Hearing Loss
HEARING LOSS
Will wearing cheap hearing aids affect your health?

Will wearing cheap hearing aids affect your health?

Hearing aids will not have any impact on the health of the body. It is not cheap hearing aids that are not good. The only thing matter is whether hearing aids are suitable or not. Of course, cheap hearing aids are not comfortable to wear. If the matching is not good, it will have an impact on deafness.

If it is big, it will be ear shattering, but if small, it will not be heard. Therefore, hearing aids must be tested and matched in a professional agent, which is suitable for your own hearing aids. Only in this way can it be helpful to wear them, and they will not become more and more deaf.

2020-05-12
Used Hearing Aids - Should You, Would You?

Used Hearing Aids - Should You, Would You?

In more recent times, especially during a difficult financial period, second hand goods have become an increasingly popular choice for a large number of people. They offer the chance to buy an otherwise expensive item at a discounted price. If the item has been well maintained and kept in good condition; this can often be a very sensible alternative to buying new. 


On the other hand however, there are items, which are always better to buy new, such as hearing aids. There are some very good reasons why people should restrain from buying used hearing aids. Here are just a few: Warranty New hearing aids, like most electronic devices, come with a full manufacturer warranty. 

If anything goes wrong during the warranty period, you can benefit from the many advantages of this service in accordance to its terms and conditions – professional advice and help, free repair of manufacturing defects, etc. No return policy Few used hearing aids vendors offer a return policy. Therefore, if you buy a second hand hearing aid privately and you are not happy with the device, you will have to keep it, even if it turns out not be the best option for you. 

On the other hand, reputable hearing aid sellers often offer 30 days return policy, which means that if you change your mind during the period, you can simply return it and get your money back. Outdated technology Hearing aid technology is constantly evolving and improving in order to provide a truly exceptional level of service to the hearing impaired. Devices are becoming better, lighter and offer more features than ever. If you purchase an old device, you may be limiting your hearing improvement due to outdated technology and also depriving yourself of the possibility to enjoy a richer, fuller sound. Damaged hearing aids When you buy a second hand device, you have to rely on the seller’s personal assurance that it is in a good condition and all of its functionalities can be used to their fullest potential. 

You also have no evidence that the previous owner has maintained the device in a proper fashion. Custom made hearing aids It is possible to end up buying a device, which was specifically made to individually fit its previous owner’s ear and this important detail may not be fully shared. It is also likely that these devices have been custom programmed to suit a very individual hearing loss and as such may provide too little or too great a volume. 


Potential diseases We would recommend properly sterilizing or replacing ear molds of used hearing aids, as they may have traces of fungus or bacteria from the previous user. However, if you are determined to buy a second hand hearing aid, there are different ways to do this. At first, we recommend to consult an audiologist, as they may advise you on what to look for and how to make the best choice. Hearing aid forums are another great option to exchange opinions with other users. They also may have a section, where subscribers offer their old devices at a discounted price. Many people sell second hand hearing aids on popular platforms, such as eBay, etc. In any case, always make such a purchase with caution and consideration and after a thorough research.

2021-02-24
What Does 'Hearing Aid Compatible' Mean?

What Does 'Hearing Aid Compatible' Mean?

We list some Assistive Listening Devices or ‘ALDs’ on our website as being ‘hearing aid compatible'. But what is the meaning of 'hearing aid compatible'?

What Does 'Hearing Aid Compatible' Mean?
Assistive Listening Device is the industry term used to describe any product which provides extra amplification for specific environments – such as hearing better on the phone or making sure someone is alerted to their doorbell ringing. When we list a device as hearing aid compatible it means that it can link into the telecoil or loop setting of any hearing aid.

For example, on a phone such as the Clarity P300 Amplified Photo Phone, it would mean that a hearing aid wearer can listen to the person speaking via their telecoil or ‘T’ setting. You will only need to switch your hearing aid to the T position. The phone is usually automatically set to transmit to the loop within the hearing aid so you don't need to do anything on the phone.

The important thing to note is that ‘hearing aid compatible’ in the context of ALDs doesn’t imply that all ALDs will be ok to use with all hearing aids. It specifically refers to the use of a telecoil setting.

Is there any advantage to using a ‘T’ setting?
Amplified products obviously are louder, but some people find it difficult to use a phone with a hearing aid. Especially if it whistles when the phone is near to the hearing aid. Switching the hearing aid to the ‘T’ position disables the hearing aid’s microphone. This prevents any chance of feedback or whistling. Bear in mind that a telecoil option is not supplied as standard on every hearing aid, so please do check this if the ‘hearing aid compatible’ feature is of interest.

For more information read our blog post on "Making the most of your Telecoil Settings"

About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. Hearing Direct offers a wide range of affordable products, as well as information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:

* Hearing aids,
Batteries,
Hearing Aid Accessories such as earplugs,

and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.





2021-02-24
When Is A Hearing Aid Good Enough?

When Is A Hearing Aid Good Enough?

"When Is A Hearing Aid Good Enough?" is a question I get asked a lot.

When we originally set up HearingDirect.com one of the questions that was often asked of us and still is today, is how can your hearing aids be any good if they are so cheap? It is a difficult question as the industry has always rated how “good” a hearing aid is by its feature set. How many channels it has, how many bands, what kind of processing, what kind of algorithms, how many programmes etc., etc., all of which mean very little to the customer.


How good a hearing aid is surely measured by how satisfied a user is with it. Our hearing aids have very many good features and do compare very favourably with those available on the high street but rather than revert into a feature-set war that means little or nothing to users we had to come up with an analogy that could be easily grasped. Sure our hearing aids do not have Bluetooth connectivity so will not link up to your iPhone but is that what the customer wants and is a hearing aid that isn’t Bluetooth enabled, therefore no good?

If someone wished to buy a car to use everyday for everyday tasks, would they be better off with a Ferrari or a Ford? We know that if they bought a Ferrari they would be financially worse off but what about everyday use? For some, a hearing aid is the difference between hearing and not hearing. For others, who may have been using hearing aids for a long time, they may wish to find aids that offer greater compatibility with their lifestyle - the iphone use or the need for bluetooth connectivity.


We know you can buy an expensive hearing aid in your local high street. And you may find that if you pop into the shop you will be steered towards a more advanced hearing aid.


Our argument is that most people would be very happy and very well served by a standard hearing aid at a cost-effective price. Our hearing aids may not yet have Bluetooth but if you want to hear more clearly and improve your ability to communicate with the world around you, they can do a terrific job at a fabulous price.


Now everyone wants choice so we don’t just sell basic hearing aids, there is a selection of hearing aids available to suit most pockets and to suit most requirements. You can chose which hearing aid is right for you without any pressure.

At Hearing Direct we believe in giving you the best choice, and the best price which is why we have such a wide range of hearing aids including our own cost effective range. We also include a 30 day money back guarantee. If you are not happy with your choice, then send it back within 30 days and we'll refund you. Did I mention we also offer free shipping on many orders? Click here to check out our range of cost effective hearing aids and our growing range of hearing aid accessories.




2021-02-23
An Idiot Abroad or how I got frustrated with restrictive hearing aid sales

An Idiot Abroad or how I got frustrated with restrictive hearing aid sales

Last week Joan and I flew to Hanover in Germany to attend the biggest Audiology trade show in Europe, so my Blog has an international traveller feel to its title. OK, so I stole it from the Ricky Gervais TV show currently on SKY but as ever with the Blog and all communication I always like to start by pointing out that this contribution is from the unqualified compared to Joan’s highly professional opinion.

The 4 a.m. start was a bit of a shocker. The 344 bus from Battersea Park Road to Liverpool Street Station was surprisingly busy. The Stansted Express was depressingly grotty – terrible first impression for people arriving in UK. German Wings was crash free but that’s the limit to the positives from their service. The only pleasant part of the journey was the taxi from Hanover Airport but this had an unpleasant sting of €50 – ouch! International travel is far from glamorous.

We went to the audiology show to see the latest innovations from the manufacturers and to ensure that we keep abreast with technology. There has been such a marked improvement since I joined the industry in the mid-nineties and we can now provide brilliant solutions to really improve the lives of people that suffer from hearing loss. So my expectation was high.

While there were undoubtedly some great hearing aids and hearing aids accessories being displayed with these shows there is always one star product that captures the spirit of the industry. This year was a hearing aid that can only be fitted by specially trained sellers. It stays in your ear for four months at a time, after which you have to go back and have it changed. There will only be 25 centres in the whole of the UK. You have to be careful and manage your life to ensure it doesn’t get damaged – no diving in the swimming pool etc. I do not know the price yet but as each seller will have to pay around £10,000 for the privilege of being an approved centre I expect that it will be ferociously expensive, and this is part of my problem.

I love an analogy and on this occasion I will use the mobile phone industry. Early phones used to be the size of a brick, cost the earth, have limited functionality and were really only the remit of the well-heeled businessman. Nowadays mobile phone can do everything except cook your breakfast, are so cheap that they often come free as part of a user package and universally used. Hearing aids used to be large, with limited functionality and expensive. On the high street they are now small, have great technology but unlike progress in the phone world are still very expensive! The reason behind the price that the industry will quote is lack of volume. Well my argument is that while they bring out their latest technology and make it available through limited outlets at an eye watering price then we will never achieve “volume”.

Our philosophy has always been to provide an alternative to the prices of the high street retailers. We sell good technology at great prices. A hearing aid that has to be specially fitted and changed every four months, does not fit with our self-help, try it at home offering. I hope that through our approach to value for money we will help more customers achieve a very satisfying outcome than all those 25 centres put together.

The RNID quote that there are 4 million people in the UK who could benefit from hearing aids. If those 4 million people wished to access this latest technology, each of the approved sellers would have to deal with 160,000 customers. It is not going to happen. Let’s develop good technology and be brave enough to provide it to everyone at affordable prices because there are 4 million people whose lives could be vastly improved.

2021-02-23
Buying Hearing Aids: 20 Things You Should Know

Buying Hearing Aids: 20 Things You Should Know

Hearing aids are often the most effective means to manage hearing loss. Unfortunately, they will not cure your hearing loss, but rather make your hearing loss manageable provided they work well for you. In this blog post, we cover the top things you need to know before you think about purchasing one.

20 Things You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids
So, before buying, here is a list of 20 useful things to know about hearing aids:

1. Do you really need one - If you have any doubts about your hearing, get it checked and diagnosed. You can take our free online hearing test which will indicate if you should take further action to protect your hearing.

If you already have an audiogram and you have questions about it or would like to use it for ordering purposes, then please do get in touch on email: audiology@hearingdirect.com we’d love to help!

However, most hearing aids can provide only little benefit in cases of profound hearing loss.

2. Know your rights - Although Medicare does not cover hearing aids, you can get hearing tests and other hearing services with Medicare.

Medicaid often covers hearing aids for adults. Medicaid must pay for hearing aids for children. You may qualify for Medicaid if you have a disability or do not make a lot of money.

3. Hearing centre - If you decide to purchase a device privately, you do not have to buy them at the hearing centre where your hearing test took place. Take your results and explore your options. Use the internet to research your options, it is a powerful tool.

4. Private hearing aids vary in price - Make sure to allow plenty of time to research well. Prices can vary and the difference can be in the thousands. Pay attention to over-engineered, over-priced and over-sold hearing aids on the private market.

5. Decide on the type - Hearing aids vary in the way in which they fit your ear. Some fit inside your ear, others behind and so on. Be sure to research your options. Learn more about different types of hearing aid here.

6. Understand the difference between the models - Models will often vary in terms of their functionality. Pay attention to battery life and specific compatibility which you might require such as telephone use.

7. Check the return policy - If the hearing aid does not come with a full money back guarantee, then it may be wise to look elsewhere. You should not be faced with paying for something that does not deliver tangible benefit.

8. Check for warranty - Look for devices that include a manufacturer warranty. The standard warranty is 12 months and normally can be extended nearer the expiry date.

9. You have options when buying privately - If you decide to go down the private route, hearing aids are available from high street chains and online where you will get better value for your money.

10. Hearing aids won’t make your hearing loss worse - A myth in some circles, wearing hearing aids does not make your hearing loss worse, in many cases, it can reduce the onset of hearing loss.

11. Two are better than one - Wearing two hearing aids will help manage your hearing loss better. There are many binaural benefits, in the same way as you are unlikely to buy a monocle to help with visual correction required for both eyes. We have two ears and two eyes for a reason!

12. Too loud can cause hearing loss as well - Too much amplification can damage your hearing, so it's important to have a hearing test before you buy.

13. Hearing aids can be worn with glasses - Just pay attention when removing the glasses so not to dislodge the behind the ear styles.

14. Battery life varies - The longevity of the battery will change from one device to the next and will greatly depend on how often the device is used.

15. Hearing aid batteries should not be placed in the bin - Safely dispose of batteries. Many retailers who sell batteries collect them for recycling, check with a local store.

16. Be mindful of pets - Don't let your cat get your hearing aid. Some cats and dogs seem to favor the taste of hearing aids, or object to the high-pitched noise they can make if left turned on when out of the ear. Make sure to store the device safely and away from pets.

17. Broken hearing aids can be repaired - But... if the device is outside of its warranty, consider a new one as the cost of repair can sometimes equal a new aid especially those available online.

18. Invisible hearing aids are not magic - These are merely normal digital hearing aids which fit inside the ear canal and not necessarily expensive. Be wary of those offering them for inflated prices.

19. Used hearing aids are a bad idea - They will often include outdated technology and no return policy. Don’t leave your hearing improvement to chance and buy new.

20. Keeping moisture at bay - All hearing aids can be affected by the build-up of moisture. This will stop the device from working. Make sure you store the device in room temperature conditions and if possible using desiccant storage such as the Cedis Drying Capsules and Pot Kit.
2021-02-22
How A Hearing Aid Works

How A Hearing Aid Works

How does a hearing aid work? Hearing aids come in many shapes, sizes and colours. They all have very similar technology, although some are more advanced than others. Learn more about the components and what they do...


How do hearing aids work?

At its most simplistic there are four major electrical components of a modern hearing aid, all packed into a tiny cover. They are:


1) The Microphone

This may be a single microphone with a single port which would not enable the hearing aid to have a directional function. It can also be a single microphone with two ports which does provide some limited directionality function. The aid could have dual microphones which, when aligned to a sophisticated chip, can provide a variety of directional functions. The microphone gathers the sound from the environment, changes it from an analogue sound wave to a digital electronic signal and passes the signal on to the microchip or processor.


2) The Microchip

This is the core of the hearing aid. It takes the incoming sound from the microphone and processes it according to the programmed algorithms. The incoming signal may be divided into a number of frequency bands so that the chip can apply differing degrees of amplification to different frequencies. This allows the chip to shape the frequencies transmitted to the ear. With the vast majority of hearing losses there is a need to apply greater amplification to the higher frequencies. Modern day microchips or DSPs (digital signal processors) work very much faster than their predecessors, have a much greater capacity for multiple functionality and are very much smaller, so capable of providing sophisticated technology in the smallest of devices. Some hearing aids also have directional technology in the chip, which helps to distinguish between speech and background noise by using a trademarked tracking technology.

3) The Receiver

Ironically the Receiver does not receive sound, that’s the role of the microphone, it transmits sounds. The Receiver is a miniature loud speaker and connects to the microchip. It turns the electronic signal into a sound wave and passes this directly into the ear. Usually it is protected from damage through wax or moisture. In the case of RIC (Receiver in Ear) hearing aids the Receiver is positioned at the end of a tube inside the ear canal and connected by a wire to the main part of the hearing aid.


4) The Battery
A hearing aid is an electrical device and therefore requires a source of electrical power. Hearing aid batteries come in a variety of sizes. There are also a variety of different types, including rechargeable, but by far the most common is Zinc Air. All of these components fit inside a casing that goes either in the ear or behind the ear. Sound is delivered either electronically having been converted into an electrical signal or as an actual sound wave down very thin tubes. These tubes can be fed directly into the ear canal or be secured within an ear mould which is usually custom made to fit an individual’s ear. At its simplest a hearing aid takes sound in through the microphone, amplifies it with a microchip processor and transmits it into the ear from the receiver


The Tube

A tube is used in BTE (Behind the Ear) and RIC hearing aids. It connects the components in the case behind the ear to the dome in the ear canal. In the case of a BTE aid the sound travels down the tube into the ear and in the case of a RIC aid the tube contains a small wire connecting to the Receiver (a speaker) .


The Dome

A dome is usually a soft silicone dome that fits securely onto the end of the tube or the end of the hearing aid in the case of ITE (In the Ear) or CIC (Completely in Canal) hearing aids, making a comfortable fit in the ear canal. There are several types, the most significant difference being between open and closed domes. Open domes have holes allowing sound from outside to enter the ear which may help if you also suffer from tinnitus.


About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, and information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
* Hearing aids,
Batteries,
Accessories such as earplugs,
and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.





2021-02-22
Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?

One of the most popular questions asked in the US is "does Medicare cover hearing aids?" In this blog post, we explain some of the finer details of hearing aid insurance, and offer cost-effective tips.


Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids?
If you are covered by Part A or B of Medicare, then, unfortunately, the answer is no. These plans do not cover digital hearing aids. If you do experience an issue with your device, you may have to check with the manufacturer regarding a warranty or how to fix the problem.
But don't panic. There are a number of solutions in the market should you need to repair a device or require replacement parts to keep your hearing aid working at its best.
Fortunately companies like ours sell all the parts you need to keep your hearing aid working efficiently. Our blog post on "Common problems and solutions for when using hearing aids" may help you work out what's wrong.
For the most up to date information, visit Medicare.

Which Hearing Aid Services does Medicare Cover?
Medicare's Part B (medical insurance) covers to 80% of the allowable charges if your doctor or other health care provider orders a hearing or balance test. We recommend that you always check with the insurer for the most accurate information.

Medicaid for those on low incomes will provide hearing assessments and hearing aids for children registered with the scheme up until the age of 21.

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids Replacement Parts?
Depending on the service required, other options may offer you the assistance you need. Your device itself may not be the issue. Domes, wax guards, tubes or other components can also become faulty. At Hearing Direct, you find a wide range of hearing aid accessories to help fix, repair, or improve your device. The question to ask may not be 'does Medicare cover hearing aids?' but more like: which options are available?

Where Can I Buy Hearing Aid Insurance?
Just as you would protect your car, home, and life, there are options when it comes down to hearing aids insurance. Some hearing aid insurers are listed below:
Midwest Hearing
Ear Service Corporation (ESCO)
This list solely gives examples and does not constitute a recommendation for the company listed.

Each company is able to offer different plans, benefits, and coverage, so it is recommended that you review policies to find the correct cover you need. Depending on the state you live in, plans may differ from state to state or alternative insurance plans may exist.

The Price of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be very expensive. The average price of a privately purchased hearing aid is around $1,500 and can be up to $6000, so quite rightly, they are a valuable investment. On top of buying a hearing device, other costs factor in, raising the initial price. This includes:
Audiometric examinations
Device insurance costs
Hearing aid batteries

Fixing faults


The average life of a hearing aid is around five years. Depending on the stage of your life at which you require a hearing device, this may become a long-term investment with a long-term price tag. This is why we at hearingdirect.com are dedicated to providing affordable hearing aids.

How to Reduce the Cost of Hearing Aids
Having answered the question 'does Medicare cover hearing aids?', there are proven ways to help reduce the overall amount you could end up spending on all things hearing aid related during your lifetime. Cost-effective solutions do exist. Price tags can often be a real deterrent, especially if you are on a budget. There are a number of things to bear in mind, both when purchasing new hearing aids, as well as evaluating their future costs.
Browse hearing aids - Shop around to find a device that fits your needs and budget.
Inspect warranties - Depending on the manufacturer, warranties may vary and include a different set of terms.
Compare insurance - Browse policies from multiple companies to find the best deal for you.
Hearing aid type - Different makes and models or device may require different parts or take different batteries, affecting cost.
Test your hearing - Update your hearing status so you know which features you'll require from hearing aids.
Some things though will be unavoidable. For example, buying hearing aid batteries will be a regular occurrence.

Where Can I Buy Affordable Hearing Aids?
Our website is home to a number of items purposely designed with price in mind.
 HD 91 Digital Hearing Aid
Our digital hearing aids start at amazingly low prices. The HD 91 is our entry-level device. It is almost invisible when worn and is packed with all the fundamental features you'd expect from any hearing aid. This in-the-ear model is suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. The HD 250 a premium, almost invisible, in-the-ear hearing aid is one of our best sellers.

Extra Resources From Hearing Direct
Our blog is home to a collection of further reading. The valuable resources we have created include review, information, tips, and guides. We believe you may be interested in:
20 things you should know when buying hearing aids

How to extend the life of a hearing aid

* How much do hearing aids cost?

Test Your Hearing For Free
You can check your hearing for free with our online hearing test.
Please note, the check is not a diagnostic tool. If you believe you have hearing loss or tinnitus, you should consult a medical professional.

About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. Hearing Direct offers a wide range of affordable products, as well as information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:

* Hearing aids,
Batteries,
Hearing Aid Accessories such as earplugs,and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.



2021-02-20
What's the Difference between Behind The Ear and In The Ear Hearing Aids?

What's the Difference between Behind The Ear and In The Ear Hearing Aids?

Finding the right hearing aid or realizing the necessity for one is not always easy. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one out of every fifth person who needs a hearing aid actually uses one. This means that more awareness is needed to pinpoint the advantages and possibilities of different hearing aids. There are six different types of hearing aids. In this post we look at the differences between the two types Behind the Ear and In the Ear hearing aids.

What is the difference between BTE, ITE and ITC Hearing Aids?
The three main styles are behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), and in the canal (ITC). Each of these, respectively, offers a wide array of solutions varying in size, colour, design, features, sound processing, etc. Our hearing aids fall into the two categories – behind the ear and in the canal. It is important to remember, though, that every person is different so there is not a universal device. Depending on the specific case, we will recommend one or another aid as more appropriate. You can talk to our team of audiologists for advice by clicking on the chat icon on the bottom right of the screen.

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids
 

HDR200 Rechargeable hearing aidHDR 200 Rechargeable hearing aid
Behind the ear hearing aids are one of the most popular devices for hearing help. They consist of a small plastic case that is located behind the ear, a dome that goes into the outer ear, and a connecting thin tube that amplifies the sound. All the electronics such as the microphone, battery, controls, and often the loudspeaker, are discreetly hidden in the case, while the almost invisible thin tube connects it to the open-fit dome. As the electronics are outside the year, they are protected from clogging and are easy to maintain and clean.

In the Ear Hearing Aids
Another type of hearing device is the in ear hearing aid. It is suitable for mild to profound hearing loss depending on the style and fit. Offering in essence the same functions as the behind the ear hearing aid, it is different in size and location. This type of hearing aid is placed entirely in the ear. The small hard case contains all the necessary electronics, controls, microphone, and telecoil feature if present.

Most in the ear hearing aids are custom made to fit the individual ear and could be visible when there is face-to-face interaction. Use by children is not common as with growth, the aid will become too small and would need to be replaced and that could become an expensive process. One of the problems with in the ear hearing aids may come from earwax and moisture finding its way into the aid that could be detrimental to the device, so one should be careful and clean it regularly.

In the Canal Hearing Aids
In the Canal Hearing Aids are even smaller than In the Ear devices and fit inside the ear canal. You can remove them using the tiny pull cord left sticking out of the ear. They are usually mostly invisible and comfort can be increased by varying the size of the dome that comes with it.
Comparing Behind the Ear and In the Canal Hearing Aids
Both types of hearing aids have their advantages. However, choosing a hearing aid should be done depending on its functions, not purely on aesthetic reasons. Here is a list of the main features of both hearing aids.

Benefits of behind the ear hearing aids:
durable battery life as the battery can be larger and will last for longer
easy to clean and maintain
suitable for people with an earwax build-up
range of colors and sizes
possibility for connection to bluetooth (in more expensive aids only)

some can also be used with a range of specialized devices to help you hear better in crowded spaces

Benefits of in the ear hearing aids:
small and discreet
* custom size
2021-02-20
How to Choose The Right Hearing Aid Style For Your Needs

How to Choose The Right Hearing Aid Style For Your Needs

If you’re considering purchasing hearing aids, you’ve probably been introduced to an overwhelming selection of styles and options.

While an audiologist will be happy to help steer you in the right direction, the final decision partly comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.

With multiple reputable brands offering a variety of different styles, we wanted to give you a guide to choosing a hearing aid style that best suits your needs.

Determine Your Level of Hearing Loss
Different hearing aid styles serve different hearing loss levels, so it’s important to take a hearing test before you begin looking at different types of hearing aids. You can either schedule an appointment with an audiologist or take a hearing test online to gauge your current situation. 

If you have profound hearing loss, you might consider a behind-the-ear hearing aid (BTE) model that’s slightly bigger and more powerful. 

For mild or moderate hearing loss, you can choose a smaller hearing aid such as the in-the-canal (ITC) style.

Consider Your Activity Level
Another factor that will play into your hearing aid decision is how active you are. For example, if you are relatively sedentary, you can use a BTE hearing aid or receiver-in-canal (RIC) model.

However, if you are very active, you may require a more secure model, such as a completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid.

Even with hearing loss, you can still be an athlete. Plenty of notable athletes such as David Smith (USA Volleyball), Tamika Catchings (USA Basketball), and Jeff Float (USA Swimming), wear hearing aids. Many world-class athletes claim that hearing aids are just another tool they use for their sport.

Regardless of your activity level, you can wear hearing aids and succeed.

Think About Dexterity
Up to 75 percent of people that struggle with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from sensorineural hearing loss. Therefore, if you struggle with dexterity, make sure that the hearing aids are easy to handle.

For example, in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are relatively easy to manipulate, whereas completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids may be difficult to handle. 

You can also use a hearing aid like the Phonak Lyric, which remains inside your ear unless adjusted by an audiologist.

Consider Visibility
Many patients are reluctant to purchase hearing aids as they don’t want a bulky device. Fortunately, hearing aid technology has advanced, and current models are much more refined. However, there is still a wide selection of hearing aids, and some are more visible than others.

For example, the Phonak Lyric is the first completely invisible hearing aid. An audiologist must insert it, though many people appreciate the discreet nature of this hearing aid and are happy to visit their audiologist for regular adjustments.

The only downside to invisible hearing aids is that they often are less powerful than the larger, more visible hearing aids.

Give One a Try
Purchasing a hearing aid is a very personal decision, and while your audiologist can make medical recommendations, the end decision must be made by you. Most clinics allow a trial period for you to try out their hearing aids. If the sound quality is fine, but the model doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, don’t hesitate to call your audiologist and discuss alternative solutions.





2021-02-18
Understanding 3 Common Hearing Aid Styles

Understanding 3 Common Hearing Aid Styles

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, wearing hearing aids can be a fantastic way to enhance your listening experience. However, it’s important to ensure you get the best hearing device for your needs. With so many different styles available, it’s easy to get swept up by the range of options on offer. To make things easier, look at these three common hearing aid styles and find out how they can enhance your hearing function:

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
This style of hearing aid hooks over your ear and sits just behind it, with a custom earpiece sitting in the ear canal. A major benefit of BTE hearing aids is that they can be used by people of all ages and are suitable for virtually all types of hearing loss.

Although BTE hearing aids were traditionally quite large, many newer designs are far smaller. If you’re self-conscious about wearing hearing aids, this doesn’t mean that a behind the ear hearing device isn’t right for you. With newer, streamlined devices barely being visible, a BTE hearing aid need not be conspicuous.

When it comes to functionality, BTE hearing aids are generally capable of more amplification than many other styles. This means that they’re ideal for people with moderate, severe or profound hearing loss. However, the placement of a BTE hearing aid may mean that it’s more prone to picking up wind noise than other styles, so you may want to consider a device with a wind noise reduction feature to combat this.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
Sometimes referred to as full shell hearing aids, in the ear models are designed to fit snugly within the outer portion of your ear. The entire device sits in a single casing, so you’ll simply need to place the hearing aid in your ear to begin using it. As in the ear hearing aids are custom made to fit your ear perfectly, they’re extremely comfortable to wear.

In the ear hearing aids tend to be the largest custom hearing devices on the market. While this may put some people off, their larger size can have some advantages. For example, many ITE hearing aids have controls on the device itself, which can be useful if you don’t want to adjust your hearing aids remotely. In addition, the increased size means that ITE are generally capable of offering more amplification than other custom devices.

As ITE hearing aids completely fill the outer portion of the ear, they can make sounds, like chewing your food, seem excessively loud. Known as occlusion, some people find this irritating but there are ways to avoid it. Choosing an ITE device that features a small vent to prevent occlusion can be a great option.

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid
As the name suggests, an ITC hearing aid sits within the ear canal itself. This allows noise to be collected and funneled naturally by the outer ear, before being processed and amplified. This often equates to enhanced directionality detection and creates a more natural sound.

ITC hearing aids sit completely within the ear canal, which means it’s virtually invisible. In fact, no-one is likely to see an ITC hearing aid unless they’re looking directly in your ear! For people who want an inconspicuous or invisible hearing aid, an ITC hearing device is your top choice.
Furthermore, in-the-canal hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable, as they’re custom made to fit your ear canal. Due to their placement, you’re unlikely to experience interference from wind noise too, which is another reason ITC hearing aid style are so popular.

However, the small size of ITC hearing devices does mean that battery power may be shorter when compared to other types of hearing aids. In addition to this, ITC hearing aids are usually too small to feature on-device controls, so you’ll need to adjust your hearing aid using a remote or app.  While ITC hearing aids do require a little more maintenance than other types of hearing devices, they can offer fantastic performance and their size and placement ensures complete discretion.

Finding the best hearing aid
With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to decide which type of hearing aid to go for. When visiting your audiologist, you’ll be able to try out various different styles to help you decide which type of hearing aid provides the best fit. No matter what type of hearing device you choose, your audiologist will ensure it’s programmed to your needs and perfectly fitted to your ears.
2021-02-08
Study Finds Self-Reported Hearing Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

Study Finds Self-Reported Hearing Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — A six-year study of older Australians in the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Sydney Memory and Ageing Study has uncovered an association between the impact of hearing loss on cognitive abilities and increased risk for dementia.

In Australia, hearing loss affects 74% of people aged over 70. International studies estimate that people with severe hearing loss are five times more likely to develop dementia. Addressing midlife hearing loss could prevent up to 9% of new cases of dementia – the highest of any potentially modifiable risk factor identified by a commissioned report published in The Lancet in 2017.

 

Link Between Hearing Loss and Dementia
 

A research collaboration between the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney and Macquarie University’s Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing has confirmed significant associations between self-reported hearing loss and cognition, as well as increased risk for mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

The research, published in Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, used data from 1037 Australian men and women aged 70-90 years enrolled in CHeBA’s Sydney Memory & Ageing Study from 2005-2017.

Individuals who reported moderate-to-severe hearing difficulties had poorer cognitive performances overall, particularly in the domains of Attention/Processing Speed and Visuospatial Ability. They also had a 1.5 times greater risk for MCI or dementia at the 6 years’ follow up.

While hearing loss was independently associated with a higher rate of MCI, it did not show this in people with dementia. This likely resulted from the number of people with dementia at six years’ follow-up being too small to demonstrate a statistically significant effect.
2021-02-08
What Is That Noise!?! – My Take on Living with Tinnitus

What Is That Noise!?! – My Take on Living with Tinnitus

Do you hear that? I often ask my family that question. Sometimes I can’t tell if the noise I am hearing is my tinnitus or if the sound is actually there. Usually, it is all in my head. Typically, I know this, to be honest, but I ask anyway, just in case.

I have a 40-50% hearing loss in both of my ears, but only mild tinnitus. I am grateful for that.  Sometimes I feel that the tinnitus is worse than the hearing loss! Unexplained sounds buzzing and whistling in your head can make you question your sanity. And give you the worst headache known to man. The lack of sound seems almost a relief in retrospect.


woman-holding-head-in-pain

Thus far, I have experienced two types of tinnitus. The first has been occurring on and off for several years and is not that troublesome. I am not sure what the trigger is, or even if there is a trigger, but all of a sudden, I will hear a sound like a fluorescent light was just turned on, followed by a high-pitched beeeeeeeep that lasts for 30-60 seconds. It will often start softly, build to a crescendo, and then taper off, like someone has turned the fluorescent light back off. It happens in noise and in silence.  It comes and it goes, maybe once or twice a week. Strange, but not bad.

But recently, a new type of tinnitus has started, and this one is more debilitating. Again, I’m not sure if there is a specific trigger, but it seems to happen more often after I am exposed to rhythmic loud noises (like a bathroom fan) or to bright lights. It starts suddenly, is much louder than my friend the fluorescent light, and can continue for an hour or more. It is exhausting. I cannot think. I can’t hear what people are saying to me over the ringing. I want to lie down, but sometimes that is not possible. I work to focus on the real sounds around me and carry on.

The best way to counteract my tinnitus that I have found is to watch TV or to play music softly in the background. Any sort of white background noise will do. It needs to be just loud enough to cover up the ringing, but quiet enough so it does not drown out the real sounds around me. Distracting myself can also help – things like reading an engrossing book, or working on this blog. Tricking myself into thinking about something else can make the sound drift into the background and become less consuming. Sometimes the ringing will even go away without my noticing specifically that it ends.

Does my worsening tinnitus mean my hearing is getting worse? My recent audiogram says otherwise, but I still worry. Will my tinnitus take another turn for the worse?  I hope not. These are worries that I have, but I cannot spend time on them. I can only focus on living each day the best that I can.

Readers, what strategies do you have for living with tinnitus?
2021-02-06
Water is Not Your Hearing Aid’s Best Friend!

Water is Not Your Hearing Aid’s Best Friend!

When you have a hearing aid, you have to make sure you are careful when you are around water. This can be difficult in the summer months, when the call to the seashore beckons. Yet for those that spend all their days in a warm climate, this could be a daily occurrence. Thus, it is vital to know if your hearing aid is water resistant.



“Are there even waterproof hearing aids?”
They do exist, but even these devices may only be approved up to a certain level of water. A rogue ocean wave may spell doom to even the hardiest of hearing aid models. To learn more about your hearing aid and if it is water resistant, be sure to ask your audiologist.



“I’m not a beach person so this doesn’t apply to me!”
Not so fast! Your hearing aid may still come in contact with some water. Even the small bit can damage a unit that is not properly suited for water. Due to the small size of the current hearing aid models, they can easily become an after-thought. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage if your unit accidentally gets wet.


Remember these steps!
1. Turn off your hearing aid immediately!
2. Take out the hearing aid’s battery.
3. Shake the hearing aid to try and get all of the water out from the battery’s housing.
4. Find a clean and dry cloth to thoroughly dry your hearing aid battery. No water should be present when reinserting the battery into the device.
5. Keep the battery component open and place your hearing aid in a dry area. If you can place the hearing aid in a warm area, all the better!
6. You want it to dry out completely… but just make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Melting will be more catastrophic than the water damage!
7. Once fully dry, reinsert the battery to your device.



“Did I save it?”
If you follow these steps, your hearing aid will have a much better chance of working optimally once again. If it is still malfunctioning, you need to take your hearing aid to your audiologist. Only a trained hearing specialist will be able to assess the damage and tell you if the unit can be salvaged.
2021-01-25
Two are Better than One

Two are Better than One

Hearing loss comes in varying degrees. Yet most often professionals advise that you treat any significant loss through implementation of hearing devices. Most often with two hearing aids. Recent developments have made these formerly cumbersome eyesores into seamless (and even sometimes invisible) electronics. HearingLife believes that clear and confident hearing is priceless, and these electronic devices are worth the investment.


Unique solutions for your ears
Hearing aids are no longer “one size fits all” models. Many different styles and designs offer the wearer the best quality of hearing for their individual lifestyle and needs. For this reason, getting an assessment from a hearing professional is vital when choosing what devices are right for you.


Two hearing aids? Forget about it!
If you consult the top hearing industry professionals, they generally recommend using dual hearing aids to combat most types of hearing loss. Using two devices simultaneously (or binaural hearing) benefits the wearer to such a significant degree that it outweighs the additional cost. With two hearing aids, you will:
Have a better understanding of speech – Two hearing aids allow for easier selective listening. Your brain can focus on the exact conversation you want to hear, not the background noise that is a nuisance to all untreated hearing loss sufferers (and even those who use one device).
Be able to understand more accurately – Even in the most difficult of situations, speech intelligibility is vastly improved when two devices are utilized instead of one.
Be able to correctly identify the origin of noise – Binaural hearing is optimal for localization or the direction in which sound originates.
Have a better quality of sound – A simple numerical comparison says it all. Would you prefer 180 degrees or 360 degrees of sound reception? With two devices, the 360 degrees of reception allows for the most natural sound quality that is technologically possible.
Experience a smooth quality of tone for better sound identification – Two hearing aids requires less volume than one. With the reduction of distortion, you can identify and comprehend sounds easier.
Keep both of your ears active – With two devices, you will discover a wider hearing range. When both ears actively participate in the auditory process, you gain double the hearing power. With only one, the unaided ear can degrade over time. You can avoid Auditory Deprivation Effect with binaural hearing which two devices can provide!



Okay, I understand… but do I really need two hearing aids?
Usually, you will. However, if your hearing assessment reveals that your hearing is completely normal in one ear, a second hearing device won’t help you. Adversely, if you show total deafness in one ear, you won’t need two hearing aids. Also, if you suffer from chronic ear infections (which is a cause of hearing loss), a single hearing aid may work best. This will help you avoid aggravating the infection and limit the number of reoccurrences. Some specific forms of hearing loss cause garbled speech and no hearing aids would help.
2021-01-21
Todays hearing aids can improve your hearing and your life

Todays hearing aids can improve your hearing and your life

Todays hearing aids are small and discreet, with innovative features that can make a tremendous difference in how you hear - and how you participate in life. The newest hearing solutions not only open up a world of sound that you have been missing, they bring additional benefits, like easy on-the-go connectivity to smart phones, TVs, music players and even the Internet.

Connect to a world of sound
There’s no denying the ability of advanced technology hearing aids to keep you better connected to the sounds of everyday life. Their fast-paced sound processing filters out sounds you don’t want to hear and improves your ability to hear the sounds you want to hear, not just the ones directly in front of you. With access to sounds all-around, you not only hear better, you have more freedom to choose what you want to hear.

Remember more with less effort
When you have hearing loss, fewer sounds reach your brain. To make sense of the sounds, your brain has to work harder to understand speech and to help you focus on what’s important. Todays hearing aids do this automatically so you enjoy a richer, more natural hearing experience. You will notice a decrease in listening effort and an increase in remembering more of what people say to you. You will also be better equipped to follow conversations with several speakers, even in challenging listening environments like restaurants and social gatherings.

Enrich everyday with wireless connections
Are you wearing hearing aids or wireless headphones? The answer is both. Hearing aids can now synch seamlessly with your favorite mobile devices, turning your hearing aids into wireless headphones. Free downloadable apps let you control volume and switch from one device to another with just the tap of your finger. On the go, stream audio wirelessly from your mobile phone directly to your hearing aids. At home, stream sound from your TV and radio at your own preferred volume.

Access a world of possibilities
The newest hearing aids continue to push the boundaries of wireless communication. Want the lights to turn on automatically when you switch on your hearing aids or get a notification in your hearing aids when someone’s at the door? Oticon Opn™, the world’s first hearing aid to connect to the Internet, let’s you do that and more. Opn connects directly to the Internet through the If This Then That network (IFTTF.com). Wearers can connect to a range of IFTTT-enabled “smart” devices from doorbells and lighting to thermostats and security systems. For example, you could arrange to have your internet-connected doorbell send a message to your smartphone any time the doorbell rings. Caregivers can receive alerts when a child’s or elderly parent’s hearing aid batteries need changing. The number of smart devices on the IFTTT network is growing all the time, and the potential to enjoy Opn’s Internet connections is limited only by your imagination. 

See for yourself
If you’ve put off looking into hearing aids because you were afraid you wouldn’t be satisfied, you owe it to yourself to experience the many advantages of today’s advanced technology hearing aids. The time may never be more right for you to improve your hearing and your life. Locate your local hearing care expert here and schedule an appointment today.
2021-01-20
Hearing aids keep your brain fit

Hearing aids keep your brain fit

The single most important thing you can do to maintain brain fitness as you age is to stay mentally engaged through an active social life. Healthy hearing plays a central role in helping you to connect with the people and the world around you. When hearing loss interferes with your ability to engage socially, you are at greater risk of cognitive decline than people with normal hearing. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your hearing, keep your brain fit and slow down the accelerated cognitive decline linked to hearing loss.

Think brain first
What is the connection between hearing health and your brain? Hearing starts in the brain. Your brain and your ears work together, with the brain doing the heavy lifting. The brain processes and interprets the sounds your ears detect. It’s in your brain that sound waves become sounds you recognize. Your brain uses information from your two ears to orient you by figuring out which direction sound is coming from. These processes help you focus on conversation and separate out unwanted noise. When you have hearing loss, the sound signals your brain receives from your ears is compromised. Your brain doesn’t get the sound information it needs to make sense of sound and has to exert more energy to fill in the gaps. The extra effort needed to keep up with conversations can leave you feeling tired and frustrated. You may begin to withdraw and avoid the social connections that are so important to brain health.

Avoid risks of untreated hearing loss
Many studies have shown a link between untreated hearing loss and isolation, depression and a host of other health issues. If you have hearing loss, you are also more likely to experience problems with thinking and remembering than older adults with normal hearing. Researchers have also found a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline. If you have hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids, you have a higher risk of accelerated cognitive decline.

Take action to address hearing loss
When you actively wear hearing aids to address hearing loss, you reduce your risk of cognitive decline. That is what researchers concluded in a major study involving nearly 4000 volunteers over a 25-year period. In the study, people with hearing loss who used hearing aids and were socially active experienced cognitive decline at a rate similar to those without hearing loss. The researchers believe that the ability to hear better helps improve mood, increase social interactions, and enable more participation in brain-stimulating activities. 

Wear your hearing aids every day
Hearing aids can only help you stay socially engaged if you keep them on your ears, not in the drawer. Take advantage of this easy and proven way to stimulate your brain. Like any exercise, the mental give-and-take of social interaction will help keep your brain fit and slow down the cognitive decline linked to hearing loss.

Don’t wait
Are people mumbling more than they used to? Are you having difficulty hearing conversations? Does your family complain about the volume on the TV? It may be time for a hearing check-up.
The simple act of scheduling an appointment with your local hearing care expert may be one of the important steps you take to keep your brain fit. If a hearing loss is detected, there are many modern, discreet hearing solutions available – far more than even 10 years ago. Today’s hearing solutions preserve as much natural sound and detail as possible so that your brain receives the information it needs to make sense of sound.
2021-01-19
Why should I wear hearing aids?

Why should I wear hearing aids?

We have news for you: hearing aids are awesome!

Not just alone by themselves – it’s what they can do for you that’s amazing.

Perhaps you struggle to hear – perhaps a little more than you admit to yourself. Maybe you haven’t quite managed to make an appointment yet, or maybe you have a pair of hearing aids … in your bedside drawer. Whatever your situation, let’s take a look at the things they can do for you.

1. Hearing aids keep you active and energetic
Hearing aids help you to keep enjoying the activities and sports you love. Whether it’s playing tennis with friends, yoga with your daughter, or golf with your buddies, hearing aids allow you to get more out of it. What’s more, they make it much easier to try new activities.

However, it’s important to get hearing aids that fit your ears and fit your lifestyle. Sadly, research in the USA recently found that approximately 9 million people with hearing aids restrict the activities they do because they’re worried about damaging their hearing aids. But with modern, well-fitting hearing aids and accessories, there are very few activities you can’t do.

2. Enjoy restaurants and cafes again
Most people love dining out – we humans are social animals. But hearing loss can make it so difficult to enjoy a meal with friends that people begin to avoid such situations. It is because the background noise from all those people chattering, eating and moving reduces how much speech you understand. And when we understand less than about 50% of what’s being said, we begin to give up. It simply becomes too much of a mental effort to sustain; it’s like people are talking a different language.
Hearing aids help tune out the background noise so you can focus on the people you want to hear. The newest hearing aids are specifically designed to make speech understanding easier, and can dramatically improve it. If hearing aids can take your level of speech understanding up from 25% to 75%, you can get back in the conversation.

3. Catch what people say the first time
How often do you think you ask people to repeat themselves? Now ask yourself: how often do they think you ask them to repeat themselves?!
Over time, it can happen more and more, but it happens so gradually that you may not notice it.

This may not just be because you need people to speak louder. Hearing loss makes it more difficult for us to identify certain sounds, and makes it more likely we’ll confuse different words. The good news is that with the right kind of hearing aids, you can understand speech better, which enables you to engage more immediately with others – while missing out on less.

4. Follow the conversation when many people are talking
The more people there are, the harder it is to follow the conversation and take part. As the soundfield gets more complex, people with hearing loss find it’s much harder to pick out the people they want to listen to. Their brains simply become overwhelmed by a mass of undifferentiated noise.
However, good quality, modern hearing aids are designed specifically to make it easier when multiple people are speaking. They help you focus on what you choose, rather than deciding for you – as older devices did. It is due to the power of modern hearing aid microchips, which can now process much more sound than ever before.

So what’s your next step? We recommend you come and visit your local friendly hearing care expert for a demonstration of what is possible. Why not experience the latest hearing aid technology for yourself?





2021-01-14
Do you Need a Spare Pair of Hearing Aids?

Do you Need a Spare Pair of Hearing Aids?


If you currently wear hearing aids, we hope you are enjoying the benefits of optimal hearing with your device. You may not realize it, but you have come to rely heavily on the many ways they enhance your life. Did you ever stop to think what would happen if you lost them or left them at home while traveling? We have the perfect solution … a spare pair of hearing aids!

New advances in technology
The newest hearing devices employ the latest digital technology that include many exciting features and benefits such as:
The ability to connect directly to the internet, your smartphone and TV, so you can hear them without struggling
The availability of a new rechargeable unit+ that will save you hundreds of dollars on disposable batteries annually
The capability for you to listen to multiple speakers, even in noisy environments
With so many recent advances to hearing aid technology, now may be a great time for you to test out the latest state-of-the-art features, including smaller sizes and more subtle designs. No matter what your lifestyle, we now have options for you.

I’m ready for an upgrade, but what should I do with my older hearing aids?
When upgrading a cell phone, people often keep their old phones in case of emergencies like if their new phone breaks or gets lost. The same should hold true for your hearing aids as it is a smart idea to keep a spare pair for an emergency.And even if you are still unsure about the need for a spare pair, we advise you to consider having us re-calibrate or reprogram your older devices. We know that there is a good chance that your hearing has changed significantly since you purchased them.

Isn’t one pair enough?
Having a spare pair gives you peace of mind in case of emergencies. Our clients find a spare set of hearing aids useful in many circumstances:
While traveling
At work
To store at your vacation home or at a relative’s house if you visit often
A “purse pair” – that way you always will have them among your essentials
In your safe or a place where you keep valuables

 

Why have a spare pair?
Just like your eyeglasses or cell phone, it’s a major inconvenience to be without them. They are the tools that keep you connected to the world around you. Besides, unlike a mobile phone or a pair of reading glasses, there is no way to just borrow someone else’s hearing aids in the case of an emergency. Hearing aids are calibrated to your individual needs. You may have hearing aid insurance benefits that help you cover the cost. 
Do you have a relative who may benefit from a spare pair? Hearing devices make a great gift.

Hearing well helps the entire family as it ensures clearer communication and overall understanding. If you have a loved one that “forgets to wear” hearing aids when visiting you, you may want to consider giving the gift of hearing with a set of new hearing aids. This way the older pair can “live” at your house and be ready to aid with your relative’s forgetful habit. We couldn’t think of a better gift that Santa could pull from his bag of toys that would help the whole family enjoy the season.

It all starts with a conversation
Hearing healthcare is important to your overall well-being. That is why we are inviting you to come in for a free hearing assessment*. Let us walk you through the entire process, consult you about your hearing and help you decide if hearing aids are right for you or your loved one. Give us a call today at (888) 874-3846 to get started on the road to optimal hearing.

*The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness to determine if the patient(s) may benefit from using hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Test conclusion may not be a medical diagnosis. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Testing is to evaluate your hearing wellness, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals. One offer per customer. Insurance benefit, including Managed Care or federal reimbursements, cannot be combined with any of our promotional offers, coupons or discounts. Other terms may apply. See office for details. +Rechargeable unit is sold as a kit only. ZPower® Rechargeable Kit includes charging dock with power supply, 2 x silver-zinc rechargeable batteries and 2 x battery drawers. Hearing aids are not included.
2021-01-13
High-Tech Solutions for Hearing Loss

High-Tech Solutions for Hearing Loss

Do you have hearing loss? Maybe. Imagine if you could hear and remember better with less effort and stress on your brain. Wouldn’t life be easier if you had solutions to help you recall what people say? Good news! The latest hearing aids do just that.


How prevalent is hearing loss?
The answer is that many people have hearing loss and could benefit from using hearing aids. It could be you or a loved one.

Did you know?
One in three adults age 65 and above experience some form of hearing loss.1
Older adults who use hearing aids show reduced depression symptoms and improved quality of life.1
60% of our military personnel return home from overseas with hearing impairment2, often as a result of noise exposure.
One in five teenagers has some level of hearing loss.2
Only 3 in 10 adults who had a physical exam in the last year say it included a hearing screening.3

Are you one of the nearly 50 million Americans4 with some degree of hearing loss? (If you aren’t sure, then it might be time for a hearing assessment.*


Innovative solutions and advanced devices
Today’s hearing aids include very advanced, digital hearing devices with innovative options. Their minuscule size, coupled with hair-toned color options, provides true discreetness. There are exciting new features that will change the way you think about and use hearing aids, including features that:
Automatically adjust to different soundscapes
Enable you to listen to multiple speakers, even in noisy environments
Connect directly to the internet, your smartphone or television via Bluetooth® and wireless capabilities

Most noteworthy, some models offer a convenient, new rechargeable+ unit that saves hundreds of dollars on disposable batteries annually.


Do I have hearing loss?
The first step is to identify your needs.* This involves:
Hearing assessment*, complete with baseline and familiar voice tests
Otoscopy exam of your ear canal (hearing loss may be from earwax)
Live demonstration* of the latest digital hearing aid technology

In addition, you can learn about the products through a demonstration.


Could your solution lie with high-tech hearing aids?
Our professional team is happy to discuss your needs and solutions that make sense for your lifestyle, habits and budget. Most of all, we want you to feel comfortable with solutions for your hearing loss. 

2021-01-12
Understanding the Price of Hearing Aids

Understanding the Price of Hearing Aids

Why do hearing aids cost so much? According to the American Academy of Audiology, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States (behind heart disease and arthritis).1 Every day, hearing aids help people enjoy a better quality of life by giving them an optimal sense of hearing. Yet it comes with a price – one that is a primary concern of many prospective hearing device wearers. These life-changing devices can be expensive, but don’t let ‘sticker shock’ dissuade you from hearing well.

Just as current wearers of hearing devices learned, many facets affect the price. You will encounter a plethora of options on the market across a wide range of prices – from cheap over-the-counter sound augmenters to the more expensive professionally fit and personally programmed high-tech minicomputers. The choice is yours and we are here to help you make a well-informed decision.

These are not your grandma’s hearing aids
Today’s hearing devices bear little resemblance to their predecessors. Packed with technological features that were even unimaginable only a decade ago, today’s devices offer better sound quality with many advanced functions that bring vibrant hearing to their wearers. The exact features will change with the make and model of your device and will also impact pricing.

The most up-to-date devices deliver a better listening experience that heightens the wearer’s quality of life every day. Many devices can automatically filter the sounds around you, allowing your brain to focus on what you need to hear. Some models connect with your cell phone or TV, emitting sound directly into your ears. Others will work with everyday electronics, like the lights in your home.

These features come with a price. Many years of research cultivated the current technology, design and production. To ensure optimal outcomes, health care professionals personalize each device for the individual person. The advantages of having your hearing properly assessed, receiving a device fitted personally for you, and the benefits of follow-up care all factor into the final cost of the device. Personalization has its benefits. Not only will you enjoy improved hearing, but you have a choice of advanced features. For instance, if you have a smartphone, you might want to spring for a hearing devices that will sync to it. If your version of a “smartphone” is your beloved landline, this feature (and its added cost) may not be of service to you.

Design innovations: now you see me… now you don’t
Many people refuse to even seek out a hearing assessment because they are concerned about the opinion of others. If even admitting to a hearing loss is a struggle, can you imagine what it would be like if you were told you needed a hearing device? Well, fear not as new technological advancements have made some models practically invisible to the naked eye. Whether you prefer hearing aids that would be completely hidden in your ear canal, or ones that would sit discreetly behind them, new designs have changed the stigma of these devices. Many models can even match your skin tone. But don’t let their size fool you as these smaller models deliver some of the clearest sound to your brain’s temporal lobe that is available today.

Take it from the experts… you are in good hands
From the countless engineers who built the varied stages of prototypes, or the designers who took those advancements and made these minicomputers stylish, producing hearing aids takes more than just time. It took a team of professionals that had one goal in mind: giving the world the gift of hearing well. And while you may never know many who have had some impact on your own device, the hearing care professional at your local clinic is an ideal representation of all their work. Each and every one of these people are part of the team that innovated this ancient electronic device to the 21st Century!

Offsetting the price of hearing aids

We have some good news

Hearing aids are tax-deductible! This is not a universal regulation, so check with your accountant to make sure you qualify.

You may hearing aid insurance coverage.

You can finance your hearing aids. Many healthcare providers (including us) accept CareCredit.

Use your FSA. You may use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for your hearing aids.

Some local and national agencies offer hearing aid banks and other sources of help.


 

The gift of hearing has many rewards
Hearing loss may be costing you money! Many studies have shown that those with untreated hearing loss earn less than those who hear optimally.
Hearing well means a better quality of life. Whether you need to hear well to be successful at work, or to enjoy leisure activities like dining out, going to the movies or traveling. Not hearing well means you are wasting money if you aren’t getting the most out of these activities.
Communicating with loved ones = priceless. Digital hearing aids cost $1200-$3600. Flying to see your family across the country = $450. Hearing your granddaughter’s solo performance = priceless.


Hearing aids are an investment in your wellness

Never forget the reason you are even considering purchasing a hearing device: living a full and worthwhile life! Hearing well is crucial to having the best quality of life. 





2021-01-12
What Your Hearing Care Provider Can Do For You

What Your Hearing Care Provider Can Do For You

What prevents individuals from achieving better hearing? There are several answers. For many people, hearing loss seems to just sneak up slowly over time. Many do not even realize they have an issue until it becomes significant. And because it isn’t noticed, it isn’t mentioned at an annual physical, and even more time goes by without seeking help. In fact, on average, it takes a person 7-10 years1 to seek help for hearing loss. By the time a person realizes the full impact of hearing loss, they may just want a quick fix to a complicated problem.

Regrettably, many people with hearing loss are lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting it, either through the purchase of hearing aids online, choosing a personal sound amplifier, or by visiting big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than patient care. In spite of the allure of these seemingly simple fixes, the fact is that a professional hearing care provider is your best resource to address your hearing healthcare.



What the big boxes and online hearing aid retailers aren’t telling you
Maybe you’ve heard that you can buy hearing aids similar to those from hearing care professionals from the big box stores for little money. These stores are only successful because they can sell a large volume of low-priced goods, often very cheaply, to gain larger revenue. They focus on efficiency, which is a polite way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.” Admittedly, this profit-centric model works well for many purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, personalized care to help choose your t-shirts or soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in to these types of purchases. But purchasing hearing aids is more complicated; you need a professional to guide you. Your ears deserve individual attention from trained professionals.


Looks can be deceiving
Beware of hearing aids from online retailers. They are probably not the same quality of product, even if they come from the same manufacturer. Models may differ slightly, making them eligible for discounted pricing, without the features that hearing care professionals can offer.


Hearing care experts use a customer-centric business model
Our hearing care providers are completely different. We are not obsessed with short-term profits because we focus on customer care. Have we identified your individual needs and found a solution that suits you? Are you willing to return to us for your future care? Would you refer us to your friends and neighbors? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we have been successful in our approach to care.

We thrive on providing quality care, which benefits both the person with hearing loss as well as our team.

In contrast, what will happen if the big box stores can’t deliver quality care and happy customers? They will push more advertising to increase their flow of new customers, offering the same “quick and cheap fix” that lured the original customers.


Because individuals experience hearing differently, it’s important to choose your hearing care provider wisely
Hearing is complex; like our fingerprints, everyone’s hearing is unique. So the frequencies your friend may hear well could be the same ones that you can’t hear. In other words, you can’t just take the surrounding sound, make it all louder, pump it into your ears and expect good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers and over-the-counter hearing aid models do.

The truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify — AND the sounds they don’t — must complement the way you, and only you, hear. Hearing care professionals accomplish this through:
Assessing* your hearing to learn the EXACT nature of your hearing loss
Understanding the variety of hearing aids and their individual capabilities (as well as what they cannot do)
Identifying what works for your needs
Fitting and programming your hearing aids to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing, while identifying and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise)
Providing follow-up care, especially in the first few weeks when the device is new and may need further adjustments
For the hearing care provider, acquiring this knowledge requires a lot of instruction and patient care experience. This is how we can conduct the appropriate assessment* to help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids and provide the coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. We don’t cut corners in providing comprehensive hearing care. That is why the results are well worth your time and effort.


Make the right choice for you
Who do you trust with your hearing? Someone who views you only as a transaction, consumer or a means to reaching sales targets? Or do you trust an experienced hearing professional who cares about the same thing you do — attaining the best hearing possible? We think the decision is easy: relationships are the lifeblood of successful hearing care.


Still have questions?

We welcome you to call (866) 657-6952 to make an appointment today. Hearing starts with a conversation. Our friendly team is there for you throughout the process of identifying your needs, finding the right hearing aid (if that’s right for you), fitting, adjusting and following up with you. Your hearing satisfaction is our goal – and we measure our success through your wellness.




2021-01-11
No Big Deal: Ending the Stigma of Hearing Loss

No Big Deal: Ending the Stigma of Hearing Loss

It’s no big deal! Really. After all, it’s 2018. So isn’t it time that we end the stigma related to wearing hearing aids and hearing loss? Since inclusion has become pervasive in today’s society, why not let go of any negative images of hearing loss? Here at HearingLife we know that people of any age can have hearing loss and that wearing hearing aids is a smart solution to a challenge. Let’s all let go of any negative associations to hearing loss.

Not just “old people” have hearing loss
Some people equate wearing hearing aids with old age, but it simply isn’t true. Plenty of young people have hearing loss and use hearing aids or implants. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with some hearing loss1. Schools across the country, from pre-school through high school, make accommodations to “mainstream” students with hearing loss, and several colleges offer programs specifically for students with hearing loss.

Why is there a stigma? Self-perception, ageism and vanity
Even though many younger people have it, hearing loss continues to be thought of as something only old people experience. It isn’t. Nor is it anything to be embarrassed about. Yet, recent research shows that stigma remains an issue. In 2010, The Gerontologist conducted research focused on stigma and hearing loss, and how these may impact an individual’s decision to wear hearing aids. The researchers found that perceived stigma did make a difference in whether people with hearing loss accepted hearing aids and how well they adapted to them.2 People in the study expressed concerns about being seen as old, or worried that people may stare at them if they were wearing hearing aids. But this isn’t new. The study noted that the concept of stigma dates back to the ancient Greeks, and that people labeled stigma to alterations in self-perception, ageism and vanity.

Society has changed rapidly over the last decade
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans have improved their view of people with disabilities3, especially since 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. People’s viewpoints have changed. But assistive technologies, such as hearing aids, play an integral role in helping people with challenges integrate fully into society. Getting to know people with hearing loss, seeing how well they manage with hearing aids at home, work and in the community, helps break down any residual stigma.

Hearing loss is an invisible disability
You can’t see if someone has hearing loss, so sometimes it’s hard to tell if they struggle to hear you. A hearing aid may be the only clue. Hearing aid manufactures understand that aesthetics count. Sometimes hearing aids are so well-hidden that they’re even invisible. Others have a sleek design, available in many colors, including a variety of skin-tones. Some people choose to flaunt the latest in hearing aids designs and pick bolder colors, like blues or pinks. And why not? We think that hearing aids are nothing to hide!

Why break the stigma?
Hearing loss advocate, Shari Eberts, recently wrote in Psychology Today that the time has come to end the stigma of hearing loss. She lists multiple avenues you can follow to break the stigma of hearing loss. She encourages the public to do the following:

“Get your hearing tested as part of your annual medical screening and encourage your friends and family to do the same.”
“If you have hearing loss, treat it.”
“If you have hearing aids, wear them.”
“Speak up about your hearing loss”4

We agree that all of these things can help the public understand hearing loss and improve their own well-being.

Want more information on ending stigmas, accepting hearing loss and finding the best options for you?
Whether you are a “newbie” to hearing loss or have been facing hearing loss for decades, we can help you choose the best solution for your individual needs. We understand that first-time wearers may go through a process to get used to hearing aids, and our experienced team know how to help acclimate you to wearing your new devices. Want to learn more? Make a no-obligation appointment. Should you need hearing aids, we will help you find the right design for your ears. 
2021-01-11
Hearing Aids Are Tax Deductible

Hearing Aids Are Tax Deductible

As the filing deadline looms large, you may be gathering those final details, including receipts for your deductions. Did you purchase hearing aids last year? If so, you’re in luck! Hearing aids are tax deductible if you itemize your medical deductions on your federal income taxes. In fact, the savings includes hearing-related costs for you, your spouse and your dependents. As with most things related to taxes, there are some caveats. We’ve gathered some of the most relevant information for you. And if you’ve already filed, keep this in mind as you plan medical spending for 2018, so you’re ready next year.


To deduct or not to deduct – that is the first question
Not sure if you can deduct your hearing aids? To start, you must decide if you will itemize your medical expenses or not. If you don’t itemize your deductions, then you can’t take advantage of this savings. However, if you have significant medical expenses, it might be worth it for you or your family to do so this year. For the next two years, if you spend more than 7.5% of your income on medical expenses1, you can deduct medical costs from your insurance. (Previously, the threshold had been 10%.) Some years, itemizing may make more sense than others. If you have invested in hearing aids and had other significant medical expenses, such as a hospital stay or surgery where you paid a portion of the cost, this may be the right year to deduct these expenses.


What can you deduct?
According to TurboTax2, the following hearing-related expenses can be deducted:
Hearing aids, batteries, maintenance costs and repairs
Equipment to link your phone, including phones with special ringers, captioned phones and teleprinters. If you had to pay for repairs, this is covered, too.
Televisions and related accessories that amplify sound, provide closed captions and their repair costs
A guide dog, including veterinary, grooming and food expenses
Wiring your home with special smoke detectors, doorbells and burglar alarms



Keep this in mind when considering hearing aids as a tax deduction
For many of us, doing your taxes can be confusing. If you are doing your own, here are a few tips:
When itemizing your taxes, use Form 1040 Schedule A – Itemized Deductions.3
The IRS offers an Interactive Tax Assistant online tool to help you figure out what expenses are deductible.
Remember to keep all of your receipts!

Of course, we are not tax experts, and highly advise you to bring specific financial questions to your tax advisor or an accountant.

Need more information on medical expenses and taxes?
You may wonder what counts as a medical expense. Another great source for information is the IRS’s information page on medical and dental expenses.3 If you have a person in your household, such as a parent or child, who purchased hearing aids last year, you can only deduct these costs if you claim this person as a dependent on your taxes – even if you paid for the hearing aids.

2021-01-08
Making Better Choices During Better Hearing and Speech Month

Making Better Choices During Better Hearing and Speech Month

It’s no secret, but your hearing health matters! Especially in May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month. It means the difference between hearing the most important parts of the conversation, such as medical information, dates, prices or can’t-miss work-related details and missing vital information. At other times it may mean not hearing every story your grandkids want to tell you about their busy days. Maybe it’s something someone wants to whisper for your ears only. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve to hear well!


May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
Every May the hearing care community gets the word out that it’s important to focus on hearing wellness. This year professionals such as the team at HearingLife advocate for individuals to get their annual hearing assessment – if only to check against future testing – and to learn about hearing wellness.


Five things you can do to improve your hearing wellness
As part of your overall wellness, it’s important to focus on your hearing. That means much more than just getting your ears checked. It means investing in yourself in other ways. Here are some general dos and don’ts to consider this May:

1. Use hearing protection – it’s key to preventing hearing loss. Avoid loud noise and if you will be around places with excessive volume, wear earplugs or other protective gear. Especially if your plans include concerts or explosives, such as fireworks. If you are not sure how loud something is, you can download a decibel app on your cellphone.

2. Eat well and go bananas! Just as carrots are famous for helping vision, did you know that potassium is linked to auditory wellness? Other good things to eat include foods high in folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus – and organ-meats, like liver.

3. Don’t use Q-tips in your ears. If you grew up hearing “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears,” continue to heed that advice. The inner ear canal is sensitive.

4. Be active. Exercise helps hearing. There’s a positive link between cardiovascular health and hearing acuity in recent studies.

5. Know how well you hear! Make sure you have an annual hearing assessment. If you discover you have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. Some 48 million Americans1 have hearing loss. Even more have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).


Don’t be afraid to address hearing loss

Untreated hearing loss is linked with higher instances of dementia and depression, and it is linked to lower household income, if untreated.1 That’s why it’s important to use hearing aids, if warranted. Hearing well makes communication easier, allows individuals to communicate with confidence and can help protect mental acuity.




2021-01-08
Hearing Aid Accessories to Help You Get Out and Live

Hearing Aid Accessories to Help You Get Out and Live

Today's hearing aid wearers tend to be more active than in decades past. Manufacturers have noticed, and developers have taken these changes into account in designing newer devices. Now, whether you want to go mountain biking, horseback riding or just out for a jog, hearing aids don’t stop you.

However, it’s important to keep your hearing aids safe. No one wants to lose or damage these important investments in your hearing. Hearing aid experts understand that you can get the most out of physical activities if you can hear well, especially with your hearing aids. That's why there are new ways to use hearing aids in varied settings.

Retention cords keep hearing aids safe
If you enjoy biking, running or skiing, hearing aid safety lines can attach to your hearing aids and then clip to your collar. These keep your hearing aids securely attached to you – so even if they fall out of place, you won’t lose your hearing aids or risk damaging them.

> See our hearing aid accessories

Plug into public places via a loop system 
teleloop

Have you seen this sign before? It’s an ear sometimes with a ‘T’ next to it. You may find them in public places like movie theaters, lecture halls, museums, art galleries and even some churches. It indicates that there is a teleloop system installed in the location and if your hearing aid has the right capability, you can link to it to hear announcements or performances. A teleloop system transmits sound directly to your hearing aids. This means that the sound of the film or public speaker will be picked up via a microphone in the building and then played directly into your ears. Many modern hearing aids include loop system-capabilities. Ask your hearing care expert to find out if your hearing aids can have this feature.

> Find your nearest hearing care expert
Make calls on the go
Many modern hearing aids use Bluetooth® technology to connect to smartphones, allowing you to make calls and hear the other person’s voice streamed directly in your hearing aids. Effectively, this turns your hearing aids in a hands-free headset. This works for video calls too, so when you use services like Skype or FaceTime, you can catch every intonation of your loved one and see them at the same time.

Some hearing aids are known as Made for iPhone hearing aids, which connect directly to an iPhone without an intermediate streaming device. For these, you simply speak into the phone’s speaker and the sound is automatically piped into your hearing aids.

opn-connectclip

For other types of smartphones, you may need a streamer, which typically hangs around your neck. This contains a microphone that captures your voice. Modern streaming/hands-free devices are more discreet, and clip on to your clothing.

> See the ConnectClip streaming accessory

Remote-controlled hearing aids? A discreet solution to raise the volume
Some hearing aids give you the option to adjust them while you are wearing them, often with a small button or volume wheel on a remote control. This gives you the chance to change the program immediately, such as when you move to a noisier environment. A remote control allows you to make these adjustments discreetly, using a small control that’s about the same size as a car key.

There's an app for that!
If you have a smartphone, there are various ways to control your hearing aid via an app. Some apps help you not only with sounds you expect, like voices or music, but beep when your batteries run low, if your doorbell rings, when you get a text message or someone posts on your Facebook page. In fact, the options seem almost limitless. 

Capture speech with a remote microphone
While hearing aids vastly improve most situations, occasionally they need a little extra help. Sometimes - especially in a large space, or you’re talking to someone in a very noisy environment - you may benefit from a remote microphone.

These are easy to use. You simply clip this device to the clothing of whomever you need to hear clearly, and their speech is transmitted directly to your hearing aids.
2021-01-07
Alzheimer's Disease Linked to Hearing Loss

Alzheimer's Disease Linked to Hearing Loss

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. During this time, we focus on how dementia is linked to hearing loss, and look at how we can improve brain wellness through hearing health. How does Alzheimer's factor into this? Well, dementia is a general term used for memory loss and declining cognitive function, and Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.1

Dementia is linked to hearing loss.
Currently, there are an estimated 5.7 million people in the United States who are living with Alzheimer's disease, with the vast majority (two in three) being women. Additionally, African-American seniors are twice as likely to have dementia as older Caucasians.2 As with hearing loss, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia develop over time.

According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Frank Lin and his colleagues discovered that "mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia."3 In addition, recent research out of the United Kingdom found that people with moderate to poor hearing were more likely to have dementia than those who hear well.4

Does treating hearing loss help support brain health?
It certainly does. When you're unable to hear well, your brain will dedicate cognitive resources to help make sense of sound at the expense of other cognitive processes, like a properly functioning memory. This is what Dr. Lin refers to as "cognitive load." For instance, when you walk, your ears are constantly picking up subtle cues that assist with balance. A loss of hearing mutes these important signals due to the overload of cognitive tasks. It makes your brain work harder just to process sound. "This subconscious multitasking may interfere with some of the mental processing needed to walk safely.”3

All of this multitasking and compensating for hearing loss has been shown to actually restructure the brain. A study done at the University of Illinois revealed that hearing loss rather than tinnitus had the greatest influence on the brain's gray and white matter alterations.5

Social isolation and hearing loss

In addition to cognitive load, social isolation is another side effect of hearing loss that is a known contributor to dementia. Maintaining healthy and positive relationships with friends, colleagues and loved ones can be very difficult when communication is obstructed due to a loss of hearing. Rather than trying to improve communication, many people tend to completely remove themselves from these conversations and engaging activities because they feel that their hearing problems will make them appear helpless or incompetent. The reality is that making these social connections and staying engaged is what keeps your brain healthy. 

More research is needed regarding Alzheimer's disease and hearing loss
Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month couldn't be a better time to be proactive about your hearing health. Make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment* today.
2021-01-07
Top Tips for Getting Started with Hearing Aids

Top Tips for Getting Started with Hearing Aids

New hearing aids? Here are useful tips for a successful transition to hearing well
Congratulations on taking a big step towards better hearing by purchasing new hearing aids! As you get used to wearing your new devices every day, we have compiled some important and useful tips to help you get acclimated to your new hearing aids. 

Your ears take time to adjust to hearing aids
Patience is a virtue when you get new hearing aids. Hearing loss often happens gradually, over many years, so you may not notice a decline in your hearing. When you first get hearing aids, it may be a bit of a shock to the system, as hearing aids switch sound back on all at once.

As this can be quite a change, it usually takes time to get used to new hearing aids. Sounds you haven’t heard for a long time are suddenly available again. Even mundane sounds like your own footsteps and your own voice may sound different than you remember. At first, they may seem too loud. This is because we hear with our brains, so our brains must re-learn how to process and make sense of all the new sound information that is coming in.

This takes a little time, so prepare yourself and remember – hearing will feel normal again soon.

Remember that no one can hear everything
Sometimes, first-time hearing aid wearers think that their new devices are not doing enough. This can be because over the years they have forgotten how it actually is to hear normally. Then, when they get hearing aids, they can be disappointed that they can’t hear everything that is happening at the other end of a crowded dinner table, or juggle multiple conversations happening simultaneously. Keep in mind that the brain helps you filter what's most important. Remember that most people with normal hearing can’t "hear everything" (or at least process it), either. 

So while you get used to your new hearing capabilities, try not to turn the volume up too much. Also, in the initial period, try to refrain from adjusting programs until your brain has had a chance to test out the soundscape and get used to filtering the information. Just try to get a very general feel for your hearing aids at first. 

Tip 1: Use your hearing aids as much as possible – As you get used to your new hearing aids, it can be tiring at first. As your brain adjusts, it demands more mental energy. Some people get tired after a few hours each day, and feel like taking them off. This is okay for the first few days or initial period of adjustment. However, it’s important to push yourself to wear them a bit longer each day. It's helpful to try to wear them for as long as possible each day. We also advise that you wear them in quiet environments, even though you might feel they’re less useful. But even using them alone at home, your brain will get used to listening for quiet background noises that it isn't used to hearing.

Protect your hearing aids when you are not wearing them – Your new devices are tough, but they are not indestructible. So when you do take them off to shower or go to bed, store them out of the reach of children and pets. Not only can your hearing aids become damaged, but hearing aid batteries can be dangerous if swallowed. Contact your doctor or vet if a battery or hearing aid is accidentally swallowed.

Your hearing aids don't like water – Damp places like bathrooms, and dust and dirt, are not ideal for hearing devices. We suggest you use a hard case to keep them safe when you are away from home, such as at the beach or swimming pool. In especially humid climates, you may want to invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier. Ask your hearing care provider for more information on what is the right option for your model.

With hearing aids, you can reset your hearing to normal – It's time to readjust your hearing to the world. If you had the volume turned up high on your TV, ask someone with normal hearing to set your TV volume to a normal level, and then keep it there. That will help you gauge what the volume level sounds like to others while you get used to your new hearing aids. In the interim, you might try watching the TV with subtitles on, to help retrain your brain to connect sound and language. You can also get used to your devices by closing your eyes and trying to hear where sounds are coming from.

Make a follow-up appointment for adjustments – Although your patient care coordinator (PCC) may have already booked this appointment for you before leaving our office, if you haven't done so, make sure you stop back for a follow-up appointment after a few weeks. That way, we can work with you to confirm whether your hearing aids need adjusting or if you have any questions on how to use them. If you have issues in the interim, please call to make an appointment sooner. We can usually make adjustments to the sound so your hearing aids are minutely tailored to you. A few tweaks may make all the difference.

Features may be tricky – Ask for help! Having issues pairing your hearing aids to your phone or other electronics? Perhaps you need help using an app that connects your hearing aids to other devices? Your hearing care professional can help you so that you can take advantage of your hearing aids' technical features.

Make notes on any issues with your hearing – We get it. Sometimes you have a problem on Monday, but it isn't bothering you on Wednesday, but perhaps we can help you address it anyway. If you aren't scheduled to see your hearing care provider for a few weeks, we encourage you to jot down notes on any issues or questions. It can also be a great help to bring a relative or friend along, since they will bring their own perspective, and may have noticed things that you have not. We can also educate them on how to adjust your hearing aids, change the batteries or help you keep them clean.

Daily maintenance makes a big difference – Remember, use a clean cloth to wipe excess wax or other debris off your hearing aids each night. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, make sure you perform this task before you recharge them.
 

Remember that you aren't alone! Your hearing care professionals are here for you. 
Getting you off to a successful start is crucial to getting the most out of your investment. Your hearing care professionals are happy to help you throughout the life of your hearing aids. We understand this may mean that you need to contact us often in the beginning, but we are always happy to help. 

2021-01-06
Why bring someone to a hearing test?

Why bring someone to a hearing test?

Recently, I made an appointment for my father’s hearing assessment with a local audiologist. The woman who confirmed the appointment reminded me that he needed to bring someone to the hearing test. It may seem like an unusual request, but bringing someone to a hearing test can help ensure a higher-quality outcome. It’s best to bring the person who speaks with him most to take part in the familiar voice test. So, last Thursday I joined my dad at the audiologist’s office and I’m so glad I went.

Helping Dad hear better means helping myself
Before I even called, Dad was already a bit reluctant to address his hearing loss. He had a lot of denial about how much he was missing. At 93 years old, he had survived a lifetime without hearing aids, but as his daughter I was tired of constantly having to repeat things, and explain what doctors, friends and even my kids say. Finally, I insisted that he get a free hearing assessment* and eventually he agreed to see what the audiologist had to say.

A hearing assessment starts with a conversation with the audiologist
As expected at a hearing assessment, it began with the audiologist asking routine questions about Dad’s health. He asked about how well Dad hears in various situations. It seemed the audiologist was not only trying to learn what his needs may be, but also how well Dad could follow along a discussion in a quiet space. 

In the booth
After our talk, the audiologist invited Dad to sit in a booth and listen to tones at different frequencies and volumes. Dad was asked to indicate when he heard something. From my vantage point (outside the booth), I could see the audiologist press buttons, which my Dad didn’t hear. As soon as it was finished, the audiologist explained what the audiogram indicated. As with many older seniors, Dad had below-normal hearing across all frequencies, but he had the most difficulty with higher-pitched sounds. Dad was a bit disappointed to see the results, but I don’t think he was surprised.

The audiologist explained the audiogram key to explain the results. The audiogram showed the conclusions of both the air conduction and bone conduction hearing tests. 

My part in a familiar voice hearing test
A familiar voice is the main reason to bring someone to a hearing test. It provides a chance for a hearing care provider to see how well an individual understands words spoken by someone close to them. This was when the family member or close friend takes a more active role in the appointment. The audiologist asked me to step into the hallway, about eight feet from where my Dad was sitting. 

Can you hear me now?
As I stood a short distance away, the audiologist asked me to read a list of high-frequency words and have my Dad repeat them.
I said, “pail.”
Dad said, “nail.”
I said, “face.” 
Dad said, “late.”

And so on. It was quite fun to see what I had suspected. His score wasn’t great. Without a hearing aid, Dad only heard three out of ten words correctly. When he heard the outcome, Dad was even more disappointed than with the audiogram. He couldn’t deny it. He couldn’t hear me speaking to him only a few steps away. The audiologist, my Dad and I all witnessed it. 

Getting a different result: a familiar voice hearing test with hearing aids
I have to admit I was feeling a bit vindicated. I’ve been complaining that my father can’t hear me for years. The audiologist popped fresh batteries in a pair of behind-the-ear hearing aids and had him try them on. They were light and comfortable, and a slightly beige color that matched my dad’s coloring. The audiologist asked me to go back into the hallway and repeat the test. 

I said, “cup.”
Dad said, “cup.”
I said, “peach.” 
Dad said, “peach.”
I said, “pew.”
Dad said, “few.”

This time, Dad heard 7 out of 10 words. It was a vast improvement. He was very pleased. 

Another familiar voice hearing test…
With my dad still wearing the hearing aids, the audiologist asked me to walk down the hallway, about 15 or 20 feet away. The audiologist turned off the hearing aids. He asked me to speak in a normal volume and talk about what we were planning to have for dinner. Dad didn’t notice that I’d said anything at all. Once he turned the hearing aids back on, I repeated that I was planning go to the grocery store, and then we would have chicken for dinner. This time Dad heard and repeated every word.  

Why bring someone to a hearing test? Because hearing loved ones matters
My dad lives with me. He is accustomed to the cadence of my voice. Without even thinking about it, he knows that my vowels sound a certain way. Across the United States, we have a variety of regional accents. Even people who grow up in the same town may use different intonations. With familiar voice testing, it is easier for the individual to understand speech in a familiar voice test. 

Next steps: getting a hearing aid and getting used to it
Even experiencing firsthand how well hearing aids improved his ability to understand a conversation and hear people speaking from afar, my 93 year old is very set in his ways. So, I gave a gentle push. We discussed the hearing aid costs and the benefits to hearing well. 

Improving a senior’s quality of life
For 93 years old, Dad is in incredible shape. He has many activities where hearing well would improve his quality of life. He enjoys playing piano, eating in restaurants, watching Perry Mason and NOVA on TV, and, of course, spending time with family. All of these things would be easier if he could hear better. It wasn’t until I mentioned that he should be able to hear the announcer during soccer matches that he finally agreed that hearing aids would improve his quality of life.

I can’t wait until his new hearing aids arrive. After years of watching him miss a lot of the conversation at family dinners, I’m pleased he’s finally taking the opportunity to hear better. At 93, it might be an big adjustment for him, but after a few weeks he may wonder how he survived decades without hearing aids. Hopefully his experience will help motivate other older seniors. Hearing loss is an issue for more than just hearing. Hearing loss and dementia are linked, as are hearing loss and stroke and other health ailments. 

Could your dad or mom hear better? 
It might be time to book their appointment. Then you can enjoy it when they are asked to bring someone to their free hearing assessment.* If you aren't ready to come in person, you may gain some insights with a complimentary, online hearing test. 



Remember: The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness to determine if the patient(s) may benefit from using hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Test conclusion may not be a medical diagnosis. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Testing is to evaluate your hearing wellness, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.





2021-01-05
How to save on hearing aids in 2021

How to save on hearing aids in 2021

As you pack away the holiday decorations and look ahead to a new year, you may be thinking about how you will improve your health this year. Maybe your new year’s resolution was that you want to address your ever-increasing (albeit, slowly) hearing loss. Perhaps you recognized some of the signs of hearing loss at recent gathers. Did you find it difficult to hear or understand individuals with a lot of background noise? Or did you feel frustrated when loved ones seemed to be mumbling? If price is a concern (as it is for many people), we have some good news – there are many options for keeping hearing aids affordable.

Use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds to save on hearing aids
If you have an employer-sponsored FSA account, you’ll be pleased to know that hearing aids are an acceptable charge to cover for yourself, your spouse or any dependents. This means you’ll pay for hearing aids and related charges with pre-tax dollars. This special benefit can mean significant savings on health-related expenses, including hearing aids.

Yes, your Health Savings Accounts (HSA) works for hearing aids
Do you have high-deductible plan or other insurance plan that includes a Health Savings Account for medical expenses? Like an FSA, your HSA can be used for hearing aids and expenses related to hearing healthcare.

Medicare, Medicaid and hearing aids 
Many people ask HearingLife if Medicare covers hearing aids. Although regular Medicare does not cover hearing aids, many Medicare Advantage Plans do cover hearing aids. Medicare Advantage plans vary widely, so if you are in the process of choosing a plan, make sure it includes hearing aids and related expenses. Medicare Advantage Programs have an enrollment period going on between January 1 and February 14 (annually) when you can change your current plan if you qualify for Medicare.

Can my health insurance help me save on hearing aids?
If you are considering purchasing hearing aids from HearingLife, our insurance team is happy to check your coverage. Check our information on hearing aid insurance or call our insurance professionals at 888-379-7214.

Save on hearing aids by getting a tax deduction
Good news – hearing aids are tax deductible. Of course there are some caveats – but in general you can deduct hearing aids, batteries, maintenance costs and repairs. You can also deduct related equipment, such as accessories that amplify sounds.

Financing is available via CareCredit®
HearingLife is pleased to partner with CareCredit to make hearing healthcare accessible. Although financing for hearing aids with CareCredit is subject to approval, once you have CareCredit you can also use it for many types of healthcare costs, such as dentists. CareCredit has more than 200,000 healthcare providers and health-related retailers in their network.

Saving on hearing aids with special offers
HearingLife understands that costs are a concern. That’s why we offer various special offers to help keep hearing aids affordable. We offer a broad variety of hearing devices. And, while in general, the highest priced hearing aids provide top-tier quality and the latest features and functions, we are pleased to offer options in prices that meet most budgets. We offer complimentary hearing assessments and other services to help make services access to as many people as possible.

Taking care of your investment: keeping your hearing aids healthy
If you already have devices, one way to save costs is to maintain your hearing aids. Clean them daily with a soft cloth and bring them anytime you have a concern. If you are unsure how to properly clean them, or if the domes or other parts seem to be ready for replacement, stop in during our walk-in hours. You can also make an appointment with our hearing care providers for a maintenance refresher.

Choosing a device that meets your budget helps you save on hearing aids
When you meet with our hearing care provider, if you are on a tight budget, speak up! We have options that don’t break the bank. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, and your lifestyle choices (which can impact which hearing aid features would be right for your needs), we can give you multiple options to consider. We understand that hearing wellness should be accessible to everyone, and while the better the technology, the more you may need to pay, ultimately our goal is to help you hear better. Make a no-obligation appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment* today to get started.

2021-01-04
Keeping Your Brain Fit Through Hearing Aids

Keeping Your Brain Fit Through Hearing Aids

One of the best ways to maintain brain fitness as you age is to stay mentally engaged through an active social life. You can achieve cognitive acuity through communicating with the world around you. When hearing loss interferes with your ability to connect with friends and loved ones, it increases your risk of cognitive decline. Fortunately, you may be able to improve your hearing, keep your brain fit and slow down the accelerated cognitive decline linked to hearing loss.

Think of your brain first
How is hearing health connected to your brain? Listening and understanding require your brain and your ears to work together, with the brain doing the heavy lifting. The auditory cortex (which is in the temporal lobe) sorts out and interprets the sounds your ears detect. Your brain translates the information from your two ears to orient you. It also deciphers where noise comes from. These processes help you focus on conversation and separate out unwanted noise.

When you have hearing loss, the sound signals your brain receives from your ears is compromised. Your brain doesn’t receive the sound information it needs, and it has to exert its energy to fill in the gaps. The extra effort to keep up with conversations can leave you feeling tired and frustrated. You may begin to withdraw and avoid the social connections that are so important to your well-being.

Hobbies keep your brain fit
According to researchers in Japan, performing math problems helps seniors retain mental acuity.¹ But, for those who don't love math, there are many options for seniors to keep their brains active. According to a report from Harvard Medical School, mind-stimulating options vary, and include:

Reading
Playing cards
Doing crossword puzzles
Learning a new language
Playing a musical instrument

Remember, many everyday tasks and hobbies require tackling math problems. Estimating costs when shopping, figuring how many plants you need in your garden and even knitting all require some math. 

Avoid the risks of untreated hearing loss
Many studies have shown a link between untreated hearing loss and isolation, depression and a host of other health issues, including stroke². If you have hearing loss, you are also more likely to experience problems with thinking and remembering than older adults with normal hearing. Researchers have also found a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline. The study shows that if you have hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids, you may accelerated cognitive decline³.

How hearing aids help your brain
Wearing hearing aids actively addresses hearing loss and reduces your risk of cognitive decline. That is what French researcher Hélène Amieva and her team concluded in a major study. The research involved nearly 4000 volunteers over a 25-year period. It found that people who utilized hearing aids and were socially active experienced cognitive decline at a rate similar to those without hearing loss. The researchers believe that the ability to hear better helps improve mood, increases social interactions and enables more participation in brain-stimulating activities.4

For best results, keep your hearing aids in your ears – not in a drawer
Hearing aids can only help you stay socially engaged and help keep your brain alert if you wear them. Today’s hearing aids give you both comfortable and stylish solutions that are easy to wear and can be tailored to your exact needs. Hearing aids can give an extra boost you need to follow social interaction. Staying alert will help keep your brain fit and slow down the cognitive decline linked to hearing loss. Plus, you can enjoy brain-stimulating social activities such as playing board games, cards and charades.

Signs that it’s time to get started on your hearing health journey
It may be time for a hearing assessment*, especially if you have these signs:
Are people mumbling more than they used to?
Are you having difficulty hearing conversations?
Does your family complain about the volume on the TV?


Just by scheduling an appointment with HearingLife, you are taking an important step to keep your brain fit. There are many modern, discreet hearing solutions available – far more than even 10 years ago. Today’s hearing solutions preserve as much natural sound and detail as possible so that your auditory cortex receives the information it needs to make sense of sound. (And we won't make you do math problems.)




2020-12-31