Highway to hearing hell: musicians and the danger of deafness

Highway to hearing hell: musicians and the danger of deafness

For all musicians, this blog is for you!  The largest study into noise-induced hearing loss in musicians was published in 2014. Three million Germans were examined, including 2,227 professional musicians. They found that the musicians were about four times as likely to report a new noise-induced hearing loss compared to the general population.

Introducing Halo 2

In 2014, Starkey launched the Halo Made for iPhone hearing aids.  We are excited to announce that the next generation of Halo hearables is here!

Halo 2 Made for iPhone hearing aids are designed to help patients stay connected to the people and things they love most. Built using the industry’s first ever quad core twin compressor technology and a brand new operating system, Halo 2 hearing aids are able to process multiple sounds simultaneously, so that speech is crisp, ambient sound is natural, and music sounds rich and immersive.

Halo 2 is designed to provide better hearing across life’s changing landscapes so that you never miss your child’s laughter or a friend’s joke. Available in our thinnest receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) yet, Halo 2 works with the latest version of the TruLink Hearing Control app to connect with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch and select Android devices.

Halo 2 works with the new TruLink 3.0 app to provide the following features Halo users love:

  • High-definition streaming of music, phone calls, videos, FaceTime calls, Siri and other media directly to your Halo 2 hearing aids*
  • A personalized and high-quality listening experience with exceptional sound quality to help you hear comfortably in any environment
  • Up to 20 customized and geotagged hearing aid memories, so your hearing aids automatically adjust based on the environments you frequent most (e.g., home, work, the gym or park)
  • Easy control of your hearing aids using your iPhone 
  • No buzzing, whistling and clicking

New Features!

Brand new to Halo 2 and TruLink 3.0 are the Real-Time Notifications and inclusion of our popular tinnitus technology! Halo 2 wearers with Apple devices will now be able to hear notifications for email, calendar, messages and social pings! For those suffering from tinnitus, integrated controls in the TruLink app will allow users to control the volume and modulation rate of the Multiflex Tinnitus Technology solution for personalized tinnitus management.

And as always, our Halo 2 hearing aids are packed with Starkey Hearing Technologies’ best-in-class performance features designed to deliver pristine audio, natural sound, best hearing in noise, and zero feedback. They will also feature our next-generation moisture and wax repellent, Surface™ Nanoshield, ensuring reliability and durability.

Learn more about our Halo 2 hearing aids and TruLink Hearing Control app.

TruLink can be downloaded for free on the App Store or Google Play.

Source:  Bricker, Sarah. "Introducing Halo 2-The Next Generation of Made for IPhone Hearing Aids." Introducing Halo 2-The Next Generation of Made for IPhone Hearing Aids. 1 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 May 2016. 

Hearing Loss Prevention & Protection Tips

Life is loud. Spending just an hour cutting your lawn without wearing hearing protection can cause irreversible damage to your hearing. But whether you’re cheering on your favorite sports teams, flying on an airplane, or getting your teeth cleaned at your dentist’s office, remember that you could be exposing your ears to unsafe noise levels.

The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. You can avoid damaging your hearing by establishing safe listening levels, understanding how much exposure is safe and by wearing hearing protection.

Listen Carefully recommends following three easy steps to prevent noise induced hearing loss:

    (1) Distance yourself from loud sounds

    (2) Lower the volume

    (3) Protect your ears

So, just how loud is too loud?

Understanding what noise levels are safe and how long you can be exposed to those levels before damage occurs can be confusing. Professionals use a complex formula to calculate risk, but in simpler terms, the chance of hearing loss greatly increases as the sound level and duration of exposure increase. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged exposure to sounds 85dB and above can be hazardous to your hearing. See more here.

Our musical devices and headphones

Unfortunately in today’s world, it is our headphones and personal listening devices that pose the most damage. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that as many as one in five teens in the United States have a hearing loss, which is a 30 percent increase over the last decade. More than 20 percent of teens have measurable hearing loss as a result of noise exposure, and experts believe one in six teens may have permanent hearing loss due to loud sounds.

Personal audio devices bring sound into the ear canal and closer to the eardrum, increasing sound intensity and subsequently the risk of permanent damage. To ensure safe listening levels for personal audio devices, keep volume at or below half of the maximum output. Keep in mind that electronic manufacturers are not required to designate safe listening levels on electronics; therefore, parents are encouraged to listen through their children’s headphones to make sure the levels of loudness are comfortable and safe.

Download the SoundCheck app to help identify unsafe noise levels: App Store and Google Play.

The importance of protection:

Healthy listening levels should be established while using personal listening devices, especially for children, and hearing protection should be utilized when attending concerts or other loud events.

Hearing protection is especially important when it comes to occupational and recreational noises such as a construction site, a factory or when out hunting or shooting. Using hearing protection can reduce your risk of noise exposure and can be worn during everyday activities such as riding a motorcycle, mowing the yard or attending a concert.

There are a number of protective options including custom-fit earplugs, SoundGear digital hearing protection or simply foam earplugs you can keep in your car or purse. For those involved heavily with music, consider Tunz  custom headphones and stage monitors.

Custom-fit earplugs: Uniquely designed to preserve sound quality while providing noise protection to ensure healthy listening levels.

Tunz: Designed with musicians in mind, Tunz are custom-fit, filtered hearing protective devices designed to attenuate equally across all frequencies preserving sound quality. The filters for custom musician hearing protection can be changed by the musician to achieve different levels of attenuation (9, 15, or 25dB). 

SoundGear: Designed with hunters and shooters in mind, these digital hearing protective devices are designed to enhance environmental awareness while suppressing dangerous sound levels. SoundGear is available in instant-fit, custom and behind-the-ear options for hunters, shooters, industrial and tactical environments.  

Excessive noise exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss. If you are concerned about noise exposure or have hearing concerns, contact HearingHealth4U today. 

Source:  MicCormick, Beth. "Hearing Loss Prevention & Protection Tips." Hearing Loss Prevention & Protection Tips. 11 May 2016. Web. 16 May 2016. 

5 Reason to Treat Hearing Loss

5 Reasons to Treat Hearing Loss

Posted on April 25, 2016by gnresound

Hearing loss can be subtle—so subtle that it is common for people to disregard their hearing loss for more than 10 years before seeking treatment.¹

That’s too bad, because when your hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they weaken. And that means that improving hearing through the use of a hearing aid is all that much more difficult. So the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to hear well again.

Consider these five benefits to treating hearing loss sooner rather than later:

  1. Relationships: Relationships rely on good communication. Hearing loss can hinder the potential for responsiveness, but using hearing aids is the start to repairing communication.
  2. Earnings: Hearing is critical to meeting one’s full potential at work. Studies show that risk of income loss can be reduced by using hearing aids.²
  3. Cognitive skills: Studies show that seniors with hearing loss are more prone to dementia, but by using hearing aids, they likely can improve their cognitive skills.²
  4. Happiness: Hearing loss can make people feel frustrated and alone. Restoring the ability to engage socially and live confidently boosts quality of life.
  5. Self-confidence: Using hearing aids to bring back the gift of sound can improve one’s sense of control and self-confidence.

Source:  "5 Reasons to Treat Hearing Loss." The Official ReSound Blog. 25 Apr. 2016. Web. 16                    May 2016. 

"Hearing aids opened a whole world for me"

By Mercy Semeyian

Though still a young adult, I have battled to retain my hearing for years.

My trouble started a few months before sitting (for) my final primary education examination. In Kenya, our final year is full of intense revision, internal exams and peak preparation. One fine but cold morning I woke with an unusual roaring buzz in my ears—like the roar of a man-made drone. Hearing became difficult so I asked everyone to talk louder to me or even shout if necessary—that’s just what it took.

My parents and I assumed this buzzing would last some few hours or for that day only. But the buzzing persisted. Friends, classmates, and teachers found it uncomfortable to talk louder than normal when addressing me. But my parents and I were affected most: acceptance was hard and I processed the whole situation grudgingly. I needed this to go away—and fast. I would feel depressed, anxious, and my concentration in class was poor. But my audiologist would soon introduce me to the world of aided-hearing.

First Hearing Aids

My first pair of hearing aids was a donation from a hearing foundation. I used them until I completed my secondary education. The behind-the-ear hearing aids were a bit larger, so new people would wonder or stare at the gadgets behind my ears.

I had to develop acceptance and confidence in my early days to put those hearing aids on. I was ashamed of my condition at first, but because I actually needed them and there was no way out, I made peace with myself. There were times when someone would talk too low and I would miss (or mishear) what they said. Sometimes I had to deal with negative reactions from people who would not understand I may have missed what they were saying.

First ReSound Hearing Aids

Then a very special couple, Rod and Nancy Van Scivers (my U.S. sponsors), helped find me better, more powerful and more efficient hearing aids—a new set of ReSound state-of-the-art hearing instruments! I immediately fell in love with them.

These hearing aids blend amazingly with my skin color! And they are relatively small, so you won’t even notice I am wearing one but you’ll be surprised that I now won’t miss much of what you tell me. They are so powerful and comfortable that I now experience sounds I had missed hearing, such as whispers and soft speech and a clock ticking. And what makes me love them more is that they came with the Resound Mini Microphone —a huge positive change for me in my learning. In the past I had to strain during lectures in big lecture halls. But the Mini Microphone attaches to the lecturer’s collar. I can control the sound from the back of my hearing aids. Now, I can now hear the lecturer from wherever I’m seated in the hall. More reason to look forward to my lectures! I’m smiling now and can say that problem is solved.

It has been a long journey for me and my parents—a journey marked with tears and uncountable trips to the doctor for checkups and medication. My warm heart has a big sincere thank you to my sponsors and Dr. Erica and the ReSound team for these wonderful aids to people like me. And to my friends, family members and people who still continue to understand and hold my hand in this journey. I say, “Ashe Oleng,” which is Maasai for “Thank You.”

Source:  Semeyian, Mercy. "“Hearing Aids Opened a Whole World for Me”." The Official                             ReSound Blog. 12 May 2016. Web. 16 May 2016. 

Things to know about a hearing loss

  • Hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
  • Gradual hearing loss can affect people of all ages -- varying from mild to profound. Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. Depending on the cause, it can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
  • Degrees of hearing loss: mild, moderate, severe, profound.
  • Congenital hearing loss means you are born without hearing, while gradual hearing loss happens over time.
  • Hearing loss is an invisible condition; we cannot see hearing loss, only its effects. Because the presence of a hearing loss is not visible, these effects may be attributed to aloofness, confusion, or personality changes.
  • In adults, the most common causes of hearing loss are noise and aging. There is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss.
  • In age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, changes in the inner ear that happen as you get older cause a slow but steady hearing loss. The loss may be mild or severe, and it is always permanent.
  • In older people, a hearing loss is often confused with, or complicates, such conditions as dementia.
  • Noise-induced hearing loss may happen slowly over time or suddenly. Being exposed to everyday noises, such as listening to very loud music, being in a noisy work environment, or using a lawn mower, can lead to hearing loss over many years.
  • Sudden, noise-induced hearing loss from gunfire and explosions is the number one disability caused by combat in current wars.
  • More often than not severe tinnitus (or ringing in the ears) will accompany the hearing loss and may be just as debilitating as the hearing loss itself.
  • Other causes of hearing loss include earwax buildup, an object in the ear, injury to the ear or head, ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, and other conditions that affect the middle or inner ear.

Source: "Basic Facts About Hearing Loss | Hearing Loss Association of America." HLAA Updates. Web. 16 May 2016.