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A Holistic Approach To The Management Of Hearing Loss

holistic approach to hearing loss

Holistic medicine is an approach to health treatment that emphasizes cooperative relationships. It is the practice of medicine that addresses the wants of the whole person including physical, nutritional, environmental, social, spiritual, and lifestyle changes. This approach to health treatment includes the use of drugs and surgery if needed, and focuses on education for balance and well being. Now, hearing healthcare professionals are using a multi-step process to improve treatment outcomes for hearing loss patients. The transition is placing hearing health as part of whole-body health.

Evaluation

Evaluation is the first step in the holistic approach to hearing loss treatment. Hearing healthcare professionals identify the presence of hearing loss and if present, determine if the damage is due to a sensorineural impairment. The inner ear is susceptible to numerous chronic diseases, and as a specialist in this area, the hearing healthcare professional can assist in the detection and possible treatment of chronic diseases.

Case History

A review of the patient’s case history is essential for identifying the presence of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases often have multiple and overlapping pathophysiology so a method of identification of these diseases should be a part of a medical history form for patients of hearing healthcare professionals.

Hearing Loss Comorbidities

At this step, the professional will determine if both a chronic hearing loss and another chronic condition are co-existing. If this is the case, then comorbidity, the presence of two or more chronic conditions simultaneously exists. Poor health outcomes increased healthcare costs, and highly complex clinical management are part of treating comorbidities. This interaction between the two illnesses affects the manner of treatment and prognosis.

Odds Ratio

At this point, the hearing healthcare professional determines if the odds ratio of chronic disease is increasing. This increase may indicate associated pathology. Vascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and chronic kidney disease as well as neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease are known to elevate odds ratios.

Self-Evaluation

Self-evaluation is a time for hearing healthcare professionals to assess readiness to attempt patient co-management of the patient’s diseases. The practitioner must decide if they wish to be involved in the sharing of information with other providers to improve the patient’s outcome. This access allows the hearing healthcare professional to provide awareness regarding the interactions with hearing and balance disorders.

Team Management

This phase is communication that works toward team management of comorbid chronic health conditions. These interactions usually involve the patient’s primary care physician. A hearing healthcare professional can add a clear insight to a healthcare team for a few reasons:

  • The hearing healthcare professional is the only member of the treatment team who can assess inner ear function.
  • Hearing healthcare professionals are the sole members who can provide treatment for sensorineural hearing loss.
  • The hearing healthcare professional can notify the other health care professionals of hearing disorders.

The future of hearing health is gearing up for enhancement through the collaboration of hearing healthcare professionals with other medical specialties.

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What is Normal Hearing?

What is normal hearing

Have you ever wondered about hearing loss and what is considered “normal” hearing? You’re not alone. With so many people now living with a diagnosis of hearing, it’s no surprise that many wonder just what exactly “normal” is. Scientists determined the standard many years ago and with the help of many, many people.
How hearing works
Before we discuss how science determined normal levels of hearing, it’s important to understand just how your hearing works. It all starts with a sound that is captured by your outer ear. These sounds (sound waves) are funneled into your ear canal. From there, sound waves hit the eardrum. As they vibrate the eardrum, which is the beginning of the middle ear, the eardrum moves three small bones called ossicles to varying degrees depending on the pitch of the sound. It doesn’t end there, though.
As the ossicles move, signals are sent to the inner ear and the cochlea. The fluid within the cochlea begins to move, moving the hair-like cells within it. This minute movement is then translated to the brain as sound by way of the auditory nerve. In many cases, it is damage to the small hair-like structures of the inner ear, due to aging or exposure to loud noise, that result in hearing loss.
Hearing and hearing loss
As long as there have been humans there has been hearing loss. There is evidence of hearing loss in 10,000 year old skeletal remains from the Middle East, writings on the subject from Plato and Aristotle and the first electronic hearing aids were developed in 1940. It’s no wonder that science wanted to find common ground and global standards for hearing and hearing loss.
The core of that standard is “audiometric zero.” Audiometric zero is the frequency range detectable by someone with normal hearing. Generally, that range is from 0 dBHL (Decibel Hearing Level) to approximately 20 dBHL. It took a unique approach to determine this range, though. Researchers tested the hearing of thousands of attendees at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Once they were done, they determined an average for the lowest level those people could hear at certain frequencies. The resulting information became audiometric zero.
What does that mean?
Those with hearing loss are those who only hear louder sounds, those over 20 dBHL. They are unable to hear within the audiometric zero range.
Individuals can have varying degrees of hearing loss as determined by a hearing evaluation:

  • Hearing loss of 20 to 40 decibels = mild hearing loss
  • Hearing loss of 41 to 60 decibels = moderate hearing loss
  • Hearing loss of 61 to 80 decibels = severe hearing loss
  • Hearing loss of more than 81 decibels = profound hearing loss

Any loss over 40 decibels is considered a hearing impairment.
To give you a better idea of what these decibel levels mean, here are some common sounds and where they measure in decibels:
Quiet countryside: 20 dB
Conversation: 60 dB
Traffic: 80 dB
Jet engine: 140 dB
Sustained exposure to noises over 90 dB can lead to hearing loss.
Our hearing is delicate and easily damaged. It is important to protect it with hearing protection and regular hearing evaluations. These screenings can help determine if you have a hearing loss and how best to manage it to protect further loss.

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Is Hearing On All Of The Time? Science Seems To Think So

can we hear while we sleep

The human brain functions much like a switchboard that is teeming with all types of electrical activity. When the brain receives a stimulus from a sound or a smell, the brain must decide if the stimulus is something about which a person should be made aware. The sensation remains in our memory even if the person does not wake up. It is a common belief that our ears are on all the time. If we are asleep and dreaming, we are still processing environmental sounds.

No Rest For The Brain

When we sleep, the brain does not rest; it is very active during sleep. There are changes in the electrical activity of the brain during sleep due to the trillions of nerve cells rewiring themselves. It is this rewiring that allows us to process and retain new information. Sleep is essential for maintaining the pathway in your brain that helps you to learn and create new memories. The brain also removes toxins in your brain that build up during the time you are awake. This activity of the brain also makes hearing while you sleep possible. It is this ability to hear while asleep that is the focus of a new research study involving preschool children.

A Study

A group of researchers from Vanderbilt University is studying preschool children to answer the question of what the children hear during sleep. The purpose of this EEG study is to show traces of sounds heard during the children’s nap time. This project is among the first of its kind to determine how sleep environments affect pre-school children.
The team uses a portable EEG machine to test individual children in silent, isolated rooms during the children’s nap time at the university preschool. When the children are sleeping, the investigators play three nonsense words to each child for a short period.
All the children demonstrated a recognition of the test sounds when lined up with other nonsense words that the children did not hear during the study. The indication is that the children process sensory information even when they are asleep. The team was able to verify that the children were asleep before the administration of the sounds. The research team considers that this study may serve as a critical first step in understanding the process in children who use hearing technology because of hearing loss but who do not use the devices while sleeping.

Never Stop Working

The brain is indeed a workhorse that never stops working. Even during sleep, the neural activity within the brain is still active. When we sleep, it is also a time for the brain to rewire the delicate nerve cells that reside within the brain and to maintain the pathway for learning and creating new memories. Thanks to new research, we are closer to understanding our ability to hear during sleep. Hopefully, this information will help to shed more light on the mysteries surrounding the brain and its impact on our hearing ability.

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Hearing Loss And Cognition In Young Adults

Hearing Loss and Cognitive Impairment in young people

Preserving your hearing health has always been important. The importance of protecting your hearing has been a drum that professionals and educators constantly beat for you at a very early age. Young people have always been an at-risk population due to feelings of invincibility or not wanting to think about those kinds of things until we are older. But, now new light is being shed on the link between diminished hearing and diminished cognitive ability, underscoring the importance of taking good care of your hearing at any age.
Correlations Found In Recent Studies
Recent studies have shown a consistent correlation between individuals who have suffered hearing loss, and affected cognitive processing, particularly in the frontal lobes. This correlation was not only found in older populations, an observation that has long been established. It has also appeared consistently in studies involving younger people. While educators have always emphasized to young people the need to take their hearing health seriously, the increased use of ear pods at unsafe volume levels and other exposure to occupational noise has increased the cause for concern in recent years.
A recent study published in eNeuro showed brain activity in younger adults ages 18 to 34 with mild hearing loss that indicated impacted cognitive ability. Up until this point, studies focused on the prevalence of impaired cognition in patients with cochlear implants, or older individuals living with reduced hearing. This is one of the first studies that demonstrate similar correlations in younger patients with hearing loss. While one study is not enough, it does give precedence for numerous other studies in the future that may build on that foundation.
Overburdening The Brain
It also gives some support to the theory that dementia in older patients is a result of the brain devoting more processing power to understanding what is said, thereby fatiguing the brain. While this is not proven, it is one theory that differs from the thought that older adults with hearing loss experience dementia because of the resulting isolation that’s experienced as a result of slowly losing your hearing.
In the meantime, a new call for hearing awareness is underway, focusing on communicating the importance of protecting your ears while still in your youth, whether that be by listening to music at lower levels, paying attention to the noise levels in the room, or wearing earplugs at loud events or locations.
More Research Needed
With more research, an increased effort can be placed on exploring the link between reduced hearing and cognition, and ways to mitigate that problem could be investigated. This would allow professionals to treat individuals living with hearing loss in a way that addresses the isolation they may feel from having reduced hearing to decrease risk of dementia, and medically treat any physiological ties between hearing loss and dementia.
In the meantime, whatever age you are, use headphones at safe volume levels, monitor your environment for atmospheric noise, and use earplugs whenever necessary. If you have any questions about hearing loss and cognition, please reach out to one of our hearing professionals today.

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Couples With Hearing Loss

Couple with sensory loss

Valentine’s Day is an annual chance to express your love and thankfulness for the fantastic people in your life, particularly your significant other. For many of us, this involves giving flowers or chocolates, preparing breakfast in bed, or going out for dinner and drinks with that special someone. But, for those of us who live with hearing loss, it can be tricky to fully experience such a special day in a world created by and for hearing people.
While many people with hearing loss find that it can be difficult to fully enjoy a holiday, a new study has investigated the value and benefits of support that a significant other can provide for a partner with hearing loss, thus sparking a conversation about how we can create the best possible experience for our loved ones during the holidays and throughout the year.
The Study
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Montreal, investigated the coping and support mechanisms at play in relationships where one or both partners experience some form of sensory loss, both hearing and visual. Before conducting this study, the researchers noticed that most information about support for people with sensory loss comes from researchers and specialists, without taking into account the voices of people who actually experience hearing loss. In an effort to change this practice, the researchers focused their study on actual couples living with acquired sensory loss.
The data in this study were drawn from two sources: in-person interviews with 12 couples in Denmark with acquired deafblindness and an online survey of 72 adults with sensory loss and 39 of their spouses. The couples in both studies were asked, “What advice would you give to other couples who are living with sensory loss?” and their advice is both unique and insightful.
Advice For Couples With Hearing Loss
While no two couples with sensory loss will have the same experiences, couples with newly developed hearing loss may find it difficult to navigate their new world or to support each other in the initial stages of their new condition. The advice from people who have experienced these difficulties firsthand can be incredibly helpful as couples re-establish norms and support mechanisms in the face of new adversity. Here’s what participants in the study recommend:

  • Seek out peer support. While many healthcare professionals may suggest that people with new sensory loss diagnoses seek out counseling and therapy services, many people with hearing loss find that peer support and patient-led organizations are particularly helpful in learning to live one’s best life even with sensory loss.
  • Be open and honest with your partner. If you have a new hearing loss diagnosis, you may naturally turn to your partner for support. But, as this is a new experience for both of you, it’s important to be honest about what you need to feel supported. Moreover, patience and understanding are key to accepting the new sensory loss while also respecting each person’s independence and choices.
  • Discuss what your partner can do to support you in public situations. For many people with newly diagnosed, sensory loss having to rely on others to interact in public can be a difficult new process to get used to. To best support a partner without diminishing their independence, it’s important to discuss how you can help them get the most out of a public conversation before they happen.
  • Focus on what someone can do, not what they can’t. In the deaf community, there’s a common saying that the only thing a deaf person can’t do is hear. This is an incredibly important thing to remember when faced with a new sensory loss diagnosis. While it’s easy to concentrate on the things that someone can no longer do or experience, focusing more on what someone can do can be empowering and affirming.

Although living with sensory loss can be challenging, a supportive, open, and understanding partner can help bring a positive attitude to the mix. Even those of us without sensory loss have a lot to learn from the support mechanisms in place within couples with sensory loss.

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Live On Broadway: Enjoying The Movies And The Theater With Hearing Loss

enjoy the movies with hearing loss

If you have hearing loss, it’s understandable that you might be a bit apprehensive about going to the movies or to the theater. While everyone else can sit back, relax, and enjoy the feature film, people with hearing loss worry that they’ll miss a major plot twist because the person behind them is chatting away or munching on popcorn.
Due to these anticipated issues, many people with hearing loss wait for a film to come out on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Although this can be a useful way to avoid missing out on a film, avoiding the movie theater can cause people with hearing loss to miss out on quality time with their friends or families.
Luckily, recent technological advancements have made movie theater and live theater anxiety fall by the wayside for many people with hearing loss. If you are concerned about being able to fully enjoy your next trip to the movies: here are some suggestions to maximize your experience:

  • Use a captioning device. These days, most movie theaters can provide people with hearing loss with free captioning devices so that they can read along with the movies. Often, these captioning devices attach to the cup holder on your seat and sit right below the big screen so they don’t affect your visual field. Other theaters may provide captioning glasses, which project the movie’s script onto the digital lens of the devices. Check in with your local movie theater before you buy your tickets to see if they can support your hearing needs. You can also search for theaters with caption readers at com.
  • Look for open caption screenings. Open captioning combines all of the benefits of a closed caption device without the need to set up a device and without the need to constantly switch your eye focus from the screen to the captions. Essentially, open captioned films are movie screenings with the closed captioning already on the screen – just as if you were sitting at home watching Netflix with the subtitles on. While these film screenings are still fairly rare, they are becoming more available every year. If your local theater does support open caption screenings, ask the theater staff for a schedule as showtimes and tickets are usually limited.

When it comes to a live performance, however, people with hearing loss have a number of different options available to them. Here are some ways to best enjoy a live show, even if you have hearing loss:

  • Ask for an infrared headset or FM system. If you use a t-coil enabled hearing aid or cochlear implant, you can take full advantage of the hearing loops that are becoming more readily accessible at live theater productions. These devices provide excellent sound quality to people with hearing loss by connecting their hearing aids or cochlear implants directly to the theater speaker system. If you don’t have a t-coil enabled hearing aid, many theaters also have hearing loop receiver earphones that you can pop right into your ear for maximum audio quality.
  • Look for open captioning. Just like at the movie theater, open caption shows provide real-time captioning throughout a performance. Usually, these captions are displayed on a board at one side of the stage and they offer a great way for people with hearing loss to fully engage with a theater production. Unfortunately, open captioned shows tend to be quite rare and only happen once or twice within a major show’s production run, so check out the schedule early to avoid disappointment.
  • Use an app. Smartphone technology is already changing our daily lives, so it’s no surprise that it’s also a great way for people with hearing loss to enjoy a live show. One app, called GalaPro, provides captioning for any Broadway performance after its first four weeks of production. The captions aren’t real-time, though, rather, they use lighting cues to prompt caption displays. Reportedly, the app syncs properly about 95% of the time and is only set to improve in the future.

The plethora of choices available to people with hearing loss makes avoiding the theater or the movies a thing of the past. Since each person with hearing loss is unique, it’s important to find the theater and movie-going tactic that works best for you.

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Hearing Loss Prevention Practices to Start in the New Year

protecting ears in winter

At this point, we all know to wear a helmet to protect our heads when riding a bike. It’s common sense, just like wearing eye protection when working with tools or the proper outer garments to guard against frigid temperatures. For some reason, though, the idea of protecting our ears does not seem like a priority.
Even with the World Health Organization stating that 360 million people worldwide are affected by hearing loss and 1.1 billion people between the ages of 12-35 are projected to suffer from hearing loss in the coming decades, adoption of preventative hearing practices is not taking hold.
What Are Good Hearing Loss Prevention Practices?
If you’re already suffering from hearing loss, it’s probably too late to repair the damage. Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent hearing loss from taking hold in the first place.

  • Be aware of the noise levels in your daily life. A decibel level of 85 is not damaging for short exposures but can be damaging with long-term exposure. Most people don’t realize that a noisy office can reach 85 decibels. Eight hours in that office may negatively impact your hearing health.
  • Take frequent hearing breaks. If we read a book and our eyes tire, we put the book down for a bit. Do the same for your ears. Our ears are not as good at letting us know when they’re fatigued, so take no-noise breaks often during your day.
  • Use hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs if you know you will be exposed to high noise levels or long-term noise. Typical noises in the danger range are motorcycles, concerts, chainsaws, and shouted conversations.
  • Limit your use of earbuds. This one will be tough for many people, but turn the music down and get those buds out of your ears. Earbuds rest near the eardrum and are damaging when used at high volumes.

Damage From Unexpected Places
These tips are ridiculously easy to apply for most people, but what if your livelihood depends on being in a noisy environment? Most of us will immediately think of a construction or industrial zone when we think of high-noise jobs. A recent study evaluated the noise impact on another group of employees exposed to constant loud noises: professional musicians.
Decibels are decibels. It doesn’t matter if it’s a jackhammer or an instrument. The study found that musicians were impacted, not only in full orchestra sessions but, when practicing alone at home, as well. As expected, percussionists were found to be the most affected, along with flutists. Cellists and musicians in the bass section were the least affected due to the softer sounds produced by their instruments.
The solution for musicians? It’s the same as the solution for all of us: use ear protection. Part of the issue with ear protection may be that it dulls our hearing and that can feel uncomfortable. When we use eye protection it doesn’t impact our vision. Regardless of the reasons for a lack of adoption, hearing protection should be used often and encouraged by all hearing healthcare providers. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss how to protect your hearing and to set up a hearing care plan.

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Understanding Hearing Loss With Virtual Reality

Understanding hearing loss with virtual reality

Virtual worlds that people live in have long been a product of Hollywood. Science fiction films depicting people who spend their lives working and playing in digital environments are great entertainment. Video games are now able to put gamers into fantastic worlds to interact with other players. Now, thanks to technology, we are getting closer to making virtual reality a reality. Virtual technology is playing a role in helping people function in the world in which they live. How is this new technological world going to affect people with hearing loss?

Virtual Technology For Everyone

The people who create these virtual worlds are including those who are hearing impaired. Because virtual reality includes sound and sight, real-time speech captions allow hearing-impaired users to interact with others in a virtual environment. Developers of this technology are also working with the sense of touch and the use of vibrations to allow people with hearing loss to enjoy the full benefits of the multi-sensory experience that is virtual reality. There are even special gloves that mimic the movements of sign language as well as virtual sign language interpreters.

Virtual Reality And Hearing Loss Research

Virtual reality may benefit hearing loss research. Researchers at the Boys Town National Research Hospital are studying hearing loss and its impact on children in school. Researching in a real classroom does not allow experimental control, so the investigators are using virtual reality. The virtual class immerses students in a real classroom setting without making them feel uncomfortable. The result is accurate testing of the students hearing in noisy situations.

Experiencing Hearing Loss As A Child

The isolation that accompanies hearing loss is difficult to comprehend. However, virtual reality is now making it possible to experience life as a child with a hearing problem. The project intends to simulate what the world sounds like to a child with and without hearing aids. The virtual reality simulation begins on the playground, where the user experiences muffled environmental sounds. The user then moves to the classroom where a teacher asks a question that can’t be understood.

Better Understanding Through Virtual Simulation

The goal is to support parents in the understanding of their child’s hearing loss and to realize better the importance of early intervention for hearing loss. The group hopes that the simulator will find use with other schools and government agencies. Virtual reality allows the researchers to have a level of experimental control that is not possible in a clinical environment. The research helps to identify why children with mild hearing loss react the way they do in noisy environments and hopefully help the team understand what accommodations will benefit their learning environment.

Simulating A Better Future For Children With Hearing Loss

Virtual reality technology is impacting the way educators view their strategies for educating children with hearing loss. The researchers believe that this technology will go beyond simulating hearing research and include balance and visual studies in the years to come. Virtual reality is simulating a bright future for those who are hearing impaired.

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Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Explained

Sounds and dizziness

We’ve all heard of and probably know someone who gets motion sickness easily if it’s not ourselves who deal with this problem already. Motion sickness is that familiar feeling of dizziness or nausea when our brains receive confusing signals about the world around us when we are in the car, on a boat, or enjoying (or not) an amusement park ride. But did you know that some people also deal with dizziness caused by certain frequencies of sound, such as a piano, another musical instrument, or a simple conversation?
These people are more likely to be living with a genetically caused thinness or hole in the bone encasing the inner ear. This deficiency in the bone causes fluid within the inner ear to move incorrectly when certain sounds are heard. This condition is called semicircular canal dehiscence.  In fact, researchers believe this condition affects one in every 100 people across the world. The feeling perceived when these anomalies occur described as being similar to the feeling you have when drunk.
The Cause
So what exactly causes the feeling of dizziness or vertigo? A study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah discovered eye-movements that are triggered to counteract the normal movement of the head perceived by inner ear fluid movement, are incorrectly triggered by the movement of inner ear fluid caused by the changed perception of sound in people with the hole in the bone casing of the inner ear.
In other words, our eyes move to counteract the movement of the head. Everytime our heads move, our eyes move to stabilize the picture and keep us from feeling dizzy or nauseous. When do our eyes know to move? They depend on messages from the brain that has been received from the inner ear.
The fluid of the inner ear moves when the head moves. This movement results in a signal sent to the processing centers of the brain, telling the brain the head is moving. Consequently, the eyes are told to countermove to avoid feelings of dizziness. If the brain is getting false reads from the inner ear fluid, it will send false movement commands to the eyes, causing a countermovement to a head movement that never happened and thus a perception of spinning. This unnecessary movement of the eyes results in dizziness, vertigo, or nausea.
The Difficulty of Semicircular Canal Dehiscence
For people who have semicircular canal dehiscence, the feeling of dizziness can occur within seconds after hearing a trigger sound. Now that researchers understand the connection between the pathological holes in the bone housing and the nature of the condition that results from it, care providers can be better equipped to address and treat the condition.
Surgery to repair the dehiscence is one viable option that remedies the condition with a high degree of confidence. Other treatment options and coping techniques are also available. For more information about semicircular canal dehiscence, please call our office today to speak with a hearing health professional.

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Hearing Loss and the Holidays

Hearing family during the holidays

With Halloween now behind us and Thanksgiving on the horizon, there is no doubt that the holiday season is here. While the fully stocked store aisles and endless TV and radio ads may focus on the things we “need” to get for ourselves and others, it’s the people we spend time with that really make it special. And chances are, at least some of those family and friends will have hearing loss.
Hearing loss is all around us
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), almost 38 million Americans have at least some trouble hearing. Those are just people 18 and over, too. The number is even higher when accounting for children with hearing loss. With statistics like that, if you don’t have hearing loss, you most likely know someone who does.
With plenty of holiday gatherings on the calendar in the weeks to come, now is a great time to plan and prepare with hearing loss in mind.
Holiday hearing tips
Whether it’s talking over turkey, catching up at a festive cocktail party, debating with Dad or gabbing over gifts, tips like these can help you connect and communicate even when family and friends have hearing loss:
Tune in and turn up: Whether you’re the host or a guest, stay tuned in to those you know (or think) have hearing loss. Do they seem to be having trouble joining in the conversation? Are they staying on the outskirts of the activity? Try engaging them in conversation on their own or bring them back into a group conversation to keep them feeling connected and part of the festivities. Everyone appreciates feeling engaged, cared for and part of the action, regardless of hearing ability.
Create the best setting: Considering candlelight and spirited holiday music for your get together? Keep in mind that it could make communicating more difficult for guests with hearing loss. Instead, opt for a brighter setting with minimal background noise to make it easier for those with hearing impairment to see lip movement, facial expressions and gestures and hear more of the conversation around them. This can also help those with hearing loss avoid extra fatigue from trying to listen through extra background noise.
Practice effective communication: This is crucial no matter who or where you are! Strategies like these can help everyone avoid confusion and frustration and help everyone feel heard and connected:

  • Face whoever you’re speaking with – In any situation, make sure you are face to face when speaking. This allows anyone (especially someone with hearing loss) to take in the full picture of eye contact, body language and lip movement along with the sound they hear.
  • Speak clearly – Avoid rushing, mumbling, talking too loudly or too softly. For someone with hearing loss, these can make speech more difficult to understand and lead to frustration.
  • Rephrase instead of repeat – It can be easy to just repeat exactly what you’ve said when the person you’re speaking with hasn’t heard or understood. Instead, rephrase what you’ve said. In some cases, different words may be easier to hear and understand. A re-phrased statement may also offer deeper context for the listener helping them grasp what’s being said.

Tips like these can help keep everyone connected this holiday season, even with hearing loss. If you’d like to learn more about hearing loss and help family and friends who have hearing loss, contact our office. Scheduling a hearing evaluation may be the best gift you could give them or yourself this year!