It Is National Audiology Awareness Month

October is National Audiology Awareness Month. Hearing loss is one of the most important health problems that Americans face today. Click on the graphic below to read more.

 

NAAM Poster

4 Factors in a Successful Hearing Aid Fitting

Not everyone does well with their hearing devices, not all hearing aids are created equally. Here are 4 factors which influence the success or failure of wearing hearing aids.

First, how severe is the hearing loss? Some hearing losses are fairly simple and straight forward to fit using today’s improved hearing aid technology. Mild high frequency sensorineural losses come to mind. Other losses can be severe to profound, causing distortion of sound—even with state of the art technology. The brain may no longer be able to process what is being said clearly. Often I’ve heard; “I can hear, I just can’t understand”.

The second issue facing a successful hearing aid fitting is: what product will you decide to invest in? I have told patients for years; “You get what you pay for”. There are wonderful hearing aids on the market right now that folks actually enjoy wearing. These products come from our leading manufactures that have proven over time to produce high quality sound processing as well as reliable durable products which do not need constant repair. These products are not cheap, nor do they come from the internet or big box stores. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Third, who is your person? An audiologist has a minimum of 6-8 years of college training. They have your best interest in mind. An audiologist will work with several brands of devices, ask questions, and listen to your needs to provide you with the best solution for your individual situation instead of assuming one size fits all. A hearing instrument specialist has a minimum of a high school education and basic training, typically based on how to close the sale.

Finally, the most important factor to a successful hearing aid fitting is you. Are you motivated? Do you genuinely want to hear well? Can you put behind you the idea of wearing a device in each ear that people may see? How you look with an untreated hearing loss is much more visible than any hearing aid will ever be.

When it is time for you or a loved one to consider hearing aids remember these factors. You may not be able to control your hearing loss (although you can take steps) but you can seek the advice of a local audiologist who deals with several manufactures. Take the audiologist’s recommendations—that is why you made the appointment. Decide to accept your hearing loss and move ahead with a positive attitude.

7 High-Tech Reasons You Should Finally Deal with Your Hearing Loss

Finally Deal with Your Hearing Loss!

Lifting your mood, boosting your energy, protecting your earnings, super-charging your social life — and even keeping your mind sharp: These are just some of the many spoils that come with facing and dealing with a noise-induced hearing loss that has been slowly but persistently creeping up on you.

The quality-of-life and feel-good benefits of treating even just mild hearing loss brought on by years of loud music, power tools, high-volume headphones, motor-sport engines, crowded night clubs and bars, noisy restaurants, and raucous sporting events are plenty. But in this digital age of smart phones and wearable technologies, the draw for many solution-minded consumers may be in the technology itself. Super-smart, super-sleek, super-convenient, and super-sophisticated — today’s hearing aids give you a multitude of reasons to address that hearing loss you’ve been trying so hard to ignore.

Consider these inspiring facts about today’s highly functional, high-powered hearing aids. They just may get you to finally do something about your hearing loss and make your life easier.

1. They’re cool, sleek, discreet and virtually invisible. New technologies are all about function, style, and effortless living. The latest hearing aids offer all three. The designs are incredibly attractive with smooth, modern contours. And they’re much smaller than even conventional Bluetooth earpieces. Many of the latest hearing aids are so tiny, they sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, out of sight. You might say that aesthetically, hearing aids have had a complete makeover.

2. They cut out background noise so you hear what you want to hear. Even with the best of hearing, it’s tough to hear people when it’s noisy. But many state-of-the-art hearing aids not only reduce unwanted noise, they also scan the listening environment and automatically adapt to it — even in wind. There are hearing aids that can actually “geo-tag” a location. So if it’s convenient for you to network at a certain coffee shop, your hearing aids will know when you’re there and adjust themselves accordingly. For the record, it’s not by chance that the latest state-of-the-art hearing aids are so adaptable to changing noise scenarios. Recordings of virtually every imaginable listening situation have been used to create algorithms and “train” these amazing mini-computers for your ears.

3. They capture the natural richness and variation of speech, so it’s easier to follow the conversation wherever you are. Let’s face it, one of the most pesky aspects of not hearing as well as you once did is not catching everything people are saying. New technologies not only help you decipher speech details in music and noise, but they better preserve and clarify the more subtle sounds of language — like the consonants B, S, F, T, and Z — so you can really follow what someone is saying. No faking.

4. You can hear from all directions — even when scoping out what’s in the fridge. Advanced directional microphone technology lets you hear from the back and side — something really important when driving a car. But it also makes it easier to hear voices more clearly in other everyday settings — like when your head is in the fridge and your significant other is talking at your back. Yes, that’s one great feature.

5. Digital, Bluetooth, and wireless capabilities keep you connected when it counts. Digital, wireless hearing aids are the now the norm. That means many new technologies let you stream sound directly into your hearing aids — at the perfect volume — from your smartphone, laptop, conference-room speakerphone, home entertainment system, and other Bluetooth devices. Music, phone calls, podcasts, videos, whatever you listen to through your iPhone (or iPad and iPod for that matter), you can listen to through many hearing aids. Some even let you control the volume and other personalized sound settings with an app on your smartphone. Several types of wireless accessories give you a listening boost by bridging the gap between you and the speaker, making it easier to hear in loud or large places. Using a wireless mini-microphone — with cool, contoured designs, some even looking like a pen— placed on the restaurant or conference-room table, or near anyone you want to hear, makes it feel like they’re speaking directly and clearly into your ears, no matter how noisy the setting. You adjust the volume.

6. State-of-the-art comfort and convenience mean you’ll always want to use them. Super-small, super-light, customized, functional, and ergonomically designed, hearing aids today are more comfy than ever — yet tough enough to withstand real life. For most of the newest hearing aids, there’s virtually no feedback or whistling thanks to advances in digital technologies. And most are hypoallergenic with nanotechnology coating to keep them clean and dry. Some are even fully waterproof, so you can swim and shower in them, no problem. Plus, today’s greater-than-ever audio-processing goes hand-in-hand with less battery usage. Some hearing aids are even rechargeable, eliminating the need to change batteries altogether. But the convenience and comfort don’t end there. Some brands let you set up reminders for things like appointments or taking medicine. Perhaps the most “peace-of-mind-preserving” life hack, though, is leading-edge technology that helps sooth the ringing in your ears (tinnitus) in a way that suits you.

7. There are even more disruptive hearing technologies on the horizon. Totally out-of-sight, semi-permanent hearing aids that stay in for two to three months let you shower and sleep in them, no fuss. Perhaps the most futuristic glimpse of hearing aids is tied to recent ground-breaking studies revealing a significant link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. Hearing aid manufacturers are deep in the trenches working to create future break-through technologies that will make it as easy as possible for the brain to decode speech and other sounds. Reducing cognitive load — that is, drawing fewer resources from the brain just to “hear” — is a very good thing. After all, we really do hear with our brains and not with our ears. Some hearing aids with these technologies are already available. Yes, leading-edge hearing aids are here to help you keep your mind sharp and your life easier by hearing your best at every age — starting today.

What does it mean to be an HIS?

HIS is an abbreviation for Hearing Instrument Specialist. Typically an HIS has a high school diploma or GED, and 6 weeks sales training from the firm they are employed by.

What does it mean to be an FAAA?

FAAA stands for Fellow in the American Academy of Audiology.

The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization of, by, and for audiologists. The active membership of more than 12,000 is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.

What does it mean to be an MA?

MA is an abbreviation of Master of Arts. A graduate degree, from a University received after a 4 year bachelor’s degree has been earned. An Audiologist who holds a Master of Arts degree specializing in the field of Audiology has completed at least 6 years of formal university education after a high school diploma.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Summer

The World Health Organization (WHO), said that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults, ages 12 to 35, are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to damaging levels of sound at various noisy entertainment venues and the unsafe use of personal audio devices such as iPods, car and home radio systems. Along with this, repeated exposure to loud noise, over an extended period of time, also presents serious risks to hearing health.

Here’s a quick hearing tip: If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone who is within arm’s length, the noise is in the dangerous range.

Here are the warning signs of dangerous noise levels:

  • Pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area
  • Ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise
  • You have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise

Summer is in full swing and is full of fun, but is also full of noise. In the summer, there’s several outdoor and indoor concerts, fireworks shows, noisy parties, and other various events that present high levels of dangerous noise.

The Hearing Consultants would like to encourage people of all ages to pack up your earplugs along with that sunscreen and to follow these 5 tips for protecting your hearing this summer.  

1) Plug your ears and walk away.

If a loud noise takes you by surprise, quickly plug your ears with your fingers and quickly walk away. Increasing the distance between you and the source of the sound will help reduce the intensity (or decibels) at which the sound is reaching your ears.

2) Use earplugs.

When you know you’ll be around loud sounds, use earplugs. Disposable earplugs, made of foam or silicone, are often available at local pharmacies. They’re practical because you can still hear music and conversation when they’re in your ears. But when they fit snuggly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.

3) Limit your time in noisy environments.

Do all you can to limit the length of time you spend in a noisy environment. When you do participate in noisy activities, alternate them with periods of quiet. And remember to use ear protection.

4) Turn it down.

When listening to smartphones and other electronics, keep them at a low volume. Importantly, limit your use of headphones and ear buds. Remember, it’s not just the volume that matters. It’s also the duration of time spent listening.

5) Get a Hearing Test.

Visit a local hearing healthcare professional like the Hearing Consultants for custom-fitted ear protection and a hearing test. A hearing healthcare professional can provide a hearing test to determine your baseline hearing level and determine if you have any hearing loss that should be addressed. Hearing care professionals also can provide custom ear protection to ensure a proper fit.

Protecting your hearing is very important. For more information on hearing loss and to take the first step to better hearing, Request a Consultation with the Hearing Consultants. 

Why cheap hearing aids are never a good idea

Googling “cheap hearing aids” turns up dozens of hearing assistant devices for as little as $20 and it’s easy to see how a customer might be tempted into purchasing one.  Several “big box” stores have also entered the hearing aid industry by providing name brands for discount prices.

As audiologists who have been in the hearing healthcare field for years, we’d like to discuss why purchasing a cheap hearing aid is never a good idea!

One very important word: Service

Hearing aid vendors who sell at discount prices have fewer resources left over for service and as hearing aids become more high-tech, getting the right fit and adjustments is often the difference between success and failure for the hearing aid wearer.

No two individuals’ hearing losses are exactly the same and a trained audiologist has access to a wide variety of models and can help the user select the best one for the user’s specific hearing loss. Along with patient-specific hearing aids, trained audiologists will also know about special products for tinnitus or single-sided deafness as well as how to make products work together to make talking on the phone or hearing the TV easier.

Don’t cut corners on hearing aid fit and adjustment

Once the correct hearing aid has been chosen, a dedicated audiologist makes sure the device fits properly and shows the wearer how to put it on, clean and maintain it for longevity. The trained audiologist also helps adjust the hearing aid’s programs to provide the best fit for the user and their personal preferences and/or lifestyle. These adjustments require a trained hand since the advances in hearing aids in recent years have made them high-tech devices.

Cutting corners on hearing aid fit and adjustments can mean that the user won’t be able to utilize the hearing device to its full potential. It can also mean the hearing aid will be uncomfortable, and in turn, worn less often.

Disadvantages of buying cheap hearing aids

Cheaper hearing aids bought online are often less sophisticated. Many provide only sound amplification, which doesn’t distinguish between the different types of sounds: conversations versus music versus background noise. Even the higher-quality hearing aids you can purchase online don’t come with the hands-on, custom fitting of a trained expert and definitely don’t offer any in-person support and ongoing professional relationship the way a dedicated audiologist can.

Having a friendly, familiar face who knows the wearer’s medical history that answers questions and provides support is particularly important for older users of hearing aids. Some online vendors do provide an online “chat” function for questions, and can adjust hearing aids that are sent back to them, but this can involve a lot of unnecessary runs back and forth to the post office.

What you get from an audiologist

Dedicated and trained audiologists are experts at hearing device selection, fitting, and precise adjustment that maximizes the hearing aids’ high-tech features. Patients who visit an audiologist enjoy the benefits of a trained professional’s training, time, and personal attention.  Those who try to get a deal on hearing aids may find themselves with low-quality, ill-fitting hearing aids they wear infrequently and have to replace regularly – and ultimately not saving much money at all.

2014 Monkeys Mailer

Why EVERY Employer Should Promote Hearing Healthcare

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to get back into the swing of being active, healthy, and alive – which includes your hearing!

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is reaching out to employers about hearing healthcare and is offering a free and confidential online hearing check on the BHI website to help workers determine whether or not they should seek out a hearing healthcare professional to get a comprehensive hearing test.

Hearing health is tied to several aspects of employee wellbeing and should be on the front-of-mind to EVERY employer, especially to those who have a corporate wellness initiative and/or health management program. The earlier the hearing loss is detected and treated, the better of the patient will be. Hearing aids, along with other appropriate treatments and workplace accommodations, can help individuals function better while on the job and more importantly, enjoy a better quality of life.

95% of employees who suspect they suffer from hearing loss and have not sought out treatment reported to the “Listen Hear!” survey by EPIC Hearing Healthcare that they feel their problem impacts their job in at least one way.

These workplace hearing loss impacts include:

  • asking people to repeat what they have said (61%)
  • misunderstanding what is being said (42%)
  • pretending to hear when they can’t (40%)

Leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on both an individual’s personal and professional life.

According to the RAND Workplace Wellness Programs Study, over half of United States employers offer wellness programs and initiatives. By sponsoring and including hearing tests and hearing healthcare information into their current wellness program, employers will encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it. This will not only improve the workers wellbeing, but will ensure that the worker’s hearing issues doesn’t interfere with his job performance, productivity, safety, quality of life, morale, opportunities, or success in the workplace.

We need to band together to encourage businesses to include on-site hearing tests to employees!

5 Reasons Employers Should Promote Hearing Healthcare

1) Several people with hearing loss are in the workforce.

According to EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey, more than 10% of employees who work full-time have a diagnosed hearing problem. What’s worse is that 30% of employees suspect they have a problem, but have not sought out the proper treatment.

2) Treating hearing loss can enhance employee performance.

According to BHI research, employees in the workforce who use a hearing-assistant device (hearing aid) say it has helped their performance on the job and helps them communicate effectively, building stronger relationships at work.

3) Leaving hearing loss unaddressed doesn’t pay.

Brushing off hearing loss can limit our ability to communicate effectively and can negatively—and unnecessarily—affect job performance and productivity.

Other impacts include:

  • fatigue and distress
  • restricted interpersonal interactions
  • difficulty receiving and interpreting auditory information from computers & machines
  • not hearing sounds that signal hazards in the work environment
  • increased sick leave

4) Hearing loss is tied to other health conditions.

Research shows that hearing loss is linked to depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, dementia, cognitive decline, moderate chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, and the risk of falling and hospitalization.

5) Today’s hearing aids are better than ever.

Today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids make it easier to hear sounds and people from all directions and even filter out unnecessary noise. They sit comfortably and discreetly inside the ear canal and out of sight. There are even wireless ones that work well with devices such as smartphones and conference speaker phones. Some are even waterproof, and others are rechargeable.

What’s the bottom line?

According to BHI research, 91% of owners of hearing aids purchased within the last year are satisfied with their hearing aids and 90% of people who purchased their hearing aid within the last 4 years say they would recommend a hearing aid to a friend or family member.

When was the last time you had your hearing checked?

If you can’t remember the last time you had your hearing checked or the answer is “never,” you should get a hearing test! First that this quick, self-hearing test. If your results point toward hearing impairment, maybe it’s time to take the first step to better hearing.

Forever Young: 5 ways treating hearing loss can revitalize your life

Forever young: 5 ways treating hearing loss can revitalize your life

Listen up, boomers: Do you want to stay active? Vibrant? Socially engaged? Professionally successful? Most of us do.

So maybe it’s time to do something about your hearing.

Chances are, if you’re like many baby boomers, you’ve rocked your way through your fair share of concerts, night clubs, and ear-blasting parties. And you’ve enjoyed years of other noisy recreational activities to boot. Simply: You’ve been enjoying life. You’ve spent decades doing it. And it’s been loud.

So now, it’s not always so easy to hear the conversation around the table at the restaurant or dinner party – maybe not even in the conference room at work or on those teleconference calls.

Face it. All that enthusiastic living has been hard on your ears. And now they’re screaming for your attention.

You should give it to them.

In fact, addressing hearing loss is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life and keep up a youthful pace.

Fortunately, for most people with hearing loss, today’s state-of-the art hearing aids can help. In fact, eight out of 10 hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives due to their hearing aids.

Many boomers are surprised to learn that dramatic new technological advances have revolutionized hearing aids in recent years. Many hearing aids are virtually invisible, sitting discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal. And they adjust to all kinds of noise environments, picking up sound from all directions. Some are even waterproof.

Perhaps best of all, seamless connectivity is now the norm. Today’s hearing aids are wireless and stream sound from your smartphone, home entertainment system, and other electronics directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes just right for you.

Here’s what getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids, if recommended by a hearing care professional, may do for you:

1. Unlock your earning potential. Hearing your best at work helps you do your best. One study found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. And people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be employed than their peers who don’t.

2. Open the door to greater intimacy. Don’t let those sweet nothings go unheard. Feeling emotionally close to your partner is one of the most satisfying aspects of any intimate relationship. But it rests on good communication. When hearing loss goes unaddressed, it can make even the most loving partner seem remote or unresponsive. Luckily, research shows that using hearing aids can help improve interpersonal relationships – including greater intimacy.

3. Pull the plug on stress and boost your mood. People with untreated hearing loss often feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed. But research shows that when they use hearing aids, their mental health often rallies. Many regain emotional stability, become more socially engaged, feel a greater sense of safety and independence, and see a general improvement in their overall quality of life.

4. Bolster your self-confidence. An important perk of using hearing aids can be enhanced emotional well-being. Research shows that when people with hearing loss use hearing aids, many feel more in control of their lives and less self-critical. One Better Hearing Institute (BHI) study found that the majority of people with mild and severe hearing loss felt better about themselves and life overall as a result of using hearing aids.

5. Improve cognitive functioning. Studies out of Johns Hopkins linked hearing loss with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults and found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time. BHI studies found that many people with hearing loss report improvements in their cognitive skills with the use of hearing aids.

So go ahead. Revitalize your life. Do something about your hearing. It just may help you feel forever young.

Take our free, quick and confidential self hearing check to determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing care professional. If you find that you may need hearing assistance, take the first step to better hearing and contact us.

What determines what kind of hearing aid I should wear?

Perhaps the most common question we receive is “What kind of hearing aid I should wear?” There are four primary styles of modern hearing aids and each are used differently. They are: Behind-The- Ear (BTE); In-The-Ear (ITE), In-The-Canal (ITC), and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC).

What kind of hearing aid I should wear?

 

 

 

 

 

 

While many people choose style based on vanity, decisions regarding which style of hearing aids are most appropriate for you may need to be based on a variety of factors.

Physical factors include:

  1. The shape of your outer ear: deformed outer ears may not allow for wearing of BTE styles.
  2. The depth of the depression near the ear canal (technically called the concha): if your ears are very shallow there may not be adequate space for certain ITE model aids.
  3. The ear canal size and shape: certain ear canals may be too narrow or shaped in a manner such that ITC or CIC hearing aids will either not go in easily, or may fall out too easily.
  4. Manual dexterity: not only is the removal and insertion of canal style hearing aids difficult for some people, but some individuals are unable to insert the battery or manipulate the volume control.
  5. Wax in the ear: some people build up large amounts of earwax, or may have extremely moist ear canals that require adequate ventilation. For these people ITC, or even certain full size ITE aids may not be appropriate.
  6. Draining ears or ears otherwise having medical problems may not be able to safely utilize hearing aids that completely block the ear canal. For these ears, it is vital to allow ventilation so hearing aids that do not fully block the ear may be required. Sometimes, BTEs that are connected to earmolds that have large vents (openings to let air pass through) are useful.

Hearing related factors include:

  1. The shape of the audiogram (hearing test); individuals who have hearing loss for certain pitches (frequencies) but not others (for example those who hear the low frequencies fine, but have a high frequency hearing loss), may be better served by systems that do not fully block the ear canal.

Degree of loss; currently, severe and profound hearing losses are best served by BTE style aids. This style may also minimize the likelihood of feedback (whistling).

  1. The need for special features such as directional or multiple microphones and/or the use of a telecoil (a small magnetic loop contained in the hearing aid that allows for better use with telephones or assistive listening devices), may dictate the preferred style.
  2. Acoustic feedback (whistling) occurs when the microphone is close to the loudspeaker. BTE aids have a clear advantage over the smaller ITE or ITC aids because feedback is less likely to occur. While you may feel that you will only wear an inconspicuous device, check the appearance of a small or mini-BTE aid coupled to the ear with an open earmold. A mini-BTE aid connected to the ear with an open earmold may be less conspicuous than most ITE and many ITC aids. Most importantly, discuss the pros and cons of different styles with your audiologist.

 

Who’s Who In Hearing Healthcare

Hearing is a precious gift; when hearing loss develops, it is important to contact the best, most qualified hearing healthcare professional available to meet your needs. In New York State, this can be a confusing issue. The following is a list of three professionals most often providing hearing health services. This list represents the minimum requirements of each category; obviously some professionals may choose to exceed these minimums.

So…Who’s Who In Hearing Healthcare?

OTOLARYNGOLOGIST/Ear, Nose & Throat Physician:

This individual is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases of the ears, nose, and throat. The Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician also performs ear, nose, throat, head, and neck surgery. Minimum requirements for an Otolaryngologist include:

  1. 8-10 years college coursework and internships earning the Medical Degree (M.D.)
  2. 2-3 years college coursework and internship specializing in ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery
  3. New York State License to practice medicine/surgery
  4. Certified/affiliated by national academy/organization (American Medical Assoc., Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, etc.)

AUDIOLOGIST:

An audiologist is a para-medical professional (not an M.D.) providing diagnostic audiological testing of the ear, hearing, and balance mechanisms. An audiologist also provides hearing rehabilitation services such as lip-reading training, aural rehab, and hearing aid dispensing. Minimum requirements for an audiologist include:

  1. 6-7 years college coursework and internships earning a Master’s Degree in Audiology
  2. New York State License to practice audiology
  3. Certified/affiliated by national academy/organization (American Academy of Audiology, American Speech and Hearing Association, etc.)

HEARING Instrument Dispenser/Dealer:

This individual is involved with the sale and fitting of hearing aids. They can provide a very basic and limited form of hearing testing (for amplification purposes only and usually free of charge since they are not licensed to perform such tests). Minimum requirements for NYS hearing aid dispensers:

  1. 18 years of age
  2. Registration of their business with the state (registration issued upon payment of registration fee, without and other requirements related to professional experience or competency in the field of dispensing hearing aids.)
  3. Some dispensers elect to meet requirements and receive certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences

 

With so much at stake, don’t settle for anyone less than the best hearing professional to fit you with your hearing devices.

Who Do You Think Is More Prepared To Help You Hear Better?

A DOCTOR OF AUDIOLOGY:

  • They’re required to have graduated from an accredited audiology program with a Doctorate or Masters Degree
  • Doctors of Audiology are certified and trained to manage many areas of hearing healthcare
  • They perform diagnostic tests for balance/dizziness
  • Doctors of Audiology perform auditory processing evaluations for infants, children, and adults
  • They design, help select, and fit hearing instruments
  • They provide rehabilitation therapy for hearing disorders which might include strategies to improve aided hearing, speech-reading, and sign language
  • Doctors of Audiology help manage cerumen (earwax)
  • They evaluate and manage tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
  • Doctors of Audiology provide patient and family counseling about living with hearing loss

Audiologist focus on providing a high level of patient care to ensure overall hearing health!

 

A HEARING INSTRUMENT SPECIALIST:

  • No minimum educational requirements in PA
  • Hearing Instrument Specialist perform rudimentary hearing tests for the purpose of selling hearing aids to adults only
  • Hearing Instrument Specialist fits and sells hearing aids

Hearing Instrument Specialists focus primarily on product sales!

 

So…Who Do You Think Is More Prepared To Help You Hear Better? With so much at stake, don’t settle for anyone less than the best hearing professional to fit you with your hearing devices and help you hear better.

Five Things Every Man Should Know About Hearing Aids

Guys: Let’s Talk About Hearing Aids:

1 – Hearing aids are virtually invisible.

What many people don’t like about hearing aids is the visibility of them. But, many of today’s hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside your ear canal, providing both natural sound quality, and discreet and easy use.

2 – They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes.

Whether it’s easy conversation in a crowded restaurant, or the chirp of crickets on a late summer’s evening you’re after, recent technological advances have made hearing aids far more versatile than ever before—and in a broad range of sound environments.

3 – You can do water sports and sweat while wearing them.

Waterproof, digital hearing aids have arrived. This new feature is built into some newly designed hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity, and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts, and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments.

4 – They love your smartphone, home entertainment system, and other prized electronics.

Wireless, digital hearing aids are now the norm. That means seamless connectivity—directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes that are just right for you—from your smartphone, television, and other beloved high-tech gadgets. What’s more, you own the volume. No one around you needs to be affected.

5 – They’re always at the ready.

A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so they’re ramped up for you in the morning. There’s no more fumbling with small batteries. Just place the hearing aids into the charger at night, and they’re ready to go in the morning.

Make sure to pass on The Five Most Important Things Every Man Should Know About Hearing Aids to all the men in your life! #ShareTheLove

10 Good Reasons Why Men Should Get Their Hearing Tested

Many men go through life living with hearing loss because they simply don’t want to admit they, in fact, have hearing loss and need help. But, getting your hearing checked and taking the first step to hear better is the one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Here are 10 Good Reasons Why Men Should Get Their Hearing Tested:

  • Unaddressed hearing loss negatively affects quality of life. Research shows that hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, mental, and emotional health conditions. But men who address their hearing loss often experience better quality of life.
  • Hearing loss is tied to depression. Studies show that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms. Refer to these articles for more information:
  • Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.
  • Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk.
  • Hearing loss is tied to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more prevalent in men than in women. A new study found that sleep apnea is significantly associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.
  • Cancer treatments can damage hearing. Certain chemotherapy treatments for cancer may damage healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear and result in hearing loss. CancerCare® Partners with Siemens to Provide $1M in Hearing Aids to Cancer Patients.
  • Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling or hospitalization. A pair of Johns Hopkins’ studies found that people with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling, and that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. For more information, check out the two articles below:
  • Addressing hearing loss may benefit long-term cognitive function. Research shows a link between hearing loss and dementia, leading experts to believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.
  • Hearing loss in men is tied to common pain relievers. Researchers found that regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen increases the risk of hearing loss in men, and for younger men, the impact is even greater.
  • Addressing hearing loss may help protect your earnings. A BHI study showed that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. But the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss dramatically—by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those whose hearing loss was severe to moderate.

Calling All Men: Protect Your Well-Being with a Hearing Check

Men now can take an easy step toward protecting their well-being, vitality, and quality of life by checking their hearing online at www.BetterHearing.org, says the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). In light of increasing evidence that hearing loss is linked to other men’s health issues, BHI is urging men of all ages to address their hearing health for Men’s Health Month in June.

The free, confidential, online hearing check at www.BetterHearing.org helps men take the first step to addressing their hearing health in the privacy of their own homes, and helps them determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.

Addressing hearing loss can help men stay active, feel younger, and remain socially and professionally engaged. Hearing their best helps men in all aspects of their lives—on the job, in relationships, in their families, and in their communities. Fortunately, today’s high-tech hearing aids can benefit the vast majority of men with hearing loss. They’re sleek, sophisticated, and among the “firsts” in leading-edge wearable technology.

Hearing Loss & Other Health Issues

Men of all ages need to pay attention to their hearing health. The number of younger men with hearing loss is increasing. And the body of evidence that hearing loss is linked to other health concerns is growing.

More and more researchers are finding that hearing loss is associated with a broad range of chronic diseases and health conditions. In fact, sleep apnea—a significant men’s health issue—was recently added to the growing list, which already includes diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia, among others.

A new study—led by Amit Chopra, MD, an expert in pulmonary medicine at the Albany Medical Center in New York, and presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2014 International Conference—found that sleep apnea is significantly associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.

“Our findings suggest that sleep apnea is a systemic disease and is associated with increased risk of hearing loss, along with a number of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. I encourage people with sleep apnea to be educated and tested for hearing loss.”

For more information on hearing loss and why healthy hearing is an important part of a man’s overall health and quality of life, visit www.BetterHearing.org. For more information on Men’s Health Month, visit www.MensHealthMonth.org.

BHI reminds men that that there are simple things they can do to protect their hearing. Listening to smartphones and MP3 players only at a low volume, and wearing earplugs in noisy environments—like sporting events, clubs, concerts, or when using power tools and riding motorcycles—are examples.

Contact Hearing Consultants for an appointment today at 513.489.3300

What’s Different About Today’s Hearing Aids?

What The Survey Says About Today’s Hearing Aids :

According to the EPIC “Listen Hear!” survey, most people don’t realize that hearing aids have come a long way; nor do they realize that today’s hearing aids are eligible expenses for flexible savings accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs).

Today’s hearing aids are dramatically more advanced than the hearing aids of even just a few years ago. Many of today’s hearing aids allow users to hear from all directions, in all sorts of sound environments, and even underwater. They are digital, wireless, can connect directly to your smartphone or television, and can be as discreet or as visible as you like. A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids even allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so there’s no more need for small batteries.

Check out some other articles to learn more about today’s hearing aids:

Hearing Aids and Electronic Technology Meet

What is the best hearing aid on the market?

Hearing Aids and your TV

Hearing Aids And The Digital Revolution

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300

Five Things Employers Should Know About Hearing Loss & Employee Health

There’s so much information out there regarding healthcare benefits and employee health in the workplace. But, what’s often overlooked is how hearing loss can affect employee health.

Here are the five most important things employers should know about hearing loss and employee health:

  1. Hearing loss is tied to depression. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms. http://ow.ly/vvZEz & http://ow.ly/vWv7m
  2. Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk. http://ow.ly/xvn6W
  3. Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body. http://ow.ly/xwLUh
  4. Staying fit may also help your hearing. Research on women’s health shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss. Conversely, a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. http://ow.ly/xvnsj
  5. Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling and hospitalization. A Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40 to 69) with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Another Johns Hopkins study showed that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. http://ow.ly/vwchC & http://ow.ly/vwbZe

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300

Why Addressing Hearing Loss Is a Smart Business Practice

Fortunately, when it is addressed, hearing loss is largely manageable. The vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. 8 out of 10 hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids.

Of course, those changes affect not only their personal lives but their work lives as well.

A national Better Hearing Institute study found that the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss dramatically for people with hearing loss.

  • People with milder hearing loss had a 90% to 100% risk improvement.
  • People with moderate to severe hearing loss had a 65% to 77% improvement.

The study also found that people with severe hearing loss who do use hearing aids are nearly twice as likely to be employed as their peers who don’t use hearing aids.

As a business owner, employer, or manager, what does this mean for you? To retain your valued employees and help keep them safe and successful on the job, think about ways to incorporate hearing wellness in the workplace.

If like most U.S. employers your organization has a wellness program, you can offer your employees hearing tests and hearing health information. You can also include hearing aids as an employee benefit.

These steps encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it or create workarounds. Not only does this help the individual’s quality of life, it also creates a work environment where you and your employees can team up to ensure that hearing loss does not interfere with job performance, productivity, safety, morale, or opportunities in the workplace.

The cost of training new employees is one of the steepest business costs. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, many organizations have realized the value of maturing workers who have experience and expertise. Retaining them is essential for success. Helping your employees to extend their careers by managing hearing loss is one effective step you can take.

As a business leader, you also know how important communication and interpersonal skills are for a successful workplace. Helping employees to manage hearing loss can be critical to maintaining good workplace relations and excellent client and customer service.

Hearing loss may have other hidden costs for your business. Depression affects many people with hearing loss, for example. That has not only personal costs for the individual but bottom-line healthcare costs for your organization. Safety problems can lead to increased worker’s compensation and insurance claims.

You know the importance of avoiding discrimination in the workplace. Addressing hearing loss directly as a workplace issue focuses on solutions and helps create a partnership between you and your employees on the issue.

Helping your employees manage hearing loss just makes sense. And it may remind you to get your own hearing checked, too!

For a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect, ask, and look for when visiting a hearing healthcare professional and purchasing a hearing aid, download “Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids” at www.BetterHearing.org or http://ow.ly/xvlow.

For information and resources on workplace wellness, along with information on National Employee Wellness Month, visit www.NationalEmployeeWellnessMonth.com.

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300.

 

The Pitfalls of Brushing Off Hearing Loss

By limiting one’s ability to communicate effectively, brushing off hearing loss can unnecessarily affect productivity, job performance, and earnings; lead to fatigue and distress; restrict interpersonal interactions; make it difficult to receive and interpret auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals; pose a risk to one’s ability to hear sounds that signal hazards in the work environment; increase sick leave, presenteeism, and disengagement from work; and diminish overall quality of life.

What’s more, an increased risk of hearing loss is tied to three of the most significant wellness concerns of American employers: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

A national BHI study even found that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. The aggregate yearly loss in income due to underemployment for people with untreated hearing loss is an estimated $176 billion. And the fiscal cost to society in unrealized federal taxes is an estimated $26 billion. This doesn’t even measure the impact that unaddressed hearing loss has on worker productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism.

Not surprisingly, EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey found that almost all (95%) of employees who suspect they have a hearing problem but have not sought treatment, say they believe their untreated hearing loss impacts them on the job in at least one way. From asking people to repeat what they have said (61%), to misunderstanding what is being said (42%), to even pretending to hear when they can’t (40%), the burden that comes with leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on America’s workers.

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300