5 Holiday Side Dishes That Support Your Hearing

5 Holiday Side Dishes That Support Your Hearing

Celebrate the Holidays — and These Side Dishes

Nutrition is a powerful defense against hearing loss, and the holidays offer a great opportunity to load up on some delicious and hearing-healthy nutrients!

 

You Hear What You Eat

It’s well-established that folate, omega-3 fatty acids, the antioxidant-magnesium combo, and potassium offer robust support for the tiny world inside your inner ears. The following side dishes are packed with all of these cochlea-cuddling nutrients.

 

Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin

This dish has all four nutrients mentioned above, and in abundance. But this hearing-health powerhouse is as delicious as it is good for you. The veggies, sugar, olive oil, white wine vinegar, herbs, and spices provide a sweet-spot balance of savory and sweet — plus the inspired addition of goat cheese! Mix and match the root vegetables to suit the tastes of your household.

 

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

All by itself, the butternut squash holds its own as a flavor favorite — but it also packs a punch with all four inner-ear friendly nutrients listed above! Like the root-vegetable tarte tatin, it has just the right balance of sweet and savory: The butternut squash is complemented by the perfect hints of cream, honey, and herbs. Could it — dare we say it — replace mashed potatoes as your go-to holiday side?

 

Skillet Zucchini and Sausage

The classic familiarity of meat and veggies meets hearing-health support in this savory delight that’s sure to please everyone. The zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and green pepper are the stars of the show, but feel free to swap out the sausage for a lower-sodium meat such as chicken.

 

Cranberry Rice Pilaf

This dish is a triple threat — delicious, packed with all four nutrients mentioned above, and an excellent crash course for those new to cooking! Show your nephew how to sauté. Show a trustworthy teen grandchild how to dice onions and celery. Or don’t, and enjoy preparing an easy and delicious side dish yourself.

 

Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic and Cranberries

It’s entirely possible this easy, amazing side dish will make brussels sprouts converts out of even your most picky eater. Roasted brussels sprouts are drizzled with a balsamic-sugar reduction, then dried cranberries are sprinkled on top — the perfect complement to whatever meat is the star of the show!

6 Fun Facts About Ears and Hearing

6 Fun Facts About Ears and Hearing

Who Knew Hearing Was So Fascinating?

Until you have a problem with your hearing, it’s easy to overlook it. But the world of ears and hearing is far more interesting than you might have thought.

 

Parrots in World War I

Parrots can pick out very subtle differences in pitch, tone, and rhythm. They’re also excellent at locating where a sound is coming from. They’re so skilled, in fact, they stole one duty from the soldiers during World War I: Parrots were kept on the Eiffel Tower in Paris to warn of approaching enemy aircraft.

 

Teeny Tiny Bones

The smallest bones in your body are in your middle ear. They’re called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup (or the malleus, incus, and stapes, for you science fans). They’re critical for hearing, because they help sound information get from your eardrum to your inner ear. All three can together fit on a penny!

 

The Curious Case of the Chorda Tympani

After ear surgery, some people experience changes in their sense of taste! A nerve called the chorda tympani connects your front taste buds to your brain. This nerve also passes very close to your eardrum. During surgery on the middle ear, one common complication is damage to the chorda tympani nerve. A taste disorder — for example, a persistent metallic taste at the tongue tip — is the most common result. Symptoms usually do subside, but it can take up to two years in severe cases.

 

Ears Aren’t for Everybody

Snakes pick up vibrations from the ground using their jawbones. Some spiders hear using nerve-based receptors on their legs, which pick up soundwaves and send the impulses to their brain. Male mosquitoes use feathery antennae covered in fine hair, which sense sound from vibrating air particles.

 

In the Loop

You have three small loops in your inner ear, above your cochlea, called semi-circular canals. They’re lined with microscopic hairs and filled with fluid. Every time your head moves, so does the fluid. The little hairs pick up on the movement and communicate it to your brain. Your brain adjusts your body accordingly to keep you balanced.

 

Your Ears Are Self-Cleaning

Your ear canals produce earwax on purpose! Earwax is antibacterial, and it protects and lubricates your ears. What’s more, your ear canals have a slight downward slope. Your earwax naturally travels toward your outer ear, picking up dirt and debris with it. Sure, we find it gross. But it’s essential for healthy ears!

Online Hearing Tests: Can They Help?

Online Hearing Tests: Can They Help?

The Era of DIY Health Screening

The do-it-yourself era of health screening is here, along with greater convenience and consumer empowerment. You can check your blood pressure from a pharmacy kiosk, test yourself at home for HIV or colon cancer, or even screen your hearing online.

But do online hearing tests work? Let’s take a closer look, including the pros, the cons, and the bottom line for keeping your hearing in top shape.

 

Some Pros

People wait an average of seven years before making an appointment with a hearing care provider once they suspect they might have a hearing loss. Imagine how much sooner they might seek professional help if that first step — a hearing test — could be taken at home.

In that respect, quality online hearing tests do offer some solid benefits. They’re:

  • Free
  • Discreet
  • Simple
  • Quick

Some might even provide a reasonable estimate of your current hearing ability. In studies of how several online or app-based home hearing tests measure up against the sound booth of a hearing care professional, though, results have varied.

 

Some Cons

No context

Even the most reliable online hearing test can be misinterpreted. If your results indicate a hearing loss, you need more context to understand the what and why.

For example, earwax buildup or debris in your ear canal could be the cause. It could be a symptom of issues in the sound-processing areas of your brain. But buying hearing aids online or at a big-box retailer won’t solve the problem — it will just mask the symptom.

 

Not Comprehensive

Many online hearing screenings are similar to the one you probably had in elementary school: You’re played a series of sounds through earphones, and you indicate whether you can hear a given tone. It’s called the pure-tone air-conduction threshold test, and it measures the quietest sound you can reliably hear at least 50% of the time.

This is important data, but it only scratches the surface. It doesn’t explain how well you hear speech, how well you understand it, or whether the hearing loss is due to an injury in your ear. Online testing doesn’t provide the comprehensive evaluation you need for a more complete look at your hearing wellness.

A professional evaluation includes an inspection of your ears to rule out physical causes of your hearing loss, such as earwax buildup, blockage by debris, or damage to your ear. Then a battery of important tests measures things such as:

  • How well sound moves through the air in your ear canal
  • How well sound is transferred elsewhere in your skull by your bones
  • Speech and word recognition
  • How well your eardrum moves
  • Whether there is a problem in your middle ear
  • How your middle ear responds to sudden loud sounds
  • Comfortable listening levels
  • And more

 

The Bottom Line

A reliable home hearing test can be an important hearing-health wake-up call, especially if you or a loved one is on the fence about seeing a professional.

But remember, it’s only showing you a symptom — it doesn’t pinpoint the underlying problem or provide solutions for your unique needs. Only an audiologic evaluation gathers nuanced data about your auditory system and offers ways to improve your specific hearing difficulties.

 


Are you noticing difficulty communicating in your everyday activities? Did you take an online test that indicated potential hearing loss? Don’t wait — contact our caring team for a comprehensive evaluation today!

all is the favorite season of many for one big reason: Halloween! If you love to dress up but are wondering what the best costumes for a person living with hearing loss are, read on.

Hearing-Conscious Costume Ideas

These guidelines can help ensure you hear your best no matter what costume you choose

It’s that time of year again: crunchy leaves underfoot, a crisp chill in the air, beautiful fall colors, apple cider, shorter days and longer nights, and of course, Halloween! With 23% of Americans and 44% of Canadians naming Halloween as their favorite holiday, this is certainly a popular festivity. Dressing up can pose a challenge for folks living with a hearing loss but fear not! These tips can help you avoid common pitfalls and make the most of All Hallows Eve.

 

Embrace Your Tech

If you wear hearing aids, you may not have thought of incorporating them into a costume, but they’re the perfect accessory for sci-fi themed ensembles. Characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Marvelverse commonly wear high tech gear and futuristic clothing. Your hearing devices will fit right in and add a touch of authenticity that other people’s costumes won’t have. Be careful about attaching anything to your devices, though. While there are many stickers, jewels, and other accoutrements safe for adhesion to hearing aids, homemade adornments could damage them. When in doubt, ask your audiologist!

 

Hide Your Tech

For some hearing aid users, particularly children, it may be desirable to disguise hearing devices rather than plan a costume around them. This is easily accomplished with a wig, helmet, hat, headdress, or any other piece that covers the ears. Sounds simple enough, right? But hold on — it requires a bit more thought, because you’ll want to avoid anything that presses or pulls on the hearing aid and ensure the easily tangled strands of a wig don’t get wrapped around the tubing. Similarly, the confines of hard plastic or metal headgear (if you’re dressing up as a knight, for example) can potentially create acoustic feedback. While it may not look as impressive, softer materials such as cardboard and foam are better choices.

 

Optimize Hearing Even Without Technology

Even if you have normal hearing, beware of costumes that may impede communication. Dressing up as Darth Vader might seem like a great idea, but what if you can’t hear well inside that huge helmet? Also consider that any mask covering your mouth will make it more difficult for the people around you to understand what you’re saying. Classic masked horror characters like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Ghostface don’t do much talking, but if you’re the chatty type and looking forward to mingling at a Halloween party, these may not be the best costumes for you! Choosing a costume that relies on makeup rather than a mask is a better bet for good hearing and communication.


Getting into the spooky spirit doesn’t have to mean missing out on conversation. Call today for a complimentary hearing screening.

Playing to Win Could Mean Hearing Loss

Contact Sports and Hearing Loss

Playing to Win Could Mean Hearing Loss

Soccer is winding down. Hockey and basketball are revving up. College and NFL football are in full swing. Must mean summer is in the rearview mirror.

It also means pickup games galore, such as basketball, flag football, and street hockey — and more debates over concussions in contact sports.

But two symptoms of concussion that don’t get much press are hearing loss and tinnitus.

 

Sports and Concussions

Sports-related concussions are not rare — 1.6 million to 3.8 million occur annually in the U.S. And in the age range 5–19 years, there were around 46,000 diagnosed concussions in 2016 and 2017 in hospital emergency departments in Canada.

A concussion is serious business. Consider its other definition: The least severe type of TBI — short for traumatic brain injury. The CDC explains TBI as “an injury that affects how the brain works.”

 

Concussions and Your Hearing System

Your hearing system’s setup makes it susceptible to damage by a concussion, especially in contact sports. The part of your brain that processes sound is located at the side of your head, about ear level. Prime real estate for an impact.

The force necessary for a concussion can damage or break any of the tiny bones in your middle ear or inner ear.

Plus, there are more nerves connecting your ear and brain than there are for your other senses. It’s a dense net traveling between your ear, brainstem, midbrain, and cortex. These nerves take quite a pounding when your head suffers an impact — the force jostles your brain, stretching, shearing, or possibly destroying your nerve fibers.

Sound processing is demanding on your nervous system. It’s also very fast — things happen in microseconds. If a concussion damages your nerve fibers or causes inflammation and bruising, your hearing suffers.

 

How Concussions Affect Your Hearing

It’s common for those with sports-related concussions to hear quiet noises just fine, but then have trouble understanding speech in a noisy environment like, at a restaurant or a game.

Other possible problems include:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hearing loss
  • Sound sensitivity
  • A feeling like your ears need to pop but can’t
  • Problems understanding speech despite passing a hearing test

 

Symptoms of Concussion

After a head injury, concussion symptoms might appear right away or not for hours or days. They usually improve over time — often you’ll feel better within a couple of weeks.

Symptoms are different for each person and might change during recovery. For example, your symptoms might be physical early on, only to become more emotional a week or two after your injury.

Common symptoms include:

  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Trouble with thinking or memory
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Mood swings

 

If You Suspect a Concussion

Unfortunately, contact sports and head injuries are a natural fit. Even a helmet or some other type of head protection only goes so far.

If you think a head injury has led to a concussion, see a physician right away. You’ll receive a neurological evaluation that measures your vision, hearing, balance, and coordination responses. You’ll also receive cognitive tests to ensure your thinking hasn’t been affected.

You might also get imaging tests such as cranial computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These identify any physical injury or bleeding inside your skull.

You need to be supervised for 24 hours, possibly in the hospital but most likely by a loved one in the comfort of your own home. This is to ensure the symptoms don’t worsen. The most common treatment for a concussion is rest and avoiding strenuous activity.

 


 

If you’ve had a concussion and suspect you’ve developed hearing loss or tinnitus, contact us to schedule a hearing consultation.

Ototoxicity and How to Avoid It

Ototoxicity and How to Avoid It

While the two most common culprits of hearing loss are loud noise and age, certain chemicals and medications can also damage the inner ear. This is called “ototoxicity, which literally means “ear poison.” Ototoxicity can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders.

 

Common ototoxicants

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main categories of ototoxicants:

  • Pharmaceuticals, such as loop diuretics, selected analgesics, some chemotherapy medications, and certain antibiotics
  • Solvents, such as toluene, ethylbenzene, and trichloroethylene
  • Asphyxiants, such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and tobacco smoke
  • Nitriles, such as 3-butenenitrile, cis-2-pentenenitrile, and acrylonitrile
  • Metals and compounds, such as mercury compounds, germanium dioxide, and lead

 

Since most people don’t keep industrial-grade solvents and compounds in their homes, the ototoxicants you’re most likely to encounter are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.

Symptoms of ototoxicity can include nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vertigo. Prior to the development of hearing loss, tinnitus will usually appear first.

 

Can ototoxicity be treated?

Because the hair cells of the inner ear are so delicate and easy to damage, there’s no real treatment for ototoxicity. Prevention is always the best course of action. That said, hearing and balance can often recover once exposure to the ototoxicant has ended, though it may take months. In the event that hearing is permanently changed, hearing aids and auditory rehabilitation measures are extremely helpful. An audiologist or other hearing care professional can help you explore the options.

 

Can ototoxicity be avoided?

In the short term, yes.  By avoiding contact with ototoxic substances, you can keep your ears safe from their effects. In the longer view, the answer is “probably not.” With hundreds of known ototoxicants out there in the world, staying away from them all is very difficult, and since many are life-saving medications such as chemotherapy drugs, we wouldn’t recommend that you try. Risk must be weighed against benefit.

There is good news, however. With awareness of ototoxicity on the rise, many drug manufacturers are exploring ways to reduce this particular side effect and develop better treatments that don’t harm our hearing as much. Discussing concerns about ototoxicity with your doctor is always advisable, and, when it comes to occupational exposures, getting clarity on exactly what substances you’ll be working with and what your employer is doing to mitigate risk will arm you with the knowledge you need to stay safe.

 


 

Ototoxicity is a common hearing hazard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive about your hearing health. If you or a loved one is taking ototoxic medication or experiencing symptoms of ototoxicity, make an appointment for a hearing screening today. Make an appointment with us.

Easy Troubleshooting: 7 Hearing Aid Issues

Easy Troubleshooting: 7 Hearing Aid Issues

You Won’t Miss a Beat With These DIY Hints

Easy Troubleshooting: 7 Hearing Aid Issues : Like other electronics, hearing aids can have their down moments. Whether the batteries seem to drain too quickly, you’re getting unpleasant feedback, or there’s no sound at all, you might run into an issue that needs attention.

The good news? A little DIY troubleshooting can make a big difference in getting your devices back up and running. Identifying the potential problem is over half the battle, and the following simple fixes may be just what the doctor ordered.

 

Feedback or Whistling

Hearing aids work via three main components: a microphone that detects sound, an amplifier to louden the sound, and a receiver to transmit sounds to your ear canal. The more sophisticated the technology, the more it can be personalized to your specific hearing needs and the more likely it has built-in components to automatically adjust to your listening environment and preselected preferences.

If, however, a bit of the amplified sound boomerangs from the ear canal back to the microphone, you might experience some feedback. The feedback may come across as a squeal, a wind-like noise, a whistling sound, a high-pitched buzz, or similar audio. Thankfully, many of today’s modern devices are already designed to help reduce the issue.

If feedback does occur, however, here are some potential steps:

  • Make sure your device’s earmold or dome is inserted or set appropriately.
  • Check your device’s volume, ensuring it’s not too loud.
  • Change out the wax filter, if applicable.
  • Create some distance between any object in your hand and the hearing aid.
  • Address any excess buildup of cerumen or earwax, whether through professional care or safe DIY methods.

 

Distorted or Weak Sound

If the sound’s not coming through as strongly as it should, it could be a few reasons — perhaps more commonly, the battery:

  • If the hearing instrument uses disposable batteries, make sure they’re specifically compatible with the device, free from dust and dirt, and replaced if old or potentially not working well.
  • If the device is a rechargeable model, give it a good charge — first checking with your manual for proper procedures — and make sure the charger itself is also fully charged.

The problem could lie with a clogged earmold, which can simply be cleaned. Another source could be moisture in the device, which can be remedied with a hearing aid dryer, a dehumidifier, or a gentle wiping of the hearing aid before letting it fully dry.

Another possibility is a broken receiver wire, depending on the type of hearing aid, which would likely require professional repair.

 

No Sound at All

If you’re not getting any sound, the solution may be as easy as making sure the device is turned on, the battery’s installed, and the microphone isn’t muted.

Other potential steps:

  • If there’s already a battery installed, try replacing it with a fresh one.
  • For rechargeable devices, ensure both the hearing aid and the charger are fully charged.
  • If the earmold is clogged, gently clean it following directions for your device.

If the hearing aid has a receiver wire that’s been damaged, you’ll likely need to take it in for professional care, during which your device can also get a thorough check.

 

Fast Battery Drainage

Does your device’s battery seem to run out of juice a little too quickly? This might happen if the hearing technology’s left on for extended periods. Turning hearing aids off when not in use — including properly storing them overnight — can be a big help.

Old batteries can also be the source of the problem:

  • For disposable batteries, check the packaging and keep a record of their estimated expiration date — if listed — as well as the date you inserted them into your device.
  • In the case of rechargeable devices that have been in operation a while — 3 to 4 years, for example — consider taking them in for a professional checkup.

 

Rechargeable Device Not Charging

The convenience of rechargeable hearing devices can’t be beat. Just plug in, charge, and go. If something seems to be getting in the way of quick and easy charging, check to make sure that the:

  • Hearing device is set appropriately in the charging cradle or dock.
  • Hearing device charger is fully charged or properly plugged into the power outlet.

 

Background Noise Too Prominent

Most hearing instruments today are equipped with directional mics and other features to automatically highlight speech and other sounds you want to hear while filtering out the noises you don’t. Plus, our knowledgeable team can work with you to personalize the built-in capabilities for your individual needs.

If you later find that you’re experiencing too much background noise with your hearing devices, try these steps:

  • Lean into your compatible hearing aid app, if available for your device, that may have settings to further minimize unwanted sounds.
  • If pairing with a Bluetooth accessory that requires a companion app, make sure the app and your internet — if required for the app — are working.
  • Use the telecoil or T-coil function on your device, if available, to tap into hearing loops that some theaters, lecture halls, and other public spots have installed for easier listening within their venues.
  • Try to minimize distracting sounds by controlling your environment, including turning other audio sources down or off, closing the door to background noise, or keeping the noise behind you.

 

Device Not Connecting to Bluetooth

Bluetooth connectivity has opened another level of capabilities for modern digital hearing aids. It makes streaming a breeze, with music, phone calls, video conversations, and other audio sent directly from a sound source to your hearing devices.

If you’re having trouble pairing your hearing technology with another Bluetooth-enabled electronic device, these steps might be just the trick:

  • Make sure Bluetooth is activated on both your hearing aid and the other equipment.
  • Confirm the devices aren’t already paired, which may at times automatically occur.
  • Ensure your equipment is within range for the connection to take place.
  • Check that any app or wi-fi access needed to work with the other device is on.
  • Unpair other devices that may already be paired with the equipment you’re trying to pair.
  • Consider restarting the pairing process, following the instructions in the hearing aid manual.

 


Have questions about your hearing devices? Got a technology issue that might go beyond a DIY fix? Different hearing aid styles, models, and types may have different solutions, and we’re happy to help. So don’t wait. Contact our caring team today to get your questions answered or to schedule an appointment!

How often should I update my hearing devices?

How often should I update my hearing devices? Q&A: Upgrading Your Hearing Aids

<h2>Q: How often should I update my hearing devices?</h2>
&nbsp;
A: That’s a good question we’ve addressed with many patients and their loved ones. The short answer is that a hearing device should typically be replaced about every three to six years or so.
But the full answer is a bit more involved. Several factors may figure into whether it’s time to update your hearing instruments. They include:
<ul>
  <li>Level and sophistication of the hearing technology</li>
  <li>Quality of upkeep and maintenance throughout use</li>
  <li>Potential changes in your hearing ability or listening lifestyle</li>
  <li>Condition and performance of your existing hearing devices</li>
</ul>
&nbsp;
Here are five potential signs you need to refresh your hearing technology:
<strong> </strong>
<h3>Device Malfunctioning</h3>
You do all the recommended maintenance, but things still aren’t right: Replaced batteries drain quickly; sound is still muffled after you change wax guards. The occasional repair is one thing, but regular malfunctions mean it’s time to replace your devices.
&nbsp;
<h3>Hearing Level Has Changed</h3>
Your hearing changes over time because of age, loud sounds, or other health issues. Often, we can adjust your programming to meet your new needs, but sometimes your hearing changes so much that you require a different level of technology.
&nbsp;
<h3>Repairs Seem Costly</h3>
With older devices, the parts are often scarce or the model is discontinued. Sometimes repairing your devices costs enough that it makes more sense to replace them with new hearing aids.
&nbsp;
<h3>Technology Evolving</h3>
Devices have advanced significantly — with better filtering of background noise, rechargeability without the hassle of disposable batteries, tinnitus management, wireless streaming from smartphones and other audio sources, and even fall detection and built-in translation capabilities, depending on the device.
&nbsp;
<h3>New Interests or Environments</h3>
When your lifestyle changes, your tech might need to also. Took up a sport? You’ll probably need moisture resistance. Switched from an office job to a gig outdoors? You’ll likely experience a different noise level now.
&nbsp;
<hr />
&nbsp;
<strong>Hearing your best is more critical than ever in our changing world. If you think it might be time to upgrade, don’t wait — </strong><a href=”/contact/”><strong>contact us</strong></a><strong> today!</strong>
Use Audiobooks to Hone Your Hearing

Use Audiobooks to Hone Your Hearing

Better Hearing Is a Process, Not an Event

When you get hearing devices, your hearing improves dramatically. But there’s still plenty of fine-tuning to do.

That’s why an experienced hearing care professional schedules follow-ups. As you encounter different environments in your life, you’ll notice sounds that don’t seem quite right. At your follow-ups, your provider uses your feedback to customize your hearing aid settings even more to your unique needs.

But you can take charge of encountering new sounds by using at-home tools — enter the humble audiobook.

 

Audiobooks Are a Perfect Complement to Hearing Aids

When someone speaks to you, your brain (among other things) targets the voice, concentrates on it, ignores background noise, and tries to match the sounds to words in your memory.

If you’ve had hearing loss for a long time, you’ve missed certain words — or heard them incorrectly — for years. When you get hearing aids, your brain needs to adjust to hearing them again.

With audiobooks, you can focus entirely on the words being spoken. You can practice listening without the issues that arise during a conversation, such as background noise. And you can rewind!

 

Using an Audiobook to Adjust to Hearing Aids

Head to the local library

Don’t worry — this isn’t a high-cost solution. Audiobooks are as close and accessible as your local library.

Grab the CD version if you prefer that format. For a mobile experience, confirm with your library which app you can use to check out and download their audiobooks. Some hearing aids even allow you to stream them directly via Bluetooth!

People at all listening levels can benefit — if you have a cochlear implant, ask your provider for the best way to train using audiobooks.

 

Stick to the familiar to begin with

Audiobooks let you focus on a single voice before jumping into real-life, two-way conversations. How better to start than with a book you’re already familiar with?

  • Choose a book you own a copy of in print or e-book format, and follow along with the narrator — this helps your brain process the heard speech.
  • Listening like this is tiring — keep it short to begin with, only for 20 to 30 minutes at first.
  • Library apps usually offer a sample to listen to — take advantage of it to make sure you’re comfortable with the narrator’s voice.
  • Listen in a room with minimal background noise

 

Branch out when you’re comfortable

Changing different aspects of your listening experience will challenge your brain in healthy, helpful ways. It also provides helpful feedback for you to bring to your provider.

  • If you really like the first book, listen to it again without reading along.
  • Ready for another book? Choose one you’ve read before, but don’t follow along in a print copy or e-book.
  • If your first book was narrated by a man, choose a woman narrator for the second.
  • For every new book, change something — switch from fiction to nonfiction, choose a narrator with an accent, or increase the amount of background noise.

 

Have Fun With It

You’ll be learning how to make the most of your new hearing aids regardless — why not enjoy books you’ve been meaning to read? Plus, you can choose books that pleasurably stretch your listening skills. Besides — it’s also the perfect excuse to read those guilty pleasures.

 


When you’re ready to move beyond audiobooks in your better-hearing journey, contact us — we’d love to help you push your hearing skills even further!

Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors

Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors

Be prepared to tackle your outdoor summer activities safely

Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors: Human hearing is remarkable. It can detect frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz and is highly adept at distinguishing familiar sounds from unfamiliar ones, alerting you to potential danger, and decoding important information about your environment. These abilities are especially crucial when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Whether hunting, hiking, camping, or even just birdwatching, being able to hear the snap of a twig or the babbling of a brook isn’t simply pleasant — it could also save your life.

Wildlife Safety

Ask any avid hiker and they’ll tell you that a quiet forest is a reason to be alert. When birds and other small animals fall silent, it’s often because there’s a predator nearby. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you may need to be on the lookout for bears or mountain lions. Hearing the change in your environment can clue you in to what could be lurking in the bushes nearby. It’s not uncommon to hear an animal before you see it, or to never see it at all. Keen hearing will help keep you one step ahead of dangerous wildlife and ensure nothing unexpected takes you by surprise.

The Hearing Hazards of Hunting

When discussing firearm safety, hearing protection is often a neglected topic. In addition to proper gun use and storage, protecting yourself from the earsplitting noise of a gunshot is very, very important. Depending on the gun, even a single shot can permanently damage your hearing, and not just any type of hearing protection will do. Because hunters rely on their sense of hearing to track prey, it’s important to choose a type of hearing protection that muffles loud sounds while allowing the softer sounds of the forest to reach the ears. Custom earplugs are a great option — ask your hearing care provider about getting fitted for a pair.

Camping With Hearing Aids

If you’re already a hearing aid user, you may be wondering how to safely camp or backpack with your technology. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your hearing aids. Here are some tips to keep your devices working well in the wilderness:

  • Keep them dry
    • Make sure to pack your cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to wear over your ears if it’s chilly, wet, or windy out. Ziploc bags are a handy way to store these items.
  • Keep them cool
    • While exposure to cold can take a toll on any electronic device, heat poses a greater risk to your hearing aids. Remember to remove them if you’ll be sitting close to a blazing campfire, shield them from direct sunlight, and don’t forget them in a hot car.
  • Get a tune-up
    • Before you hit the trails, make an appointment for a thorough clean and check with your hearing care provider. Let them know you’ll be camping and may need some adjustments to account for the difference in environmental noise.
  • Bring extra batteries
    • Traveling always requires additional preparedness, and that goes double when you’re far from civilization. Have a couple of extra packs of batteries just in case and store them in different places to insure you against loss or damage.
  • Use the buddy system
    • Any time you venture into a remote area you should let someone know where you’re going and when to expect your return, even if you’re heading out with a companion. Don’t wander off to gather firewood or scout campsites alone, especially in the dark.

Let us help you make the most of your outdoor excursions. Contact us today to schedule a hearing evaluation or clean and check of your hearing aids.