FAQ

It’s difficult to know if your use of earbuds or headphones is damaging your hearing. Consumer tech for sound level monitoring is just starting to appear on phones, which helps if you happen to be using earbuds or headphones calibrated with a phone. Otherwise, it’s virtually impossible to know if the combination of listening time and volume are within safe limits. 

Consider using Soundbites if you’re concerned about avoiding potential hearing injury from any personal listening devices used for long periods or at loud volumes, including earbuds, headphones, or even hearing aids. But please think of Soundbites as preventive care insurance, and not as a free pass to take risks by turning up the volume.

Noise cancellation technology works well to reduce the loudness of noise entering the ear, making it easier for the brain to separate wanted signals from unwanted ones, which reduces strain on the auditory cortex. However, you’re right to be concerned. World noise is a major contributor to hearing loss, and the problem is increasing rapidly. Noise cancellation technologies can be very effective at reducing or blocking damaging noise levels, but it’s impractical to keep your ears plugged all the time with any kind of noise protection device. We encourage using hearing protection devices in addition to Soundbites because Soundbites works when not you’re not wearing hearing protection, and it provides an extra cushion of safety when you are. Soundbites is not intended to replace hearing protection devices, nor is it intended as a free pass to take risks with your hearing.

Unfortunately, it is increasingly normal to suffer hearing loss earlier in life today. So-called age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, are biologically related, and it’s often difficult to tease the two apart. The evidence is clear: listening to loud music clearly contributes to NIHL, and increases the risk that ARHL will start at an earlier age. 

But listening to loud music is not the only cause of NIHL. A majority of the world’s population now lives in cities, and cities are noisy, adding to the noise burden, so hearing loss is happening to many more people earlier in life. The U.S. is 80% urban, and it’s expected that 70 percent of the estimated world population of 10 billion will be urban by 2050. If trends continue without interventions like Soundbites, it's estimated that 25% of the world’s population will be hearing impaired, and 10%, or 1 billion people, will be functionally deaf within the next three decades.

That’s likely, according to numerous anecdotal case reports and independent clinical assessments, but there is no way to know in advance. Hearing function is affected by a wide variety of factors including your age, genetics, lifestyle, life quality, and nutrition. With certainty, we can say that at any age, Soundbites helps your hearing cells work the way they’re supposed to work, free of oxidative stress that compromises normal auditory function and damages hearing. 

Independent clinical evidence indicates that improvement in hearing can be measured objectively by an audiologist within three months of taking Soundbites daily. You may perceive differences that accompany reduction of oxidative stress in a shorter time if your ears are under a high degree of oxidative stress, but we cannot predict that you will perceive any differences in your hearing or tinnitus symptoms, or improvement in your hearing sensitivity; there are too many variables. 

Noise exposure is the most common cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus often starts with exposure to high intensity noise. Common examples are loud music for a few hours at a live concert, or in your earbuds all day. 

Hearing loss from any cause is highly connected to tinnitus. Tinnitus is brain noise. The root cause is biologic injury or death of inner ear hearing nerve cells resulting in cognitive dysfunction within the brain’s auditory cortex. 

Anyone can get tinnitus at any age.

You’re hardly alone if you have tinnitus. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about a third of the US population, or about 105 million people, suffer from tinnitus.

The CDC also estimates that 70% and 85% of people with hearing loss have tinnitus. Hearing loss often increases with age, so does the prevalence of tinnitus. But hearing loss data is far from perfect because historically, hearing loss has been viewed as an inevitable fact of aging, so collecting hearing data hasn’t been considered a health care priority. Consequently, we can’t rely on hearing loss data to give us an accurate picture of tinnitus, either.

The scientific evidence clearly indicates that the best way to reduce the risk of tinnitus is to prevent the hearing loss that often causes it. So although our roots are in biomedical research, which typically focuses on developing drugs for disease treatment, our focus is preventive care.

Soundbites is specifically designed to preserve hearing by preventing inner ear injury, especially from noise. Soundbites works by blocking the biochemical triggers that damage inner ear nerves and initiate tinnitus. We know of no other safe product of medical research designed to do what Soundbites does.

Coping with tinnitus symptoms is a separate issue. There are no prescription pharmaceuticals for preventing tinnitus, and no drugs for treating its symptoms, but doctors can prescribe anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or sleeping aids that can help manage the psychological impacts of  tinnitus.

It turns out Soundbites can help manage tinnitus symptoms too, but in a different way. By blocking the biochemical triggers that damage hearing, Soundbites helps maintain or even improve inner ear health even when inner ear function has been previously compromised. For those with tinnitus, the way Soundbites works to preserve hearing also results in less intrusive levels of phantom sounds – the brain noise generated by the auditory cortex, called tinnitus.

Yes. Age-related hearing loss, called ARHL, and noise-induced hearing loss, called NIHL, are the two most common types of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), which is hearing loss caused by the death of inner ear nerve cells. Noise is such a dominant form of SNHL that we just call it hearing loss. 

Conventional wisdom is that age-related hearing loss happens to older people, but that is no longer accurate. Age-related hearing loss is rising quickly among children and young adults,  mainly because of more routine and frequent exposure to intense levels of sound and noise.

The root cause of NIHL and ARHL is oxidative stress and restricted inner ear blood flow caused by excess inner ear free radicals. Hearing cells tend to produce additional free radicals as they age, moreso when they are damaged, and noise is the dominant source of that damage. NIHL accelerates ARHL, and the root cause of NIHL and ARHL is the same. 

ARHL now frequently starts in adolescence. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6–19 years (approximately 5.2 million) have already suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise. So to describe the reality accurately, it may be appropriate to combine NIHL with ARHl into noise accelerated hearing loss, or NAHL.

No prescription drugs are available for preventing hearing loss. Given what we know about the biology of its root cause, a hearing preservation vaccine is extremely unlikely. Drug development is focused instead on hearing regeneration. Several pharmaceutical candidates are in development, but none are close to being approved.

Yes. Soundbites helps maintain the normal auditory function of hearing cells, regardless of how sound gets to your inner ear, regardless of  the level of your hearing loss. Independent clinical evidence indicates that Soundbites can improve hearing sensitivity within three months of daily use. If you rely on hearing aids, the amplification level of your hearing aids may seem to increase, which indicates improvement in hearing sensitivity. If you are under the care of an audiologist, you may wish to compare the data from your audiograms and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) tests from before and after taking Soundbites.

Independent evidence suggests it’s likely to notice changes in hearing sensitivity within three months of taking Soundbites daily, but keep in mind that hearing function is affected by a wide variety of factors including your age, genetics, lifestyle and life quality like nutrition, so individual predictions are not possible. But whether or not you notice, you can be certain that Soundbites is doing what we say it does,  helping your hearing cells work the way they’re supposed to work, free of oxidative stress that compromises normal auditory function and damages hearing. 

Soundbites starts working within thirty minutes, so you may notice a difference quickly if your ears are under a high level of oxidative stress and able to recover quickly. For example, one customer who lives in a quiet, remote location takes Soundbites before using her riding mower, because she used to experience muffled hearing from the noise even though she wore earmuffs, and she notices that doesn’t happen when she uses Soundbites. 

DPOAE tests performed by an audiologist confirm objective improvements in hearing sensitivity among patients taking Soundbites, but Soundbites cannot claim you will perceive any differences in your hearing or tinnitus symptoms, or improvement in your hearing sensitivity.

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