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I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time 🙂

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3 Relevant Articles For Hearing Aid Wearers Today

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

3 Relevant Articles For Hearing Aid Wearers Today

Hearing Aids and Bluetooth technology

Hearing Aids and Bluetooth technology

1. Hearing Aids Meet the Future with Bluetooth Tech

The most game-changing wearable device on the market right now may not be a fitness tracker or a smartwatch; it’s a hearing aid.

Unlike fitness trackers, which are often tucked away in a drawer in just a few months, hearing aids are changing the way that people with hearing impairments live in the digital age, researchers say.

Small, discreet and often Bluetooth-enabled, the new generation of hearing aids look more like something out of a spy movie than a doctor’s office. These devices can connect wirelessly with smartphones, allowing a person to hear a phone conversation directly through his or her hearing aid without needing to hold the phone against an ear.

Read more here

2. New Clues To Reversing Hearing Loss

Scientists have successfully identified two signaling molecules that are crucial to the development of the cochlea – a finding that may assist in reversing hearing loss.

Unlike birds and amphibians, mammals can’t recover lost hearing. In people, the cells of the inner ear responsible for detecting sound and transmitting those signals to the brain form during early stages of development and can’t be replaced if lost due to illness, injury, or ageing.

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified two signaling molecules that are required for the proper development of a part of the inner ear called the cochlea. Without both signals, the embryo does not produce enough of the cells that eventually make up the adult cochlea, resulting in a shortened cochlear duct and impaired hearing.

Read more here

Elderly woman with a hearing aid

Elderly woman with a hearing aid

3. Withdrawal, Depression Common Among Seniors Living With Hearing Loss

Sometimes the changes that affect the well-being of our loved ones come about so slowly that we don’t understand what’s happening.  Even being a medical professional didn’t make me immune from misunderstanding what was happening to my father. For many years it was clear that my father was progressively withdrawing from the world. Normally gregarious and the life of the party, he became increasingly quiet. A couple of years ago, Dad, now in his 80s, began to walk with a shuffling gait, with painfully slow movements.

When we exchanged emails, he still had all of his sharp intellectual curiosity, profound insights on the community, and warm storytelling skills; but in person, he was fading away. I was especially shocked and saddened to observe him at the wedding reception of a close friend of mine, sitting quietly in a corner, excluding himself from the festivities and happy conversations.

Read more here

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Audiology: The 2nd Best Career of 2015

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

Audiology: The 2nd Best Career of 2015
Happy audiologist!

Happy audiologist!

According to CareerCast.com, audiology is the second best career of 2015. The best careers are determined by a specific methodology that includes analyzing criteria related to environment, income, stress, and more.

This isn’t the first time audiology has made it to the top ten of the best careers. It’s been moving its way up the list since at least 2011, peaking this year at number two!

Although it has the lowest average annual salary among the top ten winners at $71,133, it has the highest potential growth outlet at almost 35% followed most closely by dental hygienists.

A typical day for an audiologist might include hearing aid repairs, adult or pediatric hearing assessments, hearing aid fittings or reviews, newborn hearing tests, balance assessments and rehabilitation, audiograms for ENT consultants, etc.

This career can be rewarding on so many fronts; fitting an elderly person with hearing aids programmed for their specific hearing loss and seeing their face light up when the realize they can actually hear again, fitting a child with proper hearing instruments and seeing the joy when they can communicate better with parents and siblings, seeing an elderly person experience better balance with better hearing and gaining confidence in mobility…all this contributes to the satisfaction with the career choice.

From a patient perspective, finding a caring and knowledgeable audiologist to provide the proper care and guidance with hearing instruments can be like having a trusted friend on your side. Knowing that your hearing care provider cares about your hearing success can make all the difference when using hearing aids.

For a complete list of the top ten careers of 2015 and related information, see this article on CareerCast.

At ihearingaids.co, we partner with only knowledgeable, kind, caring, concerned, professional yet friendly audiologists to work with our hearing aid clients. Your hearing care is as important to us as it is to you and we work hard to make you happy! See for yourself. Take our 2 minute hearing screening and call us to get fitted with your new hearing aids today. We’re here to help…let us!!

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Baby Talk…It’s Good For Babies!

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

Baby Talk…It’s Good For Babies!
Babies

Babies

You know all those people that we tease behind their backs when they do “baby talk” to babies? How we feel so superior because we talk to babies like they are little adults? How we use our regular voice when addressing those little humans? Because baby talk is….well, for babies? Well, it turns out that not only do babies prefer to hear more baby-sounding voices but it’s actually beneficial to their speech development.

A new study offering insights into early language development and led by McGill University in Canada was published in the journal Developmental Science. The researchers observed and filmed the reactions of infants between the ages of four and six months (who were not yet attempting speech) while the babies listened to baby-like and adult-like sounds from a voice synthesizer. The results of the study suggest that babies prefer to listen to other babies rather than adults as they prepare to make their own speech sounds.

The researchers found that when babies listened to vowel sounds that were more baby-like (for instance, higher pitched), the infants’ attention was held longer than when the sounds had more adult-like vocal properties (for instance, lower pitched). Previous studies have also shown that babies of this age are more attracted to higher-pitched sounds. The team says “the finding is important because being attracted to infant speech sounds may be a key step in babies being able to find their own voice – it may help to kick-start the process of learning how to talk.” These discoveries increase our understanding of the complex link between speech perception and speech production in young infants. It may lead to new ways to help hearing-impaired children who may be struggling to develop language skills.

For the study, the researchers used a voice synthesizer to create vowel sounds that mimicked the voice of a baby and the voice of a woman. The experiment consisted of playing the sounds to the infants and tracking their engagement. They measured the length of time each vowel sound held the infants’ attention. This was determined by observing the the faces and body movements of the babies as they listened to each type of sound. For instance, when hearing the adult-like voices, some babies remained fairly passive and neutral but when they heard the more infant-like sounds they became more animated while moving their mouths and smiling.

This video shows one of the babies, who does not yet babble herself, as she reacts to the sounds. When ever she looks away, one sound is replaced with another. Her reactions clearly show which sounds she prefers.

The researchers say that it is possible that the babies recognize the baby-like sounds because those sounds were more like sound that they could make themselves – despite not having heard them before.

These findings also point to why adults may automatically use baby-talk when interacting with infants; the reactions of the babies is more interactive when using the higher-pitched baby talk.

Babies also spend a lot of time trying to ‘speak’ when they are alone or in places where they cannot make eye contact with others. They spend a lot of time testing their vocal chords and moving their mouths trying to discover the types of sounds they can make. For babies, using their voice is more about exploring than it is about communicating.

So, the next time you start baby-talking to a baby, don’t apologize! You have science to back you up!

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5 Rock Stars With Hearing Loss

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

5 Rock Stars With Hearing Loss

April is International Guitar Month and when I think of guitars I think of rock and roll. My first thought never goes to classical guitar or flamenco guitar or jazz guitar. It really doesn’t even go to acoustic guitar….that would be my second thought about guitar. My first thought is the big, loud, rock and roll sound of an electric guitar. Any era of rock from 1950s sort of rockabilly sound to 1960s psychedelic sound to 1970s classic rock sound to 1980 hair band sound to 1990s grunge rock sound to 2000s alternative rock sound…you get the idea.

Did you know that hearing loss is the number one disability in the world? And that it is also the most preventable disability? Did you know that 60% of the musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame suffer from hearing loss that was preventable? Those are big statistics, folks.

In honor of International Guitar Month, here is a list of some famous guitar players who also suffer from hearing loss as well as some advice about noise-induced hearing loss.

Neil Young

Neil Young

  • Neil Young is one of the all-time greatest musicians and songwriters contributing creating over 30 unique albums over a career spanning from the mid 1960’s til now. Neil has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame twice; once in 1995 for his solo work and again in 1997 with Buffalo Springfield. Neil stated that his 1992 album Harvest Moon, with it’s sound reminiscent of his early softer acoustic and folk rock sound, was made so that he “didn’t have to hear loud music”.

    Pete Townshend of The Who

    Pete Townshend of The Who

  • Pete Townsend has experienced hearing loss as a result of his career with the iconic rock band, The Who. Pete says, “I have severe hearing damage. It’s manifested itself as tinnitus, ringing in the ears at frequencies that I play guitar. It hurts, it’s painful, and it’s frustrating”. He is also is completely deaf in one ear from an explosion when Keith Moon blew up his drum set live on stage in the early 1960’s.

    Eric Clapton

    Eric Clapton

  • Eric Clapton has been said to be the most influential guitar player of all time. That may or may not be true but he is the only triple inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame first in 1992 with The Yardbirds, then in 1993 with Cream, and finally in 2000 for his solo work plus receiving 18 Grammy awards. For much of his career he played with two 100 watt Marshall stacks and maxed out volume. Thankfully, his hearing loss does not seem to be worsening but he says, “I started using Fender Deluxe Reverb amps and 50-watt Marshalls around ’97, after I started having some problems with tinnitus. It was my own doing — being irresponsible and thinking I was invincible…take care and wear (ear) plugs.”

    Ozzy Osbourne

    Ozzy Osbourne

  • Ozzy Osbourn isn’t a guitar player but there is no denying his influence on loud, guitar-laden heavy metal music. Years of touring with Black Sabbath and during a solo career have left an indelible mark on Ozzy and his ability to hear. He says, “I suffer from permanent tinnitus…which means I’ve got this constant ringing in my ears, which has also made me somewhat deaf (or ‘conveniently deaf,’ as Sharon calls it). It’s like this ‘Whee!’ noise in my head all the time. Should have worn earplugs, I guess”. Should have worn earplugs is an understatement but it certainly would have helped!

    Jeff Beck

    Jeff Beck

  • Jeff Beck is an accomplished guitar player with two hit solo albums as well as considerable contributions to other acts such as Mick Jagger, Donovan, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Jon BonJovi, ZZ Top and more. He is ranked 5th in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time being described as “one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock”. About his tinnitus, Beck says, “It’s in my left ear. It’s excruciating. I mean, it’s the worst thing…”.

Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by sudden loud sounds or it can develop over time by repeated exposure to loud noise. And it’s not just rock musicians and rock concerts. Even orchestra musicians and attendees can be exposed to prolonged loud sounds. Hearing loss starts with repeated exposure to sounds above 85 decibels and an orchestra peaks somewhere between 120 – 137 decibels while a rock concert tops out around 150 decibels.

These loud sounds damage the microscopic hairs inside your ears and, once damaged, there is no known remedy to repair the damage. Take care of your ears whether you are a musician or a music lover. Wear proper ear gear when playing or listening to music. The technology for protecting your ears has come a long way…take advantage of it and you may, quite possibly, still have your hearing for years to come.

Noise-induced hearing loss can affect anyone. It is preventable but if you feel you or a loved one may have already damaged hearing, take our quick hearing screening and contact us to see what’s next.

Since the last week in April is National Karaoke Week, when you are pretending to be a rock star in a crowded and noisy karaoke bar, do yourself a favor….wear earplugs!!

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Earth Day Tips and Hearing Loss

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

Earth Day Tips and Hearing Loss

Wednesday is Earth Day 2015 (Earth Day is always on April 22nd) and there are little things that we can all do to honor the ideals of Earth Day. This includes hearing aid wearers, too. Here are a few tips to help you be a little ‘greener’ this Earth Day (and every day).

Earth Day 2015

Earth Day 2015

 

1. Buy hearing aid batteries in bulk

Hearing aid wearers can go through batteries like a kid can go through an Easter basket full of candy…there’s the potential for a lot of consumption there. With conventional packaging, you might have to take off the shrink wrap to get to the cardboard packaging before you break open the plastic so you can get to the plastic sheild.

Instead of buying a lot of little packages of batteries for your hearing aid, see if you can buy in bulk like these multi-paks. Better yet, see if you can find a seller willing to selling in bulk without all the packaging.

Multi-pak batteries

Multi-pak batteries

Speaking of batteries…

2. Buy mercury-free batteries

Mercury is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans but is present in trace amounts in some batteries. Hearing aid batteries contain only a small amount of mercury but it’s still toxic and, when discarded with each battery change, over time the mercury in the batteries will work it’s way into the world, the water supply, into the food supply and so on.

Some manufacturers are now offering mercury-free batteries like these from Power One.

 

Mercury-free batteries

Mercury-free batteries

3. Buy a rechargeable battery system

We use rechargeable batteries for toys, flashlights, and radios. Why not for hearing aids? Now there is a rechargeable option for hearing aid batteries like this one from Starkey.

Rechargeable hearing aid battery system

Rechargeable hearing aid battery system

5. Consider a rechargeable hearing aid

Depending on your usage, a rechargeable hearing aid may be just the thing for you. You won’t have to keep a stock of batteries on hand nor will you have to have nimble fingers trying to maneuver those slippery little batteries into those tiny little cases. A rechargeable hearing aid may cost a little more than a conventional one but, in the long run, it may be worth it. Ask your hearing care professional about rechargeable hearing aids when you are ready to get new ones.

Rechargeable hearing aid

Rechargeable hearing aid

6. Don’t buy cheap disposable hearing aids

Not only are cheap disposable hearing aids not worth the money, they may be even a hazard for your hearing. Cheap ‘hearing aids’ offer poor sound quality and little or no user satisfaction. This makes it easy to throw it out and get a new one with the idea that the new one might be better. Don’t be fooled by the low price tag. A true hearing aid isn’t cheap or disposable. Your hearing aid is meant to last for years while offering you a better quality of life and YOU are worth the investment. Choose a hearing aid that is custom fitted to your ear and programmed professionally for your hearing loss…keep those cheapie hearing aids out of the trash by honoring your ears with a true hearing aid approved by the FDA.

7. Donate your old hearing aids

You may have outgrown yours or are ready for an upgrade, but to someone else your hearing aids are valuable pieces of equipment you’re about to toss. Behind-the-ear style hearing aids can be cleaned and refurbished and then reprogrammed for someone else. Of course, the new wearer would need to make sure their hearing professional can reprogram the hearing aid for their particular hearing loss and they would also need to purchase new ear molds, but for someone on a fixed income or a tight budget, this donation can be the difference between a fuller life and isolation from the world around them.Many service clubs offer programs to collect and redistribute reusable medical devices like hearing aids and eye glasses. Click here for more information about donating your old hearing aids.

In the spirit of Earth Day, we can each do our part to make our world a better place for ourselves today and for our children tomorrow.

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5 Tips For Success With Your New Hearing Aids

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

5 Tips For Success With Your New Hearing Aids

5 Tips for Success with Hearing Aids

5 Tips for Success with Hearing Aids

So you got new hearing aids…maybe you are a first time user or maybe you have upgraded to a new model to better match your current hearing loss. Either way, those hearing aids will take some getting used to. I remember the first time I got prescription “progressive” trifocal eyeglasses. My eye doctor said I should wear them constantly for a minimum of two weeks to “get used to them”. As soon as I left his office, dutifully wearing the new glasses, I wanted to take them off! I was feeling nauseated and sick to my stomach as my eyes tried to adjust to the different zones on the lenses. Those first few days were horrible and I was ready to give up. But the idea of not being able to see anything clearly (and the cost of those expensive frames and lenses) kept me wearing them all day, every day. My doctor was right…after about two weeks, my eyes (and my brain) had adjusted to the new view and I was having a lot of success with my new glasses.

It’s the same with anything new…there is a breaking in period…a ‘getting to know you’ period…an “I know these are good for me so I’ll keep trying” period. To make the most of your new hearing aids, try these tips for better success.

  1. Communicate your needs clearly to your audiologist so they can program your new hearing aid to meet the needs of your specific hearing loss. If you don’t tell them what you hear and what you don’t, they cannot program the hearing instrument to help you. Use descriptive words when telling him the sounds that you are hearing; are the sounds whiny, whirring, buzzing, ringing, jangly, tinny…break out your thesaurus and channel your inner poet.

  2. Have realistic expectations. Hearing loss is usually permanent with no known cure. Hearing aids are not a cure for hearing loss. They are an ‘aid’ to assist your ears in transmitting sounds to your brain. If you have been experiencing severe hearing loss, implementing the use of a hearing aid will NOT return your hearing to normal. But it WILL give you 50% to 95% better hearing.

  3. Take it slow. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of noise you can hear after wearing your hearing aids, it’s OK to turn them down a little, or wear them a little at a time, adding more time each day, until you are used to the sound. This is especially true if you are a new user or you have had severe long-term untreated hearing loss. While you were losing your hearing, you gradually got used to the quieter world in which you were living. Popping new hearing aids in after living so long in the quiet can be jarring. Your hearing aids might sound fine in the audiologists office but as you leave the office and step in to the chaos of the world suddenly everything seems to be assaulting your ears…traffic, people, wind, music, crying babies (well, crying babies never sound good). Make a deal with yourself to wear the hearing aids for a certain amount of time each day and increase that amount every day or two. In no time, you’ll find yourself getting to the end of the day without having wanted to remove your hearing aids.

  4. Get to know the features of your new hearing aids. Many late model hearing aids come with features that just weren’t available as little as five years ago. Find out how your smart phone can help with your hearing aids. How about a T-coil for direct sound from many household devices? Read the manufacturers information and talk to your audiologist. Get in touch with your inner technology geek and make the most of what those hearing aids can offer.

  5. Be motivated. Without motivation, you might be tempted to toss your new hearing aids into the desk drawer and never use them because you weren’t patient or you didn’t communicate clearly with your audiologist or you had unrealistic expectation. Then your hearing aids will be kinda like when people buy an expensive computer and all they use it for is to play Solitaire…that’s a mighty expensive game of Solitaire. You don’t want your hearing aids to be a mighty expensive experiment in hearing. You can keep motivated just knowing that your increased ability to communicate with your family is priceless to them and to you.

As with anything substantial that you purchase, there will be be people who just want to sell you as much as they can and have no interest in 1) retaining you as a client, or 2) making sure that you get the most from your purchase. It’s the same with hearing aids. There are audiologists who will just try to sell you the most expensive hearing aid with all the added bells and whistles. And there are the audiologists are really are passionate about helping people hear better and, in turn, live better lives. You will know them because they will be interested in your hearing success. They will help you with fitting, wearing, settings, maintenance, etc. They will call you to check your progress. They will take special care in programming your hearing aid to meet your hearing loss. They will always be learning about new technology to better meet your needs. They might even have cookies in their waiting room. Seek this kind of hearing professional…it’s worth it.

At ihearingaids, we screen all the audiologists in our program so we know that when we refer you to them you will get the same warm fuzzy homey feeling you would get from your closest friend….yeah…your success is that important to us!

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Women’s History Month: Hearing Impaired Women in History

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

Women’s History Month: Hearing Impaired Women in History

In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a look at some incredible women in history who, despite having impaired hearing or complete deafness, went on to lead incredible lives and do incredible things. Let them be an inspiration to us all, hearing and hard-of-hearing alike!!

Helen Keller circa 1920

Helen Keller circa 1920

Helen Keller was an American author, activist and lecturer made famous in the 20th century through several movies produced about her life. She was the first deaf/blind person to earn a BA degree. She was not born blind and deaf. At nineteen months old, she became ill (possibly scarlet fever or meningitis). The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities amid numerous other causes. Helen Adams Keller died in 1968 at the age of 87.

gertrude ederly in 1926

Gertrude Ederle circa 1926

Gertrude Ederle was an American competitive swimmer. In 1924 at the Summer Olympics in Paris, 18 year old Gertrude won a gold medal as a member of the first-place U.S. team in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. She also won two bronze medals in individual competitions. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel, beating the best time (by a man) by 2 hours. Ederle had poor hearing since childhood due to measles, and by the 1940s she was completely deaf. She spent the rest of her life teaching swimming to deaf children. She died in 2003 at the age of 98.

Juliette Gordon Low in 1887

Juliette Gordon Low in 1887

 Juliette Gordon Low was born in Savannah Georgia in 1860 as Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon. Juliette founded the Girl Scouts of America in 1912 after becoming involved in the Girl Guides in Europe. Although childless, Juliette wanted to help girls learn practical skills and build character. It was years earlier that Juliette suffered an injury that caused her to lose almost all her hearing. A grain of rice thrown at her wedding became lodged in her ear. When it was removed her ear drum was punctured and became infected causing her to become completely deaf in that ear. Her hearing was severely limited for the rest of her life and she used a variety of hearing aids. She died in 1927 at the age of 66.

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4 Oscar Winners With Hearing Loss

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

4 Oscar Winners With Hearing Loss

 

Academy Award aka "Oscar"

Academy Award aka “Oscar”

In honor of Oscar and the Academy Awards which aired on television recently, here is a list of actors who have received an Oscar (or two) who also have hearing loss. These professionals have made quite an achievement despite their hearing loss….just as ordinary people do every day.  Hearing loss is manageable with supportive care from your local audiologist.

Halle Berry with Oscar

Halle Berry with Oscar

 

Halle Berry

Halle Berry won an Oscar in 2001 for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball where she played the wife of an executed death-row prisoner. In real life, she was a victim of domestic violence which left her with a loss of 80 percent of her hearing in her left ear after an abusive boyfriend struck her repeatedly. She often speaks about her hearing loss to raise awareness and help other women break the cycle of violence.

 

Robert Redford with Oscar

Robert Redford with Oscar

Robert Redford

Robert Redford has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has received one in 1980 for Best Director for the film Ordinary People. His other nominations were: 1973, Best Actor, The Sting; 1994, Best Picture, Quiz Show; 1994, Best Director, Quiz Show. At 78, Redford performed his own stunts while filming his critically acclaimed 2013 movie, All Is Lost. Playing a solo sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, he was submerged in a massive water tank day after day and pelted with water from an off-camera hose. He sustained a severe ear infection that permanently robbed him of 60 percent of his hearing in his left ear.

Holly Hunter with Oscar

Holly Hunter with Oscar

 

Holly Hunter

Holly Hunter has received several award nominations but she won a Best Actress Academy Award in 1994 for work in The Piano. A childhood bout with mumps left Hunter deaf in her left ear. But this Academy Award winner known for her edgy roles and acute attention to detail told CNN that her disability has been a boon to her career: “I’ve had to listen so intently to what people are saying,” she said — and she transfers that attention to detail to her roles.

 

Jodie Foster with Oscar number one

Jodie Foster with Oscar number one

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster has been in the entertainment industry since she was an infant and she has amassed an amazing body of work including two Academy Awards for Best Actress. The first in 1988 for The Accused and again in 1991 for The Silence Of The Lambs. Foster confessed to a Chicago Tribune reporter that she’s not very good about taking care of her own health needs, especially “this hearing-loss thing” and her mysterious attacks of vertigo. She has been spotted wearing a hearing aid.

If you or someone you know may need a hearing aid, let ihearingaids help. Contact us here or call 1-855-444-3272. If you found this article fun or interesting, please share it with your friends by using the links below. Or subscribe to our page and don’t miss a thing!!

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Get The Most From Your Hearing Aid Batteries

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Informational, Clinic News | 0 comments

Get The Most From Your Hearing Aid Batteries

The batteries for the average hearing instrument will last anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the type of hearing aid, the type of battery and it’s relative capacity, and the amount of time the hearing aid is actually in use and turned on. The unused batteries have a shelf life of about one year.

hearing aid batteries

hearing aid batteries

 

Treat your batteries with care:

  • DO NOT remove the pull-tab on the battery until you are ready to insert it into the hearing aid; they are activated by air when the pull-tab is removed
  • When the hearing instrument is not in use, disengage the battery
  • When you go to bed, open the battery compartment fully and set the device in a safe place that is convenient but accessible
  • Store batteries in a cool, dry place (not in your refrigerator or freezer).

Change your batteries when:

  • sounds become distorted or you keep having to turn up the volume
  • you hear the small beeping sound that alerts you to a low battery (not on all models)
  • you suddenly lose power

Hearing aids batteries lose their power very suddenly so it is a good idea to keep an extra set of batteries handy, especially when you are away from home. Also, try keeping your batteries away from keys, coins, or other metal objects that could cause the batteries to discharge.

Minimize battery drain by:

  • turning off your hearing aid (or open the battery door) when you aren’t using it and it is not in your ear
  • remove the battery if you won’t be using the hearing aid for an extended period of time
  • try not to store the batteries in areas of extreme temperature, either hot or cold

Help your hearing aid by:

  • washing your hands thoroughly before changing the batteries as dirt and grease on your fingers can transfer to the battery and then to your hearing aid which may cause damage to the hearing aid
  • leaving the battery compartment open at night so any accumulated moisture can escape and not be cause corrosion on the battery which can lead to damage of the hearing aid
  • removing dead batteries immediately as a completely discharged battery may swell and be much harder to remove

Are your batteries installed correctly:

flat side +, beveled side -

flat side +, beveled side –

 

  • Insert the batteries properly with the + polarity symbol on the battery matching the + polarity symbol on the hearing aid door
  • For ease in finding the + polarity and the – polarity you will note that batteries are perfectly flat on one side (the + or positive polarity) and beveled on the other side (the – or negative polarity)
  • If your battery door will not close easily, check the batteries…they are probably in upside down

At ihearingaids, we are here to serve. We love connecting with people so give us a call or use our contact page to ask your questions…who know, you might be featured right here on our blog page!

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Hearing Aids Are A Worthy Investment

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Clinic News | 0 comments

Hearing Aids Are A Worthy Investment

Purchasing a quality hearing instrument is surely an investment in the product and in yourself. Like many purchases, the cost of the hearing aid isn’t in the materials from which it is built, but from the technology that goes into it and from the expertise of the audiologist who fits and programs it to meet your specific hearing needs.

Various types of digital programmable hearing aids.

Various types of digital programmable hearing aids.

 

Some of the factors that go into the price of hearing aids include:

  • Technology: Not very long ago most hearing aids were analog; they were not programmable, they had no software, and they were adjusted by using a using a screwdriver. They didn’t have tele-coils, directional microphones. FM, remote controls, Bluetooth capability and you couldn’t adjust them with an app on your iPhone. Today, those things are the norm. The technologies in current digital hearing aids didn’t just happen or happen overnight. The changes are the result of hearing aid manufacturers investing heavily in developing new technology and features. They are the result of hearing aid users being willing to pay for the advantages that the technology offered. The cost to the manufacturer for creating and staying on the edge of technology is a huge. Consumers pay for those advances, but that’s the cost (and benefit) of advancing technology. You might be able to purchase a good hearing aid with older technology at lower price, but most people want the best they can get.

  • Durability and Reliability: Hearing aids have to function well despite the potential for a fairly icky working environment. Considering that most people wear their hearing aids to to 12 to 18 hours every day of the year in all kinds of weather conditions and through all kinds of work or play conditions (think sweat, rain or snow, makeup residue, etc). Also consider that the many hearing aids are custom made to be inserted in the ear canal and they have to function in an environment that literally exudes wax and humidity. Even the cleanest of all ear canals can harbor bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Digital custom-made hearing aids are expected to survive nicely in even the nastiest ear canals for approximately 5 to 7 years. Behind-The-Ear (BTE) instruments generally last longer than in-ear models.

  • Personal Fitting: It would be simple if your hearing aid just had to match your hearing loss as outlined on your audiogram, but it’s not that simple. Because your brain is really where hearing occurs, and your ears are merely the transmitters of the information, the professional has to adjust the hearing aids to amplify the soft sounds you don’t hear well without making the other sounds too loud. It may take a few sessions to get this dialed in just how you like it. Features that can minimize background noise must be properly set so that you can hear your best at parties, in restaurants or in the car. Getting your hearing aids to work well for you on the phone adds another challenge to the fitting, with tele-coils, or assistive technology requiring special attention. All this special attention requires good communication between you and your audiologist because your audiologist cannot hear what you are hearing; it’s up to you to pay attention to the sound of your hearing instruments and communicate your needs to your hearing professional.

  • Professional Costs: The fitting and programming of your personal hearing instruments can be complicated. When you purchase a quality hearing aid, expect to have it programmed by a capable and caring audiologist. That professional has several years of specialized training in audiology and hearing loss but with today’s digital hearing aids, they are also expected to be expert programmers with thorough working knowledge of each manufacturer’s proprietary software…and with dozens of manufacturers this can be daunting and time consuming. To stay current to the new technologies, a good audiologist may incur “continuing education” fees on an regular basis.

  • Research and Development: When a company manufactures a product, the pricing of that product must recover the cost of research and development for that product. Because digital hearing aids are often on the cutting edge of technology, the research and development costs can be substantial and must be spread over a relatively small number of units sold. Manufacturing and regular business costs also play a large roll in the overall cost of a hearing aid. Most hearing aids are not manufactured in huge volumes (see above). Manufacturing costs for any product are high (on a per unit basis) when volumes are low. Costs, such as bricks and mortar, leases/mortgages, insurance, warranties, production equipment and personnel, administrative staff, phones, shipping, packaging, returns for credit, marketing, heat, lights, taxes and on and on…. all add to the per-unit cost of hearing aids.

  • Warranty Costs: Any purchase from a reputable dealer or audiologist will come with a warranty. Any problems will be fixed it or replaced for free. Some warranties even cover problems that aren’t the fault of the hearing aid or fitting itself. For instance, if you step on your hearing aid and crush it, or if your dog chews it up, the professional will generally replace it for free, or perhaps charge a slight “refit” fee.
    Obviously, when a hearing aid fails, it costs money to repair it, and of course, if it’s under warranty, you don’t receive an additional bill. However, the manufacturer does pay: cost to return it, troubleshoot it, repair it, reassemble it, complete any necessary paperwork, and return it to you or your audiologist for reprogramming.

  • Customization: Almost all hearing aids are custom made devices. That means the audiologist must examine your ear, safely take an ear impression which is then shipped to an ear mold lab for BTE instruments, or to the hearing aid manufacturer for custom made in-ear instruments. The hearing aid shell is manufactured before the circuit is installed and it takes a computer to figure out how to place an amplifier, miscellaneous computer chips, a microphone, a receiver, a power supply, a vent and other wires and components into a shell that has been custom built for your ear canal, which may be the size of a pencil eraser, in such a way as to not cause electrical “cross-talk” problems or acoustic feedback. After the hearing aid is custom made, it must be custom programmed to your specific hearing needs. No one else has a hearing aid just like yours!

Considering all that goes in to the creation of your hearing aids, the investment with all it’s benefits (custom fitted, custom programmed, consultations with your hearing professional, etc) doesn’t seem so hefty. After all, isn’t your hearing worth it?

At ihearingaids, we sure thing so…that’s why we offer the highest quality products with the best service included at a price lower than most storefront dispensers. Give us a try….you’ll be glad you did!

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