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Celebrating 35 years of Caring for Your Hearing

Meredy Hase tests a child, 1987  Kupperman and Hase work to license audiologists in Wisconsin, 1989

 

Hearing Loss UNDER Age 65

We used to think of hearing loss as something that only happened to our grandparents' generation. But you'd be surprised at how many people your age, and even younger, have a hearing problem.
According to a study recently published by the Better Hearing Institute, two-thirds of Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 65 and still in the work force. That includes one of every six "Baby Boomers" (ages 41 to 59) and one of every 14 "Generation X'ers" (age 29-40).

According to Meredy Hase, Doctor of Audiology, "Hearing loss is by no means an 'old person's disease' any longer. Each day, we see people of all ages come into our offices concerned they may have a hearing problem.

"There's even solid evidence to support the fact that for working Americans, hearing loss impacts their ability to make a living, up to $12,000 in lost income per year." (See related article)
Dr. Hase urges anyone who thinks they, or a loved one, may have a hearing loss to contact The Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Services without delay.

Auditory Deprivation

Auditory Deprivation refers to the fact that even though we "hear" with our ears, it's our brain that's the true organ of hearing.

When hearing loss is left untreated, the brain's ability to distinguish various sounds becomes less and less. Try to think of Auditory Deprivation as similar, in a sense, to muscles that atrophy when not used over a long period of time.

The reason Auditory Deprivation is important is that we have ample evidence proving how long people will wait before seeking help for a suspected hearing loss. Up to ten years, by some estimates.

In other words, the longer you wait to get help for your hearing loss, the less even the most advanced hearing instruments will be able to help you hear better. That's one more reason physicians recommend annual hearing checks as part of an overall health assessment.
The Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Services can perform hearing screenings that take only a few minutes. Concerned individuals are urged to contact them at the first signs of hearing loss, such as an inability to understand conversations in a crowded room or having to turn up the TV volume in order to hear.

Hearing & Income Loss

After years of research, there is new evidence that links hearing loss and loss of income. A study released by the Better Hearing Institute in Alexandria, VA, proves that untreated hearing loss may impact household income by as much as $12,000 per year.

The study also shows that hearing loss, which affects more than 28 million Americans, two thirds of whom are still in the work force, results in an annual loss of more than $100 billion in wages and worker productivity. The good news is people who find help for their hearing loss can regain up to 50% of that lost income.

According to Meredy Hase, Doctor of Audiology, "One of the misconceptions about hearing loss is that it's 'an old person's ailment'. But we know that hearing loss crosses all income lines and impacts people of all ages".

The new "Open Ear" Digital hearing instruments are especially designed to help Baby Boomers feel more comfortable about wearing hearing instruments.

Anyone interested in receiving a FREE Demonstration of Open Fit hearing technology are urged to contact the Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Services.

Hearing Loss & the Family

For years, both researchers and hearing healthcare professionals have known much about the causes of hearing loss and how it affects the person who suffers from it.

But not until recently has attention been paid as to the devastating effects hearing loss has on family members and friends as well. This past year alone, several organizations have weighed in with their findings on this often overlooked medical problem that by current estimates, affects the lives and families of more than 30 million Americans.

For example, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a government agency whose task it is to research the lives of older Americans, released a study that confirms how often a person with hearing loss begins to feel isolated, eventually withdrawing from normal everyday activities and even from family and friends.

None of this is news, however, to Dr. Meredy Hase,  who says, "I realized just how much hearing loss also affected family members when we''d spend so much time counseling them when we''d fit their loved one with hearing instruments".

The benefits of better hearing were the subject of an NBC report that aired on an installment of the NBC Nightly News. In that report, the testimonials of several patients and their families provided evidence of how lives can be changed for the good, once the decision has been made to seek help for a hearing problem.

Those interviewed talked about how experiences such as watching TV or enjoying conversations with loved ones - things that were not possible with hearing loss - were once again part of the everyday enjoyment of life. Social activities like dining at restaurants of going to the movies were also among the range of family life experienced through better hearing.

Thanks to recent advances in technology more help is available than ever before for those whose lives are affected by hearing loss. If left untreated, hearing loss will almost always become worse over time, another reason Dr. Hase urges people to contact the Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Services if a hearing loss is thought to exist.

More Hearing Healthcare News
 

Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, and other noises in the ear in different volumes. To some, during the day, these sounds aren’t as noticeable, but by nighttime when you should be sleeping, you are left awake by these sounds – it’s enough to drive you mad.

Some of us experience tinnitus temporarily after being exposed to loud noises, such as being at a concert, while others live with this constant noise in the ears.

Nearly 25–30 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, and one in four patients would say the noise they hear is loud – so loud it can keep you tossing and turning at night.

There are several speculated causes for tinnitus including hearing loss; exposure to loud noise; ear disease; ear and sinus infections; ear, neck, and head injuries; TMJ disorders; earwax buildup; hormonal imbalances; cardiovascular disease; thyroid disorders; and the use of certain medications.

Tinnitus can make it difficult to fall asleep, prevent you from sleeping for a long period of time, lead to poor quality of sleep, and leave you feeling fatigued in the morning.

The relationship between poor sleep and tinnitus is cyclical – one feeds into the other. This can lead to additional issues including depression and anxiety and physical pain.

Tips to Improve Tinnitus and Improve Sleep

Avoid a too-quiet room: Ringing in the ears is much more noticeable when a room is quiet. Using an app or device to create sleep-friendly sounds may help drown out the ringing.

Meditation and mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness are important to help reduce stress. Studies have shown meditation to be a beneficial tool in better managing tinnitus, as it makes you focus on your breathing rather than the noise in your ears.

Other relaxation techniques: Tinnitus can provoke anxiety, so it’s important that you utilize techniques to help promote relaxation. Some other techniques include deep breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, guided imagery, aromatherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Limit use of earplugs: Earplugs, although they can protect your ears, can reduce the ability to hear external sounds and make tinnitus appear worse. Furthermore, frequent earplug use can lead to wax buildup and impaction, which can further worsen tinnitus.

Don’t ignore ear pain: Ear pain in combination with tinnitus could be a sign of another cause for tinnitus that, if left untreated, could worsen your symptoms. Always speak to your doctor about these types of symptoms.

Seek treatment for hearing problems: If you begin experiencing difficulties hearing, then speak to your doctor, as there could be an underlying medical condition that is triggering this. Underlying medical issues could also be contributing to your poor sleep.

Don’t try to “tough it out” when it comes to poor sleep linked with tinnitus. Speak to your doctor to discover how you can resolve the ringing in the ears and get a good night’s sleep.