Monday, July 30, 2012

"I Can Hear You But I Can't Understand What You're Saying"

If you have difficulty hearing in noisy places, you've probably said this before.  Perhaps the first sign of potential hearing loss is the inability to tell what someone is saying in a noisy environment like a restaurant.  There are several warning signs that you may have a hearing-in-noise problem.  Have you ever said:
  • "I avoid restaurants now because it's too difficult to participate in a conversation."
  • "When my grandkids call, I can't understand what they're saying."
  • "I hear but I don't understand what's being said."
  • "It's so difficult to maintain conversations and understand the speaker, I avoid going to church, small group activities, and even the theater."
These are just a few of the symptoms that an individual may be suffering hearing-in-noise difficulties.  There is a solution!  More, later this week.

For more information, visit our website.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Difference Between Hearing and Listening Part 2

As we stated last week, two people with identical hearing loss may not listen the same and would therefore derive different benefits from hearing instruments.  Part of determining an individual's listening ability is to evaluate how well he or she is able to discern speech in the presence of background noise.  Therefore, an audiologist will perform specific tests to measure how well a person  recognizes speech in the presence of noise and understands rapid speech.  Quantifying these measurable outcomes positions the audiologist to determine an individual's particular type of hearing loss, potential benefit from hearing instruments, and type of hearing aid technology that would position the individual to discern speech in noisy environments.  What are the signs that someone is having difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments?  Next week...

For more information on hearing-in-noise solutions, click here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Difference Between Hearing and Listening

Did you know there is a difference between hearing and listening?  Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound.  It refers to the ear's ability to pick up sound and transmit the sound waves to the brain.  It is a passive process that happens automatically.  You "hear" in your sleep.  It is even possible to hear someone speaking without understanding what they are saying.  This is where the difference between "hearing" and "listening" is demonstrated.  While hearing is passive, listening is active.  Listening is the active process of interpreting what is heard.

Why is this important?
No one can predict from a hearing test how someone will listen.  Two people with identical hearing loss may not listen the same and would therefore derive different benefits from hearing instruments.  Why does this matter?  How does an audiologist address "listening" issues?  Check back next week for the answer!

For now, feel free to visit our website for answers.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-resistant Hearing Aids

There's a big difference between waterproof and water-resistant hearing aids.  Waterproof hearing aids can be totally submerged in water without damage to the internal circuitry.  To date, the only hearing aid that has met the FDA's requirement to receive the "waterproof" label is the Siemens Aquaris.  The Aquaris aid is also dust, sweat, and moisture proof.
A water-resistant hearing aid is able to withstand the effects of moisture such as perspiration, rain, and snow.  However, it cannot be submerged in water without being significantly damaged.  Phonak Hearing Instruments has developed an entire line of moisture-resistant hearing aids at all technology levels.
There is not a significant price difference between waterproof and water-resistant hearing aids.  Deciding which style of hearing aid would best suit an individual is determined primarily by the degree of hearing loss, hearing-in-noise ability, and lifestyle.

For more information about waterproof and water-resistant hearing aids, visit our website!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Identifying and Treating Hearing Loss Early Is Critical

In a recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, the hearing centers in the brain were shown to atrophy as hearing loss worsened.  The "use it or lose it" principle applies to hearing as well.  The parts of the brain that process sound begin to decline due to lack of use as hearing loss progresses.  The hearing centers of the brain are receiving fewer "sounds" to process and therefore begin to atrophy.  That's why it's important to have your hearing evaluated and any hearing loss properly addressed as soon as the signs of loss become apparent.  For more information, read this article from Dr. Daria Stakiw.

Do you suspect your hearing may not be as sharp as it once was?  For signs of hearing loss and information on how often you should have your hearing evaluated, click here.

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