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Breaking the Stigma on Hearing Loss

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Breaking the Stigma on Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is actually one of the most common ailments and it affects people of all ages, not just the elderly. It is the 3rd most common condition affecting Americans behind heart disease and arthritis. That is one of the reasons why the audiology industry is seeing that the stigma of hearing loss is slowly starting to fade away. In our blog today, we will be exploring the reasons why the stigma of hearing loss is fading and how to confront the stigma head-on if you are facing hearing loss.

Hearing Loss Statistics

Just how common is hearing loss? It is more prevalent among senior populations because of hearing loss due to ageing. However, a recent study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery describes how hearing loss is on the rise across all ages of our population and why. Some of the points in the study highlight just how common hearing loss are:

  • We will see a gradual increase in hearing loss in adults over the next 43 years.
  • U.S. adults 20 years and older will see an increase in hearing loss. By 202 15% of adults are expected to have hearing loss, which puts the number at a staggering 44 million people.
  • The increase is predicted to be greatest in adults in senior populations. By 2020, 55% of adults 70 years or older will have hearing loss and by 2060, that percentage is predicted to increase to 67%.
  • Currently, two in every three adults 70 years or older in the U.S. have ‘clinically meaningful hearing loss.

Why is There a Stigma Surrounding Hearing Loss?

So if hearing loss is so prevalent, why is there this stigma surrounding hearing loss? There are a few reasons why:

  1. Hearing loss used to be only associated with older people.
  2. Hearing aid technology has come a long way, but hearing aids of old used to whistle and cause feedback sounds. That made people feel embarrassed about wearing them.
  3. Hearing loss (especially in children) can cause learning disabilities.

How to Break Through the Stigma of Hearing Loss

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the main reason that we see society breaking the stigma of hearing loss is how prevalent it is now and how much it is going to increase in the coming years. When something is so common, then the negative stigma associated with it starts to melt away as more people learn from experience and become more empathetic as they “join the club”. The other major reason we see the breaking of the stigma of hearing loss is the advances in hearing aid technology. Hearing aids are powerful tools that are rich in technology and able to interface into all aspects of your digital life and entertainment as well. The hearing aids of today are definitely not your grandfather’s hearing aids. They don’t whistle or give feedback like old models did in the past. In fact, many styles of hearing aids are “cool” and even fashionable. If you don’t want your hearing aids to be seen, many styles can be virtually invisible.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and all aspects of your life, living with hearing loss!

Posted by Admin

New Smoke Alarms for the Hearing Impaired

When you are dealing with hearing loss, there are many important things that you might miss if you let your hearing loss go untreated. You might associated being hearing impaired with not hearing people speak, but there are other important sounds you could be missing out on. Even for hearing aid wearers, they can’t be in all the time. Usually hearing aids are not worn overnight while sleeping and that is when the danger of not hearing something as important as a fire alarm can come into play. One of the latest innovations for the hearing impaired includes a new smoke alarm designed especially for them.

How Hearing Impaired Smoke Alarms Work

Some of the latest inventions and innovations will help the hearing impaired. The smoke alarm for the hearing impaired. It has several features that will alert someone who cannot hear to the danger. It still has a smoke detector with the usual loud siren but also has a blinding strobe light. The second part has a device that looks like an alarm clock that releases a low-frequency noise that can be “felt” when it is triggered by the smoke alarm. A third part is a vibrating device that is placed in between the mattress and the box spring and it will shake the bed to wake up the person.

Smoke alarms for the hearing impaired are just one of the latest inventions to help the hearing impaired. There are other devices that will alert people to the door bell, phone ringing, etc.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and all aspects of your life, living with hearing loss!

Posted by Admin

Don’t Fall for Popular Email Scam Offering Cure for Tinnitus

Tinnitus can be a very frustrating issue for those that experience this type of ringing in the ears. Unfortunately, there is no cure, so do not trust promises or guarantees from strangers sending you emails about it. Instead, trust us at Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services to come up with a safe and viable solution for your tinnitus.

No Cure for Tinnitus

Lately, we’ve been seeing an influx of SPAM emails offering empty promises of a cure for tinnitus and we’ve been receiving calls asking about the validity of such email claims. If you have tinnitus, you already know that this is a ringing in the ears when there is actually no sound present. It can be very frustrating and since there is no cure, some people might resort to trying these supposed “cures” no matter how ridiculous sounding or dangerous they might be. We don’t want you to risk your hearing health or waste your money on these scams, which is why we are bringing this strange topic to your attention. If you have any questions about tinnitus treatment, don’t hesitate to call us right away.

You Are Not Alone

Tinnitus is actually a very common problem. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that more than 25 million Americans experience it. While there is no cure, most (about 90%) of people who have tinnitus also have hearing loss, according to the Hearing Health Foundation. Treating the hearing loss with hearing aids can help treat the tinnitus. There are some other treatment options for tinnitus that we offer as well. Call us to schedule an appointment and discuss your individual tinnitus treatment options.

Tinnitus Treatment Options

Just because there isn’t a cure for chronic tinnitus does not mean there aren’t treatment options available. Since tinnitus is a ringing in the ears, or sound that isn’t really there, our treatment options focus on supporting the brain as it tries to make sense of the sound. We use the following types of treatments for tinnitus:

  • Masking
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
  • Progressive tinnitus management therapy (PTM)
  • Sound generators
  • Sound stimulation

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Getting your hearing on track is our goal. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health!

Posted by Admin

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month: The Connection between Your Brain and Hearing

Hearing loss due to aging is a common condition that impacts many older adults. While you might think that the only side effect of hearing loss is not being able to hear well, that isn’t the case. Untreated hearing loss can cause issues with your social and emotional connections; but it can also cause a loss of brain function that studies show can increase your chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Since this month is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, we are shedding some light on the connection between your brain and hearing. You may not realize that your brain is what actually processes the sounds that you hear. In other words, it is actually your brain that hears, not your ears. Read on to find out about the latest studies and research being done to explore the connection between untreated hearing loss and the brain.

Untreated Hearing Loss

It is important to note that it is not the presence of hearing loss that causes Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is the taxing of the brain when hearing loss goes untreated that causes the problem. Research from John Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging shows that the longer you have untreated hearing loss, the greater the chance you have of your brain forgetting how to interpret sounds and speech. Researchers believe that the brain acts similar to how muscles do when you don’t use them and almost “loses the muscle memory”. This is what makes seeking treatment for your hearing loss of the utmost importance. Not only will you be able to hear and communicate better, but it keeps your brain functioning optimally.

The Connection between Untreated Hearing Loss and the Brain

As we mentioned already, it isn’t hearing loss that causes issues with the brain including dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, but the results of the brain trying to process sounds the ear can’t hear properly that taxes the brain. Researchers have been working on solving this puzzle for years and so far, they have several theories as to why:

  • Change in Brain Function: The stress of auditory processing when sounds cannot be heard or decoded might actually change the brain structure as a result of the strain.
  • Cognitive Load: This refers to how the brain has to work harder to try to process sounds and researchers believe the the rest of the cognitive functions suffer as a result and cannot work optimally.
  • Social Isolation: We already know that hearing loss can cause social isolation simply because of the communication issues; however, that social isolation over time can lead to mental health issues and that might be what causes loss of brain function.
  • Unknown Cause: Research is still ongoing and since so much is unknown about the human brain, researchers concede that the connection between hearing loss and the brain is yet to be discovered.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more, or have questions before your appointment, just let us know. Have you noticed a decline in your ability to hear as well as you used to? If so, contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Getting your hearing on track is our goal. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you!

Posted by Admin

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