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When You are Hearing Impaired, More than Your Hearing is Affected

Many people see hearing loss as an inevitable part of ageing. They are unaware of the  impact that an untreated hearing loss can have to their quality of life. To raise awareness of this and to encourage more people to seek professional advice, we’re going to highlight how hearing loss can affect more than just your ability to hear.

Quality of Life

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person experiencing it. Relationships with friends, family and coworkers can all become strained. This can lead to social isolation, anxiety, low self esteem, frustration, embarrassment and depression.

A 2017 study by NIDCD found that more than 11% of people with hearing loss also suffered from depression. This could potentially be down to how hearing loss affects both loneliness, lack of confidence and the way motor skills and productivity work.

Health

A JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery study used data from 200,000 people 50+ who had untreated hearing loss for 2 years and showed how likely they were to experience other health problems. They found the longer hearing loss was left untreated the higher the risks.  Here are some other recent study findings that highlight the health implications.

  • Lifespan – JAMA otolaryngology-Head and neck surgery online edition, (Sept 24, 2015) suggested that adults with untreated hearing loss may have a shorter lifespan.
  • Injuries – A Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and National Institute on ageing  study found that even mild hearing loss can triple your fall risk, increasing 1.4 times for every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss. Professor Neil Bhattacharyaat of Harvard Medical School says there is a strong connection with leisure activities and workplace injuries “If you can’t hear well, you lose that crucial warning system that would signal to you that a car or truck is driving up behind you while you’re biking, for example.” “hearing has a tremendous protective role,”
  • Cognitive Decline – The same team John Hopkins team also found that untreated hearing loss speeds up age-related cognitive decline by as much as 30-40%. A possible explanation being that the brain may be expending too much energy processing sound at the expense of memory and thinking.
  • Dementia – John Hopkins also showed that adults with mild untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to develop Dementia and those with severe hearing loss are 5 times as likely.

Advice

  • If you are concerned about your hearing, speak to a hearing care specialist ASAP.
  • Follow a healthy diet and regular exercise plan.
  • Stay social and speak about your difficulties with those close to you.
  • Stay alert and aware of surroundings.
  • Use your hearing aid / devices to enrich your life.

Your hearing is vital to both your health and happiness and those close to you. Assessments are quick, pain free and our caring professionals will talk you through your options. It takes the average person 7 years to seek treatment. Why not get ahead of the crowd and take action today call us on (631) 993-4719 or click here to book a complimentary hearing assessment.

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Dating Tips for People with Hearing Loss

Dating can be difficult under most circumstances. The choice of what to wear, where to go, what to do can all be overwhelming. But what if you have a hearing loss to further complicate things?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together some dating tips for people with hearing loss.

Choose The Right Location

This is probably one of the more important decisions that can influence how successful your date is. Look for locations that are well-lit, with good acoustics and quieter such as cafes, coffee shops or restaurants. Not only will this help with lip reading, it will encourage conversation between you and your date! Don’t be shy to scope out locations in advance, and proactively suggest the venue. If you do go somewhere noisy like the movie theatre look out for hearing loops, use personal amplification devices or adjust hearing aid settings.

Arrive Early

Once you’ve agreed upon a location and time for your date, aim to arrive early. This is especially important if your date is in a bar or restaurant. Look for a quieter area, away from the noisy kitchen or larger tables.

Be Creative

Get creative with your date ideas. It’s often the unexpected dates that are the most romantic. Why not consider a picnic in the park, an intimate dinner for two or even a hike. Not only will the environment be quieter, the date will likely be more memorable.

How Soon Should You Mention Your Hearing Loss?

Understandably, you may be reluctant to mention your hearing loss too soon. It’s very much a personal decision. In today’s age of online dating, some people choose to disclose their hearing loss on their dating profile. Being upfront ensures your date is aware of your hearing loss from the get-go. Being honest will help you to relax and engage better. The alternative is potential awkwardness: guessing incorrectly or them feeling like you aren’t listening.

Find The Best Way To Communicate

In any good relationship, communication and connection should be mutual. Spend time finding the best way for you to communicate together. Work with your hearing ability rather than being limited by your impairments. For example, suggest a video call rather than a phone call.

Your hearing loss doesn’t have to interfere with your dating life. If you’d like to discuss further, why not book in an appointment with the hearing care professionals at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing? We are dedicated to your hearing health and helping you to live with hearing loss! To arrange a check up call today on (631) 993-4719 or click here to schedule a free hearing assessment.

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Tips for Eating at Restaurants When You Have Hearing Loss

Dining out at your favorite restaurant and not having to cook a meal can be a very enjoyable experience. However, it can be daunting if you have trouble hearing. Don’t worry, we have tips for eating at restaurants when you have hearing loss. We will help you enjoy your meal out and make the most out of your time visiting with friends and family.

How Popular is Restaurant Dining?

From fast food to diners, to bistros, grills, and the like, there are plenty of restaurants and everyone has their favorite. Americans do eat out quite a bit. In fact, a Gallup poll in 2016 reported 61% of those surveyed at out at least once in the past week. This year, a Zagat survey reported that the number one complaint from diners (24%) was noise. So, if you have trouble hearing when you eat out, you are definitely not alone and should not be the least bit worried about asking for accommodations. You deserve to enjoy your meal and your time away from your kitchen. Here are 7 tips for eating at restaurants when you have hearing loss.

  1. Make reservations or call ahead. Even if a restaurant doesn’t take reservations, you can always call ahead and make a request. Let the host or hostess know when you are coming in and how large your party is. Explain you have hearing loss and it would really mean so much to you if they could help you with seating. Request a low traffic area away from the speakers, kitchen, and air conditioner. If possible, this area should be well lit.
  2. Ask to turn down the music. You probably want to choose a restaurant that doesn’t play loud music. However, even soft music can interfere with your hearing. Don’t be afraid to ask them to turn the music down. The restaurant may not be able to be that accommodating, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Remember whenever asking to be polite and understanding.
  3. Choose a booth over a table. Booths are more intimate and usually aren’t centrally located like tables are. Plus, booths often have high backs that will defer noise away from you. Unless your host or hostess recommends otherwise, choose a booth.
  4. Sit in the middle of your table. Especially if you have a big party you are dining with, try to sit in the middle rather than at the end. You have a better chance of hearing more people if you are at the center of the action.
  5. Request written specials. At many restaurants, the server will come over and announce the specials. You can ask the server, or even ask ahead of time for a written list of specials. This will eliminate asking the server to repeat his or herself over and over. Let’s face it, most people can’t hear what the server says when they come over and rattle off a memorized list of new dishes they just learned about.
  6. Avoid the crowds. Most restaurants are busy during the peak hours for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you can work around those times, you will have a less crowded, and therefore less noisy restaurant which can boost your dining experience in more ways than one.
  7. Adjust your hearing aids. If you are wearing hearing aids, make sure to adjust them for the environment. Opt to sit with your back to the noisiest part of the room. Your directional microphones are designed to pick up noise in front of you, so your hearing aids won’t amplify the noise coming from behind you.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more about hearing loss evaluations and treatments, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer any questions you have for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and helping you to live with hearing loss! We have two convenient hearing center locations on Long Island: one in Sayville,NY and the second in Smithtown,NY.

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Ten signs of hearing loss you can’t afford to miss

If you had hearing loss, would you know it? Not necessarily. Hearing loss often starts subtly and symptoms can take decades to manifest themselves as it progresses slowly over time. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), can shift so gradually that you may not realize how much you are missing. In fact, as hearing worsens, you may subconsciously adjust everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties. In time, you might not notice how gradually hearing loss has diminished your ability to live your life to its fullest. Luckily, you can do things to improve this situation and re-engage with loved ones.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss is key to success

There are many signs of hearing loss. It starts with everyday annoyances. Some are blatant, others are subtle. If you or a loved one are showing these signs, we encourage you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment.*

  1. “People are mumbling” – This could indicate hearing loss.

    You may notice that certain words are difficult to understand. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” all the time. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

  2. Are restaurants too loud?

    Restaurants are among the hardest places to navigate for people with untreated hearing loss. Background noises, such as clinking dishes, people speaking loudly at other tables and loud music all make it exceptionally challenging to follow a conversation.

  3. Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore

    People talking passionately, music, laughter and other competing sounds can make it harder to take part in get-togethers with family and friends. Perhaps you find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early. There is good news. You don’t have to. The professionals at Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services can help you with ways to cope with hearing loss so you can enjoy the holidays with this simple guide to enjoying social events with hearing loss.

  4. Conversations take too much effort

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, or a end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your wellness.

  5. Telephone conversations are a struggle

    Telephone, and especially cell phone, transmission is not perfect. Most people can fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to take in the information. This may lead you to avoid phone calls and resort to texting.

  6. Hearing loss affects you and your loved ones

    Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.

  7. High volume is a sign of hearing loss

    Even if you think the volume is fine, if your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you watch television or listen to music, you may be experiencing a well-known sign of hearing loss. Are you tired of the constant battle to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that makes everyone happy? It might be worth it to check your hearing, if only to make your family happy.

  8. Are your ears ringing?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus impacts people of all ages, and may be attributed to trauma, exposure to loud noise or illness. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 56% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.[i]

  9. You are out of balance – loss of balance is a sign of hearing loss

    Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityii found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.

  10. You are opting out of engaging with people

Is hearing loss putting you in solitary confinement? Have you noticed that you are embarrassed to meet new people? Perhaps you are afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. Perhaps you withdraw if it is easier to live without straining to hear people.

Other signs of hearing loss – You are not yourself

Have you felt depressed, distracted or unengaged? Hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression and other brain-related ailments, including stroke.

Take the first step to better hearing

Perhaps you’ve avoided getting treatment because you are afraid of the stigma that some people associate with hearing aids. That’s old-school thinking. Besides, today’s hearing aids are minicomputers that subtly fit your ears – and your lifestyle.

To get started, we encourage you to come in for a professional hearing assessment. Book an appointment to speak with a professional about addressing your hearing loss.*

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