Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Going Blind and Deaf, One Woman Turns to Spinning

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



Sep 15, 2014
By Locke Hughes

Faced with what Rebecca Alexander has gone through, most people couldn’t be blamed for giving up on exercise. At age 12, Alexander found out she was going blind due to a rare genetic disorder. Then, at 18, she suffered a fall from a second-story window, and her formerly athletic body was confined to a wheelchair for five months. Soon after that, she learned she was losing her hearing as well.

But Alexander hasn’t let these obstacles slow her down: At 35, she’s a psychotherapist with two masters degrees, a spin instructor, and an endurance racer living in New York City. In her new book, Not Fade Away: a Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, Rebecca writes about handling her disability with courage and positivity. Here, she tells us more about how fitness helps her cope with her day-to-day reality and the important lessons that anyone can take away from her experiences.

Read Interview by Shape

Women Who Eat Fish Twice Weekly Cut Their Risk Of Hearing Loss

September 17, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Are you finding it tougher to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant? Or does it seem like people are mumbling when you speak with them?

These are two questions commonly used to screen for hearing loss, which affects more than one-third of people over age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So, what to do to cut the risk?

Women who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of developing hearing loss compared to women who rarely or never eat fish, according to a study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss, according to Dr. Sharon Curhan, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the study.

And though she and her colleagues had a hunch that certain types of fish may be more protective than others, it didn’t turn out that way. “Eating any type of fish — whether it’s tuna, dark fish [like salmon] or light fish was a associated with a lower risk,” Curhan told Shots.

Read More  . . .



Morris man has an idea: a wristband to show if someone is hearing-impaired

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



The North Jefferson News
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
By Melanie Patterson
Article Source

A Morris man is doing his part to help veterans with hearing problems be better understood.

David Wright, who lost part of his hearing due to military injuries, knows how it feels to experience embarrassment and frustration as a result of having hearing impairment. He said others feel the same way.

Wright, a member of VFW Kelly Ingram Post 668 in Birmingham, had a simple idea: provide wrist bands to individuals so they can quickly and inconspicuously show to others that they are having a hard time hearing what is being said.

The VFW post has ordered sand-colored plastic wrist bands that state, “Hearing Impaired,” on them. Wright said VFW Post 668 Commander Henry Brown Jr. is fully supporting the program and approved spending the funds for it.

“The main purpose is for people to identify hearing impaired people in public,” Wright said. “We need to let people know we are hearing impaired, and they need to treat us respectfully. They need to help us at the level we need help.”

Wright said that going into public places can be a nightmare for people with hearing impairments.

“If you go into a noisy place, sometimes it’s actually better to turn your hearing aids off so you can just hear the sounds closest to you. Sometimes hearing aids frustrate a person because they transmit everything,” he said.

Wright said some hearing impaired people do not hear all frequencies, so they often catch only part of what is being said.

He added that he has lost friends because “people will drift away from you” if they are continually having to repeat themselves.

Read More  . . .


Are you interested in how the brain processes language?

September 12, 2014 in Research



Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto’s Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2) at Gallaudet University is currently recruiting candidates for our study. Right now we are studying how people with cochlear implants process language.
Participants will perform simple, language-related computer tasks, and will be compensated $20 per hour for their time. You may be a able to participate if you:
1) were born deaf,
2) are 18 years or older,
3) are right-handed,
4) received a cochlear implant at a young age (as a baby or child),
5) know ASL
If you are interested, please email us at bl2@gallaudet.edu
Click here for a brief video (ASL and English) explaining how to participate.  See our flier here.
Our study has been approved by the Gallaudet Institutional Review Board. 

What’s new? Hearing in the modern classroom

September 10, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Yell Inverso, Au.D., PhD., CCC-A
Article Source

Today’s guest blogger is Yell Inverso, Au.D., PhD., CCC-A a pediatric audiologist at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children.

Elementary school classroom are virtually unrecognizable these days compared to what most of us can recall. Gone are the neat rows of desks with children sitting forward-facing, alphabetically organized by last name. Modern classrooms now include pods of desks that foster student interaction, play and flexibility.

Sounds great, right? But what about a child who has hearing loss, an attention problem, or a learning disability? How do you recommend preferential seating when there is no longer a “front row”?  As a pediatric audiologist, I have to be more specific now with my academic recommendations. Teachers no longer stand and write on the blackboard, so we have to ensure that, regardless of where they are teaching in the room, a child has access to their voice no matter where they are sitting.

Classroom FM (Frequency Modulated) systems are a great place to start. These systems have different configurations and can help all children in the classroom, not just those with hearing loss. A child wearing hearing aids or a cochlear implant connects to the system via a small receiver, where the teacher’s voice transmits directly from a body-worn microphone. Additionally, FM systems can deliver the teacher’s voice to the child’s ear without being connected to a hearing aid. Speakers placed around the room can ensure that the teacher’s voice is reaching all children loud-and-clear no matter where they are sitting.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthy_kids/Whats-new-Hearing-in-the-Modern-Classroom.html#iz2oKv87013tPVwk.99



Your Hairdryer Could Make You Deaf, New Survey

September 10, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



International Business Times AU
By Sarah Thomas | August 28, 2014
Article Source

A new survey has revealed that exposure to everyday noises can cause loss of hearing. The survey found that food processors, lawnmowers, noisy restaurants, trains and even hair dryers are putting Australians at a risk of hearing loss.

Professor Richard Dowell, director of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic, “Exposure to everyday noises, not age, will be theleading cause of hearing loss in the near future.”

This new Cochlear survey comes at a time when several Australians are suffering from hearing loss. The Hearing Care Industry Association has found that nearly one in six Australians suffer from some degree of hearing loss, and this is said to increase to one in four by 2050.

Most often, people think that only loud noises can cause damage to the ears and affect hearing ability, but this new study found that hearing can be damaged by exposure to everyday noises. The surveyalso found that only a quarter of the Australians surveyed were aware of this and 71 per cent were of the opinion that only loud noises could cause deafness. They thought listening to loud music on headphones, or going to a nightclub could damage a person’s hearing abilities.

It is not just loud sounds, but even a level of sound which is as low as 85dB can causehearing loss; a sound that is higher than 70dB is considered loud. Vacuum cleaners have a 70dB level, washing machines are at 75dB, blender or food processor produce sounds of 90dB, heavy city traffic produce 85dB, hair dryer are at 85dB, chainsaw and rock concerts produce 110 dB, the most among them is the ambulance siren with 120 dB.

The survey is all the more essential because some parents of 20,000 deaf children a pushing towards a block of the sale of Australian Hearing. This is a Federal Government service that is providing free hearing aids and cochlear implants to thousands of young Australians. They believe that if the hearing aids are made available free of cost then it would result in a low quality and service in country areas.

Health organizations and groups are promoting better hearing health and are giving tips to maintain hearing health as part of Hearing Awareness Week which will run until August 30.



ASL interpreted!! Author Event for Cece Bell – Tuesday, September 23

September 8, 2014 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Author and illustrator Cece Bell on her new book “El Deafo”CeceBell

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
1:30 PM
Palisades Neighborhood Library
4901 V Street, NW


Tuesday, September 23, 2014
4:00 PM

Georgetown Neighborhood Library
3260 R Street, NW

ASL Interpreted!!   For ages 8 – to adult.

Award-winning author and illustrator, Cece Bell, will talk about her latest book, “El Deafo,” a graphic novel that describes her experiences growing up deaf in the 1970’s.  As a child, Cece felt like she was a superhero with the special powers from the hearing aid.  So she called herself, “El Deafo.”

Books will be available for purchase and signing.


Questions?  Contact:
Palisades Neighborhood Library
(202) 282-3139

Georgetown Neighborhood Library
(202) 727-0257



Five Minutes to Change a Life – By Gael Hannan

September 8, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Better Hearing Consumer

If you had only 5 minutes to make a difference in the life of a stranger, how would you use it?

If, in an unexpected moment, a person whose daily world is not connected to yours, has opened themselves up and is ready to embrace your words, because, somehow, they know what you’re offering is something they need—what would you say?

Five minutes, a fleeting blip in a person’s lifespan, that’s all the time you’ve got.

If I were to meet a stranger—in a highway travel rest stop, let’s say, with picnic tables by a river—who has signaled confusion and frustration with their hearing loss (or worse, the intent to donothing about it), and whose bus is leaving in 5 minutes, I hope I would say, “Do you have a moment to chat, here by the river?”

How would I compress a lifetime of learning to live with hearing loss into a few seconds? But I only have one shot with this stranger, and the bus’s running motor reminds me how little time we have, so I would try:

I have hearing loss too and here’s what has worked for me.  Maybe it will work for you, too.

Admit It.  Be honest about your hearing loss.  Don’t try to hide it.  Your secret grieving for the way things used to be won’t bring back the sounds.  If you don’t admit it to yourself and others, things may only get worse.   Being open about your  . . .

Read More . . . .


Seven highly effective habits of hearing aid wearers

September 4, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Contributed by Lauren Clason, staff writer
Thursday, August 28th 2014
Article Source

As author Stephen R. Covey knows, the key to success lies within you; all you have to do is find it, stick a spigot in it and turn on the tap. As with Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the seven highly effective habits of hearing aid users are simple and straightforward. In many cases, hearing loss is a permanent condition, and so it’s something you have to learn to live with. With a few tweaks to your daily routine and an adjustment on your mental perspective, you too can be a highly successful person, hearing loss and all.

1) Wear the hearing aids

If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to improve your condition with hearing aids, wear them! They won’t do you any good sitting in your nightstand. Even though you might be self-conscious about the way they look, your hearing loss is infinitely more noticeable when you don’t wear them.

2) Communicate effectively

When you miss part of a person’s speech, don’t give up on the conversation. Instead, look for ways around it. Where your ears fail, your eyes and brain can often fill in. Use visual clues like facial expression, body language and lip reading to help fill in the gaps your ears can’t. Look at the speaker when he or she is talking, and pay attention to all the little details.

3) Own it

When you have hearing loss, it’s extremely important to be proactive on your own behalf.

Read more  . . .

SIU professor studies using chili peppers to help prevent hearing loss

August 28, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



The Southern – Illinoisan
August 21, 2014
Article Source

SPRINGFIELD — A physician researcher at SIU School of Medicine has been awarded a five-year federal grant from the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health to continue his studies of how to reduce hearing loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

The current research project will examine whether capsaicin, a component of hot chili peppers, can reduce hearing loss and kidney damage if given prior to or after a dose of cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug frequently used for chemotherapy. Read more . . . →

Rail boss goes deaf for a day

August 26, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Buck Free Press, UKChilternRail
Aug. 24,2014
by Neil Phillips
Article Source

THE managing director of Chiltern Railways went deaf for a day after being challenged by a Saunderton-based charity to experience the train service his company provided – both with and without the help of a hearing dog.

Rob Brighouse agreed to the gauntlet set down by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and travelled to and from London Marylebone after having gel moulds inserted into his ears.

These gave him a temporary 60per cent hearing loss which he said immediately gave him the experience of the sudden effects of deafness, leaving him feeling isolated and out of control.

He said: “As soon as the gels were in my ears, I felt cut off from everyone around me. I knew that people were having a conversation, but I had no idea what they were talking about. I’ve become accustomed to the everyday sounds of the hustle and bustle at London Marylebone station, but suddenly everything around me was silent. I had lost completely control of the situation, I felt isolated and alone.”

Read more  . . .

The Best Books for Kids with Hearing Loss

August 26, 2014 in Families, Hearing Loss & Deafness


Finding great books about children who are deaf or hard of hearing can be difficult. Many books are out of date with current technology, or are targeted to an adult audience. As the mother to a five year old boy who wears hearing aids, I was disappointed to find outdated books about hearing loss in our local library. One book described a boy as having “weird words” and another featured a girl wearing an outdated body-worn hearing aid system from the 1970’s. Fortunately, there are many new, wonderful books that explore current technology and provide a positive outlook for children with hearing loss. Books with an auditory/verbal approach (containing references to hearing aids, cochlear implants, and “learning to listen”) are listed in the first section. Books about ASL and Deaf culture are listed in the second section. See listed books

(AAMHL) is establishing hearing-accessible hand chime clinics – NVRC 9/13

August 26, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness


September NVRC

Have you ever been shut out of musical ensembles because you had a hearing loss?
Would you like to learn to play in a musical ensemble?
Do you want to learn more about how instrumental music works?

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, our handchime clinics are for you!
Read more . . . →

Link found between hearing loss and cognitive health

August 21, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



For News-Herald Media
August 18, 2014

Difficulty hearing may be more than just a quality-of-life issue. Growing evidence indicates that untreated hearing loss in older adults can lead to other health conditions, and one of the most concerning is cognitive decline.

In fact, a Johns Hopkins Study found that cognitive diminishment was 41 percent more likely in seniors with hearing loss. Because maintaining the health of the brain is such a priority for older people, hearing difficulties should not be ignored.

Hearing and the brain

To hear well, the brain and ears work together. Sound is heard through the ears, and then the brain translates the noise so you can understand what it is. This means you not only hear language, music and traffic, but you comprehend these are all different sounds with different meanings.

With untreated hearing loss, the signals to your brain are weaker, and therefore you have to think much harder to understand the noises around you. When the brain is using more cognitive resources to understand sounds, other brain activities like memory and comprehension can suffer, often causing cognitive decline.

Effects of untreated hearing loss

In addition to diminished mental health, untreated hearing loss can lead to numerous health conditions: mental fatigue and stress, poor memory, concentration difficulty, social withdrawal and depression.

Read more . . .

Foundation seeks to teach young people about hearing loss epidemic

August 21, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Miami Herald
Tuesday, 08.19.14

Three years ago, when the noise level at the American Airlines Arena shrieked to a deafening level, fan Adele Sandberg covered her ears and winced. Intent on the fast-paced court action, she didn’t yet know about the growing danger of hearing loss. She didn’t know yet that preventing it would become her passion.

But with the cheers and the loudspeaker announcements still echoing in her ears, Sandberg returned home to North Miami Beach and began researching hearing loss. What she discovered shocked her: One of five U.S. teenagers suffers from some form of noise-induced hearing loss by the age of 19. And more than 50 percent of U.S. high school students have reported at least one symptom of hearing loss, such as ringing in the ears.

The problem is getting worse. One study concluded that the proportion of second graders with some form of hearing loss had doubled in the past 10 years, while the proportion of eighth graders had quadrupled.

“We have an epidemic of hearing loss, and I don’t say this lightly,” said Sandberg, 70. “A lot of people suffer from this but don’t know it because it’s so gradual. And once it happens, it’s irreversible.”

Read more . . .