Author Archives: shc_jennifer

Not sure if you have hearing loss?

There’s a quick way to see if you MIGHT need a professional evaluation…

Take a free, 5 minute online hearing test to determine if you could benefit from a comprehensive test and evaluation from one of our Upstate hearing care professionals at Sound Hearing Now.

Although seeking the help of a hearing care professional should be a priority if you suspect you have hearing loss, this quick 5 minute test will help you determine whether you or your loved one could benefit from a more comprehensive test.  This online hearing test will take you through a brief questionnaire and different listening scenarios. It is recommended that you take the test away from any distractions or loud noises so choose a quiet environment. If you have headphones it is also suggested that you use them instead of your built-in computer speakers.

Here’s the link to online test: https://global.widex.com/en/online-hearing-test

After you take this test, if you realize that you may have hearing loss contact us! We can schedule a complete hearing evaluation and help you start your journey to better healing right away! For more information about our comprehensive evaluation, click here.

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Hearing Loss Can Be Factor in Dementia

New study says hearing loss one of nine factors for dementia.

When it comes to dementia early detection helps!

At Sound Hearing Now, we want to help you manage hearing loss as one way to help lower your risk of dementia. A new report by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care identified nine age-related risk factors for developing dementia. They include:

  • Before the age of 18: level of education
  • Between the ages of 45-65: hypertension, obesity and hearing loss
  • Over the age of 65: smoking, depression, inactivity, social isolation and diabetes

Dementia, a term used to describe severe memory loss and mental abilities, affects nearly 50 million people worldwide. It is estimated that the number of cases of individuals living with dementia will increase to 66 million by 2030 and 131 million by 2050, according to a report presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Dementia increases hospitalization risk and other health-related issues.

The Lancet Commissions report suggests as many as one third of all dementia cases may be delayed or prevented by eliminating some of the risk factors — specifically, active treatment of hypertension in middle and old age, as well as increasing childhood education, exercise and social engagement, reducing smoking, and managing hearing loss, depression, diabetes, and obesity.

How to manage hearing loss

Here are three easy ways to help manage your risk of hearing loss:

  • Protect your hearing. Nearly 40 million Americans have a preventable type of hearing loss caused by noise. Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) risk can be reduced by turning down the volume on electronic devices and using hearing protection.
  • Get evaluated. Schedule periodic hearing exams with Sound Hearing Now or another hearing healthcare professional. A yearly exam will help you identify changes to your hearing more easily.
  • Treat your hearing loss. If your evaluation reveals hearing loss that requires hearing aid treatment, do not delay. The brain makes sense of the sound our ears collect and the longer you postpone treatment, the greater the potential effect on your brain.

If you or a loved one would like to be evaluated for hearing loss, give us a call or click here to make an appointment with Sound Hearing Now at one our convenient locations in the Upstate today!

We also offer a wide range of comfortable and affordable hearing aids to meet your individual needs. To learn more, visit our hearing loss services page.

Link to article on dementia risk factors and hearing losss.

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New Tinnitus Study Shows Effect on Brain

Tinnitus means your brain stays more at attention and less at rest!

Tinnitus, a persistent ringing or buzzing in the ears, may be associated with brain changes, according to a study by the University of Illinois.  These changes keep the brain more at attention and less at rest.

Unfortunately not much is known about tinnitus due in part to the lack of a test for it. Additionally, there are many variables– for example, duration, cause, severity, concurrent hearing loss, age, type of sound, which ear and more—that further complicate research attempts. Throughout our Upstate SC practices what we find is many patients experience the effects of tinnitus long before they actually receive a diagnosis for it.

New Tinnitus Study Uses fMRI

The recent study used functional MRI to look for patterns across brain function and structure. It found that tinnitus appears to affect a region of the brain called the precuneus. This region is related to the attention network and the default mode, or background, network.

The study helps validate those who suffer from tinnitus, which can’t be heard by others or measured. “For patients, this is validating. Here is something related to tinnitus which is objective and invariant,” said Fatima Husain, a professor of speech and hearing science at the University of Illinois.

Do you or someone you love struggle with tinnitus? If so, we may be able to help.  Click here to make an appointment with Sound Hearing at one our convenient locations in the Upstate today!

To read more about the recent study on tinnitus from the University of Illinois click here.

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What is tinnitus?

Do you know what tinnitus is?

Tinnitus, often called a “ringing in the ears,” can actually be perceived as buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking. A person with tinnitus hears persistent sounds in the ear when no actual noise is present.

Here are some simple questions we like to ask our Sound Hearing Now patients to help them determine if they need to be tested for tinnitus:

  1. Do you hear sounds like a hissing, whistling or ringing in your ear?
  2. Do you have trouble concentrating because of noise in your ears?
  3. Do you have difficulty listening to the t.v. or others in crowds?
  4. Do you feel anxious or frustrated due to the ringing in your ears?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we can help!

The meaning behind the word “Tinnitus”

Tinnitus comes from a Latin word that means “to ring or tinkle.”  It is a very common condition, affecting 10-15% of the general public, or over 50 million Americans.  Tinnitus can be acute (temporary) or chronic.

Is there a cure for Tinnitus?

We get asked if there is a cure for tinnitus all the time. The honest answer is that there is no cure for most types of tinnitus, but there are treatment options including hearing aids and other wearable and non-wearable masking devices that can help significantly to improve our patient’s quality of life. These and other treatment options help patients live better, more fulfilling, and more productive lives.

There are a number of factors to choosing the appropriate tinnitus treatment option and we would be happy to help you consider them all. Click here to schedule an appointment today.

If you want to read more about tinnitus related hearing issues, click here to read this article in it’s entirety.

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Did you know 1 in 10 Americans have Tinnitus symptoms?

Persistent tinnitus can affect quality of life.

It’s a staggering statistic because most people have never heard of tinnitus until they or someone they know receives the diagnosis but one in ten Americans suffer from a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in their ears called tinnitus.  In the worst cases, it can cause problems with thought processing, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration. These challenges can negatively affect one’s quality of life.

In the study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery of U.S. adults who experienced tinnitus in the past 12 months, 27 percent had symptoms for longer than 15 years and 36 percent had nearly constant symptoms.

What Factors can Lead to Higher Rates of Tinnitus?

In the JAMA study, they found that higher rates were reported for those with consistent exposure to loud noises either at work or during recreation time. For our Sound Hearing Now patients this means that patients with long-term work-related exposure means there the possibility of increasing rates of tinnitus.

Unfortunately, less than half of those who reported tinnitus symptoms had discussed them with a physician. This is so common and why Sound Hearing Now wants to educate our patients and our Greenville community about what tinnitus is, what factors lead to to tinnitus and how we can help develop a personalized tinnitus treatment plan for you or your loved one.

If you are suffering from persistent ringing or buzzing, schedule a consultation today with our knowledgeable staff. There are ways Sound Hearing Now can help!

 

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Holiday savings of $700!

Are you in need of new hearing aids?

Now is the time for you to purchase the new IU-IM Widex custom hearing aids.

Purchase by 12/31/17 and receive a $700 discount or a free upgrade to the next level of technology!

Visit one of our four convenient locations in Simpsonville, Travelers Rest, Greenville, or Powdersville today.

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Can Singing Carols Help Your Hearing?

Music training keeps the hearing brain young

So Christmas caroling is probably not going to prevent hearing loss, however, multiple studies show a benefit to music training to lessen the effect of age-related hearing loss, says The Hearing Journal.

Music appears to strengthen the aspects of sound processing that are common in age-related hearing loss. One study showed that older adults with musical training had larger, more consistent and more accurate neural responses to speech than non-musicians with normal hearing or hearing loss.

So far there haven’t been many studies into using music training to help older adults maintain hearing abilities in the brain, but work is beginning. In June 2017, preliminary, and promising, results were presented in an ongoing study related to musical interventions for older adults.

Music adds much to life and engaging in training now could have positive benefits beyond those you might expect. Ongoing research suggests musical training as a strategy to supplement amplification and aural rehabilitation to improve hearing health in older adults.

So go out there and make a joyful noise this holiday season. Your ears may thank you!

Contact us at Sound Hearing Care today for a hearing evaluation.

 

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Give the Gift of Love with Better Hearing

This holiday season give your loved ones the gift of better communication.

Is hearing loss causing issues in your relationships?

Studies show that untreated hearing loss can negatively impact our relationships with family and friends and particularly with those closest to us, such as our romantic partners.

This holiday season resolve to improve your hearing to give the gift of better communication to your relationships.

The Statistics

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), more than 48 million people in the U.S. have hearing loss. The problem is that only 1 out of 4 people who need them wear hearing aids. That means 75 percent of those with hearing loss are putting their relationships at risk.

A 2009 British study revealed that out of 1,500 people with hearing loss surveyed, 44 percent reported that their hearing loss had caused relationships with their partner, friends or family to suffer. And 34 percent reported the breakdown in communication had actually brought about loss of relationships, including marriages.

There is Hope

Sadly, hearing loss can lead to some serious communication issues that over time affect the quality of your relationships.

Some of these are:

  • • Frustration
  • • Resentment
  • • Loneliness, i.e. the hearing partners feel that they are missing out on companionship
  • • Curtailing of social activities, withdrawal from social interaction
  • • Decrease in intimate talk, joking with family
  • • Shared communication difficulties
  • • Decrease in shared activities such as watching TV
  • • Loss of companionship
  • • Decrease in communication (words are kept to a minimum)

But there is hope. Contact us at Sound Hearing Care for a comprehensive hearing evaluation and treatment options. Now is the time to improve your hearing.

 

 

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1 in 3 People Aged 65 or Older Has an Age-Related Hearing Loss

Study finds high prevalence of age-related hearing loss.

While it is not surprising that the prevalence of hearing loss increases as you grow older, a new study has found the rate to be nearly 30 percent for those over age 65.

Age-related hearing loss can have various causes, but as people reach later life it is more common.

More Men than Women

The Rotterdam Study of 4,743 persons age 50 and older found that among those above the age of 65 the prevalence of hearing loss higher than 35 db was 30 percent. With men showing a 33 percent chance and women at almost 29 percent.

The study was made between 2011 and 2015 and originally appeared in the journal Laryngoscope in March 2017

Signs to Watch For

If you or a loved one is over age 65 or experiencing any of the symptoms below, contact us at Sound Hearing Care today for a hearing evaluation or take our 5-minute hearing quiz.

  • • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as female or children’s voices
  • • Difficulty hearing with background noise, such as at a restaurant or party
  • • Loss of daily sounds such as birds singing or appliance beeps
  • • Turning up the volume on tv or radio
  • • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • • Ringing ears
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Hearing Loss in the Holidays

Simple tips to improve your holiday gathering for loved ones with hearing loss.

As the holiday season arrives, you are likely planning family get-togethers or social gatherings. If you or a loved one has hearing loss, these events can be a challenge.

Sometimes the difficulty of hearing in a social gathering can cause withdrawal and even lead to depression.  Sound Hearing Now encourages you to consider these simple tips to provide support and encourage everyone to have a merry holiday season.

  • Pay attention. If you notice a loved one not participating in the conversation, he or she may be struggling to keep up with what is being said.  Help guide them back into the discussion.
  • Turn it down. While background music can add to a festive environment, consider turning it down or off when you want people to converse. Background noise can be a big challenge for people with hearing loss.
  • About face. Individuals with hearing loss communicate more easily when they can see facial expression and mouths of those speaking.
  • Stay close. When speaking with a friend or family member with hearing loss remember to get close. Perhaps touch their arm or hand before you speak to show them you want their attention.

Do you or someone you love struggle to hear during social gatherings? If so, you may be experiencing communication issues due to hearing loss. Click here to make an appointment with Sound Hearing Now at one our convenient locations in the Upstate today!

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