Hearing Articles

Hearing aids may help improve brain function

More than nine million adults ages 65 and older have some level of hearing loss, but only 20% who need hearing aids wear them. A new study found that hearing aids can not only improve the ability to hear, but also restore lost brain function in terms of working memory, selective attention, and processing speed.  More »

Does hearing loss boost death risk?

It appears that hearing impairment is associated with a 21% increased risk of death, and moderate-to-severe hearing impairment is associated with a 39% increased risk of death, compared with people who don't have hearing loss. More »

Is that noise pollution, or are you hard of hearing?

If background noise is making it hard for someone to hear conversations, a visit to the doctor may be in order. The doctor may find a simple problem, like earwax buildup, and remove the blockage. He or she will also look for less common but more serious causes: infection, tumor, or abnormal bone growth. If the doctor believes a person has hearing loss, the person may need to see an audiologist to determine the type and severity of loss.  (Locked) More »

Ringing in the ears: Get it checked

Many people develop ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, along with hearing loss. There is no definitive cure for tinnitus, but some therapies can help people to tolerate it better. A well-fitted hearing aid can help. Fortunately, most tinnitus is neither severe nor particularly bothersome. Some men get used to it over time. In other cases, it may only be bothersome in certain situations, like being in a quiet room. A comprehensive exam, possibly including a hearing test, can rule out underlying causes and allow a person with tinnitus to learn about treatment options. More »

What you can do for dizzy spells

Dizziness has several causes. Vertigo—a spinning sensation—is more common in women than men and usually caused by disorders in the inner ear. Dizziness can also be due to low blood pressure, medications, nerve damage, and dehydration. (Locked) More »


Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a sound in the ears when no such sound exists. Most people experience what they call ringing in the ears, but the sound can also take the form of an annoying hiss, whistle, or buzz. Tinnitus can be constant or can come and go. Tinnitus is often a symptom of an ear problem, such as: Tinnitus can also occur as a side effect of medication. Aspirin in moderate to high doses often causes tinnitus. More »

How our senses change with age

Although there is great variability from person to person in how the senses diminish with age, here are some changes that are common: Visual acuity, or sharpness of focus, tends to get worse with age. Cataracts, which can make vision fuzzy, are relatively common and usually occur later in life. Another age-related vision problem, macular degeneration, causes a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. Hearing loss in both ears (what doctors call presbycusis), increases with age, beginning between ages 40 and 50. However, many people over age 65 never experience hearing loss that interferes with their lives. If you find yourself often asking friends or family to repeat themselves, or if they suggest you may have a hearing problem, see your doctor. A hearing aid can help considerably. More »

Choose a hearing aid that works for you

People with impaired hearing may be able to follow conversations fairly well, but with a lot of effort. Even if someone can still make do without a hearing aid, using one can make life a lot easier. High-tech miniaturized hearing aids are marketed aggressively. These devices try to adjust their volume to meet different conditions, but may fail to do so consistently. This leads to frustration as well as great expense, since high-tech hearing aids cost a lot more. A better option for some people may be a larger behind-the-ear model that supplies more volume and the ability to more easily control it. It is possible to purchase hearing aids without an audiologist serving as an intermediary. But audiologists offer more personalized service and can respond more quickly when adjustments and repairs are needed. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Ringing in the ears

There is no simple cure for most types of tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Some options are available that make the condition less noticeable or easier to tolerate. (Locked) More »