Pearls of Wisdom

Posts for tag: Hearing Loss

Television Sound Waves Austin, TX

 

Why Can't I Undestand the Television Clearly?

Living with Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

 

     Well, this is a very good question, and unfortunately not one with a super easy answer. If you have hearing loss or hearing aids you are already behind the 8 ball, and this has to be the #1 complaint my patient's have and always makes the Top 5 things people in Austin want to hear clearly. 

How does television process speech signal?

In a perfect world the entire signal would be processed and come out your television's speakers. But we don't live in that world. A normal human ear at birth can hear between 20-20,000 Hz. That is a very broad range. When we test hearing we look at 250- 8,000 Hz because that is the range in which all of the parts of speech fall. Vowels are in the lower frequencies, giving volume to what we hear. While the higher frequencies are the endings of words, or high frequency consonants. Think /s/, /t/, /p/, /sh/, /ch/ sounds. A high frequency hearing loss will affect the clarity of sound and not so much the volume. When you think about it, even reducing the range to 250- 8,000 Hz is still a pretty big range, so we have to cut it down further. 

Now, in order for an auditory signal to go from Point A (broadcast station, satellite, server) to Point B (your living room T.V.) at some point it has to travel along an electrical cord. In the U.S our electrical outlets are 110v, 120 Hz with 15 amp of resistance. So, the signal has to travel at a multiple of 60Hz. Telecommunications standardly cut out everything above 2,500 Hz. Poof, gone. That would be most of the consonants that tell us the difference between "tear," "care," "fare," "pair," & "share." Couple that with an English accent from British programming or dramatic sound effects (which are low frequency heavy) and we have a recipe for disaster on the undertanding front.

Will hearing aids help me understand the television better?

Yes. Will it be perfect, no. Will the overall volume decrease? Yes. Please remember, a hearing aid is a therapy tool. It is the cornerstone of an amplification SYSTEM. Albiet the most important, but if you still aren't hearing the television as clearly as you would like but everyting else sounds better, it might be time to look at an assistive listening device. Most hearing aid manufacturers have a device that will transmit television signal directly into your hearing aid(s). 

Why are some television channels louder than others?

Quite simply, it is based on average age of viewing demographic. Certain stations are louder. For example, PBS, HGTV, Food Network, TCM and network television tend to be louder (from personal experience) than Comedy Central, TBS, USA, and TNT. My husband is always asking me if I have my ears in after I've been watching say The Big Bang Theory marathon on TBS and he changes the channel to network TV. The volume goes up and he instantly has to turn things down. I usually have him set the volume to where he can hear it and then instruct him to hit the "back" button. And 9 times out of 10 he has to turn it up too. For added measure I'll then point out that YES I am wearing my ears. I'll admit, I still use closed captions from time to time.

 

At the end of the day, if you are constantly having difficulty understanding speech on the television, at home or in noise it is a good idea to have a baseline audiogram. Believe it or not, they are actually used for more than selling hearing aids. Chances are, if you're having that much trouble, you are missing out on a lot more than just Downton Abbey.

 

 

Paige Peterson, AuD, PhD

 

 

 

 

By Hearing & Balance Center of Austin
May 08, 2018
Category: Hearing Loss
Tags: Hearing Loss   hearing  

Discover some easy steps you can take to protect your hearing.hearing loss

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20 percent of Americans have some form of hearing loss (that’s about 48 million people!). By the time someone reaches the ages of 65, one in three have hearing loss. While hearing loss does often happen as we age, there are many other factors that can affect our hearing. Here are some helpful ways to protect your hearing for years to come courtesy of your audiologists at Hearing & Balance Center of Austin.

Listen to Music Safely

If you wear headphones to listen to music it’s a good idea to listen to the music at 60 percent of its maximum volume for no more than one hour a day. Listening to music at high volumes, while fun, can certainly damage your ears. If you find that you can’t hear sounds around you while listening to music then the music is much too loud. Same rule applies if others can hear your music blasting from your headphones.

Sport Earplugs

As you can probably already imagine, being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time can damage your hearing (think concerts, festivals and racecar events). Make sure to bring earplugs with you and take 10-minute breaks away from the sound whenever you can.

Prevent Occupational Hazards

While those working on construction sites and factories used to experience a lot of trouble with their hearing, safety regulations have been put in place to protect workers’ hearing. However, you should make sure you are still using the proper equipment and hearing protection at all times. If you are concerned about your hearing while at work talk to your boss about ways to keep everyone safer.

Be Aware of Your Hearing

It’s important to always be on the lookout for any changes to your hearing. Do you notice that it’s becoming more and more difficult to hear those around you? Do you find that you have to keep turning the volume up on the TV or radio just to hear it? Do you ask people to repeat themselves often? If you are noticing changes then it’s time to see your Hearing & Balance Center of Austin audiologists for a hearing evaluation.

If you have questions about hearing loss or are having difficulty understanding those around you then it’s time you called your audiologist in Austin, TX today to find out the extent of your hearing loss and what can be done to treat it. Start being part of the conversation again.

 

Better Hearing Month is a wonderful reminder to hone in on effective listening skills.  Hearing impaired or not, everyone can improve their listening abilities.  Genuine listening provides better opportunities for clear communication, problem solving, relationship building, and proper understanding.  Here are 5 tips to develop effective listening skills:

 

  1. Face your conversation partner or the speaker, and maintain eye contact.

  2. Be attentive and focused, not distracted or distracting.

  3. Reduce any background noise to allow better hearing of the speaker.

  4. Pay attention to nonverbal cues, and have adequate lighting to see these.

  5. Ask questions to ensure understanding.

 

Often we are so quick to speak, we forget what it takes to be a good listener.  These tips can help facilitate meaningful conversations you’ll actually remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin specializes in hearing  related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders.  Currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders

 
By Sabrina Marciante, AuD
May 04, 2017
Category: Hearing Protection

Protection is Important!

 

To your ears, that is.  Did you know that a sound as loud as a blow dryer or blender can cause hearing loss and damage to your ears?  Fun (or not so fun) fact for your Thursday.

http://www.wikihow.com/images/3/3b/Blow-Dry-Hair-Step-7.jpg

Hair Dryers Cause Hearing Loss | Audiologist Austin,TX

Tips for protecting your hearing:

  • Wear hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 dB for a long period of time.
    • There are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices.
    • 85dB is about the sound of your hair dryer, lawn mower, blender or vacuum cleaner!
  • Contact your local audiologist for custom hearing protection devices.
  • Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through earbuds and headphones. (Visit www.TurnItToTheLeft.com)
  • Walking away from the noise.
  • And, other than hearing protection, do not put anything in your ear!

 

Contact your local audiologist for additional expertise on protecting your hearing and preventing noise induced hearing loss!

 

*Data provided by the American Academy of Audiology

http://www.audiology.org/publications-resources/consumer-information/fact-sheets

 

Sabrina Marciante, AuD

 

 

Dr. Sabrina Marciante is the Clinical Manger of Hearing & Balance at the Hearing & Balance Center of Austin in Austin, TX and specializes in hearing  related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders.  Dr. Marciante is currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders

May is Better Hearing Month!

 

While we can’t make our hearing “better,” we can better protect ourselves from dangerous noise levels we experience daily.  We don’t think of our hair dryer or blender as being causes of noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus (that dreaded sound in your ears), but they absolutely can be.

 

Noise-induced hearing loss can occur if you’re exposed to sounds over the level of 85dB HL for an extended period of time.  Let’s see how some common sounds stack up:

 

60 dB—Normal conversations or dishwashers

80 dB—Alarm clocks

90 dB—Hair dryers, blenders, and lawnmowers

100 dB—MP3 players at full volume

110 dB—Concerts, car racing, and sporting events

120 dB—Jet planes at take off

130 dB—Ambulances and fire engine sirens

140 dB—Gun shots, fireworks, and custom car stereos at full volume

 

You can see how we are exposed to a variety of dangerously loud sounds daily without even thinking about it.  Let’s keep those iPhone and MP3 players on low, and keep our hearing health up!

 

*Data provided by the American Academy of Audiology http://www.audiology.org/publications-resources/consumer-information/fact-sheets

 

 

 

 

 

The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin specializes in hearing  related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders.  Currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders