Hearing Aid Use Might Equal Fewer ER Visits

Putting Off That Hearing Test? Here’s Another Reason to Hear Your Best!

It’s no surprise that getting hearing help can make communicating and connecting with the world around you so much easier, but did you know that using hearing aids might also have a hand in cutting down emergency-room visits and hospital stays?

In a study published earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan researchers investigating connections among hearing technology, health care consumption, and spending linked seniors’ self-reported use of hearing aids to changes such as the following:

Reduced ER visits and hospitalizations — each by 2 percentage points Decreases in overnight hospital stays by about 0.46 nights A reduction in Medicare spending — by approximately $71

So … less hospital food? Add that to the ever-growing list of better-hearing benefits. (Just kidding; some hospitals bring their A-game to patient meals!)

An estimated 466 million children and adults around the globe …

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Hearing Loss: One More Reason Not to Smoke

How Are Smoking and Hearing Loss Related?

The connection between smoking and heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems gets all the attention, but the effects of smoking on hearing have long been known. If you’re one of the 40 million U.S. adults who smokes cigarettes — or someone who lives with a smoker — read on to find out how smoking is linked to hearing loss.

Some Facts

How does smoking affect hearing?

Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have a 70% greater chance of developing hearing loss. Nonsmokers are twice as likely to develop hearing loss if they live with a smoker. The greater your daily average of cigarettes, the greater your risk of developing hearing loss. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy increase their child’s risk for developing speech-language problems. If you work around high levels of occupational noise, smoking increases your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Adolescents exposed to secondhand smoke are 2 to 3 times …

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4 Things to Know About Swimmers’ Earplugs

Hitting the Water? Don’t Forget These Little Gems for Ear Protection!

You’ve packed the swimsuits, floats, safety vests, caps, goggles, kids, and snacks for a summer afternoon at the lake or neighborhood pool, but what about the earplugs?

These small accessories can make a big difference in keeping the good times going during family fun in the water. Before you go, here are four things to know about swimmers’ earplugs:

They Help Protect Against Ear Infection

Ears and moisture don’t always mix. Otitis externa, an outer-ear infection also known as “swimmer’s ear,” is typically caused by bacterial or fungal growth when the skin in the ear canal potentially becomes irritated from activities such as swimming. Though treatable, the condition can lead to temporary hearing loss and other problems, so prevention matters. Using quality, properly inserted earplugs helps keep the water — and the threat of infection — out of your ears.

They Can Be Off the Shelf or Customized

It’s always …

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The Inner Ear: A Tale of Two Systems

Are Balance Problems Related to Hearing Loss?

It’s common for people with hearing loss to have balance issues, and vice versa.

This phenomenon might even affect you or a loved one. Do they occur together as a coincidence, or are hearing and balance actually related? It turns out the answer is, “It depends.” Let’s look at some basics first.  

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is also known as the bony labyrinth, and it consists of both the cochlea and the vestibular system.  

The cochlea (hearing): The cochlea is where sound signals are captured, converted to electrical signals, and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound. The vestibular system (balance): This comprises three bony canals and two pouches. These work together to tell your brain where your head is in space, as well as when and how it’s moving.

 

Hearing and Balance Problems

Both hearing and balance depend heavily on the status …

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Humidity — Hearing Aid Kryptonite?

Does High Humidity Affect My Hearing Aids?

One of the great things about starting your better-hearing journey is that your world is more enjoyable when you can hear all those sounds you’ve been missing.

That might also mean you’re getting outside more, possibly exposing your hearing devices to humidity. Your hearing aids are tiny computers, and just like with laptops and tablets, moisture can present a challenge.

Humidity

Let’s discuss humidity first. Simply put, humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air.

Hot air can hold a lot of water vapor, but cold air cannot. When hot air meets cold air, the drop in temperature means a drop in how much water vapor the air can hold.

Let’s consider a can of soda pop: When humid air makes contact with a cold can of soda pop, the air temperature around the can drops quickly. Any water vapor from the humid air …

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