Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Motivation for hearing healthcare if you are older and have a hearing loss

If you know an older person who has hearing loss but lacks motivation to seek treatment, you will be interested to learn about a study just out from Johns Hopkins University (N. A. Reed et al., 2018), which presents powerful factoids that you can share to motivate this person to seek treatment. In a study spanning 10 years, the researchers found the following to be true of older adults with untreated hearing loss, as compared to peers with normal hearing: • They incurred 46% higher healthcare costs ($22,434 per person over the ten years) • They were 50% more likely to have a hospital stay and 44% more likely to be readmitted within 30 days • They were 17% more likely to visit an emergency room • They were 40% more likely to have depression Although it is unclear how much improvement would have occurred had this group received hearing healthcare treatment, the authors suggest that because conversations are difficult for them, they might be less likely to pursue medical care and less likely to experience successful conversations with their doctors when they do. clEAR auditory brain training: An important component of hearing healthcare for adults of every age www.clearworks4ears.com hashtaghealthcare hashtaghearingaids hashtagauditorytraining hashtaghearingloss
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Friday, November 16, 2018

How to Become Better at Reading Lips: Speechreading Tip #2

As promised, I'm posting speechreading tips, starting last week and for the next few weeks. Here's speechreading tip number 2:

2.  Make ambient lighting work for you and not against you. For example, if you are sitting at an outdoor coffee shop, choose a chair at the table where you are not looking into the morning sun. Direct sunlight in your eyes will compromise your speechreading performance. Moreover, the sunlight streaming around your partner’s head will cast shadows on the person’s face and further hamper your speechreading. At restaurants, sit by a window in the day and near a light source in the evening. (continues) If you have a hearing loss and like to eat out at restaurants.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

How to become better at reading lips: Speechreading tip #1

This post is for those of you who have hearing loss and rely on lipreading to understand speech.

This week, I'm going to share with my blog the first of five "speechreading tips".  I wrote them for my textbook that is coming out in December from Plural Press ("Foundations of Aural Rehabilitation, 5th Ed").  I will post a speechreading tip each week until all five appear.  By spacing them out, you'll be able to focus on one at a time.  Try to be mindful of implementing this first one over the course of the coming week.

Speechreading Tip #1: Watch the face. This seems obvious, but you can be distracted by other events in the room or by a handheld device. If you feel a little self-conscious and think that your conversational partner wonders why you never look away (e.g., Do I have jam on my cheek?), explain your speechreading strategy in a concise way (e.g., It helps me to look at your face because I rely on reading lips to understand words). By saying this, you also provide implicit and subtle instruction: You are saying without actually saying, "Make sure I can see you when you speak."
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Friday, November 2, 2018

How many hours a day should I wear my hearing aids?

“How many hours should I wear my hearing aids every day?”

As one of clEAR’s in-house audiologists, this is one of the most frequent questions I receive from users who receive auditory brain training. Here are some of my responses:
• If your spouse or partner is saying that you need to put on your hearing aids, you probably need to wear them more often than you do. Your spouse probably recognizes that you engage in small talk much more easily and successfully when you wear your aids. 
• If you feel exhausted in the late afternoon or early evening, you might need to take a “time-out” from wearing your hearing aids and give your ears and your brain a rest. Find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths, and relax. Listening with hearing loss is sometimes a lot of work.
• If you need more motivation to wear your hearing aids, think of your brain health. Research shows that if the auditory region of your brain is not stimulated, it begins to lose “gray matter” and that its functionality begins to fade. This decline in turn can adversely affect other parts of your brain. Just like the muscles in your body need exercise, so too does your brain need auditory stimulation.
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Read about the new model in The Hearing Review!