Is your loss of hearing causing you to talk less frequently on the phone? Hearing loss, as time goes by, can cause you to feel isolated. Don’t just stop using your phone. There are ways to work it out so you can stay in touch with the ones you love.
Communication is The key
With any relationship, communication is an essential aspect and the same goes for your phone. What can be done improve the situation is the real question.
- Have you had a hearing test? Your hearing loss might not be permanent so it’s important to get a correct diagnosis. It may possibly be something as straightforward as earwax buildup or an ear infection.
- Bluetooth or headphones may be options if you’ve already turned the volume up. Maybe that’s all you need to make your phone sound better and it doesn’t cost very much.
- Are the voices too quiet? Check to make sure the volume is all the way up on the phone.
Once you rule out some of the more obvious issues, you can have a look at other possibilities that will get you back on the phone.
There’s an App For That
The truth is, there’s more than one app. There are many apps you can download that work to get you, and your phone back on the same page, some of which are pretty cool.
Some apps turn what the other person says to text you can read. These apps are far from perfect, but you should be able to work with them. Brands to look up include:
You can’t get all voice to text apps for free but most won’t cost very much.
There is a Phone For That
If you are looking for a landline solution, you can find phones for your home that function the same way as an app. By amplifying the voice an the other end, they make it less difficult to hear. An equalizer makes the high pitched sounds that usually get lost clearer.
You also have the possibility of getting a captioning phone. The captioning service requires a unique phone that has an LCD screen. Captioning works with a third party operator that either repeats the spoken words so speech recognition software can translate them into text or types them right into the system. From there the words are displayed on the screen of the phone. Also, the internet is needed for most captioning devices.
Text-to-Voice Teletype (TTY) is an old-school phone system that is still available and works similarly to the captioning phone. You need to get a TTY device that sits near the phone to display the text, though.
Hearing Aids Are The Best Choice
In the past, whenever a hearing aid was near a phone, you would get ear piercing feedback, but those days are over. You can get hearing aid compatible phones that eliminate background noise and other kinds of interference to improve sound quality. Current hearing aid technology is compatible with these phones. What’s more, they are wireless and work even when you’re not on the phone.
State of the art, high quality hearing aids can also have a more cutting edge program that permits them to be compatible with almost any phone whether it’s a landline or smartphone. The technology works by holding the hearing device up to the phone and streaming the sound from the one to the other.
Many digital hearing aids are also Bluetooth compatible. You pair the phone up with the hearing aids just like you would with wireless headphones or earbuds. When the phone rings, the sound is sent directly to your hearing aids.
Don’t permit hearing loss to wreck your friendships and other relationships. Do what you must to get back on your phone, and start talking again. It’s time to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to look at the newest hearing aid technology.
You’ve put off far too long but you finally purchased a pair of hearing aids. Taking the first step to enhance your Quality of life is an awesome accomplishment. There are things you should learn to do and not to do with newer technology such as modern hearing aids. The list with hearing aids is not long, but it’s an important one.
There are other things to consider besides simply taking care of your hearing. The device will be less useful and your adjustment time will be slowed by the things you fail to do. Others in your shoes have made mistakes that you can learn from. These four things that you shouldn’t do should be taken into consideration.
1. Straight Out of the Box Into Your Ear
If you don’t check out the features that are included with the brand you bought and take the time to learn the basics of how your device works you could be missing powerful features. If you just turn on your hearing aids and start wearing them, it’s likely they won’t work effectively. You may also lose out on the best features such as Bluetooth and noise filters.
You can work on adjusting the hearing aid and ascertain how to get the best sound quality by being patient and reading the user manual.
When you purchase your hearing aids you will have a basic idea of what they can do. Now, spend some time learning how to use them.
2. It Takes Time For Your Ears to Adjust
Your eyes need to adjust to the shape of the frame and the difference in lenses when you get new glasses. There is also an adjustment period with hearing aids. High quality sound in a new hearing aid does not happen by magic. That’s not how it works.
There is an adaptation period your ears will need if you’re new to wearing hearing aids. Adjusting to your new hearing aids quickly is all about consistency.
After you put them in leave them in. You should resist the urge to keep removing them. Think about why you might be uncomfortable.
- Are you overwhelmed by the background noise? Every day when you first put them in you should go to a quiet place for a few minutes. Sit and talk with a friend. Ask them if you are talking too loud. By doing this, you can balance out the sound by making adjustments.
- If it is uncomfortable, take the hearing aid out for short time periods until you get used to it. If the hearing aids just don’t really fit right, go back to the retailer and have them examined.
- Is the audio too loud? Perhaps you should turn down the volume.
Giving up is the biggest mistake you can make. If you just forget about your hearing aids, shoving them in a drawer somewhere, they won’t do you any good.
3. Neglect Getting a Professional Fitting Upfront
There is a lot involved in finding the right hearing aids, and it begins before you even start shopping. While at your hearing exam at the audiologist, it’s important to be honest about what you can and can’t hear. Hearing aids that aren’t right for your type or level of hearing loss can be the result. Some hearing aids pick up a high-frequency sound by design for instance. These are not the right hearing aids for you if you don’t hear mid or low tones.
In some circumstances, hearing aids may not really fit your lifestyle. Perhaps you spend two-thirds of your day on the phone, so you will want hearing aids with Bluetooth technology.
While you are still in the trial period for your new hearing aids, take note of the times where you wanted your hearing aids to do something different or when it felt like they didn’t work right. Your hearing aid technician can discuss that with you if you take them back. An adjustment might be needed or you may need a different device.
Make sure to purchase your hearing aids from a retailer that does fittings, too. They won’t work if they are too big for your ears.
4. Sloppy Maintenance
Successful upkeep of your hearing aids starts with understanding how and when to do it. Take the time to learn how to care for your hearing aids even if this isn’t your first pair.
There are some things you don’t want to do with your hearing aids in like using hair care products when you have them in or taking them out without turning them off so read your documentation.
Additionally, read the troubleshooting instructions and the maintenance guide.
Understand precisely how to clean your hearing aids because that’s a big part of correct maintenance. Don’t quit at just cleaning the device, either. You also have to properly clean your ears.
If you want to get the most out of your hearing aids, the ball is in your court. The process begins as you are shopping for them and proceeds when you begin wearing them. Schedule an exam with a hearing professional to learn what type of hearing aid will best fit your needs.
An older person with an out-dated hearing aid saying “what’s that sonny”, is what the majority of people think about when hearing loss is mentioned. Hearing loss affects more than just your ability to hear and has increased sharply among every age group. If it is not treated it can cause startling effects. Based only on these four, it’s worth having your hearing tested.
1. Cognitive Decline
Hearing is a sense that you may not associate with other health troubles but there is a connection. The most significant is the impact hearing loss has on your cognitive functions and brain health. Hearing decline is actually the cause of certain conditions which some people associate with aging.
The brain has an extraordinary ability to adapt to sensory changes, but that backfires when it comes to hearing loss. Sound is processed through the inner ear in a way the brain can understand if hearing is normal. This mechanism enables you to tell the difference between the music playing on your car stereo and the music the ice cream truck plays as it heads down your street.
The brain encounters sound every microsecond whether you think you are hearing something or not. There is still ambient sound around you even if you are relaxing in a quiet room, such as air hissing in through a vent. You don’t notice it because your brain filters it out.
The brain comes to expect this stimulus. The brain doesn’t get the same quality or quantity of sound when there is hearing loss. It strains to find the missing sound thinking it should still be present. Your risk of dementia is increased as the absence of stimuli causes cognitive decline as a result of increased stress on the brain. Seniors have a forty percent higher instance of memory loss and cognitive decline if they have hearing loss, according to studies. Even more persuasive, people with hearing loss that get treatment such as hearings aids have been shown to improve cognitive ability.
2. Gut Problems
That seems like a stretch, but it’s not. The changes you experience due to hearing loss have been related to side effects like:
- Muscle tension
- Upset stomach
The constant strain can cause intestinal issues like:
- Abdominal cramps
More severe conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome will occur as your discomfort increases.
3. Mental Health Concerns
The most obvious side effect is probably the affect hearing loss has on your mental health. A 2014 study found that an increase in depression correlates to a decline of hearing in adults under the age of 70.
People who suffer from hearing loss have a tough time communicating with others, according to JAMA Otolaryngology Neck Surgery, and that likely accounts for the depression. The research indicates that for women between the ages of 18 to 69 the depression is more pronounced.
Over the years, many mental health conditions have been connected to neglected hearing loss such as:
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of focus
People stop trying if they can’t communicate effectively and that causes depression and psychological strain.
4. Troubled Relationships
Hearing loss impacts more than just your physical and mental health. Statistically, people make less money if they have hearing loss. A 2007 study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found individuals with untreated hearing loss make on average 20,000 dollars less a year than their hearing colleagues.
Hearing loss creates problems in personal relationships, too. A 2007 survey found 35 percent of the respondents with hearing loss had trouble maintaining relationships. The survey showed:
- Forty-three percent of men indicated that they had trouble with relationships due to their hearing loss
- Most women indicated that hearing loss was a significant concern when communicating with friends and family members.
- Thirty-five percent of men reported they agreed to treatment for hearing loss because their spouse or partner pressured them into it
- Thirty-seven percent of women questioned reported being frustrated when someone who has hearing loss wasn’t listening to them
Hearing loss has an effect on your relationships as well as your health and your self-esteem. When you get hearing aids many of these side effects go away and that’s good news. Make an appointment with a hearing care specialist to find out what option works best for you.
Whether it’s only with you once in a while or all of the time, the ringing of tinnitus in your ears is annoying. There may be a more appropriate word than annoying. Makes-you-want-to-bash-your-head-against-the-desk aggravating and downright frustrating might fit better. That sound that you can’t turn off is a problem however you decide to describe it. What can you do, though? Can that ringing actually be stopped?
Why do You Have Tinnitus And What Exactly is it?
Start by finding out more about the condition that is causing the ringing, clicking, buzzing, or roaring you hear. It’s estimated as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population endures tinnitus, which is the medical term for that ringing. But why?
Tinnitus per se is not a condition but a sign of something else. Hearing loss is often the leading cause of tinnitus. Hearing loss often comes along with tinnitus as a side effect. It’s not really clear why tinnitus happens when there is a decline in a person’s hearing. That the brain is creating the sound to fill the void is the present theory.
You encounter thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of sounds every day. Some obvious examples are car horns, the radio, and people talking. The sound of air coming through a vent or the spinning blades of a ceiling fan are less obvious. You don’t normally hear these sounds, but that’s only because your brain decides you don’t need to.
The main point is, hearing these sounds is “normal” for your brain. Shut half those sounds off and how would the brain respond? Confusion occurs in the portion of the brain that hears sound. It may create the phantom tinnitus sounds to fill in the blanks because it recognizes sound should be there.
There are also other possible causes of tinnitus, however. Severe health issues can also be the cause, such as:
- Head or neck trauma
- High blood pressure
- Turbulent blood flow
- A reaction to medication
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMJ)
- Meniere’s disease
- Head or neck tumors
- Acoustic neuroma, a tumor that grows on the cranial nerve
- Poor circulation
Any of these can cause tinnitus. You may get the ringing even though you hear fine or possibly after an injury or accident. Before searching for other methods of dealing with it, you need to consult a doctor to have a hearing exam.
What to do About Tinnitus
You need to find out why you have it before you can begin to figure out what to do about it. In some cases, the only thing that helps is to give the brain what it wants. If the lack of sound is causing your tinnitus, you need to generate some. A sound as basic as a fan running in the background may create enough noise to switch off the ringing, it doesn’t need to be much.
A white noise generator is a kind of technology that is made specifically for this purpose. They imitate a natural sound that is calming such as the ocean waves or rain falling. You can hear the sound when you sleep if you get one with pillow speakers.
Another thing that also works is hearing aids. The sounds the brain is listening for can be turned up using quality hearing aids. Because your hearing is normalized, phantom sounds are no longer created by the brain.
For the majority of people, the answer is a combination of tricks. You could wear hearing aids during the day and use a white noise machine at night, for example.
If the tinnitus is more severe and soft sounds don’t work there are also medications that you can get. Certain antidepressants can silence this noise, for example, Xanax.
Handle You Tinnitus With Lifestyle Changes
It can also help if you make a few lifestyle modifications. Determining if there are triggers is a good place to begin. Write down in a journal what’s happening when the tinnitus begins. Be specific:
- Are you drinking alcohol or smoking a cigarette?
- Is there a specific sound that is triggering it?
- What did you just eat?
- Did you just drink a cup of coffee or soda?
- Did you just take medication even over-the-counter products like Tylenol?
The more precise your information, the faster you’ll see the patterns that might be inducing the ringing. Meditation, exercise, and biofeedback can help you avoid stress which can also be the cause.
An Ounce of Prevention
Preventing tinnitus from the beginning is the best way to deal with it. Protect your hearing as much as possible by:
- Turning down the volume on everything
- Using ear protection when you’re going to be around loud noises
- Taking care of your cardiovascular system
- Not wearing earbuds or headphones when listening to music
That means you have to eat right, get lots of exercise and take high blood pressure medication if it’s prescribed. Lastly, schedule a hearing exam to rule out treatable problems which increase your risk of hearing loss and the tinnitus that comes along with it.
Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a powerful impact on your overall life. Relationships can be strained and daily pursuits can be interrupted by loss of hearing.
A study conducted by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a more significant impact on quality of life than:
The loss of hearing, when left untreated, can definitely get in the way of your lifestyle, nevertheless, there are many who don’t get help. A perceived stigma attached to hearing loss is one reason why people who suffer from hearing loss don’t get the help they need, say researchers. People are scared they will be treated differently if people learn they are dealing with hearing loss. It doesn’t matter how old they are, this perception can distort the way they see themselves.
Many Others Also Have Hearing Loss
As lifespans grow longer, hearing loss has become more commonplace, in spite of the fact that it can impact people of any age, The World Health Organization reports that over 1.1 billion people are at risk of hearing loss and the perceptions that come along with it, many of them young adults. Hearing loss is, in fact, one of a young adult’s most significant health threats. Persistent resistance to getting help continues even as the number of people with hearing loss grows. How is one’s overall health affected?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
By definition, stigma means a brand that marks someone as inferior and that pretty much says it all. A lot of people who suffer from hearing loss are concerned they will seem older than they are, less healthy, or less capable.
Historically, there is some basis for this worry. A 2010 study revealed people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But that study is based on data almost a decade old. As hearing loss becomes more widespread, this perception is changing. Hearing loss technology is becoming Stylish, fun, and cutting edge. Even celebrities are openly wearing hearing aids. Research shows that some other age related health concerns, such as dementia, could be slowed or even prevented by getting treatment. This is changing peoples mind about hearing loss and also their hearts. Some people still won’t seek help in spite of this research.
Why Does It Matter?
It is simple to say that perception doesn’t matter, but if this fear is keeping you from seeking help, recognize that there are health repercussions for not getting treatment. People get colonoscopies, according to an AARP study, more often than they get hearing tests. Not having a hearing exam because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.
Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?
These physical consequences of not dealing with your hearing loss will affect your general health;
Struggling to hear makes just about everything in life more challenging. Just attempting to hear conversations and everyday sounds is a difficult task. You also have to be extra careful to protect your safety because you can’t hear alert sounds or cars coming. Just working hard to hear common sounds can cause chronic fatigue.
Common Headaches and Migraines
You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much fear and tension. You might not recognize there is a connection, but studies have revealed a link between migraines and certain types of hearing loss. Even if you don’t normally get migraines, your brain has to make up for the sounds you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
You might also be facing mental health concerns as a result of your untreated hearing loss like depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is increased by hearing loss and it can also result in dementia. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go hand-in-hand with these other challenges.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted
Taking the first step and seek out help if you want to conquer these negative perceptions. Hearing loss is a treatable condition. If you decide not to get treatment, you should recognize that you are the one who suffers.
You also might be stressing for no reason because not all hearing loss is permanent. You can’t be sure what the issue is unless you make an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be as simple as earwax buildup.
Acknowledging you have hearing loss is not enough, it’s important to do something about it. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. There are hearing aids that are less noticeable if your worried about people learning you have hearing loss.
You can prove everyone wrong if you deal with your hearing loss in the right way. You can be just as active and healthy as everyone else, so wear your hearing aids with self-confidence. Your attitude will change people’s perception not only of you, but of everyone who has hearing loss. Increase awareness and keep healthy by not surrendering to negative perceptions.
You don’t have to be less able if you have hearing loss, because it’s actually a medical condition. Get your hearing tested today.
Hearing aids and glasses probably seem like oil and water, but is there a way to get these two very necessary accessories to play nice? If you are considering a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more pertinent. The question is, can I use them both comfortably? The answer is yes.
There are some things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they invest in new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are a Few Styles of Hearing Aids That Could Work For Your Situation
There are quite a few factors, in general, to think about when getting new hearing aids. Hearing aids come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. You can even get a cool color if you want. Modern hearing aids are not the same as the ones that grandpa had.
Start your research by really learning about what types of hearing aids are available. They divide into three basic categories:
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is a lot like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them nearly invisible.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold resting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit models are basically the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name indicates, this format of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
ITE and ITC models will allow people who wear glasses to avoid many hurdles. The features of your new hearing aid should be reviewed after deciding on a style.
Learning About The Features
Essentially, it’s really the features that should drive your purchase as you look for hearing aids, not the shape. Hearing aid technology is evolving all the time, so features change. Watch for some of these common ones:
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while using a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective if you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or at the movies.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to augment speech.
- Directional microphone – This helps pinpoint the sound you need to hear while you are in a noisy place. For instance, if someone is talking to you at a cafe, you can hear their speech clearly despite the noise around you.
Determining the right features to fit your lifestyle is the goal. After that choosing the style should be easy.
What if You Want BTE Hearing Aids?
Glasses and BTE hearing aids can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these essential accessories in the correct way, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- Using both hands, and in a forward motion, practice removing your glasses. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of removing them this way. Each time you knock off your hearing aids, though, will help to reinforce the practice.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before purchasing. There is the traditional version, which is a little bit bulky but will still work with glasses. The other choice is a fairly new style called mini BTE. Reduced feedback and improved comfort are gained by making the behind the ear part smaller. The only certain way to tell which one will work best for you is to try them both out.
- Your hearing aid should be put in only after you put on your glasses. Placement of the hearing aid unit is a little bit more flexible so you can work it in around the arm of the glasses to make it comfortable. After positioning the hearing aid, check in a mirror to be certain it’s not hanging from your outer ear.
There are some people who will have to stay with ITE or ITC models. BTE devices will be a hassle if, for example, you take your glasses off a lot. Children will commonly have problems with this kind of hearing aid and also adults with small ears. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to see which style is best for you. Trying the different styles is the only way you will know for sure which style works best for your needs.
It’s typical to have hearing loss as you grow older but is it necessary? The fact is, the majority of adults will start to perceive a change in their hearing as they get older. After listening to sound for years, you will notice even slight changes in your hearing ability. Prevention is the best way of managing the extent of the loss and how rapidly it progresses, which is the case with most things in life. Later in your life, the extent of your hearing loss will depend on the choices you make now. When it comes to your hearing health, it’s never too late to care or too early to start. You really want to keep your hearing from getting worse, but what can be done?
Comprehending Hearing Loss
It begins with understanding how hearing works and what causes most hearing loss. Age-associated hearing loss, known medically as presbycusis, affects one in three people in America between the ages of 64 and 74. It is an accumulation of damage to the ears over time. Presbycusis is slight at first and then gets progressively worse.
Sound comes into the ear as pressure waves that are amplified a number of times before they get to the inner ear. Once there, the sound jiggles very small hairs cells, causing them to bump structures which release chemicals to create an electrical message which the brain translates into sound.
Failing over time, because of the constant vibration, the tiny hairs eventually quit. These hair cells won’t fix themselves, either, so once gone, they’re gone. Without those cells to produce the electrical impulses, the sound is never translated into a language the brain can understand.
How exactly do these hair cells get damaged? There are lots of contributing factors such as ordinary aging. Sound waves come in various strengths, though; that is what’s known as volume. If the sound is at a higher volume, then the power of the sound wave is greater, and the hair cells take more damage.
Loud noise is surely a factor but there are others too. Also, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic ailments will take a toll.
How to Protect Your Hearing
You need to depend on consistent hearing hygiene to protect your ears over time. The volume of sound is the biggest problem. Sound is far more unsafe when it’s at a louder volume or decibel level. You may think that it takes a very high decibel level to cause damage, but it actually doesn’t. A noise is too loud if you have to raise your voice to talk over it.
Even just a few loud minutes, not to mention frequent exposure, will be enough to have an adverse effect later on. Taking precautions when you expect to be subjected to loud sound, fortunately, is pretty easy. Use hearing protection when you:
- Do something where the noise is loud.
- Go to a performance
- Ride a motorcycle
- Run power equipment
Avoid using devices designed to amplify and isolate sound, also, including headphones or earbuds. The old-fashioned way is a less dangerous way to listen to music and that means at a lower volume.
Every-Day Noises That Can Become a Problem
Over time, even everyday sounds will become a hearing threat. When you get an appliance for your home, consider the noise rating of the product. It’s far better to use appliances with lower noise ratings.
Don’t worry about speaking up if the noise gets too loud when you are at a restaurant or party. A restaurant manager may be willing to turn down the background music for you or possibly even move you to another table away from loud speakers or clanging dishes.
Be Noise Conscious When You Are at Work
Take the proper steps to protect your hearing if your job subjects you to loud noises. If your manager doesn’t provide hearing protection, get your own. Here are some products that can protect your ears:
Your employer will probably be willing to listen if you bring up your worries.
Give up Smoking
Hearing impairment is yet another good reason to quit smoking. Studies show that cigarette smokers are much more likely to experience age-related hearing loss. This is true if you are exposed to second-hand smoke, as well.
Check And Double Check Your Medications
Certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they damage your hearing. A few typical culprits include:
- Narcotic analgesics
- Certain antibiotics
- Cardiac medication
- Antidepressants and mood stabilizers
There are many other examples that go on this list, among them some over the counter and some prescription medications. If you use pain relievers, do so only when necessary and check the labels. If you are uncertain about a drug, consult your doctor before taking it.
Treat Your Body Well
Regular exercise and a good diet are things you should do for your general health but they are also important to your hearing health as well. Do what is necessary to deal with your high blood pressure like taking your medication and lowering salt consumption. You have a lower risk of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, if you take good care of your body and this leads to lower chances of hearing loss.
Finally, have your hearing examined if you believe you might have hearing loss or if you hear ringing in your ears. The sooner you acknowledge there is a problem, the sooner you can do something about it, like getting hearing aids. Schedule an appointment with a hearing expert to keep any issues from getting even worse. It’s never too late.
What is the plan when you’ve realized that you need to invest in hearing aids? Hearing aids are soon to become an essential part of your life so choose wisely. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can be found only on the internet. If you truly think that you can get a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your decision. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
Even though they seem to be a bargain, those internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more over time. They are very poor in quality and don’t work very well. You have to buy new batteries so often that it winds up costing you a lot.
Amplifying sound is all these low-quality devices do. Modern, top quality digital hearing aids incorporate various technologies to create a device customized to your needs. You can decide to go cheap and buy one online but you will lose out on several essential features.
You have to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it can make your life very difficult and might wind up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap with your hearing aids. There may be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get the ones you really need.
Analog Vs. Digital
A better quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent also. Analog units are outdated and are not worth considering.
It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. If you don’t know the difference you may mistake an analog device for a digital. Low-quality analog signals are what the older out-dated hearing aids process. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.
Selecting The Perfect Features
When you go shopping for hearing aids think about the two elements which are features and style. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some common features to consider include:
- Environmental noise control
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls
- Variable programming
- Noise reduction
- Directional microphones
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
There are many styles available to you, as you will realize when you begin researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Open Fit
A pretty good description of each style is offered by the names. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold that rests in the opening of the ear canal.
As is apparent by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal and that means that you don’t see them so much.
RIC devices and RIE hearing aids have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a piece behind the ear. Both styles tend to be less noticeable than BTE hearing aids.
As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a type of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feel of something stuck in their ear.
When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into account, it’s time to decide which one that would best fit your needs. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will want a device that has Bluetooth capability. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is ideal for listening to lectures or seminars.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered
You want to purchase your hearing aids from a qualified retailer, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right decision if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.
A good quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to check that out as well. What does it cover? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?
Before buying hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, also. There could be many reasons you might observe a change in your hearing and they don’t all require hearing aids.
An ear infection is the accepted name, but it’s medically named otitis media or AOM. Ear infections just like this are normally found in infants and young children but they can also affect adults, as well, especially during or after a cold or sinus infection. If you have a bad tooth, that can also lead to an ear infection.
Hearing loss is one of the primary signs and symptoms of an infection inside the middle ear. But is it permanent? You might not realize it but the answer can be complicated. Ear infections have a lot of things happening. There is damage which can be caused that you need to understand and also how this injury can impact your ability to hear.
Otitis Media, What is it?
Basically, otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. Bacteria is the most likely cause, but it could be caused by any micro-organism.
Ear infections are identified by where they manifest in the ear. When the infection is in the pinna, or outer ear, or in the front of the eardrum, the condition is called otitis externa or swimmer’s ear. An inner ear infection, also called labyrinthitis is brought about by bacteria in the cochlea.
The space in front of the cochlea but behind the eardrum is called the middle ear. This area has the three ossicles, or tiny bones, that vibrate the membranes of the inner ear. The eardrum can actually break due to the pressure from this kind of infection, which is likely to be extremely painful. This pressure is not only painful, it causes hearing loss. Sound waves are then hindered by the accumulation of infectious material in the ear canal.
A middle ear infection includes the following symptoms:
- Leakage from the ear
- Pain in the ear
- Diminished ability to hear
Usually, hearing will come back in the course of time. The pressure dissipates and the ear canal opens. This will only happen when the infection gets better. There are some exceptions, though.
Chronic Ear Infections
At least once in their life, most people experience an ear infection. For some others, the issues become chronic, so they have infections again and again. Because of complications, these people’s hearing loss is more serious and can possibly become permanent.
Conductive Hearing Loss From Chronic Ear Infections
Conductive hearing loss can be brought on by repeated ear infections. Put simply, sound waves don’t get to the inner ear at the proper intensity. By the time the sound reaches the tiny hairs in the inner ear, they are amplified by the mechanisms of the ear canal and reach their maximum power. When you have conductive hearing loss, something changes along that route and the sound isn’t amplified quite as much.
Bacteria are very busy inside your ear when you have an ear infection. They need to eat to live and multiply, so they break down those mechanisms that amplify sound waves. The damage is in most cases done to the tiny little bones and the eardrum. The bones are very delicate and it doesn’t take much to destroy them. These bones will never grow back once they are gone. You don’t just get your hearing back once this damage happens. Surgically putting in prosthetic bones is one possible way that a doctor may be able to correct this. The eardrum may have scar tissue after it repairs itself, which will affect its ability to vibrate. Surgery can fix that, also.
What Can You do to Prevent This Permanent Hearing Loss?
If you believe that you might have an ear infection, call a doctor immediately. You shouldn’t wait if you want to protect your hearing. Also, don’t overlook chronic ear infections. The more severe the infections you have, the more harm they cause. Finally, take steps to avoid colds, allergies, and sinus infections because that is where ear infections usually start. It’s time to stop smoking because it leads to chronic respiratory problems which will, in turn, lead to ear infections.
If you are still having trouble hearing after having an ear infection, consult a doctor. It could be possible that you have some damage, but that is not the only thing that can cause conductive hearing loss. If you find out that it’s permanent, hearing aids can help you hear again. You should schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist to get more info on hearing aids.
Does your hearing aid sound a bit like a teapot right now? The well-known issue of feedback inside of your hearing aids can most likely be fixed. Understanding how hearing aids function and what is behind that incessant whistling sound will get you a little closer to getting rid of it. So what can you do about it?
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Hearing aids, basically, are actually simply a microphone and a speaker. The speaker plays the sound into your ear which the microphone picks up. It’s what happens between the microphone and speaker that becomes a little complicated.
After the sound is picked up by the microphone it gets transformed to an analog signal to be further processed. The analog form is then converted into digital by the device’s processor. The sound is clarified after becoming digital by the device’s properties and controls.
The digital signal processor then changes the signal back to analog and transmits it to a receiver. You’re ears don’t hear these electrical signals which were once a sound. The sound waves, which the receiver converts the signal back to, are then transmitted through your ears. Ironically, the brain interprets sound by electrical signals, so elements in the cochlea translate it back into electrical signals for the brain to understand.
This all sounds very complicated but it takes place in about a nanosecond. In spite of all of this state-of-the-art technology, the device still has feedback.
Feedback Loops And How They Happen
Feedback happens in other sound systems besides hearing aids. If the sound system uses a microphone, chances are there is some feedback. In essence, the microphone is collecting sound that is produced by the receiver and re-amplifying it. After coming into the microphone and being processed, the receiver then converts the signal back into a sound wave. A feedback loop is then created after the microphone picks up the sound again and re-amplifies it. The system doesn’t like hearing itself over and over again and that makes it scream.
Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?
A feedback loop may be brought about by several difficulties. One of the most common causes is turning the hearing aid on while it’s still in your hand and then putting it in your ear. Your hearing aid begins processing sound waves right when you hit the “on” switch. The sound coming from the receiver bounces off of your hand back into the microphone causing the feedback. The solution to this concern is quite simple; wait until the hearing aid is snuggly in your ear before pressing the switch.
Feedback can also be caused when your hearing aid isn’t fitting properly. Maybe you’ve lost some weight since you had your hearing aids fitted, or if your hearing aids are older, you might have a loose fit. If that’s the case, you should head back to where you got it and have the piece re-adjusted so it will fit your ear properly again.
Feedback And Earwax
With regards to hearing aids, earwax is not a friend. Earwax accumulation on the casing of the hearing aid stops it from fitting properly. And we are already aware that a loose fitting device will be the cause of feedback. If you consult your retailer or perhaps if you read the manual, you will learn how to safely clean this earwax off.
Perhaps It’s Simply Broke
When you’ve tried everything else but the feedback continues, this is what you do next. Feedback can definitely be caused by a broken hearing aid. The casing may have a crack in it somewhere, for example. You should never try to fix this at home. Schedule an appointment with a hearing aid specialist to get a repair.
When is Feedback Not Really Feedback
There is a chance that what you are hearing is actually not feedback at all. There are a few other things that can go wrong with your hearing aids, like a low battery, which will give a warning sound. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it a tone or a beep, or does it actually sound like feedback? If your device has this feature, the manual will tell you.
Feedback doesn’t discriminate by brand or style. Most hearing aids are capable of producing it and the cause is usually quite clear.