Spring HearingMay is Better Hearing Month, which is the perfect time to raise awareness of the importance of having your hearing checked.

Hearing loss can lead to more than just missing out on conversations. It has also been linked to causing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, anxiety, and depression. A person’s balance can also be affected by hearing loss.

“Keeping a patient’s ability to hear helps to avoid these systems and prevent cognitive decline,” said Dr. Julie Ann Rikard of Physicians Hearing. “We hear with our brains so once a patient losses that comprehension, the rest of their life will be negatively impacted.”

Some common factors that can lead to hearing loss are being around tractors, gunfire, heavy equipment, and genetics. Dr. Rikard suggests having your hearing checked when you are 40 since hearing loss tends to occur as you age, but you should come in sooner if you experience symptoms of hearing loss before then.

Read more: Better Hearing for Better Hearing Month

Hearing Aid Essay ContestFor the last 17 years, Physicians Hearing Center has partnered with the Dothan Eagle for the annual hearing aid essay contest held during May, Better Hearing and Speech Month. To help promote hearing loss awareness, Physicians Hearing teamed up with the Dothan Eagle to give away a free set of hearing aids.

“Better Hearing month is important because we get to celebrate hearing health. We are having our annual hearing aid giveaway contest this month which is so exciting,” said Dr. Julie Ann Rikard of Physicians Hearing Center. “It’s fun to give hearing aids away and provide someone in need with better hearing for FREE! We can’t wait to give away these sets of hearing aids.”

The 2017 submissions are now being reviewed. To qualify, Wiregrass residents had to submit a short essay explaining the need for a set of hearing aids. Entrants must be available to come in for a free hearing test to determine the extent and the severity of hearing loss and need of the nominees.

Read more: 2017 Hearing Aid Essay Contest

Family HearingAs Easter approaches, this can be a great time for families to get together and visit one another. But for people with hearing loss, holidays can be a stressful time, even with hearing aids.

While everyone else is enjoying group conversations, people with hearing loss may be having a difficult time following conversations and hearing what everyone is saying.

If you are hosting a holiday get together this year, here are some tips for accommodating a loved one with hearing loss:

Read more: How to Accommodate Guests with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss and basketballRooting on your favorite basketball teams with friends and fellow sports devotees during March Madness is a fun time for many individuals. For most, this is a superb chance to view multiple games personally and submerge yourself in to the sports activities atmosphere of yelling and cheering during each match-up.

The downside is that all that loud noise can result in hearing reduction.

When people are exposed to noise levels of 80-90 decimals for eight hours or longer, serious damage can be done to one’s hearing. Most sports arenas regularly reach these sound levels throughout the span of a game, especially when supporters start to cheer loudly during a thrilling play.

Most basketball games don’t last for eight hours, but these sound levels can still do damage to your hearing. So when sports enthusiasts are fortunate to view multiple video games in a row (which is obviously a choice during March Madness), long lasting damage to your internal ear can start to occur.

Read more: March Madness and Hearing Loss

Musicians with TinnitusTinnitus is the medical term for an awareness of sound in the ears that’s not from an external source. In its mildest form, tinnitus is common after exposure to loud sound, like attending a noisy concert or shooting a gun. However, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 15% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic tinnitus. Around 5% of these sufferers find it affects their quality of life.

While there’s no cure for tinnitus, hearing aids are the most common way to manage tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus specialists also recommend avoiding silence. Why?
Increasing the level of background noise can help you stop focusing on tinnitus. Many people find playing low-level music from a radio or iPod is beneficial. In fact, research shows that some types of low-volume music can actually help us relax.

Read more: Three Celebrities with Tinnitus

Gift of Hearing

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air! It’s that time of the year where you show your significant other how much they mean to you by giving them gifts or planning a nice date. While these are all nice gestures, make sure to also focus on the day’s true meaning: reconnecting with your significant other.

If you or your partner has untreated hearing loss, the two of you may not be able to communicate like you did before. If hearing loss has weakened your emotional connection, carving out time to strengthen your communication skills is especially crucial.

Read more: Give the Gift of Hearing this Valentine’s Day!

Fotolia 178024211 Subscription Monthly XXLMore and more people have trouble hearing. With one in ten people in the United States having a hearing loss, there are young adults with hearing loss, from mild to profound. Young people are especially at risk, as they often use headphones at a loud volume. 

According to a 2011 study carried out by the New York City Department of Health, one in four young New York adults aged 18-44 reports hearing loss and hearing problems are found in 23% of people who use headphones at a high volume at least five days a week for four hours a day. 

These studies show that listening to music at high volumes for extended lengths of time can cause noise-induced hearing loss. It’s important to practice safe listening techniques at home, in the car, at concerts, or while listening to your MP3 player or smartphone accessories.

Read more: Hearing Loss and Young Adults

Holidays and Hearing LossThe holiday season is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. However, if you or someone you love suffers from hearing loss, the holidays can be difficult.   It’s often common for a loved one to feel self-conscious about their hearing loss or even deny their need for hearing aids. 
 
Sometimes people with hearing loss often forget just how important communication with others is and how their hearing health affects those around them. This raises the question, what is the best way to approach your family members hearing loss without offending them?

Read more: Holidays and Hearing Loss

Fotolia 38870563 Subscription Monthly XLSome might perceive hearing loss as a normal part of the aging process, but recent findings suggest that hearing plays a more important role in brain health than previously thought.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing problems are a national epidemic, affecting more than 48 million people nationwide. More alarmingly, a recent study has linked hearing loss to an increased risk of cognitive problems, like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Two-thirds of Americans in their 70s have hearing loss, and their risk for cognitive decline only escalates as their hearing becomes worse.

Read more: Hearing Aids Might Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline

Brain Hearing- resizeAll summer, Physicians Hearing Center in Dothan, AL, has offered the latest in hearing aid technology, the Oticon Opn. Our patients love their Oticon hearing aid devices for a wide variety of reasons.

Oticon’s “BrainSmart” technology considers the way wearers process sound, which mainly occurs in the brain. The Opn hearing aid reduces listening effort by 20%, improves retention by 20% and boosts speech understanding by 30% – even in challenging listening environments.

It’s also the first Internet-connected hearing aid on the market. The “If This Then That” (ITTT) network enables wearers to connect the Oticon Opn to the Internet, iPhone and Android phones and other Internet-connected devices. 

Read more: Stay Connected with the Oticon Opn Hearing Aid

With the breeze freshening and the leaves falling, it’s that time of year again to remind those who enjoy shooting sports to cover their ears. This particularly applies to individuals with existing hearing loss and hearing aid wearers who need to preserve the healthy hearing they have left.

Dove season in mid-September marks the beginning of the hunting year for most recreational shooters in the South, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reminding us to stay safe in the field.

In fact, small game like birds have some safety challenges that the other big hunting seasons don't, like deer and turkey.

"There will be a lot of hunters in one place," says AL Hunting Education Coordinator Marisa Futral. "The birds come in fast and there are usually a lot of people shooting at the same time. This can increase the chance for mishaps, including hearing loss risks."

Read more: Protect Your Hearing During Hunting Season this Fall

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