Hearing

Hearing Articles

Common physical problems that threaten your driving skills

There are many physical changes that can affect driving skills. For example, arthritis pain may make it hard to grip a steering wheel, get in and out of a car, or push the pedals; hearing loss can make it harder to detect hazards, such as an ambulance approaching an intersection. Driving assessment programs can help people find out if their conditions are impairing their road skills. The goal of such programs is to keep people in the driver’s seat, so that they can stay safe, mobile, and independent for as long as possible. (Locked) More »

Hearing Loss in Adults

Hearing loss is a decrease in the ability to perceive sounds. It can be partial or total, sudden or gradual, temporary or permanent. It can affect one ear or both. In general, the risk of hearing loss increases with age. Sound enters the ear and strikes the eardrum. This causes the eardrum to vibrate. The eardrum's vibrations are amplified through the middle ear by three tiny bones. Inside the ear, the vibrations are transformed into nerve impulses. These nerve impulses travel to the brain, where they are interpreted as sounds. (Locked) More »

Now hear this: Don’t ignore sudden hearing loss

Everyone’s hearing naturally declines with age, and people often have one ear that hears better than the other. But if hearing loss appears suddenly in one ear for no apparent reason, that can be a sign of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or SHL, a kind of nerve deafness, that can lead to permanent hearing loss if not treated promptly. More »

Closing in on tinnitus treatments

Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears that occurs with age. It may be triggered by impaired hearing, leading to diminished sound impulses moving along the auditory nerve between the ear and the brain. In some people, the brain tries to compensate for this loss of input by turning up internal volume and tuning into background sounds in the brain. Tinnitus can be difficult to treat. There’s no way to measure it directly, which is needed for diagnosis and effective treatment. Researchers are working to identify a physical signature for tinnitus by using measurements of the pupils and brain activity. More »

A noisy problem

Age-related hearing loss is common among older adults and can make people more sensitive to sounds that used to be well tolerated, such as noise from crowds and traffic, which in turn increases stress levels, leads to greater anxiety, and reduces overall quality of life. Reducing your exposure to specific sounds that might trigger negative reactions and wearing filtered earplugs or noise-canceling headphones can offer protection. (Locked) More »

The ears have it

At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss can increase a person’s risk of injuries as well as cause everyday communication problems. An ear and hearing exam can help a doctor diagnose a person’s hearing loss, identify possible causes, and determine whether the person needs hearing aids or another type of hearing assistance. More »

More over-the-counter hearing aids on the way

In August 2017, Congress and the president approved the Over–the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, which gives the FDA three years to establish an over-the-counter hearing aid category and develop safety and labeling rules for the devices. More »