Today marks the start of Hearing Awareness Week in Australia, which aims to raise awareness on how to prevent hearing loss and deafness while promoting ear and hearing care around the world. It is topped off with World Hearing Day on the 3rd.
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Happy Tinnitus Awareness Week 2020! While not specifically an Australian campaign, it's still great to see people raising awareness about the condition and to reduce feelings of isolation in sufferers.
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The team would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable Australia Day long weekend! If you need us for anything, we will be back at work on the 28th Jan.
The team at Northern Beaches Audiology and the Sydney Hearing Services would like to wish you all a very joyous Christmas season and a wonderful new year! Enjoy the festivities safely and remember to protect your hearing whenever possible!
We will be on leave from the 20th December 2019 until 13th January 2020.
It's World Hearing Day today and the beginning of Hearing Awareness Week! Today aims to raise awareness into the high cost that unaddressed hearing loss can have on individuals (cognitive decline and depression, reduced productivity, barrier to education and social integration) as well as to the wider community (lost productivity, impact on health services, individual lost employment resulting in lost taxes).
If you feel you're not hearing as well as you used to, it may be time to review your hearing. Contact the clinic today to arrange an appointment with one of our audiologists.
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Today is the next chapter in our Quick Questions series!
Question: What do grommets look like?
Answer: Surgically inserted into the eardrum, grommets are small flanged plastic tubes which aim to ventilate the middle ear until the body's natural breathing tube (Eustachian Tube) starts to function normally again. This means that any fluid build up in the middle ear can be drained away. They come in a variety of different sizes, colours and shapes, typically falling out after around 6-12 months. Often you won't know if they have fallen out, however sometimes you can be lucky and find it on your pillow or just on the edge of your ear. I typically describe them as looking a bit like if you sliced a small tip off the ink reservoir from a BIC ballpoint pen.
Question: Why can't older people always hear those mosquito ringtones?
Answer: Several years ago, novel ringtones which emit very high frequency sounds similar to those made by mosquitoes were 'doing the rounds'. Often described as "secret ringtones" of around 17000 Hertz (17kHz), they were aimed at younger listeners who were able to hear it and took advantage of the natural loss of hearing sensitivity as people age.
The cochlea is our permanent hearing organ which is shaped like a tiny snail shell. How we hear is that sound travels down the ear canal, through the middle ear and into the basal end (base) of the cochlea first. The resulting movement within the cochlea results in electrical signals being sent up to the brain (and that's how we hear). Based on it's shape and tonotopic organization, lower frequencies stimulate the further end (apex) of the cochlea while higher frequency sounds effect the base of the cochlea. Through natural wear and tear as sounds regularly pass through the base of the cochlea, we can get some decreased sensitivity to higher frequencies as we age. This therefore impacts our high pitch hearing more so than the lower frequencies.
Question: What are exostoses?
Answer: Exostoses is often described as a benign growth of new bone on the surface of existing bone. It can range in size, shape and location on the body. Exostoses in the ear is sometimes known as "surfer's ear" and typically caused by irritation to the ear canal from ongoing exposure to water and wind. While exostoses typically doesn't cause pain, ongoing growth can result in hearing loss. It is recommended for those who swim, surf or dive regularly consider using a set of protective earplugs as this may reduce the speed of exostoses growth.
Think you may need a set of protective plugs? Contact our clinic today to have a set of custom plugs made by one of our friendly audiologists!