Dr. Dan | Independent Audiology
Just a few thoughts about hearing and audiology…….
Middle ear fluid that may or may not be infected with bacteria or a virus that is common in young children, Down Syndrome patients, and some adults. This is usually due to poor eustachian tube (ET) function caused by inflammation during respiratory illnesses or enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids in the back of your throat that block the opening of the ET. Fullness/pressure felt in the ear with tinnitus is also common during bouts.
“Ringing, roaring, buzzing, cicadas singing, radio static,” etc. is VERY common with associated hearing loss. The most prevalent is due to noise-induced hearing loss without proper hearing protection. Meniere’s disease produces quite low frequency “humming type” tinnitus, and noise exposure and some chemotherapies, anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and several other medications produce very high-pitched “ringing.” Tinnitus does NOT come from the ear! We perceive it that way, but it’s actually coming from deep centers along our brainstem that are transmitting signals back down through the auditory nerve pathway erroneously. Currently, it is on a molecular level that has been very difficult to solve. We do NOT currently have a proven method to stop it. (Don’t believe the false advertising on TV!)
Hearing Loss, Alzheimer’s & Dementia
If you have hearing loss, a solution as simple as wearing hearing aids can significantly reduce your risk of cognitive decline. With better hearing, you are more likely to stay socially engaged, one of the primary ways to stimulate your brain. Like any exercise, the mental give-and-take of social interaction helps to keep your brain fit and slow down accelerated cognitive decline. (I have witnessed this personally with both of my parents – Mom – Alzheimer’s and Dad – dementia, when they quit wearing their hearing aids.) GOOD hearing aids ARE somewhat expensive, but do any of us really want to gamble with our memories? Just my 2 cents worth!
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