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Exclusive for AARP members

Why am I Losing my Hearing?

Don't Let Hearing Loss

Damage Your Career

Stop Living With Tinnitus

Why am I Losing my Hearing?


Call HearUSA today 1-844-704-5457


earing loss has grown increasingly common in today’s modern world. It’s not purely an aging baby boomer population, but a combination of factors like technology, medication, and noise. Hearing loss can occur to anyone at any age. There are three types of hearing loss—sensorineural (inner ear damage), conductive (outer or middle ear damage), and mixed (inner, and outer or middle ear damage). There are numerous reasons for these types of hearing loss. Below is a list of the most common.


Loud noises can damage the delicate hair cells within the inner ear. [Inside the ear are small, delicate hairs that help conduct the sounds that constitute your hearing.] Injury to these hair cells comes from sudden or prolonged exposure to loud noises. This can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.



Fluid is the presence of liquid in the inner ear, that can cause hearing loss in addition to other symptoms like ringing in the ears (tinnitus), vertigo, nausea and vomiting all of which could be signs of Meniere’s disease.


Having wax in the ear is generally a good thing. It lubricates, protects, and helps keep ears clean. Too much ear wax can impede hearing. Generally a gentle solution can be used to clear the ears, but if the wax proves stubborn it is much safer to see a certified health professional to have your ears cleaned than to attempt to remove stubborn wax.


Scarring is a autoimmune diseases or hereditary conditions can cause excess scarring within the ear, interfering with normal hearing functions.

Trauma is the difference in pressure on the inside and outside of the eardrum, (think plane or scuba diving,) can cause it to burst. Trauma can also happen with any object inserted into the ear, viral Tumors on the ear can be either benign or malignant. They can infection, or injury due to explosion. occur within the inner ear or outside of it. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat tumors of the ear.



Presbycusis occurs because of gradual changes in the ear due to aging. It occurs in one out of three people over the age of sixty and in two thirds of people over the age of seventy.


Ototoxicity medications, especially those for depression, can increase hearing loss, cause hearing loss, or result in temporary hearing loss. Consult your physician about alternatives to medications that can damage your hearing.


Diabetics are more likely to suffer from hearing loss for the same reasons that they are more likely to have problems with their circulation and heart glucose overload.


Otosclerosis is an abnormality within the middleear that prevents the ear from vibrating and conducting sound. It is thought to be hereditary and may be accompanied by ringing in the ears (tinnitus). If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, take action. Hearing loss is a serious condition that needs to be remedied. Untreated hearing loss can result in serious long term complications including depression, isolation, stress, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. If you noticed changes in your hearing, you should consider getting your hearing tested.

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Stop Living With Tinnitus Ringing Ears

Almost everyone experiences tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears” at times. However for some, this phenomenon can be persistent and a source of significant stress or anxiety. Although tinnitus is complex and still not completely understood, scientists do know that this perception of sound is the result of aberrant brain activity, and is often (though not always) accompanied by hearing loss. In the past doctors usually told patients “nothing can be done”, but treatments continue to evolve and today many sufferers are finding relief.

Treatment Basics

There are a few key truths to understanding tinnitus treatment: One is that not everyone will respond equally, or predictably, to a given therapy. It may be necessary to try more than one solution in order to find the most effective option. Another is that there is no magic pill that will cure tinnitus. Many seeking relief start by purchasing over the counter pills then give up, disappointed, when they do not work. And third, the most successful treatment requires the active participation of a motivated patient willing to seek out a knowledgeable, well trained clinician capable of effectively leading the therapeutic process. Not every hearing care professional can treat tinnitus. Some have not been trained to do so, and others simply do not want to.

What’s New in Treatment?

One recent evolution in treatment is known as Habituation Retraining Therapy (HaRT). HaRT was developed by clinicians at Tinnitus Treatment Solutions, the largest network for tinnitus care in the United States. “Habituation” refers to the process by which the patient gradually notices his tinnitus less often, and when it is noticed, it is less annoying. Successful habitation can often take a suffering patient from a very severe, intolerable state to a mild, acceptable one.

❶ Expert tinnitus education and counseling, developed and fine tuned through work with thousands of tinnitus patients: Most people want to know why they have tinnitus, where it came from, whether it means they are losing their hearing, and what can be done about it. Clear clinical education is important to answer questions, relieve anxiety, set expectations, and improve the patient’s outlook. ❷ Proper use of sound therapy; Sound therapy, or using external sounds to affect the perception of tinnitus, has been around for decades. But it has evolved during this time too. There are many types of sounds available which are designed to do different things. Some cover up the tinnitus, some distract from it, some are designed to interrupt it on a neural level, and others are intended to promote relaxation. Listening to the radio, for example, is a very simple (and nonprescription) form of sound therapy. Alternatively, using a prescription sound generating device that has been customized to your tinnitus pitch and your hearing level is a more clinically sophisticated approach. ❸ Routine interaction with an audiologist who guides the treatment before, during, and after sound therapy begins: Changing the brain patterns associated with tinnitus can take some time. For this reason, a dedicated clinician who monitors the patient’s progress is essential. An audiologist should never just send the tinnitus sufferer home with a sound generating device and an educational pamphlet; it is important to manage the normal ups and downs that take place over the course of treatment and to help the patient adjust to using a new device, adopting it as part of his lifestyle, adjusting it if necessary, understanding how relief occurs, and supporting the patient throughout any flare-ups or setbacks. To learn more about treating tinnitus or to speak with a Tinnitus Treatment Solutions Expert call 1-855-977-9566.

Core elements are:

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Hearing loss can make even a simple phone call frustrating. You may be able to piece together most of what is being said, but when it comes to the details, you either get them or you don’t. Fortunately, with Hamilton CapTel®, you can listen while reading everything that’s said to you over the phone. As the call proceeds, users can listen to the extent they are able and respond directly to the other person. Captions are generated through advanced voice recognition technology, provided by a live Communications Assistant, and appear directly on the large, distinctive screen of the phone. The Hamilton CapTel phone also offers a number of other valuable features, such as; adjustable volume amplification, the ability to save captions for review later, answering machine functionality (messages are also captioned), large, easy to use buttons, easy touch screen navigation and more! Your callers do not need any special equipment or a captioned phone in order to call you. It’s simple for them and simple for you!

Right now, you can receive the Hamilton CapTel phone at no cost with Third Party Professional Certification. Ask your Audiologist about Hamilton CapTel today. Be sure to mention Promo Code HHC3 for free shipping! 6

Call HearUSA today 1-844-704-5457

Don’t Let Hearing Loss Damage Your Career A

n overlooked consequence of hearing loss is trouble at work, even if diminished hearing is very gradual. If you are not able to hear clearly, you are far less likely to perform to your normal abilities, especially if hearing loss comes on suddenly or reaches a point where it is noticeable. If you are sitting in a board meeting with your employer and conversations are flying around the room, it is already difficult to follow the general train of thought. The sea of conversation may become a total blur, and picking up tidbits of information is not the best way to stay on task and do a good job. While it may be okay once in a while to ask someone to speak again for clarification, having to give you a separate rundown of each meeting is going to wear thin. Instructions are likely to be lost and personal initiative is apt to diminish if you are unable to properly coordinate and connect with your co-workers. This same logic applies to employee and employer alike. If you are the boss, you also need to communicate a effectively to get all the feedback you need from your employees. In general, this is more difficult to do if you are spending a lot of excess energy straining to hear. One of the problems people with untreated hearing loss run into is that they start isolating themselves socially. A person may not even realize they are doing this. Trouble hearing friends and loved ones brings with it depression and the desire to spend more time alone. Similarly, you may not even realize your performance at work is suffering due to hearing problems, but your co-workers may have figured it out. Losing your hearing is certainly going to require some adjustment. The first step towards making sure that your career is not negatively impacted by hearing loss is to have your hearing checked. The damage may be so gradual that you are not even noticing it, but you are being affected. A hearing test will determine what (if any) type of hearing loss you have and how best to correct it. But another major step towards improving work relations in light of hearing loss is simply to tell your supervisor and co-workers about your hearing situation. Most people will be happy to accommodate you with a little extra patience while you adjust. The stigma against those with hearing loss is mostly in the imagination of those who can't hear. In reality, people are generally understanding (even at work), and most won’t think any differently of you after hearing your news.

Binaural Hearing


magine two people sitting in a theater. The person on the left says something to the one on his right. The left sound waves deliver sound quickly and directly to the receiving person’s left ear, as in monaural hearing. At the same time, those sound waves delivered to the listener’s right ear lose intensity and are delayed by scattering around the head, as if echoing off walls and other objects. That is what it is like to be a person who is hearing impaired in one ear; when the scattering of sound causes confusion and frustration as it hits one eardrum but not the other. When one ear hears but not the other, it can be especially difficult to determine the original location of a sound. Even using a hearing aid in that ear may not produce the best hearing results, since it is still difficult to balance both ears. Binaural hearing is the perception of sound by stimulation in two ears. A pair of sound signals is sent to the brain where they are interpreted. That interpretation creates a central perception. The brain data identifies sound location, loudness, separates a voice or individual sound from background noise, enhances clarity, and allows the listener to concentrate on speech. Thus, regardless of whether a person suffers from hearing impairment in one ear or both, many hearing care providers and audiologists highly recommend wearing hearing aids in both ears to simulate the experience of normal binaural hearing.

Spatial awareness. Since our heads are round and ears are

placed on opposite sides, sound from any place will hit our ears at different times, and at varying levels and intensities. Binaural hearing allows our brain to precisely pinpoint a sound source, whether it is from the side, way off in the distance behind us, or farther up front. Two hearing aids amplify the world, helping the brain locate the source of a sound more accurately.

Signal-to-noise ratio. Two ears help the brain distinguish

signal-to-noise ratio, singling out the one voice who is addressing the listener, from other voices and noises around. When the brain suppresses outside stimulus, this “squelch effect” allows the person to hear speech in noisy situations and gives it more prominence for better speech understanding. Two hearing aids help zero in on the conversation.

Understanding speech. Binaural hearing allows us to

distinguish human speech better, and as a consequence, improves quality of dialogue between one person or a group of people. Two hearing aids lessen the need to read lips; they catch the nuances and natural flow of conversation.

Binaural hearing helps us navigate through life in a hearing world. Double hearing aids enhance binaural hearing, and give those with hearing loss confidence.

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& Healthy Hearing Studies Show Omega-3, found in foods like fish, could help prevent or delay the development of hearing loss. It is also said to boost your mood and reduce inflammation.

According to the federal dietary guidelines, 8 ounces of fish should be consumed at least twice per week to get the recommended intake of Omega-3s. Some popular fish and shellfish with Omega-3: Salmon (Atlantic), Chinook, Coho, Tuna (fresh or canned), Trout, Crab, Cod, Scallops, Lobster, Tilapia, Shrimp, Anchovies and Sardines. Studies show that at least two servings of fish per week are said to cut the risk of hearing loss by over 40% for adults over 50 years old. Other choices for Omega-3 intake include: • Beans – kidney, pinto • Veggies – spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash • Oils – flaxseed, canola, soybean • Nuts and seeds – walnuts, flaxseed The body cannot produce omega fatty acids on its own. Be diligent and make a point to include them in your daily diet. Omega-3 is also good for the heart. If you do not like seafood, or do not think you are getting enough omega fatty acids through food, talk to your healthcare specialist about ways to incorporate these important fats into your diet.


Cashew with Apricot Couscous Yogurt sauce flavored with lemon, cumin and cilantro tops this Indian inspired grilled salmon. 4 servings | Active Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes


• 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt • 3 scallions, sliced, greens and whites separated • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

• • • • • •

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 1 1/4 cups water 1 cup whole wheat couscous 1 pound salmon fillet, preferably wild Pacific, skinned and cut into 4 portions • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted cashews


Preheat grill to medium/high or position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Combine yogurt, scallion greens, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add apricots, ginger, the scallion whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, rub salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. If grilling, oil the grill rack. If broiling, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Grill or broil the salmon until browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with the couscous, topped with the yogurt sauce and cashews. From EatingWell: March/April 2009

Nutrition Per serving : 487 Calories; 15 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 73 mg Cholesterol; 65 g Carbohydrates; 35 g Protein; 9 g Fiber; 527 mg Sodium; 621 mg Potassium; Exchanges: 3 starch, 1/2 fruit, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

HearUSA pays a royalty fee to AARP for use of the AARP intellectual property. Amounts paid are used for general purposes of AARP and its members. Neither AARP nor its affiliate is the provider. AARP does not recommend health-related products, services, insurance or programs. You are strongly encouraged to evaluate your needs. Products or services that are reimbursable by federal programs including Medicare and Medicaid are not available on a discounted or complimentary basis.

AARP - Hearing Remained - Volume 1 Issue 3  
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