Caring for Life


School Hearing Test Helps Stop Destructive Behavior

Sometimes it is the annoyances in our day that end up being lifesavers. When I was in third grade every student in my school had to go through routine inspections of their eyes and ears to make sure that we were seeing and hearing all right. When I was singled out during the hearing test I began to cry. It is not comfortable when among your peers something about you is different. I wasn’t any happier when I got home and the school nurse had called my parents. The nightmare wouldn’t end in the weeks ahead when I was seeing doctors and specialists and my life had gone from kickball and tag to various tones and instruments and something called audiology.

After a few months, doctors determined that indeed I had a minor hearing loss. They suggested it could be related to being around pyrotechnic shows frequently. My uncle Ron blasted off fireworks for a living and every weekend over the summer we would go with him to the local minor league baseball stadium or community parade and watch him set up and detonate fireworks.

The Importance of Hearing Aid Maintenance

In some situations, hearing aid maintenance may be something you need to think about. Depending on where you purchased it, its age, and its functional concerns, you may be able to get help for your device from the manufacturer or provider or at The London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic. The fact is that you do need to maintain this instrument. Because you may be relying on it every day, you need to ensure that the device is working the way it should be from morning to night. If you notice problems, get repairs taken care of right away to minimize any long-term issues.

Cleaning It Properly

In many cases, the first step is to make sure you are cleaning the hearing aid properly. If you were given a demonstration on how to do this for your particular device, always follow that plan. If you are unsure how to do so, it is best to visit a local provider to get the cleaning done. Generally, you do not want to submerge it into water because this can cause problems for the components within it. You do want to wipe it clean to remove any residue on the outside. You should also store it properly when it is not in use, such as in a container. This avoids problems with dropping it or losing it.

Check Ups Are Important

In most cases, these devices will last several years. During that time, you may expect that the system will simply work the same way every time you put it into your ears. That is not always the case, though. Rather, you likely will need to remove it and stop in to the local center to have the device updated. This will help to ensure it is working properly and that it is giving you the best possible sound quality. In many cases, the provider will be able to do this for you free of charge. You should visit at least once a year, or more often as necessary, to ensure your device is working as it should.

Don’t Put Off Replacements

It is also important to follow your specialist’s guidance on when to replace the hearing aid with a new one. This will often take place every three to five years. You can check with any insurance company to find out when your coverage allows for it. Additionally, be sure you know the warranty on the existing models. Many of these devices will work effectively for much longer than the warranty.

The good news is that by maintaining your hearing aid, it will work properly for you for a longer period of time. This means you will need to replace it less often, which will often save you both time and money.

Powerful Tinnitus Remedies

Tinnitus is more common among men than women, and its prevalence increases with age. Nearly 12 percent of men ages sixty-five to seventy-four are affected. African Americans have a lower risk for tinnitus than do whites, and the risk to those who live in the northeastern United States is half that of people residing in the south. It most often affects those who have a hearing loss, but it is sometimes associated with other disorders such as inner ear damage, allergies, high or low blood pressure, tumors, diabetes, thyroid problems, head or neck injury, reaction to certain medications, stress, some forms of chemotherapy, surgery or damage to the auditory nerve, multiple sclerosis, and garden-variety sinus infections.

Twelve million Americans have tinnitus. Most of them simply learn to live with it, but for about 1 million Americans, it is severe enough to interfere with their daily activities. With more and more people entering their old age hearing impaired after a lifetime of boom boxes, rock concerts, and airplane noise, tinnitus is becoming increasingly common and increasingly distressing.

There are various tinnitus remedies. Some produce better tinnitus relief than others. Some people find that a simple hearing aid works for them. Various forms of counseling and training in relaxation exercises can sometimes help. Acupuncture offers hope to some sufferers, especially those who find that head movement, jaw movement, or facial pressure improve or worsen their tinnitus. People with mild tinnitus who notice the noise mostly at night sometimes get relief from “white noise” machines or “sound maskers.” The incoming sounds block the ringing of tinnitus and allow tinnitus sufferers to get to sleep. Wearable maskers are available for daytime use. An audiologist tunes the sound of the masker to match the frequency of the tinnitus sound; the external sound from the masker overrides the phantom sound of tinnitus for some people.

Despite numerous studies on a variety of drugs, no medication has been found to be an effective treatment for tinnitus, and none has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for tinnitus treatment. Still, the search for an antiear-ringing pill goes on. In 2008 Oregon Health and Science University began clinical trials on acamprosate, a drug traditionally used in the treatment of alcoholism. In preliminary tests it’s been shown to reduce tinnitus symptoms, perhaps by affecting the levels of the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

Retraining therapy is another option. It coaxes the brain to become unaware of the tinnitus sound, much as the normal brain ignores a background noise like a whirring fan or a humming refrigerator. It combines counseling with the use of low-level broadband noise generators that patients wear in or behind their ears. It takes about eighteen months to complete. The idea is that the sounds of tinnitus don’t go away, but the patient learns to live with them. Controlled trials have achieved mixed results. Scientists in Japan demonstrated improvement in patients after only one month, but more than half of the subjects dropped out of the study, saying they could not tolerate the noise generator they were required to wear.