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Can opiate use affect hearing loss?

Question: Can opiate use affect hearing loss? Answer: Opioids are derived from chemicals that bind to receptors in the ears and brain. In some people, opiate abuse can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. It may start out as temporary loss and, after repeated use, become permanent hearing loss. The loss may be in one ear or both ears and vary from high frequency loss to a flat loss for most all frequencies. The U.S. is in an unprecedented opioid overdose epidemic. ... Read more

What is the best treatment for recurrent ear infections in children?

Question: What is the best treatment for recurrent ear infections in children? Answer: Your pediatrician may share with you that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a "wait and watch" approach because many mild ear infections will resolve on their own without antibiotics. There is some concern for over-prescribing antibiotics at a young age as well. However, treating ear infections is a partnership between parents and pediatricians, and concerns should be discussed in detail. It's good to know that studies show rates of ... Read more

Is the music in aerobics exercise classes loud enough to cause hearing loss?

Question: Is the music in aerobics exercise classes loud enough to cause hearing loss? Answer: Most Americans are educated about the value of exercise to improve quality of life and overall health. Since aerobics classes and health clubs began in the 1970s and ’80s, group fitness classes have grown in popularity. These classes use music to motivate. Moderate to high-intensity classes are typically fast-paced, using louder music to create a dynamic atmosphere. Eighty percent of centers monitored confirmed that noise ... Read more

Decline in Brain Function Linked to Untreated Hearing Loss

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Although the brain naturally becomes smaller as humans age, findings from a study by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging have linked accelerated brain tissue atrophy to older individuals with at least a 25-dB hearing loss. The results of this study are similar to those of past studies that reported marked differences in the brain structures of both humans and animals with a measurable hearing loss. The findings add to a growing list of health ... Read more

I have no hearing at all in one ear. Is there anything available to help me hear?

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What is the best way to communicate my concerns to my doctor? I often feel she doesn’t understand me.

Question: What is the best way to communicate my concerns to my doctor? I often feel she doesn’t understand me. Answer: Communication during doctor appointments is a critical component of quality health care. Daily notes and diaries can help clarify what is needed. Patient satisfaction and quality of care is also supported by office staff that influence your future interactions. Staff should communicate respect for your time and concerns in a compassionate and quiet way. There are many other factors that may ... Read more

Should I get the wax in my ears checked?

Question: Should I get the wax in my ears checked? Answer: Not necessarily. Most people do not have a problem with earwax in their ears. In fact, earwax is normal and provides a necessary tool to protect the delicate eardrum from harm and pollens. Occasionally earwax may accumulate excessively in the canal, which impairs hearing or causes ear pain. Earwax can build up if a cotton swab is used to remove wax; it pushes the wax in deeper. Wax may also ... Read more

Do you think younger people will develop hearing loss due to loud music and earbud use?

Quesion: Do you think younger people will develop hearing loss due to loud music and earbud use? Answer: Recent studies have shown disturbing trends in increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss in young adults. Their exposure to noise is most likely during leisure activities. In the past, hearing protection programs have been used in schools and work environments to promote behavior change and reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Despite these efforts, there is still a lack of awareness and a ... Read more

Will there eventually be a surgery to repair sensory hearing loss?

Question: Will there eventually be a surgery to repair sensory hearing loss? Answer: Experiments have been done on the inner ear tissue of mice that had damaged hair cells, and with treatment, they were able to be repaired. But hair cells play only one part in the process that converts sound to the brain. The hairs are part of the cell needed for hearing and not the whole cell. The complexity of these tissues makes hair cell regeneration a challenge, but researchers ... Read more

Why not buy one of those hearing devices from the drugstore rather than a more costly hearing aid?

Question: Why not buy one of those hearing devices from the drugstore rather than a more costly hearing aid? Answer: The devices in the drug stores are not hearing aids. They are not set for the frequencies or pitches needed for your hearing loss in order to bring in only the sounds that are needed. These devices are amplifiers that turn up most all sound. They are very basic with non-linear circuits containing minimal electronics. There is no guidance for severity of ... Read more
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