Posted in Medical

“Z” is for Zika (and other viruses that cause hearing loss)

Zika

The Zika outbreak last year brought awareness to the sad reality that certain viruses in the expectant mother can cause significant health problems to the unborn child. Many of those “Zika babies” are born with physical deformities or develop other deficits– which studies now show to include hearing loss. Even if not present immediately, the child should be monitored as the hearing loss can set in later on- just as we see for children who are prenatally exposed to CMV or herpes simplex.

Similarly, the Rubella (“German Measles”) epidemic in the US between 1962-1965 left many of those born to infected moms, with permanent hearing loss. Many children with hearing loss went undiscovered for years, due to the lack of early hearing detection/intervention programs at the time. Nowadays, we are fortunate to have many institutions in place to try to “catch” those children with hearing loss before they fall behind their hearing peers. And of course, those who have hearing loss owing to Rubella should recognize that there are many more options for treatment nowadays than perhaps were offered to them in the past. Speak to an audiologist who can recommend a custom plan based on your unique history and needs.

Here’s to the final letter of the BetterHearingABC’s, and to “Health/y/ears”!

Posted in Uncategorized

“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.

hearing-looks-like-this-300x173

Posted in Medical

V is for Vestibular System

Imagine it’s completely dark… how can you tell you’re walking down the steps? What about when you sink into the backseat of an Uber at the end of the day and close your eyes… how can you tell that the car is moving? This is your vestibular system.

The hearing and vestibular (balance) systems are housed together in the inner ear, and they communicate with the brain via two branches of the same nerve. This explains why individuals with hearing loss may also experience loss of balance, and why people who experience imbalance should also have their hearing checked.

If you have vertigo, especially if there is any accompanying tinnitus, decrease in hearing, or a clogged feeling in the ears, don’t skip the visit to the ENT (otolaryngologist). Your physician should ensure that no underlying medical condition is present.

For vestibular weaknesses, therapy may be recommended to strengthen this important sense.

Have a wonderful week!

Posted in Technology

S is for the World’s Smallest

Come see it for yourself! We want you to feel confident not only in your hearing abilities, but also in your appearance. This is why we offer the most discreet devices at no additional expense to you. The latest hearing aid from Unitron is packed with features and flavor, and not much bigger than that blueberry. Sweet!!

Posted in Uncategorized

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

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! 😉