Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Hearing Aids

Hearing Consultants - Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Hearing Aids

Welcome Summer! While the chilly weather can present come challenges to hearing aid wearers, so can the warm weather. Remember, Hearing Consultants maintains an extensive supply of parts, cleaning tools, and specialized equipment for your hearing aid repair and maintenance needs. But we want you to enjoy the summer so here are some tips for keeping your hearing device in tip-top shape no matter what the temperature or activity you want to be involved in.

Sound issues?

With the change in temperature there can be moisture and perspiration issues with your hearing aids. If you think the quality of sound is changing and there are issues with how they are functioning with other devices – give us a call and bring them in for a check-up. Most times a simple cleaning or perhaps a little bit of an equipment change is the answer.

Avoid water damage

If you are an avid swimmer or enjoy activities near the water, it is best to remove your hearing aids. Salt water especially is dangerous. When salt water dries, it can leave crystals on your hearing aids and they can cause permanent damage. Avoid areas near the pool where you can be splashed, like near the diving board, if your hearing aids are still in. Keep your hearing aids in a waterproof case if you are lying on the beach or near the pool to avoid water damage.

Golf, tennis, gardening, mowing the lawn, attending a barbecue – all great summer activities. But participating in these activities will likely mean a little bit of perspiration. Perspiration can lead to moisture build up on your hearing aids. This moisture can damage microphones, receivers and corrode battery contact points. High constant humidity can also wreak havoc on hearing aids just like perspiration.

If you hearing aids don’t have nano coating which repels dirt and moisture, that might be something to think about for a future purchase. If you are planning on hitting the pool or the beach for some serious swim time – see us about custom swim molds tailored for your hearing devices. Another great investment is a dehumidifying unit, which helps your hearing aids stay dry and moisture-free.

Prevent clogging

Keep your hearing aids away from any form of debris. Sand, sun screen, bug spray, tanning lotion, conditioning spray you put on your hair while outside and all forms of allergens can damage hearing aids. Greasy, sticky parts of spray or lotion can clog the microphones, tubing and other important parts of your hearing devices. Bits of seeds, pollen and vegetation floating around outside will do the same thing.  Pollen and tiny plant cells needed to fertilize plants float around in the air and can clog microphone parts as can mold spores. Ragweed can also clog hearing aid parts and cause the devices to start to malfunction.

Never touch your hearing aids if your hands are sandy or have lotion or spray on them. Remove your devices before applying lotion or spray. Don’t wear them if you are lying on a sandy beach. Sure, you may be absolutely positive you aren’t going to touch them, but you have no control over a breeze kicking up the sand.

Clean the microphone parts with a soft dry cloth to avoid clogs or damage to your devices. If there are still sound quality issues, clogged parts can be cleaned or replaced at Hearing Consultants.

Heat is not your friend

Keep your hearing aids away from extreme heat. This means if you remove them to go swimming or lay on the beach, they need to go in the shade – not a hot vehicle! The plastic casing on your hearing devices can melt under direct sunlight. Heat will also damage the batteries and can cause shorting out or even battery failure. Always store your aids in a cool, dry space.

Protect your hearing aids

Soft, hard and/or waterproof cases are available for your specific type of hearing devices from the manufacturer and we can help you order what you need. Remember if you start to notice a drop in sound quality from your hearing aids and you’ve cleaned them, they should be serviced right away. Leaving grit or grease on areas you can see will continue to damage them. Cleaning, maintenance, extra batteries, Hearing Consultants can help with all those things, so you can keep enjoying your summer activities.

Healthy Diet May Stave Off Age-Related Hearing Loss for Women

Hearing Consultants - Healthy diet may stave off age-related hearing loss for women

A recently discovered benefit of a healthy diet for women is less change of hearing loss as you grow older. If you are experiencing some hearing loss now, there is no better time to contact the professionals at Hearing Consultants and get an evaluation and your hearing loss treated. Even a slight hearing loss should be treated and your hearing loss, if you’ve eaten healthy, will likely not be advancing to moderate to severe, according to a Harvard Medical School Study.

Hearing loss effects
More than 48 million people in the United States have some hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss diminishes a person’s ability to communicate which can lead to social isolation and even isolation within the family unit. Hearing loss has also been linked to decreases in work productivity, gradual loss of cognitive function and depression.

Study: Does Diet Affect Hearing Loss

Hearing loss was originally thought to be a natural and unavoidable effect of getting old. Dr. Sharon Curhan, the main author of the Harvard Medical School study, said study findings point to a healthy diet as one way to reduce hearing loss – especially for women.

Researchers tracked more than 80,000 women for 26 years and found those whose general diets scored high as healthy were 47% less likely to experience moderate to severe hearing loss than women whose diets had low “healthy” scores. Past studies have found some correlation between hearing health and vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, but Curhan and her team studied overall diet for 81,800 women between the ages of 25 and 42 who enrolled in the study beginning in 1989.

Listen to your parents – eat your vegetables
Researchers kept their focus on hearing assessments done in 2009 or 2013 and on dietary questionnaires participants completed every two years during the duration of the study. The women’s diets were rated using three healthy-eating diets – a Mediterranean diet, a diet designed to reduce hypertension and a diet rated as an alternative healthy eating index diet.

Each of the three diets had guidelines that allowed for scoring of diet quality. So, you would get points for eating vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts and legumes and you would be eating less processed meat, sugar and salts. Two of the three diets had some specific foods or food areas emphasized. The Mediterranean diet was high in fish and olive oil and the diet to reduce hypertension concentrated on low sodium and high fiber.

Women who eat according to the Mediterranean diet and the diet to cut hypertension were about 30% less likely to experience moderate to severe hearing loss. The original group of 80,000 or so was reduced to a subgroup of about 33,000 to specifically study women who had medical conditions that could cause hearing loss. Of that subgroup, about 47% experienced less hearing loss than expected when they scored high on healthy eating.

The initial study was not directly designed to study diet and hearing loss, but study authors were encouraged by the data concerning diet and hearing loss. The study authors noted that a healthy diet can be responsible for protecting and preserving many physical mechanisms including blood vessel health. Certain nutrients can help reduce inflammation and can directly protect auditory nerves.

Promote auditory health
Dr. Christopher Spancovich, an auditory specialist not directly involved in the study did give some oversight remarks concerning diet and hearing loss. Good strong vascular health, resulting from a healthy diet, helps the blood flow to the inner ear. The blood flow keeps the small hairs in the ear needed to process sounds in good condition which equates to continued better hearing.
Spancovich said more study is needed, but it follows that a healthy diet promoting good blood flow is important for continued good auditory health.

Get regular check-ups
It is important to eat healthy and get regular medical check-ups. You should make a regular hearing test part of your general health plan. Hearing Consultants can do an assessment to set a hearing health baseline and help you stay on the road to healthy hearing.  Unfortunately, many Americans experiencing hearing loss wait between three and five years before getting it treated. Think of what they have missed!

 

Improve Family Communication by Treating Hearing Loss

Perhaps the best gift you can give dad this Father’s Day is the gift of re-engagement into family life. What do we mean? Positive reinforcement to have dad or grandpa get their hearing loss treated will help them engage in the world around them – including the family! We offer personalized hearing loss treatment at Hearing Consultants. Each customer gets an individualized treatment plan, and doesn’t dad deserve that?

Hearing loss leads to tension

Is Dad turning the radio up louder and louder? Turning the television up all the time? Does this mean family members aren’t engaging in quality social activities at home because they are bothered by the volume? This leads to a feeling of frustration on the part of the family member experiencing hearing loss. It also leads to a sense of isolation in one’s own home.When communication is difficult because you are constantly asking someone to repeat themselves or explain what you just tried to hear on the television, radio or even a phone conversation it can be exhausting and tempers fray. Perhaps the kids or grandkids don’t visit as much because there’s a lot of yelling going on.

Skipping social situations

You don’t want to be the dad or grandpa that stops going to recitals because you just can’t hear and then you can’t engage in a conversation about what you just attended with other family members. You don’t want to skip the celebrations of achievements at the ice cream or pizza parlor because conversations in a noisy place are just too difficult and its embarrassing to keep asking people to repeat themselves.

You don’t want to miss out on camping or fishing trips because you’re the guy that the others must keep yelling at or you are unable to participate in that quiet conversation around the campfire. You want to hear what family members have to say because communication is the foundation of all relationships. And they want you to hear them, they want you to be engaged in their lives!

Is it worth the risk?

Dads are one of the cornerstones of a family. If dad or grandpa is experiencing hearing loss, chances are its been going on awhile and hearing loss treatment would make things so much better! There are numerous studies that have documented the negative effects of untreated hearing loss on relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Over 48 million Americans has some hearing loss problems and many wait five to seven years after they begin having issues to get treatment.

A study done by Action on Hearing Loss involved 23 sets of domestic partners discussing hearing loss. They interviewed the person experiencing the loss and the partner. Each of the supportive partners said they wanted the partner with hearing loss to get treated and those not experiencing the hearing loss said that relationships were suffering because of it.

Often family members around someone experiencing hearing loss start thinking they are the problem and the person with the hearing loss is avoiding them. They think they’ve done something wrong. That is so far from the truth. You may be skipping interactions because you can’t understand the conversation and you don’t want to keep asking people to repeat themselves and other family members may be avoiding you because they think you are ignoring them.

The time for treatment is now

So Dad, the best gift family members can give you on Father’s Day if you are experiencing a hearing loss is a lot of supportive encouragement to get a hearing exam and get back on the road to a healthy family relationship. There are too many things you will miss if you don’t get your hearing loss treated.

Get out there and enjoy yourself at picnics, golf outings and even playing cards with your buddies without worrying about what someone just said and making an appropriate answer.

Hearing tests are painless and the team at Hearing Consultants can go through all the newest digital hearing aids and the wonderful technology associated with them that makes them easy and convenient to wear. They are more comfortable, there are invisible models and you can even wear them for a trial period to make sure you’ve got the model that is right for you!