnosis. Imagine all the sounds that are lost within a 7 year period! Don’t miss out on your life out of fear! In the case of my lovely patient above, she was afraid of the outcome because it was possibly going to change her entire world. We were able to help her connect back with her world.

3) Hearing loss is more noticeable to friends and family first. I’ve seen this over and over again. The person with hearing loss doesn’t realize they are even missing anything. They can’t hear people calling out to them so when they finally do hear, it’s the first time. To them, they don’t understand why everyone is so impatient. It is here where those relationships can start to feel strain. The hearing impaired person gets tired of the attitude and “nagging” the friends and family get tired of repeating themselves. If a solution isn’t diagnosed soon, those relationships will eventually give up on each other and isolation will occur. This is what we want to stop on a daily basis, people don’t have to live like that.

If you or a loved one can identify with anything outlined above, please don’t hesitate to call Purchase Ear Technology at 270.558.3996.