Month: May 2016

May 30, 2016

hadyourhearingcheckedrecently

 

Had your hearing checked recently?

I’ve had many patients in the past that tell me they have not had their hearing checked since grade school.  Yet they annually get a physical exam, eye exam and their teeth cleaned.  This just doesn’t make sense to me.  Hearing health is every bit as important as the other three, so why isn’t it being done? Could it be that insurance companies list hearing evaluations as preventative in their summary of benefits and offer an annual visit for a co-pay? Or maybe there is a stigma with hearing screenings being associated with getting old.

I believe that everyone over the age of 40 should be proactive and get a baseline hearing screening done annually.  If you do have hearing loss, this will facilitate early detection and treatment to slow down the progression.  Treating hearing loss makes it so your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to understanding words and speech.  Annual exams will also provide training and motivation to protect your ears around loud noises to reduce the chances of hearing loss in the future.

Hearing evaluations are easily accessible in most areas and are often offered at no cost.

There are five sense organs – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.  Sight and hearing are the only two you can aid.  The other three, once lost, would require some significant medical procedure to repair. It is interesting to me that when someone’s vision starts to blur, they’ll quickly have their eyes checked, and even get glassed if prescribed.  Yet, when it comes to hearing loss, people often ignore or procrastinate seeking evaluation or treatment.

 

Helen Keller once said that deafness is “a worse misfortune than being blind. When you lose your vision, you lose contact with things; when you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.”

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 Hansen Phangia, BC-HIS
May 27, 2016

willmyhearingcomeback

 

Several years ago I was using a Q-tip to clean my ears – something I have long since learned is a bad idea.  Shortly after, I had a sudden pain in my ear and then a weird noise.  I couldn’t hear anything from my right ear except for this obnoxious noise. I was a little scared, confused, and had no idea what had happened.  I was fortunate to have access to a local audiologist who I visited immediately.  He let me know I had perforated an ear drum. I then asked him one of the most common questions audiologists receive.  “Will my hearing come back?”

I was fortunate that my hearing came back completely within a week or so.  That isn’t always the case.  I have learned that hearing loss really can be a finicky thing and can be caused by a great number of things.  Recently I read an article from everydayhearing.com that specifically addressed the question of whether or not someone’s hearing loss is permanent.  According to one audiologist, when people ask if their hearing loss is permanent, he responds as follows:

“…in most cases the answer to that question is yes, your hearing loss is permanent. But, not always! Whether a hearing loss is permanent or not depends on what is causing the hearing loss.”

To read more about the causes of hearing loss visit https://www.everydayhearing.com/hearing-loss/is-my-hearing-loss-permanent/

Taking simple steps to protect our ears from loud noises or making sure we never put anything inside our ears can help prevent damage to our ears.  In the cases where hearing loss does end up being permanent, your hearing care professional will be available to help you find and implement the very best solutions for your unique need.

The week or so I was unable to hear from one ear was challenging. It was difficult not being able to understand everything that was being said around me.  I felt a sense of distance from those I was trying to visit with.  Seeing my audiologist was the smartest thing I could have done.

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

 

 

May 27, 2016

Whystayingsocialcanhelpyourhearing

When hearing loss sets in, there is a tendency to reduce or eliminate social interaction.  It can be frustrating to continually ask people to repeat themselves, or embarrassing to regularly misunderstand what someone says.  The temptation is to avoid awkward interactions all together and just keep to yourself.  However, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, social environments may actually help your hearing:

“The ear is modifiable,” said Walter Wilczynski, a professor in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State. “It’s plastic. It can change by getting better or worse at picking up signals, depending on particular types of experiences, such as listening to social signals.”

 

Read more here: Socially meaningful sounds can change ear, improve hearing, study finds

 

Researchers recently used green tree frogs to run an experiment around their simple social system.  They found that having multiple frogs making noises together helped them to pick out important sounds out of the noise, as opposed to having the frog be solitary.  The implication for humans is this; the more social cues people with hearing loss hear, the more likely their ears and brain will be able to distinguish the sounds that they deem more important.

 

Since hearing loss makes social situations a little bit tougher, it can be very important to try and stay socially active so that your ears adapt.  If you are noticing that your hearing is making social interactions difficult, the best thing you can do is seek out a hearing care professional.  With hearing aids and staying socially engaged, you continue to enjoy the important sounds in your life.

 

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

May 25, 2016

  You would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t recognize the importance of being able to communicate when it comes to interpersonal relationships – especially within the home.  Hearing or understanding what is being said is the key to healthy family communications.  When that is compromised, it can have a negative impact on…

May 23, 2016

dontforgettheearplugs

 

We have talked before about the danger of loud noises.  Most people recognize that noise induced hearing loss is a real issue.  And most realize that the best defense against it is to wear earplugs.   Yet for some reason, when we go to noisy sporting events, concerts, air shows, or when we mow the lawn, use power tools, go to a shooting range, etc., so many of us don’t use earplugs.  It’s such a simple solution but we don’t do it.  Why?

An article from Healthy Hearing identifies the following as the most common reasons people don’t wear earplugs:

  1. They are uncomfortable
  2. They are a hassle to put in
  3. They interfere with what they’re actually trying to hear
  4. They look funny

Read more here: https://www.everydayhearing.com/hearing-loss/articles/how-you-can-ruin-your-hearing-in-just-one-day/

The Hearing Journal published a study where people were given earplugs to use over a 16 week period.  Most participants reported that their opinions about wearing earplugs to protect their ears had improved by the end of the study.

You can read more detail about the study here:https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2014/04000/Original_Research___Clubbers__Attitude_Toward.8.aspx

Apparently people just need to get used to earplugs in order to really appreciate them.  There’s no question that the benefit of wearing earplugs in noisy environments far outweighs the alternative.  So, don’t forget to pack the earplugs, and when the need arises, USE THEM!

CaptionCall is an active advocate for people with hearing loss.  We encourage people everywhere to protect their hearing.  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

May 18, 2016

OrchestraChairs

If you were to imagine the kind of musician most susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss, you would probably think of someone in a rock and roll or heavy metal band.  What if I told you it may actually be classical musicians?   Ross Tonini, AuD, an expert from the Baylor College of Medicine said:

“Generally, it’s assumed that rock and rollers are at greater risk for hearing loss, but it’s actually classical musicians that have higher rates of noise-induced hearing loss.

“Whether they are in a symphonic orchestra or a marching band, trained musicians over time may begin to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss caused by close proximity to loud instruments.”

The article goes on to say that prolonged exposure to all loud noises can cause hearing loss, with a reminder that not all loud noises are known for being loud (such as a symphony orchestra).  Hearing protection is in order for any prolonged exposure to loud sound.  Musicians are no exception to the rule.

You can read more in this article from Baylor College of Medicine: https://www.bcm.edu/news/ear-nose-and-throat/hearing-loss-musicians-not-rock-and-rollers

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

May 16, 2016

Celebritieswithhearingloss

 

Hearing loss is known for making people feel lonely, leading to isolation. However, it can be very comforting to know that you’re not alone.  Stories and experiences from others who are dealing with the same problems can be encouraging.

Everyday Hearing, has put together a fun list of 11 celebrities that also had or have hearing loss.    People like William Shatner, Halle Berry, and Eric Clapton all have to deal with their own levels of hearing loss.  You can read the article here:https://www.everydayhearing.com/hearing-loss/articles/11-celebrities-with-hearing-loss-and-how-they-manage/

According to hearingloss.org almost 20 percent of Americans report some degree of hearing loss.  No one has to feel alone when facing these challenges. The key is to maintain social activity and quickly seek professional treatment to minimize its impact in your life or the life of a loved one.

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

May 13, 2016

Hearinglossandtype2diabetes

 

Does hearing loss make it difficult to discuss diabetes with your healthcare professional?  According to a recent study by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, there is possible linkage between hearing health and diabetes.

“There is compelling evidence that diabetes can damage the auditory system, and that clinicians should include hearing testing in managing type 2 diabetes.”

Read more at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160422163431.htm

If you or someone you know has been dealing with type 2 diabetes, maybe it’s time to consider getting a hearing test.  The Science Daily article states that the association between diabetes and hearing loss wasn’t made in all cases; however, it was shown in many. Being aware of this may provide the necessary motivation for you or someone you love to seek treatment early.

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, CaptionCall Marketing Coordinator

 

May 11, 2016

Dadgetyourhearingchecked

 

In 1989 my father joined the United States Navy. Twenty-six years later he is still on active duty. He told me that even when he was a child all he wanted to do was be in the military. He has achieved the highest enlisted rank a member of the Navy can reach – Master Chief. I think it’s safe to say that my father has given his life to this country in support of something bigger than himself, and I personally want to thank him for that. He’s not an infantryman, although he did serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My father has, for most of his career, sat behind a desk, but that’s because in 1989 he had a wife and a daughter, and another child on the way … me. He knew he could be a member of the military without putting himself in grave danger, so he decided to become an Intelligence Specialist. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what that means, and I probably wouldn’t talk about it if I did. The point is he has served his country honorably for almost 30 years.

When my father joined, he was quickly assigned to sea duty. Squids, another name for new Navy men, serve 3 years shore duty and 3 years sea duty. I don’t know if this has changed, but during sea duty they are assigned to a ship and often sent out on 6 month deployments and return home for a few weeks, just to be sent out again. My father has served on aircraft carriers, destroyers, and cruisers. Aircraft carriers are nuclear powered, mobile airplane runways. They are enormous! He’s been assigned to two aircraft carriers throughout his career. I’ve been on them; they’re loud and there is a constant buzzing sound from the power plant on board. Obviously this isn’t good for one’s hearing, which is why after years of being assigned to these ships, my father has sustained some hearing loss.

Like many, my father is in denial about his hearing loss. He doesn’t want to admit that he says “what?” more than anyone should, or that the TV isn’t that loud. Dad, it is, and it shouldn’t be that loud … ever!   I love my dad, and I want him to be able to hear what I’m saying, as well as the entire family. I want him to be happy, and not someone who eventually loses his hearing completely because he’s too stubborn to have it checked. It’s also very difficult for my mother to deal with. I know she loves him, and wants to help, but it becomes a burden because he is unwilling to seek help.

Still today he hasn’t visited a hearing-care professional, unless he’s gone within the time it took for me to write this piece, and I highly doubt it. He knows he has a problem but won’t see a doctor or an audiologist. Why is that? He has the best insurance money could buy, and some of the best doctors at his fingertips. He says he can hear fine, but some part of him has to know that he can’t. I don’t personally have hearing loss, but I can’t imagine it’s that difficult to recognize or admit that you have a problem.  Hearing loss is quite common and is nothing to be ashamed of.  Experts estimate that 20% of Americans have some degree of hearing loss. That’s 48 million people. It happens to the best of us. It’s got to be frustrating, struggling to hear people and asking them to repeat themselves constantly.

Knowledge is the first step. When we are willing to recognize and admit that we are lacking in an area, then we can address the issue. If I was having problems seeing I would go see an Optometrist. Why are we so hesitant to see an Audiologist? They want to help us live happy, fully engaged lives. Even if you can’t get hearing aids, getting a checkup won’t hurt. It will empower you to proactively address the issue. It could be something as simple as impacted ear wax. And if needed, there are all kinds of products out there designed to help.
For those with hearing loss, it’s okay to admit that you are struggling.  Seek help by visiting with a hearing specialist. For those without hearing loss, be supportive, and encourage your friends and family who struggle to go have their hearing checked.

My father and mother have committed their lives to serving this country. It’s hard to think that because of that his hearing is damaged. He’s a strong man, and one of my personal heroes. Hearing loss doesn’t make him any less of a man or a hero, especially not to me. He will always be the strongest man I know, and the man I hope to one day become, even if I have to lose my hearing to be like him. I want what’s best for him, and I want him to take care of himself. So dad, if you are reading this, please, get your hearing checked. Go see a doctor; don’t procrastinate getting the help you need. If you’re like my father, I would encourage you to do the same; don’t wait. I want what’s best for my father and for you. Even if your hearing loss isn’t too bad, don’t wait till it becomes something serious. Go get a simple hearing evaluation.

Written by Christopher Frakes, Marketing Assistant

 

May 9, 2016

Betterhearingandspeechmonth

 

Spring isn’t the only thing to get excited about this month.  May is ‘Better Hearing and Speech Month’!  According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, this month is about raising awareness of communication disorders.  You can find lots of material about Better Hearing & Speech Month here:
https://www.asha.org/bhsm/

In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, the folks at People Hearing Better put together several great points for why you should focus on taking care of your hearing.  You can read the article here:
https://phb.secondsensehearing.com/content/test-your-hearing-better-hearing-speech-month

For some fun games and activity ideas to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month, visit audiology.org:
https://www.audiology.org/publications-resources/consumer-information/just-kids-and-young-adults

Hearing loss can easily start to make people feel isolated and lonely. This month, reach out to someone with hearing loss and engage socially with them.  Give them encouragement to stay socially active and to diligently manage their hearing health.

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