Navigating That Airport Scrum — With Hearing Loss

I found myself in the newly renovated Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport this week, and for once — at an airport — was pleasantly surprised. There was much to admire: new restaurants with actual food for sale rather than chips, doughnuts or candy; intelligent seating that allows not only a sense of private space but also armrests, cupholders and a flat surface for putting things on; and Internet stations offering electrical outlets and ergonomic chairs for working on a laptop while you wait for …

Five Tips for Healthy Summertime Hearing

In general, summer is easier on the ears than winter, because many of us spend time outdoors and enjoying leisure activities that tend to be quieter than some winter pursuits. But don’t be lulled into thinking your hearing is safe. Here are five of the most damaging sources of summer noise exposure, and suggestions about how to protect yourself. Click here to see a “noise thermometer” giving you specific decibel levels. 1. Fireworks. Don’t stay home from celebrations, but do …

Love Theater But Can’t Hear It? Four Showstopping Solutions

Do you love the theater but rarely go because you can’t understand the dialogue or lyrics? Fortunately there are several solutions to this problem beyond the familiar infrared headphones that many theaters offer. And those with hearing loss can even get discount tickets to many shows. First, about infrared. Theaters that seat more than 50 people are required, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to provide hearing assistance. Most offer infrared systems. If you have mild to moderate hearing loss …

When Mom Can Hear and You Can’t

As my mother got older, our roles reversed, as they will when a parent reaches the ninth and even 10th decade. But there was one way in which she grew stronger, while I grew weaker. She could hear, and I couldn’t. In her 80s, my mother’s mind and body succumbed to aging. She developed dementia, she had frequent falls and was often wheelchair bound. She and my father had moved south to a retirement community, so as not to be …

Can’t Hear in a Restaurant? Time to Get Your Hearing Checked

If you’re finding it hard to hear what your companions are saying in a restaurant or at a party, it’s time to get your hearing checked. The inability to hear speech in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, and although it may bother you only in certain situations, it’s not something to ignore. Hearing loss should not be dismissed as a natural sign of aging any more than high blood pressure or cholesterol would …

Me and My Smartphone: A Love-Hate Relationship

For someone with moderate to severe hearing loss, the smartphone is both savior and nemesis. I can’t imagine life without a smartphone, but I can imagine many ways that it could be better. First the savior aspect: I have at least two and sometimes three ways to communicate using text. The first is email. The second is texting. And the third, when it works, is captioning for telephone calls. I can also pay for my coffee, go to my gym, …