an african american woman laughs with her daughter during a holiday meal despite hearing loss

Stay Connected During the Holidays: 7 Tips for Hearing Your Best

Whether parties or dinners, there are countless opportunities during the holidays to gather with loved ones. That means plenty of chances to practice our tips for giving yourself the greatest gift of all: connection. Read on to get started.  

Give Yourself a Firm Foundation

Put together a holiday better-hearing kit and keep it in your bag or purse wherever you go. Include extra batteries, a cleaning set, a dehumidifier, extra domes or tubing, and an older set of hearing aids if you have them.

 

Around the Table

Meals are a big part of the holidays — we want to help you get your fill of both the food and the festivities with these better-hearing tips for the table.

Speak up If you feel comfortable doing so, give a gentle reminder to slow down, speak up, and talk directly to you. It will go a long way — for …

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Celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month

5 Ways to Support Your HEARing Health

The whir of a hummingbird. The warning of an approaching ambulance. The round of laughter after your deviously funny — and deftly delivered — wedding toast. That sublime guitar riff or soulful crescendo in your favorite song.

As we celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month in May — and the theme, “Communication for All” — it’s a great time to remember the many ways hearing makes a difference in your life. And to help you maintain those connections that matter, we’re sharing five easy tips for hearing your best.

Know the Signs

More than 466 million children and adults have disabling hearing impairment, according to the World Health Organization, but nearly all hearing loss can be treated. One of the first steps is recognizing the potential signs. If you experience muffled speech sounds, difficulty hearing on the phone or in a crowd, trouble understanding women’s or children’s …

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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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