Category: Audiology


May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Leisure Activities Rife With Loud Noise

With more than half of Americans who experience noise-induced hearing loss not working in noisy jobs, the spotlight turns to what Americans are doing in their leisure time. May 1 marks the beginning of Better Hearing & Speech Month—a time to assess lifestyle habits that may be contributing to hearing loss as well as schedule a hearing evaluation for anyone with concerns about their hearing.

About 40 million U.S. adults aged 20–69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, a form of hearing damage that results from exposure to loud noise. This could be cumulative harm that developed from exposure over time, or it could occur from one severe episode. Although completely preventable, once it occurs, it is irreversible. Far from simply being an annoyance, hearing loss can affect almost all aspects of life, including physical health, mental health, employment status and success, social functioning and satisfaction, and much more. Hearing loss can be treated through various technologies and techniques under the care of a certified audiologist, but hearing is never fully restored.

In addition to the dangers posed by listening to ear buds or headphones at too-loud volumes and for too long, noisy settings are commonplace in today’s society, including in Raleigh. Many restaurants are specifically designed to elevate noise levels to make establishments feel more energetic. Similarly, some sports stadiums have been built with sound elevation in mind, thought to improve the fan experience and serve as a home-team advantage. Coffee shops, fitness classes, and more all make modern society a collectively loud place.

“Although many people report concern about noisy environments, not nearly enough take protective steps,” said Raleigh-based audiologist Lena Kyman, AuD. She offers some simple ways that the public can take charge of their hearing health—this month and always:

• Wear hearing protection. Earplugs and earmuffs are cheap, portable, and (with a good fit) offer excellent hearing protection. Bring them along when you know you’ll be in a noisy setting. Better yet, keep them on you at all times!

• Reduce exposure. Take steps to reduce your exposure to noisy settings. Visit noisy establishments during off times, consider quieter settings, and talk to managers if you find the noise level uncomfortable.

• See a certified audiologist for a hearing evaluation. A recent government report stated that 1 in 4 U.S. adults who report excellent to good hearing already have hearing damage. Many adults don’t routinely get their hearing checked, and even those who are concerned often delay treatment for years. Postponing treatment can have serious medical and mental health repercussions in addition to reducing a person’s quality of life, so visit a certified audiologist if you have any concerns.

“This advice about hearing protection goes for just about everyone, from the youngest of children to older adults, from those with excellent hearing who want to maintain it, to those who already have some hearing loss and don’t want to make it worse,” notes Lena Kyman, AuD. “As a society, everyone needs to prioritize hearing protection.”

World Hearing Day 2017

Every year on March 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Hearing Day. This day was created to help raise awareness and draw attention to the importance of prevention, screening and rehabilitation of hearing loss. The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment’.
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Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

auditory-brainstem-response
What is an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test?

The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test provides both quantitative and qualitative data for doctors who want to assess the status of a patient’s brainstem pathways and auditory nerves.

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Tinnitus Evaluations

tinnitus-evaluationWhat is a Tinnitus Evaluation?

It is important to have your tinnitus evaluated by a professional who can help you manage the irksome symptoms. Primary Tinnitus is a medical symptom that is characterized by persistent noise in one or both ears that can only be heard by the affected individual.

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We’re Excited to Announce Our New Partnership with Puro Sound Labs

ENT & Audiology Associates is proud to announce that we are officially one of the first ENT & Audiology groups in the United States to partner with Puro Sound Labs.

Puro’s Bluetooth headphones feature studio-grade audio quality, plus advanced volume monitoring and interactive reporting to guide users to safer listening. These headphones are packed with technology.

With the Volume Monitoring Bluetooth headphones, we put you in control of protecting one of your most valuable senses – hearing. These headphones are uniquely engineered to continuously monitor volume levels as you listen, and deliver that information to you through the LED indicator on the ear cup. No more wondering, “How loud is too loud?” To boot, the 82% noise-isolation and studio grade audio quality ensure that your listening experience is never compromised, even in noisy environments.

If you are interested in purchasing a pair for yourself or a loved one, visit: http://bit.ly/BuyPuroSound

Quick Read: Babies Don’t Need Smartphones

Since May is Better Speech and Hearing month, we’ll be posting interesting articles and relevant facts throughout the month. Although the story is a year old, the USA Today article written by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2015 President, Judith L. Page is even more relevant in 2016.

With an increase in technology use being observed at younger and younger ages, children are beginning to show signs of suffering from delayed speech and social development. Click here to read more

America must confront hearing loss: Column

Hearing loss is a larger problem than one may think. It’s not just about not being able to hear noise at certain levels but how it impacts the daily life of an individual. Hearing loss is associated with depression, lower incomes for adults, and learning difficulties for children, yet the Center for Disease Control doesn’t recognize it as a disability with the hardship it causes someone. Read the article from USA Today to learn more about how Americans must confront this issue.

The United States is approaching a tipping point in terms of hearing loss and how it is treated under current policy.

10 Tips to Preserve Your Child’s Hearing during the Holidays

Children’s ears are very sensitive to loud noises and even the most innocent toy can cause hearing loss. Monitor the level of noise that occurs during the holidays around children and how closely they hold toys and devices to their ears. Following these ten easy steps can keep your children’s little ears safe from harm.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Tips-Preserve-Childs-Hearing-Holidays.aspx

Holiday Hearing Loss Gift Guide

From baby to adults with hearing loss, we have a holiday gift guide with some clever gift ideas to bring a smile to their face. They’ll be filled with joy, knowing you thought of their needs.

Holiday Hearing Loss Gift Guide

America Must Confront Hearing Loss

america-must-confront-hearing-loss

Hearing loss is a larger problem than one may think. It’s not just about not being able to hear noise at certain levels but how it impacts the daily life of an individual. Hearing loss is associated with depression, lower incomes for adults, and learning difficulties for children, yet the Center for Disease Control doesn’t recognize it as a disability with the hardship it causes someone. Read the article from USA Today to learn more about how Americans must confront this issue.

The United States is approaching a tipping point in terms of hearing loss and how it is treated under current policy.

Breaking the Stigma of Hearing Loss – The Who, What, Why and How

hearing loss patient

It’s unfortunate that hearing loss has such a bad stigma when it affects so many people both old and young. It doesn’t seem to be a major concern to health insurance providers, that it makes the person suffering less inclined to take action to better their hearing. The lack of action tends to lead to depression and surprisingly many other health concerns. This article will open to your eyes to who suffers from hearing loss, what other major health issues they many have, and the steps you can take to not let hearing loss define your life.

Breaking the Stigma of Hearing Loss – The Who, What, Why and How

A Safer Way To Listen: Addressing The Teen Hearing Loss Epidemic

The numbers are staggering. According to the CDC, as many as 16% of teens have reported some degree of hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise. The Journal of Pediatrics reports that 12.5 % of kids between ages 6 and 19 suffer from hearing loss as a result of using earphones/earbuds turned to a high volume. This is millions of teenagers.

how loud too loud

How? How is it that so many of are youth are able to damage their hearing right in front of us? Because it’s easy. The average MP3 player has a potential output of 105 decibels. The risk of noise-induced hearing loss starts at 85dB, with long and repeated exposure.

What can be done? Education! Our kids and teens need to learn the value of our sense of hearing, and how noise-induced hearing loss occurs. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but completely preventable. This is the first step. But how do you know if your volume is too loud? Get Puro Sound headphones that will not let the sound reach a dangerous level.puro phones

These new headphones are stylish, sleek, high quality, and SAFE. They connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth capable device, (with a wired option for non-Bluetooth devices), they are noise attenuating (reducing the need to increase the volume), and they have a limited output. Sounds will not exceed a safe listening level.

These headphones are perfect for any kid who listens to music, watches movies on a mobile device, etc. They are very high quality, reasonably priced, and acceptable for standards of hearing health. We now have these in our office, so please call or stop by for a free demonstration, and to pick up a pair today. We have two colors, and are expecting adult sizes by the end of the year!

collage-fodder1

The Real Problem With Hearing Aids Being Portrayed In The Media

UP While it’s rare for hearing aids to make appearances in mainstream movies, when they do, they make big ones. And by big, I don’t mean prominent, or important to the plot or character development, I mean big, ugly, usually squealing hearing aids. Ones that immediately come to mind are Up, and The Wrestler. While I appreciate that ‘bad press is better than no press’, this is not doing hearing impaired people that are on the fence about hearing aids any justice. Most times hearing aids are portrayed in a movie, they are a negative connotation.

The problem is, this is completely unrealistic! While feedback (whistling, squealing) used to be a problem with older hearing aids, due to advances in digital technology, this hasn’t been an issue in years. Further, hearing aids today are so small, they are virtually invisible. I understand they need to be seen to have a presence in the movie, however there has to be a better way.

ant-man-stoll Take Ant Man for instance! He has this incredibly high tech ear piece that can literally control ants. However, it doesn’t even have a custom earpiece! If the movie industry invested just a little research into the hearing aid industry before their next production, I think it would be a win-win for everybody.

HAs and EARsIn addition to the accuracy of the portrayal of hearing aids, the frequency also needs to reflect a more accurate adult population. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing loss. That’s 48 MILLION Americans! Further, hearing loss is not just for the ‘grumpy grandpa’ characters. The Better Hearing Institute reports that the majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. In fact there are more than SIX MILLION people in the U.S. between the ages of 18-44 with hearing loss.

HER_Graphic
This means we need to see more average middle aged working adults with hearing loss being represented in the movies, wearing modern, digital technology. And it doesn’t have be be a completely deaf character; something as simple as needing a few things repeated occasionally, and maybe a scene where they wirelessly stream a phone call to their hearing aids using bluetooth would suffice. That is real technology, and not just for futuristic movies like Her. Today, in 2015, you can connect your hearing aids wirelessly to your iPhone, and stream phone calls, music, and more!

 

I would love to see a movie with a scene where a character takes his or her hearing aids out at night before going to bed, and maybe the audience didn’t even realize that character wore hearing aids until that scene. They don’t have to be directly addressed or talked about, they’re just there, like they are for millions of Americans.

Kyman_Headshot2Lena Kyman is a clinic audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates in North Carolina. She is passionate about global audiology, and breaking down the stigma and stereotypes associated with hearing aids and hearing loss. She can be reached at Dr.Kyman@entandaudiology.com.

 

 

Audiology Abroad

audiology-abroad-raleigh-audiologistlena-kyman

This July, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Antigua, Guatemala, on a volunteer audiology trip.

I first went to Antigua as a graduate student in 2010, and was able to visit schools and clinics, perform hearing screenings, and make referrals to appropriate sources for further evaluation.  Five years later, I had the opportunity to return and continue this work.

This trip, I was able to visit a local elementary school and perform hearing screenings on the children that teachers had concerns about.  Further, I was able to provide batteries, and do cleanings/listening checks on two students’ hearing aids.  Later in the week, we were able to visit one of the Universities, and instruct speech and hearing students on audiology basics, and how to perform otoscopy and hearing screenings.

Visiting another country is such an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture.  While I was there to provide a service, I definitely feel like I received more from the people there. We are so fortunate to have sound proof booths here, sometimes in other countries hearing screenings are performed in classrooms without doors, noisy hallways, and even in showers!  One of the children with hearing aids who I worked with had a broken battery door.  I did not have a replacement door with me; however, I was able to make one out of packing tape at the school.  A temporary solution at best, however it made the difference between hearing and not hearing.

Amongst all that work, I was able to have some fun too!  Antigua is a beautiful city, and I really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the central park.  I got to hike Pacaya, an active volcano, and take a jade workshop at the home of a long-time jade miner.  An amazing experience, to say the least.

I look forward to returning again next year, hopefully with more donated supplies, and a larger team of students.  I want to thank ENT & Audiology Associates for their generosity in donating batteries and ear plugs, and allowing me to travel during such a busy time of the year.  Global audiology is a passion of mine, and I hope to make a difference, one ear at a time.

 

DrKymanPic Lena Kyman is a clinical audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates.  She is passionate about hearing health education, and global audiology.  She can be reached at Dr.Kyman@entandaudiology.com.

 

 

Audiology Abroad

This July, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Antigua, Guatemala, on a volunteer audiology trip.

I first went to Antigua as a graduate student in 2010, and was able to visit schools and clinics, perform hearing screenings, and make referrals to appropriate sources for further evaluation.  Five years later, I had the opportunity to return and continue this work.

This trip, I was able to visit a local elementary school and perform hearing screenings on the children that teachers had concerns about.  Further, I was able to provide batteries, and do cleanings/listening checks on two students’ hearing aids.  Later in the week, we were able to visit one of the Universities, and instruct speech and hearing students on audiology basics, and how to perform otoscopy and hearing screenings.

Visiting another country is such an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture.  While I was there to provide a service, I definitely feel like I received more from the people there. We are so fortunate to have sound proof booths here, sometimes in other countries hearing screenings are performed in classrooms without doors, noisy hallways, and even in showers!  One of the children with hearing aids who I worked with had a broken battery door.  I did not have a replacement door with me; however, I was able to make one out of packing tape at the school.  A temporary solution at best, however it made the difference between hearing and not hearing.

Amongst all that work, I was able to have some fun too!  Antigua is a beautiful city, and I really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the central park.  I got to hike Pacaya, an active volcano, and take a jade workshop at the home of a long-time jade miner.  An amazing experience, to say the least.

I look forward to returning again next year, hopefully with more donated supplies, and a larger team of students.  I want to thank ENT & Audiology Associates for their generosity in donating batteries and ear plugs, and allowing me to travel during such a busy time of the year.  Global audiology is a passion of mine, and I hope to make a difference, one ear at a time.