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Check out the silent auction at the 2018 Winnipeg Ride for Dad to bid on a pair of custom earplugs from The Polo Park Hearing Centre. We thought earplugs would be perfect for a motorcyclist as we have shown in previous posts, wind noise and a loud motorcycle can cause temporary hearing loss that will likely become permanent noise induced hearing loss over years of repeated exposures. To read more about noise induced hear loss click the previous link.

Custom-fit earplugs provide outstanding noise protection and comfort

Custom Moulded Earplugs - Available in Winnipeg

Custom Moulded Earplugs

Since ear shape is unique to every individual, to get the earplugs made you will have to make a visit to our office to get a custom mold made of each ear. We then send the molds off to Starkey Labs to have solid silicon earplugs made that will fit perfectly into your ear. The exact fitting seals out noise and truly makes the earplugs all day comfortable. One convenient option is to have a lanyard connect the two earplugs together so when they aren’t needed you can just let them hang around your neck like sunglasses. Another option is more for fun – you can choose the color of your earplugs.For information on musician earplugs, swimmers earplugs and even earplugs customized for a quiet night sleep, click custom earplugs. For everything else, call us at the Polo Park Hearing Centre (204) 788-1083.

While convincing someone to seek help for hearing loss is the right thing to do, it is not always an easy conversation to have. Understanding how hearing loss affects people coupled with some tips on having “the talk”, will make the process smoother and more likely to have a positive outcome.

Understanding Hearing Loss:

Hearing Loss Is Stressful

You don’t have to read a scientific study to know that someone straining to understand a conversation is going to have increased stress levels. Socializing becomes difficult and even embarrassing when a person must ask someone to repeat themselves over and over hearing loss sufferers often withdraw socially. To make matters worse depression can develop. The good news is that once receiving treatment people will reengage and become more active with family and friends

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Many People Don’t Realize They Have Hearing Loss

There are several reasons why an individual may not realize how bad their hearing has become. The most significant is that hearing loss due to aging or noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) takes years to develop. Small negative changes over many years are simply not easy to notice. People learn to compensate for the unseen changes in their hearing by trying to minimize the effects. Eventually a breaking point is reached where communication becomes too difficult for family and friends around them.

People Wait an Average of 10 Year to Get Treatment for Hearing loss

Having the Conversation About Hearing Loss

Where and How to Talk About Hearing Loss

A little planning can go a long way to a successful talk. Background noise vastly reduces a hearing loss sufferers ability to understand. Picking a neutral setting that is both comfortable and quiet is important to make understanding the conversation easier while reducing stress. Also important is to face the person you are speaking with as it makes it easy for them to read your expressions and possibly even read your lips. A sitting distance of 3-6 feet is recommended. Speaking clearly and calmly without shouting ensures easier hearing and avoids creating potentially negative feelings. Finally, showing empathy and patience by not cutting off the person speaking, goes a long way to a positive outcome.

Overcoming the Biggest Complaint

The single biggest complaint when it comes to hearing aids is that they make people look old. You can ease that argument in one sentence. Hearing aids are now small enough to fit inside the ear canal and are often referred to as “invisible hearing aids”.  If that isn’t enough, a gentle reminder that when someone repeatedly asks, “what was that?” or “can you repeat that?”, doesn’t imply the listener has found the fountain of youth. Be nice!

95% of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

Benefits to Treating Hearing Loss

To help convince your friends or family member to get help, you are going to want to talk about the positive benefits of getting treatment for their hearing loss.

  • No more embarrassment from asking “What?” all the time
  • Improve close relationships and social interactions
  • Remove the stress of trying to compensate for hearing loss
  • Avoid the increased risk of developing dementia & Alzheimer’s from untreated hearing loss
  • Reduces falling risk – untreated hearing loss can increase falling by 3x

90-95% of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids

Your Support Makes A Difference

Most people are at least a little bit nervous about seeking treatment for hearing loss. Offering to accompany them to their hearing test and evaluation will reduce any anxiety and ensure follow through. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you may want to make a list of questions to ask together so that way you will get all the answers you need to make decisions. Finally, you can also remind them that our offices are in a private, out of the way location and all client information is strictly confidential.

Consider the statistic that on average people wait up to 10 years before seeking treatment for hearing loss. That’s a long time to be missing out on conversations, entertainment and the sounds around us we take for granted daily. To help your family member or close friend hear what they have been missing, call the Polo Park Hearing Centre staff at (204)788-1083.

Couple Talking Over Coffee May MonthYou may have already heard that May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. Increasing public awareness about the challenges faced by people with hearing loss is important to us. We will be focusing on hearing health and communication with an emphasis on how to help a friend or loved one cope with their hearing loss.

Hearing loss is common – 1 in 4 adult Canadians has some form of hearing loss

Understanding the Impact of Hearing Loss

While most people would be devasted to have the quality of their vision drop by 50%, it is not uncommon to think dealing with a significant hearing loss is easier. Numerous studies have shown the impact hearing loss has on a person’s emotional wellbeing can be enormous. Not being able to easily communicate with friends and family in social settings often leads to confusion, frustration, feelings of isolation and even depression. This is why we want to offer some strategies to reduce the strain on our relationships when dealing with someone suffering from untreated hearing loss.

Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging problems hearing and seeking help

6 Easy Tips For Overcoming Hearing Loss

While empathy and patience go a long way to improving communication, here are six tips anyone can use:

  • A great way to communication with people with hearing loss is to say their name when you begin speaking. This will ensure you have their attention and reduce missed conversation.
  • Alternatively, you can get someone’s attention by touching them lightly on the hand or shoulder.
  • In a group situation, waiting until everyone else has finished talking makes understanding speech easier than trying to decipher multiple voices at the same time.
  • If possible keep facing the person you are speaking with so that a person with poor hearing can read your facial expressions and body language clearly.
  • In addition to number four, keeping your hands clear of your mouth and not resting your chin on your hands is helpful.
  • When someone has better hearing in one ear over the other, take advantage of that fact and ask if sitting on their better hearing side will help them hear.

Although it can be a bit like work when being asked to repeat parts of a conversation, accepting the situation and knowing you are helping someone you care about stay connected will help ease any frustration.

When It’s time

Some people have a hard time accepting their hearing loss and can take years before they seek treatment. When they decide it’s time, the first step is a hearing evaluation and test. To book and appointment call us at (204) 788-1083.

pete townsend tinnitus - polo park hearing centre winnipeg

Pete Townshend [Image credit: flickr user Kubacheck | CC BY 2.0]

Over the past several years the news has revealed an increasing number of musicians struggling with hearing loss. Rock icons and classical musicians alike are revealing the toll excessively loud music has had on their hearing and subsequently their career. The saddest part is:

Noise induced hearing loss is 100% preventable.

According to an article published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine professional musicians are also 57% more likely to have tinnitus than general public. Tinnitus is most often characterized by incessant “ringing in the ears” that may be temporary or persistent.

Musician’s Paradox: Music Increases Hearing Sensitivity?

Normally repeated long term exposure to loud noise levels causes hearing damage that reduces hearing sensitivity and the ability to hear a full range of sound (high frequency hearing loss). Published articles suggest that long term exposure to music has the opposite effect and actually increases hearing sensitivity. It’s hard to believe but the musician’s underlying biology is actually working against protecting them more so than a non musician.

From the article: “… musicians have been shown to develop enhanced sensitivity to meaning in non-musical sound, which might, to a certain extent, mask fundamental hearing deficits. Moreover, Zendel and Alain found that musicians might receive benefit from their training such that age-related hearing loss is attenuated. However, these observations may not apply to specific subgroups. In light of our results, it might be that many musicians prone to hearing loss do contract noise induced hearing loss before age-related hearing loss emerges.”

Preventing Damage

All musicians should have protective in-ear monitors or ear plugs regardless of the type of music they are playing. Even more care should be used whenever sound amplifiers are used in order to reduce the risk or noise induced hearing loss.

Should I Get A Hearing Test?

The easiest answer is yes, if your are having any of the common signs of hearing loss:

  • Difficulty following a conversation in a noisy room such as a restaurant (background noise makes hearing more diffucult)
  • Constantly asking others to repeat themselves
  • Turning up the TV or radio to volume levels others find loud
  • Having trouble understanding conversation in noisy places
  • Being told by others that you have hearing loss

Because our hearing naturally declines as we age, medical professionals may suggest a hearing evaluation as we reach our late forties and early fifties.

Are you not hearing the conversation as easily as you once did? To hear what you have been missing, give us a call at(204) 788-1083.

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