How Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships

How Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships

It is our nature as humans to thrive in social situations. Humans evolve by sharing concepts and ideas so we can inform each other and grow together. Communication makes up our days as we converse with our family, friends and co-workers. Even casual interaction on the street or during a transaction at a store can actually energize us or turn into a lasting friendship.

When our hearing starts to fade it affects more than just our ears. When we choose to ignore hearing loss we are less likely to reach out to the people around us. The casual conversation we take for granted begins to diminish and so do opportunities, adventure, independence and our closest relationships.

Hearing loss affects the people around you

It is often certain tones and pitches that go missing first when hearing loss starts to develop. You may find yourself having to ask the people around you to repeat themselves more and more often. Having to ask for clarification in a conversation every now and then is always okay, but when this becomes commonplace it can make conversations less enjoyable for everyone.

You may find yourself conversing less with your significant other, your family, friends and co-workers than before to avoid frustration and miscommunication. You may also notice yourself needing to turn up the TV or stereo louder than is comfortable for the people around you and trouble hearing over the phone, leading to constant arguments.

A 2009 British study examined 1,500 people with hearing loss to find that 44% reported that their hearing loss had caused strain in their close relationships. Sadly 34% reported that hearing issues had severely damaged relationships, some even reporting divorce.

Communication is the cornerstone of relationships

Communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. When we practice clear communication we are able to work through misunderstandings and resentment. Not only that but we build closeness to one another. We can joke, play and relax. It is the casual comfortable conversation that builds intimacy with our significant others and develops closeness with our friends and family.

When we can’t hear, it can be more of a challenge to be casual and close. Relationships become strained and you may be tempted to isolate instead of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. It is common for people who are not dealing with their hearing loss to become anxious, depressed and suffer insomnia. Loneliness is a dangerous condition for humans, who rely on regular social interaction for mental health.

The prevalence of untreated hearing loss

As we age it is normal for hearing loss to decline. One in three people in the US over the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss and that number becomes one in two as people reach 75 years and older. While it is estimated that 48 million people in the United States have some degree of hearing loss, only one in four use hearing aids. This is even more alarming because many of these people know that they have hearing loss but avoid committing to hearing aids.

Hearing aids amplify the sounds around you that you may be missing and send it directly to your ear canal to use your existing hearing. When you commit to using your hearing aids regularly you can start to hear what the people in your life are saying again. You can start to rebuild your relationships that may have suffered due to broken communication. You can start to heal.

Find healing with hearing aids

If you suspect that someone close to you is dealing with untreated hearing loss and your relationship is suffering, one of the most healing things you can do is to gently encourage them to get a hearing test. Similarly, if you know your relationships are suffering due to untreated hearing loss make an appointment as soon as possible with us.

A hearing test will diagnose the extent of a hearing loss and help us to find the best hearing aids for your particular hearing loss. Surveys have found that those with relationship issues due to hearing loss noted a significant improvement when they began to use hearing aids regularly.

Make a commitment to deal with your hearing loss today and start to heal and rebuild the relationships in your life that help to make everyday worth living. Contact us today!

Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

For a lot of us, while growing up we believed that artificial intelligence (AI) was something that only existed in our sci-fi stories and movies. Today we know that AI is all around us and part of our everyday experience. From our Smartphones to our GPS, AI learns our patterns and adapts to make our lives easier, often without even realizing it. In the past couple years AI has also made its way into our hearing aids, enhancing our hearing experience in all sorts of ways we may not even be aware of. 

Advanced Hearing Technology

The technology in hearing aids is rapidly advancing every year helping to make your hearing experience as easy and effortless as possible. The processing power becomes increasingly faster, helping to convert analog sound into digital quicker and quicker, making response time for hearing faster. Now with AI technology and machine learning, hearing aids can automatically adapt to the different environments, adjusting the focus on sounds depending on the presence of a crowd, traffic, music or wind. Machine learning allows your hearing aids to improve automatically through experience using computer algorithms. You won’t have to struggle with adjusting to loud environments after leaving a quiet room or manually adjust your hearing aids.

Hearing Aids and Your Smartphone

Look forward to interfacing between your Smartphone and your hearing aids effortlessly. Using Bluetooth technology, you can stream phone calls, music, GPS and more wirelessly and directly to your ears, avoiding feedback and distraction when you are on the go. The amazing thing is you can program your hearing aids to stream your favorite music, podcasts, TV programs and more right to your ears without having to even touch your hearing aids. Instead this can all be controlled via your Smartphone or wireless device.

Adjusting to Environments Using Geotagging

There are also apps that work in tandem with your hearing aids to employ geotagging. Geotagging remembers your frequent locations and allows you to save listening settings based on the hearing needs of particular environments. When your hearing aids detect that you are in this location they automatically adjust to the hearing settings that work best for you in these places, making your hearing experience seamless at home and out in the world.  

Track Your Health 

One of the most amazing new features that are AI driven on new hearing aids is the ability to track your body and your brain’s health so you and your doctor can be informed if there is a health issue as soon as it starts to develop. Modern hearing aids are now using integrated sensors to monitor your measure of your activity levels, steps, social engagement, and amount of time you listen every day. Experts have found that the ears are one of the best places to monitor our body’s signals in comparison to similar devices that measure such activity on the wrist. Hearing aids use 3D motion sensors such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, to reliably detect the movements in your day. Certain apps like the Thrive Hearing app also works in tandem with your hearing aids to combine your body and brain activity and gives you a score according to your physical and cognitive health goals.

Real Time Foreign Language Translation

If AI in your hearing aids sounds exciting to you, get ready for more moments in your hearing aids experience that will make you feel like you are in your favorite sci-fi story. Hearing aid manufacturers are now creating hearing aids, which have the ability to translate up to 27 foreign languages in real time. This could be an instance where hearing aids give you more listening and comprehending power than those with normal hearing.

Find Out What Modern Hearing Aids Can Do For You!

If your hearing aids aren’t working for you like they used to, this is a great time to explore all the options available to you. Don’t let your hearing and your social interactions suffer with an old outdated set of hearing aids. Our team can fill you in on the newest options for AI, geotagging, Bluetooth Technology and more. Contact us today and get ready to walk into the future with style and ease thanks to the newest AI technology.

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One

The best treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids, which help to amplify the sounds you may be missing. Often hearing loss will develop in one ear more than the other. If this is the case you may be wondering do I actually need two hearing aids?

Hearing Loss in Both Ears

Even if one ear seems to be stronger than the other it is very rare for one ear to have no hearing loss at all. Hearing loss most often is caused by age related or noise induced hearing loss, which is caused when the tiny cells in the inner ear, responsible for transmitting sound to the brain to be processed, are damaged or destroyed. The damage may not be even but it is still present. Even if one ear seems much worse than the other it is most often relative. A hearing test will detect hearing ability in both ears and over 90% of the time, hearing loss is active in both ears. Treating just one ear can cause unexpected problems. 

Binaural Hearing

To understand the importance of two hearing aids it is key to understand how the brain processes sound. The brain relies on both ears to hear binaurally. Binaural hearing helps the brain comprehend the location, distance and direction of sounds around you. By relying on both ears you can tell the localization, and speed that sounds are moving around you. Infants are quick to localize the sounds around them when they have healthy hearing as this ability helps you navigate the world. It is easier for you to hear a fast approaching jogger, biker or car from behind and from which direction, when you can hear from both ears. Binaural hearing keeps you safe by helping to keep you aware of your surroundings. Accidents and collisions can be avoided much more often adding to your overall safety and the safety of those around you. 

Cognitive Health

If you choose to wear only one hearing aid you may be greatly under stimulating your “good” ear. As it is rare that one ear has no hearing loss at all, if only one ear is aided, the other ear may become under active. Just like your muscles need regular stimulation to stay strong your brain operates similarly. We hear with our brains just as much as with our ears. Our brains process the sound picked up by our ears and if one ear isn’t getting the stimulation it needs then its function can begin to atrophy. Ensuring that both ears are equally amplified will mean that your left and right auditory centers of the brain are receiving stimulation to stay healthy.  

Improved Sound Quality

Not only does binaural hearing help to keep you safe but also helps you understand conversation. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology found that word recognition and speech understanding was improved when hearing aid users employed both devices when conversing. Two hearing aids allow you to hear the quiet and subtle tones in speech you could miss with just one amplified ear. To get the best quality of sound from your hearing aids, whether it is when speaking to the people in your life or listening to the music you love it’s a good idea to wear both hearing aids. Two hearing aids will allow you to hear the nuance in tones and be more aware of the richness of sounds around you. 

Turn Down the Amplification

When people choose to wear only one hearing aid it is all too common to crank up the volume on the hearing aid. Not only does this continue to enforce under stimulation of your other ear, but can actually cause noise induced damage to your amplified ear. With both ears hearing in a balanced manner you won’t be inclined to turn your hearing aids up so loud. You will prolong the battery life of your hearing aids but more importantly, you wont over stimulate your ears with excessive hearing aid volume.

Stay Balanced

If you are struggling with hearing in one or both ears, contact us to set up a hearing test. We can identify your degree of hearing loss in both ears and help to get you the best hearing aids to amplify both ears in perfect balance.