Hearing Articles

Are painkillers also killing your hearing?

Frequent and long-term use of pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), may be a risk factor for hearing loss. Researchers say the pain relievers may damage the cochlea, the snail-shaped hearing mechanism in the inner ear. Ibuprofen can reduce blood flow to the cochlea, which could result in cellular damage and cell death. Acetaminophen may deplete the antioxidant glutathione, which protects the cochlea from damage. It’s important to take these medications mindfully and to limit their use as much as possible. (Locked) More »

Boost your hearing aid success

When buying a hearing aid, it’s easy to be distracted by price and technology. Experts recommend that consumers insist on hearing aids they can make too loud with no feedback, as well as a volume control to adjust the device to the desired loudness. Basic devices may have enough technology for a person’s needs. Sometimes a larger, more powerful aid will do the job better than a small device. Audiologists know dozens of tricks to make sure a hearing aid will be comfortable and work properly. Hearing aids purchased on the Internet do not come with the assistance of an audiologist to help make sure it’s properly adjusted. (Locked) More »

Should you be screened for a hearing problem?

  Hearing loss is an inevitable part of aging. Although hearing loss can be treated, most older adults live in silence rather than get a hearing aid. A primary care physician can look for earwax buildup and administer a hearing test to diagnose hearing problems. An audiologist can administer follow-up tests and fit people for hearing aids to help them hear the sounds they’ve been missing. Lifestyle measures, such as talking in quiet environments and using assistive devices, can also ensure that women don’t miss out on important conversations.   (Locked) More »

Tips for living with tinnitus

  Millions of Americans live with tinnitus, a constant ringing or sound in the ears. Most treatments aim to minimize the symptoms, mask the sound, or deemphasize one's negative response to the sound.   (Locked) More »

When to get your hearing checked

  If you are having trouble hearing—or others say you are—a hearing test is a good idea. Common signs of hearing loss include difficulty hearing people on the phone or in noisy environments, or needing to turn up the TV or radio volume.   (Locked) More »

Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears and what to do about it

Tinnitus is sound in the head with no external source. For many, it’s a ringing sound, while for others, it’s whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking.  The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside the head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating. Tinnitus is bothersome but rarely indicative of a more serious health issue. There are ways to manage the condition or minimize its impact. More »

Ask the doctor: Nothing works for fullness in ears. Any suggestions?

Q. I have a feeling of fullness in my ears that won't go away. I think it has been diagnosed as something called eustachian tube dysfunction. I have been to several otolaryngologists. Nothing has worked. Suggestions? A. People with a persistent sensation of fullness in the ear should get it checked out by a physician. Occasionally, hearing loss can create such a feeling. Temporomandibular joint disorders, which affect the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, can also create the sensation. But a diagnosis of eustachian tube dysfunction does make sense. The eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the nasal cavity, helps to equalize the air pressure on either side of the eardrum. If your eustachian tube is blocked or not working properly, there's less pressure on the inside of the eardrum than the outside, so the eardrum may cave in slightly, which causes that sensation of fullness. In serious cases, fluid accumulates behind the eardrum because pressure is so low that fluid from surrounding tissues and blood vessels gets pulled into the middle ear. (Locked) More »