Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the US, affecting about 48 million people, including one in three older Americans (age 65+) and 50% of Americans older than 75. Age is not the only defining factor, as cases of hearing loss have also been reported in younger people as well – due to an increased use of earbuds and personal electronic devices.
There are many signs of hearing loss, but the only accurate way to identify your hearing ability is taking a hearing exam. Hearing specialists recommend seeking consultation and treatment for hearing loss as soon as you begin to notice the early signs of hearing loss. Seeking treatment for hearing loss comes with many benefits, from ensuring your overall health and well-being to keeping you connected to your loved ones.
Whether you are new to hearing aids or you are considering seeking treatment for your hearing loss, here are some handy tips to help you hear better.
Position Your Back Against a Wall
Have you noticed that it is more difficult to hear in restaurants and public spaces? In recent years, interior design has leaned toward an industrial and minimalist aesthetic, making spaces acoustically unfriendly for people who experience difficulty hearing.
The next time you’re at a restaurant, sit with your back to a wall. Or better yet – ask for a booth! By positioning yourself this way, you will eliminate the background noise coming from behind you that would otherwise distract conversation. The same goes for public spaces that are challenging, such as lobbies or high-ceilinged hallways. When conversing, position yourself with your back toward a wall so that you can hear better.
Have Conversations Face to Face
In this digital age, it is easy to forget that face to face conversations, in person, are the most effective. People who are hard of hearing experience difficulty on the telephone, or even if you’re trying to talk from different rooms in the house. If possible, if you’re connecting over long distances, set up a video chat, because the visual information helps the auditory process. Having face to face conversations provides us with visual cues from facial expressions and lip movements that help us understand what is being said.
Use Your Right Ear for Speech and Your Left Ear for Music
Researchers have found that the right ear processes verbal information better, as it is linked to the brain’s left hemisphere. The left ear, on the other hand, is linked to the right hemisphere of the brain, which is better at processing music. Depending on the situation and sound stimulus you find yourself experiencing, simple re-positioning may help your hearing.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Your smartphone holds a treasure trove of excellent apps that help to improve your hearing. There are apps that use your phone’s microphone to amplify sounds that you want to hear, by simply placing them near the sound source. Additionally, there are apps that allow you to amplify sounds from your TV and other media through Bluetooth.
There are also close captioned services for telephone conversations, which transcribe in real time the conversation you are having. Reading the transcript while also speaking and listening may improve your understanding of the conversation.
Communicate Upfront with Others
Communication is key – especially when it comes to hearing loss. When you’re meeting someone new or sitting down to a conversation, it may be helpful to be upfront about your hearing needs. Though speech recognition proves difficult for people with hearing loss, there are things your companions and family members may do to help you hear better in conversation. For example, they may slow down their speech or enunciate, or say your name before they begin speaking to you, so that you are aware they are addressing you.
Visit Us at Hearing Health Care Center
Hearing loss is a gradual condition that often develops over a long period of time. As a result, people may develop ways to accommodate diminishing hearing abilities. For people over the age of 50, it is recommended to schedule an annual hearing test. If you have experienced changes in your hearing abilities, it is important to schedule a hearing test.
Treating hearing loss brings many benefits to your cognitive ability, safety and security, and overall emotional well-being. To get started, contact us at Hearing Health Care Center. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings.