Newsletter 2016


In this Issue:

  • Auditory training for hearing aid wearers

  • Safe exposures to loud sounds

  • Ear-candling concerns

  • Hearing loss and your health

Nicole, Iain and Lisa

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Post: Suite 7, 19 Outram St WEST PERTH 6005

Handy hearing aid tip:

If your hearing aid becomes wet -

  1. Remove & discard the battery immediately.

  2. Dry the aid as thoroughly as possible using a dry aid kit or hairdryer on LOW heat.

  3. Leave the battery door open & leave the aid switched off for 24-48 hrs.

If the aid doesn't work with a fresh battery following these steps, please bring it in to see whether it needs repairing.

The Mozart Effect

The therapeutic use of music and music training has been shown to improve hearing in noise in older adults with hearing loss and to reduce the cascading effects of ageing and hearing loss on cognition.

For hearing aid users, it's easy to listen on a regular basis to music that's familiar and comfortable, with and without vocals, and even to sing along. Patients should choose music they know to reconnect with feel-good memories. The music should be kept at a comfortable volume so as not to put the input microphone into overdrive and create distortion - A modified hearing aid program that is properly adjusted for music rather than speech may be required.

Music is well-defined, freely available over a lifetime and easy to use, and it is a rewarding way to help people improve auditory and cognitive abilities. For seniors, music may be the only auditory training they receive, and, as an added benefit, it can reduce the effects of sound isolation and combat central ageing.

I love this song! Turn it DOWN!

We all know that exposure to excessive undesirable noise can cause permanent hearing damage - but what about sounds you love?

You may have heard that in March 2016, ACDC's frontman Brian Johnson was advised by Doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total permanent hearing loss. But what's the risk for concert-goers? The average sound level of a rock concert can be in excess of 110dB(A). By Work Health and Safety standards, a 'safe' level of exposure to that sound level is about 1.5 minutes. Any longer and you are risking permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.

Wearing ear plugs will not ruin your enjoyment of the concert, but it will help to protect your hearing and ensure that you can continue to hear and appreciate the sounds you love for longer.

Prefer DIY to ACDC?

Some power tools are known to produce dangerously high sound levels, such as circular saws (106dB, safe for 3 minutes) or chainsaws (104dB, safe for 8 minutes). It is always better to be safe than sorry. Protect your ears.

If it sounds too good to be true...

Given the trend towards naturopathic self-treatment, attention has been afforded to the practice of ear-candling (aka auricular candling or coning).

The procedure involves placing a cone shaped device in the canal that supposedly extracts ear wax or other impurities by generating a gentle vacuum with the help of smoke or a burning wick. Ear-candling also claims to: relieve sinus pressure, cure tinnitus, cure ear infections, improve hearing, purify the blood, stabilize emotions, and more.

As wonderful as that sounds, there is NO scientific evidence to support such claims. Research into the efficacy and safety of this method of ear wax management has demonstrated that ear candling does not produce a vacuum, certainly does not remove ear wax, and there is significant risk of burns from candle wax dripping in to the ear canal. The Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Ltd have considerable concerns regarding the safety of ear candles and the blatant misleading advertising about the cure of sinus, glue ear and inner ear conditions.

As such, we urge consumers to be wary of the claims made regarding ear candles. If you have concerns about your ears, hearing or a health condition, please consult a medical professional.

Did you know?

Hearing loss is 2x more common in people with diabetes.
The rate of hearing loss is also 30% higher for pre-diabetics compared to those with normal blood sugar.

Smokers are 70% more likely to suffer hearing loss.
Exposure to 2nd hand smoke also increases the risk of hearing loss in children and adolescents.

Growing evidence suggests a link between low-frequency hearing loss and poor cardiovascular health.

Some chemicals commonly used for fuels, painting, printing, pesticides, construction and manufacturing are considered ototoxins - meaning they have a toxic effect on the ears.

Thank you for your attention. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments.