An Interesting App To Make TV Watching Easier For People With Hearing Loss

Watching TV can be a challenge for people with hearing loss. In my home, I have things set up just the way I want them. I use a sound bar that enhances speech over background noise and always watch with closed captions. But when I am elsewhere, it can be trickier. People are sometimes resistant to putting on the closed captioning or don’t know how to work that feature on their particular television set. The acoustics are often not ideal either, especially if the TV is far across the room like in a waiting room or hotel room. In the exhibit hall at HLAA’s 2018 Convention, I discovered a new tool that might help.

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Don’t Let Hearing Loss Keep You From Your Dreams

She took the stage shoeless, her back slightly turned to the audience as she used visual cues to coordinate with her band. She smiled slightly in anticipation of her performance, as if she were about to share a secret with the audience. The music started and she began to sing — her voice sweet and lyrical, gaining in strength as the song built energy. I couldn’t believe her skill and finesse — especially because she was doing it all without hearing a thing.

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Hearing Loss — The Forgotten Problem

This week I share a school project written by my son. The assignment was to write about a cause that is important to you and then deliver a speech about it to the class. He is in 7th grade. While not every detail is perfect in his talk, his experience growing up with a mom who has hearing loss shines through in bright detail. I am so proud of his efforts to raise awareness about hearing loss and love his suggestions for how his peers can help. 

I share his speech below, lightly edited.

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Why Don’t Doctors Routinely Screen for Hearing Loss?

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Hearing Tracker

Every year at my annual medical check-up, the doctor checks my height and weight, listens to my heart and takes my blood pressure. She scans my skin for any moles that might have changed, looks at my eyes, my ears and down my throat. She orders blood work, and sometimes even other tests, but never, not once, has she tested my hearing or even asked me about it.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

The same goes for my children at their annual check-up. Here the doctor does all of the above, plus a vision screening. But only upon request, will they do a cursory hearing test. Given my genetics, I request one for both of my children. Every year.

The lack of focus on hearing as an important part of one’s health is misguided and needs to change. Hearing loss is associated with many health problems, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, an increased likelihood of falls and even a higher risk of dementia. Identifying and treating hearing loss early could be a big help in lowering these risks, improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss, and reducing overall health care costs for us all.

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Partners In Hearing Workshop – Developing Tools To Better Navigate Hearing Loss

I recently attended a workshop hosted by The Ida Institute in Skodsborg, Denmark. Ida is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and integrate person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. Ida is funded by The Oticon Foundation and collaborated on this workshop with Hearing Loss Association of America, The Ear Foundation, and Action On Hearing Loss.

Since its inception in 2007, Ida has periodically brought together groups of audiologists and related professionals to better define what patient-centered care means and to develop strategies and tools that audiologists can use to implement patient-centered care in their own practices. In the past year, Ida began inviting people with hearing loss into these discussions — a wonderful idea!

The workshop I attended, called Partners in Hearing — Learning Together, contained a mix of people with hearing loss, leading audiologists and representatives of patient organizations. I was thrilled to participate and hope that Ida will continue to include the patient perspective in future workshops.

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