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Hearing Loss Of Loved Ones

When talking to a family member with hearing loss this season, use these 3 communication techniques to help them hear you better.     As part of my counselling session with new clients, I always make sure to involve both the new hearing aid wearer AND the family members that come to their appointments. Getting hearing aids for the first time is a huge step. One that often takes a lot of courage to even admit there is a need for help. But the work doesn’t end there. Most people make a massive mistake in assuming hearing aids will solve all their problems in conversation. Of course hearing aids provide incredible improvement in speech clarity, but they are not a magic cure-all. How we talk is a HUGE element in how well others understand what we say. After all, conversation is not a one person activity. It’s takes two to tango. Here are 3 key strategies anyone can adopt immediately to improve their quality of conversation. Tip 1. Get the other person’s attention before talking. Whether you’re driving in a car, watching TV, or having dinner together, when a moment of silence falls between you assume that other person is deep in thought or listening to something else in the room. Before you speak, begin by getting their attention. Say their name or a give gentle touch on the hand. This gives them a moment to turn towards you and prepare to listen to what you are about to say. There...

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Separating hearing aid fact from fiction

    Hearing and sight are arguably our two most important senses. Yet, if and when either starts to fail us (and both usually do as we age), we react to each quite differently. Look around at all the people with glasses, contacts, Lasik surgery or just cheaters, and it's obvious that we have no problem or hesitation with treating vision issues. But when it comes to treating hearing loss, we don't seem to be in nearly such a hurry, if we even bother to treat it at all. If we did, nearly one in six adults you see would be wearing hearing aids — as that's the number of U.S. adults with hearing loss. What's stopping us from treating hearing loss? Why is there such discrepancy when it comes to "fixing" these two vital senses? Certainly a key factor is the immediate and tangible impact of each impairment. You can't easily drive, read, watch TV or work at a computer when your vision is compromised. But you can cope with or work around hearing issues — at least temporarily. It's important to know, though, that while the immediate impact of compromised hearing may seem negligible, the long-term and overall quality-of-life impact is real and potentially severe. Is our perception of hearing aids to blame? Another reason for inaction comes from people's perception of hearing loss and hearing aids. Unfortunately, some old myths linger. But advancements in science and technology mean many are no longer true. Let's debunk five common ones now. 1. Fiction: There's...

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Is it possible? Can hearing aids be…sexy?

Is it possible? Can hearing aids be...sexy? Do you think hearing aids can be sexy? For most people, that answer is a resounding "no." Good communication can be sexy! Maybe you're already conjuring up visions of hearing aids past like the one your beloved grandpa (rest his soul) wore when you were just a kid. It resembled a boxy transistor radio with a tangle of wires and a big ear plug in a shade of beige that wouldn't blend with anyone's skin color. Those body-worn hearing aids looked clunky and awkward and had technology to match with poor sound quality and lots of feedback whistling. Wearing one of them was instantly aging, and they contributed to the now outdated idea that hearing aid wearers were old and worn out. Not just for old folks While hearing loss can be part of the natural aging process for millions of Americans, our noisy world is challenging the connection between advanced age and hearing loss. For many Generation X-ers born in the 1960s and 70s, excessive noise while growing up was a way of life. Portable Walkman radios with headphones, loud hair band arena concerts and little awareness about the dangers of noise exposure mean hearing loss isn't just a problem for our retired Baby Boomer parents. Even young college students struggle with understanding in noisy environments thanks to hidden hearing loss which is undetectable in its earliest stages with most hearing tests. Even though many of us know hearing loss isn't just for the old, the most effective treatment, hearing aids, still carry a negative stigma. They can...

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What Makes High-End Hearing Instruments So High-End

Did you walk through the malls this holiday season? Ever notice how crowded and loud they are? For a lot of people, having a conversation in the middle of all that hustle and bustle is quite difficult. Think about it. You've got several hundred people all in an enclosed space, where sound bounces around like a cathedral. And of course there is always that extra loud music playing in the background attempting to keep people in the buying spirit. The holidays are also the time of year a lot companies throw their annual staff parties, and friends and family gather in large numbers to spend time with one another. Each year, around this time we receive many calls for help. And it's the same familiar problem year after year, but for some, it's finally time to fix it. It goes like this... Big get together with coworkers, or friends and family. Everyone seems to be having a laugh and enjoying the conversation. Yet you notice that more then half of the time, you find yourself scratching your head - unsure of what was just said. Of course, to avoid the classic "get your hearing checked" comments from those around, you find yourself just smiling and nodding, or even laughing but with really no clue why. Comical at first, but in reality this lack of clarity can be quite risky or embarrassing. They may have said something you actually would have disagreed with, but you nodded in agreement Or you just agreed to buy the next round of drinks....

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Why Hearing Instruments are no different then a car, or a couch…

In our line of work, nothing is more disheartening then when a person leaves our clinic, needing help with their hearing, but are unable to afford it. The cost of hearing instruments is no small figure, especially when a higher level of technology is needed to help in crowds or noise (more on that in next week's post). People come to us for answers, and we are determined to provide exactly that. "Our clients deserve to hear every moment of their life with clarity and peace; We exist to help make that a reality." When my wife became pregnant with our first child, our very first LARGE purchase was a brand new sectional sofa. Our sleek and stylish black leather couches would no longer cut it for these new-to-be parents. We needed: Comfort city. A couch fit for a full family. One to stretch out on and enjoy those mid-afternoon naps while the PGA tour plays on the TV in the background. But they aren't cheap! We certainly didn't have the extra thousand dollars kicking around in our savings jar. So we financed our new furniture at 0%, stretching out the payments to fit our monthly income, and were able to enjoy those family naps without paying an extra cent for it. It's that same sense of immediate help, we are able to offer our clients who need to hear better NOW.   More and more clients are finally getting the hearing instruments they need for those board meeting nightmares or the big family get together's - where it's all just a jumble of...

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Hunting and Hearing Loss

Hunting and Hearing Loss Hunting and shooting are one of the most popular past-times for men in North America. But, shooting any type of firearm without the proper hearing protection can result in severe damage to your hearing, whether temporary or permanent. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that men aged 48 to 92 who hunted regularly were more likely to experience high-frequency hearing loss, a risk that increased seven percent for every five years a man had been hunting. But what's really alarming is that of the 3,753 study participants (83 percent of whom were eligible), "38 percent of the target shooters and 95 percent of the hunters reported never wearing hearing protection while shooting in the past year." One shot from a gun can range from 140 to 190 decibels, and can cause immediate damage to one's hearing. Avid hunter and writer for Outdoor News, Kristen Monroe, can attest to just how damaging a single shot can be; she's ruptured her ear drum a couple of times. "I don't think they all know that it really only takesone shot at the right angle to ruin your hearing and cause permanent ringing," Monroe said of why hunters often overlook hearing protection. Monroe herself used to avoid using hearing protection because it got in the way while shooting, but said that since using SoundGear, she's not only been able to protect her hearing but also not worry about the devices getting in the way while shooting. So beyond the obvious use of hearing protection (a...

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What you need to know about earwax

What you need to know about earwax   Of all the substances our bodies excrete, earwax has to be one of the most mysterious. What possible reason could our ears have for producing this waxy substance? Medical professionals may not yet completely understand all of its properties, but they are certain of its protective nature. To understand more, we've assembled some interesting facts about earwax -- and why you shouldn't be so hasty to remove it. Earwax: gross but healthy Earwax is a natural barrier which prevents dirt and bacteria from entering the innermost parts of your ears. Because it is sticky, it collects microscopic debris which finds its way into your ear canal, much like fly paper traps insects. Without this defensive barrier, your inner ear would be at risk. It acts as a moisturizer and protective coating for your ear canal. Without earwax, your outer ear might be itchy and flaky, which puts it at greater risk for becoming irritated and infected. It acts as an insect repellant. The smell of earwax keeps bugs away, while the stickiness traps those which accidentally venture inside. Your earwax says a lot about you Although most everyone's ears produce earwax, that's where the similarity ends. Its composition varies from person to person, depending on their ethnicity, environment, age and diet. There are two primary types of earwax -- wet and dry. Wet cerumen typically appears in Caucasians and Africans Dry cerumen is more common among Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asians Even the color of...

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I can hear, just not clearly. Do I have hearing loss?

I can hear, just not clearly. Do I have hearing loss? What's the number one complaint hearing care professionals hear from their new patients with hearing loss? Ask them and they'll likely say it's, "I can hear but I can't understand." If this is what you're experiencing, you may wonder if you have a hearing loss. Don't miss another chance to connect with those you love! Hearing loss is complicated because it involves not only the ears, but also the brain where sound is translated into meaningful words. It can manifest in many different ways with symptoms that vary between individuals. Hearing loss comes in all degrees from mild to profound. When you think of hearing loss, severe hearing loss or deafness probably comes to mind. But mild, moderate and high frequency hearing losses are actually much more common. And, with these types of hearing losses, the only symptom may be difficulty with word understanding, especially in situations where there is competing noise. Hearing vs. understanding When your hearing is tested, the results are plotted on an audiogram. People with high frequency hearing losses are said to have a "sloping" hearing loss. If you have a sloping hearing loss, it means you are able to hear low-pitched sounds, those below 1000 Hz, very well, sometimes even as well as someone with normal hearing. But, the high-pitched sounds above 1000 Hz need to be much louder before you can hear them. While not always the case, high frequency hearing loss is often the...

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Put that hearing test at the top of your “Done” list

Put that hearing test at the top of your "done" list Of all the life hacks for better living, taking care of your hearing is among the smartest — and it yields an incredible ROI. In short, getting a hearing test is worth it. No matter what your age, untreated hearing loss can take its toll. The catch is, hearing loss is stealthy. It's usually hard to notice at first. In fact, it tends to come on so gradually that it tricks you into oblivion. Then it robs you of more than you realize, sooner than you realize. From pilfering away at your relationships and quality of life, to putting you at risk for other health conditions, untreated hearing loss is a silent thief. And don't think for a minute that you're too young to think about hearing loss — you're not. It's a noisy world. You're part of it. And the numbers show that hearing loss is becoming more common among younger adults — in their 20s and 30s. So make sure you value your hearing. It's a treasure worth keeping. To give you an extra push, here are eight reasons why you should get a hearing test today. 1. It may help your pocketbook. Research shows that middle-aged people with hearing loss have about a third more in health care payments than those without hearing loss. A study by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) shows that using hearing aids reduces the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent...

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