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Mar. 10, 2023

Musicians & Hearing Loss

Did you know that musicians can be four times more likely to experience hearing loss? Hearing loss is a chronic medical condition that reduces a person’s capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This not only impacts hearing, but also communication which are key ways we navigate everyday life. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is loud noise. Because musicians are consistently exposed to noise, they experience a much higher risk of developing hearing loss compared to non-musicians.Fortunately, this type of hearing loss is preventable and practicing safety measures can significantly protect hearing health and wellness. Noise Induced Hearing Loss One time or regular exposure to loud noise can cause noise induced hearing loss.…
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Dec. 30, 2022

Raising Awareness around Hearing Loss with Millennials & Gen-Z

When we speak about hearing loss, presbycusis – the medical name for age-related hearing loss – often takes center stage. Yet, hearing loss in the elderly population does not reflect the whole picture of hearing disorders. Hearing loss is now seen in younger people – particularly Millennials and Gen Z. Growing Up in a Noisy Environment Even among younger people, noise exposure is a significant cause of hearing loss. According to current studies, about one out of every ten Americans is exposed to noise pollution at levels that have the potential to harm hearing. At the same time, the World Health Organization anticipates that as nations expand and urbanize, teens’ hearing hazards will rise dramatically. Millennials and Gen Z are…
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Dec. 20, 2022

Why Sports Fans Should Consider Their Hearing Health

Hearing protection is becoming more and more common at live music events and concerts. Those attending these performances know they are in for a noisy experience, and many come prepared with their own earplugs.  Most music venues offer essential earplugs for purchase, as well. Some avid music fans and performers may invest in custom-fitted hearing protection, knowing they risk future enjoyment of music should their hearing be lost. Even those who did not come prepared for a loud concert will often know when the noise level is too loud, and they will tend to step outside a venue or even place tissue paper in their ears as a makeshift form of hearing protection.  Did you know that some of the…
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Dec. 10, 2022

Untreated Hearing Loss Can Result In Overall Higher Healthcare Costs

There are a multitude of reasons to seek treatment for hearing loss, including increased connection and improved relationships with loved ones. And yet, many people choose to live with untreated hearing loss acquired later in life because they think it’s an inevitable part of the aging process. In fact, most people wait about ten years before finally treating their hearing loss. On top of that, experts estimate that only one in five people who could benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants actually wears them. But the cost of untreated hearing loss goes beyond a decrease in physical and emotional health, as a new study confirms that the financial burden of hearing loss can be clearly measured in dollars and…
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Nov. 30, 2022

Do You Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss?

Have you ever suspected that you, or someone close to you, could be experiencing hearing loss? Oftentimes, diagnosing the loss of hearing is difficult,as it is usually gradual and elusive in nature. It is important then to first understand how we hear to truly comprehend how hearing loss manifests. We may then be better-equipped to identify the signs and symptoms of this widespread condition.  Understanding How We Hear Our ears are made up of three main components through which sound waves pass. First, sound travels through the outer ear and reaches the eardrum, upon which vibrations are created. These vibrations continue into the middle ear where they are amplified by three small bones before finally entering the inner ear. Within…
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Nov. 23, 2022

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Blessings As we approach Thanksgiving, I stop to count my blessings.  Laughter around the table can be found during these special family times.  At its heart, the holiday holds a deep sense of gratitude. It is as it sounds, a day to “give thanks.” There is a connection between generations and conversations abound.  But for those with hearing loss – you lose that connection of sharing stories and participation in conversations. We will have two empty chairs around our table this year as this Thanksgiving will be the first holiday without both my parents.  But the memories made and the laughter shared will remain in my heart forever.  Mom and Dad you are so missed.  We love you…Deb, Cheryl,…
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Nov. 20, 2022

Is There a Link Between Hearing Loss and Fatigue?

If you notice yourself becoming increasingly tired after talking to someone, watching television, or even after a phone call then you might be experiencing listening fatigue.  What is Listening Fatigue? As sound is received through the ears, it is processed by a complex system involving the transmission of vibrations on hair cells through auditory nerves to the brain. The brain then interprets this input into something we understand.  Listening fatigue can happen to anyone however it is more prevalent and tends to happen faster for those with hearing loss. Why is this? Because when the hair cells don’t receive all of the input, and sound, then the brain has to work harder in order to process what it does receive…
Nov. 11, 2022


Friday, November 11, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA….. Swift Audiology presented a donation of $4,500 to benefit Rescue22 Foundation – a nonprofit organization providing service dogs to veterans. Accepting on behalf of Rescue 22 to benefit Marine Corp Veteran Josh M. is Lt. Col. (ret) Brian Schill, Executive Director of Peters Township Chamber of Commerce. To date, chamber member, Swift Audiology has donated over $13,000 to the Rescue 22 by setting aside a portion of each hearing aid sold. Through this effort, the company has been able to help two Pittsburgh Veterans obtain their service dogs Angela Connor, CFO/Treasure of Rescue 22 Foundation, shared how the funds will help a local veteran living in Cranberry Township.   “Service Dog Candidate Lincoln will be…
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Nov. 07, 2022

Awareness of Noise & Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

We’ve likely all heard the warnings about loud noises impacting your hearing later in life, however, there are new reports that suggest there are other impacts noise can have on a person’s health. We will examine both of these effects of noise exposure below. First let’s look at the impact of noise itself on various aspects of our health and second, the role that hearing impairment can play in our health. How Surrounding Noise Impacts Health Recent studies have looked into the impacts of environmental noise on different health outcomes. It’s important to note that many of these studies make the connection between noise exposure and stress.  Environmental noises can include but are not limited to traffic noise (both road…
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Oct. 30, 2022

The Look of Hearing Aids: Small & Discreet

Gone are the days of the clunky “beige-colored” hearing devices that were the only option for those in need of hearing aids for many years.  Everything from how the device sits in the ear to the design and style can be chosen when picking new hearing aids. Let’s look at a few of the options available to users now. BTE versus ITE Hearing Aids Behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are the two most commonly used styles. The names themselves describe how they appear.  The BTE hearing aid sits mostly on the back of the ear and connects to a small dome or mold sitting in the ear canal while ITE hearing aids sit in the ear canal. ITE…
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Oct. 20, 2022

Top Weather Preparedness Tips for Hearing Aid Wearers

Weather preparedness is important no matter where you live. From forest fires to hurricanes, we are all exposed to the dangers of extreme weather at times. For those living with hearing loss, staying safe requires a bit more planning. Let’s review some important weather preparedness tips for those with hearing impairment. Have a Plan While weather can certainly be unpredictable at times, there are still ways to prepare for uncertainty. Know your area and what types of weather events are common and possible. In some parts of the country, that might include hurricanes, and in others blizzards. Tornadoes and wildfires are major weather events that are more common in some parts of the country but are possible anywhere.  While major…
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Oct. 17, 2022

Clarifying On What OTC (Over The Counter) Hearing Aids Are – And Are Not

Over the counter (OTC) hearing aids will be available in October. These particular hearing aids can be purchased directly, without seeing a hearing professional. They are self-fit and self-diagnose devices. OTC hearing aids have been available online and in magazines for years.  OTC hearing aids are for mild hearing loss, and will essentially make sounds louder for the consumer.  The FDA regulated these devices for adults only with a mild hearing loss.  Children and adults with moderate-severe to profound hearing losses are not approved for these devices.   Many patients are unaware of the main differences between OTC hearing aids and hearing aids that are prescribed by trained and certified hearing care professionals. OTC hearing aids are one size fits…
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Oct. 17, 2022

All About Hearing Aid-Compatible Assistive Listening Devices

The technology available for people with hearing loss is constantly expanding, and even hearing aids themselves have advanced dramatically in recent years.  Hearing loss can alter the way we experience and interact with our environment. From conversations with family and friends to work and hobbies, hearing aids make all of these interactions easier for those with treatable sensorineural hearing loss. However, when hearing aids aren’t an option or aren’t enough, there are assistive listening devices or ALDs, that can help. Hearing Aid Technology There are three main ways that hearing aids can receive outside information from something other than the microphone built within them. These methods can be used to improve sound in areas where hearing aids aren’t enough. Bluetooth–…
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Sep. 23, 2022

A Connection between Hearing Loss, Depression, and Dementia

Dementia is a worrying prospect for older adults and those who care about them. Even though dementia can happen to anyone, some things in life increase the risk of getting it. Doctors and scientists consider these risk factors as a way to stop dementia. Reducing risk factors isn’t a surefire way to stop cognitive disorders, but it can help lower rates in the population.  Hearing loss and depression are two important things that put people at risk for dementia. Even though they might be linked to dementia in different ways, both of these conditions can make dementia more likely and speed up cognitive decline. Hearing loss is also linked to depression, which makes it hard to tell which one is…
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Sep. 01, 2022

Factors That Affect Brain Health As We Age

The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body, and it’s also one of the least understood. As people age, their brains naturally slow down, but new research put out by several journals suggests that there may be a handful of ways older adults can preserve cognitive function. Here are four lifestyle factors that seem to have an impact on brain aging: How exercise affects brain aging Exercise is a powerful way to keep your brain young. It increases blood flow to the brain, decreases your risk of hypertension, and increases the release of hormones that promote neuron growth. Exercise also helps increase production of proteins that are important for learning and memory. And it improves mood.…
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Aug. 24, 2022

Identifying the Signs of Hearing Loss

Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States? It affects about 20% of the people in the world. One in three people 65 and older have hearing loss. When a person is 75 or older, this number goes up to 50%. Based on these numbers, most of us know someone with hearing loss, whether a grandparent, parent, spouse or coworker. At the same time, hearing loss is an invisible condition where people learn to deal with their problems. This means that it may not be apparent immediately if someone you know has trouble hearing. Even if you’re losing your hearing, you might not know it. Hearing loss usually happens slowly, giving…
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Aug. 18, 2022

A Possible Link between Tinnitus & Painkiller Use

If you’re a woman looking for mild pain relief, you might want to think twice about which bottle you reach for. A recent round of studies found that taking certain painkillers more often was linked to more hearing loss and tinnitus.  The rise of painkillers Over the past 20 years, there has been a rise in the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In 2010, about 19% of American adults  took aspirin, and 12% regularly used NSAIDs. If we compared these numbers to the ones from 2005, we would see a 57% rise in the use of aspirin and a 41% rise in the use of NSAIDs. Some doctors think that these drugs reduce pain and inflammation, which is why…
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Aug. 08, 2022

Hearing Loss & Cognitive Decline

Hearing loss has been with us since the dawn of humanity, but only recently is it starting to be truly understood. This is in large part due to advances in brain science and technology that lets us see exactly what is happening in the brain of someone with hearing loss. The process is also aided by “big data,” which allows researchers to look at specific details within huge populations. Hearing Loss Can Have Devastating Effects At first glance, we might not think that hearing loss can have too much of an effect on us. Yes, it’s annoying to have to ask people to repeat themselves and to miss out on what’s happening in a group conversation, but that’s probably the…
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Jul. 25, 2022

How Hearing, Exercise, Diet & Sleep Can Affect Brain Aging

As of today, there is no magic pill that stops the aging process, Although many products claim to have the power to prolong youth, as of today, there is no magic pill that stops the aging process. But, in the same ways that embracing certain habits and rituals to maintain a youthful and mobile body, we can apply similar practices to help our brains maintain agility.  The first thing to do is to come to terms with the fact that we are aging, all the time, and no amount of magical thinking will reverse the process. If we are not approaching our future with a realistic lens, it becomes overwhelming to stop the flow of time. Instead, think about it…
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Jul. 19, 2022

Can Exposure to Certain Chemicals Cause Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is a serious condition affecting `around 48 million people. Recent research shows that 1 in 4 people in the US is exposed to hazardous levels of noise, with other common causes of hearing loss including age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) and infection.  However, a lesser commonly acknowledged risk to our ears is exposure to ototoxic chemicals.   What are Ototoxic Chemicals? Ototoxic chemicals are chemicals that damage the ears. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes them as “classified as neurotoxicants (affecting the brain), cochleotoxicants (affecting the cochlea of the inner ear), or vestibulotoxicants (affecting the vestibular system which aids in the body’s balance) based on the part of the ear they damage… they can reach the inner ear…
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Jul. 11, 2022

Correlations between Injuries Untreated Hearing Loss

There are numerous underrecognized effects of hearing loss. Hearing health is integral to overall health so living with impaired hearing has a multifaceted impact. This includes increasing the risk of experiencing accidental injuries. Studies show that people with hearing loss are more likely to experience falls and injuries compared to those without hearing loss. This highlights the importance of prioritizing your hearing health which is connected to safety and wellness.    Link Between Hearing Loss & Injuries  Research shows that there is a correlation between hearing loss and injuries. Studies reveal that hearing loss increases the risk of experiencing falls which lead to injuries, increased healthcare costs, and can impact mobility. This includes a major study conducted by researchers at…
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Jun. 30, 2022

Practical Ways to Protect Your Hearing

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health issue facing older adults in the US, more prevalent than cancer or diabetes. It impacts an estimated 1 in 8 people, however, many underestimate the serious nature of the condition.  Unaddressed hearing loss is more than missing some sounds. Hearing is a communication issue and as it develops it can slowly cause rifts to form in your closest relationships.  Hearing loss is a permanent condition and as years go by declines in the quality of friendships and the loss of intimacy can cause a lack of confidence, depression, social anxiety, and loneliness. In addition, hearing starts in the ears, but sounds are processed in the brain. When sound cannot reach the brain,…
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Jun. 20, 2022

Tips for Training Your Brain to Hear in Noise

It can be difficult for anyone to hear a lot of noise. Loud noise blasting over multiple conversations can be a challenge for anyone. If you are one of the 1 in 8 people (30 million) in the US who suffer from hearing loss in both ears, then hearing in noise can present a whole new set of challenges. It can be difficult to separate the sounds you want to hear from the other noises going on at once. The location of sounds can get confusing in noise for hearing impaired people making it hard to figure out where sounds are coming from. This can be a challenge even if you do treat your hearing loss with hearing aids.  Troubles…
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Jun. 01, 2022

Staying Safe with Hearing Loss

The five senses tether us to the world, keeping us in touch and connected to our surroundings. When hearing loss sets in it’s common for those affected to be at a higher risk of falls and accidents leading to hospitalizations. This is attributed to the lack of awareness that hearing loss causes. Normal hearing not only helps us communicate with others but helps us locate the directions proximity and approaching speeds of the sounds we encounter daily. To stay safe with hearing loss there are many strategies. Here are just a few:   Smoke Alarms No matter how cautious we are accidents happen. You never know when poor electric wiring or a baking incident will spontaneously start a fire. Most…
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May. 31, 2022

Swift Audiology – Strong Supporter of Rescue 22 Foundation, Providing Service Dogs to Veterans

In July 2021, Deb Swift of Swift Audiology made a decision to give back to those that have served our country and protected our freedoms.  For each hearing aid sold a portion of the sale is set aside to give to the Rescue 22 Foundation. These funds help to offset the $25,000 cost to train a service dog.  With our most recent donation of $4,200, since July 2021 the company has donated nearly $10,000 to support this cause. Angela Connor, Executive Board Chair, CFO, and Co-Founder of Rescue 22 is the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran and saw firsthand the effects of war.  When asked what the 22 stood for, she replied, “The 22 represents 22 veterans we lose to…