WELCOME SPRING – PREPARE YOUR EARS!

Spring is in the air! The weather is changing and we are already starting to enjoy blooming flowers and warmer! With the changing of seasons, we also get rainy weather, seasonal allergies, and erratic temperatures. Along with hearing aids, these changes can affect us, but we can downplay those effects.

The Weather is Changing

With changing weather, some people have a feeling of fullness in their ears. Barometric pressure changes with changes in the weather and causes this sensation of fullness, and makes the fluid in the inner ear sensitive to the weather. Seasonal allergy sufferers can experience this even more intensely.

Meniere’s disease can make the irritating symptoms even worse in the Springtime. The chambers of the inner ear can bulge and the fluid may back up. Difficulty hearing and discomfort as well as vertigo or tinnitus may sometimes result from this build-up.

Seasonal Allergies

Sinus pressure and sneezing can also result from seasonal allergies and add pressure to the inner ear. Seasonal allergies affect 40 percent of children and between 10 and 30 percent of adults. Up to 60 million Americans experience sneezing, ear pressure, sinus pressure, and itchy, watery eyes. Each of these symptoms can affect hearing temporarily.

Ear pressure can be temporarily relieved with non-prescription medications such as antihistamines and decongestants. Moderate exercise and a sensible diet of whole foods often improve these symptoms. Vegetables and fruits, like bell peppers, grapes, asparagus, watermelon, and celery serve as diuretics and promote fluid drainage.

Spring-time and Hearing Aids

Warmer, wetter weather may also affect the functionality of your hearing aids. Your hearing aids’ maintenance and care of during this time of year may also require more attention. The microphone ports can sometimes get obstructed by matter such as bee pollen. Proper cleaning of your hearing aids is important, and be sure to replace the mic port covers when needed.

Moisture from the heat, rain and humidity of spring and summer can also be introduced to your hearing aids, building up in the tubing and causing static in the receiver or microphone. Ensuring your hearing aids stay dry when going out in wet or humid weather can prevent issues.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

DO YOU KNOW THE LESS COMMON CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS?

You probably know the most common causes of hearing loss: quick exposure to extreme noise, like a gunshot near your ear or an explosion; or long-term exposure to noise above 80 decibels, such as ongoing proximity to factory machinery, lawnmowers or loud music.

There are some other not-so-common causes of hearing damage that you may be unfamiliar with. If you are experiencing hearing loss and have not had exposure to loud noise, you may have one of these less common causes.

Diplacusis is a phenomenon where people experience “double hearing,” similar to “double vision.” There is a shift in pitch perception and this can cause them to hear one sound as two sounds. Often this can occur with people who have hearing impairment in only one ear, with normal hearing in the other ear. People with conductive hearing loss can sometimes experience diplacusis temporarily. Musicians are most likely to notice this phenomenon.

Otitis Media is also known as an ear infection. Ear infections can result from a cold and can interfere with hearing. Seventy-five percent of children have experience otitis media at least once by the age of three, but it can affect people of any age.

Usher syndrome is believed to be responsible for three to six percent of all childhood deafness and up to 50% of blindness and deafness in adults. Usher syndrome is inherited, and the symptoms include deafness or hearing loss, issues with balance, and retinitis pigmetosa, a vision disorder. Children born with type 1 Usher syndrome are born deaf, while those with type 2 are born with some hearing damage and those with type 3 are born with normal hearing but suffer with progressive hearing and vision loss that may affect them as teenagers or young adults.

Meniere’s Disease is a chronic inner ear condition affecting hearing and balance. If you think you have vertigo but it does not go away, you may be suffering from Meniere’s Disease. It is thought to be caused by an imbalance of inner ear fluid, and may be caused by things such as allergies, head trauma, viral infections, migraines, or the inability of the ear to drain properly. Meniere’s Disease may also be hereditary.

Acoustic Neuroma is a rare condition, affecting approximately two in every 100,000 people. It is a slow-growing and benign brain tumor that develops in the cranial nerve connecting the brain to the ear. The symptoms may include loss of hearing in one ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo (dizziness) and balance issues.

No matter what the cause, if you suspect you have hearing loss it is best to visit your audiologist right away to take the best course of action. Your audiologist may offer a solution that can slow or halt the progression of hearing loss.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.