A Guide to Buying Hearing Aids

A Guide to Buying Hearing Aids

If you have been suspecting that you are having more trouble than ever before hearing the people in your life, it’s a good idea to address the issue as soon as possible. Many of us have heard the dangers to our cognitive, emotional, and physical health connected to unaddressed hearing loss. The good news is that most of these risks can be lowered or eliminated with the use of hearing aids. Of course, there are a lot of hearing aids on the market. So how do you know what the best ones for you are? Here are a few tips to make the process of finding the right hearing aids for you, a total breeze.

Identifying your hearing issues

The first step to treating your hearing is accepting that you may have a hearing issue. Once you know your hearing ability this can help eliminate a lot of options. The problem is that many people don’t know they have a hearing loss for years before it becomes severe enough to even think about treatment. We recommend that you schedule annual hearing tests to track hearing ability and catch an impairment early. A hearing test will allow us to know you’re the nature of your hearing loss. It will help us understand what kind of hearing aids will amplify your hearing the best, based on your lifestyle and hearing needs.

Understanding Your Options

When you have your hearing tested, we can identify the softest noises and pitches you can hear. We will also interview you about your lifestyle, preexisting conditions, and family history to understand more about your hearing needs. If you are an active person who enjoys rigorous exercises, it will be in your nature to pick a pair of hearing aids that are sweat-resistant and suppress background noise, such as wind. If you struggle with arthritis in your hands, then a larger pair of hearing aids will help minimize dexterity issues. 

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are not all the same. Some types fit behind your ear, while others fit within the ear canal. Many people don’t want their hearing loss to be public knowledge to everyone they meet. This is why many enjoy discrete hearing aids which fit in the ear canal nearly out of sight. However, for many these tiny hearing aids can’t always produce enough power if their hearing loss is more pronounced. Ultimately, we are here to help you find a pair of hearing aids that addresses your specific type of hearing loss, which is comfortable while fitting your lifestyle and your budget.

The most common types of hearing aids are:

  • behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • in-the-canal (ITC) or completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
  • in-the-ear (ITE)
  • receiver-in-canal (RIC)

We can help you find the best ones for you.

Special Features

Today’s hearing aids are more advanced and nuanced than the hearing aids of the past. Depending on your lifestyle and needs around hearing, you may enjoy the many options and features available in hearing aids today. For instance, background filtering can help people who work or play in crowded environments prioritize the sounds they want to be amplified. Other popular features include:

  • Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to wirelessly connect to your phone’s audio for media, GPS, and phone calls, as well as stereos and televisions. 
  • Battery rechargeability. Part of wearing hearing aids in the past is that you have to change the battery every couple of days. Now many offer the ability to recharge overnight, eliminating this menial task.

The Price of Healthy Hearing

Hearing aids are an investment in your mental, emotional, and physical health. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best price possible for your hearing health. Let us know what you hope to spend on your hearing aids, and we can keep this in mind when navigating your choices. It’s important to remember that those in the workforce who struggle with unaddressed hearing loss earn significantly less than those with normal or treated health. The Better Hearing Institute found that on average those with untreated hearing loss earned 30,000 less annually. While hearing aids can range from $1,200- $6000 depending on features and quality, it’s important that ultimately this investment will save you more money than the initial cost of hearing aids. Consider this an investment in your total quality of life. Schedule an appointment today to find out more about how we can help you.

 

Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

Tips for Better Hearing in Noise

If you have hearing loss, it is likely that you could have first realized it while trying to communicate amongst noise. It may have been in a crowded restaurant, party, or even busy grocery store. Sometimes even the hum of loud appliances like the fridge or air conditioner can create so much racket that it is a challenge to hear. Isolating and prioritizing sounds in a crowded environment is a common challenge as hearing declines. Even if you have taken the leap to invest in hearing aids you may still have issues differentiating sounds amongst noise. While hearing aids can help significantly, there are certain strategies you can employ to make it easier to hear in a sea of competing noises. 

Challenges with Background Noise

When you suffer from hearing loss, complex sound environments can make it difficult to create hierarchies of important sounds. If someone is having a conversation while you are attempting to have a completely different conversation nearby, it is a common struggle to separate the two. Even if you find that you are able to hear, it may still be hard to comprehend what is being said.

Use Binaural Hearing Aids

No matter how advanced a hearing aid technology is, or how long the person has used their hearing device, it can still be difficult to hear. However, the use of two hearing aids can make a significant difference in making sure this is less of an issue. This is because we use both ears, known as binaural hearing, to decipher where sounds are coming from, how fast and how close. It is common for one ear to not hear as well as the other. This is often referred to as the “bad ear”. However, it is very rare that hearing loss is unilateral. Amplifying both ears, even if the loss is slight in one, can improve your brain’s ability to distinguish front and background noises and improve localization of sound. This can also help you stay more alert in listening environments and prevent accidents that can potentially occur. 

Style Matters

If you have been enjoying hearing aids for years this is wonderful news. Using hearing aids improves your ability to communicate amongst friends, family, and co-workers. It helps you stay independent, socially active and protects your brain from cognitive decline due to a lack of audio and social stimulation. However, hearing aid technology is rapidly changing and there are more and more features available to make hearing easier than before. This is particularly true of hearing amongst background noise, which has been a complaint of many hearing aid users for years. The latest technology in hearing aids has background suppression which prioritizes conversation in front of you, by pointing a microphone towards the speaker you are facing. This is called directional microphone systems (DPS): single or dual microphones, which capture and process sounds coming from the front of the device differently than those from the back. 

DPS also provides wind and background suppression to minimize ambient noise which could interfere with your hearing experience. This is achieved by preserving signals that can fluctuate, such as speech, in which the patterns of high and low frequency as well as loud and soft sounds can quickly shift. In addition, many hearing aids are now compatible with Bluetooth and Telecoil technology, which can send sound wirelessly to your hearing aids so you can hear media more clearly in a noisy auditorium or another crowded space. 

Training Yourself to Improve Your Listening

While hearing aids can make a world of difference, there are several ways that you can train your brain to hear sharper and clearer. This is especially essential for those who may have gone without hearing aids for years. There is a real need to train yourself how to hear again after potential decades of not hearing these sounds. There are several programs designed to help people hear sound amongst other competing noises. Some of these are complementary while others require a paid subscription or one time purchase. These programs employ games and memory strengthening activities to help people to prioritize sounds. The Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) program has been found to enhance ability to hear speech in noise significantly based on a 2011 study. 

Dealing with Your Hearing Loss

If you notice that you are having issues with hearing in noisy places, it’s time to have your hearing tested. Even if you are already using hearing aids, it may be worth your while to explore what options there are for you to hear even better. Schedule a hearing test today and find out what the world of hearing enhancements can do for you, to hear through all the noise.

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Going Digital with Your Hearing Aids

Do you remember your old cassette players? How about vinyl records? These recording devices used an analog process to express sonic information. By imprinting tape or wax with a continuous representation of sound, this device became a carrier for a sonic imprint that was transformed into an electrical signal. 

Once the electrical signal entered your home audio device, it was further transformed into the variations in air pressure that we recognize as sound. What a remarkable process! However, since the advent of the CD, we have been living in the digital audio world built around strings of 1s and 0s. This manner of representing sonic information has much to offer us in terms of precision and compatibility with computer applications.

Hearing aids have advanced remarkably in the past decade, and many of these improvements can be credited to digital audio technology. Not only do the latest aids make it possible to work with sound in a highly precise and individualized manner, but they also create the context for other digital features and services. 

Before digging into the benefits of digital hearing aids, let’s begin by exploring the comparison with analog technology. The new possibilities might surprise you, and there are many ways to understand how our sonic environment is shifting with the introduction of digital sound. 

Analog vs. Digital Hearing Aids

What is the difference between analog and digital hearing devices? The difference is much like that between the music recording and reproduction technologies mentioned above. Analog hearing aids use tiny microphones to capture differences in air pressure according to sound. That pressure is converted into an electrical impulse that is then amplified and projected at a louder level through the speaker in the devices. At no point does this process require transformation of audio into a binary code of 1s and 0s, but digital hearing aids do just that. 

With digital hearing aids, after using a microphone to identify those pressure differences we call sound, that signal is converted not only to an electrical impulse but into a code. That code includes fine-grained details about the features of the sound. Just like the vast information included in other digital applications, this process makes it possible to analyze digital sound by complex algorithms. Let’s take a look at some of the types of analysis that digital hearing aids can provide that analog ones cannot. 

Digital Audio Analysis

When your digital hearing aids convert sound into binary code, they can transmit that information through wireless technology to an application in your smartphone or computer. Once housed there, your app can analyze many components of the sound captured by your hearing aids. 

Benefits of Digital Hearing Aids

One of the best offerings of digital audio is the presence or absence of background noise. when there is a consistent hum, whir, or buzz in the background, this analysis can identify the “noisy” parts and separate them from the variable parts, such as speech. Analog hearing aids simply raise the volume of the entire sonic context, meaning they raise the volume of background noise alongside speaking voices. 

Digital hearing aids make it possible to keep the background noise at a lower level while raising the volume of voices. Digital audio is also able to isolate the proximity of voices. This ability makes it possible to raise the volume on the voice of a person talking to you close by while keeping the other voices of people in the room at a lower level. These remarkable offerings of digital hearing aids make them better able to serve the functions of communication that make them most valuable to you. 

In addition to these functions, digital hearing aids can use wireless technology such as Bluetooth to connect to a wide range of other services, apps, and streaming audio. Not only can you use this digital technology to send phone ringers and notifications directly to your ears but you can also listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and television directly through your aids. 

By seamlessly transitioning from listening to a television program to picking up a phone call and then walking outside and hearing the birds, you can integrate many aspects of your life into a single set of tiny devices: digital hearing aids. 

Looking for an Upgrade? 

If you are interested in learning more about digital hearing aids or think you might benefit from an upgrade to the latest technology, we’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a consultation. 

Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss 

Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss

There are various misconceptions about hearing loss that can make it challenging to acknowledge one’s experience. People often think that hearing loss only impacts older adults, is not a serious health issue, and one that can be easily fixed by just speaking louder. These common ideas about hearing loss can cause you to delay accepting the reality that you may be experiencing impaired hearing.

Hearing loss is actually a common chronic health issue that nearly 1 in 8 people navigate. People of all ages are impacted by this medical condition which cannot be reversed. Fortunately, there are effective ways that hearing loss is treated so it is imperative to identify and address symptoms that you recognize.

Hearing Loss Symptoms 

There are various factors that can contribute to the development of hearing loss including:

  • Exiting medical conditions: such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and obesity can increase the risk of impaired hearing.
  • Genetic history: one’s family history of hearing loss is important because people can inherit specific genes that can affect the auditory system.
  • Environmental exposure to loud noise: which we can absorb at concerts, job sites, arenas etc. can damage the hair cells in the inner ear which help the brain process sound.

These factors, often gradually, restrict the sound that a person can absorb and process; reducing one’s ability to hear effectively. This creates various symptoms including:

  • Tinnitus which refers to a buzzing, ringing, or clicking like noise in one or both ears
  • Difficulty following entire conversations as sounds are muffled
  • Inability to distinguish individual words
  • Better hearing in one ear
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak louder, and/or slower
  • Struggling to hear in environments with background noise
  • Regularly increasing the volume on electronic devices (TV, phone, speaker etc.)

These symptoms can be experienced mildly to severely, depending on the degree of hearing loss. This can disrupt and significantly impact your capacity to manage daily activities and responsibilities.

Impact of Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss is a chronic medical condition that if left untreated, can worsen and have major effects including:

  • Straining Communication: we engage in conversations daily and struggling to hear during them can lead to miscommunication, missing information, and an overall unpleasant experience for everyone involved. Conversations become difficult and exhausting as you overextend yourself in trying to hear.
  • Social Withdrawal: engaging with others can start to feel like more work than pleasure which can cause you to avoid social gatherings, events, and activities. This means spending less time with family and friends as well as missing out on important moments. Social withdrawal can create distance and tension in relationships and deepen isolation.
  • Decline of Overall Health: strained communication and social withdrawal can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. It can contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Additionally, hearing loss can impact physical health because it puts you at a higher risk of personal injury as well as cognitive decline.

These multifaceted effects of hearing loss can be really challenging to navigate. It is critical to be aware and proactive about your hearing health because early detection and intervention can support your transition to a healthier life.

Seeking Treatment 

The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids, which are small electronic devices that are worn in or behind the ear. Hearing aids have three main components: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker which are designed to absorb, strengthen, and process sound. This results in an increased ability to hear which can drastically improve your quality of life by enhancing communication, boosting confidence, and allowing you to fully participate in activities. Being able to comfortably navigate environments and hear more thoroughly supports your health and general wellness!

The first step in seeking treatment is to schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare specialist to have your hearing examined. Hearing tests are a noninvasive and relatively quick way to measure your hearing ability in both ears, establish any impairment, the degree, and specific type of hearing loss you may be experiencing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test and consultation.

Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

Hearing Aids & Artificial Intelligence

For a lot of us, while growing up we believed that artificial intelligence (AI) was something that only existed in our sci-fi stories and movies. Today we know that AI is all around us and part of our everyday experience. From our Smartphones to our GPS, AI learns our patterns and adapts to make our lives easier, often without even realizing it. In the past couple years AI has also made its way into our hearing aids, enhancing our hearing experience in all sorts of ways we may not even be aware of. 

Advanced Hearing Technology

The technology in hearing aids is rapidly advancing every year helping to make your hearing experience as easy and effortless as possible. The processing power becomes increasingly faster, helping to convert analog sound into digital quicker and quicker, making response time for hearing faster. Now with AI technology and machine learning, hearing aids can automatically adapt to the different environments, adjusting the focus on sounds depending on the presence of a crowd, traffic, music or wind. Machine learning allows your hearing aids to improve automatically through experience using computer algorithms. You won’t have to struggle with adjusting to loud environments after leaving a quiet room or manually adjust your hearing aids.

Hearing Aids and Your Smartphone

Look forward to interfacing between your Smartphone and your hearing aids effortlessly. Using Bluetooth technology, you can stream phone calls, music, GPS and more wirelessly and directly to your ears, avoiding feedback and distraction when you are on the go. The amazing thing is you can program your hearing aids to stream your favorite music, podcasts, TV programs and more right to your ears without having to even touch your hearing aids. Instead this can all be controlled via your Smartphone or wireless device.

Adjusting to Environments Using Geotagging

There are also apps that work in tandem with your hearing aids to employ geotagging. Geotagging remembers your frequent locations and allows you to save listening settings based on the hearing needs of particular environments. When your hearing aids detect that you are in this location they automatically adjust to the hearing settings that work best for you in these places, making your hearing experience seamless at home and out in the world.  

Track Your Health 

One of the most amazing new features that are AI driven on new hearing aids is the ability to track your body and your brain’s health so you and your doctor can be informed if there is a health issue as soon as it starts to develop. Modern hearing aids are now using integrated sensors to monitor your measure of your activity levels, steps, social engagement, and amount of time you listen every day. Experts have found that the ears are one of the best places to monitor our body’s signals in comparison to similar devices that measure such activity on the wrist. Hearing aids use 3D motion sensors such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, to reliably detect the movements in your day. Certain apps like the Thrive Hearing app also works in tandem with your hearing aids to combine your body and brain activity and gives you a score according to your physical and cognitive health goals.

Real Time Foreign Language Translation

If AI in your hearing aids sounds exciting to you, get ready for more moments in your hearing aids experience that will make you feel like you are in your favorite sci-fi story. Hearing aid manufacturers are now creating hearing aids, which have the ability to translate up to 27 foreign languages in real time. This could be an instance where hearing aids give you more listening and comprehending power than those with normal hearing.

Find Out What Modern Hearing Aids Can Do For You!

If your hearing aids aren’t working for you like they used to, this is a great time to explore all the options available to you. Don’t let your hearing and your social interactions suffer with an old outdated set of hearing aids. Our team can fill you in on the newest options for AI, geotagging, Bluetooth Technology and more. Contact us today and get ready to walk into the future with style and ease thanks to the newest AI technology.

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One

The best treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids, which help to amplify the sounds you may be missing. Often hearing loss will develop in one ear more than the other. If this is the case you may be wondering do I actually need two hearing aids?

Hearing Loss in Both Ears

Even if one ear seems to be stronger than the other it is very rare for one ear to have no hearing loss at all. Hearing loss most often is caused by age related or noise induced hearing loss, which is caused when the tiny cells in the inner ear, responsible for transmitting sound to the brain to be processed, are damaged or destroyed. The damage may not be even but it is still present. Even if one ear seems much worse than the other it is most often relative. A hearing test will detect hearing ability in both ears and over 90% of the time, hearing loss is active in both ears. Treating just one ear can cause unexpected problems. 

Binaural Hearing

To understand the importance of two hearing aids it is key to understand how the brain processes sound. The brain relies on both ears to hear binaurally. Binaural hearing helps the brain comprehend the location, distance and direction of sounds around you. By relying on both ears you can tell the localization, and speed that sounds are moving around you. Infants are quick to localize the sounds around them when they have healthy hearing as this ability helps you navigate the world. It is easier for you to hear a fast approaching jogger, biker or car from behind and from which direction, when you can hear from both ears. Binaural hearing keeps you safe by helping to keep you aware of your surroundings. Accidents and collisions can be avoided much more often adding to your overall safety and the safety of those around you. 

Cognitive Health

If you choose to wear only one hearing aid you may be greatly under stimulating your “good” ear. As it is rare that one ear has no hearing loss at all, if only one ear is aided, the other ear may become under active. Just like your muscles need regular stimulation to stay strong your brain operates similarly. We hear with our brains just as much as with our ears. Our brains process the sound picked up by our ears and if one ear isn’t getting the stimulation it needs then its function can begin to atrophy. Ensuring that both ears are equally amplified will mean that your left and right auditory centers of the brain are receiving stimulation to stay healthy.  

Improved Sound Quality

Not only does binaural hearing help to keep you safe but also helps you understand conversation. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology found that word recognition and speech understanding was improved when hearing aid users employed both devices when conversing. Two hearing aids allow you to hear the quiet and subtle tones in speech you could miss with just one amplified ear. To get the best quality of sound from your hearing aids, whether it is when speaking to the people in your life or listening to the music you love it’s a good idea to wear both hearing aids. Two hearing aids will allow you to hear the nuance in tones and be more aware of the richness of sounds around you. 

Turn Down the Amplification

When people choose to wear only one hearing aid it is all too common to crank up the volume on the hearing aid. Not only does this continue to enforce under stimulation of your other ear, but can actually cause noise induced damage to your amplified ear. With both ears hearing in a balanced manner you won’t be inclined to turn your hearing aids up so loud. You will prolong the battery life of your hearing aids but more importantly, you wont over stimulate your ears with excessive hearing aid volume.

Stay Balanced

If you are struggling with hearing in one or both ears, contact us to set up a hearing test. We can identify your degree of hearing loss in both ears and help to get you the best hearing aids to amplify both ears in perfect balance.

When to Get New Hearing Aids

When to Get New Hearing Aids

If you’ve had the same hearing aids for a few years, it may be time to consider getting new devices. On average, hearing health specialists suggest that you get new hearing aids every 3 to 5 years, but this varies as your hearing needs change, and while your devices could last several more years, you may also need to replace them sooner than you were expecting.

Changing Hearing Needs

If you’ve been wearing hearing aids for a while, you have enjoyed several years of clear hearing. Have you noticed any recent changes, or found yourself struggling to hear from time to time over the past month? Your devices helped you in every listening environment when you first got them, but now you’ve started to struggle with hearing loss again. Just like the first time you experienced hearing loss, you may not notice right away that something has changed, and it will be several months before you realize that you’re straining to hear. That’s why regular visits to your hearing specialist, and annual hearing tests, will help you monitor your hearing health.

Changing Lifestyle

Think about the listening environments you encounter over the course of a normal week, such as meeting friends in a restaurant, having dinner with the family, chatting with coworkers, or talking on the phone. Do your devices help you hear in all these situations? Are you satisfied with their performance? If you’ve had any lifestyle changes in the last year, you may need to get new hearing aids. Starting a new job, retiring, welcoming a new member into the family, or taking up a new hobby could create listening environments that your hearing aids can’t adjust to. It’s common that your hearing needs will change over time, and the device that was perfect for you 5 years ago may not be doing the trick anymore. Changing hearing needs and lifestyle can indicate that you need to get new hearing aids.

Hearing Aids Experience Wear and Tear

Have your hearing aids needed a lot of repairs in the last few months? Hearing aids can last for years, but after a while they do start to malfunction more often due to normal wear and tear. The life of hearing devices is shortened depending on your lifestyle and maintenance habits. For example, during humid months, or when you’re very physically active and your hearing aids encounter a lot more moisture your hearing aids will be under a lot more strain, and could get clogged by sweat, dirt, dust, or earwax. A thorough cleaning and drying every day will prolong the life of your devices. Without this extra care, hearing aids will start to show damage, and after a few years the sensitive electronic components of your devices will wear out.

Latest Hearing Technology

Wondering when to get new hearing aids? If you’re on the fence, take a look at some of the latest hearing technology, and discover what modern devices can do for you. In the last 5 years hearing technology has improved dramatically, and you may find some features that could change the way you hear the world. Connectivity features will allow you to seamlessly stream audio from your phone or TV right to your ears, and rechargeable batteries can save you from fiddling with tiny batteries every few days. Music listening programs give music a rich, full sound, and the latest in background noise reduction and speech enhancement technology will reduce your listening effort and let you use your energy for the things you love.

Following Your Hearing Health Specialist’s Advice

Still wondering when to get new hearing aids? At Hearing Consultants, our team of hearing health specialists have been in the business for a long time, and we’ll help you make that decision. We perform hearing tests, and can examine your current devices to determine if your hearing aids are right for your hearing needs. A thorough cleaning and a few repairs could have your current devices working in tip top shape, and depending on the device, we can recalibrate it to match your current needs.

If you need new hearing aids, we have a wide selection of modern hearing technology to choose from, and we’ll work with you to find the perfect hearing aids to get you back to clear hearing.

Hearing Aids Keep You Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy

Hearing Aids Keep You Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy

If you’ve been considering getting your first pair of hearing aids, it’s time to turn that thought into a reality and take charge of your hearing health. A recent study found that hearing aids keep you happy, healthy, and wealthy, and hearing devices will increase your quality of life more than you could ever imagine. Living with untreated hearing loss, on the other hand, is associated with a lot of negative physical, social, and mental outcomes that you need to take immediate steps to avoid.

Hearing Aids Keep You Happy

Think about the last time you had a conversation with a loved one. Were you able to easily understand everything that they said, or did you struggle to follow the conversation? Did you ask them to repeat themselves, or just smile and nod along, and hope they wouldn’t notice that you weren’t able to understand them? Living with untreated hearing loss leads to a breakdown in your closest friendships and relationships, and has a huge impact on your social life. You may choose to stay home rather than join friends for dinner in a noisy restaurant where the background noise makes it difficult to hear, and find yourself becoming more isolated and lonelier. Those with hearing loss face higher rates of stress, anxiety, social isolation, and depression.

When you get hearing aids, you’ll reduce your listening fatigue, and you will be able to hear clearly without straining to understand what’s been said. You’ll enjoy the relationships in your life, make new connections, and remain actively involved in your community. Hearing aids improve relationships and increase your quality of life.

Hearing Aids Keep You Healthy

Hearing aids also play a role in your overall health and wellbeing. Hearing aid wearers report being less physically and mentally exhausted, and have energy for the things they love, even after a long day of work. When you use hearing aids, you won’t use all your energy struggling to hear, and can enjoy spending time out with friends, attending a concert, or pursuing a hobby you haven’t had time for recently. With hearing aids you’ll be more active, and spend more time outside. Those with hearing aids sleep better, get out of the house more, and have better mental health. They also have healthier brains, better memory, and good cognitive function, and can easily focus on tasks and accomplish goals. You’ll also reduce your risk of chronic conditions like insomnia, fatigue, and even dementia.

Hearing aids also save you quite a few trips to the hospital. Studies have found that those with untreated hearing loss spend thousands of dollars more in health care costs, experience more trips, slips, falls, and accidents, and visit their physicians far more often than those with clear hearing.

Hearing Aids Keep You Wealthy

Did you know that those who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids earn significantly higher salaries than those who don’t seek treatment for their hearing loss? Not only that, but more severe levels of hearing loss are associated with even lower salaries. This is because those with hearing loss struggle to communicate effectively at work, and have a hard time understanding in meetings or contributing to discussions. They’re more likely to feel confused, struggle to focus on tasks, and make more mistakes. Those with hearing loss are less likely to be promoted to a new position, and could even be fired. In fact, the rates of unemployment among those with untreated hearing loss is 83% higher than for those with normal hearing. Early retirement is also more common among those with hearing loss, and all these things together account for the lower average income among those with hearing loss.

Hearing aids keep you wealthy by allowing you to communicate easily with everyone, contribute expertise in your place of work, and maintain high quality standards. You’ll be able to work a few more years at the job you enjoy, and be valued for your accomplishments.

Hearing Consultants

Are you ready to make the right decision for your brain, body, and bank account? Visit us today at Hearing Consultants and learn just how hearing aids can keep you happy, healthy, and wealthy. We have a wide selection of some of the world’s top hearing aids, and we’re excited to help you find the perfect device that will help you hear in every listening environment.

Myths about Hearing Aids

Myths about Hearing Aids

 

Hearing loss is often referred to as an “invisible disability,” because it is not always obvious when people have hearing loss, and often it is not talked about.  Studies show that only 1 in 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses them, and on average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do something about it. Using a hearing aid presents a number of advantages to a hearing-impaired person. First and foremost, you will hear a lot better. Hearing aids do not restore your hearing to normal, but they improve it significantly. Hearing aids usually improve the user’s social, psychological and physical sense of well-being.

Sometimes it’s related to cost, but other times it has to do with the stigma that hearing loss carries. People might associate hearing loss with becoming old or obsolete or don’t want to wear hearing aids because they find them aesthetically displeasing.

There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about hearing loss that if dispelled could help allot of people seek the treatment that could benefit them greatly.

Myth: Only the Elderly are Affected

Truth: An estimated 48 million people live with hearing loss in the U.S., and about two-thirds are under 65 years old. A 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association study found that 1 in 5 children ages 12 to 19 showed some sign of hearing loss in one or both ears. The World Health Organization has warned that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss “due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars, and sporting events.”

Myth: Your hearing loss was caused by clubs and concerts years ago.

Truth: While attending too many loud shows without the proper ear protection can be a major contributor to hearing loss, there are many other contributors, including the normal aging process, genetics, medications, smoking, a poor diet and diabetes. All of these destroy the hair cells in the inner ear — and it’s the hair cells that send auditory signals to your brain. Once hair cells are damaged, they’re damaged and they will not grow back.  It’s important to understand the contributors to hearing damage so you can take the appropriate steps to protect your hearing.

Myth: If other people would just talk louder, you would hear just fine.

Truth: Hearing is the body’s biological microphone. If you’ve ever heard anyone speak into a microphone that’s damaged, it might be loud, but there’s a  distortion that makes sounds hard to comprehend. The goal of today’s digital hearing aids is both to make sounds louder, clearer, reduce background noise and extract the most important aspects of sound to clarify speech.

Myth: Hearing loss does not affect the other aspects of my health.

Truth:  An untreated hearing loss increases one’s risk of experiencing cognitive decline, falls, social isolation, and depression. There is even a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. It’s theorized that the “cognitive load” on the brain may take away resources the brain uses for other function, such as short-term memory. Researchers have observed that treating the hearing loss, such as with hearing aids, can reverse or even prevent some of these conditions. New research from Johns Hopkins University shows that hearing loss may increase your risk of developing dementia. The upside is that research also shows you can improve memory and mood by correcting the hearing loss.

Myth: As long as you can hear some sound, it’s OK to wait to get hearing aids.

Truth: The longer you wait, the worse your hearing will become, making it harder to treat than ever. When the auditory system in your brain isn’t stimulated, the brain stops recognizing sound. If people wait too long to start using hearing aids, they can find that they don’t help as much as they hoped. Fortunately, our brains can “relearn” to hear, thanks to neuroplasticity — the fairly recent finding that the brain can reprogram itself into very old age with the proper stimulation. Practically speaking, that means you have to teach your brain to hear again, by wearing the hearing aids regularly.

Live Your Truth

All the research points to treating your hearing as soon as possible.  If you have suspected that you’ve had a hearing loss for a while, don’t delay any longer. Contact us at Hearing Consultants to schedule a hearing test and join those hearing and living life again!

 

Why Do People Shy Away from Treating Hearing Loss?

Why Do People Shy Away from Treating Hearing Loss?

 

Do you have hearing loss? Are you avoiding talking about your hearing loss, or scared to admit to family and friends that you’re struggling to hear? Roughly 40 million Americans have hearing loss, but only around 1 in every 3 people who need hearing aids actually have them. This is because many people shy away from treating their hearing loss, and choose to ignore their hearing health.

Investing in Hearing Aids

One big reason people shy away from treating hearing loss is the cost of investing in hearing aids. Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, and when people weigh the pros and cons of treating their hearing loss, they’ll often choose their bank account over their hearing health, because the initial investment of purchasing hearing aids seems high.

While this might seem to save you money in the moment, untreated hearing loss is actually costing you thousands of dollars. Those who live with untreated hearing loss are more prone to trips, slips and falls. They have more accidents, and are hospitalized more often than their hearing peers. They also visit the doctor far more often, and have higher medical costs. Not only that, but they spend years of their lives missing out on the important sounds around them, damaging the relationships that matter the most, and struggling with social isolation or even depression.

Over the Counter Hearing Aids

When considering the cost of hearing aids, some Americans choose to purchase over the counter devices. Sadly, these devices become another reason people shy away from treating hearing loss. In theory, over the counter hearing aids seem great, providing hearing with a cheap price tag. Unfortunately, when you purchase over the counter hearing aids, you won’t have customized hearing, and the devices likely won’t fit your ears or your hearing needs. Over the counter hearing aids aren’t calibrated to match your unique hearing profile, and you won’t get the benefit of wearing devices. If the device itself fits poorly, you’ll also experience whistling, feedback, or even discomfort.

After a disappointing experience with over the counter devices, people shy away from treating hearing loss, or investing money in a quality hearing device from a hearing health specialist.

Facing the Stigma of Hearing Loss

Another reason people shy away from looking after their hearing health is the stigma that still surrounds hearing loss. Many people feel that talking about their hearing loss, or admitting that their hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was is like admitting that they’re getting old. It’s important to realize that hearing loss affects people of all ages, and has a number of causes. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect seniors, and isn’t about getting old. Treating hearing loss and being able to keep up with the kids lets you seem as young as you feel, and sleek, sophisticated devices will make you seem younger, not older.

The Price of Untreated Hearing Loss

If you think the cost of hearing devices is high, the price of living with untreated hearing loss is far higher. Not only will you be missing out on the sounds around you, but your physical, mental, and emotional health will suffer as well. Those with untreated hearing loss have higher rates of anxiety, social isolation, and depression, and when communication breaks down, relationships will suffer. Those with hearing loss also experience more rapid cognitive decline, have trouble focusing on tasks, and risk earlier onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hearing Consultants

It’s time to face your hearing loss head on, and stop shying away from treating hearing loss. Many people wait between 5 and 7 years before treating their hearing loss! Don’t become part of that statistic, but do the right thing for your health and your bank account, and call us today at the Hearing Consultants to start your journey to clear hearing.

After a comprehensive hearing test to determine your unique hearing needs, we’ll work with you to find the perfect hearing devices that will give you back your ability to hear in every listening environment. They’ll be programmed to match your lifestyle, and you can focus at work, enjoy time with your friends, and invest in your loved ones. Don’t shy away from treating hearing loss, and visit our hearing health specialists at Hearing Consultants.