Monday, August 29, 2011

Nine Common Myths About Hearing Loss

"Only the elderly suffer hearing loss!"
"I would already know if I had hearing loss."
"Hearing loss is normal at my age."
"Most hearing problems really can't be helped anyways."
"Hearing aids are bulky, unattractive, obvious, and ineffective!"

Have you or your loved ones ever thought these things? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Warning Signs for Auditory Processing Disorders

Auditory processing describes the process of how well the brain understands what the ear hears.  Essentially, it is "what we do with what we hear." An Auditory Processing Disorder impacts the way the brain processes auditory information and leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds; particularly speech. 

An Auditory Processing Disorder can exhibit itself in many different ways.  If several items from the following list apply to you, a family member, or a friend, it could be time to consult with an audiologist to determine if a hearing loss or processing disorder might be present.

- Talks or likes the television louder than normal
- Interprets words too literally
- Often needs remarks repeated
- Difficulty sounding out words
- "Ignores" people, especially if engrossed
- Unusually sensitive to sounds
- Confuses similar-sounding words
- Difficulty following spoken directions
- Difficulty with memorization
- Hears better when watching the speaker
- Problems with rapid speech

If you feel you may be suffering from an Auditory Processing Disorder, don't hesitate to call our offices to schedule a no-charge consult.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 19th Fiesta Featuring the World's First Truly Waterproof Hearing Aid!

August 19th Fiesta at both office locations!  This Friday we are celebrating the introduction of the world's first truly waterproof hearing aid- the Siemens Aquaris!  Call us to reserve your spot!  You'll be able to wear it and learn about its' unique features!
The Siemens Aquaris satisfies the Food & Drug Administration criteria to qualify as the first truly waterproof hearing aid.  The completely sealed housing shell and battery door enables the Aquaris to be completely waterproof. 

The watertight housing and moisture-resistant surface of the Aquaris safeguard the electronics from corrosion and efficiently repel dust, sweat, and dirt. Enjoy outdoor recreation or exercise without the fear of damaging your hearing aid.  Make your golf partner sweat instead of your hearing aids!

Offered in two performance levels, the Aquaris features:
- Feedback stopper which automatically detects and stops feedback
- Speech Focus which helps you hear and understand what's being said from any direction
- SoundLearning 2.0 which learns and automatically adjusts to your individual hearing preferences
- Bluetooth Technology which wirelessly connects to phones, MP3 players, TVs and other audio devices so you can listen to them while you swim.

 - The Aquapac -
Listen to your iPod while you swim and talk on your cell phone while you fish or kayak! 
Waterproof and water pressure resistant, the Aquapac is perfect for storing your small electronic devices like remote controls, mobile phones, or MP3 players when at the pool or in contact with the elements.

 - Tek and miniTek -
Wirelessly connect to phones, MP3 players, TVs and other audio devices. Stream stereo sound directly to your Aquaris.

- The Sport Clip -
The Sport Clip securely attaches the Aquaris to your ear, preventing the loss or displacement of your hearing aids while you enjoy your favorite extreme activities.
To find out if the Aquaris is right for your particular type of hearing loss and lifestyle, visit our website or call our offices to schedule a no-charge consult with one of our clinical audiologists!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diagnosing Auditory Processing Disorders

Someone with an Auditory Processing Disorder may have normal hearing.  Because of this, it takes special testing to identify an APD.  This begins by asking the following questions: 
* Do you have trouble hearing clearly in a noisy environment?
* Do you sometimes make "silly" mistakes or "careless" errors when completing a job assignment?
* Do you miss important sounds or signals that others hear easily?
* Do you have trouble following a series of spoken instructions?  Do you consistently forget instructions?
* Do you hear less well or become less attentive/productive in ordinarily busy surroundings?
Upon suspicion that an APD may be present, testing is performed to determine where a breakdown is occurring along the auditory pathway that is causing the person to have difficulty processing auditory information.  

Ms. Paton also points out that "The most accurate way to sort out APDs from other problems that mimic them, is through clinical audiologic tests of central nervous system function.  These include tests of auditory memory for sentences, syllables, or numbers, sequencing, tonal pattern recognition or sound blending, and storage of general information which is most often acquired through listening."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Causes and Treatment of Auditory Processing Disorders

Causes of APD
There are many possible causes of Auditory Processing Disorders.  Among them are:
- Extreme premature birth
- Auditory neuropathy
- Frequent ear infections
- Brain Trauma
However, a vast majority of APD cases have no identifiable cause.
Treatment of APD
There are two primary ways a clinical audiologist or speech-language pathologist can treat APD.
1.  Therapy
2.  Lifestyle Strategies
Therapy for APD centers on the attempt to train the brain to distinguish sound (particularly speech) in the presence of background noise.  CDs and programs like LACE and Earobics have proven effective for helping APD sufferers train their brain to more clearly process speech when background noise is present.
Lifestyle Strategies
Working with an audiologist trained in the remediation of APD includes creating strategies to help the individual avoid or limit exposure to noisy environments.  Topics like where to sit in a restaurant to get optimal sound or how to arrange furniture to promote clearer communication in the home are addressed.

For more information on Auditory Processing Disorders, visit our website!