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Sophisticated Hearing's New Home in Ridgewood

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Hear Now!

The Importance of Hearing Wellness

What are some of your favorite sounds? Ocean waves, children laughing, a favorite song.

When was the last time you really appreciated your ability to hear? It is one of the five senses which many of us take for granted. Hearing comes easily to some of us but what if you had to really struggle to understand what someone was saying? Some people think hearing loss is not a big deal, but recent evidence shows us that hearing loss impacts us more than we think. 

In the past it was thought that hearing loss mainly affected your communication ability and therefore your relationships with family and friends. Now we understand that hearing loss not only affects your relationships, but it also has an impact on your overall health. Individuals with untreated hearing loss are more likely to avoid conversations, new experiences, and social gatherings. When someone has difficulty hearing they tend to avoid conversations because they have to ask people to repeat things they did not hear properly. This in turn may lead to depression, social isolation, and possibly cognitive decline. Research from John Hopkins shows that brain scans of adults with hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of brain atrophy. We hear with our brain not just our ears. If the brain is not receiving proper speech signals because of hearing loss, then the brain must work harder to put the pieces of the conversation together to make sense. Sometimes the brain does this properly, other times the brain thinks the person said something completely different. There are also emotional impacts of untreated hearing loss. Someone who does not hear clearly may appear more fatigued, frustrated, or irritable. Certain health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease may increase your risk of hearing loss.

As an audiologist many people come to see Dr. Olson because they have difficulty hearing conversations. Almost everyone comments about how important it is to hear and how they wished they protected their hearing at concerts or wore sound protection when mowing the lawn. Others say they used to be able to hear in restaurants but now have difficulty whenever there is any kind of interfering background noise. Many things can affect our hearing and it is important to act now to protect and appreciate this important sense.

What Can You Do to Ensure You Hear Well for Years to Come?

  1. Wear hearing protection in the presence of loud sounds. This includes when you attend concerts, use power tools or yard equipment, watch fireworks, ride motorcycles among many other activities. 
  2. Have your hearing tested to measure where your hearing is today to establish a baseline. It is important to know if you have normal hearing or if you are starting to develop a hearing loss. As years pass by, have your hearing re-checked to monitor and address any changes.
  3. If your only difficulty is hearing speech in the presence of noise, then you may benefit from auditory training. This involves listening exercises to improve how your brain processes speech in complex situations. 

What Can You Do to Improve Your Hearing?

  1. As stated above, the first step is to have your hearing tested. If a hearing loss is present, an audiologist can explain which speech sounds are more challenging for you to hear.
  2. Hearing aids can help to improve your hearing both in quiet as well as background noise environments. There are many different options and technology levels that an audiologist can discuss with you.
  3. If you currently wear hearing aids but still have difficulty hearing, they may need to be readjusted. There is a hearing aid verification test called Real Ear Measurement, REM. This test takes into account your hearing loss, and measures how you hear speech with your hearing aids. If you have not had Real Ear Measurement testing before, your hearing aids can be readjusted to make sure they are meeting target settings.

In a continued effort to serve Bergen County residents with the best audiological services possible, Sophisticated Hearing has moved its Hearing Care Center from Ho-Ho-Kus to Ridgewood. The brand new, expanded facility includes state-of-the-art technology to test your hearing in quiet and noisy environments. For those who wear hearing aids, Sophisticated Hearing uses the gold standard of hearing aid fitting verification which is Real Ear Measurement. Dr. Olson can also assess your hearing with and without hearing aids so you can “hear” for yourself the improvement in hearing with the new hearing technology.

We hear with our brain not just our ears. If the brain is not receiving proper speech signals because of hearing loss, the brain must work harder to put the pieces of the conversation together.

  • Sophisticated Hearing's New Home in Ridgewood
  • Audioscan Verifit 2
  • Dr. Ann Marie Olson