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One of the loudest bands in the world are about to rock Slane Castle and Metallica fans are being urged to consider ear protection.

With the heavy metal legends due to take the stage at the Co Meath venue this coming Saturday, Hidden Hearing are warning those attending all concerts this summer to be wary of “the big bang” from speakers.

Exposure to loud noise is a common cause of hearing loss in adults and it’s becoming more common in younger adults due to listening to music at damaging volumes with the use of headphones.

Hidden Hearing’s senior audiologist Peter Noel Cullen warns that any noise above 85 decibels can damage your hearing “The average rock concert can be as loud as 110 decibels — what I call a big bang of noise,” he said.

“Continuous exposure to noise over 85 decibels can damage your hearing.”

Peter has some simple safety tips for Irish concert-goers;

  1. Avoid the space right next to the speakers. If you stay beside them for prolonged periods of time, you could be left with ringing in your ears.
  2. Ear defenders, a lighter form of ear plugs, are a wise idea.

One celebrity fan of ear plugs is Majella O’Donnell. “If I’m standing right beside the stage during a concert, I’d always wear ear plugs,” said the wife of singing star Daniel.

Protect your hearing, life is worth hearing!

Book a Free Hearing Test at Hidden Hearing

Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over eighty branches and clinics. We provide free hearing tests and our experienced team of audiologists will help you to find the best solution for your lifestyle.

The post Let’s ear it for Slane appeared first on The Hidden Hearing Blog.

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If you live with hearing loss and tinnitus, you’ll already know what an impact they can have on your life. The good news is that hearing technologies have developed at an amazing rate in recent years, and even if you have been wearing hearing aids that help to relieve your conditions, you will almost certainly be able to find a more effective solution today.

Oticon Opn is the market leader in hearing technology that can really change your life, and the unique way that Oticon devices work can offer a hearing experience that is the closest possible thing to normal hearing. Working with your individual differences, rather than trying to treat hearing loss as a generic condition, is the key to the way Oticon Opn works. 

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common condition that can vary in severity from a mild and occasional ringing or hissing in the ears to permanent and debilitating noises in the ears at all times. If you suffer with tinnitus, you can talk to your audiologist to find out about treatment options, and you can find support online via the Irish Tinnitus Association.

There is no definitive treatment for tinnitus, but it is possible to reduce discomfort and obtain relief from the condition using many different techniques. The most effective treatment usually involves using hearing aids that are designed for use with tinnitus. This is often very successful as most people with tinnitus also have a hearing loss. 

Tinnitus and Your Listening Experience with Oticon

One common problem for people with tinnitus is the increased cognitive effort required in order to hold functional conversations with others. People with normal hearing often do not understand the effort that those with hearing loss must put in so that they can participate in social events, conversations and at work, and this is compounded for people who also have tinnitus, which can also affect memory and attention.

The Oticon OpenSound Navigator (OSN) is designed to combat this problem, and offers a significant improvement on traditional hearing technology. It involves a fast-acting signal processing scheme, which cancels localised and unwanted noises, with a minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) algorithm, and a post filter to cope with diffuse noise. Working across 16 channels, this combination allows for more precise assessment and selection of sounds, so that noise is strongly reduced but sounds such as speech are preserved in the environment.

Studies show that Oticon Opn Reduces Cognitive Load


A recent experiment demonstrated that OSN can significantly reduce listening effort for people with hearing loss, with findings measured via pupil dilation using pupillometry. Pupillometry studies the dilation of the pupils to understand the demands being made of the individual, especially in situations such as hearing speech within a noisy environment. Pupil dilation was studied to compare different hearing technologies and their effect on cognitive effort, and the results were overwhelmingly in support of a previous study by Wendt et al (2017), demonstrating that noise reduction is beneficial for individuals with hearing loss, even when they have tinnitus.

It is important to note that when a person with hearing loss is treated using technology such as this, their cognitive load is lightened and cognitive resources are freed up. This means that it will be easier for them to manage in noisy environments, coping better with and feeling less exhausted after a social event, for example. They will also be able to focus on other tasks rather than concentrating on the tinnitus to such a large extent, which can be a great relief.

You can find out more about OpenSound Navigator and read technology and research insights here, delivered by the Centre for Applied Audiology Research (CAAR) at Oticon headquarters in Denmark. The CAAR works with leading researchers across the globe, collaborating to investigate new benefits of hearing technology and ensure Oticon uses the best available research methods, so that its BrainHearing™ technologies are both unique and evidence based.

Tinnitus Treatments to Try

Of course, the Oticon Opn with OpenSound Navigator is likely to have a great effect on your experience of living with tinnitus, but you may wish to try other treatments options alongside it. The following may help to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus and stop it from intruding into your everyday life so much:

  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness is often recommended to those with tinnitus, and involves training the brain to focus away from the tinnitus sounds. This can help to distract from the sounds and reduce the stress levels that exacerbate the problem.
  • Sound therapy. Sound therapy can be used to relieve the pain of the tinnitus sounds and is very popular with some tinnitus sufferers. You can talk to your audiologist about how you may be able to access this and whether it might work for you.
  • Medication. Although they cannot cure tinnitus, some medications can be used to reduce the severity of the symptoms of the condition. These are usually antidepressant medications, and their use should only be undertaken with caution.
  • Ear protection. Protecting the ears against loud noises that could make tinnitus worse is an essential way to help manage the condition. Appliances and machines that create very loud sounds, such as drills and lawnmowers, will affect your hearing and could aggravate tinnitus, so wearing ear defenders or noise cancelling headphones is very important.
  • Clean your ears. A build up of earwax can cause the symptoms of tinnitus, and removing this build up can, on occasion, solve the problem altogether. Do not try to remove an ear wax build up at home, as you may cause the wax to become impacted and worsen the problem, but book an earwax removal appointment at our clinic for treatment by a professional.

Work With An Experienced Audiologist At Hidden Hearing

Have you been experiencing tinnitus? If you think you may have tinnitus or any form of hearing loss, it is important to see an experienced audiologist as soon as possible. Hidden Hearing is the leading private provider of hearing care solutions in Ireland, with a national network that includes over eighty branches and clinics. Our team of experienced audiologists will be happy to offer you a free hearing test and find the best solution for you and your lifestyle.

The post Hearing Loss and Tinnitus? Oticon Opn Could be the Answer appeared first on The Hidden Hearing Blog.

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Tinnitus is a form of hearing loss that can be particularly difficult to live with as it is so invasive into daily life. It is characterised by a ringing, buzzing or humming sound in the ears, and can be continuous or occur in episodes. This can be very frustrating and even debilitating and is often linked with another hearing loss condition.

So, what do you know about tinnitus? There are many misconceptions about tinnitus, and these can be harmful to those who live with the condition. Finding out more about what it is really like to live with tinnitus can help to develop an understanding and knowledge about it, as well as increasing awareness. 

What Is Tinnitus?
  • Misconception 1: Tinnitus is a disease.

Fact: Tinnitus is actually a symptom of another condition, such as hearing loss, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety or diabetes.

  • Misconception  2: There is no treatment for tinnitus.

Fact: There is no foolproof cure for tinnitus, but several different types of therapy can be helpful. It may be that physical changes, such as reducing blood pressure or correcting blood sugar imbalances, can help to relieve tinnitus, and other options such as sound therapy and meditation can be life-changing.

  • Misconception 3: Tinnitus is all in the mind.

Fact: Tinnitus is a very real condition that affects the inner ear and can be challenging to live with. It isn’t an imagined condition, and some audiologists are able to isolate the sounds you are hearing.

  • Misconception: 4 Tinnitus is a very difficult condition to treat.

Fact: Tinnitus can be caused by many different things, and some are very simple to treat. An earwax build up, for example, can cause tinnitus if the wax is impacted against the eardrum, and this is very easy to resolve with an earwax removal procedure. You can arrange a free earwax removal procedure at one of our clinics, so talk to your audiologist about this possibility.

  • Misconception 5: Hearing aids can’t help with tinnitus.

Fact: Hearing aids can be very helpful in treating tinnitus, either by cancelling out the tinnitus with another sound or by making other sounds clearer. Tinnitus sufferers usually have another form of hearing loss as well, so this can be a very effective solution.

Book A Free Hearing Test At Hidden Hearing

Hidden Hearing is the leading private provider of hearing care solutions in Ireland, with a national network that includes over sixty-five branches and clinics.  We believe that hearing loss should not hold anyone back from living a full and active life, and our experienced audiologists can help you to find the right options for you.

We have an excellent range of digital hearing aids for you to try, including in-the-ear models that are invisible to others, so simply call us today to book your free hearing test.

 

The post Tinnitus: 5 Common Misconceptions appeared first on The Hidden Hearing Blog.

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Here at Hidden Hearing, we work with people with all types of hearing loss, and we know that tinnitus can be one of the most frustrating. People with tinnitus hear sounds in their ears constantly or in episodes, and these may include buzzing, ringing, hissing or other noises.

Many people experience tinnitus temporarily, after being exposed to very loud music or power tools, for example, and this sensation can indicate the sort of noises experienced by people with tinnitus throughout their daily lives.

 How Tinnitus Affects Sleep

Tinnitus can affect sleep in many ways, making it harder for people with the condition to get to sleep and worsening the quality of the sleep. This can lead to tiredness and fatigue during the day, and makes sleep disorders more likely.

The sounds of tinnitus are often more obvious at night, sounding louder when the rest of the world is quiet. People with tinnitus also often experience pain or stiffness in their heads, necks and jaws, which can also make it harder to fall asleep comfortably.

People with tinnitus are frequently affected by anxiety and depression, and both of these conditions can cause sleep disruption as well. This often leads to irregular sleep patterns, increased drinking and increased screen time in an effort to distract the mind from sleep.

So what can be done to help?

Experts advise the following tips to help people with tinnitus to sleep better and enjoy a better quality of life.

  1. Try mindfulness. Mindfulness is recommended as a technique to manage tinnitus during the day as well as at night time, and it can be very effective in training the mind and break the cycle of anxiety that often accompanies the condition.
  1. Assess sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common condition that people are often unaware that they have, and it is also linked with hearing loss. If you think you may have sleep apnea, you should talk to a medical professional to find out how you can proceed with a diagnosis.
  1. Use sound. White noise and other background noises can help to distract people with tinnitus and enable them to get a better night of rest. Positive sleep strategies can be very useful in settling the mind and maintaining a calm and relaxed outlook.
  1. Use CBT. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be very effective in managing several conditions, including insomnia, stress and tinnitus. Seek out expert help or read more about this option to see if it might suit you.
  1. Get pain checked out. Do not ignore pain in your ears, as this can be an indication of an underlying problem, which could be serious. Get any pain checked out before you explore other options, to ensure that there is no physical reason for the discomfort and sleeplessness you are experiencing.

Book A Free Hearing Test at Hidden Hearing

 Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over 75 branches and clinics. Simply contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch.

The post How To Sleep With Tinnitus appeared first on The Hidden Hearing Blog.

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Tinnitus is a common condition in which sounds are perceived in the ears or head, constantly or in episodes, and this can be extremely frustrating and stressful. Those living with tinnitus are more likely to experience other forms of hearing loss, as well as conditions such as anxiety and depression, so it is very important to seek help if you think you may be experiencing this problem. 

Tinnitus is often misunderstood, and learning more about the condition can help people to cope with it. Here at Hidden Hearing, we work with many people with hearing loss conditions, including tinnitus, and we can talk with you about the different ways it can be managed. Read on for more interesting facts about tinnitus.

Tinnitus: The Facts
  •  Statistics estimate that almost 15% of people experience some form of tinnitus, ranging from mild to severe and debilitating cases.
  • ‘Tinnitus’ comes from the latin word for ringing, and can occur in one or both ears, or inside the head.
  • Tinnitus may be subjective, which means that only the sufferer can hear the sounds in the ears or head, or objective, where the noises produced by movement and blood flow in the body, are also audible to others. Subjective tinnitus is much more common, with less than 1% of cases being diagnosed as objective tinnitus.
  • Many cases of tinnitus are caused by loud noise exposure, which can also cause hearing loss. Those who are exposed to loud noises on a regular basis, such as construction workers and musicians, are at much higher risk of developing hearing loss, including tinnitus.
  • Tinnitus may also be caused by problems in the jaw and neck, including tumours, complications in the heart and blood vessels, and allergies.
  • Tinnitus can be cause by prescription medications, including aspirin, and this is more likely if you have a family history of hearing loss caused by medicines.
Tinnitus Treatments:

There is no comprehensive treatment for tinnitus, but the following can be very successful methods of managing the condition:

  1. Hearing aids. Some hearing aids are particularly effective at reducing the noises associated with tinnitus, and this is the most popular treatment for the condition, especially since most people with tinnitus have another form of hearing loss.
  1. Therapy. There are many different types of therapy which have varying degrees of success with tinnitus, and the most popular are CBT, sound enrichment therapy and Tinnitus Retraining therapy. All of these therapies are focused on changing the perception of the tinnitus noises, as well as the way in which the sufferer responds to them.
  1. Mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation are often recommended to help tinnitus sufferers to train the mind away from the the noises and to lower stress and anxiety levels. This is highly recommended to protect against several stress-related conditions, and these are very useful skills to learn in all walks of life.
Seek Help For Hearing Loss And Tinnitus At Hidden Hearing In Ireland   

Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over sixty-five branches and clinics. Contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch.

The post Interesting Facts About Tinnitus appeared first on The Hidden Hearing Blog.

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