Communication Tips for Daily Listening
Our comprehension of speech requires understanding by the brain.It is well known the brain slows down with age. These nine rules are essential to improving the processing of a complex sound, known as speech.
Wear hearing devices daily, even if home alone.
Becoming familiar with soft background sounds such as the refrigerator, AC, footsteps, and clothing will enable you to ignore those and other soft sounds once in public places.
Ask the person to SLOW DOWN, especially if not face to face or when the speaker is wearing a mask.
Restate the question or statement to be sure that it is understood correctly before answering.
Be assertive when in a restaurant by asking for a booth rather than a table. Ask to be seated away from a noisy bar, kitchen door, or other high traffic areas.
Sit in the middle of a large auditorium, church, or meeting room to avoid reverberation from a sound system for speech and music. Sit close enough to the front to see the speaker’s face.
Mute the TV when conversing on the phone at home. Use the speakerphone to hear with both ears if not able to utilize blue tooth connectivity.
Use Closed Captioning on the TV when struggling to understand accents or foreign films.
Ask a question with Who, How, When, and Why for clarification. Avoid saying Huh?
Helpful Tips Talking to Your Partner:
Get their attention with eye contact. Say their name, tap on their shoulder before speaking, and maintain eye contact. Do not walk or turn away.
Speak at a slower rate. Talk at the same speed as they walk. Pause and confirm understanding. Keep to a topic and let them know when the subject changes.
Tinnitus (ear noise) has been described as ringing, hissing, crickets, or even cicadas and can be constant, intermittent, transient (lasting just a few seconds). It is most often in both ears or the sensation of being in the middle of the head. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, even if the loss is very slight.
Tinnitus is typically from damage to microscopic nerve endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Most comment their tinnitus is worse at night. Tinnitus sounds are due to the absence of other sounds or noise from our body which masks the tinnitus during the day.
Tinnitus that is heard in only one ear (unilateral) along with hearing loss to only one ear, is not typical of normal progression due to age and may be the result of a more serious underlying cause.
An audiogram performed by an Audiologist can determine if the tinnitus is likely related to any hearing loss and whether there are other medical conditions that should be explored by your primary physicians, such as high blood pressure, thyroid problems, or an adverse reaction to current medication.
Sound is the most common treatment of tinnitus when hearing loss is minimal. The use of sound generators such as a fan, soft music, or the use of recordings of the ocean or rain forest, often provides a sound enriched environment for the brain to unconsciously ignore while at the same time, reduce awareness of the tinnitus.
Home therapeutic devices can be purchased relatively inexpensively that offer a wide range of sounds and the availability of volume control. Several free apps are now available for smartphones.
Hearing devices can be effective at reducing awareness of tinnitus when greater hearing loss is present.
Cognitive Based Therapy with or without the use of sound generators is recommended for more severe cases.
Excess use of stimulants such as coffee, tea, cola, and tobacco should be avoided. Practice good sleep hygiene.
Hearing Conservation Through Hearing Protection
Discover Audiology provides custom ear protection for musicians, hunters, and other sports enthusiasts.
Hearing protection is the most effective defense against hearing loss caused by hazardous occupational and recreational noise.
The cost of ear protection is priceless when considering noise exposure results in a permanent nerve type of hearing loss. Having your hearing tested periodically by an Audiologist will let you know how your ears respond to noise. An Audiologist will help you choose the best-suited ear protection from the noise for your occupation and recreational needs.
Decisions on the hearing protection device for protection and safety depend upon your duration and intensity of noise exposure. A person's hearing is at high risk for noise-induced hearing loss when they increase their exposure time with additional recreational noise exposure on the same day.
Noise-induced hearing loss is second to aging for causes of the same condition. The more you are around loud noises, the more you risk having hearing loss.
Occupational noise poses may challenges, Discover Audiology will guide you through a full range of solutions to help you improve your hearing conservation by recommending the right hearing protection.
Guides to Dangerous Decibel Exposure
How loud is too loud?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 permitted workers to be exposed to levels at or below 90 dB for 8 hours without hearing protection. Those working in noise louder than 90 decibels were required to wear hearing protection.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in 1998 revised the noise exposure threshold to 85 decibels (time weighted average). The World Health Organization has even a lower threshold for children, that being 70 decibels.
The duration of and intensity of sound are considered when making decisions about type of protection and degree of attenuation. The noise reduction rating (NRR) is a single-number, laboratory-derived rating that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires to be shown on the label of each hearing protector sold in the United States.
The cost of ear protection is priceless. A single event such as firing a weapon or being too close to a firecracker without hearing protection can cause a permanent nerve-type hearing loss. Tinnitus (ear noise) is also a common side effect of hazardous noise exposure.
Having your hearing tested periodically by an Audiologist will let you know how your ears respond to noise and what type of ear protection is best suited for your occupation and recreational needs.
A person is at high risk for noise-induced hearing loss when they increase their exposure time by adding other recreational noise exposure on the same day, such as mowing the lawn after getting off work from an industrial job. Noise-induced hearing loss is second to aging for causes of hearing loss.