Posted in Technology, Tips

“Y” is for Youth

Oh, to be young! Many people shy away from treating a hearing loss because it feels like they are resigning to old age. Ladies and gentlemen, this thinking could not be more wrong. When you pay attention to those people who take care of their hearing versus those who let it go unchecked– the former are often the ones who are living healthier, active, and more “youthful” lives. When I spot a person wearing a well-fit pair of hearing aids, I am IMPRESSED. The statement it makes is that this person (or who someone who cares about them) is proactive about their health and living life without limitations. And that is surely a symbol of youth.

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Posted in Tips

U is for Urgency

For some reason, when it comes to hearing loss, the overwhelming majority of people put off taking care of themselves. It just does not seem urgent, dangerous, or particularly exciting. This leads the average person to wait 6-7 years from when they receive their diagnosis of hearing loss to when they actually get a hearing aid! Seven years represents a significant amount of frustrations and limitations that could be avoided. Don’t be passive about your quality of life, and don’t underestimate your worth in looking after your health needs… if you find yourself struggling with any aspect of your hearing, why not get a routine hearing check, see what’s going on and listen to what the audiologist has to recommend. Whether it’s listening exercises, a (free) captioning telephone, a hearing aid, or other strategies: there is a treatment plan for you that can improve your life, today.

Posted in Tips

T is for Tinnitus

Do you have ringing, buzzing, roaring, whooshing or any other unwanted sounds in the ear? More teenagers than ever are experiencing persistent tinnitus, which is a common sign of damage to the ear and typically affects people over age 50. It can be an warning sign of oncoming hearing loss, or it may signal a hearing loss already present.

Loud music is notorious for causing this upsurge in tinnitus and headaches among younger folks, with musicians particularly at risk. Although it can be managed, there is no real cure for tinnitus.

This condition is largely preventable through safe listening habits. Just ask Chris Martin of Coldplay who battles with tinnitus, and is now meticulous about wearing hearing protection during concerts in which he performs or attends:

“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I wish I’d thought about it earlier.”

If you are experiencing persistent tinnitus, please see your audiologist to assess the health of your ears and hearing, and to discuss possible options for prevention and management.

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Posted in Tips, Uncategorized

R is for Relationships

Isn’t that what life’s all about? Hearing our family, friends, workmates, doctors, friendly passersby and even our pets… without these connections, it is very difficult to function. When communicating with your loved one becomes a hassle because you need to strain your voice to speak loudly, or they swear they heard one thing when you know you said something else… it might be time to have an earnest conversation with them about their hearing health. By taking steps to manage hearing loss in its early stages, it is possible to ward off the downstream negative effects that unfortunately are all too common. Healthy hearing makes for healthy aging!

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Posted in Tips, Uncategorized

Q is for Quiet

You might take the sounds around you for granted, but the world is a very quiet place for some people. When they re-hear the sound of a baby’s laugh… the birds chirping… the calming spray of a water fountain… or even the elevator chime once again, for the first time in years- the smile that comes upon their face is priceless. It is incredible to witness the joy of regaining “the small things” in life!

Posted in Tips, Uncategorized

O is for Obesity

Now that the holidays are approaching, keep in mind that too many extra pounds puts one at a higher risk for hearing loss. In addition- what the treadmill does for physical fitness, hearing aids and sustained communication can accomplish for mental fitness! Healthy ears, healthy years. I’ll drink to that! 😉

Posted in Tips, Uncategorized

N is for Noise

Can you guess the #1 hearing complaint? Wait, what did you say? Boys? Toys? Ohhhh- you said noise!

Restaurants, lecture halls, and busy work meetings with several talkers can all pose a challenge due to many competing sounds distorting and drowning out one another. Normally, subtle differences in the sounds as they arrive at the 2 ears, guide the brain in making sense and being able to follow along.

However, these difficulties are worsened in the presence of a hearing loss: the brain must decipher and make sense of incomplete information from the ears! When listening in quiet or one-on-one conversation, the brain may be able to compensate and fill in the blanks (sometimes with varying success). However, background noise can really highlight a person’s need for hearing evaluation or treatment.

A quality hearing aid that is set properly will not just make conversations louder, but also clearer. By sharpening the contrast between important conversation and background noise, it helps boost the quality of information sent to the brain and allows you to follow the conversation with less effort and frustration.