Can you treat an earwax blockage at home?

Can you treat an earwax blockage at home?

Some people are lucky and never suffer with a build up of earwax. Other people aren’t so lucky and may even need an earwax removal appointment more than once a year to clear the build up. Earwax is a natural substance that protects your ears from external factors. This could be anything from dust to insects. Normally, the earwax will drain away naturally. Sometimes, however, it builds up until it causes a blockage. When you have a blockage, you can experience some discomfort and it often affects your hearing. Normally at this point, you will need to see an audiologist for an earwax removal appointment. There are a few things that you can try at home yourself first though. Avoid cotton buds Our number 1 rule is always don’t use cotton buds! A cotton bud should only ever be used to clean the outer part of your ear. Often if you put a cotton bud in your ear, it will just push the earwax further towards the bottom of your ear. This generally will only make things worse for you. You should think about trying a gentler solution to rid yourself of the earwax. Oil treatment You’ve probably heard of people using olive oil in their ears already. People often use this in an attempt to remove a blockage naturally. You could also use almond or mineral oil if you prefer. To make the oil effective, you should warm it in your hands first so that it is at the right temperature for your body. You can then pour 3 or 4 drops in your ear canal with your...
Hearing loss can be a contributor to loneliness

Hearing loss can be a contributor to loneliness

Loneliness is one of those things we all experience one time or another. Sometimes it is inevitable that wish we had more company. However, chronic loneliness can have several long-term health effects. We must remember of course that loneliness is a serious issue that affects people of all ages. There are a number of reasons why getting older can lead to loneliness. One which is not mentioned very often is hearing loss. Based on a poll by SilverSurfers, 66% of respondents answered yes when asked “do you sometimes feel lonely?”. The poll cites the Campaign to End Loneliness saying that loneliness could be the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The poll asked several questions including “how often do you see family and friends?” (30% answered 2-3 times a week and 29% answered once a week) and “Do you know where to seek help if you feel isolated and lonely?”. A massive 72% answered no to that last question. According to the NHS, older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness. The NHS cautions about the risk of depression especially in those over 75. Those with hearing loss are more likely to face loneliness. Since hearing loss can creep up on you, it can take many years. The outcome is almost always the same however. First you find you’re having trouble hearing people every now and then and think nothing of it. It starts to become more common and you get used to having to ask people to repeat themselves. You now find yourself asking people to repeat themselves several times and every now and then still can’t understand...
How hearables can protect your hearing

How hearables can protect your hearing

As we’ve said here more than a few times, prevention is better than cure. It is much better to minimise damage to your hearing before having to get hearing aids. With millennials using headphones nearly every day and hearables coming onto the market, can a combination of the two be a good thing for everyone’s hearing? Several startups and even hearing aid companies think that by using hearables, you can reduce damaging noise while hearing more speech. Some of these not only let you listen to music, but also act as a sort of volume dial on the outside world. They allow you to selectively reduce or raise the volume on particular sounds. On a long flight and want to turn down the volume on that baby crying? At a party and want to hear what the person in front of you is saying? At a concert and want to drown out the sound of the crowd? That’s what these earbuds are for. Doppler Here Active Listening Doppler Labs, one of the first startups to get in on the hearables market raised $635,000 via Kickstarter. Marketed as being a volume knob on the world, Here goes further, acting as an equalizer too. The pair of earbuds come in a small case used for charging as well as keeping them safe from damage. Controlled via your smartphone through an app, you’ve got access to Tune Out filters like Airplane, Bus, Car and City. This allows you to reduce background noise. Each earbud has an outward facing microphone which listens to the outside world then processes the different sounds and feeds...
NFL season is back; is that good or bad news for our hearing!?

NFL season is back; is that good or bad news for our hearing!?

This weekend, we welcome back the NFL with a packed scheduled of games starting on Thursday evening (actually Friday morning our time!). American Football has become hugely popular in the UK over the last few years, and with teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars wanting to play games in London, you can see why. This season there are 3 games at Wembley, all in October. The final game in London (28/10) even features the Philadelphia Eagles – last season’s Super Bowl champs! Whilst we doubt any of you will be hopping stateside to watch this weekend’s opening games, there may be some of you attending a game in London next month. American Football is famously one of the loudest sporting events. Not only during the game, but at the infamous tailgates before the game. Record breaking noise A few years ago, The New York Times claimed that the Seattle Seahawks fans hit a record volume of 136.6 decibels. Their record only lasted a month before it was beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs fans with 137.5 decibels. They hit the crazy high decibels by organising a scream-a-thon during the game. People who were there commented that it was so loud, they could feel the ground shaking. Whilst this sounds like a lot of harmless fun for fans, the exposure to such loud noise can have serious repercussions. The average noise level for an NFL game is around 90 decibels. The noise when someone scores a touchdown is generally much louder. Advice from the professionals is that you should only be exposed to that high noise level for around 60 minutes....
Autumn here we come; how to look after your hearing as we approach the end of the year

Autumn here we come; how to look after your hearing as we approach the end of the year

After the unsettled weather we have experienced over the last 2 weeks, we thought we would take a look ahead to Autumn. You might find you’re closing the windows and even turning on the heating as the temperature falls although the long range forecast is promising! As we hunker down for another long winter, it’s important to remember to look after your hearing. Below are the things to look out for with hearing loss in Autumn. Garden tools You may be getting in your last bit of gardening before winter. You might be using a leaf blower like our American cousins as opposed to the standard British rake. Leaf blowers using a two stroke engine blast out an ear splitting 90 to 100 decibels. That’s anywhere from a jack hammer at 50 metres to a power drill up close. Other culprits will include hedge trimmers and lawnmowers. These can be anywhere up to 110dB which could be as loud as a rock concert. Be sure to wear hearing protection. Ear protection muffs or earplugs are a good start. Sport While it may not be the high octane sports we had over the summer which included F1, Wimbledon and the World Cup, there are a few sports events coming up. These include the Rugby Super League Grand Final and lots of Horse Racing meets. Needless to say, it’s important to look after your hearing at sports events. The roar of a crowd can easily reach 110dB. The loudest roar at a sports event reached over 136dB. Your ear protector muffs might not go down so well in your England shirt. Spend a little extra...
Livio AI: The world’s first hearing aid that uses artificial intelligence

Livio AI: The world’s first hearing aid that uses artificial intelligence

This week, Starkey Hearing Technologies introduced the world’s first ever hearing aid technology that tracks body and brain health as well as providing first class sound quality. The Livio AI has integrated sensors and artificial intelligence truly redefining what a hearing aid can do for you. The best listening experience The technology allows you to hear in even the most challenging of environments. Hearing Reality is effective in the noisiest of settings but can also comfortably switch to the quietest of environments. The aids also feature newly enhanced speech clarity. The aids promise no buzzing or whistling noises. They have the best feedback cancellation system which will provide you with comfortable listening all day. Like previous Starkey technology, the Livio AI uses GPS to recognise certain places that you often are, for example, home. The aids use geotagged memories to automatically switch to the mode you use when at this tagged place once you arrive. A healthy & active lifestyle Starkey have introduced a new app called Thrive that work alongside the aids allowing you to easily make adjustments to your aids anytime, anywhere. The app is compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and easily monitors your body and brain health. It provides you with a Brain Score, a Body Score and an overall score which combines the two, called a Thrive Wellness Score. The Body Score is a combination of activity, steps and overall movement. You can easily track and access your score daily using the app. The Brain Score measures the cognitive benefits of wearing hearing aids. The score is generated from hours of daily use, social engagement...

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