Audiologists have noticed for some time that people who are good hearing aid wearers i.e., they wear their aids all day every day, just seemed to be in better health, more spritely and more socially active. Now almost as a weekly ritual, new research is coming out of universities to support what we often see in our clinic rooms.
A recent study at John Hopkins University looked at 253 people with an average age of 77 years with a range of hearing loss from mild to severe. They tested these individuals on tasks related to memory, learning, language and processing speed/attention over 23 years. It was generally seen that those individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss declined in their ability to perform these tasks over the 20 years, yet those individuals who were not good hearing aid users declined the most. Most interesting was that those individuals who wore their hearing aids regularly declined only slightly compared to a group of similarly aged individuals with no hearing loss...
I also thought you’d be interested in the bit of ‘amateur’ research by a school student in the USA which tells us how to extend the life of hearing aid batteries, published on May 5, 2015. Batteries cost money and we need to get as much out of each and every one as we can.
Ethan Manuell is a grade 8 student at a school in Minnesota, USA. He wears a left hearing aid. He and his audiologist, Mary Meier Au.D, looked at the effect a wait time would have on hearing aid batteries, that is, the time lag between activating the battery by removing the protective sticky label from the back and placing the battery in the hearing aid. Activation occurs when oxygen is able to mix with zinc-oxide inside the battery. Ethan found that if users wait 5 minutes from the time they pull the sticker off, the battery can last 2-3 days longer, a pretty amazing find considering batteries usually last anywhere from 2-7 days, depending on how much power they are generating.
The short answer is you don't need to. Majority of people that come to me with impacted wax issues do so because the attempt to clean their ears by means of cotton buds. unfortunately this disrupts the natural series of events in your ear which continually aims to rid your rear of wax. Not using cotton buds also stops me sounding like a robot as I tell client after client not to put cotton buds in their ears!
So what is this 'natural series of events which cleans my ears'?
Your ear is one of the truly marvellous structures in the body. Not only does it allow you to have incredibly distinct hearing, it also is a cleaning machine. The bottom line is the wax you produce is like the washing up liquid that you use on your dishes. It’s clean, full of antibacterial and antifungal properties and protects your very delicate skin from harm. Little glands under the skin in your ear canal are responsible for secreting wax. It then travels along your ear canal towards the entra...