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Age Related Hearing Loss

Question: Isn’t age-related hearing loss common and to be expected? Answer: A longer life span and aging baby boomers have led to an unprecedented growth in the proportion of older adults. Age related hearing loss is one of the most significant chronic conditions in this population, affecting nearly two out of three Americans age 70 years and older. Age related hearing loss is dependent upon several contributing diseases such as diabetes, undiagnosed and/or untreated hypertension, and falls. Hearing loss with age may be expected ... Read more

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Key Reasons to Consult a Hearing Care Professional Instead

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss? What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help? With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart ... Read more

Single Sided Deafness

Question: I have hearing loss in one ear that cannot be helped with a hearing aid and normal hearing in the other ear. I frequently have trouble hearing those at the office on the side of my poor ear. Any suggestions? Answer: You have described a type of hearing loss that usually CAN be helped with hearing aids. Single sided deafness is called unilateral hearing loss and can be helped by using a contralateral routing of signals (CROS). In other words, there is ... Read more

Improving Hearing Ability

Question: Why do you think some people receive better benefit from their hearing aids than others do? Answer: So many things contribute to this. We believe that auditory rehabilitation techniques should be taught when receiving the hearing aids as a standard treatment protocol. This approach begins with the testing of not just the hearing ability but the test of communication needs in the patient’s lifestyle. We address the specific areas where the patient is struggling to hear and develop a written program to ... Read more

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

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

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

Health Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise is just noise, right? You learn to tune it out and, unless it’s really loud, you don’t worry about it. You definitely wouldn’t worry about its effects on your heart — would you? As far back as 1972, awareness of the adverse health effects of noise pollution was so strong that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency passed the Noise Control Act to establish “a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and ... Read more

5 Ways to Support Your HEARing Health

The whir of a hummingbird. The warning of an approaching ambulance. The round of laughter after your deviously funny — and deftly delivered — wedding toast. That sublime guitar riff or soulful crescendo in your favorite song. As we celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month in May — and the theme, “Communication for All” — it’s a great time to remember the many ways hearing makes a difference in your life. And to help you maintain those connections that matter, we’re sharing ... Read more