Closed-Captioning Glasses allow people with hearing loss to enjoy the the movies!

Most people who frequent movie theaters for the latest releases tend to take it for granted that they can enjoy the movie immediately with no extra effort to interpret it. Compare this to the thousands of people who are deaf or hearing impaired – they really can’t enjoy the movies until they are released with the captions added. However, that is all about to change, thanks to new closed-captioning glasses available at movie theaters now. This allows everyone to enjoy the films together. Let’s explore this new technology and where you can expect to find the glasses.

The Ins and Outs

Called Access Glasses,these provide many advantages to those who suffer from hearing loss, with the unique ability to be customized for brightness based upon the individual user. You can therefore see the captions best in optimal lighting. Adjustments can be made to fit your seat in the movie theater, allowing you to see the film and captions better. Initial trial places the middle of the theater as the best seat in the house when it comes to perspective.

Once configured to your face, the movie begins and you are treated to a cinematic delight. This is when sensors on either side of your head pick up on the captions via a data transmitter, with a display that shows right in front of you. You’ll appreciate that the captioning text appears to be floating about 10 feet before your face so you can read it comfortably while enjoying the whole movie experience. This is a big leap forward for those who are hearing impaired, with more implementation at more locations at future dates.

Concept and Design

The closed-caption glasses, developed by a joint partnership between Sony and Regal Cinemas, are officially known as Sony Entertainment Access Glasses. They are the end result of a lifelong dream of the chief administrative officer of Regal Cinemas, Randy Smith. It took years and years of testing, but Sony has now released the glasses with availability at over 6,000 screens by the close of summer.

A Seamless Design

Boasting an interesting design great for people of all shapes and sizes, these glasses resemble an oversized pair of glasses with two detectors on either side. They’re able to fit over most pairs of glasses that you own already, and are designed with your comfort in mind so you’re not tired by the end of the experience.

Where are they Found?

Right now the plan is to make the glasses available on a trial run at Regal Cinema theaters peppered across the United States. While it’s not known yet how long the testing phase of this project will last or even if expansion is planned for additional screens, it’s generally believed that the success of this new technology will rely on how many people they are able to draw into the theaters.

Hearing Dogs – Assistance for hearing loss and the deaf

You’ve most likely heard of how helpful seeing eye dogs can be. These dogs help blind or sight-impaired people live with freedom on a daily basis. In the last 10 years or so, there’s been an increased focus on hearing dogs who are capable of helping individuals get around every day within the hearing-impaired community. The result? Many different breeds of dogs, most notably Labradors and Golden Retrievers, can be trained to help people who suffer from hearing loss of some kind. Check out the training and benefits that these dogs offer.

Training Regimen: What’s Involved

Hearing dogs can take part in a training program lasting between four and six months so they can be specially trained to perform tasks to alert individuals with hearing damage. As such, they are able to respond to various sounds, like telephones, door knocking and smoke alarms. When placed with a partner who’s the right match for them, the dogs go through additional training so they can pick up on sounds that are unique to their new owners.

Helping Hearing-Impaired Individuals

Once they’re matched with their partners, they endure a few weeks of personalized care to determine a good match. The dogs are then able to provide many services to hearing-impaired individuals upon completion of the training course. Not only can they alert their owners to the various sounds around the house, they can also communicate in several other situations specifically tailored to their owner.

For example, hearing dogs aren’t necessarily trained to alert their owners to the loud sound of a fire engine coming down the road, but hearing-impaired individuals will know from their dog’s body language that something is wrong. Once you’ve been matched with your dog for a few weeks, you’ll begin to understand more sounds and situations based on the reaction to your dog. They will soon be able to detect anything to which you need an alert.

How to Obtain a Dog: Requirements

You can’t just go out and get a hearing dog. You need to go through a few hoops first to ensure you’re a good candidate. You have to be at least 18 years old in order to go through this process. You must also fill out an application with all the pertinent information. Make sure a friend or family member is available to assist you with in-home training. Throughout the application process, it will be determined whether you can provide your dog with a proper living space. It’s also imperative that you agree to attend canine training, and then follow up with training and tracking activities on a yearly basis. Soon, you will be living on a daily basis with a hearing dog whose sole mission is to make your everyday life easier through top-notch hearing assistance.

5 Unhealthy Habits That Can Cause Hearing Loss

Those unhealthy habits you partake in could be damaging your ears. Anything from loud noises to a sedentary lifestyle can damage your hearing in ways you never thought about before. There have been several studies over the years illustrating how your body’s health is closely connected with the health of your hearing. Take a look at these bad habits and see how you can change them in everyday life to guard against hearing loss. Lessening your risk and exposure sometimes means making small changes in your daily habits.

Loud Noises

If you enjoy taking in a rock concert, then you probably know the ear-splitting effects of standing close to a speaker. Unfortunately, those loud noises can bring on both temporary and long-term hearing loss. It’s important to stay away from the immediate area of the stage and sound system, instead taking a seat towards the back. It doesn’t always take the loud volume of a concert to incur hearing loss. You can also damage your hearing when you consistently listen to TV or video games at loud levels.  The energy and power sent out by these extremely loud noises can result in significant temporary and long-term hearing loss for you.

Neglecting the Doctor Visits

For the best in preventive maintenance, regular doctor visits are crucial. Sure, you may go to the doctor when you feel something is wrong, but you should go on a yearly basis in order to track any changes that may come about. Early detection is an important component to successfully treating or even reversing hearing damage, thanks to exams and evaluations which can detect hearing losses. Your doctor will also recommend ways you can take on a healthier lifestyle, which will lead to healthier hearing.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Failing to get enough exercise or eat right is part of a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to hearing damage. Why? Obesity is often a result of a sedentary lifestyle, and one side effect of obesity is diabetes. This disease does not allow for proper circulation of the blood, leading to a heightened risk for hearing loss. One way to cut your risk of diabetes and therefore hearing loss is to develop a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Smoking

It’s not just your lungs that suffer when you smoke. Your ears can, too. This can seriously affect your hearing in ways you never assumed could happen. Cigarettes have chemicals in them that can hurt the vibration sensors in your ears. This in turn can make it more difficult for your ears to pick up on small amounts of sounds.

Listening to Your MP3 Player

One of the worst habits you can partake in is blasting music through your MP3. Using ear buds puts this loud sound right into your ear, causing hearing loss in anyone, young and old. Although you may find listening to music in this way quite relaxing, you’re actually doing a lot of damage when it comes to hearing loss. You’re essentially blasting a large amount of sound right at your inner ear where it has nowhere to go, leading to a loss in hearing.

F.R. – Former Naval Submarine Captain

I have had five sets of hearing aids from various audiologists in the U.S. and England, but none can compare to the ones I received at Sound Advice. The friendliness and professionalism shown by Beverly Lew and her office staff was outstanding. The hearing instruments prescribed for me have changed my life. I can hear my home and cell phone in comfort and clarity for the first time since I started wearing hearing aids. I am now directly connected to the sound output of the television which has completely eliminated the battles between my wife and I over adjusting the television volume.

D.P. – High School Orchestra Conductor

Beverly Lew  at Sound Advice made my hearing go from black and white to color! I need to hear all the different tone colors (frequencies) of each instrument. Bev encouraged me to try different hearing instruments and fine tuned them to my needs. Now, I can rock and Bach hear every note!

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Current Research into Balance Disorders

Research on balance disorders is ongoing. Recent findings from studies supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) suggest that the vestibular system plays an important role in modulating blood pressure. The information from these studies has potential clinical relevance in understanding and managing orthostatic hypotension (lowered blood pressure related to a change in body posture).

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Hearing Aid Research News

Researchers are looking at ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. Signal processing is the method used to modify normal sound waves into amplified sound that is the best possible match to the remaining hearing for a hearing aid user. NIDCD-funded researchers also are studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding.

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