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Austar hearing founded in 2003, as a national high-tech enterprise, Austar has been dedicating to improve the hearing of hearing-impaired people through the advanced technology. Our business covers hearing aids, hearing devices and Audiology-related equipments.

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What are Open-Fit Hearing Aids

What are Open-Fit Hearing Aids?

A relatively new addition to the hearing aid market, open-fit hearing aids fit behind the ear, providing amplification via a small tube inserted into the ear canal. They come in two primary variants based on speaker location. The first is inside the ear, and the second is located inside the physical hearing aid itself.

Believe it or not, the concept on which open fit hearing aids are based isn't exactly a new one. One could actually consider them a refinement of behind-the-ear hearing aids. Per the Mayo Clinic, BTE hearing aids are typically the largest of their kind, hooking over the top of the ear and connected to an earmold inside the ear via a tube. 

Although capable of considerable sound amplification, they also tend to be susceptible to wind and background noise. Open-fit hearing aids improve on the design of BTE hearing aids by being considerably smaller and less visible. They also leave the ear canal almost completely open, as they require only a small receiver connected to the main unit via a thin wire.



This has a few primary benefits.
 
Because the ear canal is left open, low-frequency sounds come through with much greater clarity. 
Hearing aids that block the ear canal can cause the user to feel their own voice is somewhat distorted or muffled due to the blockage. Open-fit hearing aids do not have this drawback.
Given their small size, they tend to be less susceptible to blockages due to earwax. 
There is little to no telephone feedback when using an open-fit hearing aid.

They can potentially be a good fit for individuals who are somewhat sensitive about their hearing impairment, as they are less immediately noticeable. 

How Do Open Fit Hearing Aids Work?


An open-fit hearing aid functions in essentially the same way as any other assisted hearing device. The hearing aid picks up sounds through a receiver, located either on the main body of the hearing aid or within the ear. This sound is then fed through an amplifier, and then finally sent through a speaker. 

Coupled with recent advancements in digital feedback suppression, this allows open-fit hearing aids to function with a remarkable level of clarity. 

Is an Open Fit Hearing Aid Right for Me?


Typically, open-fit hearing aids work best for individuals with only mild to moderate hearing impairment. In cases of severe hearing loss, an open-fit hearing aid may be subject to feedback due to the high level of amplification required. Open-fit hearing aids are also an excellent choice for anyone suffering from excessive earwax buildup.

Older individuals may also find open-fit hearing aids to be problematic, even without severe hearing loss. Their small size means they require a fair amount of dexterity to manipulate and operate. This means that for anyone with any sort of mobility impairment, using an open-fit hearing aid can be an exercise in frustration.

Ultimately, the best advice we can offer is to talk to a professional audiologist. Work with them to determine your level of hearing impairment, and which device is best suited to your needs. Connect Hearing can help. 

Find a Connect Hearing Center near you, and we'll give you a hearing test and consultation free of charge. 




Hearing Aid Knowledge2020-12-03

Comparing Hearing Aids

Comparing Hearing Aids

Just as every individual is different, no two types of hearing loss are the same. This is why there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to hearing aids. Fortunately, with the assistance of an audiologist, you will be able to find a hearing aid that perfectly fits your needs and your particular type of hearing loss. Below, we explain the journey toward purchasing a hearing aid, and what you should bear in mind.



Overview
 * How is the diagnosis made?
 * Which hearing aid should I buy?
 * What is the best way of adjusting a hearing aid? 

 * Steps to good hearing


How is the diagnosis made?
Do you have the feeling that it’s becoming harder and harder to hear conversations or the TV at home? Or has anyone ever suggested you should get your hearing checked? These might be signs of a potential hearing difficulty.

To find out whether or not you might be affected by hearing loss, you can take a free online hearing test to obtain an initial assessment of your hearing. We recommend you then have a no-obligation hearing test with your audiologist. In general, you don’t even need to book an appointment, and you’ll soon have an accurate assessment of how well you are hearing.
If you are affected by hearing loss, our audiologists will advise you to visit a reliable ear nose and throat doctor (ENT), if necessary.

You will need a prescription from them in order to initiate the process of having your hearing aid paid for by your health insurance or social insurance company. The specialist will also do a hearing test and identify the medical reason for your hearing loss. The specialist will evaluate whether your hearing difficulty is of organic origin, and perform various tests such as a sound level test or an audiogram. If you do not have an ENT doctor, you can also contact our audiologists.

With a prescription from your ENT doctor, you can return to the audiologist to jointly decide on the best solution for your hearing needs. They will be happy to offer you personalized advice and can help you find the right model for your requirements.

Which hearing aid should I buy?
Which hearing aid will suit you best depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the nature and severity of your hearing loss, and secondly your personal lifestyle and the type of work you do: If you interact regularly with other people or need to make a lot of phone calls, you will need one kind of hearing aid, whereas if you are in the car a lot, have a very active social life, or spend most of your time at home, you will need different devices. These factors can be used to narrow down the number of possible models.

The individual’s level of ease with technology, the contribution being made by the health insurance company, and of course individual wearing comfort, all play a major role in the purchase of a hearing aid.
There are also major differences between behind-the-ear hearing aids and in-the-ear hearing aids. Of course, the price of the hearing aid depends on its design and functions. Most BTE hearing aids are cheaper than ITE devices. 

Lower-cost hearing aids and premium models differ primarily in terms of the additional functions they offer. Modern hearing aids can be paired directly with smartphones, TVs, and audio equipment, for example. The choice of power supply should also be taken into consideration. Some models are fitted with hearing aid batteries that need to be replaced, while others have rechargeable batteries.
It’s always a good idea to compare hearing aids. This will allow you to explore the models supplied by different manufacturers and the advantages they offer. With the help of one of our audiologists you can of course test and practice wearing the hearing aids.
The difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers

Are you thinking about choosing a hearing amplifier to correct your hearing loss?

Remember: A hearing amplifier cannot be compared directly with a hearing aid. Hearing amplifiers also feature a microphone and an amplifier, and in terms of structure and shape they are very similar to conventional hearing aids.

However, they only increase the volume of sound, thus they cannot be adapted to your individual hearing loss or personal preferences. Hearing amplifiers are not prescribed by doctors and are usually purchased without specialist advice. We therefore recommend a hearing aid for those affected by hearing loss.
 
What is the best way of adjusting a hearing aid?
To ensure speech comprehension in everyday situations, the perfect settings for the hearing aid must first be identified. Our experienced audiologists can help you with this. They will work with you to identify the ideal hearing aid for your needs, and adjust it to your hearing curve. The device will be adjusted to your individual needs in just a few appointments using a hearing aid test. The settings will be optimized until you are completely happy with them, and, most importantly, until you have become used to having your hearing back.

The brain literally has to get used to „hearing again“, and the process is not as quick as putting on glasses, for example. The fitting of your hearing aid and training to use the technology require a little patience. But it's certainly worth it. A functioning and perfectly adjusted hearing aid can bring back quality of life through good hearing. Our experienced audiologists will be happy to help you choose and adjust your hearing aid.

Steps to good hearing: 
Step 1: A solution that meets your needs
We carefully analyze the situations your hearing has to cope with on a daily basis and so create a precise, personal hearing profile. We then choose the right hearing aid for your needs and draw up a no-obligation quote. You will be informed in detail about all the costs you might incur.
Step 2: New hearing
Your new hearing aid will now be adjusted to your hearing needs. A test phase will follow, during which you should experience a variety of listening situations.
Step 3: Quality check
The quality of your hearing will now be checked once again. The audiologist will fine-tune your hearing aid to ensure the most enjoyable hearing experience possible. We are also happy to provide practical advice on dealing with your health insurance or social insurance company.

Hearing Aid Knowledge2020-12-03

Causes of Sudden Muffled Hearing in One Ear

Causes of Sudden Muffled Hearing in One Ear

If you feel like you have something clogging your ear and it sounds like you’re hearing everything from behind a curtain, you might have muffled hearing. You’ll also probably have the desire to yawn to unclog it. Some cases of muffled hearing can last a few hours while others can last a lifetime. Learn what causes sudden muffled hearing and how you can prevent it.



What Causes Muffled Hearing?
Middle Ear Infection

If your ear feels clogged and muffled, you may have a Middle Ear Infection, also known as Otitis Media. You may even see fluid visibly draining from the ear, and it will probably also be sensitive to touch. In more severe cases, it can cause nausea and vomit. The Middle Ear Infection can affect both children and adults, though it is more common in children. In fact, about 80% of children experience a Middle Ear Infection before they reach the age of 3. It usually lasts 2-3 days (even without medication) though some cases can go on for weeks.

Middle Ear Infections usually begin because the patient previously had an infection in their respiratory tract. As the fluid tries to drain, it causes a buildup behind the eardrum, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This ultimately causes both the infection and the resulting soreness and muffled hearing.

Sinus Infection/Cold

Some of the most common causes of muffled hearing are colds and sinus infections. About 30 million people experience sinus infections every year, and even more people experience common colds. The difference between the two lies mainly in the duration that symptoms last. A cold tends to last for about 10 days while a sinus infection may go on for weeks. 

The exact cause is the blockage of a small tube that runs from the middle of your ear to your nose. While colds are annoying, they don’t need to be treated by a doctor immediately. However, is symptoms persist for weeks, you may want to schedule an appointment. To decrease the irritation, consider taking a decongestant and use a humidifier. Also avoid smoking as it can further irritate your nose.


Meniere's disease


Ménière’s disease is rather rare with less than 200,000 cases every year, though it is one of the more serious causes of muffled hearing in one ear. Ménière’s disease usually develops in patients between 40 and 60 years old, and hearing loss can become permanent as the disease itself can last for years.

Symptoms include vertigo (you feel like you’re spinning), muffled hearing, and even ringing in the ears (tinnitus). If you suspect that you have Ménière’s disease, immediately consult a doctor. To avoid worsening your condition, don’t consume any tobacco products. For treatment, your doctor may prescribe drugs for motion sickness or nausea.


Presbycusis

Presbycusis is age-related hearing loss and occurs crucial nerve hair cells begin to erode. Presbycusis is typically a form of sensorineural hearing loss (disorders of the inner ear or auditory nerve) and early symptoms include not being able to hear high pitched speech and sounds like birds chirping become muffled. 

While most cases experience hearing loss in both ears, it can be in just one. It is one of the leading causes of hearing loss in older adults with about 40-50% of adults over 75 suffering from it. You can avoid the onset of Presbycusis by protecting your hearing throughout your life by using earplugs, particularly if your job requires you to be exposed to loud noises.

Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it possible for seniors to manage with hearing aids. Taking an annual hearing test can help predict if you are experiencing the onset of Presbycusis. If you experience any of the symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.

Ear Blockage

Ear Blockage occurs when an object (such as an insect or water) is lodged in the ear canal. Ear blockage is most common in children and it can usually be treated at home. Symptoms include immediate muffled hearing in one ear and there should not be any bleeding or discharge from the ear.

If it is water, encourage the child to tilt their head to use gravity to dislodge the water. If it is a mosquito or insect, you might need help to get it out. Do not probe the object further into the ear, though if you are sure that it is an insect (there should not be any discharge or blood coming from the ear) consider using oil to withdraw it. 


How Can You Get Rid of a Muffled Ear?

Most muffled ear cases are easily solved either with time, a decongestant or oil, though some may indicate more severe problems. Understand why you can’t hear out of one ear and treat it accordingly. If your symptoms persist, contact a medical professional to assist you. 





Hearing Knowledge2020-12-02

Ear Pressure Causes and Remedies

Ear Pressure: Causes and Remedies

Coming down with a cold or the flu can make you feel miserable. It is bad enough to have to deal with the annoying symptoms of runny nose, stuffy ears, sinus pressure; your troubles rarely end there. Because your ears, nose, and throat are all tightly connected, a problem in one area often leads to another. Ear congestion is one example of the many uncomfortable symptoms that you may encounter when dealing with conditions impacting your sinuses, nose, or throat.

Summary
* How does ear pressure work?

* How to get rid of the pressure in your ear canal?


How does ear pressure work?
The Eustachian tube is a tiny passageway that connects your middle ear to your throat. It plays a vital role in equalizing the pressure in your middle ear. It does so by opening when you sneeze, swallow, or yawn. This mechanism prevents air pressure and fluid from building up inside your ear canal, behind your eardrum.

When the Eustachian tube gets plugged, you may not hear clearly as sounds become muffled. Feeling pressure, pain, and fullness in your ear space is not
Woman getting hearing exam from audiologist to check ear pressure
uncommon either. Allergies, sinus infections, the common cold or the flu, can all cause the openings of your Eustachian tube to become partially blocked. Tissue inflammation and mucus secretions are a large part of the reason for the Eustachian tube dysfunction.

Traveling by air and changes in altitude can also be a reason for your Eustachian tube not to function correctly.

How to get rid of the pressure in your ear canal?
To relieve your symptoms and to find the best remedy, first, you have to identify the cause.

Here are the common causes and our tips to resolve them.


Problems with your sinuses
As mentioned above, sinuses, ears, throat, and nose are closely connected. Problem impacting one area will often involve another. When your sinuses are congested, they can create middle ear pressure and a feeling of fullness.
The most common causes of sinus related congestion are:
* allergies
* viral infections such as the common cold and the flu
* sinus infection
* tobacco smoke and similar environmental irritants

There are several remedies you can use to relieve your symptoms of sinus congestion and the associated pressure:
* Try a nasal decongestant.
* Use a neti pot or a saline solution to irrigate your nasal cavities.
* Use a humidifier to keep the air moist. Dry air can be irritating to your already inflamed nasal passages.
* Use aromatherapy. Eucalyptus oil can help open up your airways. You can use it in steam inhalation, place a few drops in your bath water, or inhale it from the bottle.

* Drink one glass of clean, quality water every two hours during the day. Drink plenty of herbal teas, vegetable juices, and broths. Increasing the amount of liquid will help loosen mucus.


Buildup of fluids
Fluid can build up in your ears when there is a problem with your drainage tubes. This dysfunction can cause fluid to be trapped behind your eardrum. Some of the symptoms you may experience when you are dealing with trapped fluid:
* Popping, ringing
* Feeling of fullness
* Ear pressure
* Hearing loss
* Dizziness
* Problem with your balance

Several causes can be at the root of this issue:
* Colds or other infections causing congestion
* Sinus infections
* Allergies
* Ear barotrauma

It is important to figure out what prevents the tubes from draining properly. If the problem remains unresolved, the accumulated fluid behind your eardrum can cause it to rupture.

Here are our tips to help remove fluid from your ear canal:
* Tug on your ear lobe while tilting your ear toward your shoulder.
* Use a hot compress. Apply it for 30 seconds, then remove for a minute. Repeat this process until you get relief. Make sure you lay on your side.

* Try an OTC (over-the-counter) ear drop. Make sure the drop contains alcohol for its drying effect.


Earwax buildup
Earwax buildup happens when the wax gets pushed deep within the ear canal or blocks the full width of the canal. A wax blockage causes several symptoms, such as hearing loss, dizziness, ear pain, ear fullness, pressure, and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). You might inadvertently cause your ears to become blocked when you use Q-tips to clean them. If you use hearing aids or earplugs, you are also at higher risk of wax buildup.

The safest way to remove earwax from your ears is by running warm water or saline solution into your ear canal for a few minutes. If you want, you can use an ear irrigation kit for that. Once the water softens the wax, it will drain through the outer ear.
Allergies

Allergies can also cause ear congestion. Taking antihistamines and decongestants can relieve your allergy-related ear pressure and other symptoms. Antihistamines come in different forms. Tablets, capsules, liquids are some of the most popular formations. Some brands are only available by prescription. Check with your healthcare provider to help choose one for you.


Air travel
During takeoff and landing, the rapid change in air pressure can cause a pressure difference between the air pressure in the middle ear and the environment. This imbalance prevents your eardrum (tympanic membrane) from vibrating as it should. Ear pain, a feeling of fullness, and pressure can all signal a condition often referred to as airplane ears.

Here are some tips to correct the condition:
* Try yawning, chewing gum and swallow during ascent and descent to activate the muscles that open the Eustachian tubes.
* Try the Valsalva maneuver. Blow your nose gently with your mouth closed while pinching your nostrils. Do this as often as necessary.
* Use filtered earplugs. These help to slowly equalize the pressure in your ears.

* If you are congested, try a nasal spray 30 minutes to an hour before takeoff and landing.

Middle ear and outer ear infection
Middle ear infections (otitis media) produce a variety of symptoms, such as hearing loss, dizziness, and ear pain. Viruses that cause respiratory infections are often to blame.

Outer ear infections (otitis externa) are frequently called swimmer’s ear. They typically result from water remaining in your ear after exposure to moisture. Trapped water after swimming or bathing provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Most of the time, your ear infection will resolve on its own. Ear drops and pain medications can, however, be beneficial in relieving your pain and other symptoms. If your symptoms worsen in spite of home treatment, it is a good idea to visit your doctor.

As you can see, pressure in your ear can be associated with various conditions. It's essential to get to the bottom of it and find the cause for your discomfort. Home treatment is often all you need. If, however, your symptoms last longer than two weeks, and they get worse over time, you should seek medical attention. Make an appointment with your doctor if you develop a fever, drainage from your ears, severe pain, or complete hearing loss.



Do you have questions or concerns about your hearing loss?

Get your hearing tested for Free at a Connect Hearing Center near you.




Hearing Knowledge2020-12-02

6 ways to get used to hearing aids

6 ways to get used to hearing aids

Wearing hearing aids requires both a physical and mental adjustment. Support from family and friends is critical to becoming comfortable with them and we’ll give you some tips to help your loved one ease into them.

Wearing hearing aids requires both a physical and mental adjustment. Hearing loss in one or both ears can be difficult to accept, so patients may see hearing aids as a threat to their autonomy.

However, hearing aids are incredible tools that patients should embrace to live a fuller life. Support from family and friends is critical to becoming comfortable with them and we’ll give you some tips to help your loved one ease into them. 

While hearing aids shouldn’t be painful, they may create some physical discomfort at first. Your doctor should be able to adjust them, but even so, it’s certainly a new experience. In addition to how the hearing aid sits on their ear, it might also cause a slight headache. 

Louder sounds will be uncomfortable at first, just as someone unaccustomed to loud noises might be uncomfortable at a rock concert. However, follow-up conversations with a doctor and using this advice will help decrease the discomfort and make the transition smooth and anxiety-free. 
 
Be realistic about expectations.

The average time it takes for a person to adjust to hearing aids can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months . They should also not expect the tuning of sounds to be the same. Not only will people’s voices sound different but background noises like cars and the radio will also sound different.

Practice using them.
When you first start using hearing aids, you will likely become frustrated with the variety of new sounds. Rather than forcing yourself to both talk and interpret the new sounds, practice using them by listening to audiobooks or movies. Once you feel comfortable listening with them, you can practice reading books aloud and become acclimated with your own voice. Only after that should you try engaging in conversation with family members. 

Hearing Aid Knowledge2020-12-01

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