Please turn the volume on your iPod down!

New Soundlens invisible hearing aid

Guys and dolls, if you can (still) hear me, please turn the volume on your iPod down to a safe level before you lose your hearing earlier than your grandparents.

There is now a convincing body of medical evidence that this little gadget that brings fabulous music to almost all our senses thru earbuds can damage hearing.

The most common victims who are harmed are teenagers, as can be expected, because they are the ones who use most of the iPods in the world.

While listening to music through earbuds for an hour and a half at 80 percent of the volume each day may be tolerated long term, softer volume is safer. If
lowered to 70 percent, the safe listening range could be extended to four and a half hours per day.

When listening at full volume (115 decibels), the safe range is reduced to just five minutes a day! Apple has now considered lowering the maximum volume to 100 decibels, roughly the volume of a pneumatic drill.

If you have any questions about hearing aids contact Hidden Hearing

Hearing aid technology is now very advanced

There was a time when fixing hearing aids meant taking out the screwdriver.

“When I started 20 years ago, I was adjusting hearing aids with a screwdriver,” said Michele Watts, an audiologist with Associated Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists in Valparaiso. “Now, we can make millions of fine-tuning adjustments using incredible digital software technologies.”

When a person goes for hearing aid fitting, audiologists can narrow their hearing loss to the exact range of frequencies they’re having trouble hearing. In short, hearing specialists can custom-tailor hearing aids to personal needs.

Unlike older hearing aids, which featured a simple up or down volume control, these fine-tuned devices are constantly self-adjusting to the wearer’s environment and conditions.

“One of the biggest advances in hearing aids is Wide Dynamic Range Compression,” said Jaclin Proctor, an audiologist with Southlake Speech and Hearing in Merrillville. “That means that the hearing aid gives the most boost, or gain, to the quietest sounds coming into it, and the least amount of gain to the loudest sounds coming in. In older hearing aids, the same amount of gain was produced for all of the sound. So people would be adjusting them up and down, up and down. People had to adjust their volume levels constantly.”

“Another big advancement was the advent of the Bluetooth telephone,” Proctor said. “If people see others using that and think of it as a status symbol, then they won’t mind putting a small hearing aid device in their ear.”

And there are hidden bonuses to these now nearly invisible devices.

“They’re so comfortable and lightweight now that people don’t even realize they’re in once they get used to them,” Proctor said.

Aside from hearing aids, the amount and variety of assisted hearing devices has progressed in recent years. Technology from hearing assistance companies such as Oticon’s ConnectLine system and the ReSound Unite series wirelessly connect people with hearing loss to their televisions, personal computers, phones (landline and mobile), MP3 players, other people and anything else they can think of without taking out their hearing aids. There are “booming” alarm clocks, watches and telephone ringers, too, that make life easier for people with hearing problems.

While Watts says technology has improved in all treatment sectors, children and infants have benefited most in the past decade. Entire lines of hearing aids designed especially for kids (camouflage, butterfly and race car designs) can get them excited about their new gadgets. More importantly, kids get to develop their speech skills on schedule with their peers if fitted for hearing aids in infancy.

The strain hearing loss puts on how people interact is difficult, but progressive technology will continue to make solutions possible for more hearing loss sufferers.

If you have any questions about hearing aids or hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

The oldest working marine engineer in the world never looses his pink hearing aids!

Ben Forrester possibly the oldest working marine engineer in the world

Ben Forrester is an 85-year-old and believed to be the oldest FIFO (fly in, fly out) worker in Australia and possibly the oldest working marine engineer in the world, spending 28 days on and 28 days off between Perth and the Triton, the British warship prototype which now patrols Australia’s northern waters for the Australian Customs Service.”Hold on a minute before you start talking,” Ben Forrester says, reaching down to the bench and picking up two pink hearing aids, the only concession to his age.

He pops one in each ear and his face breaks into a grin: “I’m as deaf as a post, you know.”

“Some of the younger guys tell me not to go up ladders or lift things but I just wait until they’re gone and I do it anyway,” he said, sitting back in the battered blue bus he calls home.

He was born in 1926 and officially went to sea in October 1950, working on ships for $30 a month.

He was forced into compulsory retirement in the mid-1990s and lived for a time on his superannuation and then – when that ran out – on the pension.

“I got dumped out of marine duty when I turned 66. The union said I wasn’t allowed to work any more,” he said.

It is easy to see the pink hearing aids amongst all the marine engineering equipment, they never get lost!

“I said ‘I don’t want to retire’ and the company didn’t want me to retire but the union insisted. So I became a pensioner.”

After about 10 years of struggling to make ends meet on the pension, he decided to find work again.

“The only jobs I could get in Perth were as a caretaker,” he said.

So he went back to what he loved, partly out of boredom and partly for cash, renewed his qualifications and sought work out to sea.

Source: The West Australian

If you have any questions about Hearing loss Contact Hidden Hearing

Ireland’s only mobile clinic visits Waterford

 

Source From: Waterford Today

A mobile hearing clinic will be available at SuperValu, The Hypercentre, Morgan Street, Waterford on Saturday 27th August, providing hearing screenings free of charge. The state-of-the-art mobile hearing clinic, which is the only mobile clinic of its kind in the country, is conducted by leading healthcare specialist Hidden Hearing.

The hearing clinic is a fully-functional modern facility, staffed by highly trained experts and equipped with the latest audiological technology. The mobile clinic features testing equipment which can pinpoint exactly what frequencies a person is missing.

Discussing the mobile clinic service, Hidden Hearing Marketing Manager, Dolores Madden said: “We are delighted to be coming to Waterford with our mobile hearing screening clinic, which helps people to take a proactive approach to their hearing health. A major factor with regard to hearing loss is that those who initially notice a problem with their hearing will often delay taking action, sometimes putting it off for up to 15 years. The Hidden Hearing mobile clinic makes it easier than ever for people throughout Ireland to take the first step in tackling their hearing loss.

“Our research shows that hearing loss which isn’t addressed can impact on people socially and in the workplace. The mobile clinic is a modern facility which provides a convenient and easy way to check your hearing. It’s important if you notice issues with your hearing that you address the problem early and take positive action. There’s no requirement to book an appointment with the mobile clinic, just drop in and avail of a convenient consultation free of charge”, Dolores Madden said.

The Hidden Hearing mobile clinic will visit SuperValu, The Hypercentre, Morgan Street, Waterford on Saturday 27th August from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Check www.hiddenhearing.ie for details of the mobile clinic.

Listening to music may help stop hearing loss as we get older

Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger (born 26 July 1943)

Older people often have difficulty understanding conversation in a crowd. Like everything else, our hearing deteriorates as we age.

There are physiological reasons for this decline: We lose tiny hair cells that pave the way for sound to reach our brains. We lose needed neurons and chemicals in the inner ear, reducing our capacity to hear.

So how can you help stave off that age-related hearing loss? Try embracing music early in life, research suggests.

“If you spend a lot of your life interacting with sound in an active manner, then your nervous system has made lots of sound-to-meaning connections” that can strengthen your auditory system, says Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University.

Musicians focus extraordinary attention on deciphering low notes from high notes and detecting different tonal qualities. Kraus has studied younger musicians and found that their hearing is far superior to that of their non-musician counterparts.

So Kraus wondered: Could that musical training also help fend off age-related hearing loss? To find out, she assembled a small group of middle-aged musicians and non musicians, aged 45-65. She put both groups through a series of tests measuring their ability to make out and repeat a variety of sentences spoken in noisy background environments.

Turns out, the musicians were 40 percent better than non-musicians at tuning out background noise and hearing the sentences, as Kraus reported in PloS ONE. The musicians were also better able to remember the sentences than the non-musicians — and that made it easier for them to follow a line of conversation. After all, Kraus says, in order to listen to a friend in a noisy restaurant, you need to be able to recall what was said a few seconds ago in order to make sense of what you’re hearing right now.

The take-home message: If you’re an older musician, don’t stop playing. And if you gave it up, it may be time to dust off the old violin.

As for picking up an instrument for the first time in mid-life, there’s no evidence yet that it can help maintain hearing. But the world of rodents offers some hope: Onerecent study found that intense auditory training of older rats resulted in significant improvement in their ability to recognize high-pitched sounds. It also boosted their levels of brain chemicals crucial for hearing.

Of course, rats’ ears, though similar to humans, are not the same. More research is needed to find out if old human ears can also be taught new tricks.

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing

Is Obama hearing footsteps behind him?

Running scared from Rick Perry?

President Obama must be really scared of Texas Gov. Rick Perry — given that it is more than a year before the election and Perry isn’t even the Republican nominee. Why else would the White House be just making stuff up about him?

Consider Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s claims against Texas schools.

According to Duncan, Texas’ school system has “really struggled” during the 12 years that Perry has been in office.

“Far too few of their high-school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college,” Duncan told Bloomberg’s Al Hunt. “I feel very, very badly for the children there.”

Huh?

As education policy expert Andrew Rotherham pointed out to Duncan in a previously scheduled interview, Texas is basically average when it comes to test scores and graduation rates.

“Texas students scored right around the national averages in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress,” he wrote online.

“And according to an Aug. 17 report by the group that administers the ACT college-admissions exam, Texas high-school graduates only narrowly trail national averages for college readiness,” he found.

“True, the national averages aren’t great, but Texas is right there with the pack.”

Duncan had no real response to the facts.

“I would have to look at all the details, but there are real challenges in Texas,” he said. “And like every other state, they should be addressed openly and honestly as in Illinois, as in Chicago, and everywhere else.”

Does Duncan really want to put up Illinois against Texas in terms of schools (or taxes, or business climate or anything else for that matter)?

Minority students do better in Texas than in Chicago, says Rotherham — who also points out, “Chicago only graduates about 56 percent of all its students.”

Now, in fairness, Duncan probably didn’t like Perry even before the presidency came into play, since Texas was one of the few states that told Team Obama it can keep its “Race to the Top” education money.

But slinging campaign mud for his boss — and doing a really bad job of it — is beneath the education secretary’s dignity.

 

For information on hearing contact Hidden Hearing

Source: New York Post NYPOST.com

Are Hearing Aids without batteries just a dream?

New fuel cells are being developed for hearing aids

How cool would it be to no longer have to deal with hearing aid batteries?

Some folks in Denmark are working to make that dream a reality, and they’re very close! Here’s the report from hear-it.org.  Danish scientists are working on replacing the existing batteries in hearing aids with easily rechargeable fuel cells which run on methanol.

“We have come further than we ever could have hoped when we started this project of designing methanol-based batteries which can replace the traditional zinc batteries in hearing aids today”. That is what Leif Højslet Christensen, head of the Danish Technological Institute, and head of the project, says.

Recharging in 30 seconds

The vision of the project is that the batteries in a hearing aid should not need to be replaced for five years. Instead, one should simply take the hearing aid with its in-built fuel cell out and fill it with methanol for 30 seconds in a recharger. After this, it can be put back in the ear.

“Our realistic hope right from the start was to get a fuel cell to last for a month before it needed to be changed. Now, we have reached a life of five weeks. We are very satisfied with that,” says Leif Højslet Christensen.

“We are also very satisfied that we have developed a docking station – a recharger- about the size of a mobile phone, in which one opens the lid, puts the hearing aid in, closes it again and pushes a button, so that the fuel cells are refuelled with methanol.”

Leif Højslet Christensen explains, that they have already attached a hearing aid to a fuel cell via wires and can, in practice, say that the hearing aid runs on methanol. The goal now is to make the fuel cells small enough that they can be put directly in the hearing aid.

Perhaps ready by 2012

“We expect to launch the first fuel cells, which can be used directly in hearing aids, in 2012 – 18 months earlier than expected,” explains Leif Højslet Christensen.

There are around 40 million hearing aid users in the world. They use 3.7 million batteries per year, which today contain mercury. The more of these which can be replaced, the better it is for the environment.

Leif Højslet Christensen explains, that each fuel cell uses 1:100-200 thousandths of a litre of methanol in each recharging. According to him, the waste products are water vapour and carbon dioxide, which are both totally harmless to both people and the environment.

The Danish Technological Institute is working with scientists from DTU Nanotech in Copenhagen and Institute of Chemistry at the University of Aarhus.

 

If you have any questions about hearing aids or hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing