Open captioning will be available during select showtimes at 240 AMC theaters.
Open captions, or captions that are added to a video file or media player, cannot be turned off. Closed captions, on the other hand, are optional captions that can be turned off during a video or movie that is being shown.
The option of open captions makes places like movie theaters more accessible to anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing (HOH), or non-native English speakers.
Markets that work with at least two AMC theaters will offer some showtimes with open captions for each of the latest films every week.
Overall, their movies will continue with closed captioning.
The latest Marvel movie, “Eternals”, stars deaf actor Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, who is the fastest superhero in the comics. Ridloff criticized the lack of accessibility in movie theaters during an interview with the New York Times.
"We're an afterthought in movie theaters, and that needs to change," she told the Times. "You have to use a special closed-captioning device to watch subtitling in a theater, and it's a headache."
Ridloff emphasized the importance of representation in Hollywood. According to a study from 2016, one in four Americans live with a disability, yet there are few portrayals of disabled actors who are cast in roles.
As more and more people are returning to theaters, don’t be left out. Reading captions, hearing dialogue as best as you can, listening to the score of the movie, and having conversations with people who see the movie with you, are all part of a great theater experience.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We offer hearing aids and assistive listening devices so that you can fully enjoy your time in theaters.
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When you are trying to enjoy a movie or TV show, engage in conversations, or participate in a class, you are probably expecting, or hoping, that the caption service you use is accurate.
Captions are very convenient, but only if they are accurate and in sync with the person who is speaking. Inaccurate captions can be ineffective and lead to confusion. This is why standard captioning is necessary.
Everyone Reaps the Benefit of Quality Captions
Whether you have hearing loss or not, everyone can be helpful for everyone. Studies have demonstrated that captions make comprehending videos easier. There have been more instances of remembering facts, the ability to draw conclusions, defining words, and summing up main topics. More time is spent focusing on captioned videos. Captions allow videos to be shown while muted, which is how many people view videos on social media.
This is only useful if the captions are accurate and of good quality. The interpretation of quality is different for everyone, so there should be a universal standard.
The Need for Standard Captioning
Every form of media should have a standard quality captioning service. Whether it’s on social media or during a video conference or a live stream.
In the U.S., according to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, telephone services that have captions are free for anyone with hearing loss.
Again, this service is only useful if it’s accurate. So far, there are no quality standards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the body of government that oversees captioned telephone service.
What can You do?
Be an advocate. Request captioning before meetings, classes, on websites, and anywhere else that you need them. Exercise your rights by educating others on providing captioning and other accommodations for anyone with hearing loss.
Check out these caption apps for your smartphone.
If you or a loved one needs hearing aids or learning how to use captioning apps on your smartphone, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
The ripple effect of hearing loss on your life and the life of your loved ones is serious, which is why it’s important to be aware of potential ways that you can lose your hearing.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
You may have heard or read about something called 'deaf anxiety'. Some people with hearing loss may experience feelings of anxiety due to their inability to hear clearly. In general, anxiety is a complex topic where each person who struggles with it reacts differently. Deaf anxiety can occur as a result of:
These things can happen on a regular basis and require a lot of effort.
Mental Health in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Over 11% of people with hearing problems have moderate to severe depression, and just over 19% experience mild symptoms of depression.
People with hearing loss are two times more likely than people with normal hearing to have mental health issues (anxiety and depression).
According to The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, one research study showed that there were significantly more symptoms of anxiety and depression among the deaf participants than among the hearing participants.
In some instances, the term ‘deaf gain’ has been viewed as something positive.
Deaf Anxiety Triggers
It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with anxiety is different, whether you have difficulty with hearing or not.
Here are some triggers that you might identify with:
It will take time, but practicing and learning how to manage these triggers is important in order to ease your worries and participate in life.
Managing Deaf Anxiety
Everyone has their own way of handling their anxiety. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Put headphones on
If you’re wearing headphones, there’s a lower chance of strangers who are unaware of your hearing problems trying and communicate with you. This way, if you are doing something mundane like shopping at the grocery store, you don’t need to be completely alert or forced to listen all of the time.
This should only be utilized when it’s necessary, otherwise, you’d be socially isolating yourself which can lead to depression.
2. Practice breathing exercises
Deeply inhaling, and exhaling helps slow down your heart rate. It’s great to help you mentally prepare when you are going to interact with someone that you don’t know.
3. Make an appropriate work environment for yourself
If possible, being able to create your own work environment can be very beneficial to managing your anxiety.
Ask your employer to make reasonable accommodations that will help to make you more productive.
4. Create an appropriate environment in your home
Make your home a sanctuary for relaxation and rest.
You don’t need any fancy electronics. Make sure you surround yourself with things that you love. That could be good food, comfortable furniture, and a clean space.
5. Read a book
Reading something new can give you more insight into something that you didn’t know much - or anything - about, or allow you to escape from reality for a little while.
You can find books on how to manage stress, improve communication, connect with others, and build the life that you want.
A good book can put you at peace with your life.
6. Practice mindfulness
Everyone has moments when they’re just going through their day, and they don’t stop to think about what they are actually doing or thinking about how they feel. You might not even be aware of your own abilities.
Instead of being stuck in the past, or worrying about the future, reduce your anxiety by simply being present.
This blog has mentioned exercise before. It’s not only good for the body, but it’s also good for the mind. It helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Simply going out for a walk or breathing in fresh air can help reduce anxiety.
8. Social events: Avoid going to the event altogether or leaving the event early
It may not be ideal, but you do have this option.
If you’re not in the mood or feel like you can’t handle a noisy environment for a party, work event, or socializing, it can be avoided.
You may try to attend for as long as you can, but if you need to you can leave early. The listening fatigue that you may feel can ruin your time, so for your own mental health, it’s okay to avoid some social events if you’re really not in the mood. But remember, don’t go overboard. This can lead to social isolation and depression.
9. Be your own advocate.
No one is going to advocate for you, if you don't advocate for yourself.
Recognizing your limits can be difficult to accept.
If something is not accommodating to your hearing needs, speak up and let your requirements be known.
You may not be able to control things in life, like your hearing loss or other people’s reactions to you, but you can control other aspects. Focus your energy on that.
Have your own support system. This can help you manage your anxiety.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a free hearing test and consultation.
Raising Awareness on Health Education
National Health Education Week (NHEW) is observed during the third full week of October. This week raises awareness on health education and how it keeps us strong.
In 1995, the first National Health Education Week took place. Since the beginning, health education specialists have strived to raise awareness of their services and contribute to wellness and educating the next generation. Individuals in this field give knowledge, skills, and training to help healthcare providers, policymakers, educators, and other professionals make meaningful impacts on human wellness.
Health education is meant to improve people’s health, along with local communities, and the rest of the country. Educators focus on establishing a quality of life and longevity for each person while reducing premature deaths and disabilities. Health education that concentrates on preventative measures, helps to reduce the financial hardships from receiving medical treatment. Chronic conditions, such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes make up over 75% of all funding that is annually spent on health care in the U.S. Educating more people is a major part of health status in this country. Without specialists teaching these important subjects, members of those communities can be negatively impacted.
October 21st focuses on advocating healthcare for vulnerable populations. This first day highlights groups that have historically been ignored and silenced. They may have felt this way due to their economic status, educational opportunities, environmental safety, or lack of access to health care. Trauma, socio-economic status, and discrimination can all raise the risks of developing a chronic disease.
Hearing loss falls under the category of chronic diseases. It is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S. and is more common than cancer or diabetes.
How to Promote National Health Education Week
1. Advocate for yourself and for others
Public policies have a critical impact on your long-term health.
2. Be social
National Health Education Week can be found on social media. A number of online tools and resources can be used to promote the value of health education.
3. Get a checkup
If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, schedule an appointment. If you are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, schedule an appointment with us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Forget Your Troubles and Just Get Happy: Don’t Let Hearing Loss Stop You from Enjoying Live Theater!
The wait is over. Live theater is finally back!
Fulton Theater in Lancaster
Are you a hearing aid user who loves to experience live performances in the theater? Do you worry that your hearing loss will be an obstacle when trying to enjoy a play or musical?
There’s a solution for you at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!
Assistive Listening Devices
The Fulton Theater, on 12 North Prince Street, provides Assistive Listening Devices for audience members who use hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a Telecoil (T-Coil) feature. The discreet FM receiver can be used in any area inside the theater.
The theater does not charge users for this receiver. They are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Audience Services Desk, located to the right of Fulton Theater's Main Entrance.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation
There are certified interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing that will be available during select performances. These performances take place during the second Saturday of each Premier Series production. To reserve these seats, fill out an Accessibility Ticket Reserve Form. If you need to cancel your reservation, reach the Fulton Theater at email@example.com.
Open Captioned Performances
Subtitles are frequently used by many people, whether they have hearing loss or not. You are probably familiar with the term “closed captioning”. You may be less familiar with open captions. These are subtitles that cannot be switched off, whereas closed captions are subtitles that can be switched off.
Open captioned performances take place on the second Saturday and third Tuesday during each Premier Series production at the Fulton Theater. These performances arrange live texts for audience members to read during monologues or dialogues that are shown on an LED screen, placed in a box off to the side of the stage, or suspended over the stage. These captions can be viewed from any seat inside the theater. The captioner will stream the subtitles while the actors speak. You may reserve tickets in person at the box office or online. There is the convenience of a Pay-What-You-Want plan for theatergoers who are hard of hearing or deaf, at each open-captioned performance.
If you want to enjoy the theater again, but struggle with hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our specialists can offer solutions for your listening needs.
The University of Michigan found that adults who received hearing aids shortly after experiencing hearing loss had reduced risks of anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, depression (caused by social isolation), and falls.
Only 12% of people who are diagnosed with hearing loss actually get hearing aids - even if their insurance helps cover the cost. There are also disparities in hearing aid usage among people who are part of different races, ethnicities, genders, and geographic locations.
A team from the University of Michigan studied reports from about 115,000 individuals who were over 66 years of age and experienced hearing loss. The people in this case study had insurance through Medicare HMO from 2008 and 2016.
As frequently mentioned in this blog, those who experience hearing loss are more prone to poor health events, and additional comorbidities. The study demonstrates how intervening affects a person’s health while showing the beneficial link between wearing hearing aids and the outcome of a patient's health.
Hearing aids cannot prevent anxiety, cognitive decline, depression, and falls, but they can delay the onset of dementia. Hearing aids have also been shown to improve how a person understands and responds to others.
Distinctions in Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities
Analysts studied the patients who received hearing aids for three years and compared them to those who did not receive hearing aids. Discernable differences came to light.
Overall, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) within three years of experiencing hearing loss was 18% lower for those who used hearing aids. The risk of being diagnosed with anxiety or depression by the end of three years was 11% lower for those who used hearing aids, and there was a 13% lower risk of needing treatment due to a fall-related injury.
This study also supports past studies, which determined that individuals with hearing loss had significantly greater risks of dementia, depression, and injuries due to falls than the overall population.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
The familiar warning signs for hearing loss are constantly asking others to repeat themselves, raising the volume on your TV, and missing parts of verbal conversations.
Modern digital hearing aids are available in small/discreet sizes and styles. They also feature Bluetooth® technology which allows you to stream phone calls, TV, and music directly into your hearing aids.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free pure-tone hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists can help you select hearing aids and program them for your specific listening needs.
If you are noticing any hearing loss or trouble with communication, inform your hearing healthcare provider immediately. Treating hearing loss in a timely manner can reverse and slow down the hearing loss.
If you experience changes in your hearing, whether it’s struggling with phone conversations, having trouble hearing others in a crowded environment, or constantly turning the volume up on your TV or computer to the point where it bothers other people, you need to seek treatment.
Hearing loss impacts nearly 48 million people in the U.S. (that’s 20% of the population), and it becomes more common as you age.
The way that you communicate with others on a regular basis, is negatively affected. Relationships with family, friends, colleagues and healthcare providers can become strained.
The ability to hear your healthcare provider, so that you can understand their diagnosis and receive proper treatment can impact you for the rest of your life. Any range of hearing loss, whether it’s mild or profound, can diminish the ability you have to fully communicate with your healthcare provider and decrease your ability to share personal health information with them.
Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, or smoking habits, might raise your risks for hearing loss.
When should You see a Hearing Aid Specialist?
Here are a series of questions to reflect on to determine whether you should seek help.
If you answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing assessment and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. They will go over possible treatment options which may include hearing aids and/or an assistive listening device.
When experiencing a health problem, you want to quickly get answers for it so that you can begin treatment options as soon as possible. The best and timely treatment can help get better and quicker results.
When you have a cold or allergy, you treat them with different medications. The same thing goes with hearing loss. When you give more details about your experiences and problems, it makes it easier to narrow down the possible causes and treatments. You can think about:
When thinking about these things, you can address the specific issues with your hearing loss, discuss the best treatment options for you, and then go back to living your best life.
What type of hearing loss am I experiencing?
Hearing loss can be classified under three categories: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, or mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells have deteriorated - as a result of age, exposure to excessive noise, an injury, or an illness. This type of hearing loss cannot be corrected with medication or surgery, but it can be treated with hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a blockage in the outer or middle ear. The blockage can be from earwax, fluid, a tumor, or even the way your ear is naturally formed. This obstruction prevents noise from traveling into the inner ear. Treatment options for conductive hearing loss include surgery or medication.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is simply a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss
There are a number of causes for hearing loss. The top two causes are aging and exposure to loud noises. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) are causes of sensorineural hearing loss.
Here’s a list of other less common forms of hearing loss:
How severe is my hearing loss?
The only way to find out is to get a hearing test by a trained professional on an audiogram. A number of tests will be administered, and there will be a record of your hearing thresholds. Your hearing instrument specialist will make note of the softest sounds that you are able to hear at various frequencies and tones. The results will be recorded on an audiogram - a visual depiction of the sounds you struggle to hear and how severe your hearing loss is.
Schedule an appointment A.S.A.P.
To get answers to these three questions, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and schedule an appointment. Our providers will give you a hearing test, go over your results, and treatment options.
In this blog, we’ve discussed the various connections between our hearing health and overall health/well-being. Here, we'll be focusing on age-related hearing loss and depression.
Hearing Loss Studies and Conclusion
A study on depression in adults of Hispanic descent (aged 50+) discovered that symptoms of clinical depression were connected to hearing loss. The more serious a person’s hearing loss was, the more likely they were to experience depression. Another study associated hearing loss to higher risks of depression.
These studies led to the conclusion that hearing loss treatment may reduce risks of depression later in life.
Results of this study are parallel to what many hearing aid users attest to: they feel better and happier when they are able to hear others clearer, and participate more in life. Conversations are less of a struggle and they have more energy that’s not drained due to listening fatigue.
Being able to hear at an optimal level allows you to forge better relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and communicate easier with anyone that you may encounter in your day to day life.
If you or a loved one are having trouble with hearing, get started on your journey towards better hearing with our specialists at Pure Sound Hearing.
We're continuing our coverage on Deaf Awareness and Healthy Aging, by taking a deep dive into a better understanding of hearing loss and how it can accelerate symptoms of dementia.
By the year 2050, the number of people with dementia is predicted to increase from 50 to 150 million across the globe. There is currently no cure for this condition, but research has shown that it is possible to lower your risk through lifestyle changes. For example, exercise regularly, refrain from smoking and consuming too much alcohol, or seek help for health problems like diabetes and hypertension.
If you have hearing loss, it must be treated as it can lead to dementia. An article that was recently published in the Alzheimer’s Association Journal, confirmed this fact.
The article highlighted a common experience among individuals with hearing loss: the inability to hear speech sounds when there is too much background noise.
Finding the Origin of Dementia
There are a number of possibilities as to why hearing loss and dementia are associated with each other. People who have difficulty with hearing tend to socially isolate themselves, which leads to depression. The lack of socialization and a high rate of depression may lead to dementia.
There’s a possibility that dementia actually causes hearing loss. Dementia tends to develop long before a person receives a diagnosis. It usually manifests prior to obvious symptoms, such as problems with memory and other cognitive functions that become noticeable.
Current findings have shown that the diagnosis of dementia that occurs nine to 11 years after a hearing test, “insufficient and poor speech-in-noise hearing” was linked to a 54% and 85% increase of dementia.
This research adds to other evidence that treating hearing loss is helpful in the prevention or delay of dementia. It has been believed that if hearing problems are the origin of dementia, treating this may prevent 8% of dementia cases where patients do not show discernible symptoms.
Please be aware that there is ongoing research about this subject.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss - whether it’s mild, moderate, or severe - please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
As frequently mentioned in this blog, untreated hearing loss can negatively impact your overall health and quality of life. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss diminishes a person’s cognitive abilities, there are more incidences of depression, falls, hospitalizations, and higher risks of dementia due to social isolation.
What these studies fail to mention is how neglecting to seek help for hearing loss can devastate your social life, the ability to enjoy watching TV and movies, and the ability to enjoy listening to music or sounds of nature. It can also make you feel left out. Also, hearing loss that goes untreated could put your personal safety at risk if you are not fully attuned to your environment. You may find performing tasks on the job more challenging or might make mistakes more frequently. This can negatively impact your income.
Most people do not seek help, and instead, ask others to repeat themselves or turn the volume up on their preferred form of entertainment. This may be due to their own denial, lack of healthcare insurance, or the inability to afford to get help/get necessary treatment due to their personal financial situation.
In any case that involves a loved one’s health, support from family, friends, healthcare providers is crucial to their recovery and/or daily life.
What can be done?
Be available for your loved one. Patience and support are very important. You may not be able to know exactly what they are going through, but you can just be available to listen, advocate, and help them out with whatever they need.
Remind Them That You are also Affected by Their Hearing Loss
Give them a gentle reminder that you and others whom they interact with are also affected by their hearing loss. It might be the frustration of having to repeat things over and over again. Or it can be a safety concern that they might miss important warning sounds like sirens, alarms, an approaching vehicle, or news/weather alerts.
Raise Awareness on the Poor Quality of Life that is Associated with Hearing Loss
Mention the negative impacts that were mentioned at the beginning of this blog article. Also, let them know that there are so many positive outcomes to treating hearing loss. Adults who regularly wear hearing aids, every day from the moment they wake up to the moment when they are winding down to go to bed, reported significant improvements in their overall quality of life. Also, receiving early treatment for hearing loss can help prevent or slow down the risks of dementia.
If you are more worried about falling as a side effect of your hearing loss, it’s important to know that wearing hearing aids has been linked to a reduced risk of falls.
Steps to take towards Better Hearing
The longer they wait, the harder it will be to treat. Like with any health problem, untreated hearing loss worsens over time which could mean more costly treatment options or no other treatment options.
Get in touch with one of our hearing aid specialists at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Experts in the field of hearing health, are providing hearing aid
specialists, parents, and teachers advice on the best practices to integrate for children who have unilateral hearing loss (UHL), also known as single-sided deafness (SSD), and hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
There are about 3 in 100 children who have UHL when they reach school age. Studies have shown:
During the second half of this past decade, there have been huge breakthroughs in learning about the challenges and needs of children with UHL. This information has been compiled in the 2019 Consensus practice parameter: audiological assessment and management of unilateral hearing loss in children.
3 Recommendations to assess and treat a student with UHL
1. Effectively communicate with families
As with all care for children, working closely with parents is crucial for practical care. Cooperation with parents can lead to the best combination of:
Parents need a team of advocates to learn about what accommodations they need to make for their children. Here’s a guide to accomplish that. These practices will help families with children who experience UHL throughout their hearing journey and encourage better communication with you and other professionals. This resource may be shared with your child’s caregivers and teachers.
3. Be open to an array of hearing technologies
Studies have indicated that children who have UHL, demonstrate a substantial decrease in speech comprehension in both quiet areas (with a distance of 3 meters or more), and noisy areas (with a distance of 1.5 meters or more) when there is no use of interventional technology. Students with UHL can achieve academically by using technologies like hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation we offer a variety of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
Hearing Test Statistics
According to a Consumer Reports survey, about 30 percent of the population have not received a hearing test for over a decade, or they have never been tested. Hearing tests are not only simple, but most of the time they are also free.
Hearing is just one of five senses, and it is an essential function for our quality of life. We rely on hearing to enjoy things like music, our favorite TV shows, and movies, or conversations with family and friends.
We now know that hearing is very important to remain connected to others on a social or work-related basis, to be properly informed, and to have a feeling of security in these uncertain times.
Hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to a higher risk of falls, social isolation, depression, dementia, and hospitalizations.
Experts recommend adults should get their hearing tested for each decade through the age of 50, and then get tested every year after turning 50 years old. The minimum time frame is getting tested every three years, or whenever you notice any changes in your ability to hear.
If you, or a loved one, need a hearing test, consultation, and hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a complimentary appointment.
Hearing loss is prevalent among 1 in 5 children, who are under 18 years old. Without treatment, hearing loss can have serious negative impacts on the brain, speech, language acquisition, education, socializing, and overall development.
Onsets of Hearing Loss and Treatment Options
Hearing loss can be present at birth, caused by genetic factors, or noise-induced. A hearing evaluation should be conducted if there is any suspected hearing loss that is based on a possible diagnosis, type of hearing loss, whether it’s unilateral or bilateral, the range of hearing loss, age of onset, and any other possible causes like cranial radiation - this can induce sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Rehabilitating a child’s hearing loss may include wearing hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored devices, or using assistive listening devices.
Since hearing loss has become very common in children, there has been a lot of progress in identifying and treating them. Discovering the loss in the early stages can significantly help with treatment, and guide family members so that they can adequately help the patient and give the patient the best possible outcome.
Here’s a list of articles on the negative impacts of not getting treatment for a child with hearing loss:
Hearing Loss: Struggling Students
Hearing Loss and Your Child’s Academic Performance
Children and Adolescents with Hearing Loss can Experience Friendship and Loneliness
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Keeping up with an active lifestyle is important as you age. It can extend your life expectancy and the overall quality of your life. Communicating with others and being aware of your surroundings is crucial to your well-being. We use all of our five senses to navigate through life, and being able to hear is important in that journey. When a person begins to notice age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), their cognitive function could be negatively impacted, which can lead to mental and physical challenges.
Hearing Loss and Brain Health
Within the past 10 years, hearing loss has become the fourth main cause of disability. As mentioned in our blog, age-related hearing loss can lead to poor mental and physical health. It negatively affects a person’s brain health (Alzheimer’s disease and dementia), independence, social life, and overall health. Receiving early treatment for hearing loss can slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
According to several studies, hearing aid usage has been proven to reduce depression, dementia, and falls that are related to hearing loss. Communication becomes easier.
Do You have Hearing Loss?
Signs of hearing loss may include asking others to repeat themselves, raising the volume on their TV or computer, missing parts of conversations (in-person or over the phone).
The key to better hearing is staying active. This should include physical exercise, socializing with others, having a better diet, and keeping your mind sharp.
If you believe hearing loss is affecting your life, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Sound Recognition is a feature on iPhones that lets users who have hearing loss receive visual alerts for sounds such as smoke alarms, sirens, door bells/knocks, and dog barks. Internet connection is not necessary in order to use this feature. It uses onboard intelligence (the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, that is found in the device).
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it.
On the screen, there will be a list of different sounds. Yours may feature:
After making those changes to your Sound Recognition settings, tap “Back” once, then exit Settings.
You can test out the app’s Sound Recognition feature by searching for “Dog” or “Baby crying” videos on YouTube. When it’s triggered, the Sound Recognition will give you an alert notification at the top of your screen.
If you need help with setting up this feature, our hearing instrument specialists will be happy to help. If you need new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is a prevalent health problem for many Americans. The proper treatment should be based on how serious the hearing loss is, the possible underlying cause, what type of hearing loss you have and your lifestyle.
If you, one of your family members, or colleagues notices that you are not hearing clearly, it's time to get a hearing test.
Why Should You Get Treatment for Your Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss that goes untreated, has a negative effect on a child’s learning, development in language and socializing. Elderly adults who have hearing loss may exhibit frustration when following along in conversations. As a result, they may become socially isolated and stop doing things that they used to enjoy.
Individuals in their early to mid 60s, who have not received treatment for their hearing loss, have been prone to physical and psychological problems, which include anxiety, cognitive decline, depression and a higher risk of falling.
The Benefits of Hearing Aids
Research has shown that using hearing aids can decrease feelings of loneliness, slow down symptoms of dementia, and improve your overall quality of life.
Managing Age-related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. As humans age, the hair cells in our ears become weaker and no longer function at their optimum level. About half of individuals who are 75-years-old or older, have some form of hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss is categorized as a type of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates that it stemmed from the inner ear and/or auditory nerve, and is mainly caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. Exposure to loud noises is also a main cause of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent. Hair cells cannot be restored after they are damaged. Hearing aids are the best option for this type of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common as you age. Unfortunately, the uncommon factor is actually getting treatment for it. The ability to hear is very important for your safety and quality of life.
How can hearing aids help?
During your initial fitting process, a hearing instrument specialist will patiently work with you in order to program the hearing aids to your specific needs. Digital hearing aids don’t simply amplify sounds, but they can also reduce background noise. They cannot completely restore your hearing back to normal, but they are very helpful if you suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids are available in the behind-the-ear (BTE) style, in-the-ear (ITE) style, receiver-in-canal (RIC) style - A.K.A. receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) style.
If you also have tinnitus, modern hearing aids have “tinnitus masking features”, which help drown out the buzzing, humming, or ringing noises. Discuss these options with your hearing instrument specialist.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss? If so, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing aid providers will go over hearing aid options that are most suitable for the hearing loss that you are experiencing.
Even though higher education facilities are working to become more accommodating to people from all walks of life, disabled faculty members - from those with hearing loss to individuals who use a wheelchair - are frequently omitted from these accommodations.
Faculty are the basis of any campus. There are many expectations for the work that they accomplish from coming up with and teaching classes, mentoring students, and contributing to their learning institutions and fields of study.
All of these efforts support a foundation for students to thrive, but it takes a lot of work and coordination to achieve this. It is especially true if you add in disabilities that often go ignored and not accommodated.
Foundational Aspects to Support Disabled Faculty Members
The majority of students do not reveal their disabilities when they start attending college - this also applies to most faculty. It’s their way of avoiding the ongoing negative stigma that usually accompanies people with disabilities. Faculty who face significant risks in regards to their tenure and possible promotions, are even less encouraged to reveal their disability.
One’s disability can progress and their needs may evolve. Some physical and mental health conditions happen unexpectedly, whereas other conditions may become progressive and change as time passes.
Be Aware that Ableism Exists on Your Campus
People with disabilities are frequently discriminated against in their professional pursuits and throughout society in general. The idea of ableism - the notion and behavior that individuals who are not disabled are valued more than people with disabilities - is ingrained in every single system from the design of work environments to the lack of accommodations in various institutions, including academic organizations.
Faculty members who have a disability, have experienced dismissive behavior and passive aggressive hostilities every day one campus. Some of these include:
A simple faculty meeting can have its challenges. They can even be overwhelming for disabled members to manage, especially if they have just been hired.
Disability Accommodations should be Incorporated in a Campus’s Diversity Efforts
A number of efforts have been made to encourage diversity on campuses, but disabled faculty members are usually overlooked. Review the diversity mission statement at your facility.
Have Easier ways to let Disabled Faculty request Accommodations and Encourage Flexible Options for Work
Generally, faculty members who are disabled have frequently encountered obstacles when it comes to the institution and people’s attitudes. Make sure you have a clear and concise process to request your accommodations. Have them paid for, so that you don’t feel like you need to bargain with them to meet your needs. This can alleviate the trouble and stress over advocating for accessibility services.
Give the option of flexible work options for all faculty, which can reduce the need for special requests based on an employee’s disability. We have learned during the pandemic that flexible options were never accepted in most workplaces, but now everyone can benefit from them.
Guarantee Accessibility in Every Aspect of the Job
Faculty members take on several campus roles. They are teachers, advisors, researchers, committee members, supervisors, and advocates for various causes.
When it comes to accommodations, institutions generally concentrate on the necessities for formal instructions or when the faculty members are interacting with students during class. They need to take into consideration the cultural, social, and interpersonal elements of life on campus. Reflect on the following questions in regards to your college:
Be Considerate of the Disabilities
Take requests seriously from faculty who work on college campuses. A change in campus culture must start from the top. The experiences of ableism and inaccessibility can accumulate over time, and lead to severe psychological and emotional tolls. Make an effort to start helpful changes now. For the hard of hearing community, it can be anything from making captions or interpreters easily accessible to using assistive listening devices to help people hear better.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact Pure Sound Hearing. Our providers will help make hearing easier so that you can better participate in all aspects of life.
A new school semester is about to start. If you are an undergraduate student, you may be learning how to navigate through the world without a parental figure for the first time.
If you have a hearing problem, this may add some stress to an already complex journey. Contact your school administrators and assess the accommodations that you will need to make your time in school less stressful and less complicated. Whether you plan to take classes online, or in-person, here are five tips to make your college days easier.
1. Know that you have rights as a person with hearing loss.
In the U.S. there are laws in place to make sure that individuals with hearing loss and/or other disabilities have proper accommodations. You may have had an IEP or 504 plan in elementary school and high school. These accommodations are not a standard offer at colleges or universities.
Students who have difficulty with hearing can find support, protection, and receive the necessary accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through this bill, discrimination is also prohibited in private-owned places that provide accommodations.
Through the ADA, public and private universities must arrange accommodations for effective communication. For anyone with a hearing problem, this may include:
2. You MUST register with your school’s disability services IMMEDIATELY.
If you have been diagnosed with a disability, reach out to your college, vocational school, or university’s disability services before the start of the new semester. This will lay out the foundation of having the basic accommodations ready and informing your professors before the first day of class. If you begin to lose your hearing after the semester starts, immediately contact the school’s disability services.
There is a process in place to register for disability services, and it’s different at every college and university. The majority of these institutions need paperwork from a healthcare provider to confirm the student’s disability. It would also make the process easier if you submit paperwork from your last school, which listed the accommodations that you received there and how they were helpful to you. Many schools will also have the option of letting students know which professors to notify about the accommodations that will be needed.
During your initial meeting with the disability services, you may want to ask some of the following questions so that they can better help you. If you need a specific service, like a notetaker or an interpreter, ask for one.
3. Be your own advocate.
Even when reasonable accommodations are provided for students with hearing loss, additional action may be required to get the support you need.
There have been some reports of instructors who refused to speak up or into the microphones provided, and preferred walking around the classroom. In other cases, a student claimed that a professor found captions to be distracting. This made lessons more difficult to hear and follow.
If the disability services or other elements of the university’s administration do not intervene, you may contact your university’s student government to take appropriate action. Some believe that this could be a larger issue, where others are dismissive about people’s disabilities.
4. Be aware of construction that’s done on campus.
Another concern for students who have hearing loss is construction work on campus. For hearing aid users, the hearing aids might intensify noise from the construction instead of your instructor’s voice. Missing out on what was said can lead to more stress and not being able to follow along with the lesson.
Before registration, look around and see if there is a construction zone set up in certain areas around campus. The university’s website should have this information, or you can contact your disability services representative for the details. If it’s possible, take a class that is not near the noise. Check if an online course is available.
5. Look for your own community.
It can be tough to advocate for your disability, so who would be better to know about the best way to do this than students who are in a similar situation?
Even though not every person may be transparent about their disability (which is fine), discussing your experiences with fellow students could lead to connecting with others with similar dilemmas. Find your community online, at your local Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) chapter, and - if available - within your college campus. If there isn’t a community, start your own. Encourage people who can hear to join your group to spread awareness.
When you find other disabled students, you can talk about ways to get your needs met - and you can all discuss your frustrations every once in a while. This type of support system will be one of the best advantages you take to help you navigate through your college experience.
Follow these tips to have a smooth transition into your new school semester and get the most out of your education.
If you or a loved one have a hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists. Our providers will patiently work with you and accommodate your hearing needs.
Healthy hearing is important for a more fulfilling life. When you have a hard time hearing sounds and discussions that are going on around you, socializing with others can lead to fatigue and feeling overwhelmed.
Many people who wear hearing aids have expressed that while their hearing isn’t perfect, it’s still significantly better than not wearing them at all. They keep your brain functioning and delay the onset of Alzheimer's or dementia.
It takes time to get used to hearing with a hearing aid, especially if you delayed your treatment and didn’t start to use hearing aids until much later in life.
Here are three tips to help you adapt to your hearing aids.
1. Wear your hearing aids for most of your day. You basically need to retrain your brain to hear sounds again, if you waited too long to get hearing aids. Everything from the humming of your refrigerator, or rushing water from a faucet will help you adapt to hearing noises again. Simply go about your life as you usually would, and you will adjust as best as you can. Be aware that it will take some time and patience.
Your ears may also initially feel a little sore when you first wear the devices. It’s similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. It’s best to wear them from the moment you wake up, to the moment when you are getting ready to wind down from the day. Of course, if you are taking a shower, or will be going into any body of water, remove your hearing aids and store them in a safe place.
2. Enjoy having a conversation with people. Talking to others (in-person and over the phone) can feel rewarding for hearing aid users. Again, it won’t be perfect, but it will be much better and easier than it was without any hearing aid. Other people’s speech sounds clearer and more focused than before. Hearing aids have the ability to drown out background noise and use directional microphones to hone in on conversations with a person or people who are near you.
Just about every modern digital hearing aid features Bluetooth®, so you can experience an easier time with streaming phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
3. Keep a journal about your new experience with hearing aids. Keeping a hearing journal when you first notice hearing problems can be helpful in letting your hearing aid provider understand your listening needs. The same concept goes with using a new pair of hearing aids.
You can write down your thoughts and concerns. Make a note of sounds that are either new, or that you are hearing again for the first time in a while.
This is also a great tool to use when trialing a pair of hearing aids and you need to discuss the concerns you have, or what is working for you, with your hearing instrument
Hearing Aid Usage Reminders
If wearing hearing aids feels overwhelming at some points, it’s okay to take them off and take a break for a little while. Your brain will eventually adjust to your hearing aids and the overwhelming feelings will subside.
After purchasing your hearing aids, follow-up appointments will be scheduled through your hearing aid provider. During these appointments, you may have adjustments made to your hearing aids, which might include reprogramming, re-fittings, or a change in dome sizes.
If you or a loved one are experiencing problems with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
We’re all feeling a bit stressed these days. Throughout the pandemic, approximately 4 in 10 American adults reported feelings of anxiety and depression. That number was lower before these current circumstances with just 1 in 10 adults who felt these symptoms in 2019.
A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) - an independent source of health policy information - discovered that many adults have reported poor states of mental health and overall well-being. These included struggling to sleep (36%), a rise in alcohol consumption/substance abuse (12%), and a decline in chronic conditions (12%) due to anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic.
Tinnitus does not Pair well with Stress
Reports of tinnitus (a ringing sound in the ears) have surged since the beginning of the pandemic. This was inevitable, as stress is a contributor to tinnitus.
Several studies in the past have shown that tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated due to stress, insomnia, and a poor diet. Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can also make tinnitus symptoms worse. Day-to-day worries about dealing with family, security in your job, interpersonal relationships, and contracting the virus have raised stress levels and feelings of pessimism.
Dealing with tinnitus can be problematic and induce stress. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Hearing Loss Caused by Stress
Depending on your age, you may not consider stress when it comes to your hearing health or your overall health. But stress can induce hearing loss.
When your body responds to stress, adrenaline overproduces which lowers blood flow to the ears. This affects your hearing. The hair cells in your ears need constant blood flow to get the proper level of oxygen and other nutrients. When recurring moments of stress build up, this can disrupt blood circulation throughout the body. The lack of constant blood flow to the hair cells can lead to damage. In some cases, this can cause permanent hearing loss.
It’s easy for many of us to know when anxiety interrupts our well-being, but the idea that our hearing might be affected may not be very obvious. As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss can lead to or even worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is also problematic for hearing health. High blood pressure can lead to damaged blood vessels. This deterioration doesn’t just impact one part of the body. Your whole body, including your ears, is affected.
Ways You Can Reduce Your Stress Levels
Everyone can use some awareness and coping mechanisms to help themselves and their loved ones.
Take these small steps to reduce feelings of stress. You may find that it can make a big difference! Healthy habits can improve your overall well-being.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Modern hearing aids can respond to your environment - whether it’s busy and loud or quiet - by adapting to a pre-programmed setting that is already featured in your hearing aids.
The standard programs can be useful, but when moving through different environments there may still be challenges. In these cases, ask your hearing instrument specialist to customize your hearing aid settings by adding unique programs based on the places that you frequently visit.
What to know about Customized Hearing Aids
Getting Your Hearing Aids Programmed
This process starts with your hearing instrument specialist’s help. After undergoing a hearing test and choosing hearing aids, the test results are imported into the hearing aids. This information helps the hearing aid determine where additional volume is needed. Hearing aids are not simply designed to amplify every noise in an equal manner, but it carefully calculates where the volume level goes up and where the different pitches are needed.
When the hearing test results are imported into the hearing aids, the hearing aids recognize whether to add a small amount of volume if there’s only mild hearing loss, or a significant amount of volume if there is severe hearing loss.
This is when the hearing aid fitting occurs, and the hearing instrument specialist discusses programs and settings.
A number of these settings are automatically available, with the hearing aid shifting from one program to another without the need to manually switch device settings from the user. The hearing aid will transition in and out of programs while figuring out how much more volume should be added.
When soft sounds are detected, the volume gets raised on the hearing aids. In other instances, if you hear a loud sound with the volume setting at the maximum level, the hearing aid can detect that the volume is very high, and won’t add excess volume.
Hearing aids are meant to keep each range of sound in its natural state.
If you want more control rather than rely on automatic adjustments, users can manually change channels to their optimal setting.
Hearing Aid Modes, Programs, and Settings
The programs and settings that are found in your hearing aid are based on the style and brand of device that you own. There are three to five programs that come with the devices, like a program for quiet environments and another one to block out background noises during conversations.
Here are some examples of hearing aid programs:
Everyone’s listening needs are unique. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to discuss the difficulties that you, or a loved one, are experiencing with hearing.
Google’s Live Transcribe app has revived the topic of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). With the many technological advances available, there’s always a new and better version that’s more helpful and convenient than the previous app.
When the app was first launched, it was only available on computers. Now you can use your smartphone and tablet with this app. Speech Recognition Software recognizes spoken language and translates it into a text format. Each of these software and apps functions in a different way. Some can only recognize certain words and phrases, and other more advanced versions can understand and transcribe live speech.
Here are some well-known apps:
Live Transcribe (Google)
The objective of Google’s Live Transcribe app is to make things more accessible for individuals who have difficulty with hearing. Users can remain part of conversations in real-time through the app on their smartphones. Even if words are missed, users can still understand the conversation with surrounding text and other context clues like facial expressions.
Live Transcribe Features:
Texting, WhatsApp and video conferencing apps have changed how people with severe hearing loss communicate, but a human voice is still the predominant form of communication.
Rogervoice provides captions in real-time for voice calls. The person with hearing loss must have the Rogervoice app downloaded on their smartphone.
TextHear is a speech-to-text app that translates conversational texts on your phone, tablet, or computer. This works via computer voice recognition software.
The Ava speech to text app focuses on the ability to maintain group conversations. Everyone who participates in the conversation must download the app onto their devices and choose the conversation group that they want to be a part of. The group’s conversation will appear in text form on their device underneath each participant’s name. Ava can also be used in one on one conversations by placing the phone’s microphone near the speaker.
Live transcription features are still fairly new but can work smoothly in most situations where the transcriptions and usage is automatic without too much effort from the users. The main issue that is frequently encountered is transcription accuracy. It’s difficult to accomplish this with all of the different languages and accents that need to be taken into account to make the app useful anywhere in the world.
At any rate, it’s still a great technological advancement that these apps are available. With more improvements and changes, it will get easier to use these in everyday situations at home, at work, and in everyday situations.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you select the right hearing aids for you and help you get comfortable with using speech recognition apps that are compatible with your smartphone.