Hearing Loss

Olympic Heroes Who Have Overcome Hearing Loss

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Hearing Aids

Working Out with Hearing Aids

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Higher Education Opportunities for Students with Hearing Loss

According to the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), approximately 77,000 students between ages 3 and 21 have hearing loss severe enough to qualify them for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Consequently, public schoolchildren with disabilities have the right to special accommodations in elementary through secondary school. Sometimes this results in creating an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP. But what happens after high school?

Hearing loss shouldn’t stand in the way of higher education

Picking among colleges may feel like a daunting task. So if you have aspirations for a degree, remember that you have options. To start, most colleges have departments that help students with needs design solutions. This may be similar to the IEP services you received in high school. If you are returning to college as a non-traditional aged student, it may surprise you how much easier it is to access help today. Remember, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public colleges and universities to offer equal access to all students. While support mechanisms may differ from one school to another, hearing loss should not impede getting an education.

Finding the right fit for students with hearing loss

Colleges and universities must provide appropriate academic adjustments to make sure students are not discriminated against based on disability. However, many programs go beyond that help students to get the most out of their learning experiences. And this includes hearing loss.

Prospective students have to face many choices. Is a large university or a small liberal arts college what you want? Or maybe an urban environment seems like a better fit. Perhaps an enclosed campus feels more at home. In addition, if you have hearing loss, maybe you prefer schools with exceptional accommodations for your needs.

While it may be hard to know where to start, here are a few programs. Most of these schools are especially relevant for students with severe or profound hearing loss:

Pursuing hearing-related research and education

Is audiology your passion? Maybe you want to consider a path researching audiology and hearing loss. Across the country, schools offer programs to train tomorrow’s audiologist. One resource is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s online directory of higher educational programs in audiology. Most noteworthy, prospective students may apply for scholarships to study audiology.

A few colleges also offer future educators tailored programs for working in deaf education, including a collaboration between Smith College and the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. In addition, there is the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Center on Deafness. They published a guide for service providers with information that potential students and families might find useful.

Fall is peak season for applying

Most of all, if you are considering programs that start next year, now’s the time to get your ducks in a row. Our staff can discuss the latest in communication-focused technology. Even more, we can advise how to integrate hearing aids in certain learning environments. Finally, contact Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services at (631) 993-4719 today to set up an appointment.

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Olympic Heroes Who Have Overcome Hearing Loss

The Olympics are under a month away, so let’s take a moment and look at some inspiring Olympians who have overcome hearing loss. Do you love the Olympics like we do? The excitement of the games, the Cinderella stories of athletes overcoming incredible odds to take a medal.

There’s nothing quite like it.

You may not realize that there have been several athletes over the years who have overcome profound hearing loss to compete in the games.

The earliest known athlete to compete in the modern games with hearing loss is Carlo Orlandi from Italy. He competed in 1928 and won the Gold!

Hugo Passos is a wrestler from Portugal who was the only wrestler for his country in the 2004 Athens games. He also participated in four Deaflympics.

Dean Barton-Smith is an Australian decathlete who participated in the 1992 Olympics. He now is the CEO of Deaf Children Australia.

Terence Parkin is South African swimmer who won the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. He also competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics

Jeff Float is a former American competitive swimmer, World Record holder, World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. When he was 13 months old, he lost most of his hearing and nearly died due to viral meningitis. Because of this, he is 90% deaf in his right ear and 65% in the left, thus becoming the first legally deaf athlete from the United States to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

Tamika Catchings has participated in the most Olympics. The female basketball player for the WNBA appeared in the 04, 08 and 12 games, assisting Team USA win the Gold in all three.

The most recent Olympian to compete with hearing loss is David Smith, a member of United States men’s national volleyball team. He competed in the 2012 games in London.

We love the drive and attitude of these athletes – who prove that anyone can overcome anything.

We hope these athletes inspire you like they inspire us. They didn’t let their hearing loss stop them from chasing their dreams – and you shouldn’t either.

If you aren’t hearing well, stop in and see us for an evaluation.

We can help you determine how to best serve your needs.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment.

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Working Out with Hearing Aids

When you head out to the gym, you might think it’s a good idea to leave your hearing aids at home. You’d be wrong. With advances in modern technology, and tons of cool gadgets available, there is no reason to leave your hearing aids at home.

Here’s why:

If your hearing loss is profound, you will have balance issues if you don’t use your hearing aids.

This will make using a treadmill or other equipment not only hard, but potentially dangerous.

The extra moisture from sweat might seem like a problem, but it’s not.

Today’s hearing aids are fairly well moisture proof. A little extra sweat isn’t anything that will affect them. But, if it worries you, invest in a dehumidifier and use it post-workout. (In a pinch, you could throw them in a bag of long grain rice)

Worried about losing them mid-workout? Not a problem.

These days there are tons of products that help keep your hearing aids in place while you are working out. From headbands to tape there are tons of options that will keep them right where they need to be.  

If you don’t wear them, how are you going to hear your trainer, or emergency messages?

If you work with a trainer, you aren’t going to hear all of their instructions if you aren’t wearing your hearing aids. If you don’t work with a trainer, and there is an emergency situation, you might miss hearing important info for your safety.

Really, we believe there are not very many reasons to leave your hearing aids at home.

Hearing aids are designed to improve your life, not make it more difficult. Twenty years ago, leaving your hearing aids at home might have made sense, but these days it’s not necessary at all.

If you need tips on working out with hearing aids, stop in and chat us up.

We can help you determine what will work best for you.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment.

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Caffeine and hearing loss: good news for coffee lovers

It is the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year. Today you have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to an extra cappuccino or a straight shot of espresso. But how does caffeine affect you? In terms of your hearing health, we are pleased to share some good news. Research shows that caffeine from coffee or tea may be connected to lower risks of tinnitus in women and to living longer in healthy adults. So if you ever needed an excuse to drink more coffee, read on.

Research reveals good news for coffee and tea drinkers

According to the American Journal of Medicine1, in a study of more than 65,000 women, caffeine has positive associations with your hearing health. Specifically, over a period of 18 years, women who had higher intakes of caffeine showed lower incidence of tinnitus. In fact, those who drank less than 150 mg (approximately an 8-ounce cup of coffee) a day showed higher rates of tinnitus.

Why is this important?

Tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing or similar noise that individuals hear without anything present producing the sound, can be debilitating. Especially when it presents as a chronic issue. Although some people develop tinnitus after a trauma, for many others the cause is unknown, so preventative measures provide much-needed help.

Too much of a good thing?

But how much caffeine is too much? The study showed that the women who ingested 450 milligrams to 599 milligrams of caffeine daily were 15% less likely to experience hearing loss. Those who consumed more than 600 milligrams were 21% less likely to develop tinnitus. To put it into perspective, to meet the 450-599 mg category, a person would have to consume about four 8-ounce cups of coffee. Casual coffee drinkers are in luck.

Good for your ears – and your heart!

Benefits for coffee lovers do not end with decreased incidence of tinnitus. At a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology2, Spanish researchers presented the results of a 10-year study of nearly 20,000 people called the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project. The results showed that healthy people who consumed a Mediterranean diet and drank more coffee lived longer. Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, said in presentation, “In the SUN project we found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants.”

You may wonder how much coffee is helpful. Dr. Navarro told the audience that drinking four cups of coffee daily is fine for healthy people.

Good for your hearing, good for your heart

Starting tomorrow, the days will get a little bit lighter. Nevertheless, you may still enjoy a second cup of joe without regrets.

If you have concerns about tinnitus, hearing loss or hearing health, make an appointment to speak with our hearing professionals. We have plenty of tips for hearing wellness.

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