It’s not your fault. Really, it’s not. No one ever told you that a hearing care provider is not doing his job when he attaches your brand new hearing aids to a computer and programs them without performing speech mapping or real ear. Sure, it looks like he’s doing his job. It seems like he knows what he’s doing as he taps away at the keyboard and asks you questions about what you’re hearing. [Read more…]
A lot of new hearing technology has been introduced in the past few years. This has brought about a paradigm shift in hearing aid use. Older technology limited their use to the immediate listening area. Now, using Bluetooth technology with your hearing aids, you can listen to your cellphone or other Bluetooth enabled audio device with both ears. The benefits of hearing aids can now be applied to an audio source coming from anywhere in the world! This has made a jaw-dropping difference for my clients.
But along with all the benefits of this new technology comes a warning. Don’t use your cellphone while driving. I’ve been reading a book called the invisible gorilla by cognitive psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. They report that cell phone use by a driver results in driving performance similar to that of drunk drivers. It makes no difference whether you’re holding the phone to your ear or using a hands-free set up. Your ability to drive is affected by divided attention, not by whether or not you’re holding the phone.
Knowing this, a natural question follows: what about talking with passengers? Chabris and Simons say that conversation between a driver and passengers appears to have little to no effect on driving ability. Reasons for this include ease of listening and environmental awareness. Passengers know why you stop speaking when you enter a challenging driving situation. When you’re on the phone there is a social demand to continue the conversation no matter what your driving situation. Chabris and Simon’s book the invisible gorilla is a recommended read if you’re interested in the psychology of attention and perception.
Have a happy new year!
One of the most frustrating character types I work with is the stoic. Just the other day I struck up a conversation at the hardware store with one of these folks. His hearing loss was obvious because we were face to face and he was still saying “huh?” I asked him if he was tired of saying “what?” or “huh?” all the time. Turned out he was okay with his poor hearing. He said it was all a part of getting old and he just had to put up with it. Then he related a story about an accident with his garage door and how he still wasn’t recovered from that. I had a chance to talk briefly with his wife as well. It seems that “huh?” and “what?” and “pardon me?” are part of the fabric of their lives, as accepted as the cane he uses and the slow pace they walk.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Hearing aid use has strong associations with better emotional and mental health outcomes. An improved quality of life is available to many if they would just make the effort. [Read more…]
Back when I started this blog, I said I was going to write posts that others in the hearing care community may not like. I don’t think I’ve done much of that yet, so here goes. It’s going to get a little technical, but bear with me and I think you’ll understand enough to get the message. [Read more…]