Is Hearing Loss Harder For Men?

I have a hearing loss, as did my father, and believe me, it is not fun; but it seemed to have been a lot harder for him than it is for me (spoiler alert – I am a woman). He hid it as best as he could, smiling and nodding his way through conversations he was only pretending to hear. He never asked for help to hear better, that I can remember, and could often be found sitting alone at social gatherings. I always thought he was shy, but now I know it was the hearing loss. He must have been exhausted and had given up on interacting with others.

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How To Enjoy A Barbecue With Hearing Loss

I love summer barbecue parties — Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July, or just a regular summer weekend. It is fun to gather friends and family to enjoy the summer weather, each other’s company and the casual fare. Parties can be a challenge for people with hearing loss, but barbecues are some of the easiest to navigate. Barbecues are typically outside so the noise doesn’t bounce around the room the way it can at indoor events. Being outdoors also often creates a variety of socializing spots — some might even be relatively quiet! So head to a barbecue this weekend — or host one of your own.

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HLAA’s Convention 2016 – A Time For Friendship & Focus

I just got back from Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) 2016 Convention in Washington DC. I loved it! I learned a lot in the plenary and small group sessions and had the opportunity to connect and reconnect with hearing loss advocates from around the world. Every aspect of the program was hearing loss accessible — through live captioning (CART), hearing loops and sign language interpreters. Attendance was strong and included people from 22 countries since the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People held their Congress at the same time.

This was my second Convention. Like last year, it was a time to celebrate the support we provide to one another within the hearing loss community. It was the chance to visit with old and new friends, learn from one another in the symposium and breakout sessions and try out innovative products in the exhibit hall.

But this year, I also felt a new sense of urgency among the attendees.

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Talking Hearing Loss With Today’s Audiology Students

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a group of audiology doctoral students at The Graduate Center, CUNY. The purpose was to share the patient’s perspective with them, particularly as it relates to what patients would like to see when visiting their audiologists.

The group of students was intelligent, interested and highly motivated to understand the patient’s point of view. They were surprised to hear about the wide variety of experiences I have had with different audiologists throughout my hearing loss life — some good and some not so good. From our discussions, I could see that they are learning best practices in their classes and had the clear intent to put patient-centered cared into action. This is good news for all of us with hearing loss.

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Hearing Loss Hide & Seek

I hear the giggles, the squirms, the muffled “Shhhs,” but the location of these sounds is a mystery. Are my children hiding in the kitchen? The bathroom? One of their bedrooms? I am pretty certain they are on that side of the house, but where precisely is unclear. We are playing hide & seek.

I walk past their hiding spot, and giggles erupt, but I don’t see them. I reverse course and walk right by them again. Hysteria ensues. My hearing loss makes it hard to pinpoint the location of the sound. I think that is their favorite part.

I am happy to play along with their games — they eventually give away their hiding spot when a limb or butt pokes out as they squirm — but in life, difficulty knowing where a sound originates can be a serious issue. Even a dangerous one.

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