Have you ever listened in on a conversation where someone said something funny, and you laughed along, pretending that you heard the joke? Have you ever experienced confusion as to why everyone was laughing at something on TV or in a movie because you didn’t hear the setup or punchline in a joke?
It’s challenging to enjoy the humor when you can’t hear.
What are the benefits of humor?
A sense of humor can help people deal with stressful and painful situations. Your muscles can relax, your immune system is strengthened, it helps build trust among others, reduces anxiety and fear, and improves relationships. Humor is physically and mentally beneficial to people.
Here’s a joke that might tickle your funny bone:
If a Deaf child swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap and water?
The Challenges with Humor and Hearing Loss
If you are hard of hearing, you may find it difficult to understand jokes and follow along with funny stories that are verbally told, because there’s always a surprising twist, use of wordplay, or punchline that needs to be heard to make sense of it. It’s very important to hear every single word and the way it’s delivered to get the joke. That’s not always possible if you can’t hear clearly. Even relying on context clues can prove to be challenging.
Some people with hearing loss may isolate themselves from situations that incorporate comedy because they know that they won’t get the joke and feel left out when they don’t laugh at the right time, or at all.
There are so many different categories of humor like dry, satire, slapstick, situational, self-deprecating, wordplay, etc. In order to understand the humor, you need to pay attention to a person’s demeanor and emotion when they set up their joke or story. Usually, the speaker becomes excited and talks louder when telling a joke.
It can change based on the type of humor. For dry humor, the speaker may show little emotion or facial expressions when delivering their lines. As a result, someone with hearing loss who relies on reading facial expressions as a context clue may have a harder time understanding the joke.
Based on how severe your hearing loss is, hearing jokes can be a great listening exercise. If you’re hearing is too severe, you can still enjoy physical comedy or situational humor.
How about when you listen to a song? Have you ever and misheard the lyrics?
Sometimes, mishearing something that was said can turn into a funny situation with the people that you are communicating with.
Have you heard of TLC’s rare recording of “Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls”?
How about Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” where Annie Lennox sings, “Sweet dreams are made of cheese”?
Stop feeling left out, and enjoy hearing jokes again. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Some people have described adjusting to hearing aids as kind of like walking out of a dark restaurant or movie theater and into a bright environment. You may instinctively shield your eyes and squint. This is a brain reflex that’s communicating your new surroundings are too bright.
The average person waits several years before they seek treatment for their hearing loss. Their ears are not used to hearing sounds regularly, so when they can suddenly hear more clearly than they have in years, it’s overstimulating for the brain.
The longer you have hearing loss without receiving treatment, the harsher noise will seem when you can hear them again. A Consumer Reports survey on 17,626 people discovered that at least 6 out of 10 waited over 2 years after initial experiences of hearing loss, to get hearing aids.
When that amount of time has elapsed, the brain becomes completely acclimated to listening at a substandard level. That’s why an adjustment period is necessary to become accustomed to these new sounds that are being heard.
According to the survey, about 3 in 4 people stated that it took them under a month to get more comfortable with their hearing aid.
Here are 5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to Your Hearing Aids
1. Get a Proper Fitting
Be sure that the hearing aids are properly fit in your ears. If they feel too loose or too tight, tell your hearing instrument specialist before taking them home.
The hearing aids will feel more comfortable and you’ll get the best experience from them. In the beginning of your trial period, the hearing aids should feel comfortable. You’ll still notice there’s something in your ears for the first few weeks, but it should not hurt when they rest in your ear canals.
Your hearing aid provider will show you how to correctly put your hearing aids on. Most modern hearing aids feature a program that will reduce or eliminate feedback, so it’s possible to have harsh noises or whistling sounds if the device is not properly fitted.
Show your hearing aid provider that you can correctly remove and insert your hearing aids. They’ll help you if you’re having trouble.
2. Practice Adjusting to Sounds
It’s important to be patient when learning to hear sounds again. Your hearing instrument specialist will program your devices, to calibrate the proper amplification for your unique hearing needs.
If the sounds are so loud that it’s painful, the amplification can be set at a lower volume, and gradually go higher as you become accustomed to hearing again. Most hearing aids can be programmed to slowly rise in volume over several weeks until you arrive at your goal.
It’s normal for sounds to seem too loud and high-pitched if you’re a first-time hearing aid user. The best, and only, way to get the most out of your hearing aids and allow your brain to adapt is by regular noise exposure.
Wear your hearing aids from dusk until dawn, unless you’re taking a shower or swimming in a body of water.
You should take breaks from wearing your hearing aids while adjusting. It is not recommended to enter a noisy area and remain there for hours at a time. Background noises in these types of areas can over-stimulate your listening experience, and make hearing conversations more challenging.
3. When Should You Go Back to Your Hearing Instrument Specialist?
At Pure Sound Hearing, after you have started your free hearing aid trial, you will have six months-worth of follow-up services. These services will include refittings, adjustments/fine-tuning, and a thorough cleaning done by a professional. If you are having any difficulties with your hearing aids, whether it’s the inability to hear certain sounds or any discomfort with the devices, address these issues with your hearing instrument specialist.
4. Pure Sound Hearing offers Auditory Training
If you are struggling with understanding speech sounds and following along during conversations, even with your new hearing aids, try auditory training.
These short-term programs can help improve the way you process sounds while enhancing your listening and communication.
It’s common for anyone with damaged sensory cells to require practice with hearing new sounds or sounds that they haven’t heard in several years. It’s akin to someone who has received a prosthetic limb and needs physical therapy.
5. Be Patient and give Yourself Reasonable Expectations
Many people who experience hearing loss have permanent damage to their auditory system. It’s crucial to understand that even the best hearing aids, that are tuned by the best instrument specialist, cannot completely restore your hearing. What hearing aids can do, is help preserve the hearing abilities that you still have. Many hearing aid users have acknowledged that hearing aids may not be perfect, but they can significantly improve hearing and cognitive health, and reduce depression caused by isolation.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, check out these resources.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment for a free hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
Here are some tips that can be used by healthcare professionals, family members, or others who interact with people who are hard of hearing.
If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, are in of need new hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us at Pure Sound Hearing.
The Earth and its resources give us our basic needs: air, water, food, and space to live. The Earth has also provided awareness and knowledge about hearing loss and how to create better hearing technology.
The Effects of Hearing Loss
The inability to hear not only affects humans, but also bats, dolphins, and whales which are known to use sounds to communicate and move about. A study from PeerJ — the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences — indicated that hearing loss and other noise interferences are an issue for dolphins and whales. In both of these mammals, noise that interferes at just the right frequency or experiencing hearing loss can cause them distress, make them lose their navigation skills and/or their ability to find food. Seismic testing that has been proposed in Taranaki’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary for oil can lead to permanent damage to a dolphin and whale’s hearing abilities, both of which swim within and close to the sanctuary. Since dolphins use sound in order to navigate, damaging their hearing abilities would be akin to blinding a human.
The Sense of Hearing
Suggestions on the origin and evolution of the sense of hearing can be found in squids. Up until just a few years ago, there was little information about the hearing abilities of squid and if they used their hearing to navigate, recognize danger, or avoid predators in the ocean. A study on the hearing and neuroanatomy in squid from 2012, indicated that there are several similarities between a human and squid’s hearing system.
A Reduction in Noise
Back on land, the zebra finch persistently chirps. Scientists have had a lot of interest in the male songbird’s intricate vocalization that is used in courtship. A study from 2015 showed that a finch’s brain can identify these vocalizations in noisy environments.
A finch’s capacity to respond to bird songs, while disregarding everything else is akin to a human’s ability to identify speech in a busy environment. One of the leading researchers, Frédéric Theunissen, Ph.D. and graduate student Tyler Lee, created a computer algorithm that helped to reduce background noise while wearing hearing aids.
The effects of noise reduction were tested in 2009 by using an algorithm that was similar to Theunissen and Lee’s. Even though the noise reduction did not make speech more understandable, it did ease the brain’s energy that was needed to process it. For individuals who have difficulty hearing when there’s too much background noise, this discovery could be the difference between joining in on a discussion or leaving it.
Hearing Aid Devices
The earth’s natural elements are also a great influence on how hearing aids are designed.
On lotus plants, when water droplets form and roll off of the leaves, it removes dirt along with it. The Lotus Effect is a self-cleaning routine that is the model for protective hearing aid coatings. If your hearing aids feature a water-resistant shield, the device’s exposure to moisture, earwax, oils, and other liquid elements will be protected with this shield. The water-resistant shield helps to preserve the hearing aid and extend the device’s ability to function and perform, which decreases the need to get your hearing aids repaired.
With clues on the origin of hearing, the Earth is helping to achieve better hearing and innovations through observing animals and natural elements.
If you, or a loved one, would be interested in a free hearing aid trial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
Until you begin to experience hearing loss, you may not realize how much you depend on hearing sounds while driving.
Although driving heavily relies on your visual abilities, being able to hear is also important. Here are some driving tips if you experience hearing loss.
Talking to other Passengers
Communicating with others while driving is difficult for anyone, no matter how good your hearing is.
If you need to read lips, it is very difficult to understand what others are saying while focusing on driving. Using assistive listening devices, like Phonak’s RogerTM Select Mic. Your passengers can speak directly into the device, and their speech sounds will transfer to your hearing aids. It is very important to stay focused on the road when driving. If you are having an important discussion that requires your undivided attention, pull the car over to a safe area.
Here are some additional tips.
The inability to hear sirens from emergency vehicles that are approaching is a fear for drivers who have hearing loss. Not knowing whether to pull over or continue driving through intersections can cause anxiety. You can avoid this by being aware of your environment. Frequently check your rearview and side mirrors for oncoming vehicles. Your surroundings can quickly shift. You should ask your passengers to listen for approaching vehicles with sirens to warn you.
Being Pulled over by the Police
This is going to happen at some point or another. Be prepared to immediately let the officer know that you have hearing loss. There is a visor card for the deaf/hard of hearing, that will help the officer understand your communication needs.
Be Aware of Honking
Some drivers who have difficulty with hearing, are concerned about honking drivers. The honking sounds make them feel vulnerable as they drive. Keep your eyes on the road and drive your best to avoid the honks altogether.
If you or a loved one, experience hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands including HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
If you experience hearing loss, hearing aids can significantly improve your overall well-being, reduce isolation, and help with better communication skills. Using hearing aids also helps to delay the onset of dementia.
Hearing aids are still not used by many who would benefit from them. Millions of Americans can improve their hearing health and overall health, but they either never get them or wait too long to purchase them. The three main reasons why many people don’t wear them are due to the cost, access, and stigma that is sometimes surrounded by wearing them.
An Increase in Hearing Aid Use
From 2011 to 2018, hearing aids have had an increase in use from 15% to 18.5% in adults over the age of 70. This data was published this past December of 2020 by the medical journal JAMA: Internal Medicine.
This means that many more older Americans have an easier time socializing with family and friends while reducing the risks of health problems that are associated with untreated hearing loss.
The use of Hearing Aids is Unequal between different Socioeconomic Groups
According to data that was collected, significantly fewer Black Americans reported an increase in purchasing and using hearing aids. That’s just a +.8% shift in 7 years. In contrast, there was a +4.3% increase in White Americans purchasing and using hearing aids.
Based on levels of income, the number of people who owned hearing aids fell in the past few years (from 12.4% to 10.8%) among older adults who live under less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
Basically, if you are White or have a higher level of income, you will probably use hearing aids.
Why is there a gap in Hearing Healthcare Treatment?
There is a gap in treatment for hearing health. The latest studies show that this problem is growing, especially among the most impoverished Americans.
There are systemic problems in American healthcare that cause minorities and Americans with lower income not to have access to many different services, even if they have Medicare or Medicaid.
What should You do?
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer various hearing aid styles and brands, along with assistive listening devices at discount prices.
Did you know that most hearing aid users do not use services that are available through their hearing aid provider?
According to a study from Johns Hopkins, only one-third of hearing aid users take advantage of the hearing care services that are accessible through their provider.
Hearing aids are an important investment for not only your hearing health, but also your personal/work relationships, and your overall health. Just like with anything you invest in, why not get the most out of it?
Receiving hearing aids from a professional hearing instrument specialist ensures that you will have the proper fitting, along with the maximum performance, satisfaction, and quality service.
The hearing devices and hearing aid services that an experienced hearing instrument specialist can give you are verified. Hearing aids purchased over the internet may not work properly, and will most likely cost you more in the long run.
At Pure Sound, we provide thorough testing, custom fittings, and tuning along with follow-up appointments, advice, and hearing aid cleanings/maintenance from our staff.
Patients who do not utilize these services tend to become more discouraged about wearing their hearing aids. As a result, they do not get the most satisfaction from their hearing aids, which will exacerbate their hearing health.
Avoid this situation for the sake of your health and investment.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg. We're always here to help.
Hearing loss is a serious problem, but you can still entertain yourself while exercising your ears. Practice activities to keep your sense of hearing in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of apps and activities that hearing aid users and non-hearing aid users of all ages can do each day.
Children’s Hearing Exercise Apps
This app was developed for 4 to 12-year-olds who have auditory comprehension and processing disorders. It was created by a certified speech and language pathologist. The app features over 1,000 listening exercises that concentrate on correcting auditory attention and memory. Directions to exercise a person's comprehension are given verbally. In the game, a virtual basketball coach rewards users with a basketball for every correct answer.
AB Listening Adventures (iPad only)
Adults who care for children (ages 4 to 10) with hearing loss will love this app! The program guides and develops listening and language skills that use six different story-based games which concentrate on listening for various elements, plurals, pronouns, or minimal pairs.
VocAB Scenes (iPad only)
Children between the ages of 4 and 10, who experience hearing loss, can expand their vocabulary with fun and different scenes. These include outdoor fun in the water, beach scenery, a pet store, a swimming pool, camping, and a wintery setting. A caregiver or therapist can assist the child during listening exercises utilizing three different games for each scene to encourage language development and listening skills.
Hearing Exercise Apps for Adults and Children
Hear Coach (Android or iOS - iPad and iPhone)
Starkey Hearing Technologies developed this app. It features listening games that teach the auditory system how to listen in numerous situations. The games are helpful for anyone with hearing loss, especially those who have difficulty hearing when there’s too much background noise.
LACE Auditory Training programs (Computer/laptop, iPad, or Android device)
LACE can be used by children and adults to practice listening and communication skills. It features a daily training program that develops methods on how to communicate in busy settings. The training sessions last about 20 minutes.
Forbrain® uses a person’s voice to increase their attention span, sharpen concentration, memory, and pronunciation. This bone-conduction headphone (for children and adults), has a filtered microphone that is used while talking out loud or to a person. The architects of this headset advise using the program for a few minutes every day for a minimum of six weeks.
Auditory Training - Use a Wide Range of Sounds
Enhance your auditory memory by recognizing environmental sounds. Practice listening to voices with activities that incorporate 209 varieties of animal, musical instruments, transportation sounds, and more.
Do you enjoy word searches? Then you will like Hearing Hunt. This game lets users listen to word-clues and try to beat the clock to figure out the words to search. The game has three levels of difficulty and can be used with Bluetooth®-enabled hearing aids.
Games 4 Hearoes (iPad)
This interactive auditory training program can help new hearing aid users recognize and remember sounds from their environment and vocabulary. There are 30 activities that concentrate on five main areas to help new users familiarize themselves with the sounds to gain confidence.
This app can teach your brain to detect noise by playing sounds that are just below detectable levels for you. After the training session, you can create a personalized “sound therapy” to listen to while engaging in other activities. The app’s developers claim that this will lead to an improvement in your hearing health.
Hearing Exercise Offline
Online brain games can be fun, but some day-to-day exercises for your brain can be done at home.
Solo Hearing Activities
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Students may have Poor Academic Performance due to Hearing Loss
Do you have a student who is struggling in class?
Do they interfere during class and have a hard time concentrating?
Hearing loss is usually left out as a culpable reason for these struggles. Hearing loss, no matter how mild, can impact a student’s academic achievements.
Hearing loss is just as common in adults, as it is in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 15% of children who are between the ages of 6-19 experience low or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibels in one or both ears. Research has indicated nearly 35% of adolescents with equal ranges of unilateral hearing loss are at risk of failing a grade level in school.
Your child may have hearing loss, if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:
When it comes to hearing loss, it is important to seek guidance and treatment from a professional.
Students who experience mild to moderate hearing loss, and do not get treatment, will not be able to keep up with their peers by one to four grade levels. Students with more severe hearing loss that goes untreated, usually do not achieve beyond levels of the third grade.
Learning and Hearing Loss
Being able to hear is very important in the developing stages of communication, language, and speech. Hearing problems can slow down a student’s progress while learning, which results in unsatisfactory academic performance.
Subjects that revolve around language might be the most difficult for students who have hearing loss. It can be difficult to follow assignments that require learning a language, especially if you cannot hear high-frequency consonants such as ch, f, k, p, s, sh, t, and th sounds.
Actively participating in conversations is difficult with hearing loss. The inability to properly communicate with others can be discouraging and complicated for a child with hearing loss - and their peers - to understand. This can lead to isolation and depression. Oftentimes, these children cannot catch up to their peers when it comes to socializing in a mature manner, which can make them feel out of place.
Studies indicate early intervention, and treatment for hearing loss can improve a child’s academics and social life. A study from 2015 showed that adolescents who had severe hearing loss generally had lower scores than their peers with normal hearing. Children with hearing loss, who received treatment with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and more involvement from their parents had better results.
If you or a child in your family experience hearing loss contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
If you are a new hearing aid user or a long time wearer who received new hearing aids, it is strongly encouraged to keep a journal about what’s bothering you when you wear your hearing aids and what you think needs to be adjusted.
Notice whether there have been any improvements, and what difficulties you experience.
The Advantages of Recording Experiences with Hearing in a Journal
Anyone who has mild to moderate hearing loss struggles with similar problems. Usually, many voice concerns with understanding speech in busy areas. Hearing aids can help with speech comprehension and reduce the strains of hearing. The benefits of hearing aids can be overlooked by users, due to other hearing problems that they have. Writing in a daily journal can help determine the progress that you experienced since wearing hearing aids, and the difficulties that you still face. You can take into consideration what your expectations are, and then talk to your hearing aid provider to find out whether they are practical or not.
Our Experience with Hearing
Humans use a number of sensory stimuli (auditory, visual, taste, smell, and touch) in order to shape our experiences in certain environments. A hearing aid helps the auditory stimuli that someone with hearing loss would normally miss. Wearing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming for a new user. In many cases, new hearing aid users go years without getting help for their hearing loss. As a result, hearing sounds that haven’t been heard in years can feel overstimulating. It requires the brain to relearn and process these sounds and information. Therefore, it takes a lot of time and patience to adapt to hearing aids. This can be a different experience for each user.
Auditory stimuli can form positive or negative listening experiences. Positive experiences that relate to comfort, excitement, happiness, joy, and peacefulness. This can include music that you like, laughter, a friendly and familiar voice, and sounds of nature. Negative experiences like anger, frustration, or fear can be caused by hearing intense or discomforting sounds like screaming children, sirens, or sudden explosions. General noise is usually what bothers hearing aid users the most.
Bad experiences with hearing aids can drive users to stop using the devices all-together due to unfulfilled expectations. It’s best to try out your hearing aids in the real-world and ask for advice or adjustments as necessary from your hearing aid provider. These things will help to improve:
Keep a Hearing Journal
Record your daily experiences with hearing. For hearing aid users, it would be best to jot down what you are experiencing while wearing your hearing aids. Daily logs let hearing aid users record good and bad incidents. These will give you and your hearing aid provider useful understanding about your regular listening activities, the environments you frequent, partners, feelings, expectations, hearing aid usage and adjustments, and the benefits of hearing aids when used in those listening circumstances. Here are more helpful reasons to keep a hearing journal:
Most contemporary hearing aids keep track of how often you use the devices. Generally you will learn how long you wear your hearing aids each day, how frequently you use the volume control and your exposure to different listening environments. Your hearing aids will not record personal experiences you have on certain days, in one particular type of environment. This is why you should keep a journal.
Here are some topics to think about when writing in your journal:
It’s very important to record the good and the bad experiences. The only way to improve those negative experiences, is by recalling/reading over them and determining whether the expectations you have are realistic. Take into account whether you still need to adapt to those environmental sounds, if professional advice or support from loved ones can provide a better outcome, or if an adjustment to the device is the only resolution.
Whether you are a novice hearing aid user or a long time wearer, here are some additional tips for you.
Don’t wait any longer to get help. Bring your hearing journal with you to your hearing healthcare appointments. Have a discussion with your hearing care provider.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can impact anyone, of any age. Here’s a list that we have compiled to highlight hearing loss among children and tips on how to help them.
Hearing Loss and Your Child’s Academic Performance
Hybrid Learning & Hearing Loss
Hearing Loss: Children’s Toys
Does Your Child have Unilateral Hearing Loss?
If you have Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss, why should You Immediately Address It?
Children and Adolescents with Hearing Loss can Experience Friendship and Loneliness
5 Tips to Assist a Child With Hearing Loss
What is Turner Syndrome? How is it related to Hearing Loss?
5 Tips to use when Teaching Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students During COVID-19
Are You a Family who is in Need of Support for a Child’s Hearing Loss Journey?
What can Parents do to Protect Their Children’s Hearing Health When Frequently Using Headphones?
If you have a child, or grandchild, who is experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
Continuing Coverage on Hearing Care for All
As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, the 2021 theme for World Hearing Day is Hearing Care for All. The report, which was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), will present a consistent account of hearing loss, ear, and hearing healthcare, based on the best and latest evidence available. It will also outline the changes in epidemiological distribution of hearing loss worldwide, while implementing the finest practices and priorities associated with ear and hearing healthcare. The study allows hearing healthcare providers to organize the connection between addressing hearing loss and taking on Sustainable Development Goals - particularly goals that relate to ending poverty, secure people’s health and well-being, improve educational opportunities, and advocating for employment opportunities.
The information that was published is expected to spark a global partnership and guide Member States on measures for making ear and hearing care available in other countries. This summary can guide public health goals to address hearing healthcare through advocacy, and incorporating ear and hearing care into health plans nationwide.
The report is being developed with experts in the field of ear and hearing care. They will advise the outlined goals and make sure it corresponds with the various cultures and methods to hearing care. The report is anticipated to reach people around the world while concentrating on low and middle-income countries. These areas are where those with hearing loss have the fewest resources and services.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids and services for a wide range of hearing loss.
World Hearing Day 2021 launches The World Report on Hearing. This is a global advocacy group that demands action to address hearing loss and ear diseases.
This year’s theme is:
Hearing care for ALL!
Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate.
Their main message is to target:
Hopefully, this World Hearing Day will encourage and remind everyone to care for their hearing health and the hearing health of their loved ones.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands and styles for people of every age.
Communication and Important Information
Did you know that hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to higher healthcare costs? Adults who cannot follow important medical advice from their healthcare provider - due to the inability to hear them - end up putting their health at risk and paying more because of the miscommunication.
Most people probably haven’t given much thought to this issue.
If you mishear a healthcare provider’s instructions, such as when and how to take certain medications, how to practice certain therapies, or whether a follow-up appointment needs to be scheduled, there can be serious consequences. These mistakes can land you back in the healthcare provider’s office or even in the hospital, which will cost you more money.
Avoid Health Risks by Getting Help
This is just another important reason why you should get a hearing test and treatment for your hearing loss. If you, or a loved one, find it difficult to hear, especially during important meetings or appointments, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer a free hearing test and consultation for patients who experience hearing a wide range of hearing loss.
Sean is ready to greet you at our Strasburg office.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and free hearing aid trial.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
A recent report from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) showed that based on the 15% of Americans who have reported some range of hearing loss, approximately 60 percent spend most of their time in the workplace or an academic setting.
Some extra effort is necessary when it comes to hearing loss, but this factor should not interfere with how productive you are or add stress to your experience. The majority of your problems are rooted in misunderstandings, so it is important to have effective communication. Be firm when asking others to accommodate your needs, whether you need to ask someone to speak more clearly, or you need someone to look at you while they talk. These small changes can help make your workplace or classroom run with ease.
If you experience hearing loss, let your coworkers and boss know the most efficient ways to communicate with you. There will most likely be a learning curve, so be patient.
Hearing Loss: Employment
American employers are legally required to implement a workplace with equal opportunities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This includes workers who have hearing loss. Some adjustments can include providing assistive listening devices or using other accommodations to help ease communication.
The HLAA compiled resources for workers who have hearing loss. There is also a comprehensive employment toolkit that includes nearly every dilemma an employee with a hearing impairment may experience.
Federal Resources on Workers with Hearing Loss
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has a guide on deafness and hearing loss in the workplace, in addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Using Hearing Aids on the Job
Hearing aids are very beneficial for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. New users should be aware that it takes time to adapt to hearing aids, particularly when you are moving from one environment to another. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist for advice. Your hearing aids can be programmed for different environments, including your daily working conditions and for listening to others through a facemask.
Which Assistive Listening Devices Should I Use at Work?
If you work in an office, you might need more help than what your hearing aids are capable of providing. In this case, use an assistive listening device.
How to Communicate in the Workplace
Effective methods of communication are different for everyone. Generally, people with hearing loss communicate best in person rather than over the phone. The current social distancing rules complicate things, so someone with hearing loss will need to use a series of context clues such as lip reading, facial expressions, and body language to piece the conversation together. An email, chat window, or text, might be more helpful than a phone call or Zoom call unless there are captions available.
If it is necessary to visit in-person, ask others to walk in front of you if you are not responding to their attempts to draw your attention. It’s much less startling to see someone walk towards you than it is to have someone tap you on the shoulder. During meetings, ask others not to speak while facing away from you - for instance, if they speak while writing something on a dry-erase board. Their voice becomes projected at the wall, making it difficult to understand no matter how good your hearing may be.
An office that has an open-layout of cubicles is not the best for those with hearing loss. The bustling workers can be distracting. Having overlapping phone conversations at the same time as your coworker is challenging, even with normal hearing. Ask to work in a private room with a door, if one is available. Noise can be closed off and you can concentrate on your work.
Helping a Coworker who Experiences Hearing Loss
Coworkers of the deaf or hard-of-hearing can help make a positive workplace environment by doing the following:
Noise-induced Hearing Loss in the Workplace
Work environments are the most common places where a person is exposed to harmful levels of noise. This raises the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Your employer should provide hearing protection if the noise reaches dangerous levels.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and name brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
A survey that was conducted by Consumer Reports found that about 42% of people who reported not to have difficulty with hearing actually experience mild hearing loss after getting tested.
In most cases, a person with hearing loss is the last person to acknowledge it. Their family, friends or colleagues will notice things like a very loud TV or computer, or the person with hearing loss will frequently ask others to repeat themselves.
In the study, people who were 60 or older, about half who had mild hearing loss did not realize that they experienced any hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) occurs gradually and over time. Most people with this type of hearing loss won’t realize that they have been experiencing it until years later, when the loss becomes more obvious to you and others.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the onset of mild hearing loss is serious. The chances of dementia are doubled.
It’s important to be more conscious about what you can and cannot hear on a regular basis. Get your hearing tested and take recommendations seriously. Hearing loss is permanent, but you can save the hearing abilities that you still have by using hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, notice changes in your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, and Strasburg.
After receiving your new hearing aids and wearing them, there is an adjustment period - especially for new hearing aid users. The first days of wearing your new devices are important for your journey towards better hearing. This is usually when you determine whether you want to continue wearing the devices. Here are 13 tips on how to smoothly transition into a daily hearing aid user.
1. In the beginning, they will feel strange. Do not feel discouraged.
In the same way that your feet need to break in a new pair of shoes or your nose needs to get accustomed to the feeling of eyeglasses resting on it, your ears need time to get used to hearing aids. If you wear eyeglasses, here is some advice on which style of hearing aids you should wear.
2. Start by only wear the hearing aids for a few hours each day.
Based on your comfort level, you may wear your new hearing aids in familiar environments and situations during the initial wearing period. Hearing instrument specialists would recommend that you try wearing them from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. You will eventually become less and less aware that you are even wearing hearing aids. When your brain can recognize and filter out more sounds, in addition to determining whether a noise is bothering you, this can help your hearing instrument specialist adjust the devices to your specific needs at your follow-up appointment. Wearing your hearing aids more often, even when there is very little noise occurring, allows you to detect the sounds and filter out noise. As a result, your brain will acclimate at a faster rate.
3. Start listening in a quiet room.
During your first day, find a quiet room to sit in. Simply listen to faint sounds and your brain will eventually get used to them, such as the sound of your refrigerator humming or a tea kettle whistling. Initially, everything might seem too loud. That’s only because your brain probably hasn’t heard these noises in a long time, so it’s getting used to hearing these sounds again. You can keep a journal to make note of what’s bothering you, and bring them up during your follow-up appointment if they are still bothersome. Your hearing instrument specialist will make the necessary adjustments.
4. Do not adjust the volume too often.
Most modern hearing aids will automatically adjust to your environment, so you probably won’t need to make manual adjustments too often. If you raise the volume levels, do not make them too loud. It’s not advised that you make your hearing aids do what fully-functioning ears cannot do, for example, hear faint sounds from afar. This is not how hearing aids work, and you’ll actually cause more damage to your hearing. Most people with hearing loss want to hear clearer, not louder.
5. Practice talking with a group of people.
You will want to start having conversations with close friends and family. Their voices will be easier to identify. Due to current circumstances, it is advised to set up a Zoom chat or FaceTime with one another. Active listening is a key factor in hearing. A speaker’s face must be easy to see, so ask others to look directly at you and make sure the area that you are talking to them in isn’t dark, but brightly lit. This will help you see their facial expressions, read lips, and notice their body language.
6. Ask friends and family to turn the TV to a “normal” volume setting.
Your new hearing aids should help you hear better, therefore, you can lower the volume levels to how people with normal hearing would set it. Ask your friends or family members to set the TV to an appropriate volume level, and try to keep it at that level.
7. Read the captions or subtitles to movies or shows.
Listening to words while reading them, is a good method to retrain your brain to associate the sound with language. You can do this by switching on the captions while watching a movie or show.
8. Listen to an audiobook and read along with a physical or digital copy.
This is similar to the previous tip. Listen to the audio version of a book, while the physical copy or digital copy on your tablet. You may also ask someone to read to you out loud while following along.
9. Read aloud to yourself.
Initially, your own voice will sound different when wearing hearing aids, but eventually, you’ll get used to it. Reading out loud will help you quickly become accustomed to your own voice, and retrain yourself on how to speak at a normal volume.
10. Close your eyes and engage in some listening exercises.
Try to identify the direction that the sounds are emanating from, without looking around for the sound’s source. You may also try to listen to determine the difference between sounds and speech patterns.
11. If your hearing aid features telecoils or t-coils, use looping systems.
Many public spaces have looping systems set up that transmit wireless signals, which are then received in the telecoil feature of a hearing aid. Not all hearing aids have t-coils. Some phones also feature looping systems. Ask your hearing instrument specialist whether your hearing aids have the telecoil. If they do, request that they are activated when fitting and programming your device.
12. Make talking on the phone easier by placing the receiver over your hearing aid’s microphone.
If you still prefer to use a phone to talk to someone, it’s recommended that you slightly tilt the phone forward so that the receiver is hovering over your microphone. This will help you hear better. For behind-the-ear models, the microphone is typically located on the hearing aid part that rests behind the ear. Angling the phone will help reduce the amount of feedback when holding the phone to your ear/microphone. Or, you can make things much easier by using Bluetooth® to stream your phone calls directly into your hearing aids. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about this.
13. Steadily begin to wear your hearing aids all day.
After two weeks, your hearing aids should be worn from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. If you go swimming or take a shower, remove the hearing aids. If your hearing aids become submerged in water for any amount of time, contact your hearing instrument specialist. If you own a hearing aid dryer, put your hearing aid in it. You may also use some uncooked rice to soak up the moisture and dry it out.
Your brain must adjust to sounds so that they will become effective in your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing aids can change your health and your life for the better. If you or a loved one would like a free trial for hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hopefully you have been diligently reading our blog posts, because here’s a pop quiz on hearing loss!
True or False? I can purchase hearing aids the same way that I purchase reading glasses from a drug store.
This is false. A hearing healthcare professional must run a hearing test on you and prescribe individual treatment that addresses your specific hearing needs. For example, if you have sensorineural hearing loss, hearing aids could be a great option for you. In addition to the range or type of hearing loss that you have, your hearing health care provider will discuss your lifestyle and other preferences in order to program the devices to fit with your needs.
If you experience conductive hearing loss, amplification may not be necessary. Your hearing could be restored by removing ear wax that is obstructing you ear canals, or there could be a benign tumor that needs to be surgically removed. Hearing loss could also indicate an underlying health problem, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
In order to find out why you cannot hear, you need a hearing healthcare professional to test your hearing.
True or False? Hearing aids will make me hear like I did before experiencing hearing loss.
The answer is false. Even though there have been many advancements in hearing aids, especially in the last few years, the devices will not be able to restore your hearing back to normal. It will only preserve the natural hearing abilities that you still have left. Also, if you wait too long - as many people tend to do - your brain needs to relearn how to decipher sounds that you haven’t heard in many years. It’s similar to rehabilitation for a joint replacement or another type of physical injury.
True or False? Your brain helps with the function of hearing.
This is true. Scientific researchers have spent decades studying the correlation between our ears and our brains. Modern hearing aids help our brain determine which sounds we should concentrate on - like a conversation that you are having with someone at a busy restaurant - and which sounds can be ignored.
Your outer ears harness sounds and transfer them into the inner ear, where your tiny sensory hair cells turn them into electrical signals. It’s then transferred through the auditory nerve for the brain to interpret and recognize as sound.
When sensory hair cells become damaged or die off, they can no longer accurately process noise that they receive. The result is sensorineural hearing loss, which can normally be treated with hearing aids. According to Johns Hopkins and the National Institute of Aging, elderly adults who have untreated hearing loss lost an average of a cubic centimeter of brain tissue each year compared to individuals who had healthy hearing abilities.
True or False? Your hearing health can be negatively impacted by the foods that you consume.
The answer is true. In order for your entire body to perform at its best, it requires eating a healthy and balanced diet. Obesity and excessive drinking can contribute to poor hearing. Your auditory system, along with the rest of your body, needs proper blood circulation with the help of a good diet and exercise.
True or False? Hearing aids were not useful for other people that I know, so they probably won’t work for me.
This answer is false. The experience of hearing loss is different for everyone. Your hearing healthcare provider will need to determine whether hearing aids will benefit you. Your range of hearing loss, personal lifestyle and hearing aid style preferences will be factored in to help decide which hearing aid model you will purchase.
After an initial hearing aid fitting and programming, your hearing instrument specialist may need to do additional adjustments and other maintenance to your hearing aids during future appointments. This will ensure that your hearing will improve based on your lifestyle and the environments that you frequently visit.
True or false? The main disability among those in the military service and veterans is tinnitus.
This answer is true. A study from the American Tinnitus Association revealed that over 50 million Americans have some form of tinnitus. Over 12 million Americans, mostly veterans, suffer from tinnitus that is so severe, it can disturb their personal and professional lives. The military reported that tinnitus has been listed as the largest category for disability claims. Hearing loss is the second.
According to hearing healthcare professionals, the majority of tinnitus cases are caused by noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). They account for 90 percent of all tinnitus cases. Any jobs that require workers to be in a noisy environment are at risk of extensive exposure to loud noises - like operating heavy machinery or loud explosions in a veteran’s case. This can cause NIHL.
True or false? Musicians have a higher risk of developing hearing loss.
This is true. Studies have shown that musicians are nearly four times more likely to endure noise-induced deafness, and 57 percent more likely to experience tinnitus. Some well-known musicians who now have hearing loss due to dangerous levels of noise exposure are, Phil Collins, Ozzy Osbourne and Pete Townshend.
True or False? Hearing loss that goes untreated can impact your salary.
The answer is true. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against someone who has a hearing disability, but research has shown that if you have untreated hearing loss you could lose $30,000 each year. This is due to the inability to accurately or efficiently accomplish tasks because of your hearing loss. Fortunately, the study showed that individuals who get proper treatment for their mild hearing loss by using hearing aids, reduce that risk by 90 to 100 percent.
True or False? My hearing loss only affects me.
The answer is false. Anyone who you communicate with will also be affected, and maybe even frustrated. As mentioned before in this blog, untreated hearing loss can result in anxiety, depression and social isolation. This is due to the person’s struggle to communicate with the people in their life.
The best solution is to get your hearing loss treated as soon as possible. Close to 70 percent of people who got treatment for their hearing loss with hearing aids, indicated that their social life had significantly improved.
True or False? The most effective way to prevent hearing loss is by using ear protection.
This answer is true. NIHL and aging are the top reasons for developing sensorineural hearing loss. If you frequently work in a noisy environment, request hearing protection from your employer. If you have a noisy hobby (woodworking or playing a musical instrument),or attend something like a concert or fireworks display, wear proper hearing protection. It may be wise to invest on a good pair of headphones that block out noise or ear plugs. You won’t be able to stop aging, but you can reduce the risks of NIHL by taking preventative measures.
True or False? The average child will experience their first ear infection by the time they reach the age of three.
This is true. A child’s ears are more likely to get ear infections (otitis media). This is due to how their Eustachian tube is positioned throughout their childhood. Over 75 percent of children have at least one episode of otitis media before they turn three years old.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait any longer to get help. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for people of all ages.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are in need of a hearing aid repair, call us prior to an office visit. We ask that you please place your hearing aids in a clean ziplock bag and wait in your car for our curbside services. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Based on data collected from academic studies, laboratory settings, parents, teachers, and children who experience unilateral hearing loss (UHL), it has become clear that this type of hearing loss raises the risk of children having psychoeducational difficulties and other obstacles that are associated with it.
Studies conducted within the past several decades has led to learning more about the impact that UHL has on children. One of the earliest studies that help foster this research showed that children who experience permanent UHL are much more likely to have academic and behavioral problems than their peers who had healthy hearing abilities. Children with UHL are at a higher risk of having problems with speech and language, cognitive function, and balance than their peers with normal hearing. About 50% of children with UHL have been shown to have academic difficulties that would require tutoring or therapy.
General Information on UHL
There are different degrees of UHL in children. UHL is any amount of hearing loss in the impaired ear with average air-conduction thresholds in the normal hearing ear (≤15 dB of hearing loss). Profound unilateral hearing loss is also known as single-sided deafness (SSD). This term implies that there is profound hearing loss in one ear and/or significantly poor ability in speech perception, which restricts the use of that ear. In this article, the term UHL will be used to represent all degrees of UHL, unless noted otherwise.
Early studies showed that the majority of children who had UHL were identified when they were 4 to 6 years of age, or when they started attending school. In recent years, approximately 97% of infants that were born in the U.S. have been screened for hearing loss shortly after being born. About 1 in 1,000 are diagnosed with UHL. This makes up 43% of children who have UHL and are identified with hearing loss before they reach 6 months of age. When children reach school age, the pervasiveness rises to about 3 to 6 per 100 and 14 per 100 when they are adolescents.
The increase in how common hearing loss is among those between the newborn period and school-age period could be due to progressive or late onset of hearing loss, and the undetected minimal or mild degrees of UHL because newborn screenings are not designed to detect those types of hearing loss.
The cause of UHL is still unknown. Among 31-54% of children with UHL, there are no risk or correlated factors identified.
Studies have indicated that UHL may become progressive and bilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in both ears) could develop in 7-11% of cases. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the hearing health of individuals with UHL.
What are the possible impacts of UHL?
The immediate repercussions of UHL are losing binaural function. This can make it harder to identify speech sounds while there’s background noise and it may also be difficult to determine where sounds are emanating from. The loss of interaural time and level differences can lead to safety concerns for children with UHL who rely on cues to navigate the streets. Also, failing to identify the source of a speaker will most likely delay contact with relevant visual cues that improve perception in speech. The lack of binaural cues, like binaural suppression, can adversely affect the ability to comprehend speech when there is too much background noise. This may interfere with how you socially interact with others and impact language acquisition and learning.
As previously mentioned, in the early 1980s and 1990s, research studies that had been published indicated that approximately 50% of children who had UHL, failed a grade in school or needed resource assistance. This revealed that they were about 10 times more likely than their normal-hearing peers to be unsuccessful in their academics. The more severe a child’s UHL is, the more likely they are to struggle with listening and learning. Several analysts determined that having hearing loss in the right ear is more harmful to a person’s academic achievement than experiencing hearing loss in the left ear. Other studies found that there were no ear-specific differences in language measures.
There has been evidence that indicates that children who experience bilateral hearing loss use up more energy to listen. This leads to concentration and listening fatigue. There is currently limited data based on listening effort and fatigue in children with UHL, but there have been self-reports of fatigue in children who have hearing loss versus children who do not have a hearing impairment. There was not, however, a link between the degree of hearing loss and a rating on fatigue. It is plausible that children with UHL would be prone to listening-fatigue. Children who use and sustain their energy to listen during class may have less energy to think of questions, respond with an answer, take less accurate notes, etc.
Managing Your Child’s Hearing Needs
In addition to many hearing aid device options, there are other ways to manage the hearing needs of a child with UHL. A hearing healthcare professional can provide a practical survey or questionnaire to recognize and determine specific risks that are of concern such as localization, difficulties with listening, and educational achievements. The Vanderbilt Fatigue Scale is a tool that will soon be available for measuring and listening-related fatigue in children.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for people of all ages.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Have you noticed that you’ve been more forgetful lately? Have you missed important meetings or appointments, and needed to reschedule them? Or did you forget about your laundry that was drying out in the sun?
You may not feel as though you are forgetful, but you may be feeling more fatigued. You might blame these experiences of forgetfulness on your memory, but it may actually be your hearing that’s causing the problem.
How can You Enhance Your overall Cognitive Abilities and Memory?
The first step is to get your hearing tested. Avoid those embarrassing moments when you can’t remember someone’s name or miss an important meeting. A standard hearing test will determine whether you have hearing loss and how severe it may be.
You may not immediately recognize any signs of hearing loss, but there still might be some loss in your hearing without symptoms. One of the earliest signs of hearing damage is memory loss. The main cause of memory loss is when your brain is constantly feeling stressed. Here’s what happens:
A human brain holds a finite amount of processing energy. This is the reason why your brain becomes stressed due to the strain. As a result, you may have less mental energy for a healthy memory or cognitive processing.
Dementia Linked to Hearing Loss
Severe memory loss could result in dementia. Those who do not receive treatment for their hearing loss have a greater risk of cognitive decline, starting with moderate hearing loss and worsening to serious cognitive problems.
How can Hearing Aids Stop Fatigue?
It’s very important to get treatment for your hearing loss. In one study, there was an undeniable gain in cognitive function for 97.3% of individuals who had hearing loss and wore hearing aids for at least 18 months.
Remember, when your brain doesn’t need to strain and overwork itself, your long-term cognitive function improves. Memory loss and cognitive function is a complex issue that won’t always improve by simply using hearing aids. It’s good to engage in brain and physical exercises, socialize with people and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The First Sign of Hearing Loss is Typically Memory Loss
This type of hearing loss usually isn’t permanent, but rather an evidence of exhaustion. It can become permanent if the underlying issues continue to go unaddressed. Memory loss could be an early warning sign. To address these problems, hearing aids may help. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing memory loss that may be linked to hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a vast selection of hearing aids for a wide range of hearing loss.
This is a friendly reminder that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Communicating with others in your workplace can be tough when you experience hearing loss. There are some things that you can do to make your day go smoother.
1. Understand Your Own Hearing Loss - Each person experiences hearing loss differently. It’s good to examine different situations that require you to listen. It’s also a good idea to discover which environments you find challenging and what changes you can make to ease your listening fatigue. Ask for help and request certain accommodations if necessary.
2. Get an Adequate Amount of Rest - Some people can hear better after getting some much needed R&R. If you have important discussions or meetings, it’s best to schedule them early. You’ll be well-rested and your brain and hearing should be functioning at their best. If this is impossible, schedule some time to rest before your important meeting to recharge your mind and body. You can simply walk around outside or even listen to a short meditation to clear your mind.
3. Advocate for Your Needs - Letting coworkers know about your hearing loss is a personal decision, but in many cases, it’s best to be open and honest about it. This makes things less awkward if you need help from others and explaining why you need help.
4. Tell Your Coworkers about the Best Ways to Communicate with You - Communication requires you and other people to interact with one another. You will need help from coworkers to help you efficiently perform your job. You can begin with a simple rule like, only allowing one person to speak at a time. This will make conversations easier to follow if you also rely on lip-reading and/or facial cues to understand what is being discussed. Make sure other people have your attention before talking to you and ask that they face you while clearly speaking. These tips will be helpful if you have a Zoom meeting or another form of video-conferencing call.
5. Use the Latest Technology - There are so many speech-to-text apps available. Currently, the most popular, and accurate, app for Android smartphones is LiveTranscribe. Nothing that is spoken into this app is recorded or saved. Otter, another speech-to-text app, can be used on multiple platforms. Users can save the conversation and create a transcript. Ask your boss if these apps can be used at your company before using them.
6. Be Precise About Your Suggestions - hearing loss is not an easily discernible disability, so most people won’t know that you need help if you don’t ask for help. Be up-front about it and be specific with your needs. Some people might yell because they think it helps you hear them or lean close to your ears, but this will cancel out the ability to lip-read and read facial cues. Describe or show them what you need if they do not understand.
7. Visual Cues - Rather than immediately asking someone to repeat themselves if you miss what was said, listen for a little longer to try and piece together what was stated by using the context you are in. You may also cup your hand behind your ear to indicate that you are having trouble hearing whoever is speaking. The speaker can talk louder without interfering with the flow of the discussion.
8. Diet, Exercise, and Keep Learning - Make sure that you get enough rest, have a healthy diet, and exercise. When you feel better and well-rested, you have more energy to listen. Listening fatigue is real! Knowing the context of a conversation is important, so keep up with current events so that it’s easier to follow along.
9. Accept Your Hearing Loss - This is difficult for many people. If you appear to be at ease about your hearing loss, the people who you interact with will also feel comfortable. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss what was said. If you begin to experience listening fatigue, pace yourself so that you have the energy to continue with other conversations. Sometimes what you mishear can be funny. Just go with the flow and laugh at yourself. This will make you, and others feel more relaxed, and maybe open up a dialogue about your personal experiences with hearing loss.
If you are struggling to hear at work, due to your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing solutions for your individual hearing needs.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Guidance from Hearing Instrument Specialists
When making an important purchase - whether it’s for a vehicle, eyeglasses, or hearing aids - receiving guidance or an opinion from an expert has been helpful for many people.
The patient demographics for hearing aids has significantly shifted. Today’s hearing devices are much more intricate, therefore it’s important to stress how essential hearing instrument specialists are to hearing aid users.
Hearing aids have undergone considerable research and development in their technology. There are different levels of efficiency based on the brand and style. These ever-advancing pieces of technology continue featuring newer algorithms based on the manufacturer’s software for each unique hearing loss. The only way to know if a hearing aid is suitable for you is to try them with the guidance of a professional.
Choosing Hearing Aids
Selecting hearing aids is a team effort between you and your hearing instrument specialist, where good communication is necessary. Patient-centered care or mutual decision making is important to make the proper treatment options based on the results of the patient’s hearing test. Topics such as personal lifestyle - such as how active the patient is inside or outside the home - and what is to be expected from the hearing aids should be considered.
The hearing aid test drive (HATD) is used in today’s hearing health care practices. This is patient-centered care, and a shared decision-making process, where patients are critical in their treatment options. With the help of their hearing instrument specialist, they may try out the hearing aids in their own home, work environment, and/or social situations to determine whether the device works for their individual listening needs.
If you, or a loved one, need a hearing test, hearing aids, and trial please contact us for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands which include HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
Health and happiness are important as you age. The best three things that can help you achieve that is maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and making sure you have healthy hearing abilities.
Better Hearing Reduces Social Isolation
The ability to hear clearly can help you be more aware of your surroundings, interact with others effortlessly, connect with others, participate in conversations, and remain socially active - even if it’s virtually or at a safe distance.
Our connection and engagement with others is important to our overall health and well-being, especially during these times.
Studies have indicated that people who enjoy and participate with others in a social setting are more likely to have a longer lifespan than those who remain isolated.
Better Hearing can Help Decrease Cognitive Decline
Many studies have shown that hearing loss is closely related to dementia. The World Health Organization foresees that the number of people with dementia will triple by the year 2050.
As previously mentioned, hearing loss leads to social isolation which raises the risk of dementia. Dementia causes your brain to become weaker, to the point where it uses up the energy that you need in order to remember and think. Between social distancing and social isolation, the risks are much higher.
The Lancet Commission on Dementia prevention, intervention, and care recently reported that getting treatment for hearing loss during midlife is the best way to reduce or even prevent the onset of dementia.
Better Hearing Helps You Stay Alert and Be Independent
Being able to hear gives people confidence. It allows us to feel safer when navigating through the world. Hearing clearly, provides an openness in our spatial awareness. As a result, distinguishing the differences between certain sounds can help us react appropriately whether it’s in a video chat or when out in a grocery store.
Anyone who has lost their ability to hear, are likely to miss those signals. This can lead to feelings of uncertainty when interacting with others.
People with good hearing are two times less likely to have an accidental injury and three times less likely to have a history of falls than individuals with hearing loss.
Better Hearing Reduces Depression
Your optimum level of hearing can keep you feeling positive and full of vigor. Hearing the laughter of friends and family, the sounds of your favorite music, a funny joke, birds chirping, or anything else that you love helps to keep you connected.
The AARP found that being optimistic and keeping a positive attitude in life can add 7.5 years to your life. There is also an 80 percent reduction in risks of heart disease.
Start hearing better today! Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions from brands such as HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron and Widex.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Today, more and more students are now attending classes in-person, virtually online, or they are engaging in hybrid learning. Students with hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and/or deafness face challenges in any class setting.
How can Teachers and Students Prepare?
Students who are hard of hearing may need additional accommodations to effectively learn in-person or virtually. This extra support must be planned out. Practice your lesson plan before carrying them out with students. Test out your video conferencing tools to make sure that it runs smoothly and provides closed captions. Programs such as Google and Microsoft feature real-time captioning, which helps listeners follow along.
All of your students should be provided with access to notes, classwork, and study guides before the class begins. This will give them a chance to briefly review the material. Learning some information about the topic before class can help students with hearing loss stay on track.
Another tip is to give students time to chat with each other before class begins. This will give the hard of hearing student a chance to make adjustments to their audio/video if needed.
Make Good Use of Visual Aids
Whether a student has hearing loss or not, a room that is too dark can hinder the ability to effectively communicate. People with hearing loss rely on visual cues, such as facial expressions and hand gestures, to piece a conversation together. Be sure to have lighting in front of your face, instead of behind them as to prevent shadows. If possible, use a clear mask to allow students to read lips and visual cues.
Exercise and encourage your students to practice good communication skills. This would include:
Utilize Assistive Listening Devices in the Classroom
Speaking louder is now necessary due to social distancing. Sound systems are helpful to provide easier ways to communicate inside the classroom so that instructors don’t need to constantly shout. Students with hearing aids will appreciate the boost in volume without struggling to hear.
Teachers and students who have hearing loss may use devices such as the Roger Select TM Microphone. This table microphone can be used to pick up a speakers’ voice. Remote microphones, which can be connected to hearing aids, can stream sounds directly into compatible hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids and the Roger Select TM Microphone. Contact us for a free trial.