Newsletter - December/January 2012

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Make The Holidays Happier For People With Hearing Loss

As we all prepare for the holiday season, we sometimes forget to make preparations for those in the family who live with hearing loss. Some have been fitted with hearing aids and some of them have not. Some are long-time hearing aid users and some of them re new users. Some will have the old analog circuits and some will have the latest digital circuits. All will be happier during the holidays if the family makes minor adjustments to offer them the best listening environment for them. Here are some suggestions for you to add to you to-do list:

1. Keep the ambient background noise to a minimum during the meal, dessert and coffee time.

  • Turn off the music and TV

2. Seat the people with hearing loss in the middle seat at the table.

  • Distant speech is harder to understand.
  • This will allow them to be closer to more people.

3. Carpeted rooms with upholstered furniture will help reduce reverberation of noise.

  • Sitting in an upholstered chair will make the conversation more comfortable.

4. Do not shout or exaggerate your speech when talking to someone with hearing aids.

  • This actually makes speech more distorted and lip reading is more difficult.
  • Project your voice rather than shout. Projection comes from the diaphragm and is more pleasant than shouting.
  • Shouting makes you look angry and can be hurtful for the listener.
  • Lower the pitch of your voice rather than shout.

5. Point out the topic of conversation to the listener.

  • "So, Aunt Sue, what do you think about…"

We hope that these simple adjustments will make the holidays even happier for your family!

 

Better Hearing Institute Warning!!

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) defines itself as a “Not-for-profit organization with the mission of educating the public and medical profession on hearing loss, its treatment and prevention.”

 

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) defines itself as a ""Not-for-profit organization with the mission of educating the public and medical profession on hearing loss, its treatment and prevention.""

They are constantly tracking the trends in the hearing healthcare field and have issued a warning about purchasing over-the-counter and internet, one-size-fits-all hearing aids.

All 50 states require that consumers use a credentialed hearing care professional to purchase hearing aids. Why? The state governments understand that the presence of a hearing loss can be a sign of a serious condition that needs more attention than a hearing aid. These statutes are in place to protect the individual.

Research results have proven that individualized hearing assessments with face-to-face programming and follow-up to accurately program the hearing aids to an individual’s needs are the best steps to achieve success with hearing aids. The fine tuning of the hearing aids with today’s sophisticated digital circuits.

"The best advice BHI can give anyone purchasing a hearing aid is to find a state-credentialed hearing healthcare professional and to communicate openly during the evaluation, fitting and trial period to increase the likelihood that you are receiving the best possible benefit from your hearing aids," says Sergei Kochkin, BHI's Executive Director. "It will make a tremendous difference in your ability to hear and in your quality of life."

 

*Five Ways to Avoid Being Scammed by Products Claiming to Cure Tinnitus!**

1. Ignore websites promoting treatments    without studies or research to back it up.

2. Ignore ads that say “Buy Now!” or “Miracle Cure!"

3. Just because you bought it in a health and wellness store, doesn’t mean that it will work or is even safe. An example of this is ear candles, which can be VERY dangerous. There are much more effective ways to remove ear wax.

4. If you are unsure about a particular product, write to us at the American Tinnitus Association. We can likely help you learn more about a product.

5. Remember, currently there is no cure for tinnitus – stay tuned to ATA.org, ATA’s Electronic Newsletter and Tinnitus Today.

 **Paraphrased from the American Tinnitus Association website: www.ata.org**

 

Did you know?

There is an old superstition that states: If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you. If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.
Elephants communicate through infrasound communication. This uses extremely low frequency sounds to communicate over a range of up to 2.5 miles. Humans cannot hear the low infrasound range without the use of assistive devices.
There are many sounds associated with the holiday seasons: Songs, reindeer hooves, dreidels, bells, conversations and laughter. Be sure you can enjoy all of them!