Posted in Uncategorized

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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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 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, 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 Technology

N is also for: New Technology

Did you know that when you put the phone up to your ear, the hearing aid can give a fuller, clearer sound by automatically sending the sound into your other ear as well? Have you heard about the hearing aid that connects to the internet and alerts you to the GPS coordinates of where you lost it? What about the almost invisible, sleek appearance of today’s hearing aids that causes you to miss about 75% of wearers on the street?

These are NOT the old clunky, whistling hearing aids that you remember.

From speech clarity, to music, to rechargeable batteries, there are so many new customizable features to hearing systems. Dr. Kupfer regularly attends conferences by the leading manufacturers to learn and test drive the latest trends and offerings in hearing research. With this knowledge in mind, she is able to select the perfect technology to suit your lifestyle and budget.

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Starkey Regional Summit, 9/27/2016