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Better Hearing, Better You

Staying fit: physically, emotionally, mentally. It’s what our culture espouses at every turn.  We have fitness gyms, fit-bit exercise monitors, healthy eating plans, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and brain games. All to keep us vibrant participants in all aspects of our lives. What role does healthy hearing play in keeping us “in the game”? 

Number one, it helps maintain emotional connectedness in families. If a family member doesn’t hear or misunderstands what is being said, it creates tensions in relationships. Frustrations arise over responses totally off topic of what was said. There is a war over the volume of the TV. At some point it simply becomes easier to isolate yourself from conversations because it is too much work to keep up with what is being said.  

Two, it helps keep the brain stimulated. More and more studies are showing a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Being able to recognize a sound as familiar, to focus on a desired sound or sequence of sounds as in speech, to locate where sound is coming from, to separate out speech from other sounds in the environment, are all functions that happen in the brain. As the ear becomes limited in its ability to transmit signals, the brain has increased difficulty processing the information it is receiving.

Third, it brings great pleasure into our lives: the crackling of a wood fire, uncorking a bottle, revving up a motorcycle, a child’s laughter.
Don’t let a hearing loss rob you of the vibrancy of life all around you. If you know you have a hearing loss, now is the time to do something about it. A current hearing test can help you determine what is the next best plan of action for your hearing needs. If you’re not sure about your hearing, it’s a good idea to schedule a hearing test to establish a baseline for future reference. Healthy hearing is a major contributor to the overall quality of life.

Mary Jo Canaday, M.S., CCC-A/P

If you want to schedule a hearing test, now is a great time to do so! Most Medicare plans cover the test and private insurers can also use Health Savings Accounts to pay for the service and any follow-ups needed. Don’t waste time missing out on the audio pleasures of life.  Call Leanne at 574-314-5431 to schedule today. 

Link between chronic disease and hearing loss

Staying at the Top of Your Game in the Workplace

by The Better Hearing Institute

We feel our best when we do our best. At the top of our game is where we all want to be. This is as true in the workplace as it is on the basketball court. But to stay at the top of your game at work and in life, you need to stay primed – ready for that next big play. It requires staying alert; keeping your skills sharp; and hearing your best. That’s right – hearing your best.

Listening doesn’t typically come to mind as a highly coveted job skill. But the truth is, listening is one of the top skills employers look for in those being promoted, according to the International Listening Association. Both business practitioners and academics identify listening as one of the most important skills for an effective professional. Individual performance in an organization directly relates to listening ability or perceived listening effectiveness. And good listening skills are even tied to effective leadership.

So if being at the top of your game – especially on the job – is what you’re after, pay attention to your hearing. Hearing your best is the first step to good listening skills. And good listening skills help pave the way to success.

For those with hearing loss: Be encouraged. Today’s modern, sleek, and virtually invisible hearing aids can help the vast majority of people with hearing loss. In fact, the days of letting unaddressed hearing loss stand in your way are long gone – and good riddance to them! Hearing aids, other forms of amplification, and even modest workspace accommodations enable almost everyone to hear their best so they can do well on the job. Today’s hearing aids are digital, wireless, and can be as discreet or as stylized as you choose. They allow you to hear from all directions and in all sorts of sound environments so you can more easily discern what people are saying.

So whether you’re a mechanic, a plumber, a nurse, a teacher, a C-suite executive, a police officer, a customer service representative, an attorney, or in any line of work, there are hearing-aid technologies and other approaches to dealing with hearing loss that can help. And remember: You are not alone. Roughly 60 percent of Americans with hearing loss are in the workforce overcoming the very same challenges you are.

Research shows that hearing aids really do help. A study by the Better Hearing Institute found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90-to-100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65-to-77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. What’s more, people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are nearly twice as likely to be employed as their peers who do not use hearing aids. And eight out of 10 hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids. From how they feel about themselves to positive changes in their work lives, relationships and other social interactions, hearing aid users are benefiting from today’s technology.

Face it. You’ve got too much game in you to slow down now. So play at the top of your game. Stay at the top of your game. Make an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional and learn how you can hear your best today.

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