Better Hearing Can Help Your Career

5 Ways Better Hearing Can Help Your Career

More than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem, and another 30 percent suspect they have a problem, but have not sought treatment, according to EPIC’s Listen Hear! survey.

And of those with a suspected hearing loss, nearly all report that this hearing loss impacts them on the job, with complaints ranging from stress due to misunderstanding what was said to pretending to hear well to having trouble over the phone.

A 2011 study by the Better Hearing Institute revealed that hearing loss can pose a significant barrier to productivity, performance, overall career success, lifetime earnings, and household earnings — in fact, it can lead to almost $30,000 in lost income every year. Luckily, treating hearing loss can make a hearing-related income loss negligible, and it can help in other ways that you might not have expected. Take a look at …

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We hear with our brains, not our ears.

Can Music Help You Hear Better?

When we as hearing care providers think about music, generally the detrimental effects come to mind. But Frank Russo, professor of psychology and director of the Science of Music, Auditory Research, and Technology Lab (SMART Lab) is bringing to light possible positive effects. Russo is conducting a study that explores a new way to cope with hearing loss in noisy environments: studying music.

In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Russo says understanding speech in noise is a top complaint among older adults with hearing loss.

“The complaint often is, ‘I hear just fine when I’m speaking to someone one-on-one, but when I’m in a crowded situation — if I’m at a party, if I’m at bus station, if I’m in a mall — speech in noise becomes very problematic,’” he relays.

Why Music

Another article cited by NPR tells us research has …

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Restaurants & Hearing Loss

On the Menu: Deaf-Friendly Restaurants

Road-tripping? Keep these 7 spots in mind!

The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act improved equity and access in employment, public accommodations, services, and so much more for people living with disabilities, including hearing impairment.

Some businesses, however, go above and beyond to ensure a better experience for patrons with hearing or speech challenges.

For your summer travels, we’ve put together a quick list of restaurants that go the extra mile to ensure your hearing and communication experience is just as good as your dining experience. Keep them in mind as you plan your next road trip!

Molly Moon’s — Seattle, WA

This popular ice cream stop — rhubarb cardamom sorbet, anyone? — with several Seattle-area locations includes employees trained in American Sign Language, according to a recent KOMO News story, creating a more inclusive, welcoming experience.

Crêpe Crazy — Austin, TX

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Give Your Brain a Boost

How Age Affects Speech Comprehension

Recent research has provided a wealth of new information about hearing loss and the brain, from where hearing actually happens — in the brain, not the ears — to how hearing loss can lead to issues such as dementia and depression. But the results from a new study suggest the brain even processes speech differently as you age.

A new study1 out of the University of Maryland suggests that the aging brain naturally loses the ability to make sense of competing noise sources, even in those with no hearing loss.

Two groups of adults, one with an average age of 22 and one with an average age of 65, were tested for speech comprehension in different environments: in quiet, in four levels of background noise, and with more than one person distinctly talking. All participants had no measurable hearing loss.

In the older group, two parts of the brain had …

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Picture of a brain

How Hearing Really Works

New research is helping us to understand exactly how our brains pick up speech and turn it into useful thoughts.

Hearing and understanding the world around you isn’t entirely your ears’ job, according to the results of a study conducted at Trinity College in Dublin. Using electrodes placed on a person’s scalp — a noninvasive procedure known as electroencephalography —researchers pinpointed the parts of the brain responsible for processing each individual sound involved in speech.

The study highlighted two important points:

Electroencephalography should prove very useful in future attempts to understand how the brain processes speech, something that is currently a mystery. Consistently visiting your hearing care provider is of the utmost importance.

Known as phonemes, these syllables, breaks, and intonations are meaningless on their own, yet amazingly, the brain is able to arrange them into patterns it recognizes as speech, even in noisy environments with other competing conversations …

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