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Outer Space, Superbowl and Hi-Tech Hearing Aids: This Week’s News

There has been so much fascinating news regarding hearing aids and hearing loss this week, including the sounds of space and a new device that pairs with your iPhone!

Football Fans and Players Both at Risk for Hearing Loss

Surprisingly to some, Super Bowl XLIX relates to a lot of interesting topics surrounding hearing loss.  In this post from Friday, we mentioned some NFL players that use hearing aids themselves, and what they are doing to raise awareness about hearing loss.

While extreme noise levels, like those of of the Super Bowl, or any sport for that matter, may be an expected cause of hearing loss, people often don’t consider the cold as a culprit. Whether you are exercising or just observing as the Seahawk’s “12th Man” the frigid February temperatures can affect the delicate mechanisms in your hearing aids.  This recent article on hearing loss details all the ways in which public sporting events, including football games, can lead to serious hearing related issues.

In Space, Everyone is in Need of Hearing Aids

In the movies, outer space is a vast expanse of eerie quiet, where you can just hear the far off beep of a passing satellite. In reality, the inside of the space station is so loud that astronauts are required to wear earplugs for at least 2 to 3 hours per day.

Noise can reach up to 65 decibels in the area of the station where sleep takes place. Find out more about hearing-related risks that astronauts face and hear some real life noises from the space station yourself, here.

Hearing Experiments to Help the Blind

Some of the most dynamic aspects of the movie going experience are the sounds that cause suspense, set the tone, or accentuate a hidden meaning, and complement the visuals on screen. For the seeing impaired, traditional soundtracks do not accurately describe the plot, and thus Dr. Mariana Lopez, from Anglia Ruskin University, is leading a study that can improve upon how audio descriptions can tell a better story.

They are experimenting with signifiers, like how the sound of a cuckoo clock might indicate to the audience that the scene is taking place in a living room.  She aims to connect blind and seeing audiences with a shared experience that will allow for both groups to relate to one another.

Getting Techy with Hearing Aids

This new hearing aid developed by Beltone allows users to stream music from their iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices (an android app is expected in February) in addition to myriad other hi-tech options. Read about some other new tech innovations in the world of hearing loss from earlier this month here.

A lot of people that experience hearing loss are embarrassed to wear hearing aids because it may signify that they are getting older. With this new technology, the hearing impaired have exciting new reasons to look into solutions for hearing loss. If you’re thinking something this innovative must cost a ton of money, Audicus offers Bluetooth enabled hearing aids at a much more reasonable price!

How Hearing Loss Affects you Every Day

Judy Creuz, an instructor and clinical audiologist at Penn State, has had hearing loss since elementary school as a result of having the mumps as a child.  Today she asks all of her students to participate in an experiment where they wear an earplug in their dominant ear for a full day and see how it affects their day-to-day. Students came back with a deeper understanding of hearing loss and how it can affect so many different aspects of ones life from concentration to communication.

by Becca Blasdel

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