Reverse-slope hearing loss, or low-frequency hearing loss, is a rare type of hearing loss. The name itself comes from how it looks when visualized through an audiogram - a standard chart used to measure levels of hearing when a person receives a hearing test. Anyone who experiences this type of hearing loss finds it harder to hear low-pitched sounds like the bass sounds in music, male voices, and thunder. Your ability, or inability, to pick up these sounds is contingent upon the range of hearing loss, which can be mild to profound.
The volume of speech sounds you can hear and interpret may be impacted. The ability to detect vowel sounds, which are lower-pitched than consonant sounds, can also be challenging. If you don’t wear hearing aids, ask others to speak up if you have trouble hearing low-pitched sounds.
What are reverse-slope hearing loss symptoms?
What causes reverse-slope hearing loss?
Reverse-slope hearing loss can be a genetic form of hearing loss, or a person may experience it after a childhood illness (chickenpox or measles) or a viral infection. Most cases also occur alongside autoimmune disorders, Ménière disease, or otosclerosis. With Ménière disease, troubles with hearing can change and progress into other types of hearing loss that impact how sounds come across in various pitches.
A risk factor for heart disease is low-frequency hearing loss, but more research is needed to understand this connection.
If you are experiencing any range of hearing loss and believe hearing aids can be a solution, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
The musician Huey Lewis is discussing his hearing loss with the world.
As a musician, there’s likely nothing more callous than losing your hearing. He was part of the ‘80s very successful pop rock bands Huey Lewis and the News and received nominations for several Grammy Awards. Towards the end of the 1980s, Lewis started experiencing problems with his hearing. He is now deaf. He and his old bandmates are releasing a 40th anniversary vinyl version of their “Sports” LP.
"I can't hear music at all. I can't hear pitch at all,” said Lewis. “Even one note is out of tune with itself for me, so that's been a bitter pill and a hard pill to swallow. But you've got to move on in life. I have hearing aids in, and I'm Bluetoothing to the computer so I can hear you now. Without my hearing aids, I'm completely deaf."
He recounted the moments when he first started noticing that his hearing was waning and how he was affected by the loss.
“I lost my right side [of hearing] 35 years ago. When I lost my left side and couldn’t hear music anymore, it was traumatic. It was six months of pretty much lying in bed, just wondering, and trying different protocols and acupuncture and chiropractic and all-organic diets - no salt, low salt, all that stuff. And finally, thanks to my kids, you’ve got to move on.”
Lewis said he didn’t want to wallow in sorrow and focused on other creative endeavors. He’s working on a musical he is deeply committed to called “The Heart of Rock & Roll” - even though his hearing is gone. Lewis also had an idea for a TV show, but there’s been a delay due to the writers’ strike. He said, "I remind myself that there are many, many others much worse off, and that’s important to remember. My life is not as good as it used to be when I could hear, but it’s still pretty good."
Are you or a loved one beginning to notice hearing loss? Don’t wait to seek help. Contact Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Modern hearing aids allow users to adjust the volume and clarity of their environment.
They help give their hearing aids optimal performance while bringing better awareness to a person’s surroundings. The fastest and easiest way to achieve this is by using hearing aid programs.
What are hearing aid programs?
A program for hearing aids is a pre-set sound setting to help you hear better in a particular environment. It can be indoors, like in a dining setting, or outside, like at a park. Based on your lifestyle, you might have a program for the outdoors titled “Outdoors.” A program for a place you regularly visit might be called “Dining.”
Why are hearing aid programs needed?
You might come across various listening environments each day. It might be a busy, crowded space like a dining hall or a quieter location like a healthcare appointment in a private office. Even PA announcements or a hearing loop connection to a theater’s speaker systems need a program or additional setting you can switch to. Different areas require different hearing aid settings.
How are hearing aid programs implemented?
It’s easy to use a hearing aid program. Some are automated, depending on the type of hearing aid you have. Or, you can select the applicable program setting when you arrive at the equivalent location. If you go into the same grocery store often frequented, the hearing aid setting automatically switches, or you may need to manually switch from the previous program setting to the “grocery store” setting.
Hearing aid program categories
There are two types of hearing aid programs available - professional and custom.
Professional programs are the most common programs that your hearing aid provider can set up. A hearing aid provider/hearing instrument specialist will create settings based on discussions about your lifestyle and listening priorities. For example, “Personal” (like your daily hearing setting), “Appointments” (for healthcare or other appointments), “Restaurant” (for dining out), “Outdoors” (for time spent outside), etc.
Anyone who is more tech-savvy and finds it easy or is more adventurous to play with new technology can use custom-programmed settings. The user can create their own settings for the environments they frequent.
Your hearing instrument specialist can help you assess the best program settings and how to operate these programs. The programs might switch on automatically, or you open them with a simple app on your smartphone.
Schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists for a hearing aid trial today.
In the past, there have been strong cases that presumed the interconnectedness of hearing and brain health. New data is helping to back up that speculation.
The Lancet published a study this year that hearing aids can significantly lower the risks for the onset of dementia. This research maintains the understanding that seeking help and treatment for hearing loss might protect and improve cognitive abilities.
How and why is healthy hearing crucial for proper cognitive function? How are hearing aids helpful for someone’s brain and overall health?
The Relationship between Dementia, Hearing problems, and Hearing aids
For some, hearing aids may only be known to improve hearing. More benefits come with wearing them, like a user’s ability to process sounds.
Hearing loss can make traditional learning experiences more challenging, as processing new information can become daunting. If you can’t hear clearly, struggling to hear can lead to listening fatigue. In addition to exhausting efforts to listen, hearing loss has a connection to increased brain shrinkage. This phenomenon can occur through atrophy or loss of brain tissue.
Hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which can lead to dementia. The inability to hear can lead people to withdraw from others. Socializing with others stimulates the brain, which can prevent atrophy in the brain while helping overall cognitive function.
Hearing aids, Socializing, Cognitive Function, and Overall Well-Being
As mentioned, socializing is necessary for cognitive function. It helps reduce loneliness, isolation, and depression. These are all risk factors for dementia. Healthy hearing is crucial for enjoyable socializing. In the same way that impaired vision stops people from seeing everything around them, hearing loss can prevent people from hearing in their environment - that’s part of a healthy social life. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported that withdrawing from socializing increases dementia by 50%.
Hearing aid usage can change that. The ability to hear a simple conversation can exercise your brain. Active listening, remembering something from the past, and expressing yourself can improve cognitive function. Hearing aids can make socializing easier while being more aware of your environment.
You can calm any worries about your safety when there’s a better awareness of your surroundings. If you are in your home or a public space and there’s an emergency, hearing aids will help you become alert to those emergencies. If you don’t have hearing aids, or they are not working, figure out a different means of communication. That can include texting or writing things down using a pen and paper. Hearing aids can help lower the chances of falls due to imbalance. Your balance and hearing are interconnected.
According to The Lancet, about 8% of dementia cases are preventable through professional hearing intervention. Hearing aid users have 19% less risk of cognitive decline and 17% less possibility of dementia than those who have not had their hearing loss treated.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that dementia is more common among the study’s participants who experience moderate or severe hearing loss - at a 61% higher rate than participants with normal hearing. There were 32% lower cases of dementia among participants who used hearing aids with mild to severe hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids can improve the user’s ability to correctly understand information and perhaps be better at retaining that information. Hearing aids don’t cure anything, including hearing and memory conditions. Instead, hearing aids help users hear better with the hearing abilities that they still have - also known as residual hearing. People may remember things better if they can listen and understand others.
The Best Ways to Protect Yourself Against Dementia
Protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss. If you are noticing hearing loss, seek help immediately. When you receive a hearing test and if the results indicate hearing loss, the professional who conducted the test may recommend hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
Wearing fitted and programmed hearing aids tailored to your specific hearing loss is crucial to reduce any additional hearing loss or cognitive function.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be beneficial, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
According to the National Institute on Aging, hearing loss is common, especially for anyone 85 and older.
The population of people who will be 80 years and older is supposed to double within the upcoming years, and hearing technology will continue to become more advanced.
Modern digital hearing aids are a great example of innovation in hearing technology. Not only can you hear better with this new technology, but the additional features and perks will help make life easier.
The ability to hear is a significant part of life. Whether you want to have a meaningful conversation or enjoy simple things like music or nature, hearing aids can help make life more fulfilling. Imagine not being able to hear your favorite music, waves crashing at the beach, birds chirping, or the laughter of loved ones.
Some risks come with hearing loss that remain untreated.
What are the risks of untreated hearing loss?
As you get older, untreated hearing loss can negatively affect:
Voice volume - Your vocal cords may become strained because you might talk louder or shout because you’ve lost the normalcy of speaking in an average tone.
Speech - The sounds in certain words and letters can become challenging to hear based on the loss of frequency levels.
Relationships - The efforts necessary to keep up with others during conversations can create a strain with loved ones, colleagues, professionals you need to keep in contact with for various services, etc.
Brain Health - The brain goes under stress and strain when it cannot interpret what is said, leading to cognitive fatigue. Some people need to take a break from socializing. If the break from socializing becomes routine, it leads to isolation. It doesn’t just harm your relationships with others but can also lead to depression and dementia.
Background noise in conversations - When there’s too much background noise, it can make conversations unpleasant.
Enjoying entertainment - Movies and music on your TV or stereo system might make listening to entertainment challenging with others. They need a standard volume level, while you need to turn up the volume, which can risk the hearing health of others.
Performance in school or at work - The ability to understand and efficiently communicate with others during a meeting, interactions with co-workers, and hearing crucial announcements can become problematic.
Security - The inability to hear alerts such as fire alarms, tornado warnings, or emergency vehicles can be dangerous to you and others around you. Have a plan in case you come across that problem.
Contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Over the next few weeks, our Elizabethtown office is undergoing some major renovations - all windows are being replaced and upgraded. We're always working on improving our customers' experience. Good lighting is a key to effective communication, so a great way to make your time at Pure Sound accessible and comfortable is getting window upgrades.
Take a look at the progress so far…
The main lobby's window has been replaced and installed.
Schedule a hearing test and consultation at our office in Elizabethtown. You can get a closer look at the new renovations when you visit.
Appointments are also available at our Lititz and Strasburg locations.
AC/DC’s singer-songwriter, Brian Johnson, was nearly filled with hopelessness after hearing problems drove him to leave the band’s 2016 tour Rock or Bust. Axl Rose replaced him.
Johnson shared in his new memoir, The Lives of Brian, that he had suicidal thoughts after leaving the tour or risked going deaf.
Johnson mentioned during an interview with Rolling Stone that he had “pretty serious” issues with his hearing and could not hear the tone of the guitars while on stage.
He remembered how painful it felt when he told his tour manager that he wouldn’t be able to perform for the rest of the tour.
"I called Tim, the tour manager, on my mobile right there in the room to tell him that I just couldn't continue," Johnson reportedly writes. "It was one of the most difficult conversations of my life — the pain of it made worse over the weeks that followed when the tour simply went on without me. It was a sheer cliff. I didn't tumble down. I was in free fall."
Axl Rose, the frontman of Guns N’ Roses, replaced Johnson. He said Rose did a “great job” even though it was still a crushing ordeal.
Before receiving support for his hearing problems, Johnson was “literally getting by on muscle memory and mouth shapes” while on stage. He said it felt “crippling” to be “standing there and not being sure” during performances. He had a small device that utilized the bone structure in the skull as a receiver. The device allowed him to return to performing on stage.
AC/DC hasn’t done a tour since Rock or Bust, but Johnson joined the band again and recorded Power Up, their 2020 album. The surviving band members - Johnson, lead guitarist Angus Young, bassist Cliff Williams, and drummer Phil Rudd - were reunited. Malcolm Young passed away in 2017. Since 2014, his nephew Stevie Young has been performing in his place.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.
To get help with your hearing loss, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We also sell earplugs so you can protect your ears next time you go to a live concert.
September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. How can Hearing Aids help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Aging leads to the deterioration of brain cells, some of which can become permanently destroyed. As a result, “brain atrophy” or “cognitive decline” occurs, which can cause dementia.
It’s a complicated process. Genetic factors can cause cognitive decline, but sometimes it's manageable. Hearing loss treatment is one of the ways you can slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Treating high blood pressure, reducing your alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, managing depression, taking action if you are socially isolated, and exercising are all risk factors you can control.
If you experience hearing loss and dementia, will hearing aids help?
According to The Lancet, older adults who practiced hearing aid usage and regularly received help from a hearing healthcare provider lowered their dementia risks by 50% over three years.
The lowered risk included people with other risk factors for dementia (heart disease, social isolation, and physical inactivity).
An indiscriminate controlled trial studied how treating hearing loss impacted dementia. The test subjects in this study used hearing aids, a hearing “toolkit” which helped the individual manage their hearing loss, and continued instruction and counseling with a hearing healthcare professional.
After three years, the results indicated that the intervention lowered the rate of anticipated cognitive decline for adults between 70 and 84 years old. These benefits only included people with hearing loss and additional risks like dementia, heart disease, lower levels of education, and reduced physically active lifestyle.
The primary conclusion is that anyone with hearing loss, especially if they are older, should get a hearing checkup and treat any symptoms. There are no risks to intervening to take care of your hearing.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association-Neurology, wearing hearing aids can effectively reduce the risks of cognitive decline.
Another study by the Journal of American Geriatrics Society revealed that using hearing aids delayed the onset of cognitive impairment, dementia, depression, social isolation, and falls that can lead to injuries/hospitalizations. This study was not a randomized controlled trial. The results could have been due to other reasons: some hearing aid wearers have higher incomes, allowing them to access better medical care.
The Best Hearing Aids for Dementia
There isn’t one particular hearing aid or assistive listening device that helps with dementia, but there are multiple types and styles of hearing aids that can improve symptoms.
Are you a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Research what hearing aids work best for that loved one. Discuss your concerns about them with a professional hearing aid provider. Your loved one’s daily routines, specific listening needs, and abilities will be incorporated when selecting hearing aids.
Contact one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
National D/deaf Awareness Month is recognized in the US every September. During this month, people celebrate and advocate for the D/deaf community. Awareness specific to the issues, people, and culture of the D/deaf community is the primary focus.
The D/deaf and HoH (Hard of Hearing) Community
There’s a diversity by which people in the D/deaf community choose to identify themselves.
1. Something to think about is how a person becomes deaf or Hard of Hearing (HoH).
2. The range of hearing, age of onset, educational background, means of communication, and cultural identity may be part of their identity. There’s a personal level of how each person relates to one another and labels themselves. Some are content with the phrase “people with hearing loss.” Others born deaf or HoH don’t consider themselves as someone who “lost” their sense of hearing. Different terminology that is inclusive is acceptable include: “deaf,” “Deaf,” and “hard of hearing.”
“Deaf” vs. “deaf”
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) differentiates “Deaf” and “deaf” as such: the uppercase Deaf refers to a particular group of deaf people who share a language - American Sign Language (ASL) and a culture. The lowercase deaf refers to the audiological condition. A person with mild-to-moderate hearing loss or someone who is deaf but doesn’t have or desire a cultural affiliation with the Deaf community may identify as HoH. Each person may identify through an audiological or cultural context based on their level of comfort, means of communication, and acceptance. However they choose to identify themselves, they should all feel welcome within the community and in society.
Sign Language is Unique across the Globe
The World Federation of the Deaf found that there are over 200 languages signed around the world. Sign language is not a universal language. Just as with spoken languages, variations of sign language have developed within countries and communities. There are even differences in sign languages among countries with the same or similar spoken language. For example, English sign language includes American Sign Language (ASL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), and British Sign Language (BSL). Spanish Sign Language (LSE or SSL) differs in the Americas and Europe. SSL is signed in every part of Spain, except in Catalonia - the people there use Catalan Sign Language (CSL) - and in Valencia, where they use Valencian Sign Language (VSL). In Mexico, Mexican Sign Language (MSL) is practiced.
Ways to Support the D/deaf and HoH Communities
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids might be an appropriate solution, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists for a hearing test and consultation.
All modern digital hearing aids feature Bluetooth® technology so that your Apple and Android phones, TVs, tablets, and other devices with audio can connect to your hearing aids.
Earlier hearing aid styles forced users to choose between wearing their hearing aids to hear or removing their hearing aids and replacing them with earbuds or a headset. Wireless hearing aids use Bluetooth® to link your electronic devices and stream the sounds to hearing aids.
Hearing aids and Bluetooth®
Multiple leading technology firms developed Bluetooth®. It’s a wireless communication that transfers data between at least two electronic devices. Radio waves set to a high frequency to transmit data without hindrance or risks to security can pair with Bluetooth®. Devices such as computers, mobile phones, music players, tablets, and TV now use Bluetooth®.
Hearing aids for the iPhone®.
There has been a patent developed by Apple to connect Bluetooth® with hearing aids. That means certain hearing aids can connect with the iOS platform that controls iPhones, iPads, and iPods. This technology lets devices connect directly without draining too much battery power. The majority of hearing aid manufacturers make hearing aids that use Bluetooth® - marketed as Made for iPhone™.
Hearing aids for the Android Phone.
Google is developing a standard hearing aid compatibility platform for Android. Many hearing aid brands can stream Android-based phones that are 10.0 or more.
Can’t connect your hearing aids?
Not all hearing aids feature direct streaming from the smartphone to the hearing aids. If that’s the case for you, wireless hearing aids can connect to a compatible listening device (AKA streamers) which provides a communication link for the wireless technology and hearing aids as long as it has Bluetooth®.
You can pair digital hearing aids with a streamer. The streamer connects to an external device. The streamer harnesses the Bluetooth® signal and transmits it to the hearing aid using an FM signal or electromagnetic field. The streamer can be donned around your neck or stored in your pocket, giving you a hands-free experience. Talk to your hearing aid provider about the options suitable for you.
Bluetooth® is one of the top technologies that’s prevalent today.
Bluetooth® has helped make hearing aids ultra-customized for people’s listening needs. Not only is it convenient to use, but it helps by tailoring people’s unique listening needs.
Stay connected with others by contacting one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing.
Whether you are trying to fit in that last summer vacation, planning for Labor Day, or are readily available to travel all year long (Hello retirees!), sometimes it’s nice to get away by yourself. It is fun to explore a new place, and traveling is a great way to socialize and improve your overall health.
For some, hearing loss can make traveling slightly more challenging, especially if you plan to travel solo. Being prepared can make traveling alone easier.
1. Receive Treatment for Hearing Loss Before Traveling
If you experience hearing loss and haven’t sought treatment, get your hearing tested immediately. As with any health concern, early treatment is better for your health. Your hearing healthcare provider will offer treatment options suitable for your hearing loss. That may include hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
If you wear hearing aids, your hearing instrument specialist can program channels on your hearing aids to make it easier to focus on crucial things to hear, like a flight delay, while blocking out unwanted noises like a crying baby on the plane.
2. Pack Accordingly
In addition to your clothes and other essential items, don’t forget to pack accessories used with your hearing aids. Bring extra batteries or your hearing aid charger, a waterproof case, tools, cleaning wipes, and any other things you use to care for your hearing aids. If you forgot any of these items, look up a local hearing aid business to get your supplies.
3. Start by Taking Small Travel Trips
Your first solo trip doesn’t need to be abroad. There are lots of places to visit and enjoy within your local region. Whether you plan to travel by airplane or train, traveling to a closer area can give you practice on what it’ll be like to go through airports or train stations without the intimidation of being too outside of your home/comfort zone.
4. Do thorough Research Before Your Trip
Learning and understanding more about your means of travel, hotels, motels, an Airbnb that you are staying at, and the city/town you’re visiting will be to your advantage. You can feel more confident and secure when traveling. In addition to the area where you will be staying, it’s a good idea to research museums, parks, restaurants, theaters, or other spaces you plan to visit so you know what to expect regarding the establishment’s accommodations for people with hearing loss.
5. Keep in Contact with Loved Ones
Solo travel should still include loved ones. Have regular check-ins. When traveling abroad, ensure you can text and call each other, even with the international barrier. A reliable method of contacting someone is crucial in case of emergencies.
If you, or a loved one, experience hearing loss and need new hearing aids, supplies, or a professional cleaning for your hearing aids before traveling, schedule an appointment at Pure Sound Hearing.
Are you interested in better understanding your hearing loss and specific hearing needs?
Pure Sound Hearing is ready to guide you through your progress with better hearing because staying connected with loved ones and people you need to interact with is necessary.
Hearing Loss Facts
Experiencing hearing loss means that you can no longer hear certain sounds. You may be able to hear clearly in quiet settings, but louder ones are more challenging. Most people lose the ability to hear high-pitched sounds. The sounds of birds singing or children laughing may be hard to hear or not heard at all.
For some people, hearing loss can suddenly happen due to noise exposure, medication side effects, etc. For most people, it’s a barely noticeable progression until they can no longer hear something or someone.
Causes of Hearing Loss
There are numerous causes of hearing loss. Here are some of the most common:
The type of hearing loss and the severity depends on which part of the ear the impairment occurs in.
The Repercussions of Neglecting Hearing Loss
Failing to receive a hearing test and treatment can worsen the effects of hearing loss. That includes depression due to social isolation. When a person can’t hear well or has a tough time communicating with others, this can lead them to give up on their social life.
You may hear and then misinterpret instructions. This might happen in school, the workplace, medical appointments, or any other instance where hearing instructions is crucial.
The inability to hear if there’s something wrong with your car engine/tires or not hearing emergency sirens are other repercussions of hearing loss. It puts you and others who share the road with you in danger. Ensure that your car inspections are up-to-date, and follow these driving safety tips.
If you or a loved one notice hearing loss, please contact Pure Sound Hearing in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We have three office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
Are you a hearing aid user who has been to a theatre, auditorium, or any other public space where the assistive listening device doesn’t work?
Your hearing aids should be able to connect with the loop system or an infrared listening system, which is found in most public spaces in the U.S., or paired with an assistive listening device provided by the theatre establishment.
What’s a Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop (or an audio induction loop) is a sound system that helps people with hearing aids hear in theaters, banks, waiting areas, auditoriums, teaching spaces, or any area with public announcements. The hearing loop produces a wireless, magnetic signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when the ‘T’ (telecoil or t-coil) setting is on. It has an audio source linked to an amplifier that processes the signal. The signal is transferred to the loop cable - a wire installed around the perimeter of a designated spot i.e. a small meeting room, but it can be designed to wrap around complex areas.
Hearing loops provide high sound quality. This is the only assistive listening technology that can stream directly to various hearing aids styles. They are the leading choice for audio accessibility in public spaces.
Employee Sensitivity Training
Employees should have required training on handling and accommodating patrons who are hard of hearing and require an assistive listening device.
For example, if a theater or any establishment touts accessibility accommodations for people who cannot hear very well and then fails to follow through on that promise, there should be a notification, an explanation, or an apology. There should also be an update to their system or an announcement on their website. For some businesses, accessibility services tend to take the back burner, which is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Advantages of Using a Hearing Loop
If you, or a loved one, are missing out during your favorite or important situations, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation about a hearing aid trial.
Research has confirmed that there is an evident relationship between depression and hearing loss. Unfortunately, both of these conditions are often overlooked and untreated by primary healthcare professionals. It’s important to highlight this dilemma to improve the overall health of millions of people.
The Link Between Depression and Hearing Loss
Many people who have hearing loss face difficulties with communication. This can cause a lot of stress, fatigue, and social isolation. Older adults are at a higher risk of depression caused by social isolation.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), over 11 percent of individuals who experience hearing loss also have depression, compared to 5 percent of the general population. Depression was shown to be common among people between the ages of 18 and 69.
There had been a considerable link between moderate to severe depression and hearing loss. The study had not confirmed the cause and effect of this affiliation.
Hearing loss is the third leading condition found in elderly adults. Presbycusis is the most prevalent type of hearing loss related to aging. It happens very gradually, so it’s difficult for a person to detect unless they get a hearing test. It is described as losing the highest frequency consonant sounds and having difficulty understanding speech when there is background noise. About 25 to 40 percent of adults over 65 years of age experience hearing loss. For most people in that age group, hearing loss tends to go undetected and untreated. This could be because just 9 percent of general healthcare practitioners recommend that their older patients receive a hearing test. Even when people do get tested, just 25 percent of those with treatable hearing loss take the initiative to get hearing aids.
What are the signs of Hearing Loss and Depression?
It is recommended that you get a routine hearing test, and familiarize yourself with symptoms of depression.
Symptoms that can be mistaken for signs of aging - such as difficulty with following along in a conversation, social isolation, or even feelings of paranoia - may be caused by hearing loss.
Some signs of depression, like feeling sad and hopeless are more obvious; whereas feeling fatigued, struggling with concentration, experiencing a loss of appetite, irritability, and losing interest in your favorite hobbies can disrupt your daily life and how you interact with others. Your family healthcare provider, family, and friends should also observe symptoms of depression. These symptoms make it very important to regularly get your hearing tested.
Typical signs of hearing loss are turning up the volume level on the TV or computer, to the point where others ask to turn it down, constantly asking others to repeat themselves, or experiencing difficulty with following along during conversations.
The latest research may allow healthcare providers to become more mindful of depression symptoms in patients with hearing loss or refer those who have these symptoms to get additional treatment. Proper treatment could help these individuals acknowledge their feelings, take action, and become more socially engaged with others to improve their overall health.
Hearing tests can change how depression is treated. For someone with depression that is caused by or worsens due to underlying hearing loss, a hearing test should be taken before prescribing antidepressants. This will help patients avoid unnecessary medications. There have been some medications that are known to cause hearing loss, which can further damage your mental health.
How to Discuss Hearing Loss
It probably won’t be easy to bring up the topic of hearing loss with an older adult. Many do not appreciate being told what to do, because of the switch in roles of authority.
It may be more effective to structure the discussion in a way that highlights the benefits of getting treatment. For example, they may find that it’s easier to participate in conversations and become more independent by not relying on others to repeat themselves or relay something that was said. Remind them that there have been considerable advancements in hearing aid technology. There are so many more benefits such as blocking out distracting background noise so that you may focus on a conversation.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. The earlier you seek treatment, the better chance you will have to keep the hearing abilities that you still possess.
Anyone who has tinnitus can attest that it’s not just distracting but also very irritating. Going about your daily routines and being able to focus on them can feel impossible on some days.
There are some instances where tinnitus can be relieved by treating the underlying cause. In most cases, there’s no direct cause. But across the board, most patients with these symptoms note more stress.
But don’t worry. There are some ways to relieve tinnitus. Let’s go over them.
If tinnitus is something you are constantly experiencing, habituating is a handy tool. It’s the process of ignoring or tuning out the noise.
There are different types of habituation methods. Everyone’s tinnitus experience is unique, so try a few techniques.
You can close your eyes and visualize a space where you feel safe and comfortable. It might be a nature environment. Imagine a clear blue sky. You are sitting by a mountain with streams of water rushing nearby. Imagine the scent of the fresh mountain air and the cool breezes. Hear the gentle winds and movements of tree branches and bushes. You can imagine birds chirping or the buzzing of insects flying by.
Increase Relaxation in the Muscles
This technique can be accomplished while sitting or standing. To begin, tense up the muscles in your toes and feet for five to 10 seconds. Gradually relax these muscles for 30 seconds and repeat with your legs, hips, abdomen, lower back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, and jaw.
Daily Strategies to Handle Tinnitus
Protect your hearing with earplugs or noise-blocking earmuffs.
If your job involves handling or working near heavy/loud machinery, or you are near speakers at a live concert, wear foam earplugs or earmuffs so that the tinnitus doesn’t worsen. Noise exposure can provoke tinnitus in some people. It can also harm your hearing health, making the tinnitus symptoms sound harsher.
Deal with Stress by Exercising or getting a Massage
Exercise is a great stress reliever. It’s excellent for your body and mind. Tinnitus connected to high blood pressure can be relieved by becoming more physically active. It can help control your blood pressure, thus reducing tinnitus symptoms.
Yoga is an excellent exercise to practice. This workout integrates meditation, breathing, and relaxation in addition to a full-body workout.
Excess sodium and caffeine can worsen symptoms of tinnitus. Try to reduce your salt and caffeine intake. Eat foods that are rich in nutrients for your hearing. For patients with Meniere’s disease - a combination of dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus - reducing salt in your diet can help.
Your mental health and relationships can be negatively affected by tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you handle the emotional stress of tinnitus.
If you’ve tried everything on our list, and you still experience stress from tinnitus, maybe hearing aids will help. Hearing aids can be programmed to mask the noise you hear from tinnitus. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is prevalent but not exclusive to individuals 65 and older. Anyone can have a gradual or sudden hearing loss, making communication challenging.
Patients with signs of hearing loss, whether detected by you or others with whom you consistently interact, should seek a hearing test.
If you responded “yes” to any of these and believe hearing aids are a solution, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The Types of Hearing Loss
Multiple parts of the ear cooperate to create the ability to hear:
Three leading types of hearing loss alter different parts of the ear:
The Causes of Hearing Loss
If there’s an obstruction or damage in the external, middle, or inner ear, you may experience hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss include:
The Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You may experience hearing loss in one ear (unilateral hearing loss) or both ears (bilateral hearing loss). Indications of hearing loss include:
You may exhibit other symptoms in addition to hearing loss, like tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or problems with your hearing, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
As frequent readers of this blog know, this entire website is dedicated to hearing health awareness, seeking treatment, preventative measures, and many other related topics to hearing health. But did you know August is the national month of hearing health awareness?
What are the signs of Hearing Loss?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 466 million children and adults experience some form of disabling hearing impairment. There are treatment options for most hearing loss.
One of the primary steps in treating hearing loss is to be aware of possible signs:
If you or a loved one are starting to notice the hearing loss or have been experiencing hearing loss for some time, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Are you concerned about how stealth electric vehicles (EVs) can be? Even though hybrid and electric cars are better for the environment and reduce noise, they can be dangerous for anyone with hearing problems.
The growing demand for hybrid and fully electric EVs has shown an increase in efficient rechargeable batteries and charging stations. These cars have cut gas consumption and air pollution, but they are so quiet that Deaf and hard of hearing individuals have trouble detecting them in the streets. Even for those with good hearing, noticing whether the engine is on isn’t always clear unless you look at the dashboard.
The University of California did a study on detecting gas-powered cars and EVs. Those with good hearing could notice the gas-powered vehicle at a 36-foot distance while blindfolded. These same individuals could only recognize an EV passing when it was 11 feet away.
The same study was conducted with background noise to replicate realistic city noises. In this trial, the gas-powered vehicle was detected from 22 feet away when the test subject was blindfolded. On the other hand, the EV was not detectable at all.
Should Noises be Emitted from EVs?
Anyone, especially children and people with hearing problems, can be in danger of neglecting to notice EVs approaching them. Adding a simulated car noise or siren could be a solution in the future. For now, be more aware of your surroundings near roads.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing problems, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Are You getting ready to Travel for a Vacation? Here are some ways to Prepare if You wear Hearing Aids.
Traveling on a plane can be stressful. That stress can magnify if you also experience hearing loss. If you’re a hearing aid user, you must take extra precautions while traveling.
Preparing for Travel
Protect the circuitry of your hearing aids from nature’s elements.
If you’re traveling somewhere humid/hot or where you’ll be near a body of water, make sure you have a dry box to store your hearing aids to protect them from the water. A hearing aid dehumidifier is also helpful if moisture builds up in your devices. A waterproof hat or umbrella is beneficial if you find yourself in an unexpected rainstorm.
Get Your Equipment Ready
Pack your hearing aid equipment in your carry-on bag. You don’t want to be without these items if your bag is misplaced during transit. It can be challenging to replace these things, particularly when traveling to secluded destinations.
Hearing aids need a power source - via batteries or recharging. Whatever number of batteries you believe you’ll need, pack extra. Depending on how often you use them and how much streaming is used, the average hearing aid battery lasts 5-14 days. So always pack extra just in case. Remember to bring your hearing aid charger if you wear rechargeable hearing aids.
You should also pack a power strip and a power adapter (if traveling overseas). Sometimes there’s a limited number of outlets for you to plug things in at hotel rooms, so it’s good to have these to prevent any instances of not having fully recharged hearing aids.
Schedule a visit at Pure Sound Hearing
If you want reassurance that your hearing aids or assistive listening devices are correctly functioning before your trip, schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing.
Traveling through the Airport and on the Airplane
When you travel, you should be able to see the Hearing Loop logos at popular tourist destinations and public transit spaces.
About 90% of hearing aids use telecoils or t-coils so that travel and tourist information can be heard through your hearing aids or assistive listening devices. Bluetooth® hearing aids can be used during a flight, but it needs to be set in airplane mode if the flight attendant requests passengers to do so.
Going Through Security Checkpoint
You can wear your hearing aids through the security checkpoint - they won’t set off any alarms. Notify the security personnel that you have hearing loss in case they notice that you are not following directions. While walking through a metal detector, switch the volume to a lower setting. Your hearing aids might produce a loud distorted or static noise.
Checking in at Your Hotel/Destination
If you haven’t notified the hotel staff about your hearing impairment before arriving at your destination, give the receptionist your phone number and ask to receive text messages for vital information (room service, wake-up calls).
Many hotels have amenities that help people with hearing loss - fire alarms that light up as a visual aid or assistive listening devices paired with the TV in your hotel room. Contact the customer service representative at your hotel to ask about their accessibility options.
If you need new hearing aids or supplies for your hearing aids during traveling, please contact Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
Stay safe! Enjoy your travels!
If you’ve got a loved one in a nursing home, you need to be concerned about multiple things from their nutrition to their safety and overall care. This includes keeping up with their hearing health with proper hearing aid usage, daily maintenance, and keeping track of their devices.
Medical emergencies and hygiene will usually be the priority of caregiving staff. Hearing aids and maintenance tend to be less of a priority. Losing hearing aids can be a common occurrence with hundreds of residents and staff moving through the facility. Many seniors in these facilities need hearing aids, but most staff members are unaware that they need these devices. It’s also likely that residents might refuse to wear hearing aids, which leads to frustration among patients and nurses.
Some reasons why residents do not want to wear hearing aids:
Nursing home staff should be trained in case these problems come up. Some people, particularly seniors, might feel confused, lost, isolated, and frustrated without their hearing aids, or hearing aids that are not working properly. It’s easy but takes time to keep up with hearing aid maintenance and cleanings. Hearing aids that aren’t worn at all, or used correctly can worsen current ailments, like dementia.
Regular hearing tests are important. If someone’s hearing gets worse, it might mean that the hearing aid isn’t working as well as it should be.
It requires a team of people to help them with this. Other non-nursing staff members should also be made aware of patients who wear hearing aids. A positive relationship is necessary for the best care.
If an item like hearing aids goes missing, you’ll have to figure out who bears responsibility. Every nursing home is different, so you’ll need to know how the nursing home, state, providence, or area will handle the situation.
Preventing Hearing Aid Loss
You may purchase a sleeve that fits over the hearing aid. You will still be able to hear through the sleeve. There are corded styles that feature a clip, which can secure the hearing aid to clothing. This helps lower the chance of losing the hearing device.
Label Your Hearing Aids
Your initials can be written on your hearing aid with a permanent marker, or you can put a small, shiny sticker on them. It’s easier to catch the eye with something shiny, as long as there’s light to reflect off from. A sticker with a bright color can also help you find the hearing aid if it fell on the floor or in your bed.
Storage Unit for Hearing Aids
Simply place your hearing aids in a small plastic case (hearing aid dryer) next to your bed, so it’s easily accessible in the middle of the night. Do not wrap them in a tissue or napkin to protect them. Hearing aids are lightweight, so it’s easy to mistake a wadded-up tissue or napkin for trash. If you need a case for your hearing aids, contact Pure Sound Hearing to set up a time to purchase it from one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, or Strasburg.
Maintenance of Hearing Aids
The staff members at nursing homes are very busy. But, it’s important to make sure they take the time to label each hearing aid, clean them, store them, make sure there’s no moisture build-up, and check the battery life. Family members also bear responsibility for helping their loved one arrange for a hearing test and maintaining hearing aids so their loved ones can get the best out of their devices. Your hearing aid provider should have gone over cleaning requirements, battery changes, how to use the hearing aid, and any other questions you or your loved one had.
If you need hearing aids, cleaning tools, or any other accessories for your hearing aids, please contact Pure Sound Hearing.
The summer heatwave is beating down upon us, and maybe you’ve noticed an ice cream truck circling your neighborhood. When you were a kid, do you remember perking up as soon as you heard that classic high-pitched tune playing on a loop to signal the ice cream truck was close?
You probably never knew or were curious enough to research the device used to produce the music from ice cream trucks.
Since 1957, Nichols Electronics Co of Richfield has been producing and selling music boxes for ice cream trucks. There’s plenty of competition against ice cream vendors. That means they should be loud enough even when there’s a lot of background noise, no matter the environment. Tunes that play from a high-quality music box allow vendors to get noticed by their customers. Anyone with good hearing can recognize that unmistakable jingle.
Nichols Electronics entered the ice cream music box business in 1957 when an ice cream truck driver from Los Angeles reached out to his friend Bob Nichols. He asked Nichols if he would create an electric music box, similar to the ones that Good Humor ice cream trucks used. This was the inception of the business of creating music boxes for ice cream trucks.
Do you miss hearing the sound of ice cream trucks? Don’t be left out. Enjoy some music and treats with family, your grandchildren, and friends. Contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid professionals.
The combination of loudness and clarity helps create the quality of sound. Learning about the distinctions between these two is essential to understand what type of hearing loss you experience. It’s also the primary stage where you learn about loudness and clarity that’s heard through your hearing aids.
Let’s define Sound Loudness and Clarity
The volume/intensity of sound which is measured in decibels (dB) is known as loudness. How loud the soundwave amplifies verifies its loudness. A large-amplitude soundwave will emit a louder sound than a smaller-amplitude soundwave - which gives off a softer sound. Sound clarity is based on the speaker’s clearness of pronunciation and the whether the listener can interpret the different speech sounds. Clarity is the sound’s quality.
Anyone who has difficulty hearing clearly may be tempted to, or will blatantly, place responsibility on the person speaking for mumbling or talking too quietly. Speaking louder will resolve this issue, but only in some instances. A common experience for anyone with difficulties when it comes to hearing and clarity is that you may be able to hear a person speaking, but cannot understand what they are saying. This may be a sign of hearing loss. Your natural ability to hear frequencies, like consonant sounds, can make interpreting sounds more challenging.
Loudness does not always equal clarity. Background noises can interfere with clarity. There are hearing aids that feature directional microphones so that they will pick up sounds based on the direction in which you are facing.
Hearing Tests and Clarity
High-frequency sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. This hearing loss is commonly caused by aging (presbycusis) and noise exposure. These include the inability to hear high-pitched sounds like children’s voices or home fire alarms. Presbycusis occurs slowly over time. It damages the ability to hear high frequencies, but the ability to hear low frequencies may still be possible. It allows the volume to remain almost the same, but the clarity is affected in high-frequency hearing loss is crucial for hearing consonant sounds. Consonants are what help give words clearer meaning when spoken. Understanding what is being said can be very challenging if a person is missing these frequencies.
Straining to hear others can cause what is known as listening fatigue. When your brain - which is where sounds are interpreted - is continuously exerting itself during conversations in order to decrypt sounds and speech, you can become mentally exhausted.
Low-frequency hearing loss is caused by the inability to hear sounds in the lower frequency range. They are identified as low-pitched sounds, which are more intense and transfer less information than high-pitched sounds. Low-frequency hearing loss may impact your ability to understand speech and participate in conversations. It may also make it harder to hear if there’s too much background noise. Low-frequency hearing loss occurs as the result of genetic factors, infections (otitis media), or from Meniere’s disease.
Hearing Aids can Help
Hearing aids are a solution to the lack of loudness and clarity. Hearing aids are meant to make sounds louder and focus on speech sounds to make them loud and clear. The microphone on a hearing aid harnesses sound from an environment, amplifies it, and sends that signal to the hearing aid’s receiver which rests inside the ear. Soft sounds can become easier to hear and help with speech comprehension.
Hearing aids can have special programs to make sound clarity easier to hear. High-pitched sounds can be improved without altering low-pitched sounds. Frequency-lowering can gather high frequencies and switch them into lower frequencies, instead of raising the volume level. Frequency lowering lets users hear higher frequencies of speech at a frequency that is comfortable for the individual.
Digital hearing aids let users hear clearer speech sounds by lowering background noise and focusing on certain speakers, instead of analog hearing aids, which amplify all noises in a space.
Adapting to hearing aids takes time and patience. The average person with hearing loss waits seven years to get their first hearing aid fitting. Your brain needs to get acquainted with hearing noises that you haven’t heard in years. Everything might seem too loud at first, but the brain becomes better stimulated when hearing aids are worn each day from the moment when you wake up to the moment when you go to bed. The adjustment can take a few months to a year, so be patient.
Contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. If hearing aids are recommended for you, a free trial will be available through our providers.
June is National Safety Month. If You have Hearing Loss, here are 10 Hearing Tips to Help Keep You Safe.
June is National Safety Month with the National Safety Council. If you experience hearing loss, being aware of your surroundings is part of staying safe.
Did you know that the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. are due to accidents?
This month brings awareness to the causes of preventable injuries so that everyone can take proper precautions.
What would happen if you couldn’t hear someone trying to get your attention? What if you couldn’t hear someone honking their car’s horn or an emergency alarm?
Treating your hearing loss is the first crucial step to help make you more aware of your surroundings. If you are a hearing aid user, follow these 10 tips to help keep you and your family safe, even if you aren’t wearing your hearing aids.
1. Get special alarms for people with hearing loss.
Alarms for people with healthy hearing usually make a loud noise - alarm clocks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. If you have difficulty hearing, some alarms feature flashing lights or vibrations (a vibrating bed) in addition to noise.
If you can’t hear someone knocking at your door or ringing your doorbell, consider getting motion detectors that feature flashing lights.
If you have a smartphone, you can choose an app that alerts you during these occasions by vibrating your phone.
2. Make sure friends and family know about your hearing loss.
Some people don’t feel comfortable sharing their hearing problems with others. It’s important to realize that today, there is significantly less stigma around hearing loss. If your friends and family don’t know about it - they are usually the first to detect it - inform them. They can let you know if there is danger so that you can get to a safe area. Otherwise, they will assume that you can also hear these dangers and won’t think to help you.
3. Bring a friend or family member when you leave your house.
Whenever possible, invite someone who doesn’t struggle with hearing. If that isn’t possible, ask others to face you when they speak or use a captioning app to pick up what was said so you can read and understand what they said in real-time.
4. Undistracted driving
Since it’s harder to hear, focusing on driving and your surroundings is better without distractions. That includes turning off music, radio, and podcasts or asking your passengers to remain quiet during moments that require your full attention. If you need to change your route, pull over to use your smartphone or GPS.
Before you go on your drive, talk to your hearing instrument specialist immediately if you notice any problems with your hearing aids.
5. Adjust your hearing aids or visual aids before driving.
If your hearing worsens, be sure your hearing aids get an adjustment. You can make these adjustments or with your hearing instrument specialist’s help. You’ll also need to rely on visual cues, so if you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses, go and visit your optometrist. If you can’t hear sirens or have trouble figuring out which direction they’re coming from, you’ll need to rely on your vision. That applies to pedestrians, especially children, who may wander into the streets.
6. Get a service pet.
If you’re open to keeping a pet, service animals are not just helpful for the visually impaired, those with epilepsy, or other health concerns. They can also help someone with hearing problems. You can be alerted about potential danger by a service dog. These animals can signal if there is someone at your door.
7. Make a plan.
If there’s an emergency, have a strategy and discuss it with others that you trust. If there’s a hurricane or tornado, and you plan to go to your basement, let your family, friends, or neighbors know where to find you. If there’s a fire, arrange a pre-determined area to meet outside.
If something goes wrong, your family and emergency staff members can help as quickly as possible.
8. Introduce yourself to neighbors and get to know each other.
Many people don’t know their neighbors. This disassociation can heighten risks for people who can and cannot hear. Find ways to familiarize yourself with your neighbors. Let them know about your hearing loss. Verify that your neighbors know about any suspicious activities to be aware of. Some day you might need each other’s help.
9. Keep up with your vehicle inspections and maintenance.
If your hearing isn’t great, you may not hear unusual noises from your vehicle. The engine may sound strange, or your vehicle’s brakes might squeak or screech too loudly. That could signal serious issues with your vehicle. Just like with hearing loss, ignoring these signs can lead to long-term problems. Get a trusted expert’s opinion.
10. Get a hearing test and appropriate treatment.
The most important thing you can do is get a hearing test conducted annually. Don’t wait for your hearing to get so bad that the loss is severe. Early detection and early treatment are important to the health of your hearing. If you need hearing aids, don’t just buy them. You need to break into hearing aids like a new pair of shoes or jeans. They won’t be comfortable at first, but eventually, you won’t even realize you’re wearing them. Wear them every day, from the moment you wake up to the time you get ready for bed. They should only be removed during the day if you are going into a body of water or taking a bath/shower.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing about options that would work for you. Find out if we take your insurance.
The strength of noise can affect your hearing. The only way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is by avoiding loud environments or protecting your ears with earplugs or ear muffs.
If you or others must shout in order to hear each other at a close range, this indicates that you are in a dangerous environment for your ears. Hearing loss may occur immediately or gradually based on sensitivity and volume level.
4 Tips to Safeguard Your Hearing
Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss in Private and Public Spaces
In the home
In public spaces
Protecting your Hearing during Pregnancy as well as for Infants and Children
If you are pregnant or have small children, the same precautions listed above apply to you and your children. Preventing your body from coming in direct contact with the sound source (vibrations) while pregnant, is also crucial to avoid.
Be aware of loud toys that you let your children or grandchildren use.
Keep an eye out for Noise Reduction Ratings
All hearing protection features noise reduction ratings. It is generally found on a label on the device’s container (it might read “NRR”). This tells users the amount of protection the devices are capable of providing.
Noise reduction ratings are measured using decibels (dB). Most hearing protection have ratings between 0 dB to 35 dB. The term noise reduction rating refers to the “best case” rating which is measured in a laboratory. The sound reduction that the protection provides might actually be significantly less. Choose the best hearing protection that suits you and your needs. Ask yourself these three questions:
Selecting the Hearing Protection that’s Right for You
You should consider personal preferences when it comes to comfort level and where you plan on wearing it. The efficiency of hearing protection depends on whether you wear it consistently and correctly. Earmuffs, earplugs, and customized devices are the most common types of hearing protection.
Earplugs give users an air-tight seal around the ear canal. These are reasonably priced, effective, and simple to use. They come in the following styles:
Most people will be able to find an earmuff that fits them from the variety of styles that are available. Noise is blocked out when the muffs completely cover the outer ear. Some earmuffs feature electronic elements to allow users to communicate, obstruct sound vibrations, or block out background noises. Earmuffs may not be suitable for people with heavy beards, sideburns, or eyeglasses (these can make a gap of space between the earmuff cushioning and your head).
If you need foam earplugs, stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing office locations. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss from exposure to loud noise, or any other reason, please schedule an appointment with one of our specialists for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
There are a lot of misunderstandings about people who have hearing loss. It can be a stranger who tries to communicate with sign language or a relative who slowly and over-articulates words. We’re raising awareness of these misconceptions while removing the stigma that is sometimes associated with hearing loss in a world that caters to the hearing-majority community.
1. Only Elderly Adults Experience Hearing Loss.
About 48 million Americans have some range of hearing loss. One-third of those people are at least 65 years old.
2. All People with Hearing Loss Understand Sign Language and Read Lips.
Hearing loss ranges from mild to severe. Everyone with hearing loss communicates differently. Their method of communication is based on the severity of their hearing loss, whether they wear hearing aids, the age when they lost their hearing, their listening environment, and their auditory training level. Most people with hearing loss do not use sign language, but it's crucial for those who use and depend on it as their primary method of communication.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. It features its own style of syntax and grammar that differs from spoken and written English. Sign language is different in each country.
Some people with hearing loss can read lips or speech read, while others cannot. It helps to face the person with hearing loss in a brightly lit area when speaking. Visual cues like hand gestures or facial expressions are helpful if the person cannot read lips.
3. Talking Louder Helps Someone with Hearing Loss Better Understand.
Speaking at a louder volume is partially helpful. It’s mainly speaking clearly that helps someone with hearing loss hear better. A louder volume can distort the sound, and make lip-reading difficult to decipher. For better clarity, people who still have some of their natural hearing abilities may need hearing aids or an assistive listening device (ALD).
Sitting close to the speaker can help the listener with lip-reading, but you shouldn’t substitute it for hearing aids or an ALD. Do not shout or over-articulate. This distorts the way you naturally speak and makes lip reading nearly impossible.
4. Hearing is Restored Back to Normal with Hearing Aids.
Hearing aids cannot restore a person’s hearing back to normal. It can, however, help amplify the hearing abilities that you still have. They do not work like eyeglasses or contact lenses where they instantly restore hearing once you put them on. Hearing aids can make certain frequencies louder, and make other people’s voices sound clearer by blocking out background noise and focusing on those with whom you are having a conversation. The outcome of effectiveness with the hearing aids is based on a patient’s personal history, the length and onset of hearing loss, and the age of intervention with hearing aids.
Anyone with hearing loss may have the ability to understand and respond appropriately by carefully listening to another person, but important information can still be missed. Listening fatigue is a real problem.
5. People who have Hearing Loss are Unintelligent, Mute, and Not Successful.
People with hearing loss are capable of the same range of intelligence as everyone else. Those with hearing problems that go untreated may give an inappropriate response because they misheard a question or statement.
Some individuals with hearing loss can speak, while others cannot. It’s important to note that a person who speaks clearly doesn’t always hear clearly.
Those who have hearing loss can work any job but may need accommodations to effectively communicate with co-workers and their employer. These accommodations are guaranteed in the U.S. by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ask employees what type of accommodations they need.
There can be delays in the transcription or interpretation when using a telephone and a relay service. Anyone who is unfamiliar with the relay service may think that the delay in response from a person with hearing loss is a reflection of that person’s intelligence.
6. People are Defined by Their Hearing Loss.
Hearing loss, like any disability, is a characteristic. It does not define everything about the individual. “Person” should be mentioned first, for example, “person who is hard of hearing”, or “person who is deaf”.
7. Hearing Loss is Something to be Ashamed About.
One of the reasons why some are resistant to purchasing or using hearing aids is because of the society in which they grew up, which stigmatized hearing loss and the use of hearing aids. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found that one in five people who would benefit from hearing aid usage actually wears one. Modern hearing aids are small and discreet, so they are nearly invisible to everyone. Also, nowadays just about everyone wears something in their ears from AirPods to other wireless Bluetooth® earbuds, so devices like hearing aids are less and less noticeable.
8. Responding with “Nevermind” or “Forget it” when someone with Hearing Loss Missed Something that was said.
It can be frustrating and make a person with hearing problems feel left out when they miss part of a conversation and others refuse to repeat themselves. Saying “nevermind” or “forget it” creates more frustration in them. You are editing their reality for them, so instead of doing that repeat what was said and let them decide whether it was important or not. Patience with the person or people in your life who have hearing loss is key to maintaining a healthy relationship.
9. People with Hearing Loss Exhibit Rudeness.
If someone who has difficulty with hearing interrupts a speaker during a conversation, it’s most likely because they could not hear the speaker. Some people may lean very close to a person who is speaking or make sure they have a seat so they can see a speaker’s facial expressions and read their lips. Some may interpret this as obnoxious behavior.
10. Anyone who needs an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) can just use Earbuds or Headphones.
Earbuds require hearing aid users to remove their hearing aids. Headsets are difficult to wear over behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aids. They are also not useful for people who have severe to profound hearing loss because they are not loud enough or programmed in a way to block out background noise without turning the volume up.
Anyone with telecoils or T-coils in their hearing aids can harness signals directly to the hearing aids if an induction loop is used in the theater, stadium, or any public facility they attend that makes announcements over an intercom. FM or infrared signals can also be accessed through hearing aids or a sound processor.
11. There are Rarely Requests for Hearing Accessibility Services, therefore they are Unnecessary.
People with hearing loss are used to not having accessibility accommodations, so they don’t ask for them unless the vicinity publicizes these accommodations. Accessibility services tend to be utilized when they are available and publicized.
12. Accessibility Needs for People with Hearing Loss is Always Costly.
Access to hearing is actually not as expensive as most would think. There are simple solutions from providing accurate captioning services to providing earplugs for employees who work in loud environments and are concerned about their hearing health.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our providers.