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Tips for enjoying your holiday gatherings

 

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For many people with hearing loss, the holidays can be especially challenging. While large family gatherings offer a wonderful opportunity to catch up with family and friends and family, holiday parties can be challenging for people with hearing loss.

Here are some tips for to better enjoy holiday gatherings:

  1.   FIND A QUIET CORNER

Stand away from loudspeakers and noisy kitchens and position yourself in the quietest area of the room. This way you can hear conversation rather than noise.

  1.  WEAR YOUR HEARING AIDS IF YOU HAVE THEM!

You may think that with so much background noise, hearing aids would just make things louder, but modern sophisticated technology helps focus amplification on speech sounds while filtering out unwanted noise, like the clanging of dishes in the kitchen, or background “cocktail party” conversation.

  1.  ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES

Can help expand the functionality of your hearing aids in challenging listening environments. Remote Bluetooth microphones, FM systems, and even your iPhone paired to made-for-iPhone hearing aids can improve your ability to hear in noise or at a distance when used in conjunction with hearing aids.

  1.  PICK YOUR SEAT

If you’re having a sit-down dinner, pick a seat at the center of the table nearest to a close friend or relative. This way you have a better chance of hearing conversation and enjoying your meal.

  1.  HAVE THE “HEARING LOSS” CONVERSATION

Holiday gatherings are a good time to notice if a family member or friend seems to be withdrawing from conversation. If you think your loved one is having difficulty hearing, encourage them to schedule a hearing test and seek help. Treating hearing loss helps maintain social connections and good quality of life.
 

  1.  HELP GUESTS WITH HEARING LOSS.

Consider turning down the background music. Hold off cleaning the dishes until your guests have left. For people with hearing loss, background noise makes it more difficult to carry on conversation.

  1.  PRACTICE CLEAR COMMUNICATION

When speaking to someone with hearing loss. Speak clearly, do not cover your mouth or eat while speaking, face the person with hearing loss, and rephrase rather than repeat, if necessary. Rephrasing makes it easier for the individual with hearing difficulty to follow the conversation because it may be a particular word or sound of speech that they’re having trouble deciphering.

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Holiday Hearing Hints

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Socialize more with less effort this holiday season

Hearing in background noise that includes holiday music, children playing, glasses clinking and more can be especially hard when you have hearing loss. Ask the host to lower the volume on the holiday music and make sure the room is well lit, so you can better see facial expressions.

Stay connected during holiday fun

On the go with a full schedule of holiday activities? Put in fresh hearing aid batteries before leaving the house when holiday shopping or traveling, to ensure you never lose power. Also, make sure that your hearing aids are cleaned and performing optimally.

Share and hear during holiday traditions

Make meaningful connections with your grandchildren this holiday season. Share a favorite holiday story, bake cookies, decorate the house – whatever makes the holidays special for your family. Help your grandchildren understand that hearing loss can sometimes make it difficult for you to hear them. Simple tips, such as asking them to get your attention first or to turn off the TV, can make communication easier. Also, if sitting at a table, try sitting across from them or at a round table to make communication easier.

A healthy hearing Holiday resolution

Make regular hearing checks part of your Holiday resolutions. A hearing evaluation performed by a Doctor of Audiology is quick, painless and an easy way to invest in your long-term health. Untreated hearing loss can have a negative impact on speech understanding, comprehension and other cognitive activities. Actively wearing hearing aids prescribed by a Doctor of Audiology helps keep you mentally fit by reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

Begin your Holiday resolution by calling our office to schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation, (570) 724-4042

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Hearing the Sounds of Autumn

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Here are our favorite sounds of Autumn that we don’t want you to miss!
Walking through the leaves ~ Seeing the various colors of the leaves on a tree is a beautiful sight, but the sounds of the leaves crunching under your feet is a beautiful sound.  Are you missing this sound?
Wind ~ The sound of the wind flowing through the woods, leaves and branches on the trees makes for a peaceful and serene sound from Mother Nature.  Can you hear the wind?
Fall Showers ~ The sound of rain drops on the leaves, in puddles and on rooftops is a soothing, calming sound.  Are you hearing the rain drops.
Bonfires ~ The sounds of the flames crackling bringing back memories of our childhood, roosting marshmallows over the open flame.  Can you hear the crackling?
The sounds of Autumn are beautiful, put on your sneakers and go for a walk in the woods and enjoy what Mother Nature and God has given us.  Before you know it Old Man Winter will be upon us!
Happy Fall!
 

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Summertime and Hearing Aid Care

Summer is in full swing and so are the activities that make people crave to be outside to take advantage of the hot days and cool nights. For those who have hearing aids, there are some challenges presented that can leave you at risk for damaging them. With the hot temperatures outside and the abundance of water related activities, it’s easy for your hearing aids to become permanently damaged if you don’t take precautions beforehand. Here are a few ways to help protect your hearing aids during summertime activities:
1. If you exercise outside, remove your hearing aids if there is inclement weather or if it is extremely hot outside.
Lady paddling the kayak in the calm tropical bay at sunset
2. If you live in a humid area, open the battery door to let air pass through the aid to dry it overnight.
3. When you are not wearing your hearing aids, always store them in a dry case and away from direct sunlight.
4. Do not store your hearing aids in places where heat and moisture can build up such as bathrooms, glove boxes, and some handbags.
5. If you are going to be outside all day and need to apply sunscreen, remove your hearing aids before applying. The oils from sunscreens can damage the delicate electronics inside, so always make sure to fully rub in your sunscreen or lotion so that it dries and doesn’t damage your hearing aids when you put them back in.
6. Always remove hearing aids before any activity that involves water or getting wet such as swimming or showering.
For even more tips and methods to help protect your hearing aids, consult with an audiologist as to what you can do to properly take care of your hearing aids. If you’re continually having issues with your hearing aids, be sure to schedule an appointment with a hearing health care provider as soon as possible.

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How Do Audiologists Diaganose Hearing Loss?

Your audiologist will begin by obtaining a detailed history.  In doing so, he or she will learn more about the type of problems you are having as well as relevant background health information.  The audiologist will then likely perform several types of hearing tests.  These will provide more detailed information about your specific hearing abilities by measuring how well you respond to various frequencies, and how you can hear and understand speech.  The hearing test will also help your audiologist determine if your hearing loss is something medically or surgically treatable, or whether it is a problem purely in the inner ear.

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COVID-19 OFFICE UPDATE

We are OPEN
As we continue to monitor news and information surrounding the coronavirus, our highest priority remains supporting the patients and staff of Dr. Richard J. Stauch. Our thoughts are with all those impacted, as well as those caring for others. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns with your hearing!
HOURS
We are here! Our office will remain open to serve our loyal patients and their needs, our office hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.
TOP PRIORITIES
Your health and safety are our top priority. We closely follow local health and safety guidelines to ensure that every protocol is followed to maintain a safe and clean facility for our patients and staff. If you need to be seen for hearing concerns or hearing aid repairs, please call or email our office to determine how we may quickly and safely assist you!
CONCERNED about your HEARING
Do you currently have hearing concerns? Please do not hesitate to contact us for a hearing evaluation, hearing technology, adjustments, hearing aid repairs or if you are in need of supplies.  Please call us at (570) 724-4042

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North Central Hearing Associates is Proud to Support the Hearing Health Foundation

As the holiday season ends, we’re reminded of all the things we’re thankful for. Not only are we grateful to support our patients with their hearing concerns, but we appreciate the opportunity to help others in need. It’s not just the immediate people around us that can benefit from generosity; you can make a difference in the world no matter where you are.
At North Central Hearing Associates, we are a proud supporter of a variety of charities and noteworthy causes. This winter, we’ve extended our reach to support the Hearing Health Foundation. We’re committed to the welfare of others and are grateful that we can encourage this fantastic organization and the important work they’re doing.
Our staff thanks you for the gift you give us daily – being able to help you with your hearing needs. It’s what makes our job truly special.
Season’s greetings!

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North Central Hearing Associates is Happy to Support the Hearing Health Foundation

As the holiday season ends, we’re reminded of all the things we’re thankful for. Not only are we grateful to support our patients with their hearing concerns, but we appreciate the opportunity to help others in need. It’s not just the immediate people around us that can benefit from generosity; you can make a difference in the world no matter where you are.
At North Central Hearing Associates, we are a proud supporter of a variety of charities and noteworthy causes. This winter, we’ve extended our reach to support the Hearing Health Foundation. We’re committed to the welfare of others and are grateful that we can encourage this fantastic organization and the important work they’re doing.
Our staff thanks you for the gift you give us daily – being able to help you with your hearing needs. It’s what makes our job truly special.
Season’s greetings!

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Protecting Your Hearing This Summer

As we move along into the lazy days of summer, there are a few tips to keep your hearing healthy.  During these fun months there is a natural increase in loud noise exposure that can hurt or damage our hearing.  Fireworks, concerts, driving with the windows down and cranking the radio volume, visiting theme parks with loud attractions, using chain saws, riding motorcycles, are just some of events that can raise the decibel level (the measure in which loudness is measured).  If silence is measured at 0dB, and any sound over 85dB is dangerous, understanding a firecracker can produce sounds starting at 125 dB, we can start to assume that the risk of hearing damage at this range can be irreversible.  Every year people experience some type of hearing loss as a direct result of fireworks.
What’s happening is the noise is overloading the tiny hair cells that are all ready vibrating.  This is causing them to become damaged or die and you quickly develop sensorineural hearing loss and most common tinnitus.  Please visit our site about for more information on tinnitus.
Some of the warning signs of exposure is pain in your ears after exposure to the loud noise, ringing or buzzing immediately after the exposure, difficulty in understanding people around you even though you can hear them.  These warning signs then can lead to constant buzzing, ringing, and crackling, humming which can become bothersome and change your quality of life.
Although fireworks and all the fun sounds of summer are very exciting at the moment you’re in it, remember it can be dangerous to your ears.  Take precautions, stop at the local pharmacy and pick up a pack of disposable ear plugs for the entire family, or for friends.  Look out for others!  Foam or silicone is usually available and you can still hear people and things going on around you.  If you visit your Audiologist they can make custom ear plugs that fit snug and offer amazing protection from loud sounds that you can use over and over.  Remember the importance of hearing health and conservation and celebrate smart!!  Enjoy your summer!

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The Tiny Danger Hidden In The Sea

We all love this in some way.  We love it on food, we love it when we have a raw throat and feeling of relief it brings for pain.  We love soaking it for inflamed and painful muscles.  But we love this the most when we add sand, sun and seaweed; it’s like enjoying a free day at the spa.  What we love so much is Salt (NaCl).  A translucent, colorless, odorless, cube shaped crystal that contains sodium and chlorine.  We love this so much that we are willing to travel thousands of miles to soak in it, play in it, swim in it and just feel the natural goodness it brings to our soul.  We are ready to go but are our hearing aids ready for it?  If they could talk they would say they would rather stay home, far far away from that crystalline mineral we just absolutely love to death.
You see, your hearing aids can actually get damaged from the combination of the water and salt.  Salt is corrosive. It can damage, corrode, and destroy the microphone and receiver and clog tubes.  It can cause malfunction by reducing the volume of the hearing aid and compromise the function of the Zinc-Air batteries.  This deadly combination can ruin a nice pair of hearing aids not to mention the trip.  You see salt can not evaporate either so it is carried in the sea spray and on the wind just as if you were swimming in it.
But please do not stress or cancel your get away just yet.  It’s simple and easy to prepare and protect your hearing aids.  Did you know that at least 60% of hearing aids actually offer some type of coating protection called nano-coating?  This nano-covering is pretty cool because it works by lowering an object’s surface energy, this then causes the liquid to adhere to itself and create a bead that just rolls right off instead of being absorbed.  Its true, but to know this about yours or the level of protection you need to visit or call your Audiologist today and ask the right questions.  Some questions to have in mind would be:
*Do my hearing aids have nano-covering, and at what level?
*Is the receiver protected from substances such as moisture?
*Is the amplifier sealed in water-proof material?
*Are your hearing aids labeled “water resistant” or “water-proof?” There is a difference
*Are your tubes made of materials which are resistant to sweat and moisture?”
Even if your hearing aids do not have this technology, there are still things such as sweat bands, portable dehumidifiers or drying kits, hearing aid sleeves made from neoprene, and other water resistant covers to keep them protected.
So go ahead, go get your love of salt, sun and fun. But go with the confidence that you protected your investment, you know the risks and you and your Audiologist have worked closely to make informed decisions about water repellant or water-proof accessories available to you.