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Ten signs of hearing loss you can’t afford to miss

If you had hearing loss, would you know it? Not necessarily. Hearing loss often starts subtly and symptoms can take decades to manifest themselves as it progresses slowly over time. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), can shift so gradually that you may not realize how much you are missing. In fact, as hearing worsens, you may subconsciously adjust everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties. In time, you might not notice how gradually hearing loss has diminished your ability to live your life to its fullest. Luckily, you can do things to improve this situation and re-engage with loved ones.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss is key to success

There are many signs of hearing loss. It starts with everyday annoyances. Some are blatant, others are subtle. If you or a loved one are showing these signs, we encourage you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment.*

  1. “People are mumbling” – This could indicate hearing loss.

    You may notice that certain words are difficult to understand. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” all the time. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

  2. Are restaurants too loud?

    Restaurants are among the hardest places to navigate for people with untreated hearing loss. Background noises, such as clinking dishes, people speaking loudly at other tables and loud music all make it exceptionally challenging to follow a conversation.

  3. Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore

    People talking passionately, music, laughter and other competing sounds can make it harder to take part in get-togethers with family and friends. Perhaps you find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early. There is good news. You don’t have to. The professionals at HearingLife can help you with ways to cope with hearing loss so you can enjoy the holidays with this simple guide to enjoying social events with hearing loss.

  4. Conversations take too much effort

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, or a end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your wellness.

  5. Telephone conversations are a struggle

    Telephone, and especially cell phone, transmission is not perfect. Most people can fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to take in the information. This may lead you to avoid phone calls and resort to texting.

  6. Hearing loss affects you and your loved ones

    Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.

  7. High volume is a sign of hearing loss

    Even if you think the volume is fine, if your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you watch television or listen to music, you may be experiencing a well-known sign of hearing loss. Are you tired of the constant battle to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that makes everyone happy? It might be worth it to check your hearing, if only to make your family happy.

  8. Are your ears ringing?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus impacts people of all ages, and may be attributed to trauma, exposure to loud noise or illness. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 56% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.[i]

  9. You are out of balance – loss of balance is a sign of hearing loss

    Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityii found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.

  10. You are opting out of engaging with people

Is hearing loss putting you in solitary confinement? Have you noticed that you are embarrassed to meet new people? Perhaps you are afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. Perhaps you withdraw if it is easier to live without straining to hear people.

Other signs of hearing loss – You are not yourself

Have you felt depressed, distracted or unengaged? Hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression and other brain-related ailments, including stroke.

Take the first step to better hearing

Perhaps you’ve avoided getting treatment because you are afraid of the stigma that some people associate with hearing aids. That’s old-school thinking. Besides, today’s hearing aids are minicomputers that subtly fit your ears – and your lifestyle.

To get started, we encourage you to come in for a professional hearing assessment. Book an appointment to speak with a professional about addressing your hearing loss.*

ihttps://www.ata.org/understanding-facts/related-conditions. Accessed December 6, 2018.

iihttps://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_linked_to_three_fold_risk_of_falling. Accessed December 6, 2018.

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Hearing Aid Accessories Help You Get Out and Live

Today’s hearing aid wearers tend to be more active than in decades past. Manufacturers have noticed, and developers have taken these changes into account in designing newer devices. Now, whether you want to go mountain biking, horseback riding or just out for a jog, hearing aids don’t stop you.

However, it’s important to keep your hearing aids safe. No one wants to lose or damage these important investments in your hearing. Hearing aid experts understand that you can get the most out of physical activities if you can hear well, especially with your hearing aids. That’s why there are new ways to use hearing aids in varied settings.

Retention cords keep hearing aids safe

If you enjoy biking, running or skiing, hearing aid safety lines can attach to your hearing aids and then clip to your collar. These keep your hearing aids securely attached to you – so even if they fall out of place, you won’t lose your hearing aids or risk damaging them.

> See our hearing aid accessories

Plug into public places via a loop system 

Have you seen this sign before? It’s an ear sometimes with a ‘T’ next to it. You may find them in public places like movie theaters, lecture halls, museums, art galleries and even some churches. It indicates that there is a teleloop system installed in the location and if your hearing aid has the right capability, you can link to it to hear announcements or performances.

A teleloop system transmits sound directly to your hearing aids. This means that the sound of the film or public speaker will be picked up via a microphone in the building and then played directly into your ears. Many modern hearing aids include loop system-capabilities. Ask your hearing care expert to find out if your hearing aids can have this feature.

> Find your nearest hearing care expert

Make calls on the go

Many modern hearing aids use Bluetooth® technology to connect to smartphones, allowing you to make calls and hear the other person’s voice streamed directly in your hearing aids. Effectively, this turns your hearing aids in a hands-free headset. This works for video calls too, so when you use services like Skype or FaceTime, you can catch every intonation of your loved one and see them at the same time.

Some hearing aids are known as Made for iPhone hearing aids, which connect directly to an iPhone without an intermediate streaming device. For these, you simply speak into the phone’s speaker and the sound is automatically piped into your hearing aids.

For other types of smartphones, you may need a streamer, which typically hangs around your neck. This contains a microphone that captures your voice. Modern streaming/hands-free devices are more discreet, and clip on to your clothing.

> See the ConnectClip streaming accessory

Remote-controlled hearing aids? A discreet solution to raise the volume

Some hearing aids give you the option to adjust them while you are wearing them, often with a small button or volume wheel on a remote control. This gives you the chance to change the program immediately, such as when you move to a noisier environment. A remote control allows you to make these adjustments discreetly, using a small control that’s about the same size as a car key.

There’s an app for that!

If you have a smartphone, there are various ways to control your hearing aid via an app. Some apps help you not only with sounds you expect, like voices or music, but beep when your batteries run low, if your doorbell rings, when you get a text message or someone posts on your Facebook page. In fact, the options seem almost limitless. 

Capture speech with a remote microphone

While hearing aids vastly improve most situations, occasionally they need a little extra help. Sometimes – especially in a large space, or you’re talking to someone in a very noisy environment – you may benefit from a remote microphone.

These are easy to use. You simply clip this device to the clothing of whomever you need to hear clearly, and their speech is transmitted directly to your hearing aids.

> See the ConnectClip remote microphone

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Making Better Choices During Better Hearing and Speech Month

It’s no secret, but your hearing health matters! Especially in May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month. It means the difference between hearing the most important parts of the conversation, such as medical information, dates, prices or can’t-miss work-related details and missing vital information. At other times it may mean not hearing every story your grandkids want to tell you about their busy days. Maybe it’s something someone wants to whisper for your ears only. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve to hear well!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Every May the hearing care community gets the word out that it’s important to focus on hearing wellness. This year professionals such as the team at HEARINGLife advocate for individuals to get their annual hearing assessment – if only to check against future testing – and to learn about hearing wellness.

Five things you can do to improve your hearing wellness

As part of your overall wellness, it’s important to focus on your hearing. That means much more than just getting your ears checked. It means investing in yourself in other ways. Here are some general dos and don’ts to consider this May:

  1. Use hearing protection – it’s key to preventing hearing loss. Avoid loud noise and if you will be around places with excessive volume, wear earplugs or other protective gear. Especially if your plans include concerts or explosives, such as fireworks. If you are not sure how loud something is, you can download a decibel app on your cellphone.
  2. Eat well and go bananas! Just as carrots are famous for helping vision, did you know that potassium is linked to auditory wellness? Other good things to eat include foods high in folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus – and organ-meats, like liver.
  3. Don’t use Q-tips in your ears. If you grew up hearing “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears,” continue to heed that advice. The inner ear canal is sensitive.
  4. Be active. Exercise helps hearing. There’s a positive link between cardiovascular health and hearing acuity in recent studies.
  5. Know how well you hear! Make sure you have an annual hearing assessment. If you discover you have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. Some 48 million Americans1 have hearing loss. Even more have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Don’t be afraid to address hearing loss

Untreated hearing loss is linked with higher instances of dementia and depression, and it is linked to lower household income, if untreated.1 That’s why it’s important to use hearing aids, if warranted. Hearing well makes communication easier and allows individuals to communicate with confidence.

Can’t make it in May? Hearing wellness matters all year long

While Better Hearing and Speech Month is celebrated in May, we believe your hearing wellness matters all year long. Whether you need your hearing aids cleaned or want to help with handling a loved one’s hearing loss, we’re there to help address your hearing needs. Call (866) 657-6952 to make an appointment to make a no-obligation appointment.

1 Hearing Loss Association of America.

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