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It Is National Audiology Awareness Month

October is National Audiology Awareness Month. Hearing loss is one of the most important health problems that Americans face today. Click on the graphic below to read more.

 

NAAM Poster

4 Factors in a Successful Hearing Aid Fitting

Not everyone does well with their hearing devices, not all hearing aids are created equally. Here are 4 factors which influence the success or failure of wearing hearing aids.

First, how severe is the hearing loss? Some hearing losses are fairly simple and straight forward to fit using today’s improved hearing aid technology. Mild high frequency sensorineural losses come to mind. Other losses can be severe to profound, causing distortion of sound—even with state of the art technology. The brain may no longer be able to process what is being said clearly. Often I’ve heard; “I can hear, I just can’t understand”.

The second issue facing a successful hearing aid fitting is: what product will you decide to invest in? I have told patients for years; “You get what you pay for”. There are wonderful hearing aids on the market right now that folks actually enjoy wearing. These products come from our leading manufactures that have proven over time to produce high quality sound processing as well as reliable durable products which do not need constant repair. These products are not cheap, nor do they come from the internet or big box stores. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Third, who is your person? An audiologist has a minimum of 6-8 years of college training. They have your best interest in mind. An audiologist will work with several brands of devices, ask questions, and listen to your needs to provide you with the best solution for your individual situation instead of assuming one size fits all. A hearing instrument specialist has a minimum of a high school education and basic training, typically based on how to close the sale.

Finally, the most important factor to a successful hearing aid fitting is you. Are you motivated? Do you genuinely want to hear well? Can you put behind you the idea of wearing a device in each ear that people may see? How you look with an untreated hearing loss is much more visible than any hearing aid will ever be.

When it is time for you or a loved one to consider hearing aids remember these factors. You may not be able to control your hearing loss (although you can take steps) but you can seek the advice of a local audiologist who deals with several manufactures. Take the audiologist’s recommendations—that is why you made the appointment. Decide to accept your hearing loss and move ahead with a positive attitude.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Summer

The World Health Organization (WHO), said that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults, ages 12 to 35, are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to damaging levels of sound at various noisy entertainment venues and the unsafe use of personal audio devices such as iPods, car and home radio systems. Along with this, repeated exposure to loud noise, over an extended period of time, also presents serious risks to hearing health.

Here’s a quick hearing tip: If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone who is within arm’s length, the noise is in the dangerous range.

Here are the warning signs of dangerous noise levels:

  • Pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area
  • Ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise
  • You have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise

Summer is in full swing and is full of fun, but is also full of noise. In the summer, there’s several outdoor and indoor concerts, fireworks shows, noisy parties, and other various events that present high levels of dangerous noise.

The Hearing Consultants would like to encourage people of all ages to pack up your earplugs along with that sunscreen and to follow these 5 tips for protecting your hearing this summer.  

1) Plug your ears and walk away.

If a loud noise takes you by surprise, quickly plug your ears with your fingers and quickly walk away. Increasing the distance between you and the source of the sound will help reduce the intensity (or decibels) at which the sound is reaching your ears.

2) Use earplugs.

When you know you’ll be around loud sounds, use earplugs. Disposable earplugs, made of foam or silicone, are often available at local pharmacies. They’re practical because you can still hear music and conversation when they’re in your ears. But when they fit snuggly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.

3) Limit your time in noisy environments.

Do all you can to limit the length of time you spend in a noisy environment. When you do participate in noisy activities, alternate them with periods of quiet. And remember to use ear protection.

4) Turn it down.

When listening to smartphones and other electronics, keep them at a low volume. Importantly, limit your use of headphones and ear buds. Remember, it’s not just the volume that matters. It’s also the duration of time spent listening.

5) Get a Hearing Test.

Visit a local hearing healthcare professional like the Hearing Consultants for custom-fitted ear protection and a hearing test. A hearing healthcare professional can provide a hearing test to determine your baseline hearing level and determine if you have any hearing loss that should be addressed. Hearing care professionals also can provide custom ear protection to ensure a proper fit.

Protecting your hearing is very important. For more information on hearing loss and to take the first step to better hearing, Request a Consultation with the Hearing Consultants. 

Why cheap hearing aids are never a good idea

Googling “cheap hearing aids” turns up dozens of hearing assistant devices for as little as $20 and it’s easy to see how a customer might be tempted into purchasing one.  Several “big box” stores have also entered the hearing aid industry by providing name brands for discount prices.

As audiologists who have been in the hearing healthcare field for years, we’d like to discuss why purchasing a cheap hearing aid is never a good idea!

One very important word: Service

Hearing aid vendors who sell at discount prices have fewer resources left over for service and as hearing aids become more high-tech, getting the right fit and adjustments is often the difference between success and failure for the hearing aid wearer.

No two individuals’ hearing losses are exactly the same and a trained audiologist has access to a wide variety of models and can help the user select the best one for the user’s specific hearing loss. Along with patient-specific hearing aids, trained audiologists will also know about special products for tinnitus or single-sided deafness as well as how to make products work together to make talking on the phone or hearing the TV easier.

Don’t cut corners on hearing aid fit and adjustment

Once the correct hearing aid has been chosen, a dedicated audiologist makes sure the device fits properly and shows the wearer how to put it on, clean and maintain it for longevity. The trained audiologist also helps adjust the hearing aid’s programs to provide the best fit for the user and their personal preferences and/or lifestyle. These adjustments require a trained hand since the advances in hearing aids in recent years have made them high-tech devices.

Cutting corners on hearing aid fit and adjustments can mean that the user won’t be able to utilize the hearing device to its full potential. It can also mean the hearing aid will be uncomfortable, and in turn, worn less often.

Disadvantages of buying cheap hearing aids

Cheaper hearing aids bought online are often less sophisticated. Many provide only sound amplification, which doesn’t distinguish between the different types of sounds: conversations versus music versus background noise. Even the higher-quality hearing aids you can purchase online don’t come with the hands-on, custom fitting of a trained expert and definitely don’t offer any in-person support and ongoing professional relationship the way a dedicated audiologist can.

Having a friendly, familiar face who knows the wearer’s medical history that answers questions and provides support is particularly important for older users of hearing aids. Some online vendors do provide an online “chat” function for questions, and can adjust hearing aids that are sent back to them, but this can involve a lot of unnecessary runs back and forth to the post office.

What you get from an audiologist

Dedicated and trained audiologists are experts at hearing device selection, fitting, and precise adjustment that maximizes the hearing aids’ high-tech features. Patients who visit an audiologist enjoy the benefits of a trained professional’s training, time, and personal attention.  Those who try to get a deal on hearing aids may find themselves with low-quality, ill-fitting hearing aids they wear infrequently and have to replace regularly – and ultimately not saving much money at all.

2014 Monkeys Mailer

Why EVERY Employer Should Promote Hearing Healthcare

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to get back into the swing of being active, healthy, and alive – which includes your hearing!

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is reaching out to employers about hearing healthcare and is offering a free and confidential online hearing check on the BHI website to help workers determine whether or not they should seek out a hearing healthcare professional to get a comprehensive hearing test.

Hearing health is tied to several aspects of employee wellbeing and should be on the front-of-mind to EVERY employer, especially to those who have a corporate wellness initiative and/or health management program. The earlier the hearing loss is detected and treated, the better of the patient will be. Hearing aids, along with other appropriate treatments and workplace accommodations, can help individuals function better while on the job and more importantly, enjoy a better quality of life.

95% of employees who suspect they suffer from hearing loss and have not sought out treatment reported to the “Listen Hear!” survey by EPIC Hearing Healthcare that they feel their problem impacts their job in at least one way.

These workplace hearing loss impacts include:

  • asking people to repeat what they have said (61%)
  • misunderstanding what is being said (42%)
  • pretending to hear when they can’t (40%)

Leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on both an individual’s personal and professional life.

According to the RAND Workplace Wellness Programs Study, over half of United States employers offer wellness programs and initiatives. By sponsoring and including hearing tests and hearing healthcare information into their current wellness program, employers will encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it. This will not only improve the workers wellbeing, but will ensure that the worker’s hearing issues doesn’t interfere with his job performance, productivity, safety, quality of life, morale, opportunities, or success in the workplace.

We need to band together to encourage businesses to include on-site hearing tests to employees!

5 Reasons Employers Should Promote Hearing Healthcare

1) Several people with hearing loss are in the workforce.

According to EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey, more than 10% of employees who work full-time have a diagnosed hearing problem. What’s worse is that 30% of employees suspect they have a problem, but have not sought out the proper treatment.

2) Treating hearing loss can enhance employee performance.

According to BHI research, employees in the workforce who use a hearing-assistant device (hearing aid) say it has helped their performance on the job and helps them communicate effectively, building stronger relationships at work.

3) Leaving hearing loss unaddressed doesn’t pay.

Brushing off hearing loss can limit our ability to communicate effectively and can negatively—and unnecessarily—affect job performance and productivity.

Other impacts include:

  • fatigue and distress
  • restricted interpersonal interactions
  • difficulty receiving and interpreting auditory information from computers & machines
  • not hearing sounds that signal hazards in the work environment
  • increased sick leave

4) Hearing loss is tied to other health conditions.

Research shows that hearing loss is linked to depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, dementia, cognitive decline, moderate chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, and the risk of falling and hospitalization.

5) Today’s hearing aids are better than ever.

Today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids make it easier to hear sounds and people from all directions and even filter out unnecessary noise. They sit comfortably and discreetly inside the ear canal and out of sight. There are even wireless ones that work well with devices such as smartphones and conference speaker phones. Some are even waterproof, and others are rechargeable.

What’s the bottom line?

According to BHI research, 91% of owners of hearing aids purchased within the last year are satisfied with their hearing aids and 90% of people who purchased their hearing aid within the last 4 years say they would recommend a hearing aid to a friend or family member.

When was the last time you had your hearing checked?

If you can’t remember the last time you had your hearing checked or the answer is “never,” you should get a hearing test! First that this quick, self-hearing test. If your results point toward hearing impairment, maybe it’s time to take the first step to better hearing.

Forever Young: 5 ways treating hearing loss can revitalize your life

Forever young: 5 ways treating hearing loss can revitalize your life

Listen up, boomers: Do you want to stay active? Vibrant? Socially engaged? Professionally successful? Most of us do.

So maybe it’s time to do something about your hearing.

Chances are, if you’re like many baby boomers, you’ve rocked your way through your fair share of concerts, night clubs, and ear-blasting parties. And you’ve enjoyed years of other noisy recreational activities to boot. Simply: You’ve been enjoying life. You’ve spent decades doing it. And it’s been loud.

So now, it’s not always so easy to hear the conversation around the table at the restaurant or dinner party – maybe not even in the conference room at work or on those teleconference calls.

Face it. All that enthusiastic living has been hard on your ears. And now they’re screaming for your attention.

You should give it to them.

In fact, addressing hearing loss is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life and keep up a youthful pace.

Fortunately, for most people with hearing loss, today’s state-of-the art hearing aids can help. In fact, eight out of 10 hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives due to their hearing aids.

Many boomers are surprised to learn that dramatic new technological advances have revolutionized hearing aids in recent years. Many hearing aids are virtually invisible, sitting discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal. And they adjust to all kinds of noise environments, picking up sound from all directions. Some are even waterproof.

Perhaps best of all, seamless connectivity is now the norm. Today’s hearing aids are wireless and stream sound from your smartphone, home entertainment system, and other electronics directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes just right for you.

Here’s what getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids, if recommended by a hearing care professional, may do for you:

1. Unlock your earning potential. Hearing your best at work helps you do your best. One study found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. And people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be employed than their peers who don’t.

2. Open the door to greater intimacy. Don’t let those sweet nothings go unheard. Feeling emotionally close to your partner is one of the most satisfying aspects of any intimate relationship. But it rests on good communication. When hearing loss goes unaddressed, it can make even the most loving partner seem remote or unresponsive. Luckily, research shows that using hearing aids can help improve interpersonal relationships – including greater intimacy.

3. Pull the plug on stress and boost your mood. People with untreated hearing loss often feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed. But research shows that when they use hearing aids, their mental health often rallies. Many regain emotional stability, become more socially engaged, feel a greater sense of safety and independence, and see a general improvement in their overall quality of life.

4. Bolster your self-confidence. An important perk of using hearing aids can be enhanced emotional well-being. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, many feel more in control of their lives and less self-critical. One Better Hearing Institute (BHI) study found that the majority of people with mild and severe hearing loss felt better about themselves and life overall as a result of using hearing aids.

5. Improve cognitive functioning. Studies out of Johns Hopkins linked hearing loss with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults and found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time. BHI studies found that many people with hearing loss report improvements in their cognitive skills with the use of hearing aids.

So go ahead. Revitalize your life. Do something about your hearing. It just may help you feel forever young.

Take our free, quick and confidential self hearing check to determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing care professional. If you find that you may need hearing assistance, take the first step to better hearing and contact us.

What determines what kind of hearing aid I should wear?

Perhaps the most common question we receive is “What kind of hearing aid I should wear?” There are four primary styles of modern hearing aids and each are used differently. They are: Behind-The- Ear (BTE); In-The-Ear (ITE), In-The-Canal (ITC), and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC).

What kind of hearing aid I should wear?

 

 

 

 

 

 

While many people choose style based on vanity, decisions regarding which style of hearing aids are most appropriate for you may need to be based on a variety of factors.

Physical factors include:

  1. The shape of your outer ear: deformed outer ears may not allow for wearing of BTE styles.
  2. The depth of the depression near the ear canal (technically called the concha): if your ears are very shallow there may not be adequate space for certain ITE model aids.
  3. The ear canal size and shape: certain ear canals may be too narrow or shaped in a manner such that ITC or CIC hearing aids will either not go in easily, or may fall out too easily.
  4. Manual dexterity: not only is the removal and insertion of canal style hearing aids difficult for some people, but some individuals are unable to insert the battery or manipulate the volume control.
  5. Wax in the ear: some people build up large amounts of earwax, or may have extremely moist ear canals that require adequate ventilation. For these people ITC, or even certain full size ITE aids may not be appropriate.
  6. Draining ears or ears otherwise having medical problems may not be able to safely utilize hearing aids that completely block the ear canal. For these ears, it is vital to allow ventilation so hearing aids that do not fully block the ear may be required. Sometimes, BTEs that are connected to earmolds that have large vents (openings to let air pass through) are useful.

Hearing related factors include:

  1. The shape of the audiogram (hearing test); individuals who have hearing loss for certain pitches (frequencies) but not others (for example those who hear the low frequencies fine, but have a high frequency hearing loss), may be better served by systems that do not fully block the ear canal.

Degree of loss; currently, severe and profound hearing losses are best served by BTE style aids. This style may also minimize the likelihood of feedback (whistling).

  1. The need for special features such as directional or multiple microphones and/or the use of a telecoil (a small magnetic loop contained in the hearing aid that allows for better use with telephones or assistive listening devices), may dictate the preferred style.
  2. Acoustic feedback (whistling) occurs when the microphone is close to the loudspeaker. BTE aids have a clear advantage over the smaller ITE or ITC aids because feedback is less likely to occur. While you may feel that you will only wear an inconspicuous device, check the appearance of a small or mini-BTE aid coupled to the ear with an open earmold. A mini-BTE aid connected to the ear with an open earmold may be less conspicuous than most ITE and many ITC aids. Most importantly, discuss the pros and cons of different styles with your audiologist.

 

Five Things Every Man Should Know About Hearing Aids

Guys: Let’s Talk About Hearing Aids:

1 – Hearing aids are virtually invisible.

What many people don’t like about hearing aids is the visibility of them. But, many of today’s hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside your ear canal, providing both natural sound quality, and discreet and easy use.

2 – They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes.

Whether it’s easy conversation in a crowded restaurant, or the chirp of crickets on a late summer’s evening you’re after, recent technological advances have made hearing aids far more versatile than ever before—and in a broad range of sound environments.

3 – You can do water sports and sweat while wearing them.

Waterproof, digital hearing aids have arrived. This new feature is built into some newly designed hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity, and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts, and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments.

4 – They love your smartphone, home entertainment system, and other prized electronics.

Wireless, digital hearing aids are now the norm. That means seamless connectivity—directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes that are just right for you—from your smartphone, television, and other beloved high-tech gadgets. What’s more, you own the volume. No one around you needs to be affected.

5 – They’re always at the ready.

A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so they’re ramped up for you in the morning. There’s no more fumbling with small batteries. Just place the hearing aids into the charger at night, and they’re ready to go in the morning.

Make sure to pass on The Five Most Important Things Every Man Should Know About Hearing Aids to all the men in your life! #ShareTheLove

10 Good Reasons Why Men Should Get Their Hearing Tested

Many men go through life living with hearing loss because they simply don’t want to admit they, in fact, have hearing loss and need help. But, getting your hearing checked and taking the first step to hear better is the one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Here are 10 Good Reasons Why Men Should Get Their Hearing Tested:

  • Unaddressed hearing loss negatively affects quality of life. Research shows that hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, mental, and emotional health conditions. But men who address their hearing loss often experience better quality of life.
  • Hearing loss is tied to depression. Studies show that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms. Refer to these articles for more information:
  • Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.
  • Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk.
  • Hearing loss is tied to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more prevalent in men than in women. A new study found that sleep apnea is significantly associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.
  • Cancer treatments can damage hearing. Certain chemotherapy treatments for cancer may damage healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear and result in hearing loss. CancerCare® Partners with Siemens to Provide $1M in Hearing Aids to Cancer Patients.
  • Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling or hospitalization. A pair of Johns Hopkins’ studies found that people with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling, and that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. For more information, check out the two articles below:
  • Addressing hearing loss may benefit long-term cognitive function. Research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia, leading experts to believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.
  • Hearing loss in men is tied to common pain relievers. Researchers found that regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen increases the risk of hearing loss in men, and for younger men, the impact is even greater.
  • Addressing hearing loss may help protect your earnings. A BHI study showed that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. But the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss dramatically—by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those whose hearing loss was severe to moderate.

Calling All Men: Protect Your Well-Being with a Hearing Check

Men now can take an easy step toward protecting their well-being, vitality, and quality of life by checking their hearing online at www.BetterHearing.org, says the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). In light of increasing evidence that hearing loss is linked to other men’s health issues, BHI is urging men of all ages to address their hearing health for Men’s Health Month in June.

The free, confidential, online hearing check at www.BetterHearing.org helps men take the first step to addressing their hearing health in the privacy of their own homes, and helps them determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.

Addressing hearing loss can help men stay active, feel younger, and remain socially and professionally engaged. Hearing their best helps men in all aspects of their lives—on the job, in relationships, in their families, and in their communities. Fortunately, today’s high-tech hearing aids can benefit the vast majority of men with hearing loss. They’re sleek, sophisticated, and among the “firsts” in leading-edge wearable technology.

Hearing Loss & Other Health Issues

Men of all ages need to pay attention to their hearing health. The number of younger men with hearing loss is increasing. And the body of evidence that hearing loss is linked to other health concerns is growing.

More and more researchers are finding that hearing loss is associated with a broad range of chronic diseases and health conditions. In fact, sleep apnea—a significant men’s health issue—was recently added to the growing list, which already includes diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia, among others.

A new study—led by Amit Chopra, MD, an expert in pulmonary medicine at the Albany Medical Center in New York, and presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2014 International Conference—found that sleep apnea is significantly associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.

“Our findings suggest that sleep apnea is a systemic disease and is associated with increased risk of hearing loss, along with a number of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. I encourage people with sleep apnea to be educated and tested for hearing loss.”

For more information on hearing loss and why healthy hearing is an important part of a man’s overall health and quality of life, visit www.BetterHearing.org. For more information on Men’s Health Month, visit www.MensHealthMonth.org.

BHI reminds men that that there are simple things they can do to protect their hearing. Listening to smartphones and MP3 players only at a low volume, and wearing earplugs in noisy environments—like sporting events, clubs, concerts, or when using power tools and riding motorcycles—are examples.

Contact Hearing Consultants for an appointment today at 513.489.3300

Five Things Employers Should Know About Hearing Loss & Employee Health

There’s so much information out there regarding healthcare benefits and employee health in the workplace. But, what’s often overlooked is how hearing loss can affect employee health.

Here are the five most important things employers should know about hearing loss and employee health:

  1. Hearing loss is tied to depression. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms. http://ow.ly/vvZEz & http://ow.ly/vWv7m
  2. Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk. http://ow.ly/xvn6W
  3. Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body. http://ow.ly/xwLUh
  4. Staying fit may also help your hearing. Research on women’s health shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss. Conversely, a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. http://ow.ly/xvnsj
  5. Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling and hospitalization. A Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40 to 69) with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Another Johns Hopkins study showed that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. http://ow.ly/vwchC & http://ow.ly/vwbZe

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300

The Pitfalls of Brushing Off Hearing Loss

By limiting one’s ability to communicate effectively, brushing off hearing loss can unnecessarily affect productivity, job performance, and earnings; lead to fatigue and distress; restrict interpersonal interactions; make it difficult to receive and interpret auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals; pose a risk to one’s ability to hear sounds that signal hazards in the work environment; increase sick leave, presenteeism, and disengagement from work; and diminish overall quality of life.

What’s more, an increased risk of hearing loss is tied to three of the most significant wellness concerns of American employers: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

A national BHI study even found that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. The aggregate yearly loss in income due to underemployment for people with untreated hearing loss is an estimated $176 billion. And the fiscal cost to society in unrealized federal taxes is an estimated $26 billion. This doesn’t even measure the impact that unaddressed hearing loss has on worker productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism.

Not surprisingly, EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey found that almost all (95%) of employees who suspect they have a hearing problem but have not sought treatment, say they believe their untreated hearing loss impacts them on the job in at least one way. From asking people to repeat what they have said (61%), to misunderstanding what is being said (42%), to even pretending to hear when they can’t (40%), the burden that comes with leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on America’s workers.

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300

A Changing Economic Landscape

America has reached the point where hearing health must become a workplace wellness imperative.

The U.S. economy now depends largely on employment that demands good communications skills. Service and knowledge-based work has become increasingly dominant. America also is experiencing a demographic shift toward a maturing labor force. People are staying in the workforce longer; baby boomers are on the threshold of their golden years; and the rate at which young people are entering the job market is slowing as a result of population changes. What’s more, just as we’re seeing this convergence of economic circumstances, we also are witnessing an increase in adult hearing loss at younger ages.

Already, nearly 40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. The majority of them are in the workforce. And according to EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey, more than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem. Another 30 percent suspect they have a problem but have not sought treatment.

To help facilitate timely hearing self-screenings for all American workers, BHI is offering a free and confidential online hearing check at www.BetterHearing.org, where anyone can quickly assess if they need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional. The earlier hearing loss gets treated the better. If you need a more comprehensive exam, please call 513.489.3300 to schedule an appointment.

10 Reasons Why Hearing Tests Are Essential for Women’s Complete Wellness

(1) Women with hearing loss are more likely to be depressed. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with depression among U.S. adults, but particularly among women.

(2) The ear may be a window to the heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.

(3)  If you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to have hearing loss. What’s more, having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the diabetes is not well controlled with medication.

(4) Your fitness level and waist size may be affecting your hearing. Research shows that a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with higher risk of hearing loss. It also shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with lower risk of hearing loss.

(5) Cancer treatments can damage hearing. Certain chemotherapy treatments for cancer may damage healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear and result in hearing loss.

(6) Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling or hospitalization. A pair of Johns Hopkins’ studies found that people with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling, and that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss.

(7) Addressing hearing loss may benefit long-term cognitive function. Research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia, leading experts to believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.

(8) Hearing loss in women is tied to common pain relievers. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are associated with an increased risk of hearing loss in women. The link is even stronger among those younger than 50.

(9) Addressing hearing loss improves quality of life, earnings, and relationships. Eight out of 10 hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids—from how they feel about themselves to the positive changes they see in their relationships, social interactions, and work lives.

(10) Today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids are better than ever and virtually invisible. Today’s sleek and sophisticated, virtually invisible hearing aids combine high-performance technology and style with durability and ease-of-use, helping women stay socially, physically, and cognitively active. The options are so varied there’s an attractive solution for just about anyone.

Call 513.489.3300 to schedule an appointment today!

10 Things You Should Know About Hearing Loss and Health

Hearing Loss and Health – What You Need to Know:

(1) Hearing loss is tied to depression. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms.

(2) Hearing loss and dementia are linked. Research not only shows a connection between hearing loss and dementia, but a Johns Hopkins study of older adults found that hearing loss actually accelerates brain function decline. Some experts believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.

(3) Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk.

(4) Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.

(5) Staying fit may also help your hearing. Research on women’s health shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss. Conversely, a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss.

(6) Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling. A Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40 to 69) with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling.

(7) Hospitalization may be more likely for those with hearing loss. Another Johns Hopkins study showed that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss.

(8) The risk of dying may be higher for older men with hearing loss. A groundbreaking study found that men with hearing loss had an increased risk of mortality, but hearing aids made a difference. Men and women with hearing loss who used hearing aids—although older and with more severe hearing loss—had a significantly lower mortality risk than those with hearing loss who did not use hearing aids.

(9) Hearing loss is tied to common pain relievers. One study found that the regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen increases the risk of hearing loss in men, and the impact is larger on younger individuals. A separate study found that ibuprofen and acetaminophen are associated with an increased risk of hearing loss in women, with the link even stronger among women younger than 50.

(10) Moderate chronic kidney disease is linked to hearing loss. Research has shown moderate chronic kidney disease to be associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.

Schedule an appointment with Hearing Consultants today for an evaluation. Call 513.489.3300

SoundScape, online interactive listening activities

SoundScape Games

SoundScape offers a variety of free, interactive listening activities designed to provide cochlear implant & hearing aid users a fun and engaging way to approach listening practice.

The games are accessible from the web site, www.medel.com, where users can choose from a variety of listening activities designed for different age groups and different experiences. Click here to access SoundScape games. Once on the page, you can view and play the games by age.

Hearing Aid Battery Storage and Disposal

Caring for your hearing aid battery

Your hearing aid battery or batteries should be stored at room temperature. Avoid storing batteries in hot places since heat will shorten the life of the batteries. Refrigeration is also not recommended.

Batteries should not be carried loose in your pocket or purse. If a battery inadvertently comes into contact with a metal object such as coins or keys the battery may charge, leak or in rare incidences even rupture. To prevent this from occurring keep unused batteries in the original packaging or in a battery holder.

Batteries that have been fully discharged can be thrown in your regular trash. Store and discard batteries in places that cannot be reached by infants or children. If a battery is swallowed, see a doctor immediately. For recommended treatment, call the National Button Battery Hotline collect at 202-625-3333.

Fun Facts About Hearing

Here are some quick fun facts about hearing you probably never knew:

  • Cicadas have their hearing organs in their stomachs.
  • Crickets have their hearing organs in their knees.
  • Male mosquitoes hear with thousands of tiny hairs growing on their antennae.
  • Fish do not have ears but they can hear. They hear pressure changes through ridges on their bodies.
  • Snakes do not have ears, but their tongues are sensitive to sound vibrations.
  • In World War One (WWI) parrots were kept on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France because of their remarkable sense of hearing. When the parrots heard the enemy aircraft coming they would warn everyone of the approaching danger long before any human ear would hear it.

Healthy Hearing: Invest in Your Future

About 37 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss, but only 24% actually get help with wearing a hearing aid. That means nearly 28 million people could be missing out on the healthy hearing benefits hearing instruments can bring: greater earning power, better interpersonal relationships, reduced anger and frustration from miscommunications, less depression and anxiety, and the belief that they are in control of their lives. Investing in a digital hearing instrument means investing in your health. Research shows people with hearing loss who use hearing aids report better health than those who do not use hearing aids.

Hearing Aids and Humidity

Hearing Aids and Humidity – Affecting performance and functionality

Damage to your hearing aids can be incurred from high heat or cold, which may adversely affect a hearing aid’s performance. Much of this damage is caused by the changes in temperature, which causes a condensation of moisture within the aid, rather than the temperature itself.

Anything wet, high humidity, perspiration, condensation, accidental immersion in a bath or pool can cause damage to a hearing aid and prevent it from functioning properly.

You should never leave your hearing aid(s) near a radiator, or AC, in a sunny window, or in the glove box of a hot car. Also do not try and dry the hearing aid by using a hair dryer, oven or any other external heat source.

Some preventative measures with Hearing Aids and Humidity

If you live in an area subject to high humidity or regularly engage in perspiration-inducing activities, consider buying some sort of DRI-AID kit. This is a small, inexpensive kit consisting of silica (desiccating) crystals in a jar. At night, after removing the battery, place the hearing aid down in the jar.

Protecting your hearing aids from moisture and humidity will prolong the life of the hearing aid and keep your hearing aids out of the repair shop and in your ears where they can do their job.