A few years ago, Derrick Coleman was signed by the Seattle Seahawks, making him the first deaf person to join the NFL. Matt Hamill, who has been deaf since birth, is a wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. He was named the NCAA Division III national champion three times and was a competitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Historically, many young athletes who are hard of hearing have been excluded from team sports. Some of the factors that led to this were due to group and social sensitivities, difficulty recognizing norms among the team members, and an absence of resources that limit the size of the staff. Disregarding these children and teens can harm their development as a person and an athlete. It could also lead them to become excluded at work and other social environments in the future.
It’s important to work with schools and communities to address this issue and use better communication to allow children with hearing loss to develop interpersonal and teamwork skills.
Raise awareness for Children with Hearing Loss
Remember that everyone has a different method of communication. If you believe that everyone communicates the same way, this is what leads to people being excluded. Encourage community leaders to be more empathetic, and learn more about:
Observe the child with hearing loss and do research. The best way to help this child is by asking them. There may be some uncomfortable questions that a coach or teammate needs to ask. Here is some advice on how to navigate through this:
Be Supportive of the Needs of Your Child
A coach’s resources tend to determine how many support staff are needed to help a player. You must let the team coach know what your child needs for them to give their best performance. Some solutions may include:
Advocate to have Multiple Means of Communication
Stress the importance of multi-channel communication and help to establish this. You can make visual aids, have a transcriber, or an interpreter. Other recommendations include:
Reaching out to coaches from your child’s school or community is an important first step in helping your child become more included. You may go to a meeting for the athletic department and speak to coaches. You could even become a coach for your child’s team, facilitate training with other coaches, and have an open form of communication with the athletic or recreation department.
These adjustments take time and energy. It’s important to build a network of other parents in your school district or community to work together.
If your child has hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aid solutions for individuals of every age. Don’t let your child wait to participate in sports any longer, contact us today.
Appointments for your general health, eye health, and oral health are regularly scheduled. It’s always a good idea to see your medical practitioner, especially as you age.
Hearing tests are often overlooked
More than 450 million people around the globe suffer from hearing loss. One out of three adults over the age of 65 have some range of hearing loss.
It’s important to keep every aspect of your health in mind, even your hearing. It will help you live a fuller life.
If you notice any hearing loss, early treatment will reduce further decline not only in your hearing, but also in your cognitive abilities. Getting a hearing test is a great basis for subsequent screenings. Contact us today at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
A Guide to Reduce Noise-induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss doesn’t only affect those who work in loud environments; it can also affect people during their leisure time when they watch a movie, TV, video; there can even be lasting effects if they listen to music or an audiobook where the volume is turned up loud.
Your mobile phone can be just as loud. The average pain threshold for a person’s hearing is approximately 150 dB, the same volume that these devices can go up to. You might feel pain in your ears from hearing volumes at this level. It only takes 85 dB to cause hearing loss. The best way to protect your hearing health from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is to turn the volume down.
A simple guide to follow is the 60/60 rule. Listen with the volume level at or below 60% for 60 minutes or less at a time. The volume level is equally as important as the length of exposure time.
Make a Special Music Setting on Your Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids can stream every type of audio from your smartphone to your hearing aids. Make sure that the volume levels aren’t too loud. If you are a musician or music lover, Signia hearing aids are highly recommended. Your hearing instrument specialist can program a customized setting to have the best listening experience with your hearing aids. Whether you are at a live concert, a symphony, or in your own home listening to a stereo or record player, you can hear high quality sounds with the right device and programming. Adjustments can also be made to reduce feedback noise.
Choosing the Right Headphones
Your personal preference is key, but here are some other things to consider:
Test out different pairs of headphones, or earbuds, to find out which one works best for you. Find the headphones that are most comfortable for you to enjoy at a safe volume.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if you need a customized setting for your hearing aid devices. Our hearing instrument specialists can program hearing aids for your individual listening needs.
Communicating with Hearing Loss
Communicating with others can be strenuous, especially if you have hearing loss. You may need the person who you are interacting with to face you when they speak, or give more context when switching topics. It requires you, and the person you are interacting with, to get on the same page in order to have an effective exchange.
Here are some tips to communicate with someone:
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
After purchasing your hearing aids, there are some basic rules to follow.
1. After Getting Your Hearing Aids, get them Fitted by a Professional Hearing Instrument Specialist
A great deal of involvement from you and your hearing instrument specialist is necessary for a proper hearing aid device. You need to be honest about what you can and cannot hear when taking a hearing test. The wrong type of hearing aids and incorrect programming will not give you the best listening experience. There are different hearing aids that are recommended for those who have high frequency hearing loss and for those who have low frequency hearing loss.
Keep notes on what you are experiencing when listening with the devices on. Discuss what you can and cannot hear, the comfort of or any discomfort with the hearing aids, etc.
2. Wear Your Hearing Aids Immediately After Purchasing Them
It’s important to test out the features that are available in your hearing aids and learn about basic functions of the devices. You won’t get the most use out of them if you are simply turning them on, and placing them in your ears. There is a Bluetooth feature that lets you stream your computer, music and TV. It also has noise-filters that can help block out background noises.
Work with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can program the devices. They will help you get the optimal listening experience with the proper programming.
3. Be Patient when Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids
Remember, adapting to hearing aids takes time. Your ears need to adjust to your hearing aids. You should not expect to hear exactly the same way as you did before.
The key to smoothly adjusting to your hearing aids is to leave them in your ears for as long as possible. It’s common for new users to take them off because they don’t feel comfortable. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Think about why they don’t feel comfortable.
4. Proper Hearing Aid Maintenance
Learn how to properly take care of your hearing aids from your hearing instrument specialist.
You can also get some maintenance tips from this link.
If you need a hearing test, hearing aids, a hearing aid fitting, a person to program your hearing devices, cleaning tools or advice on proper care, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Biking is a great way to exercise. Moving and getting fresh air is always a plus, but cyclists who also wear hearing aids need to take some extra precautions.
It's a common misconception that those with hearing loss cannot participate in extreme sports, such as cycling. It just takes the appropriate gear and hearing aids to partake in cycling.
Here are some tips to stay safe when riding on roads, how to adjust your hearing aid device for the best and safest journey and how to select the right helmet. It's important to note that even cyclists who do not have hearing loss, tend to be exposed to loud noises that can harm their hearing. Whether or not you wear hearing aids, this is a useful guide for anyone concerned about cycling, safety and your hearing health.
Road Safety Advice
A top priority for cyclists, with or without hearing loss, should be staying safe when cycling in traffic. An accident can occur no matter how much riding experience you have, or how great your biking equipment is. There are many ways to enhance your safety before hitting the road.
Basic tips for every cyclist
Tips for cyclists who are hearing aid users
Cycle with others
Cycling with others can be great for companionship and improving safety during your ride. It's like traveling in a pack - the more individuals there are, the safer you will be.
You may want to use cues to alert one another about traffic or other hazards. If there are several people on the lookout for cars or motorcycles, there's going to be at least one person who pays attention to oncoming vehicles. Cyclists are more likely to stop for a break when there are others around them, making the exercise less strenuous.
Cycling in a group also helps drivers become more aware that people are biking on the road. A driver may neglect to be cautious if there's only one cyclist on the road, but they will most likely drive safer if there is a group of cyclists who are riding together.
If you don't have friends or family who bike, join a local cycling group. Most groups are happy to have new members join. They can give you more tips on biking safely and more efficiently. It can ease your mind to know that someone is spotting you while cycling.
Tailor Your Hearing Aids
A bike helmet and your hearing aids are the primary accessories needed when biking. Being more aware of your surroundings is important so that you can navigate the road safely. Always make sure that your hearing aids are correctly adjusted for your individual needs. Visit your hearing instrument specialist and describe what you need to safely ride on the roads. Have them program a special setting that you can use for cycling.
Your cycling setting should have an omnidirectional microphone setting. This lets you hear noises from every single direction. It's not the best setting for restaurants or parties - when you want to talk to one person or a few people. The omnidirectional microphone setting can harness the sound of vehicles approaching from any direction.
Wind-cancellation is another feature that you will need for your hearing aids if you are a cyclist. This noise-filter should be turned up to the max. It's best to decrease any strain of hearing over the sound of the wind as much as you can. Even those with healthy hearing abilities struggle to hear traffic, or the sound of other people, when it's too windy.
If you do not have a hearing aid provider, it is very important to find one who will be able to adjust and program your hearing aids for your individual needs.
Selecting Your Helmet
After you get your hearing aids programmed and adjusted, you need a helmet that can be worn with them. Do not purchase a helmet without trying it on while wearing your hearing aids. You need to make sure that the helmet, and your hearing aids, feel comfortable and secure when they rest in your ears.
Make sure the helmet doesn't press into your ears or your hearing aids. If you intend to wear something under the helmet, such as a fitted cap or sweatband, wear that when trying on your helmet.
After purchasing your helmet, you may want to get accessories - special straps or wind blockers - that will assist in blocking the wind.
Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids
Whether you are biking in warm or cool temperatures, moisture can be a big problem when it comes in contact with your hearing aids.
To avoid damage from moisture, stop biking every once in a while and wipe off your ears and hearing aids. Sweatbands can decrease how much sweat comes in contact with your ears, but it's advised that you wipe off moisture with a cloth or towel. You should stop to re-hydrate, and wipe off the moisture before continuing on your journey.
In cold temperatures, condensation can be a problem. In addition to sweat, your hearing aids are going to gather moisture from the air. Your battery life will be depleted due to the frigid temperature, so always carry an extra pair of batteries if you are going for a long ride.
Protect Your Hearing Health
For everyone, no matter how well or how poor they hear, it's important to protect your hearing. A study indicated that cyclists' hearing abilities worsen over time due to noise-induced hearing loss.
These loud sounds include noises from the wind. Wind can become very loud. When you are exposed to those noises for an extensive amount of time, it can diminish your hearing and cause sensorineural hearing loss. This is when the nerves in your cochlea deteriorate. There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, so it's best to do whatever you can to prevent it.
As previously mentioned, you can wear a headband or any other head or ear covering to block out wind noises. After a windy bike ride, don't go to a loud concert, movie theater, or restaurant. Let your ears rest before engaging in any of these activities.
You won't always be able to avoid bicycling in windy conditions, but you can always be prepared to protect your ears when necessary. Earplugs and earmuffs tend to decrease your spatial awareness. Get your hearing tested frequently. If you notice any hearing loss, get tested immediately. It's best to catch it early so that it can be treated early and reduce further hearing loss, mental deterioration, or depression.
Those who use hearing aids, and those who do not use hearing aids, can benefit from learning more about protecting their hearing health by following this link.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aids for any lifestyle.
For the 48 million Americans who have some range of hearing loss, a functional living space may be at the center of their custom home design.
There are already some convenient features, like a doorbell that will vibrate your phone when someone rings it. Here are some additional ideas that you may consider incorporating into your home.
Consider an Open Living Space
An open space will allow you to see people, or pets, in other areas of your home. This improves safety for everyone.
Your Living Room
You may want a counter space that faces the living room so that you don’t have to miss out on anything that happens. Insulated appliances can quiet the humming and rattling noises to make it easier to hear others and feel any alerts that buzz.
Sitting in a semicircle allows everyone to face one another. This is helpful to every type of discussion, whether it’s just between two people or with a group of people.
Don’t use Mood Lighting
Shadows and glares from the windows can hinder the ability to lip read, sign or engage in other means of communication. Having an evenly lit room can make it easier to recognize faces and gestures.
There are baby monitors with phone alerts that mirror the volume of an infant’s cry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still in the progress of understanding video, but in the near future it may be able to identify when children are upset or need something.
Knocking on a closed door only works when the person knocking and the occupant can hear. Using a motion-activated signal that lights up can let others know whether or not the bathroom is free.
A Pitch Dark Room
Those who are hard of hearing always need light to see the visual cues that let them communicate with others. This makes them more sensitive to light. Having a dark room to go into is needed to reduce overstimulation.
Maybe one day, in the near future, there will be transparent tablets available that can double as windows. Alerts can be displayed and easily viewed, phone calls that are transcribed or even song lyrics that replace your doorbell or security system.
If you are hard of hearing, try to incorporate these changes into your home. If you are in need of hearing aids or hearing aid care, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.