It’s true. Despite knowing what tinnitus is, I did not actually recognize that I was experiencing tinnitus because it was relatively minor and transient in nature. Because tinnitus is a symptom of another hearing or health related issue it’s important to recognize you have it and seek medical help. Do not ignore it like I did!
What is Tinnitus
Simply put, tinnitus manifests itself as a sound that we think we hear but it does not come from outside of our body. It can also be referred to as a non-auditory sound that can be either intermittent or continuous in one or both ears. People often say tinnitus sounds are most noticeable at night or during quiet periods of time.
What Does Tinnitus Sound Like
I am lucky in the fact that although I have 2 types of Tinnitus, subject tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus, they don’t interrupt my ability to hear much. The first is an intermittent tone similar to what you would hear when a TV station went off air and showed the test pattern. A whine that isn’t very high pitched and only lasts one to 10 minutes once a week. The second type of tinnitus, the pulsatile tinnitus is commonly described ad a rhythmic pulse that sounds like a heartbeat with a bit of a whoosh to it. That is about as close to what I hear as I can describe. The sounds seem to be synchronized with my heart rate which I am told is common as pulsatile tinnitus is most often related to disturbances in blood flow. Click below to hear samples of each noise.
Tinnitus Sound 1 – “The Tone”
Tinnitus Sound 2 – “The Heartbeat Whoosh”
More often tinnitus is related to hearing loss and is perceived as being loud enough to drown out other sounds we rely on in our everyday lives. Too often it is constant or varies in volume but does not seem to stop. Some people have to deal with listening to whirring, buzzing, or banging sounds at full volume for most of their day. Luckily there are treatments available.
Why It’s Important To Get Medical Help
Although hearing loss is the most common reason behind tinnitus, there can be several other rather serious medical conditions. Pulsatile tinnitus can be caused by vascular and non-vascular issues including:
- Glomus Tumor – a benign vascular tumor usually located in or near the ear.
- Vascular Lesions – These include aneurysm and abnormal connections between an artery and a vein.
- Atherosclerosis – is the narrowing of the artery due to cholesterol build-up on the artery wall.
- Intracranial Hypertension – an increase in pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain. Other symptoms can include hearing loss, ear fullness, dizziness, headaches and visual disturbances leading to a loss of site if your retinas are affected.
Here are some issues that can cause subjective tinnitus:
- Hearing loss
- Jaw joint dysfunction known as TMJ
- Neck muscle strain
- Excessive noise exposure (including a single very loud event)
- Ear infection
There are many more possible cause of tinnitus. By now you get the picture – it’s possibly something serious and needs to be brought to your doctors attention.
Do you have questions about your tinnitus and treatments available? Give us a call and will be happy to answer all your questions (204) 788-1083.
While there is at least one scientific study that shows Canadians live longer and have healthier lives than our American neighbors, there’s one group of Americans that are outliving everybody. The residents of Loma Linda, located in southwestern San Bernardino County in the state of California, routinely live well into their late 90’s and 100-year birthdays are not uncommon. The best part of the resident’s story is that they aren’t just living longer, they are living healthier without reliance on medication or suffering disabilities.
A Canadian born in 2009 has a life expectancy of 81 years, vs. 78 years for an American born the same year.
Lifestyle and Staying Young
Although Californians are commonly thought to be health-conscious, the twenty-four thousand plus residents of Loma Linda take healthy living to a whole new level. Consider their lifestyle:
- Smoking is banned in the town.
- The largest grocery store in town does not sell meat.
- Alcohol is available, but you must make an effort to find it.
- Most restaurants are vegetarian.
- Fast food restaurants are few and far between.
By now you’re wondering what motivates the residents of Loma Linda to place so much weight on health? The answer is that Loma Lina is home to one of the largest concentrations of Seventh-day Adventists in the world. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a conservative Protestant Christian denomination that considers the human body and soul to be one.
Treating your body like a temple appears to increase to increase longevity by as much as 10 years.
While the Seventh-Day Adventists, like Jews and Muslims, stay away from foods that the Bible deems impure, like pork, most also practice strict vegetarianism. In Loma Linda vegetarianism is so popular that most restaurants, including fast-food restaurants, feature a vegetarian menu in addition to regular menu items.
A healthy lifestyle, including vegetarianism is a key tenet of the faith.
Staying Active & Involved
While the Seventh-Day Adventists enjoy the health benefits of a healthy diet, they also focus on being physically active and involved in their community. In the articles we researched, there were numerous anecdotes of people in their late 90’s exercising on a regular basis by walking a half mile or more at a time. Participation in organized sports, running clubs, exercise classes and outdoor activities such as hiking were the norm for all ages. If that wasn’t enough, the fitness center at the Loma Linda University campus offers free exercise programs and diet counselling for anyone in the community to attend. The strong sense of community is reinforced with an emphasis on volunteering and being active in the church and related activities.
The Bottom Line
The population of Loma Linda have created an environment that fosters a healthy diet, regular daily exercise, and a lifestyle that includes family and meaning. The net result, longevity with vitality, is a goal than we can achieve for ourselves with self control and perseverance.
Treating hearing loss can decrease debilitating stress. The first step to better hearing is having a hearing test and assessment. To book and appointment call us at (204) 788-1083.
Check out the silent auction at the 2018 Winnipeg Ride for Dad to bid on a pair of custom earplugs from The Polo Park Hearing Centre. We thought earplugs would be perfect for a motorcyclist as we have shown in previous posts, wind noise and a loud motorcycle can cause temporary hearing loss that will likely become permanent noise induced hearing loss over years of repeated exposures. To read more about noise induced hear loss click the previous link.
Custom-fit earplugs provide outstanding noise protection and comfort
Custom Moulded Earplugs
Since ear shape is unique to every individual, to get the earplugs made you will have to make a visit to our office to get a custom mold made of each ear. We then send the molds off to Starkey Labs to have solid silicon earplugs made that will fit perfectly into your ear. The exact fitting seals out noise and truly makes the earplugs all day comfortable. One convenient option is to have a lanyard connect the two earplugs together so when they aren’t needed you can just let them hang around your neck like sunglasses. Another option is more for fun – you can choose the color of your earplugs.For information on musician earplugs, swimmers earplugs and even earplugs customized for a quiet night sleep, click custom earplugs. For everything else, call us at the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083.
While convincing someone to seek help for hearing loss is the right thing to do, it is not always an easy conversation to have. Understanding how hearing loss affects people coupled with some tips on having “the talk”, will make the process smoother and more likely to have a positive outcome.
Understanding Hearing Loss:
Hearing Loss Is Stressful
You don’t have to read a scientific study to know that someone straining to understand a conversation is going to have increased stress levels. Socializing becomes difficult and even embarrassing when a person must ask someone to repeat themselves over and over hearing loss sufferers often withdraw socially. To make matters worse depression can develop. The good news is that once receiving treatment people will reengage and become more active with family and friends
Many People Don’t Realize They Have Hearing Loss
There are several reasons why an individual may not realize how bad their hearing has become. The most significant is that hearing loss due to aging or noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) takes years to develop. Small negative changes over many years are simply not easy to notice. People learn to compensate for the unseen changes in their hearing by trying to minimize the effects. Eventually a breaking point is reached where communication becomes too difficult for family and friends around them.
Having the Conversation About Hearing Loss
Where and How to Talk About Hearing Loss
A little planning can go a long way to a successful talk. Background noise vastly reduces a hearing loss sufferers ability to understand. Picking a neutral setting that is both comfortable and quiet is important to make understanding the conversation easier while reducing stress. Also important is to face the person you are speaking with as it makes it easy for them to read your expressions and possibly even read your lips. A sitting distance of 3-6 feet is recommended. Speaking clearly and calmly without shouting ensures easier hearing and avoids creating potentially negative feelings. Finally, showing empathy and patience by not cutting off the person speaking, goes a long way to a positive outcome.
Overcoming the Biggest Complaint
The single biggest complaint when it comes to hearing aids is that they make people look old. You can ease that argument in one sentence. Hearing aids are now small enough to fit inside the ear canal and are often referred to as “invisible hearing aids”. If that isn’t enough, a gentle reminder that when someone repeatedly asks, “what was that?” or “can you repeat that?”, doesn’t imply the listener has found the fountain of youth. Be nice!
95% of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.
Benefits to Treating Hearing Loss
To help convince your friends or family member to get help, you are going to want to talk about the positive benefits of getting treatment for their hearing loss.
- No more embarrassment from asking “What?” all the time
- Improve close relationships and social interactions
- Remove the stress of trying to compensate for hearing loss
- Avoid the increased risk of developing dementia & Alzheimer’s from untreated hearing loss
- Reduces falling risk – untreated hearing loss can increase falling by 3x
Your Support Makes A Difference
Most people are at least a little bit nervous about seeking treatment for hearing loss. Offering to accompany them to their hearing test and evaluation will reduce any anxiety and ensure follow through. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you may want to make a list of questions to ask together so that way you will get all the answers you need to make decisions. Finally, you can also remind them that our offices are in a private, out of the way location and all client information is strictly confidential.
Consider the statistic that on average people wait up to 10 years before seeking treatment for hearing loss. That’s a long time to be missing out on conversations, entertainment and the sounds around us we take for granted daily. To help your family member or close friend hear what they have been missing, call the Polo Park Hearing Centre staff at (204)788-1083.
You may have already heard that May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. Increasing public awareness about the challenges faced by people with hearing loss is important to us. We will be focusing on hearing health and communication with an emphasis on how to help a friend or loved one cope with their hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common – 1 in 4 adult Canadians has some form of hearing loss
Understanding the Impact of Hearing Loss
While most people would be devasted to have the quality of their vision drop by 50%, it is not uncommon to think dealing with a significant hearing loss is easier. Numerous studies have shown the impact hearing loss has on a person’s emotional wellbeing can be enormous. Not being able to easily communicate with friends and family in social settings often leads to confusion, frustration, feelings of isolation and even depression. This is why we want to offer some strategies to reduce the strain on our relationships when dealing with someone suffering from untreated hearing loss.
Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging problems hearing and seeking help
6 Easy Tips For Overcoming Hearing Loss
While empathy and patience go a long way to improving communication, here are six tips anyone can use:
- A great way to communication with people with hearing loss is to say their name when you begin speaking. This will ensure you have their attention and reduce missed conversation.
- Alternatively, you can get someone’s attention by touching them lightly on the hand or shoulder.
- In a group situation, waiting until everyone else has finished talking makes understanding speech easier than trying to decipher multiple voices at the same time.
- If possible keep facing the person you are speaking with so that a person with poor hearing can read your facial expressions and body language clearly.
- In addition to number four, keeping your hands clear of your mouth and not resting your chin on your hands is helpful.
- When someone has better hearing in one ear over the other, take advantage of that fact and ask if sitting on their better hearing side will help them hear.
Although it can be a bit like work when being asked to repeat parts of a conversation, accepting the situation and knowing you are helping someone you care about stay connected will help ease any frustration.
When It’s time
Some people have a hard time accepting their hearing loss and can take years before they seek treatment. When they decide it’s time, the first step is a hearing evaluation and test. To book and appointment call us at (204) 788-1083.
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