The Skype Solution for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The other day I was sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks surrounded by the chatter of conversation and people hunched over their laptops or newspapers. At one table, however, something remarkable was going on. A woman was sitting in an armchair, her laptop perched on a table in front of her. She was having an exuberant conversation — in sign language. Not a sound came from her except for an occasional guffaw, but her conversation was so animated you almost felt you …

Study: Hearing Aids May Help Protect Brain Health

For several years, studies have linked hearing loss and dementia, but no major study has addressed the big question: Could using hearing aids reduce the risk of cognitive decline? Now an important new French study finds that older adults who use hearing aids experience the same rate of cognitive decline as their peers with normal hearing. In other words, while hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline, hearing aids can slow that from happening, researchers say. The study, published …

Test Your Hearing at Home: Free, Easy and Reliable

What if you could accurately test your hearing at home at no cost and in complete confidentiality? All it takes is a telephone. Beginning this month, AARP is offering its members free access to the National Hearing Test, a telephone test developed by researchers at Communications Disorders Technology and Indiana University, based on a Dutch model. The research for the nonprofit test was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Since 2014, when it was introduced, about 40,000 Americans have …

Do You Know How to Find an Audiologist?

October is National Audiology Awareness Month, which seems a good time to ask: Do you know how to find an audiologist to test your hearing or help you choose a hearing aid? If you’re unsure — or shaking your head no — you’re not alone. In a short video I saw last weekend at a hearing symposium, a dozen people were stopped on the street at random and asked that question. Most of them had no idea: “Google it?” “Go …

Facing Facts About Hearing Loss

May was Better Hearing Month, and I did a lot of radio interviews, some on behalf of AARP, others for my new book, Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends … and Hearing Aids. As I heard myself repeating the statistics in one interview after another, I was unhappily reminded of the magnitude of the numbers of people with hearing loss, and the blithe dismissal with which it is generally treated. The prime example …

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 …