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Fun-Fact Friday: “Ear Worms”

Ear worms… you know those catchy tunes that keep playing in your head long after the music stops? Why do some songs get stuck in our heads more than others? Studies show that songs labeled as Ear Worms (compared to songs that didn’t take off) have certain common traits, such as a fast tempo, a common melodic shape, and unexpected leaps in the song.

Just goes to show that our brains are rigged to prefer some sounds over others. In our practice, we try to figure out what your brain likes to hear and customize your hearing solution accordingly 🙂

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“W” is for What Did You Say??

Frequent requests for repetition are a classic sign of hearing loss.

However, family members of a patient will often tell me, “She hears me just fine she when chooses to pay attention!”

While it may appear to be true at times, this assumption does a major disservice to your loved one.

This is what is actually happening: your family member’s hearing loss is muffling and filtering out many sounds in your conversation. If they really focus on your face and pay close attention to the fragments that they’re hearing as well as the subject matter, their mind can compensate for their hearing loss by using these clues to fill in the blanks. However, this extra effort is is tiring, so it becomes easier to just tune out. In addition, when so much of the mind’s resources is spent on listening, there is less energy left over for remembering and processing what was actually said. In some cases of older adults, cognitive skills are not even strong enough to be relied upon. And if there’s background noise, it becomes that much harder to compensate.

People with hearing loss cannot passively listen and enjoy a conversation the way people with normal hearing do, so you can not expect them to always be interested in expending the extra effort to listen and participate. This is why they seem to be uninterested, inattentive or ask you “What?”

The resulting isolation (whether by choice or even unknowingly) is one of the worst effects of a hearing loss, both psychologically and socially.

If any of this sounds familiar, realize that your loved one might be limited by a hearing loss. Call 917-791-1510 to get on the road to better listening and better quality of life. We can help.

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Baseball Lessons on Hearing Well

“As soon as I hear the sound of the bat, I know where the ball is going” -Melvin Mora, Baltimore Orioles
 
It’s known that baseball players rely on the sound of the bat as it connects with the ball to guide their instincts on whether to race out or run in.
 
With normal hearing, we do this every day without realizing: we rely on fine cues in the sound around us to orient ourselves in space, turning to the direction of the important conversation, or moving away from something dangerous that is approaching.
 
This ability to “localize” is just another way that good hearing allows us to interact with the world around us. Now, grab your hearing protection for the game and batter up! 🙂 
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!

quotes-about-hearing-loss-by-mark-ross

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!