Audiology and The Audiophile’s Hearing, by Larry Deniston

 

Audiologist Event with Peter Marincovich, PhD., CC-A and his associates Joseph Hardeman, AuD.; and Daniel Park, AuD., extern

 

On February 10 this year SFAS members participated in another sold out event at Leslie’s Audiophile Garage in Orinda.  Attendees were treated to a very special experience with audiologist Peter Marincovich, PhD., CC-A and his associates Joseph Hardeman, AuD.; and Daniel Park, AuD., extern.  We were not only treated to an interesting and informative talk by Peter, but we were also provided the opportunity to have our hearing tested by Joseph and Daniel.  For me, the testing confirmed what my wife and I pretty much knew, that I have some high-frequency hearing loss.  Additionally, we were treated to a live music performance by our Director of Artistic Integration, Grant Stoner.

 

The presentation was entitled “Hearing Loss and Audibility” and was led by Doctors Marincovich and Hardeman.  With many of the attendees being of a more “mature” age (trying to be PC here), myself included, there was intense interest in the presentation with a lively discussion and many questions.  So many questions in fact that it was difficult for the Doctors to go through the entire presentation which is included at the following link: XXXXX.

 

Dr. Marincovich (right) discusses Tinnitus management

Some highlights of the event included the following topics:

 

  • Hearing aids: Improvements have been made and continue to be made in hearing aids.  Hearing aids in the past have focused on improving hearing the human voice while newer hearing aids work on improving hearing a broader frequency response.  plus the newer hearing aids can have separate programs for different environments such as home vs. restaurants vs. sporting events vs. listening to music and some have the capability for your cell phone to control them.

 

  • Hearing loss: Can manifest itself in many ways including migraines, dizziness, and tinnitus.  With hearing loss, loud sounds can seem to be too loud and soft sounds are difficult to hear.  A complete hearing function evaluation (audiogram) is more comprehensive than a simple hearing test.  The evaluation has the ability to analyze and develop individual-specific corrections to address a particular type of hearing loss.  Hearing loss has correlations with balance issues and cogitative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  • Hearing is not just the ear: We actually hear with our brains!  The ear is just the mechanical to electric signal transducer (think microphone) that converts the changes in air pressure (sound) to the electrical signals to the brain.

Audiologists, Hardeman and Marincovich

  • Tinnitus: One in 10 people experience this ringing in the ears.  Causes include exposure to loud noises, ear infections, TMJ, medications, trauma and concussions.  Tinnitus isn’t curable, but can be mitigated with improved hearing.

 

  • Exposure: Protect your hearing from loud noises. If you have to shout at three feet or less then it’s too loud.  There are occupational exposure criteria that limits 8-hour exposures to 80 dB (decibels).  If the sound causes ringing it’s too loud.  Long term exposure to loud noise can cause hearing damage.  Use hearing protection for loud noises, or if possible remove yourself from the situation.

 

After about an hour and a half of enlightening discussion we took a break and were treated to some live music by Grant Stoner.  Grant played “A Pretty Little Ditty” (original composition), “An Interpretation of an Observation” (King Crimson) and “Drive” (original composition) on the Chapman stick.

 

Following the wonderful music Drs. Marincovich and Hardeman wrapped up their presentation with the suggestion that folks with suspected hearing loss should schedule a hearing function evaluation, I know I will.

 

 

 

 

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