Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression, Social Isolation in Seniors

July 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

American Academy of Audiology
Originally published in Audiology Today, Vol. 11:4, 1999.
Article Source

Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons, according to a major new study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA). The study was conducted by the Seniors Research Group, an alliance between NCOA and Market Strategies, Inc. 

“This study debunks the myth that untreated hearing loss in older persons is a harmless condition,” said James Firman, EdD, president and CEO of The National Council on the Aging. The survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults age 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids. 

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States, affecting more than nine million Americans over the age of 65 and 10 million Americans age 45 to 64. But about three out of five older Americans with hearing loss and six out of seven middle-aged Americans with hearing loss do not use hearing aids.

Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss

The survey found that significantly more of the seniors with untreated hearing loss (those who do not wear hearing aids) reported feelings of sadness or depression that lasted two or more weeks during the previous years. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 30 percent of non-users of hearing aids reported these sad feelings, com-pared to 22 percent of hearing aid users. 

Another measure of emotional distress is the perception that “other people get angry at me for no reason,” which psychologists often identify as an indicator of paranoia. 

Older non-users were more likely to agree with the statement “people get angry with me usually for no reason” (14 percent of users vs. 23 percent of non-users). Among those with more severe hearing loss, the difference was even greater—14 percent for users vs. 36 percent for non-users. 

Because social isolation is a serious problem for some older people, the study also examined social behavior and found that people who don’t use hearing aids are considerably less likely to participate in social activities. Among respondents with more severe hearing loss, 42 percent of hearing aid users participate regularly in social activities com- pared to just 32 percent of non-users. –

Read more . . .

St. Peters, Missouri – Field of dreams for deaf players

July 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

KSDK.com
by Mike Bush

ST. PETERS, Mo. - It’s the time of year when the sounds of summer can be heard all over the country but not by the kids on these baseball fields in St. Peters, Missouri. This is the Mike Bush Fantasy Baseball Camp for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“We play baseball but it’s so much more than baseball,” explained Camp Director Cari Hampton.

Nine-year-old Harrison Beck is in his third year here.

“I’ve been hitting and catching. Practicing all my baseball skills,” he said by sign language.

Harrison discovered a love for sports when he was just a toddler about the same time doctors discovered that he was deaf. His dad says, the diagnosis was actually a blessing.

“Before we just knew we had a kid that wasn’t talking then we knew we had a deaf child,” said Dan Beck, Harrison’s dad.

Still, like most children his dad says he just wanted to fit in.

“It’s hard for a kid who can’t hear and talk like every other kid to join in a team sport,” he said.

That’s why, 25 years ago, this camp was started. For a week every summer, some 60 kids who often get singled out because of their disability get to standout because of their ability.

“I want them to feel, feel like they’re special and they’re important and they’re just as important as everyone else,” explained Hampton.

Read more . . .

Advocates for deaf, blind pressure Apple for more-accessible apps

July 17, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Reuters
By 
Christina Farr
Monday July 14, 2014
Article Source

SAN FRANCISCO — Advocates for the blind are debating whether to use a carrot or a stick to persuade one of their oldest allies, Apple Inc, to close an emerging digital divide in mobile technology.

As digital life increasingly moves to the world of smartphones and tablets, some disabled people with visual, hearing and other impairments are feeling more left out than ever.

As baby boomers retire and age, the number of people needing help is multiplying. Many advocates for the disabled believe federal law requires that apps be accessible, but courts have not ruled on the issue. Few disabled want to risk alienating Apple, considered a friend, by fighting it.

Mobile apps that work well can transform a blind person’s life, reading email on the go or speaking directions to a new restaurant. Some young blind people no longer feel the need to learn Braille to read with their fingers, when Siri and other computer voices can do the reading instead. Captions on videos and special hearing aids bring hearing impaired into the digital fold.

But when apps don’t work, life can grind to a stop. Jonathan Lyens, a San Francisco city employee who is legally blind, has a hard time browsing for jobs on professional networking site LinkedIn.

“The app is insane. Buttons aren’t labeled. It’s difficult to navigate,” Lyens said. When it comes to social-media apps, new problems arise with every release, he said. “I get nervous every time I hit the update button.”

Read more . . .

Silver Spring player is deaf pitcher, MLB prospect

July 15, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Gazette.net
By Eric Goldwein Staff Writer
Article Source

Gallaudet senior leads Thunderbolts staff with 1.27 ERA and three wins

Since his youth baseball days, Brandon Holsworth has always had help on the diamond.

This summer, as the ace of the Silver Spring Spring-Takoma Park Thunderbolts, he’s showing he might not need it.

Holsworth, a deaf pitcher from Gallaudet University, is dominating his competition in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. The 6-foot-4, towering right-hander has a team-best three wins and 1.27 earned-run average, leading the Silver Spring pitching staff despite playing without college teammate and interpreter Danny O’Donnell for part of the summer.

“They say 87 percent of communication is not verbal, so we find ways around it, but he has such an outgoing and enthusiastic personality that it’s fun to catch him,” catcher Robert Lucido, Jr. said.

Holsworth, a rising senior at Gallaudet, is hoping his performance in the competitive college wood bat league can help him earn a spot in the Major League Baseball draft.

“I’m really doing everything I can to be the best I can during this season because this is the one opportunity before I go into my senior year,” Holsworth said through O’Donnell. “I don’t know if I’ll have another opportunity to face competition like this.”

Holsworth, who was born deaf, grew up playing baseball and basketball. Communication has been his biggest barrier athletically, his father Chris Holsworth said, but with assistance and support from family and teammates the talented right-hander has dealt with the challenges. In little league, his father would be in the dugout to help him communicate with teammates. In high school, he had a state-hired interpreter, as was required by law in Michigan. In college, he found a fit at Gallaudet, where his teammates and coach — former Major League Baseball player Curtis Pride — are fluent in American Sign Language.

Holsworth learned about the Thunderbolts through O’Donnell, a fully hearing teammate at Gallaudet last season, whose parents are deaf. O’Donnell, a pitcher, has acted as an interpreter for Holsworth during his meetings at the mound.

Read more  . . .

Read John Barrowman’s Deaf for the Day blog

July 15, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
July8, 2014 by Sarah O’Brien
Article Source

Hi, I’m John Barrowman and I went Deaf for the Day for Hearing Dogs.
I hope you enjoy reading my diary from the day.

 

10.00 Sudden hearing loss

I arrived at Specsavers Hearing Centre in Edgware Road to meet the audiologist who would be making me deaf for the day – Mark

John getting the gel ear moulds inserted

John getting the gel ear moulds inserted

Edgar. I wasn’t feeling particularly nervous as I imagined it would be a fairly straightforward day. Nothing could have prepared me for just how challenging going deaf would be.

The ITV Good Morning Britain film crew began filming my experience as Mark inserted special gel moulds into my ears which gave me around 60% hearing loss. I could feel the difference immediately. It’s really hard to explain how a sudden hearing loss affects you, but I could no longer hear what Mark was saying to me. Straight away, I was lip reading everything he said.

10.30 Conversations

I was concentrating so hard on lip-reading one person at a time, that if someone else started speaking I just couldn’t keep up. A member of the film crew was standing beside me and apparently he asked me a question, I didn’t even register a sound. It soon dawned upon me that this experience was going to be much tougher than I had anticipated.

11.00 The silent streets of London

As I left Specsavers, I walked along Edgware Road and suddenly the world was closing in around me. I could no longer hear the sound of busy London traffic, the footsteps walking behind me, the buzz of conversation around me. I felt anxious crossing the road. All the sounds I take for granted had gone. I had entered into a world of silence.

Next, I hailed a cab to take me to my manager’s office. As I got out the taxi driver said something to me and I couldn’t hear what he said. It was too late to ask as he drove away. It’s strange the things you miss when one of your senses is taken away – like the tail end of a conversation. I wonder what he said to me…

11.30 Business as usual?

John and his manager Gavin try to communicate

John and his manager Gavin try to communicate

It was really difficult trying to have a conversation with Gavin as I had to concentrate intensely on watching his lips. Gavin kept telling me that my phone was ringing, I felt like I’d lost control.Next stop – a meeting at my manager Gavin’s office in central London. Gavin and the team knew I was going deaf for the day, and were intrigued to find out how it would affect me. I had to ring the intercom five times as I couldn’t hear a response. The first thing the team noticed was that I had been speaking really loudly. I was completely unaware of the volume of my own voice as I couldn’t hear it.

It was already so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I was tired. In fact, I was exhausted! Is this how deaf people feel every day?

12.30 Tired, frustrated and withdrawn

I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated as the day went on,  . . . .

Read more  and See Video. . .

 

World Cup fanatics report hearing woes

July 15, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Taiwan News

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer
Article Source

Since the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals began, there has been a 20 percent increase in people developing symptoms of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) or sudden deafness, from staying up late to watch the matches, a local newspaper reported.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily on Monday reported a case in which a 28-year-old woman had stayed up almost every night for two weeks to watch World Cup games. Despite developing a cold, the woman was not deterred from staying up to watch another game.

The report quoted the woman as saying: “The ceiling swam and I even fell down a couple of times” after watching the game, but she ignored the symptoms and returned home to sleep before work.

The woman overslept and decided to call in sick. However, upon calling her company to request a sick day, she realized that she could hear nothing in her left ear and went to see a doctor, the report said.

The paper quoted Ministry of Health and Welfare Taoyuan General Hospital’s Division of Otolaryngology doctor Chen Ching-chung (陳景中) as saying that the woman’s lack of sleep — she had averaged about five hours per day over two weeks — had greatly lowered her resistance to viral infections.

The temperature difference between air-conditioned buildings and the summer weather outside had caused her to catch a cold, which also affected the vestibular nerve in her inner ear, the report said.

The sudden sensorineural hearing loss made the woman feel dizzy, the newspaper said.

She was lucky to have sought medical help early and would recover her hearing with the help of medication, the paper said.

The report quoted Chen as saying that the number of people reporting similar problems had increased by at least 20 percent since the World Cup entered the quarter-final stage.

Read more  . . .

Restaurant for the deaf and hearing impaired opens in Toronto

July 15, 2014 in Community News, Employment, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

AFP Relax – Wed, Jul 9, 2014
Article Source

Toronto has become the latest international city to adopt a growing restaurant trend that aims to raise awareness of the hearing-impaired by hiring deaf servers.

After San Francisco, San Antonio, Paris and the Gaza Strip, the largest city in Canada will be home to Signs Restaurant in the heart of the downtown core, where customers will have to place their order using sign language.

For customers who are sign language illiterate, an ASL cheat sheet will be available to help them sign for their meal, reported The Toronto Star. The menu is described as contemporary blend of Canadian and international cuisine.

The idea for a deaf restaurant was born when owner Anjan Manikumar was a manager at a pizza restaurant where one of his regular customers was hearing-impaired and ordering was a game of “point, nod and serve,” says the Star.

The experience inspired Manikumar to learn American Sign Language in an effort to communicate with his customer, and eventually to open a restaurant that would bridge the hearing and non-hearing community.

If the philosophy sounds familiar, it’s because a similar restaurant concept was launched to help raise awareness on visual impairments.

Created by a blind pastor from Zurich, Jorge Spielmann hosted dinner parties where guests supped blindfolded, at first in a show of solidarity with their host but also to better understand what it was to be blind.

But guests noted that the experience also heightened their sense of smell and taste, leading to the creation of restaurants like Dining in the Dark in the US, O. Noir in Canada and Dans le Noir in Paris.

Likewise, Mozzeria in San Francisco employs deaf staff, as does Atfaluna in Gaza, a charity restaurant for children with hearing disabilities, and Café Signes in Paris.

Signs in Toronto opens July 16.

Article Source

Aussies debate whether to allow deaf jurors

July 11, 2014 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Deaf News Today (Australia)
July 9, 2014

Article Source

Should Australian courts allow deaf citizens to serve on juries? That’s what a professor at the University of New South Wales is hoping to find out during a mock trial that will take place in Sydney. The topic became a national issue when a Queensland judge ruled a deaf woman could not sit on a jury. You can read about that here. Two of the 15 jurors in the mock trial will be deaf. Read more details about the study in the Guardian here. The deaf started sitting on juries in the U.S. 24 years ago.

Soundhawk secures $5.5M to start selling high-tech hearing app

July 11, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

San Jose Mercury News
By Heather Somerville

Article Source

CUPERTINO — I’m sorry, what did you say?

The awkward strain of trying to hear someone speaking just a few feet away is all too familiar for many of us who frequent noisy restaurants and rowdy bars. Catching every few words and struggling to read lips, we may give up on the conversation and succumb to eating in silence or signaling for the check.

These hard-of-hearing moments inspired Cupertino startup Soundhawk to make high-tech devices that cost a tenth the price of some hearing aids, are accessible without a prescription and attractive enough to wear at a business meeting or Sunday brunch.

Mike Kisch, president and CEO, wears a Soundhawk listening device matched up with an app for a smartphone at their headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. on

Mike Kisch, president and CEO, wears a Soundhawk listening device matched up with an app for a smartphone at their headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. on Monday, June 23, 2014. (Gary Reyes, Bay Area News Group)

The company, founded by Stanford ear surgeon and serial entrepreneur Dr. Rodney Perkins, announced Tuesday it has cinched $5.5 million in venture funding and an agreement with Foxconn — the Asia manufacturing company that also makes Apple products and has been beleaguered by labor rights issues — to begin building the Soundhawk earpiece and microphone. The company has been researching and testing the hearing device since 2012, and with the new deal announced Tuesday, it will begin selling to consumers by late summer.

Soundhawk joins an array of what’s known as personal sound amplifier products that have become popular options for people who may have some hearing problems but don’t need or want expensive hearing aids or other medical devices. The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets and the popularity of Bluetooth headsets and wearable tech devices have created a market for tech startups inventing ways to hear better by using mobile apps, wireless technology and discreet ear pieces. Soundhawk is aiming for consumers who are tethered to their smartphones and endure some hearing problems in noisy environments — not such a dramatic loss that they require a hearing aid but enough of an annoyance that they’d be willing to spend $299 on a new gadget.

“Every single one of us every day puts ourselves in environments where there’s lots of background noise,” said Michael Kisch, chief executive of Soundhawk. “It could be walking down the street in San Francisco, or going into restaurants. These are situations where the environment overwhelms the biology. This is technology that is designed to enhance something — your ears — that works for you in almost all situations except these times when you find there is just too much noise.”

Read more . . .

Detecting Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids Are Crucial in Preserving Cognitive Function

July 11, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

By: Katie Gibas

06/29/2014

Article Source

Twenty percent of adults in the U.S. have hearing loss, but that percentage increases to 30 percent in people over the age of 60.

“We’re definitely seeing an uptick in the number of patients seeking audiology care. It’s a combination of an aging population and it’s also a function of noise exposure. It’s a noisier world we live in,” said Gebbie Hearing Clinic Director Joseph Pellegrino.

Experts say detecting hearing loss and getting a hearing aid early is crucial to preserve cognitive function.

But there are a lot of different hearing aid options that can make choosing one difficult.
Some of those are hearing aids that are completely in the ear canal, partially in the ear canal, in the outer ear, and behind the ear.

“As a rule of thumb, the smaller a hearing aid gets, the less powerful it is. Most of our patients at the Gebbie Clinic find that the small behind the ear instrument is the best option. There’s something now called a receiver in the canal hearing aid. The microphone and processing portion of the hearing aid is tucked behind the ear. It’s quite small. There’s a thin wire that comes over the ear and the receiver is tucked in the ear,” said Pellegrino.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the different options for hearing aids, let’s talk about how to pay for them. At this time, Medicare does not cover hearing aids.

Read more  . . .

 

 

Retired NFL Players May be at Risk for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

July 11, 2014 in Community News, Research

 

 

Released: 7-Jul-2014 11:00 AM EDT 
Source Newsroom: Loyola University Health System
Article Surce

Newswise — MAYWOOD, Ill. – Retired NFL players may be at risk for permanent hearing loss and tinnitus, according to Loyola University Medical Center ear surgeon John Leonetti, MD.

Many NFL players suffer one or more concussions during their careers. And Leonetti notes that such blunt head trauma has been associated with hearing loss and tinnitus (chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears).

Leonetti said there are two possible mechanisms by which blunt head trauma, such as a blow to the head, could damage hearing or cause tinnitus:
- A blow to the head can cause the brain to wiggle like Jell-O, thereby damaging the nerves that connect the brain to the inner ear.
- A blow to the head also can create a shock wave that damages the cochlea, the delicate auditory portion of the inner ear.
There is anecdotal evidence that athletes who play football and other contact sports may be at risk for hearing damage:
- Leonetti recently spoke to retired players alongside EarQ at a meeting of the Chicago chapter of the NFL Players Association. When Leonetti asked how many players had experienced concussions during their career, they all raised their hands. When Leonetti asked how many have experienced hearing loss approximately 25 percent raised their hands. When he asked how many have tinnitus approximately 50 percent raised their hands.
- Hall of Fame NFL lineman Joe DeLamielleure told USA Today that he experienced countless blows to the head during a 13-year career, and has suffered a 68 percent hearing loss in his left ear as a result.
- Retired NHL hockey player Curt Bennett alleged in a class action lawsuit that he suffered from injuries associated with concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including tinnitus and hearing loss in both ears.

“To date, there is no proof that NFL players are suffering hearing loss and tinnitus at a rate higher than that of other men their ages,” Leonetti said. “But based on what we already know about blunt head trauma, as well as anecdotal reports from retired athletes, we believe there are compelling reasons to conduct a scientifically rigorous study to quantify the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus among retired NFL players.”

Leonetti is a professor in the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurological Surgery and program director of Cranial Base Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Stupid Things to Do with Your Hearing Aids

July 7, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

By  On 

Really, how many old hearing aid molds does a person need to keep?

The Hearing Husband and I recently sold the house we’d lived in for 16 years, and it was time to clean out the Stuff We Don’t Need.  It was an excruciatingly slow process, the drawer-to-drawer, closet-to-closet search of accumulated things, deciding what to keep and what to throw out.  Towards the end of the cull, you’re cranky and start pitching out anything you can’t brush your teeth with or wear to this year’s Christmas party.

Then, pay dirt!  Literally.  I discovered my cache of old hearing aid pieces that I’d forgotten I was hoarding—the brownest, most disgusting things I’d come across so far.  The archeological find revealed five ear molds, circa pre-1994 which is when I switched to CICs (completely in the canal hearing aids), two sets of green molds that manufacturers use to make the aids, four sets of CICs, and various tiny cleaning utensils that, of course, I could never find when I needed them!  Missing from the cache were the actual behind-the-ear (BTE) technical pieces, which I must have donated to charitable organizations for repurposing.  Accounted for was the hearing aid the dog ate; the screws, springs and plastic bits surviving that midnight munch had not been worth keeping.

These old ear molds and CICs gave me a pang of nostalgia, especially the detachable BTE ear molds.  I’d loved wearing them; they always fit like a second skin and through the years I’d spent many happy minutes blowing moisture bubbles out of the plastic tubing.

Sitting on my bedroom floor with decades of brittle hearing technology in my hands, I remembered those good times, as well as the silly dangers to which I’d exposed my hearing aids.  Miraculously, most had survived the attacks and passed away of old age.  By my calculation, 1 hearing aid year = 16 human years, but here are a few of the stupid things thatanybody can do to shorten the lifespan of their hearing aids.

  1. Wear them into the shower.  At almost the exact same moment that you think, “My, that sounds like a pretty waterfall”, reality hits and you jump out of the shower, taking the shower curtain with you.  This happens fast, a split nano-second of time, because the potential drowning of $4000 worth of hearing aids is the only thing that could make you move that quickly—especially naked.

 Read more . . . .

Fireworks can lead to hearing loss in children

July 3, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 
POSTED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 2014 1:00 AM
Nathan Williams, AuD.
Article Source

Whether you are shooting fireworks in your drive-way or watching a public display, you could be at risk of having some hearing damage.

Fireworks produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range.

Each year, many people experience some damage to their hearing as a result of fireworks.

HOW FIREWORKS AFFECT HEARING

There are two things to note when considering whether or not fireworks will have the potential to cause hearing loss. First is the distance a person is from the sound source. Sound is less likely to affect your hearing the further you are positioned from the firework explosion.

The second thing to consider is how loud the firework actually is. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure. For children, the recommendation is 120 decibels.

If you are dealing with a firework that explodes at 170 decibels, you would have to stand 15 to 20 meters away before you are at a safe limit. Children would have to stand 50 to 60 meters away from that same firework. Infants should not be exposed to fireworks, because they generally experience the greatest amount of sound pressure.

Exposure to loud sounds can result in the following:

 

Read more . . .

Seen and HEARD: Corinna Hill ’14 advocates for the rights of deaf people in prison

July 3, 2014 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Gallaudet Website
Article Source

Several Gallaudet University students are working to improve the American justice system for the deaf by interning with Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), a D.C.-based nonprofit organization.

Corinna Hill

Gallaudet Student – Corinna Hill ’14

HEARD recently was featured in two episodes of Al Jazeera America series “America Tonight.” “Deaf In Prison” focused on the plight of deaf and hard of hearing inmates in prisons throughout the United States, and HEARD kicked off a #DeafinPrison social media campaign during which it promoted the Al Jazeera episodes on YouTube.

Corinna Hill, ’14, is one of the Gallaudet students who helped HEARD with its outreach efforts. “I grew up thinking that the prison system was fair, and now I realize it has flaws,” said Hill, a Boonsboro, Md., native who majored in history. “Innocent deaf Americans are sitting in prison.”

HEARD is a volunteer-run organization founded by American University law student Talila Lewis. After a semester-long externship with the D.C. Public Defense Service, Lewis set a mission: to improve communication accessibility for deaf prisoners and fight for those who have been wrongfully convicted.

“Only five prisons in the U.S. have videophones – Virginia, Vermont, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Maine,” Lewis said.

There also are numerous cases of allegedly innocent deaf Americans who have been imprisoned for years, unable to tell their story and without access to interpreters or even a TTY.

Read More . . .

The line between wearable technology and prosthetics is blurring

July 3, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Washington Post
BY DOMINIC BASULTO July 2
Article Source

Remember when wearing any kind of prosthetic device – even something as simple as a hearing aid – immediately marked you as being Soundhawk-1somehow afflicted with some sort of physical deficiency? Those days could soon be over thanks to the emerging number of ways that wearable technology is changing how and why we use technology to improve our five human senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Importantly, it’s not just athletes who are turning into “superhuman” performers as the result of using the new generation of high-tech prosthetics. It’s also average people with a sense of style who are designing new types of prosthetics that look nothing like the prosthetics of the past – they are stylish, sleek and designed for the high-tech lifestyle. In other words, wearing them may no longer stigmatize you.

Take hearing, for example. In the past, you’d buy a prosthetic device – a hearing aid – that would help you overcome a hearing deficiency. Wearing one in public would mark you — unfairly, of course — as someone whose auditory skills were on the decline. People who saw you wearing a hearing aid would assume that you were “old” – with all the negative connotations that term carries in a society centered around youth.

Fast-forward to 2014 and now wearing a hearing aid could mean having access to enhanced hearing that makes you the envy of your friends.Soundhawk’s new “smart listening system” basically turns you into a “hawk,” in the sense that you can pick out sounds from anywhere, focus on them, and tune out the noise. Soundhawk also plays nice with your smartphone, meaning that you can have a superior hearing and communication experience when interacting with others while making a call in a loud room or on a busy street. That may not immediately sound like a big deal, but how many times when using your smartphone do you ask your friends or colleagues to repeat what they just said? How many times have you missed an important point at a loud, crowded restaurant?

Read more . . .