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Google Live Transcribe & Other Apps to Help the Hearing Impaired

Life for people with a hearing impairment can be complicated. It doesn’t matter if your hearing impairment is minimal, or you have lost your hearing entirely, finding ways to help you navigate the world without perfect hearing can be challenging. Thankfully, through technology and ingenuity, more and more tools and resources are made available to impaired persons all the time. From driving to talking on the phone, having a hearing impairment can be frustrating and hard to live with. One great resource that has helped the non hearing population is smart phone and computer apps. While hearing aids are ideal in most situations, they can be used in conjunction with some of the below top 8 apps for people hard of hearing.

  1. Google Live Transcribe – This app takes all noise it can detect through your phone’s microphone speaker, and turns it into a text transcript to read. The app supports over 70 languages and can even work with 2 different languages at once. It’s still in beginning phases, so be patient. It is still usable though, so feel free to check it out.
  2. Web Captioner – Made for your computer, web captioner captures audio and turns it into a running transcript. A bit like Google Live Transcribe.
  3. Hearing Helper – Only available in the apple store, this app follows the same premise. You have to hold down the button for it to start capturing, but it will transcribe for you. It also helps out individuals whose primary language isn’t English.
  4. ASL Dictionary – Another great app for the hearing impaired is the ASL Dictionary. You can find it it in the play store and in iTunes. It’s unfortunately not free, but it can teach you up to 5,200 signs!
  5. NGTS – This app utilizes a third party relay assistant to help transcribe and relay messages from a hearing impaired individual to a hearing person and back.
  6. Interpreter Now – Another video relay interpreter service, Interpreter now will connect you with a third party who can make calls to hearing people on behalf of a person with a hearing impairment.
  7. SoundHound – Apps for hearing loss span all sorts of functions! SoundHound allows music lovers with hearing impairments to enjoy music, too. Utilizing the phone’s microphone speaker, lyrics are transcribed to make concert going and music listening more enjoyable.
  8. Skype – A pretty well known app, Skype offers video calls to make communication using sign language or lip reading a convenient means of communication.

Of course, there are countless other awesome apps out there that can help with a variety of scenarios. Mobile banking apps help with communication when dealing with your financial institutions. Travel apps can keep you alerted to emergencies and delays, and can help redirect drivers to less hectic routes. There are entertainment apps that allow you to enjoy shows, movies and video clips by including captions. There are even apps that help you learn and translate sign language from around the globe. In conjunction with hearing aid devices and other resources, apps for people hard of hearing are coming a long way. If you’re a person with a hearing impairment, hopefully you spotted a few helpful apps to make life just a little easier!

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

If you’d like to discuss further ways of helping you with your hearing loss, our hearing care professionals at Hearing help Associates are on hand on help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

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5 Ways Hearing Loss Can Affect You

Despite how common hearing loss is, with 15% of Americans over 18’s having some difficulty hearing: many do not seek treatment. Of the 28.8 million U.S. adults who could benefit from using hearing aids, only 30% of those 70 and older use them (Source: NIDCD). Even more concerning is that it can take a person on average 7 years to seek professional advice.

Many see hearing loss as just part of ageing. For others, accepting a hearing loss can be difficult. To raise awareness of how important this issue is, here are 5 ways that hearing loss can affect you.

  1. Depression. Hearing loss can impact your ability to listen and engage with people or to fully participate in activities. Social isolation is a reaction to this, i.e. avoiding going to places that you feel you cannot enjoy anymore or that could lead to embarrassment. The things you used to look forward to now seem impossible. This, alongside stress and feeling nobody understands your problem can lead to depression.
  2. Lifespan. A study published on JAMA otolaryngology-Head and neck surgery online edition, (Sept 24, 2015) suggested that adults with untreated hearing loss may have a shorter lifespan than those who treat their hearing problems.
  3. Balance. Even mild hearing loss can triple your fall risk. Every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss increases that risk by 1.4 times, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and National Institute on ageing.
  4. Cognitive Decline. A related study from the same team found that untreated hearing loss also speeds up age-related cognitive decline by as much as 30-40%. Some possible explanations include social isolation and the fact that the brain may be expending too much energy processing sound at the expense of memory and thinking.
  5. Dementia. Another John Hopkins study found that adults with mild untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia. Those with severe hearing loss are 5 times as likely.

The message is clear, look after your hearing, look after your health.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

The easiest way to check for hearing loss is with an annual hearing assessment. This can detect small changes in your hearing that you may not have noticed. Hearing assessments are quick and painless. At Hearing Help Associates, we’ll talk you through the entire process and review your results at the end. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

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Tinnitus Awareness Week: Tinnitus Facts & Awareness

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound that is not produced by any external noise. The word “Tinnitus” itself comes from the Latin verb “tinnire”, which translates as “to ring.” Although commonly referred to as ringing in the ears, tinnitus symptoms may also be described as a hissing, roaring, clicking, ringing or whooshing sound.

According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, over 50 million Americans (that’s nearly 15% of the general population), experience some form of tinnitus. Not a condition in and of itself, tinnitus is generally a symptom of an underlying condition, such as an injury to your ear or a hearing loss.

Temporary vs. Chronic Tinnitus

Tinnitus symptoms can be chronic (ongoing) or acute (temporary). We’ve all likely experienced brief bursts of tinnitus that resolve after a few minutes. Acute tinnitus can be brought on by exposure to loud noise over a prolonged period, such as after a long night out in a loud environment. Acute tinnitus can also be the result of exposure to an intense, yet short, burst of loud noise. Chronic tinnitus, where symptoms are ongoing, occurs when symptoms persist for more than three months. This form is more commonly associated with a hearing loss.

Types of Tinnitus

There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is the most common form of tinnitus, and corresponds to symptoms that only the individual can hear. It can be caused by problems in your outer, middle or inner ear, or by problems with your auditory system.

Objective tinnitus is much rarer. It involves symptoms of tinnitus that can also be heard by a doctor upon examination, and is often caused by problems with blood vessels, muscle contractions or a condition in the bones of the middle ear.

Causes of Tinnitus

The exact cause of tinnitus is unclear. The recent theory is that if any part of the auditory system is damaged or blocked, it reduces or prevents sound signals to the brain. This leads to increased activity in the form of spontaneous signals because the brain tries to fill in the gaps.

Put simply by Robert Dobie, M.D. of the ATA. “In almost all cases, tinnitus is caused by the brain’s reaction to a loss of hearing.”

Risk factors such as ageing, smoking, loud noise exposure and certain medications have been identified. Existing conditions such as hearing loss, high blood pressure, meniere’s disease and impacted earwax are also linked to the condition.

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) has put together samples of common tinnitus sounds, which you can listen to here. This may help describe the symptoms you’re experiencing to a doctor or a loved one.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

Tinnitus is an audiological and neurological condition. The ATA is leading the search for a cure, but currently there is none. Treatments to alleviate symptoms are available, such as hearing aids – we recommend booking in a hearing assessment to discuss your options. Please contact us to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

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How To Communicate Better with Hearing Loss

When you have hearing loss, you may not realize it but your communication with others can suffer. Communicating with others is rather important and you never want it to be negatively impacted because of hearing loss. Whether you yourself have hearing loss or you are trying to communicate with someone else with hearing loss, these tips will help you learn how to communicate better.

  1. Face the Person You Are Speaking To:. Facing each other while talking helps communication in several ways. Not only can you see each other’s mouths, you can also interpret cues and signals to help understand speech and meaning. In addition, it helps you focus on what is being said.
  2. Be Aware of Body Language:. If you’re noticing a confused look or hesitation, chances are your listener may not have understood what you’re saying. Pay attention to clues or behaviors that may indicate any confusion or difficulty understanding and follow-up with concise clarity.
  3. Set the Right Environment: You should set yourself up for successful communication by using a quet, well lit space to hold your conversations. Reduce background sounds or choose an area furthest away from them. You may not realize how much a fan, air conditioner, or heater can interfere with hearing.
  4. Wait Until Your Meal is Finished:  If you are conversing while eating, wait until your meal is done before having a serious conversation. Even if you aren’t eating, keep your mouths unobstructed: don’t chew gum or keep your hand in front of your mouth.
  5. Speak Slowly and Clearly: This can be easier said than done, especially if communication becomes frustrating. Never yell, that isn’t efficient communication for anyone. It’s also important not to over exaggerate your words or speak too slowly, this can frustrate the person who is having trouble hearing. If your listener hasn’t understood your message, try to find another way to phrase what you’re saying instead.
  6. Put Your Best Ear Forward:. If you know that you can hear better in one ear over the other, position yourself with your best ear towards the person you are talking with.
  7. Keep Conversations Small: When more than one person is trying to talk, it can be a strain for someone who has hearing loss to hear anything. Make sure only one person is speaking at a time.
  8. Repeat and Rephrase:. If you need to communicate important, specific details, such as times, address, or a phone number, confirm the specifics. Perhaps repeat it, or write it down. If someone is having difficulty hearing a particular word, it could be hearing loss affecting certain voices or tones. Rephrase or change the words to help the communication flow.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us  to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville Centre.

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