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Common Health Conditions Of Musicians

Musicians of all genres have had different health concerns for several years. Taking the time to learn about common health problems in musicians especially rock band members is important to avoid self medicating and to seek the right treatment. The person in a rock or any type of band that has the most obvious health problems is the vocalist. The problem with vocalists is unlike other band members, their “instrument” is a part of their anatomy and is subject to the most wear and abuse not only during recording sessions and performances, but also when they communicate on a daily basis. There are different factors that affect one’s voice and result in abuse; first of them is improper singing techniques which results in lack of, or incorrect vocal training. Overusing one’s voice is another factor: excessive rehearsals; concerts and lengthy performances; and recording sessions can take its toll especially when there is inadequate vocal warm up before every performance/recording.

Another factor that causes health problems in musicians is constant traveling. For instance, airplane cabins are kept in cool temperatures that produce drying effects in throats, again affecting vocal chords. Back problems and spine issues in musicians can also be caused by having to sit in airplanes or tour buses for long periods of time. Because of higher noise levels in airplanes and tour buses, hearing problems can also develop among musicians. Hearing problems are also developed among musicians when they are exposed to excessively loud noise and music during concerts or performances. Several weeks and even months of constant traveling and performing especially when they do concert tours and promote records can cause fatigue in every member of the band, regardless of music genre. Visual impairment is also common among instrumentalists as well as carpal tunnel syndrome from playing musical instruments for several hours.

Physical and emotional health problems are also caused by the use and abuse of recreational drugs and alcohol. The inhibitions are lowered so vocalists scream – instead of sing – the lyrics of their songs; and the rest of the band overtax themselves in every performance which can cause extreme physical strain. Hypertension, body pains and other stress related illnesses are also common among musicians. So if you are a musician especially a member of a rock band, looking into a number of tips can help you avoid these health problems. To begin with, there ought to be enough time between concerts and recording sessions so the body can recover from the stress of having to perform several times a day or travel for long periods. You also can avoid getting dehydrated and fatigued by getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water.

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Learning About Single-Sided (Unilateral) Hearing Loss

Single-sided deafness (SSD) or unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is present in people who have hearing loss in just one ear. SSD and UHL can be anything from mild to profound. The hearing loss experienced can be congenital (present at birth) or progressive. A variety of symptoms are associated with this issue. Some of the most common ones are vertigo, tinnitus and otalgia. If otitis media with effusion is present, it is common for UHL to be caused.

Different people experience UHL in different ways. We often see that people with SSD struggle to follow a group conversation, particularly if they find themselves in a reverberant environment. They also often find it difficult to hear loud noises. Very often, people who have UHL lose confidence in themselves and feel unsafe, which leads them to become isolated. It is common for people with congenital SSD to have psychosocial and educational problems. Scientists have not spent a lot of time yet identifying how prevalent UHL actually is. Their are of focus is more strongly on bilateral hearing loss. Some preliminary studies have taken place and these suggest that some 10% of the population actually has UHL. It is known, however, that sensorineural hearing loss is quite rare, particularly compared to conductive hearing loss.

Additionally, specialists agree that very often, SSD develops into a bilateral condition. We also know that there are six classifications of SSD, being conductive or sensorineural, genetic or non-genetic and congenital or acquired. When UHL is present in children, it is most often unknown why it is there. More often than not, the aetiology is clearer in adults. In order to diagnose SSD, it is important to review someone’s full medical history and perform a clinical examination. Generally, otoscopy is able to tell what the cause is. Very often, tuning forks can be used to determine whether the UHL is conductive or sensorineural. By using a tuning fork on both ears, the pure tone hearing threshold of both can be determined. In doing so, it will become clear whether the hearing loss is bilateral or unilateral in nature. If it is found that the difference between the two is large, a masking noise will be employed. If this isn’t done, then the good ear could potentially transfer sounds to the bad ear. Clearly, if someone suspects they have UHL, they must see a specialist to determine what is going on and what the best way to move forward is. Unfortunately, it is almost never possible to determine the exact cause of SSD, but it is possible to help people achieve a greater quality of life and stop themselves from becoming socially isolated.

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How The Climate Can Change Your Hearing Aids

Extreme cold and extreme heat can both affect hearing aids. If it is hot, our bodies sweat, which can lead to moisture damage. However, moisture is equally present during cold weather. Condensation occurs when we go inside and outside of buildings, where we experience temperature fluctuations. Hence, people who wear hearing aids must be able to recognize the signs of moisture damage, and they also need to know what they can do to fix it. Of course, users of hearing aids also have to learn how to prevent moisture from causing damage in the first place.

The microphone and the receiver of a hearing aid can be damaged through moisture. Furthermore, it is possible for the tubing of the ear mold to get clogged up. As a result, corrosion can occur. One sign is to find a hearing aid cuts out if exposed to loud noises. It is also common to find the sound starts to fade, or that it comes and goes. Most people also start to experience static. Another thing to look out for is distorted or unclear sound. One final sign is when a hearing aid completely switches itself off and then starts again. When this happens, the hearing aid really is about to break down fully.

However, never assume you have moisture damage before performing a few checks first. Start by making sure that your T-switch is correctly placed. Next, look at your batteries and make sure they are positioned the way they should be. The signs could be caused by empty batteries as well. It is also possible for the batteries to be corroded. If they are, you will notice a white powdery substance covering them. If you see this, you must dispose of your batteries straight away. It is also possible for the battery to contact, which can simply be fixed by swabbing them with some dry cotton. Also check that the wax protection system is still operational and that it is clean. Finally, check the tubing for cracks and frays. Only if none of these problems are present does it becoming likely that moisture is the problem. In BTE (behind the ear) models, it is common to find moisture droplets in the tubing. An ear-mold puffer will quickly take care of these droplets. Alternatively, have your hearing aid fitted with a moisture dispersing tube. For in-the-ear models, you can purchase a special drying device. Hopefully, this will help you dry your hearing aid before the damage becomes irreparable. However, it is far more important to engage in good preventative measures to ensure the damage never gets that bad.

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Hearing Aids – Can They Stand A Little Rain?

A hearing aid requires careful attention and treatment simply because it is a very complex device. While it is true that hearing aids are made to be flexible and robust, they can still be damaged easily if not properly cared for. And one of the most dangerous or damaging conditions for a hearing aid is moisture which is why your audiologist most likely admonished you to keep your hearing aid well away from any sources of moisture. This means you should avoid wearing your hearing aid when you are swimming; taking a bath/shower; doing strenuous exercises where you could perspire a lot, and when it is raining. Getting your hearing device wet causes serious damage especially when the device is not properly dried.

Naturally, this does not mean you are going to stay away from water completely; it is just that you need to be sure the hearing aid does not get into direct contact with the water. But if you happen to be outside and you are wearing your hearing aid and it begins to rain, it would be best take it off and put it in a water proof case immediately; if this is not possible, make sure that your head is kept dry so there is no moisture that could reach the device. Water has corrosive effects that would interfere with the electrical circuitry of a hearing aid, damaging it permanently. So what should you do if your hearing aid gets wet from the rain or any other source of moisture or water?

In truth, it is not just in the rain that a hearing aid can get wet. But depending on the amount of moisture, you can prevent your device from significant damage provided that you act quickly. For example, if a few drops of water trickled down to the casing of the hearing aid, just simply wipe it off immediately with a soft tissue or clean, soft cloth. If you happen to live in an area where there is constant high moisture levels, you should consider asking your audiologist about water resistant hearing aids. This is also advisable if you need to participate in activities that would expose you to moisture or water. If you take your hearing aids off, make sure that you are going to wrap them completely in protective, waterproof wrapping. If your hearing aid gets soaked, use a dehumidifier on the device overnight; your audiologist can recommend the best products in the market.

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Your Family Genes May Potentially Cause You To Suffer From Hearing Problems

Hearing loss, also known as congenital deafness, is one of the most common of all birth defects. It actually affects three out of every 1,000 babies. Genetics play an important factor in this. In fact, out of the deaf babies, 60% have this defect due to their genes. Additionally, it is believed that genes are behind hearing loss in the elderly, although no facts or figures currently exist. At the same time, it is important to understand that various other factors can be behind hearing loss as well. It can also be caused by such things as trauma, illness, medication and environmental issues. When a baby is born, they will be screened for their hearing. If either parent has a hearing problem not caused by trauma or illness, it is likely that more regular tests will be offered. Unfortunately, screening is no longer offered in schools, which means parents need to be more aware themselves of the symptoms of hearing loss, going to see an audiologist if they at have concerns. It is important to have at least some knowledge about congenital hearing loss for both parents and children, and the following information may be beneficial for that.

The two types of hearing impairments are syndromic and non-syndromic. The non syndromic type is the most common in genetic hearing loss, accounting for 70%. 80% of these people find their hearing problem is caused by autosomal-recessive inheritance. The remaining 20% usually has autosomal-dominant genes, with a very small minority having a genetic malfunction such as X-linked or mitochondrial issues. Then, there are the syndromic people. In these cases, clinical abnormalities are at the heart of the problem. In those who have a genetic hearing problem, 15% to 30% are syndromic. There are more than 400 different syndromes that can cause syndromic hearing impairment. Usually, patients are only aware of the condition the condition that actually affects them due to this sheer number.

Very often, people express different aspects of various syndromes. Each symptom can be experienced in a range from very mild to severe, and they can be present in different combinations. It is even known that people who have the same gene that is mutated find that they have different experiences of the symptoms. In fact, a number of identical twins have been identified who experience the same symptoms in different ways. Due to this, a baby may be identified as having a congenital hearing defect, it won’t be known how this will affect them until much later. It is now even suspected that it may not even affect them until they are elderly.

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The Connection Between The Loss Of Hearing And Dementia

In 2011, a groundbreaking study determined that there is a link between hearing loss and dementia. This was determined by the Baltimore John Hopkins School of Medicine and other researchers in the country. Some 639 people, aged between 36 and 90, took part in this study. The research was done in several parts, with the first being between 1990 and 1994. In this part of the study, participants were assessed for their aural and cognitive health. Upon completion of this part, they were monitored up to May 2008. This part of the study focused on the development of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia. At the beginning, none of the participants had dementia. There were 125 participants with mild hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss was present in 53 participants. Six had severe hearing loss. The remaining 455 participants had perfect hearing.

After 12 years of study, the first progress report was released. By then 58 had developed dementia and 37 had Alzheimer’s. It was also found that those who later had dementia or Alzheimer’s were more likely to have had hearing loss when the study started. It was determined that the risk of dementia was greatest in those with the most severe hearing loss. It seemed that the chance of developing dementia grew by 20% for every 10 decibels of hearing that was lost. A few other factors also influenced the results. The most important one was age. If participants were over the age of 60, their chance of developing dementia was not 20%, but rather 36%.

But it is a known fact that more than one study has to be conducted in order to scientifically prove anything. Another independent study took place, which totally backed up the results. In this study, 1,984 adults took part, making it one of the largest of its kind. This piece of research was started in 1997 and has recently been completed. The conclusions of this study were the same as the first one. Additionally, it demonstrated that the rate of memory decay was much faster in those with hearing loss (40%). One of the most shocking conclusions was that wearing a hearing aid did not improve the rate of decay. As such, it could be concluded that those who have hearing issues cannot stop the onset of dementia. These results have shocked the scientific world and worried those with hearing loss, although scientists are continuing work on understanding dementia. Of course, an increased understanding still needs to be built up on dementia and Alzheimer’s in order to truly comprehend this issue. One other thing that needs to be explored is why there is a link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia, which is not yet understood right now.

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A Guide To Be Confident Your Hearing Aid Is Thoroughly Shielded From Earwax

Hearing aids can get significantly damaged by the buildup of earwax. Every time the hearing aid is inserted, it scoops up cerumen into the sound outlet. The sound quality can be significantly effected by this. Although some hearing aids have a wax protection system built into them, some require a separate action. There are different protection systems out there, let’s take a look at some of the options.

The first is the wax spring. This is fitted into the port tubing of the sound outlet. It isn’t actually a spring, but simply looks a little like one. When looked at at microscopic level, it resembles a beehive. This device is designed to stop earwax from entering the port, where it will cause untold damage. What it does is collect all the wax together, and the user can the remove this when they take the hearing aid out. Due to the fact that it is a very small device, it can easily be inserted into any ear canal. Unfortunately, it does need to be cleaned very often. The second option is the flip-top wax guard. This is designed to cover the sound outlet’s port, thereby keeping the wax out. The hinged door of the device allows users to clean the sound port. It is generally required for this device to be installed by a hearing aid manufacturer. Most users choose this method to keep earwax out of their sound outlet.Additionally, it is permanently attached to the hearing aid, so doesn’t need replacing. One complaint with this device is that it requires daily cleaning in order to stop the wax from eventually traveling into the receiver. The last option is the C-guard. This is a device that also has to be installed by the manufacturer. It is a highly complicated piece of technology, but the part that matters is the replaceable membrane on which the earwax is collected. Again, it requires to be cleaned daily. However, it is incredibly easy to clean, since it just needs to be wiped off. It isn’t difficult at all to change the membrane, so long as the user has good manual dexterity. As such, this device is often not suitable for the elderly.

If a hearing aid is needed, users must also choose which wax protection system they want to use. More often than not, choosing the wax protection system is a personal decision. Of course, they will be provided with advice and guidance when their aid is fitted. It is generally found that the flip-top model is the most common one, as it is so easy to use regardless of how much dexterity wearers have; the C-guard comes in at a close second.

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How Hearing Loops In Public Places Benefit Those With Hearing Loss

For people suffering from hearing loss, hearing loops in public buildings provide huge benefits. There are very few people that understand the fact that even though people with hearing impairment wear hearing aids, they do not always receive a clear reception even if they are inside a building with a good P.A. system. Also, not a lot of people understand that there are a lot of benefits these hearing loop systems provide to hearing aid wearers. It is important to learn more about hearing loop systems to help you understand how they benefit hearing aid wearers. To start with, you have to determine what a hearing loop system is. A hearing loop system is comprised of microphones, amplifiers and coils of wire instead of loudspeakers that are placed inside rooms where the hearing loop system would be installed.

Hearing loop systems work by converting the sound waves the microphone picks up and converts the waves into an electric current and then amplified and immediately transferred to the coils installed in a room that emits a magnetic filed. This magnetic field is picked up by the hearing aid and is converted back to sound waves which are delivered to the ears of the person wearing the hearing aid. A hearing aid wearer that is sitting within the area the hearing loop system is installed can clearly pick up the voice of the speaker and other sounds with minimal distortions and no background noise when they turn on the “T” switch on their hearing aids. What’s more, hearing loop systems are adaptable to radio, TV, movie projectors and tape recorders. Hearing loop systems work with cochlear implants and hearing aids that come with a “T” switch. But why are hearing loop systems preferable to a lot of people?

To begin with, a hearing loop system is quite preferable among a lot of people that as they do not require people to wear extra devices that all but scream: “deaf”. Another reason behind the popularity of hearing loop systems in public buildings is they eliminate the need to assign extra staff members to provide assistance to people with hearing problems since the systems enables hearing aid wearers to hear more clearly. A standard public address or amplification system works by reflecting sound waves from the speakers and to the walls which people with normal hearing can easily pick up which is not the case with people wearing a hearing aid. What happens is that people that are wearing hearing aids can hear sounds but the words are very difficult to understand, hence the need for a hearing loop system to be installed in a public building or an establishment.

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Is There A Link Between Drinking Red Wine And Hearing Difficulties?

Red grapes, and therefore red wine, contain resveratrol. Researchers have found that besides being good for the heart, it also protects against cognitive decline and hearing loss. Scientists uncovered that after giving lab rats resveratrol, they would suffer less damage from loud noises. The focus is most strongly on bioinflammation. Bioinflammation is how the body responds to injury, believed to be behind many physical problems, including hearing loss.

The kind of grape used is of influence, but a regular glass of red wine will contain between 0.30 and 1.07mg of resveratrol. The recent study tried to demonstrate that the chemical is responsible for appropriately dealing with internal inflammation. It is these very inflammations that cause us to age, lose cognitive function and hearing. It is nothing new that resveratrol is good for the heart and has anti-aging properties. However, it was only recently known that it could also help with hearing loss. In our country alone, 20% of people have some kind of hearing loss. In most cases, progressive deterioration is also involved. One career where hearing issues are most common is the military. Soldiers generally have noise induced hearing loss. A number of problems are associated with this, aside from the fact that they cannot hear properly anymore. To name but a few, they are a higher risk of developing heart problems due to associated stress, caused in part through difficulties sleeping and communicating. It is a positive development that resveratrol, found in grapes, peanuts, blueberries and other plants, could potentially help with this. Red grapes seem to contain the highest concentration, which is why they are studied in greatest detail. It is known that red wine contains more resveratrol than red grape juice or white wine.

The study looked specifically at the effects of red wine on hearing loss. The animal tests demonstrated conclusively that both hearing decline and cognitive decline was countered. Since it is known that there is a link between hearing loss and dementia, this study is truly significant. It is known that those with hearing problems are at an increased risk of developing dementia, even if they make use of hearing aids. It is an interesting concept that the world could be changed for the better just by drinking a glass of red wine a day. People in France are healthier and live longer, and it is believed that this is due to the red wine. For these people, red wine is not even looked at as an alcoholic drink.

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Learning The Difference Between Analog And Digital Assistive Hearing Devices

When it comes to choosing a hearing aid, it is important that you make an informed decision. With the cost of hearing aids these days, it is important that you do what you can to make the best decision however, it is also a little confusing to decide on the type of hearing aid you would go for. There are actually two types of hearing aids: digital and analog and you need to learn how one is different from the other to be sure that you are going to end up choosing the best product for you. First of all, there is the DSP or the Digital Signal Processor Hearing aid which takes incoming signals from the device’s mic, converts it to digital format and using digital technology, processes the sound to analog which is then delivered back to your ear.

The great thing about using Digital hearing aids is they are quite flexible and has the capacity to process more sounds than an analog hearing aid does. Another advantage of using a digital hearing aid is you are able to program it to reduce background noise – this feature allows you to improve hearing and sound quality significantly. Because it is possible to significantly reduce feedback levels with a digital hearing aid, you get to increase sound levels and its quality without the whistling. Discuss the details of the digital hearing aid with your audiologist to be sure that you are going to buy something that you would really be happy with. In addition, beware of low priced digital hearing aids as these products have eliminated a number of helpful features that make the device a good quality product.

Enlarging sound waves is what makes analog hearing aids work. An analog hearing aid amplifies sounds using a transistor wound in a circuit that helps amplify and modify incoming sound waves with the volume of the sounds adjustable by the wearer. Among the biggest reasons many long time hearing aid users prefer analog devices is they are easier to get used to than digital hearing aids. Another advantage is that analog hearing devices are more affordable than digital ones and there are times when analog devices are more powerful than digital hearing aids. You again need to go over all your available options with your audiologist. If budget is a concern, make sure that you discuss budget limits with the audiologist before you make a decision.

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