October 2017

October News

Audiology With A HeartCommunication is vital for human interaction. This sounds like an obvious observation but as we all learned this past month with Hurricane Irma, when communication is interrupted, our stress levels skyrocket. FPL, Comcast and the cell phone providers must be working overtime to try to eliminate the total collapse of our communication systems. That being said, we all have responsibility for our own personal communication.

Recent research indicates that hearing loss and cognitive performance are connected; we don’t know exactly what the connection is yet but there is a connection. We’ve known for a long time that untreated hearing loss can lead to depression, feelings of isolation, frustration and heightened anger. We also now know that the caretakers of people with untreated hearing loss can also experience depression, frustration and feelings of isolation. Communication is key to human mental health. I’ve posted a recent article on our Facebook page that discusses the impact of visual and auditory deprivation on our cognitive performance.

Please encourage friends and family to get an annual hearing test. Even if there is no hearing loss now, it gives as a comparison two or three years from now. Just like you get an annual health check-up and annual eye exam, you should have an annual hearing test.

We are now transitioning from Summer to Fall and then into the holiday season where our social lives often become even more demanding. Being proactive about your hearing loss can reduce the stress of increased social interactions. Here are some helpful hints as we begin the holiday season:

Plan for more enjoyable holidays

Even if no one in your family has a hearing loss, making a communication plan for those busy holiday gatherings may provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone. If you are hosting a gathering, implement these hearing-friendly ideas:

  • Create different listening environments. The kids play together in one room, while the adults listen to the ball game or music in another. When it’s time to gather at the table, turn off the music and TV so you can focus on the conversation.
  • Assign seats. If someone has a hearing loss, they’ll enjoy the conversation more if they’re seated where they can see everyone’s faces. Ask them where they’d like to sit. If they have a "better ear" that may dictate the best seat for them.
  • Don’t dim the lights. Many people with hearing loss rely on good lighting to read lips and get facial cues during group conversations – with or without hearing aids.
  • Delay clean up. Clinking, clanging dishes make it difficult to hear the conversation and takes you away from your guests. Try waiting until everyone has left to clean the dishes.
  • Advocate for yourself. If you are a guest and you have a hearing loss, don’t be afraid to politely to speak up for yourself if the TV or music is interfering with your ability to participate in the conversation or if you need closed captioning turned on when watching the football game. If you prefer, have a word with the host before the event begins. Remember you were invited because you are important to your host – they don’t want you to feel left out.

October Events

  • October 2: Office closed for private event
  • October 4: King’s Point Plaza; phone distribution; RSVP required
  • October 6: Temple Shaarei Shalom; phone distribution; RSVP required
  • October 9: Delray Community Ctr; phone distribution; RSVP required
  • October 10: Patch Reef Park; phone distribution; RSVP required
  • October 11: Office closed: Abbey Delray Health Fair
  • October 13-26: Fred on vacation
  • October 23: The Cascades of Boynton Beach Health Fair; Office Closed
  • October 31: Jupiter Community Ctr; phone distribution; RSVP required

Assistive Devices in movie theaters

I am happy to announce that the Cinemark theater at the Boynton Beach mall is now offering Closed Captioning for most of their movies. I went to a movie yesterday and saw a woman walking toward her theater holding a pair of headphones and a small captioning screen that inserts into the cup holder. I spoke with the manager and was told that the headphones use a new technology called "Fidelio" which they’ve determined to have better sound and reliability from the older infrared headphones. The captioning device looks like a little screen on a stick and you insert it into the cup holder and angle it so you can see the words of the dialogue. They also have headphones that offer descriptive audio for visually-impaired people. I know movies are often a challenge so take advantage of the technology available! Don’t be shy – ask for whatever you need.

October is National Audiology Awareness Month

The American Academy of Audiology Reminds the Public to Protect Their
Hearing: Americans impacted by hearing loss hits record numbers

RESTON, Va., Sept. 18, 2017— October is National Audiology Awareness Month and the American Academy of Audiology is urging the public to be conscious of hearing health. A recent study by the Lancet commission on dementia, cited nine risk factors for causing dementia and hearing loss was listed as one of the causes. The report also stated that dementia typically starts many years before it is recognized. Hearing impacts the brain and cognitive thinking. One of the factors in maintaining healthy hearing is being conscious of the degree and amount of loud sound exposure. Keeping track of sound exposure can protect hearing. Many cases of deafness are caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. The damage can be caused by too much noise, and it’s permanent. Noise-related hearing loss is usually irreversible; however, steps can be taken to prevent this damage. One of the simplest factors to protecting your hearing is to avoid loud noise. Outdoor activities can pose a threat to hearing health. More than 40 million Americans, aged 20 to 69, have some type of hearing loss with approximately 10 million of those attributable to noise-induced hearing loss—exposure to loud noise.

The National Institutes of Health NIDCD states that approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. While age is often cited as a factor, there are growing numbers of younger people also reporting hearing loss. The American Academy of Audiology states that noise above 85 decibels can damage hearing. To put that into perspective, noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. A jet plane taking off is estimated to be 150 decibels. Shooting a gun is around 140-175 decibels (depending on the gun). A rock concert, an MP3 player with the volume turned all the way up, a clap of thunder and ambulance sirens are all around 120 decibels. Movie action scenes in the theater have been known to reach 100 decibels. Compare these with normal conversation that is around 60-65 decibels. Some Americans are exposed to loud noises on the job—landscape professionals, construction workers, road workers, all experience loud equipment. If you work or frequently spend time in a noisy place or listen to loud music a lot, you could be losing your hearing without even realizing it. And it isn’t just the noise level, it’s also the length of exposure. The louder the noise level, the less time you should be exposed to it. Lawn mowers are around 85 decibels but it’s the length of exposure at that level that can be damaging. Chain saws are around 115-120 decibels. Recreational loud noise is increasingly impacting younger people—earbuds, concerts, music in bars and restaurants, fireworks—all can be contributing factors. You can lose some hearing after being exposed to loud noises for too long, for example by standing close to speakers at a nightclub. Or hearing can be damaged after a short burst of explosive noise, such as gunshots or fireworks. Home movie theaters are also dangerous to hearing because owners typically turn the volume up. The best way to avoid developing noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noise as much as possible, the second way is to make sure you protect your hearing: use hearing protection.

Audiology with a Heart
2324 S. Congress Ave, Suite 2G
Palm Springs, FL 33406
Phone: 561-366-7219561-366-7219

Cookbooks are still available! $10.00 donation ($12.00 if you want it mailed to you) Thank you in advance!

I recently came across a new service catering to people that cannot drive and do not have a smartphone. Lots of people have not been able to access Uber or Lyft because those services require a smartphone. The founder of the company describes needing a reliable service for his grandmother but since she did not have a smartphone, she wasn’t able to use Uber or Lyft and taxis were too expensive.

The new service is called Go Go Grandparent and the website link is: www.gogograndparent.com

I spoke with one of the operators and she was extremely helpful explaining how the service works. Please visit their website or call 1-855-464-68721-855-464-6872.

Many of you have either already stopped driving or are considering doing so and this might be a way for you to keep your independence and stay safe!

We now have plenty of the cell phone amplifiers, so if you are interested, please call us 561-366-7219561-366-7219 to make an appointment with Fred.

Audiology With A Heart