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With so much to hear in and around Santa Rosa this summer, Kenwood Hearing Centers is pleased to provide you with our top picks. This summer’s line up is packed with musicians whose long careers have survived the ebbs and flows of the music industry, and whose unique sounds and recognizable personas continue to delight audiences
For over three decades, 10,000 Maniacs, has pushed folk rock to innovative places. Lead by Natalie Merchant’s dark, resonant vocals, this band’s earthy, autumnal sound has enchanted audiences worldwide. In 2015, reuniting with the band’s founding member John Lombardo, 10,000 Maniacs released a new album, Twice Told Tales, a stark and hauntingly beautiful collection of folk songs from the British Isles. Catch them live on July 24 at the City Winery in Napa. For tickets, visit http://www.songkick.com/concerts/23535328-10000-maniacs-at-city-winery-napa
Four-time Grammy-winner Benatar and her partner and creative collaborator, Giraldo, soared to stardom in the 1980s with pop hits such as “Love is a Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker.” Last year, they released a 35th anniversary collection and lately, they have revisited their country roots with medleys that blend “Heartbreaker” and “Ring of Fire.” This dynamic duo performs at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts on July 31. For tickets, visit http://www.wellsfargocenterarts.org/
This final masterpiece by Rossini comes to the big screen at Summerfield Cinemas in a pre-recorded live form from the Royal Opera House in London. In this opera, William Tell struggles to liberate his people from an Austrian occupation, and faces the cruel and unusual punishment of shooting an apple off his son’s head. As a hearing looped venue, Summerfield Cinemas is an ideal place to hear this famous opera with a score that is “harmonically daring and fiercely difficult for the singers.” Directed by Italian rising star Damiano Michieletto. For showtimes and tickets, visit http://summerfieldcinemas.com/events
Now in its 22nd year, this annual music series brings together food, free music, and fun at Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa. Held on Sunday, from 5-7pm, there are four unique shows left in the series: The Dixies (folk, eastern European, soul); The Vivants (Dixie swing); The Honey Dippers (blues, rock, soul); and The Soulshine Blues Band closing out the series on August 9. For more information, visit http://srcity.org/departments/recreationandparks/programs/specialevents/Pages/LiveatJuilliard.aspx
Since the late 1970s, Dwight Yoakam has challenged the status quo of country music with his stripped-down revivalist approach. Playing alongside punk bands in Los Angeles and rejecting the pop-urban cowboy movement in Nashville, Yoakam followed in the footsteps of his idols Merle Haggard and Hank Williams, creating an earnest, sophisticated country-rock sound of his own. Hear Johnny Cash’s “favorite country singer” Dwight Yoakam on August 21 at the Green Music Center. For tickets, visit http://gmc.sonoma.edu/event/2624567-dwight-yoakam
From August 21 to September 20, catch the fantastic stage adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic Wizard of Oz at the 6th Street Playhouse. Follow Dorothy Gale on her adventures after being swept up by a tornado and landing in the magical land of Oz, where she and her new friends make their way through a series of obstacles and finding their strengths. Wizard of Oz plays in the GK Hardt Theatre at 6th Street Playhouse, which is a hearing looped venue that feeds sound directly to hearing aids outfitted with T-coils (for more information on hearing looped venues in and around Santa Rosa, check out our article here). For tickets and information, visit http://www.6thstreetplayhouse.com/season/gk-hardt-theatre/wizard-of-oz/
Another free Sunday concert series, this one takes place at the Village Terrace from 1-4pm on Sundays. With beverage proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations, this series showcases a diverse array of performances, from Cajun zydeco to bebop jazz to classic rock to Motown to Broadway favorites. The series runs through the summer and fall, with a Beatles tribute band playing the closing show on October 11. For complete listing of performances, visit http://www.mvshops.com/events/free-sunday-concerts-at-the-terrace
What do the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA and the Grace Episcopal Church in Fairfield, CA have in common?
Both are outfitted with an induction loop, a system which transmits the feed from a PA system through a wire loop and projects a magnetic signal received by telecoils (T-coils) in hearing aids. This technology gives hearing impaired listeners, with hearing aids fitted with a “T” switch, a clear, direct channel of sound, unfettered by other noise distractions in their immediate surroundings.
In northern California, Kenwood Hearing Centers has improved listening experiences for hearingIimpaired audiences with the installation of induction loop systems in over 2500 venues, from theaters to cinemas to churches to recreation centers to pharmacies to residential homes. If you are unsure whether your hearing instrument is fitted with a T-coil, please contact Kenwood Hearing Centers.
With the advent of summer, there is a diverse array of entertainment options for hearing impaired individuals at looped venues in Solano and Sonoma Counties. Whether it is a sweet country waltz or an explosive Hollywood blockbuster film, most hearing aid users can receive crisp sound directly with the simple flip of a “T” switch! We’ve highlighted a few venues and activities for you:
415 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA. What’s summer without ice cold air conditioning and buttery popcorn? At Raven Film Center, hearing impaired film lovers are provided with a hearing loop seating chart so they can enjoy the latest blockbusters, from the fantastic Jurassic World to the slapstick Spy. For showtimes, check http://ravenfilmcenter.com/current-upcoming-films/
52 W 6th Street, Santa Rosa, CA. Starting June 26, the 6th Street Playhouse begins a sensational season with Buddy! The Buddy Holly
Story. With an intimate theater that seats 184, and a hearing loop system in place, attendees can enjoy live renditions of classic rockabilly songs as they revisit Buddy Holly’s rise to fame. Other shows include Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, and Funny Face. For season information, visit http://www.6thstreetplayhouse.com/home/
551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, CA. In addition to popular Hollywood hits, Summerfield Cinemas offers screenings of Broadway shows and operas. Experience the magic of Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Julie Taymor, who also directed the Broadway smash Lion King, on June 28. A few weeks later, come back on July 5 for the timeless Puccini opera, La Boheme, which was recorded live at the Royal Opera in London. With looped theaters and big screens, viewers experience the joy of internationally renowned theater and opera without having to leave their hometowns. For tickets, visit http://summerfieldcinemas.com/events.
476 First Street East, Sonoma, CA. Referred to as “Sonoma’s Gem,” the Sebastiani Theatre first opened its doors in 1933. In recent renovations, a hearing loop system was installed, which enhances the eclectic screenings of new and classic films. This month, Pixar’s newest animated picture Inside Out is playing, and next month the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation’s Vintage Film Series will screen the 1934 film, Murder on the Orient Express. With community theater events and as premier venue of the Sonoma International Film Festival, there is always something to see here. For more, check the calendar at http://www.sebastianitheatre.com/
If you are experiencing signs of a hearing loss, it is normal to wonder what might have
caused your hearing challenges. When your computer isn’t working as it should, there
are many potential causes. There might be a broken piece of electronics, a virus, or
just the gradual wear and tear of years of use. In a similar way, hearing loss can be
traced back to one or more of several common causes.
The ear is a very sensitive organ, and being exposed to loud noises can lead to
hearing loss. One-time exposure to a very loud noise, such as an explosion, can cause
sudden hearing loss. However, most people are exposed to moderately loud noises
over time, which causes gradual hearing loss.
Any noise louder than about 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss, especially with
prolonged exposure. Some types of noises that might be this loud include power
tools, concerts, motorcycles, sirens, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and kitchen
As you get older, it’s common to develop at least a small amount of permanent
hearing loss. The nerve cells in the ear slowly lose some of their function. Some
people experience only mild presbycusis as they age, whereas others have severe
age-related hearing loss.
Loss of sensitivity to high-pitched noises is one of the most common initial symptoms
of presbycusis. You also might have difficulty hearing conversations in settings with
background noise, like in a crowded restaurant.
While medicine is helpful and often necessary for treating certain medical conditions,
some types can have a negative effect on your hearing. For example, several of the
common drugs used in chemotherapy, some types of antibiotics, and even large
quantities of aspirin can cause hearing loss. When your doctor suggests a new
medicine, you should always ask whether it might affect your hearing, and if so,
whether there are alternate medicines you could try instead.
When earwax builds up in your ear canal, it prevents sounds from making it to your
eardrum and middle ear. This is one of the easiest causes of hearing loss to remedy.
Professional earwax removal can clear out your ear canal and restore hearing that was
lost because of the obstruction.
Many other types of medical problems can lead to hearing loss as a side effect. For
example, getting a cold or the flu can cause fluid buildup in the middle ear that leads
to mild hearing loss. Ear infections also will often lead to temporary hearing loss.
Other underlying medical problems may cause more serious or permanent hearing
loss. A head injury can damage nerves or move the bones in the middle ear out of
place. Non-cancerous tumors can grow in your ear or near the nerves that control
hearing. Some of these types of hearing loss are reversible, but others are permanent
and might require hearing aids to help restore hearing.
If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of a hearing loss, we invite you to
connect with us to schedule a free hearing test. Our friendly team is here to help you
Hear Your World in all the ways that enrich your life.
Very recently, the condition of constant ringing in the ears has become a widespread topic of discussion. For many years, people who suffered with ringing in their ears had no idea that such a condition—also known as tinnitus—even existed. Up to a third of all Americans are affected by tinnitus at some point in their lives. Anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of Americans are so affected by tinnitus that they seek medical attention. Staggeringly, around two million Americans have such severe tinnitus that they are unable to function day-to-day.
Over half of all hearing loss sufferers also suffer from tinnitus of some severity. Most commonly, people who have noise-induced hearing loss are those that also report having tinnitus. It’s extremely important to protect your ears from any kind of harm, and constant loud noise over long periods of time is no exception. The prevalence of life-affecting tinnitus in the noise-induced hearing loss demographic is enough to demonstrate the need for caution. Luckily, though, the recent widespread dialogue on tinnitus, its causes, and its remedies has led to a huge increase in knowledge on the malady.
Tinnitus itself isn’t a disease, but rather a condition that can be caused by a range of different things. Ear infections, allergies, wax buildup, neurological damage, a number of different diseases, and, of course, hearing loss can all lead to cases of tinnitus. Because of this, there’s no cure-all that can completely eliminate the ringing.
There are, however, many different options for treatment. Though most treatment options often vary in effectiveness and reliability, hearing loss sufferers have a more reliable treatment that fits perfectly with their lifestyle: hearing aids. There are certain types of hearing aids that are designed specifically to counteract the effects of tinnitus. These hearing aids make the ringing less noticeable so that you can go about your day normally or enjoy quiet relaxation times.
Around 40 million people living in the United States alone suffer from hearing loss. Unfortunately, that number seems to just be increasing as the years go by. Excessive noise alone causes about 30 percent of all hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises for just 15 minutes a day can cause significant, permanent damage to your hearing over time. Many cases of hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises are preventable. So why do so many people suffer from this type of hearing loss? One of the problems is that many people don’t even know how damaging noise can be to their ears in the long run. Other problems contribute as well, like lack of routine hearing loss screening tests and people having insufficient knowledge about what they can do to lessen or avoid noise-induced hearing loss altogether.
To avoid noise-induced hearing loss, there are a few things you can do. The following practices will significantly reduce the chance that your hearing is permanently damaged by loud noises.
First, try to be aware of when you’re being exposed to loud noises. Any noise above about 85 decibels (dB) may cause damage if you’re exposed to it for too long. For comparison, a normal conversation usually clocks in at about 50-70 dB, motorcycles are about 85-90 dB, and loud concerts are 110+ dB. The best thing to do if you’re being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time is to take periodic 15 minute breaks. During the break, find a nice, quiet area and let your ears have a rest. The frequency of breaks depends on how loud the sound is—it’s only safe to be exposed to 100 dB for about 15 minutes at a time.
If at all possible, you can also avoid these types of situations altogether. If you’re in a situation where you would have to raise your voice in order for someone near you to hear you, your ears are probably being exposed to too much noise. If you’re going to attend a loud concert or similar show, make sure that you’re not up close to the amps and speakers. Being as close as possible to the performers can be a rush, but, typically, speakers of the size used in performances can cause serious damage to your ears in a short period of time. Avoid listening to music too loudly, operating loud machinery for extended periods of time without ear protection, and other similar situations.
Speaking of ear protection, if you have to be around loud noises that you can’t avoid it’s important to wear some kind of earplug or earmuff. Most ear protection products will reduce the noise level by over 20 dB. You should always make sure you’re wearing a product that has noise reduction significant enough for the environment you’ll be in.
Finally, if you are experiencing hearing loss or if you have ear pain, make sure to tell your doctor about it right away. Most people wait years before they ever seek help for their hearing loss. There are simple, painless tests to determine what’s going on with your hearing. Your doctor can guide you in the right direction and help you get back on the track toward a future without hearing loss. Protect your hearing with Kenwood Hearing Centers.
After he lost much of his hearing last year at age 57, the composer Richard Einhorn despaired of ever really enjoying a concert or musical again. Even using special headsets supplied by the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway theaters, he found himself frustrated by the sound quality, static and interference
Then, in June, he went to the Kennedy Center in Washington, where his “Voices of Light” oratorio had once been performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, for a performance of the musical “Wicked.”
There were no special headphones. This time, the words and music were transmitted to a wireless receiver in Mr. Einhorn’s hearing aid using a technology that is just starting to make its way into public places in America: a hearing loop.
“There I was at ‘Wicked’ weeping uncontrollably — and I don’t even like musicals,” he said. “For the first time since I lost most of my hearing, live music was perfectly clear, perfectly clean and incredibly rich.”
His reaction is a common one. The technology, which has been widely adopted in Northern Europe, has the potential to transform the lives of tens of millions of Americans, according to national advocacy groups. As loops are installed in stores, banks, museums, subway stations and other public spaces, people who have felt excluded are suddenly back in the conversation.
A hearing loop, typically installed on the floor around the periphery of a room, is a thin strand of copper wire radiating electromagnetic signals that can be picked up by a tiny receiver already built into most hearing aids and cochlear implants. When the receiver is turned on, the hearing aid receives only the sounds coming directly from a microphone, not the background cacophony.
“It’s the equivalent of a wheelchair ramp for people who used to be socially isolated because of their hearing loss,” said David G. Myers, a professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Mich., who is hard of hearing. “I used to detest my hearing aids, but now that they serve this second purpose, I love the way they’ve enriched my life.”
After his first encounter with a hearing loop at an abbey in Scotland, where he was shocked to suddenly be able to understand every word of a service, Dr. Myers installed a loop in his own home and successfully campaigned to have loops installed at hundreds of places in Michigan, including the Grand Rapids airport and the basketball arena at Michigan State University.
“One of the beauties of this simple technology is that it serves me everywhere from my office to my home TV room to nearly all the worship places and public auditoriums of my community,” Dr. Myers said.
The Midwest has been in the vanguard, but New York is starting to catch up. Loops have been installed at the ticket windows of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, at the Apple store in SoHo and at exhibits and information kiosks at Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.
Even in that infamous black hole of acoustics — the New York subway system — loops are being placed in about 500 fare booths, in what will be the largest installation in the United States.
“This isn’t just about disability rights — it’s about good customer service,” said Janice Schacter Lintz, the head of the Hearing Access Program, a group in New York promoting the loops.
“The baby boomers turn 65 this year,” Ms. Schacter Lintz said, noting that more than 30 percent of people over 65 have hearing loss. “That’s a big group of customers who won’t go to museums or theaters or restaurants where they can’t hear. Put in a loop, and they can hear clearly without any of the bother or embarrassment of wearing a special headset.”
The basic technology, called an induction loop, has been around for decades as a means of relaying signals from a telephone to a tiny receiver called a telecoil, or t-coil, that can be attached to a hearing aid. As telecoils became standard parts of hearing aids in Britain and Scandinavia, they were also used to receive signals from loops connected to microphones in halls, stores, taxicabs and a host of other places.
People in the United States have been slower to adopt the technology because telecoils were traditionally sold as an optional accessory, at an extra cost of about $50, instead of being included automatically with a hearing aid. But today telecoils are built into two-thirds of the hearing aids on the market as well as in all cochlear implants, so there is a growing number of people able to benefit from loops.
Hearing loop systems are more complicated to install than the assistive-hearing systems commonly used in theaters and churches, which beam infrared or FM signals to special headsets or neck loops that must be borrowed from the hall. Installing a loop in an auditorium typically costs $10 to $25 per seat, an initial investment that discourages some facility managers. But advocates for the loops argue that the cost per user is lower over the long run.
“The joke among my friends is that the loop system sounds too good to be true, but it is,” said Christine Klessig, a retired lawyer living near Stevens Point in central Wisconsin. “Before they installed a loop at the public library, I had to sit in the front row at lectures and try to lip-read because I missed so many words. Now I sit wherever I want and hear everything.”
The Hearing Loss Association of America, the largest group representing people with hearing problems, has joined with the American Academy of Audiology in a campaign to make loops more common in the United States. The technology is a cost-efficient way to provide benefits that even the most expensive hearing aids cannot deliver, said Patricia Kricos, an audiologist at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Academy of Audiology.
“Audiologists have always had a lot of faith in new high-tech hearing aids and cochlear implants, which are wonderful, but we’re coming to realize that these work primarily in relatively quiet places without a lot of reverberation and noise,” Dr. Kricos said. “In many settings, like a train station, they can’t give you the crystal-clear clarity that you can get from a hearing loop.”
In the pre-loop days at Dr. Myers’s church in Michigan, the assistive-hearing headsets were rarely used by more than a single person at any service. Other worshipers were dissuaded by the inconvenience and embarrassment, he said. Shortly after the loop was installed, 10 people told him they were using it, and the number has been growing as more people get hearing aids that work with the system.
“If we build it, they will come,” Dr. Myers said. “I see no reason why what’s happened here in West Michigan can’t happen across America.”