Living With Hearing Loss is Presenting At AAA 2018

I am excited to be presenting at the American Academy of Audiology’s annual convention in Nashville being held April 18-21, 2018. Formerly know as Audiology Now, the conference was rebranded as AAA 2018 this year, the Academy’s 30th anniversary.

AAA 2018 is slated to be the world’s largest gathering of audiologists. Here they attend educational sessions to keep their practices current, explore the latest in new hearing technology at the exhibit hall and visit with colleagues from around the world. I am thrilled to be representing the patient’s perspective to this auspicious group.

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My talk is entitled “How Can You Help Your Patients Hear Their Best?” In it, I will share my hearing loss story and offer advice for how audiologists can best interact with us, their patients with hearing loss. Here is the blurb from the conference brochure.

MM303 – How Can You Help Your Patients Hear Their Best?

Friday, April 20
10:21 AM – 10:27 AM
Location: 201AB

Shari Eberts, MBA: Founder, LivingWithHearingLoss.com

People with hearing loss never forget their first visit to an audiologist’s office. They experience high hopes alongside great worry. That first visit is instrumental in how they will view and treat their hearing loss for many years to come. In this session, you will learn the things patients want from audiologists during that first visit and throughout their care. Your attitude and actions are instrumental in helping your patients hear their best.

Learning Objective: Describe tangible ways to enhance your relationships with your patients to improve hearing outcomes.

Will you be at AAA 2018? If so, stop by my session: MM303 How Can You Help Your Patients Hear Their Best? I would love to meet you!

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How Meditation Can Help With Tinnitus

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

“What is that noise?” I asked my family one quiet Sunday afternoon. They all looked around squinting as if that would help them hear it, but there was no sound. “It must be my tinnitus again,” I sighed. It was starting to be a real nuisance.

Tinnitus, that pesky ringing in your ears, harasses more than 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, with nearly 20 million of them bothered on a regular basis.

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The unique experience of tinnitus

Tinnitus can impact anyone, but a 2010 article in The Journal of Medicine indicates it is most common in males, older adults, and former smokers. None of these categories apply to me, but I have struggled with tinnitus for over 20 years. There is currently no cure.

The word tinnitus is derived from the Latin word tinnire, which means “to ring,” but it can take on other sounds as well. Some describe it as a buzzing or a humming. Others as a sizzling or a hissing. For me, it is most often an electrical hum — like the sound of a fluorescent light coming on — followed by a steady high-pitched tone. This can last for several minutes.

Meditation in coping with tinnitus

The only way I have found sustained relief from tinnitus is through daily meditation, which I discovered almost by accident. I regularly practice yoga, but had never tried meditation in any meaningful way, until I attended a yoga retreat a couple years ago. Intermixed with the yoga classes were afternoon tutorials on meditation.

There were only three rules.

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Family Kayaking, aka Screaming “What” Into The Wind

The ocean waves crashed noisily around me. The wind was buzzing in my ears and whistling in my hearing aids. The sun was shining and the birds were flying overhead, occasionally squawking before plunging into the sea to catch a fish. I was seated in the back of a two person kayak — and I couldn’t hear a thing. My son was in front of me, my husband and daughter in a second kayak. We spent most of the trip yelling “What?” into the wind. It was a perfect storm of frustration and hearing loss.

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When Disability Is A Design Opportunity

The Cooper Hewitt museum in New York City is currently running a fascinating exhibition entitled Access+Ability. The exhibit features new and innovative products that help people with disabilities experience their world more effectively through design. Some of the products are in the marketplace today, while others are in the prototype stage. All are inspiring in their use of design to solve every day problems for people with a variety of accessibility issues, including more “traditional” disabilities like mobility challenges, blindness and deafness, but also other obstacles like dementia, blood clots, and tremors.

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The Joys of Noise-Cancelling Headphones

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

I love to travel, attend concerts, and live sporting events, but as my hearing loss has worsened, I have become more sensitive to loud sounds. More frequently, the aftermath of a plane flight or visit to a stadium was a long bout of tinnitus and sometimes, even vertigo. It just wasn’t worth it, until I discovered noise-cancelling headphones. I wear them almost everywhere now — on airplanes, at the movies and of course at any concert or loud stadium. Not only do they protect my hearing in the moment, they prevent days of pain and annoyance afterwards.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I first started using noise-cancelling headphones on plane rides. The white noise of an airplane engine can be easy to ignore, but one day I decided to measure it on my iPhone decibel reader. I was amazed to see how loud it actually is! Noise levels ranged from 80 decibels up to 90 decibels on the plane, an unsafe listening level. The rule of thumb is that prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss, and this hearing loss is permanent.

After that flight, I purchased a high quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones and now wear them every time I travel on an airplane. I also don them on long bus and train rides to block out the rhythmic sounds of the world passing by. Rhythmic sounds, even if they are not that loud, can sometimes trigger my tinnitus.

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