Is there a hearing aid that restores hearing to a dead ear?

Q. I have one dead ear. Is there a hearing aid that restores hearing to a dead ear?

A.  First, no hearing aid restores normal hearing. Yes, there is a hearing device that is used when the hearing loss in one ear is too severe to benefit from a hearing aid. These devices are called CROS hearing systems.

In a CROS hearing system, a device that looks like a hearing aid is placed on the poor ear to act strictly as a transmitter, picking up the sounds on that side of the head. The sound is routed across to the other ear, where a second device is worn. This allows the better ear to hear sounds from the poorer side. The hearing impaired person hears only in the good ear but has regained localization abilities and directionality of sound.

CROS hearing systems can be either hard wired together or can be wireless.

For more information or to schedule a hearing consultation please call us at 513.489.3300.

Resolve to Hear Better This Year

It is the beginning of another year and the resolutions that accompany it.  Is one or your resolutions to do something about your hearing?  Communication is the key to all human activities. One of the hardest things about having a hearing loss is that other people just don’t understand.  They can’t figure out why sometimes you seem to hear fine, and other times, not at all.

Quality, well-fit hearing aids are part of the solution. The selection of your hearing aids is based on a number of factors: degree of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, cost and appearance. By working with several manufacturers, and not just one brand, we are able to match the proper hearing device to each patient on an individual basis.

Take the first step to hearing better this year by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test with our licensed audiologist.

How do I care for my hearing aids?

Q. How do I care for my hearing aids?
A. Examine your hearing aids daily. Clean them if necessary with the tools you were given. Don’t use any sharp objects or toothpicks in the openings. Wipe them off with a soft cloth or tissue if slippery or wet. Don’t use hairspray while wearing hearing aids.

Spray your hair before you put your hearing aids on, let it dry and then insert your hearing aids. Don’t wear your hearing aids while exercising; your perspiration is harmful to the electronic components. If you want to use hand lotion put your hearing aids in first, then use the lotion.

You don’t want to clog up or drop the hearing aids.Open the battery door when not in use. Not only does this turn off the instrument, but also allows harmful moisture to evaporate.

If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 513.489.3300.

I tried hearing aids once before and they didn’t work out. I’m ready to try again. What can I do differently this time to make it work?

To gain full benefit from hearing aids, you must be informed, have realistic expectations and patience.

Seek help from a professional with whom you have confidence and trust. Ask questions. Identify environments where you have the most difficulty hearing. Your audiologist will recommend instruments most appropriate for your hearing loss and lifestyle. Be realistic.

Remember that it takes time to get use to hearing aids. Allow the brain to “rewire” itself to adapt to hearing in a new way. Keep a positive attitude while adjusting to new sounds and always remember your audiologist is your advocate.  Follow the instructions you are given during the initial stages of adjustment.

Be patient with yourself.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 513.489.3300.

What is the difference between a hearing screening and a hearing test?

A hearing screening indicates whether your hearing is within normal limits or not. The quick procedure determines whether a complete hearing test is necessary. Several tones are presented within the range of normal hearing. If all of the tones are heard, hearing is determined to be within normal limits. If any of the tones are missed, a complete hearing evaluation is recommended.

Hearing tests, which are performed by a licensed Audiologist, determine if there is a hearing loss, the type and degree of the hearing loss, and subsequent recommendations. A complete hearing evaluation includes a sequence of tests. Evaluation time can last up to one hour, depending on the individual test findings.  Recommendations are made for medical or non-medical intervention based on the completed series of diagnostic tests.

Most insurance companies pay for hearing tests; screenings are typically offered free of charge.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 513.489.3300.

Protect Your Hearing When Around Loud Sounds

Loudness is measured in decibels (dB). As decibel level increases the length of time that you can safely hear without ear protection decreases. For example, sounds that are 90 dB can be dangerous to your ears if you are exposed to them for 8 hours or more. As the dB level increases by 5 the length of time decreases by half. A noise, which is 95dB, is only safe for 4 hours and so on.

A rock concert can average between 110 and 120 dB. The maximum length of exposure for those levels is around 15 minutes, but the average concert is two hours in length. Permanent hearing loss can occur instantly from sounds like firearms (150 dB) and impact tools.

Repeated exposure to loud noise will damage your hearing permanently.

For more information on protective hearing products, please call us at 513.489.3300.

Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act

Academy Announces Introduction of Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act in U.S. Senate

Yesterday, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced S. 1694, the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act. This legislation provides a tax credit of up to $500 per device toward the purchase of a hearing aid, available once every five years.

The American Academy of Audiology enthusiastically supports this measure and will continue efforts to assist in passage of the legislation. You can help to gain support for this initiative by visiting the Legislative Action Center on the Academy’s Web site. Here you can locate your member of Congress and send an editable form letter urging support for S. 1694.

For more information visit: American Academy of Audiology

Become a “HEAR-O”

Just as eyeglasses are donated, so are hearing aids. Recycling old or no longer used hearing aids may seem like a small thing, but those hearing aids are very valuable to the Hear Now Foundation. All hearing aids regardless of make, model, age or condition can be recycled. All donations are tax deductible.

The Hear Now Foundation sells these instruments for the value of their component parts. All funds generated help to underwrite the cost of new aids provided by the programs efforts. Hearing Consultants is proud to be a collection site for the Hear Now Foundation. Every unit we collect is individually labeled with the donor’s name and address for a personalized acknowledgment letter. Across the nation over 50,000 hearing aids were donated to the program in 2012.

Please drop off your no longer needed hearing instruments any time during normal business hours.

Special Gifts for Special People

The holiday season is just around the corner. We go to parties, family gatherings and other special events. Your hearing aids help you enjoy these special holiday events, even if these get-togethers are often noisy.

Gift ideas for those who wear hearing aids or are hearing impaired begin at just $4.50 such as:

  • a supply of hearing aid batteries
  • an amplified telephone, either a speakerphone or one that is hearing aid compatible.
  • A wireless TV listening system
  • A vibrating or flashing alarm clock
  • A Dry and Store hearing aid conditioning system; an electronic device which removes moisture and sanitizes your hearing instruments, destroying microorganisms that can cause itching and external ear infections

Call or stop in to the office for a free Assistive Listening Device catalog

Hearing Aids: Questions to ask before you buy

Questions you may want to ask before you purchase hearing aids:

  • Will my hearing be tested by a licensed audiologist, or by a hearing instrument specialist who has a high school diploma and sales training? Ask to see their credentials.
  • Will I have more than one option to choose from, or do they represent only one manufacturer?
  • Are routine hearing aid check-ups & cleanings provided at no extra charge forever?
  • Are they truly looking out for your best interest, or pushing to meet their sales quota?
  • Call the Better Business Bureau (513-421-3015) before scheduling your appointment. Our record is spotless.

 Remember, you’re not just choosing hearing aids.  You are choosing your hearing healthcare provider; both are equally important.

 

What Is An Audiologist?

An Audiologist is the professional who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss.

Audiologists have extensive training and skills to evaluate the hearing of adults, infants and children of all ages.  Audiologists conduct a wide variety of tests to determine the exact nature of an individual’s hearing problem.  Audiologists present a variety of treatment options to patients with hearing impairment.  Audiologists often dispense and fit hearing aids, administer tests of balance to evaluate dizziness, and provide hearing rehabilitation training.  Audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing problem needs medical or surgical evaluation.

How Helpful Are Hearing Aids?

A Veteran’s Administration study of nearly 200 adults found that hearing aids are “very successful treatments for reversing the social, emotional and communication dysfunction caused by hearing impairment.”

The people in the study had a mild or moderate hearing loss, and none had used hearing aids previously.  Six weeks after being fit with hearing aids, each person completed a detailed questionnaire.  The results indicated “large quality of life improvements in the areas of communication and social function.”  Based on the study, the researches concluded:  “hearing aids represent a relatively inexpensive therapy for the amount of benefit gained.”

Do you know someone who has put off getting help for his or her hearing loss?  Share this information with them.  You’ll be an ambassador for better hearing by telling them what hearing healthcare has meant in your own life.

Realistic Expectations

Some of you may have heard friends or relatives talk about realistic expectations regarding what hearing aids can do.  Realistic expectations also apply to a hearing aid’s lifetime.  Hearing aids are small, intricate electronic devices, with hundreds of parts and circuits.  They are worn on the body and are exposed to ear wax (cerumen), body oils, and perspiration.  They are subject to a wide range of temperature and humidity levels.  In fact, laboratory tests have indicated that microphones and receivers are subject to greater stress in hearing aids than in satellites and the space shuttle!  As a result, all hearing aids have a limited lifetime and require regular cleaning and maintenance.  If you feel your hearing aids need a “tune-up”, please call the office and schedule a hearing test.

 

The Goal: Hearing As Well As Possible

If you have a hearing loss, you know better than anyone else the problems caused by not hearing well.  We live in a world that can be difficult for someone with a hearing loss.

You also know that we don’t cure hearing loss.  But the hearing help available today can be pretty remarkable.  Our goal is to make sure you’re hearing as well as possible.

The selection of your hearing aids is based on a number of factors.  Hearing loss pattern, comfort, appearance, cost, ease of handling – all these factors play a role in which hearing aids are best for you.  We’re always happy to review the choices available to you – what to expect, pros and cons, cost – so that you can reach your goal:  hearing as well as possible.

Why Should I Choose An Audiologist For Hearing Aids?

Most people with hearing loss can benefit greatly from hearing aids.  Your audiologist can advise you if they are recommended for your hearing loss.  Hearing aids alone may not be an instant answer to your hearing problems.  They should be a part of a program of hearing rehabilitation that includes complete testing, careful counseling, construction and follow-up.

Today’s hearing aids are much more complex (and potentially useful) than in the past.  They are designed to closely match a person’s hearing loss.  To use them correctly requires a complete understanding of that loss.  Such diagnosis is a specialty of audiologists.

Audiologists also specialize in counseling and rehabilitation.  Expert counseling — before and after you obtain hearing aids — is vital to your success with hearing aids, as it takes time to adjust to amplification.  Furthermore, there are many ways to improve the effectiveness of hearing aids.  By choosing an audiologist as your hearing aid provider, you can work with an expert for testing, fitting and hearing rehabilitation guidance.

Hearing Aids And The Digital Revolution

As many of you know, we have been evaluating and fitting the fully digital hearing aids.  Digital hearing aids are now available in all styles, including the small completely in the canal style.  The response to this new technology has been excellent.

Digital hearing aids use a computer processor to make more than a million calculations per second to process and control incoming sound.  The microprocessor actually measures the pitch and loudness of the sounds and responds automatically.  The advantages we have seen include:

  • Easier to use because volume control is fully automatic;
  • Better hearing for soft sounds because the aids can be programmed for greater amplification of soft sounds;
  • Greater comfort for loud sounds because the aids can be programmed to automatically reduce amplification as sounds get louder;
  • More exact fit to a wide range of hearing loss patterns because of the microprocessor’s tremendous flexibility;
  • Improved speech clarity in both quiet and noise.

Hearing Aids And Hearing Ads

You can’t avoid them these days – newspaper and mail advertisements offering hearing aids at “discount” prices.  With all the choices today, it can be confusing.  What’s the right style for you, what does “digital” really mean, where should you get hearing aids and how much should they cost?

Your most important decision is where to receive your hearing healthcare.  After all, you probably didn’t choose your physician or your dentist based on a newspaper ad!

Good hearing healthcare includes:

  • A complete audiologic evaluation of your hearing loss and hearing needs;
  • A comprehensive review of available hearing aids by style, technology and cost;
  • Follow-up visits to ensure that you’re hearing as well as possible;
  • An explanation of other sources of help, such as assistive listening devices for telephone, movies or television;
  • Regular hearing check-ups to monitor your hearing and your hearing aids.

How Can I Encourage Someone To Get Help?

The person with a hearing loss is usually “the last one to know.”  Family members and friends notice the hearing problems long before the person with the loss does.  That’s why hearing loss often goes undetected and untreated.

Hearing loss goes undetected because it usually develops so slowly that the change is not noticeable.  The loss is invisible and painless.  Also, only certain sounds are affected — words are still loud enough, just not clear enough.

How can you help:

Encourage them to call us for a hearing test.  Anyone with a possible hearing loss should get an audiologic evaluation, along with good information and professional advice.

Don’t criticize.  Instead, stress that you simply want the person to be able to communicate as well as possible…and there’s nothing lost if the hearing test indicates normal hearing.

Don’t compensate.  By talking louder, you’re helping the person pretend there isn’t a problem.  When you do have to speak louder, let the person know that you’re speaking louder than normal.

Give them this information.  Information and knowledge are valuable tools in the effort to hear and communicate as well as possible.

How Long Should My Hearing Aids Last?

It’s really surprising that hearing aids last as well as they do.  Hearing aids have sophisticated electronic components such as miniature microphones, amplifiers, receivers and microprocessor circuits.  They’re exposed to heat, perspiration, ear wax, humidity, rain, hair spray and daily handling.

Hearing aid parts can wear out, corrode or lose power just from normal wear and tear.  This can happen so gradually that you may not notice the loss of power or increased distortion.  Periodic cleaning of your hearing aids can minimize repairs and extend their life.

The average life of a hearing aid is about five to seven years.  When considering whether it’s time to replace your aids, you should consider their age, advances in hearing aid technology and whether your hearing has changed.  Many people get new hearing aids while their current ones are still functioning well so they have a good set of “back-up” hearing aids.

Why Should Someone With Hearing Loss Be Evaluated By An Audiologist?

Audiologists hold masters or doctoral degrees from accredited universities with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders.  Audiologists are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a demanding national competency examination.  By virtue of their graduate education, professional certification and licensure, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform hearing tests, refer patients for medical treatment, recommend and dispense hearing aids, and provide hearing rehabilitation services.