Preparing for holiday gatherings with hearing loss

Whether you are preparing to host an event this coming holiday season or are attending an impromptu gathering of friends, this is an important time to catch up with loved ones. But what if hearing loss poses a challenge for communicating?

When people gather it can be noisy. Especially if many people are speaking at the same time. Add in holiday music, restaurant chatter or a football game on in the background, and even people with excellent hearing may have trouble understanding a conversation with someone standing next to them.

If you follow these tips, it may be easier to catch up with loved ones and enjoy their company.

Pick a good place to hear at holiday events

Whether you are in a home or a restaurant, try to position yourself in a space with less background noise. Follow these tips:

  • Flooring and walls – Carpeting, tablecloths and drapery help to absorb noise.
  • Pick the right room – In a home, try to avoid the kitchen or areas near the TV. If you are in a restaurant, ask for a seat away from the kitchen or bar.
  • Avoid the amplifiers – Although you can’t always get away from blaring music, try to be as far from speakers as possible. Corners or booths can provide some relief.
  • Try for 1:1 conversations – If you really want to catch every word, there is nothing wrong with finding a quieter spot in the hallway, or even outside for one-on-one conversations.

Arrive early to choose the best seat in the house

When choosing your seat, try to be where you can see people’s faces – that way you can pick up on facial cues. Try to sit where there is good lighting. If one ear is stronger than the other, offer the person you wish to speak to the seat on your strong side. You can also ask a relative or friend to help you fill in the gaps if you miss part of the conversation.

Don’t be shy about your hearing loss this holiday season

In noisy situations there is no reason to hide your hearing loss. While it may be easier to pretend that you can hear, nodding along with the others, this is not fair to you (or to the person speaking). If you feel you missed out, there is nothing wrong with asking for a recap afterward.

You can also let people know you are missing some of the conversation with simple visual cues like placing your hand to your ear. This won’t disrupt the flow of conversations but will signal to the speaker to speak up or slow down.

Sometimes a simple reminder for relatives to speak slower works wonders.

Noticed changes in your hearing? There’s still time to get help

Although planning may be underway, the holiday season is still a few weeks away. If you are worried about hearing at Thanksgiving, holiday parties or other gatherings, there’s time to have a no-obligation hearing assessment* to see if hearing aids are an option for you. A hearing specialist can also give you tips on communicating with loved ones. If you are concerned about a loved one’s hearing, offer to bring them for an appointment. We encourage caregivers, friends and family to join our patients for the first appointment.

Let your hearing aids help you

Sometimes the most obvious strategy is the best solution. If you have hearing aids, wear them. Plus, if you forget them and have trouble following along, it may frustrate your family. The newest hearing aids have technical advancements designed for complex hearing environments, where noise is coming from multiple sources. Newer devices make it easier to hear what you want to hear, even in the situations with multiple people speaking.

For best results, try various settings in advance to see which works best for you in noisy environments. If this isn’t enough, you may also want to consider the extra help of a discreet clip-on microphone. If you would like help with your hearing aids’ settings or perhaps reprogramming them, stop in.

It’s your holiday too, so enjoy it!

If you have new hearing aids, go easy on yourself. Take short breaks to give your brain a rest and re-energize when you feel fatigue setting in. If conversation at the table is challenging, focus on the people nearest you. If a group is too noisy or fast-paced, try a smaller and quieter group to join. Social events are for your enjoyment – not a test of your stamina.

Don’t let hearing loss keep you from enjoying the people and things you love. Locate your closest hearing professional and make an appointment with Whisper Hearing Center.

Posted by Admin

Exercise Your Way To Health and Good Hearing!

Every doctor has one prescription ready patients: keep your body healthy through diet and exercise!

This suggestion may include a diet full of plenty leafy greens or getting extra steps by parking the car a little further away from the office. Regardless of your method of staying fit, it has been proven time and time again that your quality of life benefits from an active, healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t stop with toned muscles and a heightened stamina. Studies have shown that exercise (especially in women) is related to a decreased risk of hearing loss.

Here is our version of a Wellness Prescription for Health:

  • Exercise! Yes, adding even just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can help do the trick. Keeping up with exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight. This helps lower the odds of hearing loss in the future!
  • Just say no to smoking! Smoking can lead to hearing loss… and yes, this even includes second hand smoke. Yellow skin and black lungs are not the only thing that await, so think before you light up.
  • Be careful of NSAID pain relievers. Taking over the counter pain relievers that include ibuprofen or acetaminophen too frequently can lead to damage in the ear.
    This can result in unneeded hearing loss. Try to take these medications only when absolutely necessary.
  • Turn the volume down on your headphones and earbuds. Setting your volume settings to 60% limits how loud a phone or MP3 player can play music automatically. Your ears will thank you… as well as your companions.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. You especially want to try and eat ones that have magnesium and antioxidants (berries, leafy greens, bananas, avocados, etc..).
  • Always remember to wear hearing protectors when attending loud events or recreational activities. This can include concerts, yardwork, sporting events… any gathering that makes your heart flutter, not out of affection, but reverb! Hearing protectors are comfortable and easy to use for all types of ears.

When caring for your well-being, don’t forget that your ears are important! Like your knees and your teeth, they need protection. And like the rest of your body, your ears benefit from eating well, getting enough rest and aerobic activities.

Start with a free assessment*

Find out more about your hearing health. What you learn may surprise you. Our hearing care professionals are always willing to give tips on healthy hearing and how this impacts healthy hearing. Make an appointment today.

Posted by Admin

Hearing Loss Has No Age Requirement

Did you know that it can make a huge difference in your life if you have your hearing tested early in life? That might sound like a bold statement to you, but it is true. With early detection of hearing loss, a medical professional can help you preserve your natural level of hearing. This early action will stunt the loss and you won’t suffer later in life from any of the cognitive side effects of hearing loss.

“But my hearing is great! It won’t happen to me!”

Hearing loss has a very sneaky way of slowly taking away a person’s freedom and confidence when it goes untreated. Don’t fall victim to this highly preventable condition! Stand up and spread the word about early hearing loss detection.

“Hearing loss won’t affect my life!”

Out of all aging people, those with hearing impairment tend to lose cognitive abilities 40% faster than those without hearing loss. One reason is because with hearing loss, confidence in ones abilities lessens leaving stress and frustration in its wake. The more a person suffers from hearing loss, the less likely they are to want to join social situations. They hide their lack of hearing by shying away from any situation that may cause embarrassment. This can lead to depression and even dementia, especially in the elderly.

“So what can I do?”

Something as small as a hearing exam can improve your chances of not suffering from a decrease in cognitive ability as you age. The earlier any hearing loss (even the most minute) is detected and treated the better!

Advances in technology have made treatment even easier! No longer cumbersome devices that draw attention, the newest versions of hearing aids are small, comfortable, and unbelievable reliable. Some even look like your standard high tech Bluetooth headset or can’t even be seen at all. So no embarrassment awaits, just the clarity only possible with good hearing! Keep yourself ahead of the game and have your hearing assessed* by a hearing care professional today!

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Finding Balance While Enduring Vertigo

Vertigo can be a debilitating disorder that has the ability to control your life. This disease affects the inner ear, which plays a large role in our ability to balance. When was the last time you had to really focus before getting up out of a chair or even just trying to walk around your home? Those with vertigo know that these simple tasks can become daunting. It can be even more frightening to the elderly who could be at a higher risk of injury if they were to fall.

What causes vertigo?

• Meniere’s disease
• Head injury
• Ear surgery
• Extended bed rest
• Inflammation of the vestibular nerve or of the inner ear
• Reduced blood flow to parts of the brain

Are there any symptoms?

• It is common to experience dizziness when you have vertigo. The dizziness can range from mild to being so severe that a person may not be able to stand due to fear of falling.
• Nausea is another common complaint… but is usually just the result of the intense dizziness.
• Ringing in the ears that might even turn into temporary hearing loss.
• Difficulty seeing straight or clearly.

But there is good news…

In most cases, vertigo is a treatable condition. With the proper medicine, most people who suffer from the disorder can resume a normal life without enduring any of these symptoms. Although, in a few severe cases, treatment may not fully cure the problem. Still, any medical attention will produce small improvements. Thus, if you think you may have vertigo, you should reach out to your doctor immediately.

Posted by Admin

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