#4: More Social Media Use
Social media has changed the world. One of its greatest assets is the ability to build communities and connectivity. People no longer have to feel out of place or insecure if they have medical conditions that in the past may have been difficult to talk about. Hearing loss is one of those issues that had been sensitive for individuals and their families to discuss. These days, that is less so.
As a result of this "social revolution" we are encouraging all of our followers and clients to take advantage of the power of social media to raise awareness about hearing health. Facebook and Twitter devotees are helping to make talking about hearing health easier and more socially acceptable. Knowledge about hearing aids, hearing health tests and new research studies is spreading through social networks, which makes a difference in people's lives.
"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," MJ DeSousa, our Director of Professional Practice, 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."
#3: More Effective Noise-Dampening Headphones
If you're going to splurge on one thing during Better Hearing and Speech Month, make it the purchase of a pair of noise-dampening headphones. The performance of these accessories has improved dramatically in recent years and is able to limit or even eliminate the potential damage of excessive noise.
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.
The best part about noise-dampening headphones is they are in fashion. With the increased sales of cellphones and MP3 players, personal headsets have become a necessary item for many households. Noise-dampening headphones protect your health while giving you the top-quality sound you want when you put a pair over your ears.
#2: Stronger Visual Aids
It's funny to think how devices that are made for the eyes can actually help the ears, too.
People with hearing damage have for centuries relied on their vision 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. These devices can be for entertainment purposes (Sony's Subtitle Glasses improve life for movie-goers with hearing loss) while the more practical and surreptitious kind help the wearer to understand what is being said to them.
Advancements in eyewear, including the much talked about Google Glass, figure to become an accoutrement that many Canadians use in the future to consume media as well as improve their quality of life.
#1: Conversation Helpers
The final entry in our series focuses on an intriguing subject: how technology helps to get conversations going.
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.
"The great news for those Canadians with hearing loss is there are tremendous aids and technological tops available to help. Once you take the necessary steps to maintain your hearing health and stay connected to the sounds you love, then technology can really play a role in ensuring hearing damage is not exacerbated," says MJ . "But the most important thing is taking action early."