Month: March 2016

March 31, 2016

Themakingofahearingaid

 

Hearing aids have come a long way from the ear trumpets of the 1600s to the digital hearing devices of today that are custom programmed from a computer for each patient’s unique hearing loss and lifestyle.

Significant time and effort goes into understanding the challenges faced by people with hearing loss before a hearing aid is ever designed.  Then there is the rapidly changing technologies that are harnessed to create the best possible hearing instrument available.  The extensive number of researchers, engineers, and hearing healthcare professionals involved in developing a new hearing aid is staggering.

Earlier this year, Hearing Health published an article that explores the process of designing a state-of-the-art hearing aid for someone’s unique hearing loss. The author points out that to make a hearing aid, from concept to completion, “can take more than ten years and involve as many as 500 engineers, consumers, hearing healthcare professionals and retailers …”.

To read the entire article, visit www.healthyhearing.com/report/52625-Timeline-of-a-hearing-aid-from-concept-to-completion.

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing health.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 29, 2016

Protectyourhearing

 

Our hearing can be pretty sensitive. In fact, according to HLAA 1 out of 3 people over the age of 65 have hearing loss.  With so many people affected by hearing loss, what can we do to help our hearing last?  Fortunately EarQ has put together a list of 9 things you can do to protect your hearing.

https://www.earq.com/blog/9-ways-to-protect-your-ears

Several of these protective tips are common sense and just require a little self-discipline.  In some instances, it may take a little effort to change some old habits, but don’t wait.  There’s too much at stake.  Your ears don’t regenerate so you’ve got to protect the hearing you currently have.  We all just need to be a little more conscientious of our hearing health in all scenarios.

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing health.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 25, 2016

Howtotellifyouhavehearingloss

Sometimes life is just noisy.  Did I ask my wife to repeat herself because I have a hearing loss or because I had the water running at the sink?  It can be challenging to know if I actually have hearing loss or not.  Our friends over at Healthy Hearing have put together a great list of common signs that you might have hearing loss.  Here are just a few:

• You have trouble hearing people talking on the telephone
• You have trouble following a conversation when people are talking at the same time
• The family complains that the TV is too loud

The article states that hearing loss due to the aging process is the most common cause of hearing loss.  The challenge with this type of hearing loss is that it occurs gradually – so gradual that many people don’t even recognize that they are missing things.  As we age, the higher frequencies tend to be the first to go.  That means that you can still hear mid and low frequency sounds, but that you start missing parts of words and have to work harder to pick up on speech and other sounds.  They recommend early detection and treatment for the best potential treatment outcome.
You can see the whole list of signs that you may have hearing loss, along with the rest of the article here: www.healthyhearing.com/report/43310-Ten-signs-of-hearingloss/

Taking action is the best way to prevent further hearing loss.  CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing care.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 23, 2016

Healthyeatingforhealthyhearing

Do you ever get tired of trying to eat right day after day.  We all know that we should, but it’s not always easy.  What if I told you there are certain vitamins and minerals that may actually be good for your hearing?  Maybe that would be an added incentive to stick to your nutrition plan.

According to Healthy Hearing, the four hearing-friendly minerals are:
1) Potassium
2) Folic acid
3) Magnesium
4) Zinc

Bringing these minerals into your diet through whole foods can have a profound influence on your health in many ways.  To learn about the benefits of each of these minerals, and how it relates to hearing health, refer to the following article:

www.healthyhearing.com/report/51181-Boost-your-hearing-with-these-power-foods

It’s nice to know that eating right brings benefits well beyond the heart and the mind. Who would have thought that what we eat can have an impact on our hearing health?  You might say that healthy eating is starting to ‘sound a little better’ than it used to.

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing health.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 22, 2016

 

Giveyourhearingabreak

Do you ever have trouble finding a quiet moment?  Even when you turn off the radio as you drive, you are still surrounded with noise … the cars next to you, tires on the road, wind on the windshield, etc.  Noise pollution is very real.

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), “At least 110 million people are adversely affected by noise from Europe’s busiest roads alone.”
Read more at www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=160489&CultureCode=en.

A study by the BBC goes so far as to say noise is a kind of drug:  “It’s so easy to get hooked on it (noise) that most of us now feel distinctly uneasy when confronted with silence. Next time you go to a concert, listen carefully to what happens when a long, loud passage is followed by a quiet one: many people start coughing. The constant over-exposure of our aural nerves is as addictive as using chemical stimulants, legal and forbidden ones. And the cold turkey can be surprisingly bad….”
Read more at www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1643_noisyplanet/page3.shtml

Constant noise has proven to be detrimental to our hearing.  In an effort to help prevent hearing loss, it may be wise to create moments where we limit the amount and the volume of noise we experience.  Ideas include meditation, going for a walk in a quiet area, or turning off the music for a time.  Giving our ears a regular break from noise may help with the longevity of our hearing.

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing health.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 10, 2016

SergeKochkinPhD

A recent study conducted by Sergei Kochkin, PhD, explores the importance of Captioned Telephone Service in meeting the communication needs of people with hearing loss.

“Today’s hearing aids do an excellent job of helping people meet many of their communication needs.  However, sometimes there are situations where additional assistive listening devices (ALDs) are needed.”

Dr. Kochkin goes on to suggest that telephones and hearing aids are not always “perfect partners.”  He states that ALDs often function as a necessary supplement to hearing aids in important listening situations, and that captioning telephones play an important role in helping people with hearing loss communicate effectively by phone.

“For many people, listening on the telephone can be a frustrating experience as the signal produced by most telephones is not 100% intelligible. Even people with normal hearing often need to ask for certain names and other information to be spelled out or repeated. People with hearing loss experience even more difficulty for two reasons: 1) Due to the hearing loss, the telephone signal is softer and therefore less intelligible, and 2) Unlike face-to-face communication, there are no visual cues to help with understanding.”

In his research, hearing aid owners and people with hearing loss who do not own hearing aids were presented with a list of 19 listening situations and asked to rank them in terms of importance.  Communicating on the telephone was ranked as the second most important listening situation behind one-on-one communication.  57% of people with hearing loss indicated communicating on the phone was “very important” to them.

He reports that a significant number of people with mild, moderate, and sever hearing loss are dissatisfied with their hearing aids on the phone:

  • Just over half of consumers are satisfied with their hearing aids on the phone.
  • Consumers report that hearing aids provide on average only 55% benefit during phone conversation. (Benefit appears to be independent of degree of hearing loss.)
  • When surveyed, approximately 8 out of 10 consumers rate the need for improvements in hearing aid telephone utility as being highly desirable.

Dr. Kochkin concludes that people with hearing loss are at a distinct disadvantage compared to normal-hearing people when communicating on the telephone – even with hearing aids.  Captioning phones offer a valuable functional solution for many hearing aid users and non-users who experience difficulty using the phone.  He estimates that approximately 16 million people in America today would benefit from Captioned Telephone Service.

To read more… click here!

Study commissioned by CaptionCall, manufacturer of the revolutionary CaptionCall phone and the leading captioned telephone service provider in America.  To learn more about CaptionCall and how to get started, visitwww.CaptionCallProvider.com.

Written by Jeff Bradford, Marketing Director

 

March 10, 2016

To state the obvious, the world is a quieter place for folks with untreated hearing loss.  Did you know that the ‘quiet’ that hearing loss brings in itself may be causing additional damage to the ears?  Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers conducted a study on the effects of sound deprivation on adult mice.  According to…

March 10, 2016

AreYourHearingAidsTaxDeductible

It’s that time again.  Have you done your taxes yet?   Did you know that your hearing aids may count as a tax deduction? Hearing Health recently published an article to help you take full advantage of the tax opportunities related to the costs of your hearing loss.

“Many of your medical expenses are considered eligible deductions by the federal government. Since hearing loss is considered a medical condition and hearing aids are medical devices regulated by the FDA, you may be able to deduct these costs.”

The article goes on to give a partial list of what the IRS considers as deductible medical expenses.  They also cover what portion of your medical expenses qualify based on a percentage of your adjusted gross income?

Read more at: https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52628-Hearing-aids-and-tax-time

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people with hearing loss to seek treatment early and to actively manage their hearing care.  Our mission is to help people with hearing loss stay socially connected for a longer, happier, healthier life!

Written by John Apgar, Marketing Coordinator

March 3, 2016

Hearinglossearlydetectionmatters

When it comes to hearing loss, it can be tough to decide when to see a hearing care professional. Do you go as soon as you notice it slipping or should you wait until you see it getting really bad?  Findings from a study conducted by the Department of Speech
Language and Hearing  Science at University of Colorado suggest that hearing loss, even in its early stages, affects the brain.   The Study was led by Anu Sharma who concluded that age related hearing loss needs to be taken seriously and treated as early as possible:

“The hearing areas of the brain shrink in age-related hearing loss… Centers of the brain that are typically used for higher-level decision-making are then activated in just hearing sounds.”

“Given that even small degrees of hearing loss can cause secondary changes in the brain, hearing screenings for adults and intervention in the form of hearing aids should be considered much earlier to protect against reorganization of the brain.”

Read more about this study at Science Daily – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519104604.htm

The bottom line is that adults with mild age-related hearing loss, who don’t seek early treatment, experience a reorganization of the brain in which the hearing portion of their brain is reassigned to other processing functions.  This often results in a cognitive decline.  Early treatment of hearing loss keeps the hearing portion of the brain active with continued sound wave stimulation.  Early signs of hearing loss should be taken seriously.

CaptionCall is a strong proponent for treating and managing your hearing loss.

March 3, 2016

  Spring is blooming and everyone seems to be getting ready for some fun in the sun.  The question is, are your hearing aids ready as well?   Many traditional outdoor activities associated with summer time can potentially bring damage to your hearing aids.  But don’t let that stop you from getting outdoors and enjoying the…