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Turn the Music Up, Dude — But Not Past 85 Decibels

You probably use your tablet or smartphone often to stream music, TV shows, or movies. In fact, many websites these days auto-play videos regardless of whether you want them to. Smartphones, tablets, and other types of portable music players (PMPs) are now commonplace, as are earbuds and headphones. But if your PMP is turned up too loud while wearing earbuds or headphones, you can damage your hearing quickly. Let’s look at why. NIHL This isn’t some new sports league — NIHL stands for noise-induced ... Read more

Personal Sound Amplifiers

Question: I’ve seen devices advertised on TV and in magazines called “personal sound amplifiers” and they are a lot less expensive. Are they the same thing as hearing aids? Answer: No, they are not. Personal sound amplifiers are quite different from hearing aids and shouldn’t be used in place of expertly programmed hearing aids fitted by a Doctor of Audiology. The PSA was created to amplify sounds during recreational activities and not to assist with hearing loss. They are not programmed to specific ... Read more

Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection? To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell. The Hair Cell Your brain doesn’t ... Read more

Drug Store Hearing Devices

Question: What are your thoughts on drug store or magazine ordered devices for improving hearing? Answer: These are not hearing aids. These are generic amplifying devices geared to increase volume. Most hearing loss is not a loss of hearing for all sounds equally. They do not have customizable noise management—a feature crucial for hearing aid benefit. Even those brands that suggest that you send them your hearing test, and they’ll program the devices are not beneficial. The size of your ear canal affects ... Read more

Putting Off That Hearing Test? Here’s Another Reason to Hear Your Best!

It’s no surprise that getting hearing help can make communicating and connecting with the world around you so much easier, but did you know that using hearing aids might also have a hand in cutting down emergency-room visits and hospital stays? In a study published earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan researchers investigating connections among hearing technology, health care consumption, and spending linked seniors’ self-reported use of hearing aids to changes such ... Read more

Hearing and Your Healthcare

Question: I have several health problems in addition to hearing loss. My family is advising me to treat my hearing loss first, but I don’t understand why. Answer: Your family is giving you wise advice. Addressing your hearing loss is priority for many reasons: As you are hearing better, you will be understanding your doctors and family better.   The conversation you are missing around you is important for staying involved and in touch with your circumstances.   Improved hearing improves ... Read more

How Are Smoking and Hearing Loss Related?

The connection between smoking and heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems gets all the attention, but the effects of smoking on hearing have long been known. If you’re one of the 40 million U.S. adults who smokes cigarettes — or someone who lives with a smoker — read on to find out how smoking is linked to hearing loss. Some Facts How does smoking affect hearing? Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have a 70% greater chance of developing hearing loss. Nonsmokers are twice as ... Read more

Hearing Aid Stigma

Question: Can I get a hearing aid without anyone at my home knowing about it? Answer: Well that will be up to you and whether or not you can keep from shouting praises about them. Your question sounds much like the story of a man who had hearing loss and didn't tell his family he had new hearing aids. He went home, heard their discussion about him and changed his will three times. Seriously, if your concern is the appearance of a hearing ... Read more

Hitting the Water? Don’t Forget These Little Gems for Ear Protection!

You’ve packed the swimsuits, floats, safety vests, caps, goggles, kids, and snacks for a summer afternoon at the lake or neighborhood pool, but what about the earplugs? These small accessories can make a big difference in keeping the good times going during family fun in the water. Before you go, here are four things to know about swimmers’ earplugs: They Help Protect Against Ear Infection Ears and moisture don’t always mix. Otitis externa, an outer-ear infection also known as “swimmer’s ear,” is typically caused ... Read more

Hearing Aids and Telephones

Question: How can I help my Mother understand me on the phone while wearing her hearing aids? Answer: Hearing aids and telephones can sometimes be difficult, especially with hearing aids that fill up the ear canals. The newer technology has made this transition easier. There are choices available depending upon her type of hearing aid, the amount of hearing loss and her ability to use new technology. One option for you both is the closed captioned phone that allows your Mother to see ... Read more
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