Legislative Updates: National & State

U.S. Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017

On March 21, 2017 U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), reintroduced (S. 670) to make hearing aids for those with mild to moderate hearing loss available over the counter (OTC). A companion bill (HR 1652) led by Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was also introduced in the House. Continue reading

2017 Annual Board Meeting

The January general meeting was supposed to be the chapter annual meeting. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the annual meeting has been moved to the February meeting on the 9th.  Two key things happen at the annual membership meeting: electing members to the Board of Directors and approving the annual budget.  In addition, there will be discussion on an amendment to the Chapter By-laws with a vote to be held at the March general meeting (see below). Continue reading

Tinnitus-Home Treatment

The following tips may help you reduce symptoms of tinnitus:

  • Cut back on or stop drinking alcohol and beverages containing caffeine.
  • Stop smoking and stop using smokeless tobacco products. Nicotine use makes tinnitus worse by reducing blood flow to the structures of the ear.
  • Limit your use of aspirin, products containing aspirin, and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise improves blood flow to the structures of the ear. But avoid extended periods of exercise, such as bicycle riding, that keep your neck in a hyper extended position.

Continue reading

Thinking Traps

Thought processes are like habits, and sometimes they can be counterproductive to our happiness. We all have thought processes that, at times, make us feel stressed, anxious, unworthy or depressed. I call these “thinking traps” because, once we drop into them, it’s so difficult to get out.

There are two thinking traps that hard of hearing and deafened adults often develop. The first is the habit of not being realistic about limits, or lack of limits, caused by their hearing loss. The second is the tendency to look backward and compare current experiences with past experiences. At holiday time, these two thinking traps seems to be even more prevalent, and more of a hindrance to us. Continue reading

How can I get a smoke alarm for people with hearing loss? What you need to know!

Most people don’t think about whether or not they can hear their fire alarm. They may even test it to check, BUT have you had someone else turn it on when you are not wearing your aids and you are asleep? Most of us take our aids / cochlear implants off at  night and it is always easier to hear a sound when you are awake, alert and expecting to hear the sound. Continue reading

FCC Adopts Landmark Agreement to Improve Access to Hearing Aid Compatible Cell Phones and Wireless Devices

On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to ensure people with hearing loss have full access to wireless devices. As the FCC noted, the action taken “will modernize existing hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules while maintaining the balance between fostering accessibility and promoting innovation and investment.” Continue reading

Traveling in the car safely with hearing loss

Most of us travel by car on a regular basis and don’t really think about our hearing loss as an issue. In fact, there are several things that require us to be more aware than the normal hearing driver. We have to pay closer attention to our mirrors and what is visually going on around us since we may not hear the warning sounds of an ambulance or other emergency situations. When we are in familiar territory we have a pretty good idea of how to cope with our surroundings. Continue reading