Top 10 Hearing Health Improvements
Connect Hearing celebrates Better Hearing Month in May with a look at technological and educational advancements
For Immediate Release
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (May 1, 2013) — As North America begins a celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month, Connect Hearing decided this was an ideal time to look at the breakthroughs occurring to improve hearing health. An often-overlooked aspect of human health, our ears are receiving more and more attention as awareness builds around providing solutions to prevent and treat hearing damage.
Here is Connect Hearing's list of the Top 10 Hearing Health Improvements we can take advantage of in 2013:
1. Improved Hearing Aid Aesthetics
No longer cumbersome devices, hearing aids are stylish accessories that look similar to commonplace earbuds used for mp3 players and as fashionable as popular earring styles. "We have come a long way with hearing aids, both in terms of aesthetics and performance," notes Connect Hearing Director of Professional Practice MJ DeSousa.
2. More Manageable Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are lightweight, easy to clean and maintain, and some can go several months without needing a battery change. "There are hearing aids that can be implanted by a hearing-health practitioner that not only allow users to improve the quality of their life, but ensure they stay connected to the sounds they love for the entirety of their life," DeSousa says. One of the latest hearing devices that boost performance and minimize discomfort is the Moxi Kiss. Developed by Unitron, the hearing aid is placed within the ear canal and delivers high-fidelity natural sound through an organic and flexible design.
3. Better Assistive Listening Devices
An assistive listening device (ALD) helps users lessen or remove painful ambient noise, such as construction sounds, while allowing desirable sounds to come in. High-tech ALDs such as The Decibel by Priestman Goode are portable devices that can block out commuter traffic and other noise without forcing you to turn up the volume on your mp3 players or laptop computers.
4. Better Hearing Health Research
Clinical studies from across the planet are helping to shed a light on hearing health and the risk we face, especially in urban areas. "We are learning so much more about what urbanization is doing to our ears," DeSousa says. "In the developing world, the rise in hearing damage is astonishing as more and more cities are built, while in Canada we are seeing more young Canadians dealing with hearing damage. The research on this issue is crucial to treating the problem."
5. More Educational Tools
While Better Hearing & Speech Month shines a spotlight on this medical issue for 31 days each year, there is a growing number of educators and institutions that make it a 12-month goal to help stop hearing loss. The Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASPL) has numerous features and personal stories on its website that help to educate young people about conditions such as tinnitus, characterized as a persistent ringing in the ears. CASPL also has a site devoted entirely to Better Hearing & Speech Month (http://maymonth.ca/en).
6. More Access to Hearing Tests
Connect Hearing has 112 clinics across Canada and there has been an increase in Canadians seeking complimentary hearing tests. Some of these clinics have improved access to hearing tests through remote visits by hearing-health practitioners and more advanced audiology tools that can better pinpoint hearing loss.
7. More Social Media Use
Facebook and Twitter users are helping to spread awareness of hearing loss and also to make talking about the condition more socially acceptable. "Noise-induced hearing loss has traditionally been a difficult topic to bring up because too often people see it as a sign of aging rather than a medical issue that faces millions, some of them in their 20s. Now, with social media, people can discuss and research hearing loss with peers and individuals from around the world," DeSousa says. "For many people with hearing damage, it is a relief to know they are not alone, and, in fact, share a condition with millions of others."
8. More Effective Noise-Dampening Headphones
From makes by popular manufacturers such as Bose and Sennheiser to fashion-plate models by the likes of Hulger, noise-dampening headphones are a big item with music fans and people who consume their media while on the go. As their performance improves, they also do their part to improve hearing health.
9. Stronger Visual Aids
People with hearing damage have for centuries relied on their eyes to help them contend with their condition. New eyeglasses manage to turn speech into words that are displayed within a transparent screen visible only to the eyeglass wearer.
10. Conversation Helpers
Devices such as "Table Talk," which is an innovative selection of bar furniture that includes a microphone system set up around a table, use T-loop technology and allow anyone — no matter if they are dealing with hearing loss or not — to reduce stress on the ears. Such technological advancements not only make it easier to block out unwanted noise, they help to reduce hearing loss too.
For more information about Connect Hearing and to learn about its complimentary hearing tests across Canada, visit www.connecthearing.ca.
Deb Morse, Elevation PR