This October, join us in getting the word out about National Protect Your Hearing Month.

According to Noisy Planet, “Noise-induced hearing loss affects people of all ages. Approximately 26 million American between the ages of 20 and 69 have hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises.”

National Protect Your Hearing Month is important for awareness, which is often the first on the road to prevention. In a recent report, the CDC estimated that up to 16 percent of all teens have reported hearing loss caused by loud noise. This is due to a number of factors, such as continuous, loud music through earphones.

We at REM believe that 16 percent is too high. Hearing loss in childhood is often preventable, especially if the right steps are taken.

In October, tell someone you know about National Protect Your Hearing Month. Good hearing habits now help prevent hearing problems down the line.

The American Academy of Audiology has a good list of October hearing month resources.



Negative feelings about aging can affect your hearing, says a recent article on Medicine News Today. Hearing and brain function go hand in hand, and when one is affected “so is the other.”

“People’s feelings about getting older influence their sensory and cognitive functions. Those feelings are often rooted in stereotypes about getting older and comments made by those around them that their hearing and memory are failing.”

Positivity and personal outlook are important. If negative feelings about growing older can influence how one hears in day to day life (and vice versa), it makes sense that a good attitude could have the opposite effect.

But when there is so much social stigma attached to aging, how can one maintain an optimistic view of the future?

  1. Don’t worry yourself sick. Hearing loss may be a normal part of the aging process, but there is no better time than the present to optimize hearing function. Today’s sophisticated technology offers efficient and effective hearing difficulties. If you notice trouble hearing sound in noise, meet with an audiologist to discuss a plan.
  2. Eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Physical fitness is a big part of keeping your mind sharp.
  3. Realize that advances in hearing technology are always being made.
  4. Socialization is important! If you’re having trouble hearing or feeling down for any reason, don’t lock yourself away.

Keeping your mind occupied and your thoughts positive is something everyone should work towards, especially when you consider the potential benefits.


A recent study found that close to a quarter of Americans have trouble hearing. “An estimated 38.3 million U.S. residents ages 12 and older—23 percent of that population—have some degree of hearing loss, according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers Adele M. Goman and Frank R. Lin.”

Hearing impairment is a challenge many people are not often prepared for, as it can be slow to make itself known. One day you might notice trouble hearing the tv or understanding your family. Maybe you’re out with friends and you’re having trouble picking up parts of the conversation — problems hearing speech in noise are often one of the first indications that something is wrong.

Once hearing loss is present, it’s there to stay, so prompt treatment is important. The bright side of the high incidence of hearing loss, though, is that there are a lot of people in the same boat. People often report postponing seeing an audiologist out of embarrassment, but its important to realize that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. For those with hearing loss, no matter where on the scale you find yourself, always remember: you are not alone.

On the technology side, advancements are being made every day. Hearing aids are getting more and more advanced, and smaller and smaller, and let’s be honest, they look kind of neat, too. Assisted listening devices.

The Better Hearing Institute runs down the stats.


1. Some people might be more susceptible to hearing loss than others.

From the ASHA article, "Genes May Increase Risk for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."

2. Hearing loss can manifest in unborn children due to viral infections.

3. A lot of teens and young adults might have hearing loss without knowing it. This may be due to the increase of earbuds and “music on the go.”

From NBC news and ASHA

4. Effective treatment for hearing loss is VERY high. “According to the Better Hearing Institute, 95 percent of Americans with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids and individuals who treat their hearing loss early have shown significant benefit.”


Hearing loss is not an isolated incident. According to Audiology Today Magazine, the “World Health Organization (WHO) reports that over five percent of the world’s population has a disabling hearing loss.”

It is often up to audiologists, then, to reach out to the community and inspire those with hearing loss. Hearing loss is a very personal problem, and it’s essential that those afflicted with a hearing disorder realize they’re not alone.

How to get involved?

For an audiologist, participating in local programs or health fairs (like REM does with their Kiosk program) can show the members of your area that there are options available. For patients motivated to similarly reach out, the Hearing Loss Association of America has a list of potential activities and ideas.

One that caught our eye: “Help educate people about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by introducing the need for assistive listening systems in the community.”

The more you spread the news of hearing loss, the more people will hear.


In 1990, The FDA first approved cochlear implants for children as young as 2 years old. 10 years later, the FDA revised pediatric candidacy for those 12 months or older.

Today, nearly 26,000 children in the United states have an implant, and though the effects vary from individual to individual, the device – especially when used in conjunction with other speech processors and technologies – can often be a deciding factor in the child’s success in the mainstream classroom.

Many children are eligible for a cochlear implant, and its important to talk to your audiologist to see if your child qualifies. Though implants are not inexpensive, health insurance coverage for the device has greatly improved over the years.

What’s the Future Hold?

Since 2000, there has been no official change in FDA eligibility guidelines, despite the significant evolution and advancement of implant technology. Currently, some doctors are pushing for children under 12 months to be considered for cochlear implants. The general consensus seems to be: the earlier the better.


Over the summer, Phonak released a new Lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid called the Phonak Audeo B. This new technology – now offered at REM Audiology – offers 24 hours of hearing with a single 3 hour charge.

With the batteries permanently embedded in the aid, the whole device can be charged overnight or on the go. Charging options include the Phonak charger case (a “charger, drying kit, and protective hard case all in one”) and the Phonak Mini charger (a smaller, “compact charging option”). If you find yourself in an area with no power, the Phonak power pack is able to attach right to the Phonak Charger Case.

The aids not only come with a new design, but are also available in 4 different performance levels and 9 different colors. All models are protected against dust and water.

If you’re interested in trying this new hearing aid, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free demonstration.


A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that women with hearing loss are more likely to deliver babies prematurely or with lower birth weights.

According to a 2014 National Health Review survey, nearly 5% of women aged 18-39 report difficulty hearing without the use of assistive devices like hearing aids.

It’s important to note, however, that it’s the healthcare circumstances surrounding women with hearing loss – not hearing loss itself – that leads to low birth weights and preterm births.

Researchers at Brandeis University conducted a survey of both deaf and healthy hearing pregnant women, and found that women with hearing loss reported:

  • Fewer prenatal visits
  • Lower levels of satisfaction with their healthcare

Factors that contribute to premature birth

The study reveals several factors that help explain why women with hearing loss experience higher rates of both preterm birth and low birth weights:

  1. Early-onset hearing loss often correlates with speech and learning deficits
  2. Lower socio-economic status
  3. Coexisting health issues
  4. Inability to effectively communicate with healthcare providers

Researchers also stress the surprising differences in health insurance between women with normal hearing and women with hearing loss. Women without hearing loss are more likely to have private insurance, while women with hearing loss often rely on Medicare and Medicaid for prenatal care.

At REM Audiology, we hope these findings will help healthcare providers better understand the factors that lead to preterm birth and low birth weights for babies born to mothers with hearing loss, and lead to improved maternal healthcare programs.

If you have untreated hearing loss, contact REM Audiology in Philadelphia, PA, and New Jersey today to start your hearing health journey.


According to the NIH, the earlier a child is screened for hearing loss, the “earlier that deafness or hearing loss is identified, the better the chances a child will acquire language, whether spoken or signed.” This is something all parents need to consider when deciding the appropriate time to get their child’s hearing tested.

If auditory hearing loss is identified, the first steps are often at the guidance of an audiologist. With their help, as well as the help of the school district, a plan will be set in place for hearing maitenance at home and in the classroom. But a positive approach to pediatric hearing loss doesn’t stop there.

The most positive approach to pediatric hearing loss may often rest at home with early child-parent interaction.

Also from the NIH:

“Parents should interact often with a deaf or hard-of-hearing infant. All of the caregivers in your child’s life should interact with him or her as much as possible. You can do this by holding, facing, smiling at, and responding to your infant from the very beginning. Children need love, encouragement, and care from their families and caregivers.”

Having a child with hearing loss can often seem daunting, but there are many resources parents can explore, everything from support groups for themselves to lists of communication exercises parents and children can do at home.


In a recent study, people diagnosed with diabetes were found to be almost twice as likely to be afflicted with hearing loss than those whose tests came back negative. The severity of illness as well as the age of the patient were factors. Somewhat surprisingly, the younger the patient, the poorer the hearing threshold.

According to ASHA’s detail of the study:

“These results suggest that patients with diabetes—especially those who are younger—should be routinely screened for hearing loss. A protocol that includes extended high-frequency testing may provide additional sensitivity to diabetes-related changes in hearing.”

Why is this the case? There’s no definitive answer, but one theory has to do with blood circulation. Elevated blood sugar can injur blood vessels, “thereby reducing blood flow to certain areas…”  and causing damage to the inner ear.

According to the CDC, 29 million Americans have diabetes. An extra 89 million live with prediabetes. The last few years the numbers have been slowly declining, but it’s still considered a major public health problem.