\\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 email@example.com if you are interested in further information 2. Taphuntsang, D. (2020). Market Research ID 4398. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Hearing loss is frustrating for those who have it and for their loved ones. But recent research from Johns Hopkins reveals that it also is linked with walking problems, falls and even dementia.
In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D, and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.
The Links Between Hearing and Health
“Brain scans show us that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain,” Lin says. “Hearing loss also contributes to social isolation. You may not want to be with people as much, and when you are you may not engage in conversation as much. These factors may contribute to dementia.”
As you walk, your ears pick up subtle cues that help with balance. Hearing loss mutes these important signals, Lin notes. “It also makes your brain work harder just to process sound. This subconscious multitasking may interfere with some of the mental processing needed to walk safely.”
Hearing Aid Myths That Hold You Back
Can hearing aids reduce these risks? Lin hopes to find out in a new study, still in the planning stages. “These studies have never been done before,” he notes. “What we do know is that there’s no downside to using hearing aids. They help most people who try them. And in those people, they can make all the difference in the world—allowing people to reengage with friends and family and to be more involved again.”
Although nearly 27 million Americans age 50 and older have hearing loss, only one in seven uses a hearing aid. If you think your hearing has diminished, it’s worth making an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing check, Lin says. If you have hearing loss, don’t let the following myths keep you from getting help.
“My hearing’s not that bad.”
Hearing aid users wait, on average, 10 years before getting help for hearing loss. But during that time, communication with loved ones becomes more difficult, and isolation and health risks increase. “Our findings emphasized just how important it is to be proactive in addressing any hearing declines over time,” says Lin.
“Wearing hearing aids means I’m old, and I’m not ready for that.”
It’s normal to feel worried that hearing loss means you’re aging—and to want to hide it. Plenty of people with a hearing impairment sit silently rather than joining in conversations and activities, because they fear that hearing problems will make them seem helpless or less than competent. The truth: Connecting with others can help your brain stay younger and keep you involved with life.
“I don’t like the way hearing aids look.”
Forget the old days of big, whistling earpieces. Today’s hearing aids and cochlear implants are smaller (and less conspicuous) than ever before. Even celebrities (like former president Bill Clinton and football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary) are wearing them proudly.
“I heard that hearing aids are difficult to use.”
There is a breaking-in period as you—and your central auditory system and brain—adjust to life with hearing aids. That’s why most doctors and hearing centers include a trial period, so you can be sure the type you’ve chosen—whether it’s a miniature behind-the-ear model or one that fits into your ear—is right for you.
“Hearing aids cost too much.”
At present, very few states require health insurers to cover the cost of hearing aids for people of all ages. As a result, 61 percent of users pay the bill themselves. At an average price of $1,675 per ear for equipment, fittings and evaluations, hearing aids can take a bite out of your budget. Factor in the high cost of hearing loss, however, and it is money well spent.
Social isolation: Loneliness that can affect health. People who are socially isolated have little day-to-day contact with others, have few fulfilling relationships and lack a sense of belonging. Social isolation can increase the risk for poor eating, smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise, depression, dementia, poor sleep and heart disease.
Dementia (di-men-sha): A loss of brain function that can be caused by a variety of disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms include forgetfulness, impaired thinking and judgment, personality changes, agitation and loss of emotional control. Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and inadequate blood flow to the brain can all cause dementia. Most types of dementia are irreversible.
Cochlear (koe-klee-er) implant: A device implanted into the inner ear to stimulate the auditory (hearing) nerve. It’s used to help restore sound perception in children and adults with profound hearing loss.
For many people, buying and replacing batteries is a part of using hearing aids. However, rechargeable batteries are changing the way we interact with hearing aids. Rechargeable hearing aids are a fairly recent and welcome addition to the hearing healthcare landscape. In the past, rechargeable batteries didn’t provide enough power in a small enough battery to be feasible for use in hearing aids but the days of regularly changing your battery are coming to an end.
Depending on your hearing aid model and level of usage, your old standard zinc air replaceable batteries will need to be changed every three to ten days. Most hearing aids give you a signal when the battery is about to die. Recently, though, thanks to lithium-ion technology, rechargeable batteries are not only available, they are also long lasting and reliable for use in hearing aids!
You’ll Never Want to Go Back
The days of changing your battery every 3-10 days are over. Rechargeable batteries provide confidence and certainty to the wearer that their battery will be ready to use each morning after a night’s charge and hold a charge throughout the day. Just like you would charge your mobile devices overnight, the same practice takes place with a rechargeable hearing aid. You will never miss or pause an important or special moment due to having to change a battery when using rechargeable hearing aids.
The personal benefits of rechargeable hearing aids depend on your preferences and lifestyle. However, the use of lithium-ion batteries is creating a world of possibility for hearing aid manufacturers and wearers alike. So, while you might find some of these benefits rewarding, others might not yet see value in going rechargeable. If you’re curious about what it means that rechargeable hearing aids have finally arrived, here are some serious benefits to using lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
No Extra Costs
When hearing aids use replaceable batteries people often spend up to $100 per year on disposable batteries. You will never have to worry about not being able to get more hearing aid batteries or deal with shipping and handling costs. With rechargeable batteries the battery is built into the unit, and they can be recharged as many times as you need.
Don’t Be Caught Off-guard
Once you establish a routine, you’re less likely to get caught off-guard with a dead battery on the go. All you have to do is plug in your hearing aid in every night the way many people already plug in their smart phone when they go to sleep at the end of the day. Disposable zinc-air batteries don’t offer the same protection. They can run out anytime, with little warning beforehand. You will no longer have to carry backup batteries everywhere you go or worry about them running out.
Better Performance in Cold Weather
Zinc-air disposable batteries struggle to function properly in cold weather. The lack of moisture and low temperature zaps the batteries power quickly, draining your hearing aids and causing issues with the sound quality. Rechargeable hearing aids are becoming extremely popular in areas that experience extreme winters since they’re more cost effective and easier to use. Lithium-ion batteries suffer little to no loss in cold weather.
While it’s important to state that lithium-ion batteries must be properly disposed of when you get rid of your hearing aids, they can also be recharged thousands of times. Compared to zinc-air batteries, which can only be used once and tossed out and end up ultimately in landfills.
More Accessible for Older Users
Many older wearers complain that the process of buying and replacing batteries is taxing on them. They might not have the means necessary to run to the pharmacy and buy batteries, and those with motor-control issues might struggle to open the battery compartment. With rechargeable hearing aids, this troublesome process is completely cut out.
A fully charged Lithium-ion battery can last the entire day, which is 19 hours of battery life. Instead of buying more disposable batteries, you can simply put your hearing aids in their charger at the end of the day.
By: Dr. Timothy Teague, AuD at www. hearingconsultants.com
Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.
Are you worried about your hearing? Ask yourself the questions below to find out if you should have a hearing test.
Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
Do you hear better in one ear than the other when you are on the phone?
Do you have trouble understanding when two or more people talk at the same time?
Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
Do you have to strain to understand what people say?
Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy place?
Do you have trouble hearing in restaurants?
Do you ask people to repeat what they said?
Do family members or coworkers tell you that you are not hearing what they say?
Do many people you talk to seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
Do you have trouble understanding women and children?
Do people get annoyed because you don’t understand what they say?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, it might be time to consider getting your hearing tested by a professional.
To schedule a no charge hearing evaluation at our office call 731-388-3669