Today’s fact raises awareness of two of the biggest detriments of hearing loss—loneliness and social isolation. And they are not a huge surprise, when you think about it: Humans are social creatures, and when hearing, communicating, and interacting become more challenging due to hearing loss, it’s naturally easier to decline invitations, ship and transact online, and just stay home.
The unfortunate reality of living a socially withdrawn life, however, is that it not only can impact your overall life happiness, but also increase your risk for dementia, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins.
The good news: Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids can help you stay connected and involved with the world around you. More specifically, better hearing can help you maintain a strong support network, life engagement, and an active social life—and the rewards that come with them.
Let’s take a closer look at the ripple effect that staying connected through better hearing can have on your well-being:
Strong support network
Hearing better makes it easier to maintain your relationships with friends, family, caregivers, and other important people in your life and in turn, communicate your needs with them (and vice versa). As a result, you’ll have your “village”—the people who are there for you when you need them. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, such a support system can help reduce your stress and physical health problems, plus improve your emotional well-being.
Engaged in life
Whether you take an art class, volunteer in your community, or simply spend more time with family and friends, better hearing helps make it easier to live an active lifestyle. Have conversations. Hear instructions. Enjoy the sounds of birds, laughs, and other joys of life around you. Studies show that participating in life can help you feel happier and healthier. And by “healthier,” they also mean you may lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
When you can hear better, you are more likely to take part in conversations, make plans with others, go to restaurants or family events, and so on. And this is a good thing: Social isolation is linked to a 50 percent increased risk of dementia, cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But on the brighter side, numerous studies have shown that an active social life may help you live longer. (And have fun doing it, right?)
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting your hearing tested or treating the hearing loss you know you have, why wait?
By Starkey Hearing on Aug 11, 2023
Many people, due to the commercialization of the Easter Holiday, think of Easter Bunnies. Since bunnies are generally small animals and very vulnerable to the dangerous environment they live in, they were designed with big floppy ears. These beautiful long ears don’t just make them look good, but they provide an outstanding hearing ability. They can hear sounds that are almost two miles away. (I don’t think I would hear a coyote 2 miles away.) Those same ears also play an important part in regulating a rabbit’s body temperature. Making up around 12% of their total body surface, the ears act as the major area for heat loss which is vital, in warmer climates and seasons, as bunnies aren’t well equipped to release heat in other ways.
Then of course, there are the Baby Chicks. Did you know that baby chicks can hear outside noises while still inside the shell? This is how some songbirds learn their song. Like humans talk to their babies in the womb, ducks and chickens speak to their eggs so that when they hatch they recognize their parents’ voices. Scientists have found that Zebra Finch parents have a special song they sing to their eggs to warn them if the weather is getting hot. When sung it results in earlier hatching, producing smaller babies who find it easier to keep cool. How cool is that?
While presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) seems inevitable for humans, chickens have the remarkable ability to regrow damaged hearing cells. They get to enjoy their favorite sounds for life. Did you know that if commercial egg farmers play classical music for their chickens to listen to, they lay more and larger eggs? (I didn’t know this either until I googled Easter and Hearing.) Scientists have been studying birds to figure out how they rejuvenate their damaged hair cells to see if they can find a way for humans to do the same.
With Easter, of course we can’t forget the chocolate. Ears love chocolate! Dark chocolate is the best because it contains zinc and magnesium which help protect ears from age-related hearing loss and noise-related damage. Chocolate also boosts the immune system to keep infections away.
Now that you are thinking about hearing and Easter, pay attention to what you are missing! Can you hear your Pastor teach about the Easter Story? Is the conversation with your loved ones over Easter dinner difficult to follow? If you are disappointed that your being served SPAM for dinner instead of HAM, you just may want to get your hearing checked.
TriStar Hearing offers FREE hearing screening and consultation. Call 1-731-388-3669 to schedule your appointment.
Information for this article came from: https://www.hearing.com.au/easter-ears/
\\Hearing protection is for everyone. There is no cure for hearing loss! The good news? You can prevent hearing loss by protecting your hearing.
Avoid loud noise whenever possible and turn down the volume on personal listening devices. If you can’t avoid loud noise, use earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears.
If you suspect you may already have hearing loss, take steps to keep it from getting worse. Get your hearing checked.
CDC supports National Protect Your Hearing Month (#NPYHM). It is an annual event each October to provide an opportunity to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems. People are encouraged to think about their own hearing, and to get their hearing checked if they think there might be a problem.
Early identification and intervention for hearing loss is important. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step towards addressing the issue.
Do you use your music, your show, or a podcast to shut out the noise around you? Be cautious; hearing loss is real. A volume that lets you hear someone a few feet away is a safer way to go.
Did You Know?
Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years can damage your hearing—long after exposure has stopped.
This is just one of the many informative facts available on CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health’s new hearing loss website.
Think you are aware of how to protect yourself? When it comes to hearing loss, we can all think of the usual suspects: attending sporting events, entertainment venues, and loud concerts. Volume isn’t the only factor to consider. Noise exposure is cumulative. Practice safe listening at home, school, and while commuting by reducing the duration of headphone use.
Everyday activities can damage hearing. Such as
Browse these pages to discover critical information you are likely unaware of.
Is the noise too loud? If you need to shout to make yourself heard, yes.
By the Numbers
Sound is measured in decibels (dB). A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine is about 95 dB. Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period may start to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm.
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States. Almost twice as many people report hearing loss as report diabetes or cancer. In the United States, about 40 million adults aged 20–69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, and about 1 in 4 adults who report “excellent to good” hearing already have hearing damage.
Think that hearing damage is usually workplace-related? Activities away from work can damage hearing just as much as a noisy job. Over half of all adults with hearing damage do not have noisy jobs.
The average person is born with about 16,000 hair cells within their inner ear. These cells allow your brain to detect sounds. Damaged inner ear cells do not grow back. So, protect your hearing, and if you already have hearing loss, or are experiencing pain, discomfort, or ringing in the ears, take steps to keep it from getting worse.
Article from cdc.gov
Introducing Phonak Audéo Life™ – the world’s first waterproof* rechargeable hearing aid.
Proven Paradise performance Part of the Phonak Audéo Paradise family, Phonak Audéo Life delivers crisp, natural sound1 and is capable of being submerged in up to 1.64 feet of fresh water, salt water or pool water. Audéo Life is the ideal solution for patients who put their hearing aids under more pressure in physically demanding environments or those looking for a hearing aid that will withstand strenuous activities.
Audéo Life highlights:
• Unrivaled** sound quality
• Empowering smart apps
• Universal connectivity to smartphones, TV, Roger and more
• Multiple Bluetooth® connections
• Tap Control for easy access to Bluetooth functionalities
Phonak Charger Case Go™ The Phonak Charger Case Go is ideal for patients who want to charge their hearing aid on the move. This inductive charger is exclusively designed for Audéo Life. Featuring an internal battery, it can fully charge the hearing aids up to 3 times on a single charge and is easy to use.
Audéo Life has been extensively tested beyond the normal IP68 rating to withstand submersion in not just fresh water, but also salt water and pool water at depths of up to 50 cm or 1.64 feet. Audéo Life allows you to interact confidently and fully participate in the activities you enjoy.
1. Taphuntsang, D. (2020). Market research ID 4387. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in further information 2. Taphuntsang, D. (2020). Market Research ID 4398. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in further information. * up to 50 cm or 1.64 feet ** Compared to Phonak Audéo Marvel
Summer is here and while you prepare to get out and have some fun in the sun, make sure you know how to treat your hearing aids. Summer can present some serious concerns for your hearing aids from water exposure to bug spray. Make sure you know how to maintain and protect your devices everywhere you go.
While most hearing aids have some form of moisture protection –like nano-coating – your hearing aid isn’t designed for swimming or water sports (one exception is the Phonak Paradise Life Rechargeable Aids which are explicitly designed to be waterproof). The electronics in hearing aids are vulnerable to water damage which can ruin a device.
Salt water can present an extra threat to hearing aids, as both the water and the crystallizing salt can cause harm. When you head out to the pool or beach, store your hearing aids in a waterproof case that you keep out of the way from splashing water and puddles. Always remove and protect your hearing aids when you are around water to protect their performance and lifespan.
The temperature climbing doesn’t do your hearing aid any favors. In areas of direct sunlight, or spaces like cars where heat accumulates are especially bad spaces for hearing aids in the summer. Extreme heat can harm the electronic components of your hearing device as well as warping or cracking the protective outer shell. Don’t leave your hearing aids in a hot car and keep them away from direct sunlight.
Small sand particles can be big trouble for your hearing aids. Sand in a hearing device can impair its performance and cause permanent malfunctions. Don’t ever touch your hearing aids if your hands are sandy – instead, wait until you can wipe them down with a clean towel. If you are storing your hearing aids in a case, make sure the case is also not exposed to sand and brush down the exterior before removing your hearing aids.
Ocean spray can damage your hearing aids, but other summer sprays can also be a hazard to your hearing devices. Spray-on sunscreen and bug spray introduce small particles and moisture to the air that can get into your hearing aid, especially if they are sprayed directly on your device. Often aerosol spray particles are very fine and can infiltrate your hearing aids even when larger particles, like sand, cannot. When applying spray this summer, cover or remove your hearing aids to keep them out of harm’s way. Wipe down your hearing aids every time you remove them to get rid of any lingering particulate.
More heat means more sweat which means more moisture exposure for your hearing aids. Nano-coating on the exterior of most hearing aids will help prevent excess moisture from condensing or penetrating your device, but during the summertime it is best practice to spend extra attention towards keeping your devices dry. Use a nightly dehumidifying case to help prevent moisture damage and if a day is excessively sweaty take breaks to wipe down and dry your hearing aids.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid
Wondering how to pick a hearing aid that can keep up with your summer lifestyle? When you are concerned about hearing aid durability, consider the IP rating associated with the model. In hearing technology, IP stands for “ingress protection”. The IP rating is a two-digit number that ranks a hearing aid’s resistance to particles and moisture. For the two digits, the first number ranks particle resistance and the second indicates water resistance. The higher each number is, the better the device is protected. An IP rating of 58 would offer more protection than an IP rating of 36. When comparing models, IP ratings can be useful when you have special lifestyle factors to consider and can help you choose the right hearing aid for your needs.
In his newest blog, Justin Osmond — who was born with a severe-to-profound hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since he was two years old — explains why he gets hearing aids from a hearing professional vs. buying them online or over-the-counter.
Let me start out by saying that there’s nothing more important than being connected to each other through mutual respect, appreciation and understanding. And for me, the best way for that connection to take place is through the human heart — listening and knowing that someone has your best interest at heart.
I’m of the opinion that closeness and connection is a matter of communication, communication is a matter of listening, and listening is a matter of understanding. How can we draw close to someone or something unless we communicate with each other? How can we communicate with one another if we don’t allow the opportunity to hear each other out and listen? And if there’s no closeness, communication or listening taking place… then there’s no understanding between the two parties.
That is why meeting with a hearing professional is so crucial and worth the additional cost versus purchasing hearing devices online or over the counter.
Here’s the bottom line and the main difference between the two scenarios:
Don’t leave your hearing to someone who doesn’t listen
Would you rather have a real professional who listens to you and hears you out? Wouldn’t it give you peace of mind knowing that a real expert in this industry makes you feel valued, important and understood and is always there for you before, during and after the purchase of your services and products?
Someone who has the human touch and strives to fully understand your hearing situation is a component of creating closeness, connection and complete assurance and understanding.
Or would you rather have an automated online service where it may be convenient to purchase a hearing device, but you are then left with a lot of questions and comments and it’s up to you to try and resolve the issue on your own? A similar outcome could be said for over-the-counter purchases as well.
The main difference is the ‘human touch.’
In my experience of wearing hearing aids for over 43 years, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I love the connection and relationship I have with my hearing specialists and audiologists. They don’t just give me their ears… but also their eyes. They are a full captivated audience! Everyone in my hearing clinic gives me their undivided attention and make me feel valued, heard and understood.
Better hearing is best achieved with a human touch
Helen Keller says, “Deafness separates people from people” so if that’s the case, why are we dividing the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities even more by separating them from hearing professionals and directing them to an online store or over-the-counter retail stores? I’ll let you ponder that question for yourself. 😊
Hearing or No Hearing… I think we can agree that the issue isn’t usually the volume, but the quality of our customer service and products. As a deaf and hard-of-hearing customer, a 5-Star rating would require customer service from a hearing professional who listens to understand and not an online robot who listens to respond.
It’s all about the ‘human touch.’ We all want to be connected to life… to each other… and to hear and understand life’s precious sounds. I stand by our hearing professionals who are truly dedicated to not only helping us hear better, but to live better.
You can follow Justin Osmond on Facebook at JAOsmond; on Instagram at justin_osmond; on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinosmond/ or at his website www.justinosmond.com
I always go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving, which is a lot of fun. It is a big group event, with lots of cousins, grown children and seniors. We can sometimes have up to 20 at any given Thanksgiving family meal. There is a lot of energy, but also a lot of noise, with people all talking at once and kids laughing and joking in the background. This is a great recipe for family fun, unless you have a hearing loss. The general noise level makes it hard to hear, and the multiple conversations going at once, makes it hard to follow any of them. Older men often speak very quietly (at least it seems that way to me!) Plus, children can be notoriously difficult to hear, and rarely remember to look at you when they are talking.
But let’s NOT let this be a recipe for disaster! I have been thinking about how to make the most of the holiday and these are my tips. I hope they help. Please let me know your suggestions in the comments.
Living With Hearing Loss’s Tips to Survive and Thrive at Thanksgiving Dinner
1. Sit in a good spot: For me, it is very helpful if I have a wall behind me and am seated more in the middle of the table. This gives me a better shot at hearing more conversation and not being distracted by background noise behind me. Maybe you have a spot you like better. Don’t be shy about talking to the host so that your seat is in an opportune spot for you.
2. Keep background noise down if possible: I try to keep any background music to a minimum. While your host, may like to play music a little more loudly, perhaps you can ask him or her to keep the volume low during dinner.
3. Converse with those next to you: Don’t try to participate in conversations across large distances. If you would like to talk with someone, move closer to him, or ask that you continue the conversation when you have a chance to be closer together.
4. Wear your hearing aids: Many of us hate to wear our hearing aids, but they really can help. Experiment with a couple of different settings to find what is optimal. You can even practice at home if you don’t want to spend time experimenting at the event.
5. Try other technologies: There are many new technologies now available that can help you hear in a group setting including personal FM systems or other one to one communication devices. Some of my friends swear by these.
6. Have reasonable expectations: You probably won’t hear everything that everyone says, but that is ok. Enjoy talking to the people near you, then seek out others to talk with during other parts of the party. You might even suggest to the host that people rotate seats for desert.
7. Bring your sense of humor: It can be hard to keep it all in perspective during the holidays when you feel like you are missing out on the fun, but try to laugh a little and be grateful for the wonderful friends and family around you. You may not hear every word they say, but you can partake in all of the good feelings around the table. Try to enjoy the moment.
Readers, do you have any tips for tackling Thanksgiving dinner when you have a hearing loss?
Written by: Sheri Eberts at livingwithhearingloss.com