Ken-Ton Hearing
3306 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14217
(716) 874-1609
tracking pixel
3306 Delaware Ave, Buffalo NY 14217(716) 874-1609

Better Hearing is the Key to Better Communication

Communication could be considered one of the most important factors in any successful relationship. Whether it is with your spouse, your children, or your friends, a relationship lacking communication can be detrimental to yourself as well as your loved ones.  A lack of communication can be the result of many factors, often not immediately recognized. Many people with hearing loss, along with their loved ones, face this major problem every single day. Not being able to hear someone can cause embarrassment for those experiencing the loss and annoyance for those trying to speak with them. One party may feel as if the other is not listening, or may grow weary of having to repeat themselves. Meanwhile, the person with the hearing loss is tired of saying, “What?”

Without addressing the severity of the hearing loss, many relationships struggle due to this lack of communication, leaving both parties exasperated. Moreover, many people in this situation have no clue as to why they are so frustrated. Too often, I have seen individuals withdraw from their daily lives and the things they love to do, because they struggle with communication.

 “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” —Tony Robbins

As the quote above states, in order to maintain effective communication, both parties must be willing to understand one another and see where the lack of communication is occurring. If you or a loved one has hearing loss, you probably understand the significance of communication in your relationships. Below are some tips on how to communicate when someone in the relationship is hard of hearing. Remember, hearing loss does not just impact those who have it but also their family members and friends.

Below are some helpful communication tips for both the person with hearing loss, as well as family members and friends of the hearing impaired.

For a person with hearing loss:

  • Watch the person you are speaking with to pick up visual clues.
  • Decrease the background noise as much as possible. Closing doors and windows may help.
  • When you cannot control background noise, position yourself so the noise is behind you and the person you are talking with is in front of you.
  • Ask people to rephrase and slow down rather than repeat; be specific about what you did not hear.
  • If you have hearing aids, use them consistently.
  • Paraphrase and repeat back important information to be sure you understood correctly.
  • Please be patient.

For family members and friends:

  • Speak slowly and clearly without exaggerating speech.
  • Face the person you are talking with so he or she can make use of visual cues.
  • You may speak in a slightly louder voice, but do not shout, as you will distort the way speech sounds and looks.
  • Do not talk with your hands or objects (such as mugs, newspapers, or pencils) in front of your face.
  • Keep all auditory and visual distractions to a minimum.
  • Be sure you are understood by asking the person to repeat back important information.
  • Rephrase rather than repeat when necessary.
  • Get the other person’s attention before speaking. Call their name, tap their shoulder, etc.
  • Please be patient. Communication is a two-way street.
April 15th, 2015|Hearing Health, Hearing Loss|

Why you shouldn’t buy hearing aids from a Big Box Store

Your hearing is one of the most important senses that you have. When it comes to buying hearing aids, you should take the time to find the best hearing aid that will meet your hearing needs. Too often people with hearing loss will shop around to find the best deal they can find. What they don’t realize is that price should not be the most important factor when choosing your hearing care provider.  As Doctors of Audiology, we pride ourselves on using our education and experience to help determine the proper hearing aids for each individual’s listening and lifestyle needs.

1) Hearing Aids are medical devices that you wear in part of your body. They need to be precisely tuned for your hearing loss and hearing needs. Quite often during the period of hearing aid acclimation it may take several trips to your audiologist. It is necessary to make sure you are hearing the best possible way for your hearing loss and listening environments. One also needs to make sure the hearing aids are physically comfortable during this time. Your hearing care provider should be an expert in their field and have the education to back that up.  As Doctors of Audiology, our in-depth educational background in the auditory system, hearing, and hearing aids will provide you with quality healthcare for your hearing needs.

2) There are many manufacturers of hearing aids. Big Box stores offer limited styles and limited brands. They are often stripped down versions of similar models that are available from an independent provider. Like a franchised hearing aid provider, you will not have all the technology options available; therefore you may not be given the best choice available for your hearing loss. When you purchase hearing aids you want to make sure you can get the best hearing aids for your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget.

3) Good service is probably the most important part of choosing a hearing care provider.  We pride ourselves in our customer service at Ken-Ton Hearing.  Quite often the hearing aids sold at big box stores cannot be taken to your local, independent provider for service.  You want to be sure that you have reliable service available when you need it.  We provide our patients with free routine cleanings on their hearing aids for the life of the hearing aid.  We allow our patients to walk-in anytime if they are having an issue with their hearing aids.  We have trained staff to look over the hearing aids and see what might be wrong with the aid while you wait.  If needed, we can provide loaner hearing aids when your aids need to go to the manufacturer for repair.  In addition to our routine cleanings, we also provide our patients with a 60-day trial period with their hearing aids, a 100% money-back guarantee, and free batteries.

4) Hearing aids are a financial investment. Don’t let the prices you hear from others scare you away, but also be wary of those full-page ads you may see that advertise that “too good to be true” pricing.  At Ken-Ton Hearing we provide you with quality hearing aids at affordable prices.  We work with you to make sure you are getting the best product that you can afford, with the best service possible.  There are many ways to make hearing aids affordable.  We accept most insurances and also provide interest-free financing options.

9 Academy Award-Winning Celebrities with Hearing Impairment

We often look at celebrities as being perfect, but they are human just like us.  They suffer from the same types of ailments we all do each and every day.  We thought it fitting to take a look at the successes achieved by some hearing impaired celebrities in the entertainment world.

1. Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe has complete hearing loss in his right ear as a result of a childhood illness. He is best known for his role on the West Wing which ran from 1999 to 2006. Lowe is also known as being a member of the Brat Pack, a nickname given to a group of young actors who frequently appeared together in teen oriented films such as St. Elmo’s Fire and the Outsiders.

2. Halle Berry
Halle Berry lost 80% of her hearing in her left ear as a result of being struck repeatedly in a case of domestic violence. She often speaks about this experience as a way of creating awareness and helping break the cycle of violence for other women. Halle Berry’s most recognized acting achievement was in 2002 when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role as Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball.

3. Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch realized at the young age of seven that she had complete hearing loss in one ear due to nerve damage resulting from what doctors guessed to be a very high fever as a baby. Jane made a name for herself playing several mockumentary style roles such as Best in Show before being cast as Coach Sue Sylvester in the television musical, Glee.

4. Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg wears hearing aids in both ears. She attributes her hearing loss to consistently listening to very loud music in the past. Whoopi has played a multitude of roles on the stage, on film, and most recently as a co-host on ABC’s The View. She won an Oscar in 1991 for Best Supporting Actress role of Oda Mae Brown in the film Ghost.

5. Robert Redford
Robert Redford suffered from a severe ear infection in 2013 when he insisted on performing his own water stunts while playing a stranded sailor in the Indian Ocean in All Is Lost. The result was that he now suffers from 60% hearing loss in one ear. Redford has won two Oscars over his long and successful Hollywood career – the first for Best Director of the 1981 film Ordinary People and the second in 2002 was an Honorary Award. He was also nominated for 2 additional Oscars throughout his career.

6. Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for playing Sarah Tobias in The Accused in 1989 and in the same category in 1992 for her role as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Foster is known for keeping her private life to herself but has confessed to having hearing loss issues and has been spotted wearing a hearing aid.

7. Gerard Butler
Scottish born actor, Gerard Butler, developed a 50% hearing loss in his right ear resulting in surgery due to a childhood ear infection. He attributes his crooked smile to that surgery, which left his right ear physically deformed. Butler is known for a variety of roles including the romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth, and the action/war film, 300.

8. Shoshannah Stern
Shoshannah Stern is among the fourth generation in her family to be born with complete hearing loss. Her break into the acting big leagues came through her role as Megan Beale-Botwin on Showtime’s Weeds and a recurring character on the television series Lie To Me.

9. Marlee Matlin
Perhaps one of the most well-known actors for hearing impairment is Marlee Matlin. Matlin won an Academy Award in 1987 for playing Sarah Norman in the romantic drama, Children of a Lesser God. She has only 20% hearing in one ear since the age of 18 months and is the only performer with a major hearing loss to ever win an Oscar.

March 24th, 2015|Hearing Health, Hearing Loss|