How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

Have you been having trouble hearing at work? Do you find you have to ask people to repeat themselves or even mishear and respond inappropriately sometimes? This can happen to anyone, but it may also signify a hearing loss. It’s important to understand that you are not alone. In the United States, hearing loss is the third-most common chronic physical condition. About 12% of the U.S. working population has hearing difficulty. About 24% of the hearing difficulty among U.S. workers is caused by hazardous noise exposure in the workplace. 

While there are protections in place in most work environments, millions of workers are still exposed to dangerously high levels of sound putting their hearing at risk for developing permanent hearing loss. This is serious because more than just the ears, hearing loss can potentially affect relationships at work, job performance and earning power.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

One of the most common forms of hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud sound. Sound is measured in decibels and a decibel level over 85bB can slowly cause damage to your hearing. As the level rises it can damage or even destroy tiny hair-like cells of your inner ear called stereocilia. Stereocilia collect sound from your ears and send it to your brain in the form of electrical impulses which it is then comprehended into speech and sounds are identified. It’s important to understand that it is not just the level of the decibel which puts stereocilia at risk but the length of exposure. For instance, during an average work shift of eight hours 85 decibels can cause some damage, especially if the exposure occurs five times a week for a decade or more. However, at 88dB, the same amount of damage can occur after just four hours.  

Protecting Your Hearing

This is why hearing protection is so important. Hearing protection has the potential to lower the decibel level by 15 to 33 decibels. However, for those who work around unexpected noise such as air traffic control, law enforcement or the military, it’s common to struggle with severe hearing damage as it’s hard to predict when an extreme exposure will occur.

Hearing Loss and Job Performance

While hearing loss is an ear issue it affects your ability to stay alert and communicate with the people around you. Co-workers and employees who are not aware of your condition may assume that you are distracted or uninterested by what they are saying, when it is actually a hearing issue. You may mishear directions or miss them all together, leading the others in your workplace to rely on you less. This quickly turns into a safety issue as delayed reaction times to warning signs can put you and co-workers at risk. 

Hearing Loss and Unemployment

If you are on the job market and have been having trouble finding work, it could be connected to your hearing. If you have a hearing loss, the chances of getting hired are lessened. Even though The American Disability Act protects people hearing loss from discrimination in the workplace, you must know and be open about the disability to receive the protection. Most people with hearing loss are not even aware they have an issue. A 2016 study called, The Socioeconomic Impact of Hearing Loss in US Adults, found that individuals with hearing loss had nearly two times higher odds of unemployment or underemployment.

Hearing Loss and Salary

Not only is it more difficult to find a job when living with untreated hearing loss but the salary is often notably lower. A study out of the Better Hearing Institute found that those with hearing loss had a notably disparity in earnings in comparison with peers with normal hearing. Even a mild hearing loss affected earning by an average $14,000 disparity in comparison to those with no hearing loss. If your hearing loss is severe, the study found the disparity on average comes to approximately $31,000 less per year than those without a hearing loss.

Treating Hearing Loss

If you are putting off dealing with your hearing loss, consider the impact on your earnings. The good news is that while hearing loss is permanent, the use of hearing aids can help you to avoid the impact on your job performance and earnings. In the long run it will cost you more by avoiding dealing with your hearing loss. Treat your hearing loss now and start by scheduling a hearing exam.

Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

If you have hearing loss, it is likely that you could have first realized it while trying to communicate amongst noise. It may have been in a crowded restaurant, party, or even busy grocery store. Sometimes even the hum of loud appliances like the fridge or air conditioner can create so much racket that it is a challenge to hear. Isolating and prioritizing sounds in a crowded environment is a common challenge as hearing declines. Even if you have taken the leap to invest in hearing aids you may still have issues differentiating sounds amongst noise. While hearing aids can help significantly, there are certain strategies you can employ to make it easier to hear in a sea of competing noises. 

Challenges with Background Noise

When you suffer from hearing loss, complex sound environments can make it difficult to create hierarchies of important sounds. If someone is having a conversation while you are attempting to have a completely different conversation nearby, it is a common struggle to separate the two. Even if you find that you are able to hear, it may still be hard to comprehend what is being said.

Use Binaural Hearing Aids

No matter how advanced a hearing aid technology is, or how long the person has used their hearing device, it can still be difficult to hear. However, the use of two hearing aids can make a significant difference in making sure this is less of an issue. This is because we use both ears, known as binaural hearing, to decipher where sounds are coming from, how fast and how close. It is common for one ear to not hear as well as the other. This is often referred to as the “bad ear”. However, it is very rare that hearing loss is unilateral. Amplifying both ears, even if the loss is slight in one, can improve your brain’s ability to distinguish front and background noises and improve localization of sound. This can also help you stay more alert in listening environments and prevent accidents that can potentially occur. 

Style Matters

If you have been enjoying hearing aids for years this is wonderful news. Using hearing aids improves your ability to communicate amongst friends, family, and co-workers. It helps you stay independent, socially active and protects your brain from cognitive decline due to a lack of audio and social stimulation. However, hearing aid technology is rapidly changing and there are more and more features available to make hearing easier than before. This is particularly true of hearing amongst background noise, which has been a complaint of many hearing aid users for years. The latest technology in hearing aids has background suppression which prioritizes conversation in front of you, by pointing a microphone towards the speaker you are facing. This is called directional microphone systems (DPS): single or dual microphones, which capture and process sounds coming from the front of the device differently than those from the back. 

DPS also provides wind and background suppression to minimize ambient noise which could interfere with your hearing experience. This is achieved by preserving signals that can fluctuate, such as speech, in which the patterns of high and low frequency as well as loud and soft sounds can quickly shift. In addition, many hearing aids are now compatible with Bluetooth and Telecoil technology, which can send sound wirelessly to your hearing aids so you can hear media more clearly in a noisy auditorium or another crowded space. 

Training Yourself to Improve Your Listening

While hearing aids can make a world of difference, there are several ways that you can train your brain to hear sharper and clearer. This is especially essential for those who may have gone without hearing aids for years. There is a real need to train yourself how to hear again after potential decades of not hearing these sounds. There are several programs designed to help people hear sound amongst other competing noises. Some of these are complementary while others require a paid subscription or one time purchase. These programs employ games and memory strengthening activities to help people to prioritize sounds. The Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) program has been found to enhance ability to hear speech in noise significantly based on a 2011 study. 

Dealing with Your Hearing Loss

If you notice that you are having issues with hearing in noisy places, it’s time to have your hearing tested. Even if you are already using hearing aids, it may be worth your while to explore what options there are for you to hear even better. Schedule a hearing test today and find out what the world of hearing enhancements can do for you, to hear through all the noise.

Hearing Loss & Cognitive Decline

Hearing Loss & Cognitive Decline (1)

Hearing loss affects an estimated 48 million people in the US alone and has far reaching side effects past obvious issues with hearing. Ultimately, hearing loss is a communication issue making it more difficult to connect to the people in your life. It can affect your personal life as well as your career, reverberating into your sense of self-worth, self-esteem and sense of independence. In addition to emotional impacts of hearing loss, struggling to hear can cause exhaustion. While we hear with our ears, we listen with our brain. When we cannot receive ample audio signals to our brain, cognitive decline can occur.

The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

Numerous studies have found a strong connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Age related hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, affecting one in three people over 65, and half of those over 75. While cognitive decline occurs as a natural part of aging, age related hearing loss, seems to escalate cognitive decline. Similarly, rates of cognitive decline, leading to dementia increase as you reach 65 years. The Alzheimer’s society reports that “Above the age of 65, a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia doubles roughly every 5 years. It is estimated that dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80.”

What is Dementia?

Dementia is actually a grouping of many conditions related to the loss of cognitive functioning. This condition is estimated to affect half of all people over 85 years, while the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease affects 62 million people in the US alone. Dementia affects thinking, remembering, reasoning and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it makes it hard to complete normal daily tasks and activities. Often people affected by dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may seem to change. Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells which interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with one another. However, several studies have found that untreated hearing loss, depending on the severity, can increase the risk of dementia significantly.

Hearing Loss Can Mimic Cognitive Decline 

Often people suspect that they are developing dementia when the symptoms of hearing loss can mimic this devastating brain disease. If you struggle to understand speech, or feel exhausted by regular conversation, you may be dealing with undiagnosed hearing loss. It’s important to check your hearing regularly to detect a hearing loss before it can develop further. Hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline which can increase the likelihood of dementia.

What Research on Dementia and Hearing Loss Reveals

A Johns Hopkins study led by Dr. Frank R. Lin  examined cognitive impairment scores in over 2000 seniors, over a six year period. The study found that patients with hearing loss had a much faster and significant decline.

Can Hearing Aids Reverse Cognitive Decline?

The answer to this is still up for debate, however, several studies suggest that there is a chance that they can. Hearing aids can amplify the sounds you struggle with, making it much easier to follow conversation in noisy and quiet environments. This can increase connections, self-esteem and slowly lift chronic depression. Hearing aids also will allow your brain to take a well-deserved break from constant straining. Some studies suggest that hearing aid can delay the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Seeking Treatment

If you find that you are struggling to hear the people in your life, this is a serious issue. The sooner you address even slight signs of hearing loss, the greater chance you can delay or prevent the development of cognitive decline and dementia. Dementia destroys lives, takes away memories from its victims and currently there is no cure for this disease. It’s important to take every precaution possible to prevent it from progressing. Prompt treatment can help you or your loved one stay connected to the activities and the people they love, avoiding social isolation and loneliness, commonly associated with hearing loss and dementia. Call today to set up an appointment for a hearing test. You have too much to lose to put this off another day! 

Tips for Communicating with Hearing Loss

Tips for Communicating with Hearing Loss

With nearly one in eight people affected by hearing loss in both ears in the US, it is likely that someone you know is struggling with the condition. This could be a co-worker, a friend, a relative, or even your significant other. When people live with hearing loss, it can be a challenge to follow even a simple conversation. 

Hearing loss is considered an invisible disability, meaning that it’s not always apparent when someone is struggling to hear. You may perceive that they seem disinterested or not paying attention instead. As a result, many important relationships become strained due to unclear communication. You may stop putting as much energy into the relationship and feel distant from this individual when in actuality, they need more intentional communication strategies. Here are just a few tips to make it easier to communicate with the people in your life, so you can continue to build your relationships into the future.

 

Gaining attention

When someone is living with hearing loss, it can be helpful for them to be prepared to listen. This gives the listener a chance to prepare to focus on what is about to be said. Try saying the person’s name before you start talking. If appropriate, it can be helpful to touch them on the shoulder and gain eye contact before you begin.

Visual cues

Many times, people with hearing loss rely on visual cues to compensate for what they can’t hear. It can be helpful to have a few views of your face and body so they can rely on lip reading, as well as body language. This gives added context and clue towards your tone and intent to what you are saying. Make sure you are well lit and that there is nothing obscuring the listener’s view, such as hands over the mouth. Maintaining eye contact will let you know if the person is following or not. If you sense that the listener has lost focus, you can reiterate or pause and gently check-in. In addition, it’s important to avoid speaking to people with hearing loss from another room. So much can get lost when you are not sure if the person is prepared to listen and doesn’t have the visual cues that many of us with normal hearing take for granted.

Minimize background noise

One of the earliest signs of hearing loss is trouble hearing in noisy situations. Multiple conversations or deciphering speech amongst background noise can make communicating with hearing loss a nightmare. When you can, choose to meet in locations where you can control the noise environment. Turn off background music and wait to run noisy appliances till later.  Avoid meeting in public spaces during peak hours to minimize noise. However, you can’t always account for the noise of any space. If a place is unexpectedly loud and you can’t relocate, try writing out words and relying on visual cues.

Speak naturally

Often, people think that talking to someone with hearing loss effectively means they have to yell, so they can hear. The issue is that yelling can actually distort the words and the shape of your mouth. Instead, try annunciating words and speak slowly. Make sure to pause at the end of sentences and concepts to make sure they have time to fully absorb it, before moving on.

Rephrase rather than repeat

Many times, a person will ask you to repeat themselves when they have hearing loss. You can try to repeat yourself, but often it is a certain consonant or tone which is causing the hearing issue. To avoid this, try to rephrase the statement instead of repeating it. This could avoid the tones which are causing the issue, as well as adding more context to the previous statement. Sometimes you can ask what word is causing the issue, so you can just emphasize just that word.

Communicate needs

For hearing impaired individuals, it is important to express what your needs are. The first step is being honest with yourself. If someone in your life seems to have a hearing loss and is not actively treating it, it can be helpful to gently mention to them that you’ve noticed. When the people in your life are open about hearing loss, they can tell you what they need to communicate clearly. The next step is to seek treatment. Encourage them to schedule a hearing test and get on the road to more clear communication.

How Untreated Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships

How Untreated Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships

Hearing loss is an issue that begins in the ears but affects much more. What can begin as simple misunderstandings and having to ask the people in your life to repeat themselves, can build up over time into resentment, loneliness, anxiety and estranged relationships. While hearing loss is often irreversible it is treatable with hearing aids. These amazing devices amplify the sounds you struggle to hear so you can participate in your relationships again. It takes people five to seven years on average, after they suspect they have a problem to address the issue. In addition, of those 70 and older who could benefit from hearing aids, only one in three people, or 30 percent have ever tried them. The dangers of ignoring or choosing not to treat your hearing loss can not only impact you, but the people you care about.

Communication is Key to a Healthy Relationship

Healthy relationships are built on communication. When hearing starts to decline it often becomes difficult to stay connected to people in your life. In the instance of your partner or significant other, you may have shared years and life experience together, but even so, healthy communication is still essential. Tension builds and miscommunications become standard. Often the significant other with more hearing ability will take on the responsibility of an interpreter for the other, which can cause unhealthy codependency and resentment on both sides. However, It’s not only important conversations and logistical issues that cause stress. It’s the casual banter and inside jokes which build intimacy and help both people in a relationship feel understood. As hearing loss minimizes these interactions, feelings of closeness fade.

Communication and Professional Relationships

In the workplace hearing loss can affect your relationships as well. It is all too common to seem distracted or disinterested during conversation when it is actually that you cannot hear. It’s tempting to pretend to understand but this can add to miscommunications and failures in the workplace. However, the effects of losing your hearing in the workplace extend beyond communicating with others. Ultimately our auditory system involves the brain. When sound doesn’t reach the brain, it is forced to work overtime. This can cause cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal. These emotional impacts of hearing loss can affect your value at work, causing a huge portion of the workforce who have hearing loss a significant decline in wages when compared to people with healthy hearing or those using hearing aids. 

How Hearing Aids Improve Relationships

Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids or cochlear implants allows you to hear what you may have been missing for years. The longer you have lived with undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss, the greater the potential for a strain on your most precious relationships. The good news is you can start to rebuild them when you invest in your hearing.

Improved Communication

Everyone’s hearing loss is just a little different. This is why it’s important to have your hearing tested. We can diagnose your particular type of hearing loss and find the best hearing aids to amplify the sounds you struggle with. With hearing aids, you will be able to follow conversations and begin to reconnect to old friends as well as build new relationships. This can ultimately cause a rise in your self-esteem and sense of independence. With hearing aids you’ll feel comfortable going out more, pursuing your interests and improving your quality of life.

Increased Earning Power

Not only do hearing aids improve your relationships, but they can actually increase earning power at work! A report from The Better Hearing Institute found that not treating hearing loss can lower annual earnings by as much as $30,000. However, the study found that hearing aids minimized this risk by more than 90 percent for those with mild hearing loss! For those with moderate-to-severe hearing loss, a loss of earnings was decreased by 77%. This is just one example of how important it is to be able to communicate as clearly as possible.

Don’t Put This Off!

Maybe you suspect you have hearing loss, but you are reluctant to find out. Hearing loss is often associated with old age, causing many to put off treatment. The irony of this is, that nothing can make you seem more out of touch than struggling to hear without hearing aids. If you have put off dealing with your hearing loss for years, it will take time to heal some of the damage that has been done. The sooner you get started, the better. The first step is simple. Call and book an appointment to have your hearing tested today!

Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected

Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected

Do you have an active lifestyle and love being social? Maybe meeting with family and friends is the highlight of every week. You rely on your sense of hearing to help you interact with loved ones. Hearing is an important part of connecting with others and staying socially connected.

Your sense of hearing is what lets you hear each word and keep up with conversations. However, if you’ve noticed recent changes in your hearing health, social interactions may be getting harder. You find yourself asking people to repeat words and phrases. And try as you might, it’s difficult to hear what’s being said. This can lead to feelings of anxiety when you’re with friends and make it hard to stay socially connected.

Hearing Loss and Social Isolation

Hearing loss makes it very challenging to hear conversations. This is especially true in places with a lot of background noise. Social activities with friends tend to get loud or happen in noisy venues. So, it becomes harder to tune out background noise and pick out speech sounds. It can be difficult to follow conversations or keep up as different friends chime in.

If you have hearing loss, social situations can make you feel anxious. You may worry about what your friends think of you. You often misunderstand what’s been said, and you never laugh at the right time. And you don’t want to keep interrupting the conversation to ask someone to repeat what they said. Instead, you smile and nod, and hope no one asks you a direct question.

Hearing loss can lead to social isolation. When it’s this hard to hear, it might seem easier and less embarrassing to just stay home. Sure, you miss your friends, but you don’t need to worry so much about your hearing loss. Choosing to stay home and avoid social activities can leave you feeling isolated and alone.

Social Isolation is More Than a Feeling

Have you been disconnected from your friend group? After you stop attending social activities or skip a few family events, the communication gap widens. It’s easier to keep staying home rather than trying to catch up with everything that’s happened since the last time you joined the group.

Social isolation can be more than just a passing feeling. If you’re feeling socially isolated or cut off from loved ones, you have a higher risk of developing ongoing feelings of loneliness, sadness, and even depression.

Hearing Aids for Social Lifestyles

Hearing loss makes it hard to follow conversations. There are some sounds you just can’t hear. For example, sensorineural hearing loss often affects higher-pitched sounds. Consonant sounds in speech are often higher pitched. So even though you may hear most of the words in a conversation, there are a few key sounds you’re missing. This makes it very difficult to actually understand the words you’re hearing.

That’s where hearing aids come in! Hearing aids are designed with conversations in mind. They have sophisticated programs that amplify speech sounds so it’s easier to hear every sound you need to hear. Hearing aids for social lifestyles also have programs that decrease background noise. You’ll be able to follow conversations even at a noisy restaurant. The sounds you don’t want to hear will fade more into the background, letting your ears and brain focus on the sounds you’re straining to hear.

Treating hearing loss gives you back your ability to communicate. You won’t need to frequently ask people to repeat themselves or pretend you can hear conversations. You’ll be able to enjoy every conversation, catch the punchline of every joke, and find new reasons to get out of the house.

Treat Your Hearing Loss

Don’t let hearing loss hold you back! You can stay socially connected and love every minute you spend with friends. We have a wide selection of hearing aids from top manufacturers that are designed for every lifestyle. Some of our devices offer additional features like streaming capabilities. You can connect your hearing aids directly to your phone or TV so you can be more social at home. Enjoy phone calls and video chats without straining to hear. Sounds will stream right to your ears and you’ll get to enjoy crystal clear sound quality. 

Come find your perfect hearing aids today!

Nutrients That Boost Your Hearing Health

Nutrients That Boost Your Hearing Health

Common sense tells us that what we eat affects our health. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can make us feel great and give us an energy boost. But did you know that what you eat affects your ears as well? Some nutrients can boost your hearing health. Here’s what you can eat to look after your hearing health.

Vitamins A and E

Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients you can give your body. These essential nutrients are responsible for hundreds of tasks in your body, from helping you heal, boosting your immune system, and giving you more energy. 

Vitamins A and E can even help prevent damage in your ears and lower your risk of hearing loss. A 2011 study looked at how these essential nutrients work in the body. They found that people with higher vitamin A levels had a 47% reduced risk of developing hearing loss. Vitamin E also reduced the risk of hearing loss by 14%.

Adding extra sources of these vitamins to your diet can really boost your hearing health. Find vitamin A in sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, beef, and eggs. Great sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, avocados, and squash.

Vitamin B-9

Folate or vitamin B-9 is another essential nutrient. This vitamin is critical for healthy functioning since it’s needed to keep your red blood cells oxygenated and healthy. One study reported that people with sensorineural hearing loss were more likely to have low vitamin B-9 levels. 

You can increase vitamin B-9 in your diet with foods like green leafy veggies, broccoli, asparagus, beans, and nuts.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is also vital for your body to be healthy. This vitamin aids in the production of red blood cells, and helps maintain blood flow. In fact, low B-12 levels can make it harder for blood to travel to your ears. This may cause cell damage and can lead to hearing loss. 

You can get additional B-12 in your diet with foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs.

Vitamin C

No list of essential vitamins would be complete without vitamin C. This nutrient is incredibly important for your overall health and wellbeing. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can boost the immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure. When it comes to your hearing health, vitamin C acts as a protector. When you’re exposed to loud noise your ears may be damaged by free radicals. Vitamin C can protect your ears and reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. 

Vitamin C is in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, grapes, citrus fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and dark greens, and dates.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats your body needs. This nutrient gives you sustained energy and reduces inflammation. It’s used in many functions throughout the body, including in the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system. A recent study examined the role of omega-3s and your ears and discovered that those with high levels of these fatty acids were 42% less likely to develop age-related hearing loss. 

You’ll find omega-3 fatty acids in sardines, other fish, beef, eggs, and nuts.

Potassium

Let’s take a moment to talk about minerals. Along with vitamins, minerals are essential nutrients your body needs for numerous functions throughout your body. Potassium is responsible for regulating fluid in the body. This includes your blood and the fluid in your inner ears. High levels of potassium will keep your ears healthy.

Potassium is in a number of fruits and veggies, including bananas, grapefruit, oranges, cucumbers, leafy greens, and potatoes.

Magnesium

Another important mineral is magnesium. One function of this mineral is working together with vitamin C to protect your ears from free radicals, and reduce your risk of hearing loss due to noise.

You can add more sources of magnesium to your diet by eating legumes, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and dairy products.

Prioritizing Your Hearing Health

Now is the perfect time to prioritize your hearing health. Along with eating a diet full of essential nutrients, we recommend booking a hearing test. Together we’ll learn more about your hearing health and we can suggest other ways you can maintain your hearing health. 

Working with Hearing Loss

Working with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can make some everyday tasks a bit more complicated. You need to carefully focus on what your loved one says over breakfast, and you can’t multitask and listen at the same time. Hearing loss also impacts your job. Working with hearing loss can present a few unique challenges, but with the right hearing aids you’ll easily keep up at the office or on the job site.

Know Your Rights

If you have hearing loss, make sure you learn more about your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act is clear that employers may not treat you differently based on any disability. This includes hearing loss.

Your employer also has the legal responsibility to help you do your job effectively. They’re required by law to provide reasonable accommodations that can help you be a great employee. Reasonable accommodations could include requesting a quieter workspace further away from the break room or providing speech-to-text technology to help you keep up during meetings. 

Ask For Accommodations

When you know your rights, you’ll feel confident in asking for reasonable accommodations. You can let your boss know about your hearing loss, and explain how it affects your job. With a few changes, you’ll be able to overcome these challenges and be a more effective team player. Possible accommodations may include: 

  • Sitting at the front of the room during meetings so you don’t miss any key information.
  • Getting meeting minutes in writing so you can review the information and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  • Requesting instructions in writing so you’re always on the right track.
  • Asking that any background music is turned off, that meetings are held in a quieter room, or that the door is closed to dim distracting background sounds.
  • Moving your workspace to a quieter part of the office to minimize noises that make it harder for you to focus on tasks or hear on the phone.

Use the Right Technology

In a post COVID world, we’re relying on technology more than ever before. This could lead to communication issues, such as having a hard time hearing during zoom meetings or mishearing important information. 

If you have hearing loss, there’s a lot of technology that can help you work with hearing loss. 

  • Assistive listening devices can make it easier to hear during in-person meetings. For example, you can place a mic near the speaker, and send the audio directly to your earbuds or your hearing aids for better comprehension. 
  • Real-time translation can also help during those in-person briefings. These speech-to-text programs can give you a written version of everything being said, so you never have to guess the details you didn’t hear. 
  • Request video calls rather than audio calls. In the post-COVID world, we’re all used to using zoom for many of our meetings. Going forward, you can request to have more meetings on zoom rather than having audio calls or conference calls. Having video, or even video with auto-captions can make it much easier to work with hearing loss. 

Hearing Aids at Work

The best technology you can use when working with hearing loss is hearing aids. These sophisticated devices will make it easier to hear at work, both in-person and online. You’ll be able to focus on the sounds you want to hear using advanced speech enhancement programs. This program not only makes speech louder but also makes it clearer. You’ll have an easier time distinguishing speech sounds and hearing every conversation. Meanwhile, noise reduction settings help reduce distracting sounds you don’t want to hear.

Advanced connectivity features can be a lifesaver at work. Your hearing aids can connect directly to your phone, computer, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. You’ll be able to stream audio from calls, video calls, or other sound sources right to your ears. 

In the post-COVID world, hearing loss has become more mainstream. People have been talking about hearing loss, as well as realizing how challenging it can be to hear with face masks and while social distancing. Communication challenges are being understood by more people, including co-workers and employers. Visit us today to find out more about your hearing health and hearing needs! Find out how working with hearing loss can be a breeze.

Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Avoiding Hearing Tests Could Make the Problem Much Worse

Hearing loss, unlike most disorders, is invisible and develops over time, making it challenging to identify and mark as a problem. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone who seemed to misunderstand or forget what you just said or who kept asking you to repeat yourself, they most likely had hearing loss.

The facts are staggering: 48 million Americans have hearing loss, and 90 percent could benefit from hearing aids. But only 14 percent have them—and many don’t use them with any consistency. The average age of first–time hearing aid users is approximately 70, even though half of them began to lose their hearing at least a decade earlier. That is a pretty long time not being able to hear the world around you. You may wonder what’s the harm in waiting. You probably think you can get by without too much of a problem.

If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Consider what happens to a person’s arm after it has been in a cast for months. Once the cast is removed, the arm will typically look smaller and less muscular than before the break. This process can be defined as atrophy. If you don’t use your arm for an extended period, you lose muscle mass and strength. 

This “use it or lose it” concept can also be applied to our hearing. However, the most significant difference between the two is that you can rebuild muscle mass after a broken arm. Because hearing happens in the brain, a hearing loss that has been left untreated for too long could affect your cognitive processes and re-wire your neural pathways. 

The Dangers of Untreated Hearing Loss

Untreated hearing loss has physical and psychological consequences that far outweigh the inability to hear well. Hearing loss has been linked to depression and social isolation, paranoia, and personality changes like becoming more introverted. Hearing loss has also been linked to a greater risk of falling. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show a three-fold increase in the risk of falls among people with a very mild hearing loss making it extremely dangerous to walk independently with hearing loss.

In the workplace, untreated hearing loss contributes to underperformance. More than half of people with hearing loss are under age 60—prime working years—and they are the least likely age group to get hearing aids.

It turns out that all of the people who can’t hear in restaurants or other noisy places, whose loved ones “mumble,” who can’t hear on the telephone—all those people who say they don’t need hearing aids—are putting themselves at greater risk for cognitive decline.

This can increase the risk of dementia. Clinical research has shown that hearing loss is found in nine out of ten subjects with dementia. This could be because those with hearing loss are more likely to isolate themselves, which is a risk factor for faster cognitive decline.

Hearing loss is a common condition

Some people with hearing loss think they hear—and understand—perfectly well. Others assume that the loss is part of aging. Some people with hearing loss simply can’t afford hearing aids. Some worry that hearing aids will make them seem old. While these people are concerned about money and appearances, their hearing loss is not only getting worse; it’s also becoming a hazard to other aspects of their life and health.

Think about the sounds that make up your world and your life. You want to preserve this vital sense for as long as you can. Studies have shown that the more proactive you are about your hearing health. The faster you pursue amplification once you are a candidate for hearing aids, the greater the possibility of the progression of the hearing loss slowing down somewhat.

It is important to note that this does not mean that hearing aids can stop your hearing loss from getting worse. However, they have been proven to keep the hearing organs and nerves functioning longer than if aids are not used.

If you have been delaying getting a hearing test, don’t put it off any longer. Please schedule an appointment for a hearing test today with us today! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Building Connections | May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Building Connections | May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month is this month, which makes it an ideal time to discuss your hearing health. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) dedicates an entire month to raising awareness of communication disabilities, including speech and language disorders and hearing loss. They work relentlessly to minimize the stigma associated with these conditions and to inspire people to seek help. 

Every year of Better Hearing and Speech Month has a theme. This year’s theme is “Building Connections”, a timely topic given how little we’ve been able to connect with our loved ones over the past year. 

Hearing aids help your communication

If you have trouble hearing, you know how difficult it is to communicate. And if the individual repeats themselves a few times, you strain to hear and miss a lot of what is being said, even in the silence of your living room. All of this can be improved with hearing aids. 

Every connection starts with communication, and hearing aids are the best way to maintain that communication when you have hearing loss. You’ll be able to hear every sound clearly with hearing aids, whether you’re at home, in the park, or at a crowded restaurant downtown. Not only will you be able to devote more time to your close relationships and social support networks, but you will also feel more self-sufficient and secure in making new connections.

Hearing aids help you in the workplace

Hearing loss affects more than just relationships. Hearing failure that goes untreated puts people’s employment and financial stability in jeopardy. 

According to studies, employees with hearing loss are often passed over for promotions, receive lower pay, and are fired more often than their hearing counterparts. According to one report, people with severe hearing loss make up to $15,000 less a year than people with moderate hearing loss! You will not be able to communicate easily at work or complete your tasks if you have hearing loss.

You will also have difficulty focusing or concentrating on tasks if you have hearing loss. Even basic tasks will take longer to complete. Hearing aids help you focus, connect, and be the team player that helps you get you the promotion you deserve.

Hearing aids protect you from damage.

Hearing loss comes with a slew of potential dangers. Have you ever gone for a walk with your earbuds in your ears and nearly walked in front of a speeding car? You’re less likely to hear threats in your area, such as traffic, emergency vehicles, or honking if you have hearing loss. You put your safety and the safety of those around you in jeopardy while walking or driving in your neighborhood. Since the equilibrium and balance systems depend on the ear for details about the world around you, those with hearing loss are more vulnerable to slips and falls.

Hearing aids help you stay safe by alerting you of incoming dangers. They will also help you maintain your spatial awareness.

Columbus, OH teenager, speaks up on the need for hearing aid health insurance coverage.

Children pick up vocabulary by listening to their surroundings. However, their ability to hear is essential for more than just language development. Their listening abilities significantly impact their ability to learn to read and write and their social skills

Hearing aids are critical for children with hearing loss, and that is what took 13-year-old Alexis Klugo to the Ohio Statehouse last month. Klugo was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and started using hearing aids at 18 months. Her hearing aids were dubbed her “Magic Ears” by her audiologist.

“My Magic Ears keep me safe because I can hear noises like the doorbell, cars coming down the street, the fire alarm, or my mother telling me to clean my bed,” Klugo told lawmakers.

She was speaking in favor of House Bill 198, which would include up to $2,500 in hearing aid coverage for those under the age of 21 for 48 months. The bill’s supporters are optimistic that it will pass.

Visit us for a hearing test today!

Visit our practice for a hearing evaluation if you want to see the difference hearing aids can make. We’ll get you fitted for a good pair of hearing aids that suit your lifestyle and needs, teach you how to get the most out of your hearing aids and provide the best in hearing health care.