• Articles

    Hearing underwater

    Hearing in a watery world. If you’re lucky enough to be heading off on a summer holiday this year, have a listen to what you can and can’t hear as you dive into the hotel pool and submerge yourself in a watery world. Consciously listen to the difference in sounds that you hear underwater compared to those you experience on dry land. Underwater, sounds are muffled, and it’s hard to work out where they’re coming from – left, right, back or front. That’s because, underwater, we pick up very little sound via our normal hearing pathway. Instead, sound tends to travel directly through the head. It also travels much faster…

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    Diabetes and hearing loss

    Discover the diabetes-hearing loss link Today marks the start of Diabetes Awareness Week, making this the perfect time to highlight the link between hearing loss and diabetes.  Did you know that hearing loss is twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who don’t have the disease? While the cause of hearing loss here isn’t fully known, it’s widely thought that nerve damage is to blame. The prolonged high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes may affect the supply of blood or oxygen to the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear, in much the same way as diabetes damages blood vessels and nerves in other parts…

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    New book to guide your through hearing loss

    If you’re living with hearing loss – perhaps you’ve only recently learnt that you have a hearing loss – you may find it hard to come to terms with the news. Luckily, there’s a newly published book that may help you to change the way you feel about hearing loss. ‘Hear & Beyond: Live skillfully with hearing loss’ is by author, blogger and film maker, Shari Eberts, who has an adult-onset, genetic hearing loss. She has co-written the book with Gael Hannan, a speaker, writer and trainer on hearing loss issues who has severe-to-profound hearing loss, which was diagnosed at age three. Both women bring their experiences to this easy-to-read…

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    Electrodes stimulate the hearing brain to improve hearing speech in noise

    Sometimes the biggest scientific breakthroughs happen by accident. Recently surgeons found that stimulating a specific part of the brain’s auditory cortex near the planum temporale  immediately improved speech perception over background noise. They happened to be implanting electrodes into a patient’s brain to pinpoint the area that triggered the person’s epilepsy seizures – a tactic used in severe cases of the condition. Surgeons stimulated the patient’s planum temporale while playing sound clips of someone talking in extensive background noise. The patient deciphered the spoken sentence and rated the clarity as a 4 or 5 out of 5. Without stimulation, the patient could hear only a few of the words and rated…

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    Do you have auditory processing disorder?

    Do you have APD? Even when a person has normal hearing, they may still face challenges with listening and processing information. This is called auditory processing disorder, or APD. APD is a lifelong disability and an acknowledged hearing impairment by the World Health Organisation. It’s unrelated to intelligence but it can affect your ability to take on board information, follow directions, read and engage in conversation. A child with APD will find it harder to learn to read and spell. Every person who is living with APD is affected differently, depending on their ability to cope and adapt. APD also varies in severity, day-to-day and during the day and can…

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    Noise in the workplace. What you need to know.

    Studies show dentists have twice the rate of hearing loss and tinnitus compared to the general population due to the loud drills and equipment that they use daily. The noise from these can top 90 decibels (dB). According to the NHS, any sound over 85dB can be harmful to hearing. Since 2008, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations have applied to all workplaces. These state that a daily noise exposure averaged over eight hours of 80dB requires employers to provide information, training and make hearing protection available. When that level reaches 85dB, employers are required to take measures to reduce noise exposure. That means wearing hearing protection and providing hearing…

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    Are the beers affecting your ears?

    Today marks the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Week, and, while we don’t want to get preachy, it’s important to understand how regularly overindulging on the booze can lead to damaged hearing. Excessive drinking causes a toxic environment in the inner ear, damaging those tiny hair cells that translate sound into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, which can lead to hearing loss. Excessive booze damages the auditory cortex in the brain, making you unable to correctly process sounds. It can also change the volume and composition of fluid in the inner ear, causing dizziness and imbalance as well as hearing loss. Tinnitus can be an unwelcome side effect too.…

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    Are your child’s headphones damaging their hearing?

    We’re obviously all very aware of protecting our children from viewing inappropriate content online, but fewer of us will have thought about the damage being caused to our children’s hearing by the volume of the content they’re viewing. Children today have a world of audio and video content served up to them via computers, tablets, consoles and phones, and they’ll often use devices like headphones, earphones and earbuds – collectively called ‘hearables’ – to listen to this content. But until now it hasn’t been possible for parents to know how loud, or for how long, their children have been listening. This obviously creates the potential for permanent hearing damage. The World Health…

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    Is CBT the solution to managing tinnitus?

    Tinnitus does not need to rule your life. There are approaches, ranging from hearing technology to masking and sound therapy, which do genuinely manage the condition, bringing relief from the often-constant noise in your head. Change your thoughts, feelings and response Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for tinnitus is an excellent and effective approach we use at The Hearing Clinic with clients experiencing tinnitus. This NICE-recommended treatment works by teaching you how to completely alter the way you think about, and respond to, tinnitus. Here’s how it works. Your thoughts influence over how you feel and behave. For example, if you’re running late for a meeting, it’s easy to become frustrated,…

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    Hearing impairment can be genetic

    Today marks the start of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. While many people have never heard of mitochondrial disease (often referred to as mito), this genetic disorder affects one in 5,000 people, making it the second most commonly diagnosed, serious genetic disease after cystic fibrosis. In fact, every 30 minutes, a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10. Everyone has mitochondria in their cells – it provides 90% of the energy needed to sustain life. But the disease, for which there is yet no cure, robs the body’s cells of energy, often causing multiple organ dysfunction. The parts of the body that need the most energy,…

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