The transportation network Lyft, in partnership with the National Association for the Deaf (NAD)—a nonprofit that advocates for deaf rights—has developed a “flash-on request” function for drivers with hearing loss.

Drivers who activate the Lyft app’s hard-of-hearing accessibility function will see both their phone’s screen and flashlight light up simultaneously, along with the words “New Ride,” to alert them a ride request is incoming.

Additionally, Lyft will also send out a link to a tutorial—in addition to the text prospective customers get alerting them their driver is deaf or hard-of-hearing—that instructs riders how to say “Hello” and “Thank You” in American Sign Language (ASL).


These athletes and their stories prove that hearing loss won’t impede your dreams. These are the success stories of athletes who did not let hearing loss stand in the way of success.

Terence Parkin- Terence Parkin is a South African swimmer who shocked the world in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He won the silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke race, but that’s not the only challenge that he’s bested. Parkin has almost 100% hearing loss and communicates in sign language with his coach. Parkin also leverages strobe light signals in the pool, which indicate when to start his race.

Chris Colwill- Chris Colwill is a US Diver. Colwill was born with 60% hearing loss in both his ears. His hearing loss didn’t stop him from becoming a championship diver, but the sport is not ideal for hearing aids. Colwill cannot wear his hearing aid when diving, instead he looks to the scoreboard for his prompt to begin.

Tamika Catchings- Tamika Catchings is a US basketball player who overcame hearing loss in both ears as well as a speech impediment. As a young child, she was bullied due to her hearing loss. This prompted her to throw away her hearing aid. Her parents taught her a valuable lesson by refusing to buy her a new one. Lessons like this one prompted her to grow up strong and talented, even winning WNBA MVP in 2011. Catchings has won gold medals in the last three summer Olympics.

David Smith- David Smith is a US Volleyball player who was diagnosed with 80-90% hearing loss. Because of this, he has worn hearing aids since the age of three. Still, he made an impactful debut at the London Olympics in 2012. What’s David’s secret? He relies on lip reading when communicating with his teammates. He says that this has strengthened his relationships with his team and made him a stronger athlete.

Frank Bartolillo- Frank Bartolillo is an Australian fencer, and a role model for athletes impacted by hearing loss. He topped the competition at the 2004 Athens Olympics, claiming that his hearing loss worked to his advantage. He’s been quoted as saying that he could concentrate on the match at a much better level without his hearing.

Jeff Float- Jeff Float is a US swimmer that specializes in the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay. He made history when he became the first deaf swimmer to win the gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The roar when he won was so loud that he’s been quoted as saying, “It was the first time I remember distinctively hearing loud cheers at a meet.”

If you have questions about hearing loss, don’t hesitate to reach out to ‘My Audiologist’And be sure to check out the website for more information about audiology.


  • The battery contacts inside your hearing aids should be kept clean and dry to avoid corrosion; you can dry them off using a cotton swab.
  • Fresh batteries should always be stored in a dry place at room temperature to prevent the protective stickers from prematurely peeling off.
  • Before inserting a new battery into your hearing aid, let it sit sticker side up for a few minutes with the sticker removed; this helps the battery come to full activation before you begin using it.
  • To reduce the power consumption of your batteries when you aren’t using them, remove the batteries from your hearing aids each night.


Eight Reason to Get Hearing Aids

1.     Improve Your Social Life – Being able to hear what’s going on around you leads to better relations with others, more engagement in activities, and an overall greater sense of optimism about the world.

2.     Better Job or Task Performance –Communication is key to doing your job or tasks well. If you can’t comprehend directions or other vital information about the task at hand, your ability to complete the work at hand will suffer. Being able to hear with no impediment will help you be at the top of your game.

3.     Benefits for Your Mind – There are studies that show a link between hearing loss and dementia. Though the research is still in its nascent stages, experts believe that treating hearing loss could help preserve cognitive function.

4.     Heart Health – Research shows that cardiovascular health is linked to hearing health. In some cases, cardiovascular abnormalities may be detected earlier in the sensitive inner ear, than elsewhere in the body. There are also a number of other conditions linked to hearing loss including diabetes, depression, sleep apnea, and the risk of hospitalization.

5.     Saving Money –Middle-aged people with hearing loss have about one-third more in health care payments than people without. Additionally, studies show that utilizing hearing aids lessens the risk of income loss by 90-100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65-77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. Even worse, people with untreated hearing loss lost up to $30,000 in annual income, according to the study.

6.     Life is Easier – Taking control of your hearing health, gives you more confidence in other areas of your life. People who use hearing aids are more likely to handle obstacles proactively than those who leave their hearing loss untreated.

7.     Prevents Depression  – There is a link between depression and hearing loss in adults. Utilizing hearing aids can improve the quality of a person’s life. By treating the problem, people are less likely to feel hopeless or helpless against their hearing loss.

8.     Easier to Communicate – Hearing loss can affect an individual in every aspect of their life: work, leisure activities like concerts, conversations with family and friends, and home life. By improving the way in which sound is transmitted, people are able to feel normal, communicate effectively, and have an overall better quality of life.


Australia has a long history of addressing hearing healthcare, with pioneering projects and research. SBS reports that the Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) of Australia has commissioned an evidence-based report, developed by Deloitte Access Economics, on the social and economic cost of hearing loss in the country: Social and Economic Cost of Hearing Health in Australia – June 2017. It estimates that around 3.6 million Australians are currently affected by hearing loss. This represents an economic cost of AUD 15.9 billion as a result of premature retirement and decreased productivity.

By 2060, it is estimated that as many as one in five Australians (over 7 million people), will be living with a hearing issue. The highest risk group is reported to be those aged 12 to 35. Another estimate is that up to 50% of young Australians may develop hearing loss after five years of exposure to loud music.

“The significant increase in the prevalence of hearing loss shown in this report raises challenges for the hearing care industry on how we can best support and mitigate the impact on the Australian population,” says HCIA’s chairman, Mr Ashley Wilson. According to the article, HCIA also recommends that Australia’s hearing aid voucher programme be extended to people in low-income groups, including younger and older Australians.


A recent study at University of British Columbia did a study on seniors aged 60 to 69 to examine the impact of diagnosed or untreated hearing issues. Result indicated that for every 10dB drop in hearing sensitivity the odds of social isolation increased by 52%. This was also associated with a cognitive decline equivalent to almost four years of chronological aging. Social isolation has been shown to have similar impacts on mortality rates as smoking and alcohol consumption. Studies continue to investigate if interventions such as regular hearing screening programs similar to those that are in place for young children could positively impact health outcomes for Senior citizens. For more information contact Raji Parangad at ‘My Audiologist’… your local hearing health professional…on 07 3446 5845



A common complaint we often see patients for are itchy ears. The don’t hurt or drain… They just itch… a lot…There are a few common causes of such itchy ears including earwaxallergies, and a piece of hair in the ear canal. However, there are a few other etiologies which are not often considered.

Ear Canal Dermatitis

Yes… the skin of your ear canal can become dry and irritated (just like the hands after washing your hands too often). People sometimes complain of very dry flaky earwax with this condition, similar to the dry flaky skin of psoriasis.

Treatment is easy… steroids! Whether it be in cream form (elicon, triamcinolone) or drops (dermotic). For those a bit wary of using steroids, one can try facial lotion, mineral oil, or sweet oil.

Fungal Otitis Externa

Also known as thrush of the ears. This often happens when antibiotics are given repeatedly over time for an “ear infection” whether in ear drop or oral pill form. Pain may be present, but even with pain, the adjective itchy is always included.

Treatment is also a snap… anti-fungal cream! We like to use lotrisone for this condition. However, the other key to successful treatment is complete debridement of the ear canal prior to cream insertion. Also, when the cream is used, one needs to completely fill the ear canal from eardrum to ear canal entrance.

Often, one single treatment is all that is required!

Worst comes to worst, antifungal powder can be tried.



National Office for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels every year. In addition to damaging workers’ quality of life, occupational hearing loss carries a high economic burden. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app can be used by safety and health professionals and industrial hygienists to assess risks, similar to how they would use a professional sound level meter, and by workers to make informed decisions about the potential hazards to their hearing in the workplace. The app allows the user to acquire and display real-time noise exposure data and help promote better hearing health and better prevention efforts. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (NIOSH SLM) app for iOS devices is now available on iTunes freely to the occupational safety and health community as well as the general public.

In order to interpret results, it is important to recognize that NIOSH establishes recommended exposure limits (REL) for various hazards on the basis of the best available science and practice. The REL for noise is 85 decibels, as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) using the A-weighting frequency response and a 3-dB exchange rate. Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous. The app provides a readout of the sound levels using the built-in microphone (or preferably using an external, calibrated, microphone) and reports the instantaneous sound level in A, C, or Z weighted decibels. The app also contains some basic information about noise and hearing loss prevention. In addition, the app allows the user to save and share measurement data with others using the device communication and media features. For additional information and detailed guidance on how to use the app, please visit the NIOSH app page at:

Further information contact ‘MY AUDIOLOGIST’ Raji Parangad on 07 3446 5845


Sneeze.. medically known as the “closed-airway sneeze,” it may be socially preferable, but health wise may be harmful if not dangerous. Sneeze causes tremendous air pressure build up in lung which ideally should be released out the mouth… but if internalised to prevent release out the mouth, can cause immense pressure to buildup internally which may cause significant damage ranging from minor to severe even requiring hospitalisation ! Although most of the time, no adverse health consequences occur, here are some of the reported damage that has happened by stifling a sneeze:

• Tympanic membrane ( ear drum) rupture
• Breaking the cartilage around the larynx (voicebox)
• Cervical pain
• Facial fracture
• Rupturing the eardrum
• Rib fractures
• Hernia
• Eye damage
• Vision damage
• Spinal injury
• Arterial rupture
• Hematoma formation in the neck and other locations

A matter not to be sneezed at


No matter how much money you spend on toys for your pets they will inevitably play with, chew or outright eat something you dont want them too. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to your hearing aids.

Dogs seem to prefer to chew and ultimately swallow all or part a hearing aid. Cats seem to prefer swatting a hearing aid across the floor from one end of the house to the other. Neither of these scenarios will typically have a positive outcome for the hearing aid.

If you discover a partially eaten hearing aid or cant find your hearing aid and suspect your pet may be the culprit, contact your veterinarian immediately. Ingesting a small electronic device that is powered by a battery has the potential to cause a serious problem for your pet. The acid from the battery can damage their mouth, esophagus and/or the lining of the stomach, pieces of the hearing aid can cause internal bleeding and so on.


If your hearing aid is damaged by your pet its unlikely that your homeowners insurance policy will cover the cost to replace the hearing aid. Damage from pets typically falls under the realm of negligence and is rarely covered.

If your hearing aid is still under warranty with our office, contact us immediately. We can determine if the damage caused by your pet will require replacing or repairing the unit and whether or not the damage will be covered by the warranty.


The easiest way to prevent the problem is to not to leave your hearing aids or batteries out where your pet can get to them. If the hearing aids arent in your ears make sure theyre stored safely in a dri-aid kit or the case you were given when you purchased the hearing aids. The old adage better safe than sorry is definitely one that applies to pets and hearing aids!

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