Batteries are the life force behind hearing aids, and they aren’t usually discussed in depth. For any hearing aid user, batteries can hinder the use of their devices due to the cost of replacing them.
You can decide to replenish your batteries on a schedule or pick up a pack whenever you need them. Your hearing aids should alert you with a series of beeps, or a message sent through your phone when your battery starts running low.
Research conducted by the Aural Rehabilitation Lab at the University of Connecticut teamed up with the battery industry to find out what hearing aid users do when their batteries are depleted. A qualitative study was used to learn straight from the hearing aid users. One-on-one interviews allowed researchers to refer to hearing aid users as the experts on this topic.
Common trends based on responses from people with hearing loss were reviewed and established. Fourteen adult hearing aid users were interviewed about their experiences with hearing aid batteries and how they deal with switching out their batteries.
Two trends that were revealed included problems that arose when changing batteries and techniques used to change batteries. Based on what participants said, each topic was examined deeper.
The Problem with Battery Changes
The participants in this study discussed their concerns about where it was appropriate to change their batteries, the sensory challenges that they faced, and the urgency for more information when it comes to batteries. Here’s a list of some of these challenges:
Waiting for the battery to completely deplete itself allowed participants to get the longest life possible out of them. An extensive life was crucial to participants because they deemed them more cost-effective.
Strategies to Keep Hearing Aids Functioning with Batteries
Here’s a list of strategies for keeping hearing aids functioning:
At Pure Sound, we offer not only discount batteries, but also discount hearing aids. If you are interested in a free hearing test and a free hearing aid trial, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Science researchers directed by King’s College London, Karolinska Institute, and Erasmus University have discovered 10 new genes that are connected to hearing loss and detected which areas of the ear were affected by them.
In June 2022, this discovery was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. As a result, it created some skepticism about current knowledge on the origins of age-related hearing loss that stems from sensory hair cells. Based on their findings, researchers strongly believe that the stria vascularis, an area of the cochlea - which is located in the ear, is a new area of focus for treatments that help individuals with hearing loss.
Due to various factors, many people experience hearing loss as they age. By 2050, about 2.4 billion people will have some range of hearing loss. Age-related hearing problems are one of the primary chronic disabilities. It’s also a high-risk factor for dementia.
This group of researchers also reviewed genetic analyses that were made by different centers across the globe. They used samples from 723,266 patients in 17 studies who were clinically diagnosed or self-reported hearing impairment. This is currently one of the largest studies conducted on the genetic factors of hearing health. The researchers found 48 genes connected to hearing loss, including 10 new variants that are recently related to hearing.
This discovery identified genes that can be focused on for screening purposes, developing drugs, and gene therapy. It’s a secure foundation to help improve therapies against hearing loss.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids may be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you were told that you need hearing aids, here are some questions to ask your hearing instrument specialist before purchasing:
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. In most instances stress from the current situation has exacerbated chronic conditions.
These circumstances - the social isolation, unpredictability, the news, financial troubles, an interruption in our routines, inaccessibility of or challenges with visiting healthcare providers, have caused hardships for everyone, including people with tinnitus.
Stress and how it Affects Tinnitus
Stress triggers many chronic conditions, like tinnitus. More stress can make tinnitus louder and more difficult to tune out.
Here’s a simple way to mentally visualize this issue. Imagine the capacity of managing your stress in the form of a big glass tank. The tank symbolizes the amount of stress you can handle each day. When your stress rises and the tank overflows, you begin to have symptoms of anxiety or other negative health problems.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that the stress that comes while living with this condition can flood the tank. Even if the stress that you associate with tinnitus is not flooding the tank, it can still be very distracting. Other stress factors that usually don’t affect you, may be enough to overwhelm you and induce anxiety.
When people are able to habituate to their tinnitus and experience some relief, the ability to manage stress will be reinforced.
Stress can come from anything, so it’s not just stress from the tinnitus that you need to take charge of. Other factors can be related to work, relationships, family, finances or lack thereof, health problems, the pandemic, etc.
Reduce stress by checking out tips from these articles:
How can Stress Lead to Hearing Loss?
Soothe Your Stress by Listening to Nature
How Can Art Therapy Help Patients with Chronic Conditions like Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities?
Do you have Hearing Loss and Anxiety?
If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus and/or hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Did you know that the average healthy human ear can recognize frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz)? It can also tell the difference between sounds that are familiar and sounds that are new, which can warn you of potential danger and help you be more aware of your surroundings. This is an important sense to have when you’re out camping, hiking, or hunting. The ability to hear rustling bushes and trees, the sound of a twig snapping, or rushing waters isn’t just pleasant - it can be life-saving.
1. Protect Yourself by Being Aware of Your Surroundings
Experienced hikers will inform you that you should be alert and on guard if the forest you walk through is too quiet. If birds and other animals are silent, it’s because they know a predator is in the area. Depending on where you live, keep an eye out for bears or mountain lions. DO NOT keep food in a space where you’ll be sleeping and hanging around. The large animals will initially look for that food.
Being able to hear unusual noises in your environment can signal that there’s an animal in the bushes nearby. You will normally hear animals before you see them, or don’t see them at all. A sharp sense of hearing will act as a harbinger to keep you prepared for any dangerous encounters.
2. Camping and Hearing Aid Usage
If you’re a new or long-time hearing aid user, you may be unsure about the best way to camp or backpack with your devices. Here are some tips to keep your hearing aids working while enjoying the great outdoors:
Carry extra batteries or a portable charger
Be prepared when traveling anywhere. Purchase extra batteries in case you need them, and store them in a cool, dry place when they are not being used. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, bring a portable charger so that you can recharge them without an electrical outlet.
Keep your hearing aids dry
Pack a cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to cover your ears if the weather is cold, wet, or windy. A Ziplock bag can be used to store these items.
Keep your hearing aids cool
Extreme temperatures, especially heat, can damage the wiring and other technology in your hearing aids. Remove them if you plan on sitting close to a smoldering campfire, do not place them in direct sunlight, and do not leave them in a hot car.
Get your hearing aids checked
Before going off on your outdoor adventure, make an appointment with your hearing aid provider. Inform them that you will be camping and might need your hearing aids re-programmed to hear the different environments you’ll be in.
Make friends and family aware of your trip
Whenever you plan to go into a secluded area, whether it’s alone or with at least one other person, always tell someone you know where you are going and when they should expect you to return. Do not wander away alone for any reason, especially if it’s dark out.
3. Hearing Safety and Hunting Outdoors
When gun safety is discussed, protecting your hearing is a topic that doesn’t get covered. In addition to safe gun use and storage, it’s important to protect your ears from the deafening noise of gunshots. The sound from a single shot can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Since hunters need to be aware of their surroundings and hear their prey, choose hearing protection that muffles sounds, but also allows softer sounds in a forest environment to be heard. Custom earplugs are an excellent option. Talk to a hearing aid provider about getting a customized fitting for earplugs.
If you, or a loved one, wear hearing aids and plan on spending an extensive amount of time outdoors, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing aid tune-up, professional cleaning, or supplies.
Ear infections may occur in your middle ear - the area behind your eardrum - if there’s fluid build-up. That build-up can lead to bacterial and/or viral infections. Ear infections can be caused by allergies, colds, and the flu. Ear infections can also occur in the outer ear or ear canal if it comes in contact with bacteria or contaminated water. Some hearing aids are designed to seal off the ear canal. As a result, an ear infection can linger if they are frequently worn without proper regular cleanings.
Hearing aids are supposed to be worn all day, from the moment when you wake up to the moment when you get ready to sleep unless you take a shower/bath, or go into a body of water. To help prevent ear infections, it’s important to keep up with daily hearing aid cleanings at home and schedule professional cleanings every six months or less. If there's too much debris or earwax impacting the function of the devices, you should visit your hearing instrument specialist sooner.
Some signs of an ear infection are pain and swelling. Hearing aids are custom-fit, or a standard dome size is recommended for each user, so if there’s pain and swelling it indicates that the devices were not correctly fit. The improper fitting will also affect the sound quality that you hear when wearing them.
What Should You Do if You Have an Ear Infection from Wearing Hearing Aids?
If you or a loved one need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids or a re-fitting for a more suitable fit, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
We’re winding down towards the end of summer, and the heatwave has felt relentless. In addition to the heat, humidity and moisture can warp the wiring and affect the performance of your hearing aids. Follow these simple tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your hearing aids.
7 Tips to Enhance the Efficiency of Your Hearing Aids
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss or any problems with hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment.
We are all aware that exposure to loud noises, genetic factors, and diet can cause hearing loss, but here are some other known causes of hearing loss.
Over an extended period of time, these conditions and habits can cause hearing loss:
Even though these causes of hearing loss are uncommon, it’s still important to be aware of them to keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Sometimes having hearing loss while trying to watch a movie in theaters or at a drive-thru can be challenging. Will you be able to hear and follow along with the movie? Will it be worth your time and money?
Luckily for you, most movie theaters in the U.S. are required to provide closed captioning and audio descriptions. These laws were passed in 2018 through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This makes it easier for anyone with hearing loss to enjoy the movies.
Be Sure to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Most hearing aid users won’t need additional help.
Those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss are still able to hear well in movie theaters when donning their hearing aids. Speech sounds tend to be clearer in movie theaters than watching TV or movies from home. This is mainly due to the volume level, sound system quality, and placement of the speakers.
If you are concerned that the film will be played too loudly for you, slightly adjust the volume on your hearing aids to an appropriate level. Today’s hearing aids can be programmed to suppress loud noises so that your hearing health remains protected.
Accessibility services at local theaters should be researched if you have severe hearing loss or are deaf. Get there early so that you can request accommodations and have time to set up the equipment. If things did not go as planned, you can ask for a refund.
Here are some possible options that may be offered:
Opened captioning - text will appear onscreen during the movie so that everyone in the audience can see it.
Closed captioning - these captions are private and transmitted through a personal device.
It’s rare to see open captions for a general audience. Some theaters have the option of “open caption” viewings for those who need/prefer to watch a movie with subtitles/captions, or if there’s a large group that requested a special screening. There are also captions for foreign films.
With closed captions, it is required that you ask for a device that displays the captions at your seat. The device, technology, and availability will be different for each movie theater chain, so you’ll want to do some research before heading to the theater. If necessary, call or email the company.
Accessibility Options from 4 Major Theater Chains
Regal had a plethora of information. They feature an accessibility services page, along with a list of every theater in each state and the accessibility options that are available in each local theater.
Regal offers open captions through Sony Access eyeglasses. It allows audiences to see captions in their direct line of sight. Users can wear these over their regular eyeglasses.
Prior to your visit, it is recommended that you contact your local theater to make sure that you will be accommodated as necessary. The movie descriptions should read “accessibility devices available.”
Last year, AMC announced they would be adding more showings that featured open captions. This is significant because AMC is the largest movie chain in the world.
Other accessibility options from AMC include:
The accessibility page for Landmark lists which theaters have assistive listening technology and what they use. It’s different for each theater, but typically includes:
This large chain provides assistive technology that is similar to Landmark.
If your local theater does not provide the latest captioning technology, they may have assistive listening devices (ALD) like telecoils (which require your hearing aids to be paired with them), assistive listening systems (ALS) which are system-wide technology used in public spaces like a theater, airport, or lecture hall.
Three types of ALS recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) include:
Every ALS must be an option for hearing aid users' access, whether they have telecoils or not.
It’s easy to connect to a hearing loop if your hearing aids feature telecoils. Most people prefer using hearing loops out of the three types of ALS.
If you are having problems hearing in theaters and need help with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
Hearing Loss: Are You or a Family Member Headed Back to School? Here are 3 Tips for Better Communication.
School is almost back in session. Here are three tips to help make learning easier if you have hearing loss.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing difficulty with your hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
August is Hearing Health Awareness Month, and we’re providing a dietary guide for healthy hearing.
In order to function properly, a healthy body requires the right amount of nutrients.
Just like all of your other organs, your ears must have the nutritional support to help you hear your best. Here are some foods that will benefit your hearing.
Bananas, and other foods that are rich in potassium, are great sources of nutrients for the ears. Potassium helps translate sound into nerve impulses in the inner ear that get transferred to the brain. Potassium levels actually decline as we age, so it’s crucial to maintain good levels of potassium to fight against age-related hearing loss. Consuming bananas is a great way to get potassium in your diet, but make sure you aren’t taking in more than the recommended amount of 3.5 grams. You should easily reach this amount of potassium with your normal caloric intake.
Beans, lentils, and peas
Zinc is necessary for mineral growth and development. It can also improve hearing health and symptoms of tinnitus by protecting your immune system. It’s a good idea to start increasing your daily intake of zinc so that your ears can benefit from the nutrients for a long period of time. Incorporate beans, lentils, and peas for an easy way to get zinc in your diet.
Broccoli is a great basic building block for a healthy body. It includes vitamins K and C, along with fiber. Broccoli is used to stop free radicals - these are the basic structures for a disease to grow and accelerate aging - from causing harm to the delicate and sensitive tissues in your ears. No matter how you eat it - grilled, steamed, or raw - the health benefits of broccoli can’t be understated.
Fish is full of heart-healthy omega 3 and vitamin D. We know that Vitamin D strengthens the body’s bones, and this includes the middle bones in your ear which can prevent osteopenia and otosclerosis. These are serious ear problems that can lead to irreversible hearing loss. The recommended weekly intake is two servings of fresh, unprocessed fish which can also lower the chances of enduring permanent hearing loss.
Garlic can boost blood circulation and lower inflammation in the body, particularly for organs related to hearing. This lets blood properly flow everywhere that it is needed, and reduces the possibility of high blood pressure which can lead to long-term health issues.
If you are concerned about the smell, there are odorless garlic supplements. You can even incorporate some cloves into your cooking. Garlic should be part of your healthy eating plan. You might notice some relief from symptoms of common ear conditions like tinnitus.
If you are noticing hearing loss, hearing aids can help slow down the loss and improve your brain health, combat isolation, and help with communication. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Regular check-ups and hearing tests to detect hearing loss in its early stages, along with preventative care, are crucial for properly treating and managing your hearing health. If you are exposed to loud noise or notice hearing loss, seek help immediately. Do not wait until you notice signs of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss: The 10 Signs
If you experience at least one of these signs, your hearing loss may have been caused by noise exposure:
A hearing test can be administered if you:
A pure tone test will be administered, and you will listen to different tones through headphones. This is how your hearing healthcare provider identifies the quietest tone that you can hear. You may be asked to repeat a series of words or press a button when you hear a tone.
Risks for Hearing Loss
These are some causes and susceptibilities of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other hearing loss factors:
Noise Exposure can also Lead to other Developmental Problems
If you are experiencing hearing loss for any reason, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, you should get your ears checked, and your hearing tested. Injuries caused by loud noises, or head trauma, can lead to dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
TBI can happen to anyone, but it can be more serious in older individuals. Americans at least 75 years of age are the most likely to be hospitalized for TBI.
Patients who endure a TBI need to undergo stabilization. There may be a delay before the patient or their family members notice any problems with their hearing.
In some cases, complications are not immediately determined. If you have any history of TBI, let your hearing care provider know. Hearing loss and other hearing health-related problems could be bee overlooked.
Possible Outcomes from Auditory Problems following TBI
An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is a head trauma that impairs the brain’s normal functioning for a short period. About half of TBI cases are caused by falls. The rest are induced by automobile crashes and assaults. A blow, bump, or jolt that causes the head and brain to quickly move back and forth can make the brain bounce or twist within the skull. Cells can also be harmed.
You don’t need to experience a direct impact on your head to have a TBI. If you are in an automobile accident and forcefully jerk forward, this can cause a TBI whether your head hits something or not. You can experience a brain injury even if you remain conscious.
The word “concussion” may be used interchangeably with brain injury because it sounds less alarming. It’s important to know that a concussion is a TBI. Some evidence shows that hospitals are not thoroughly treating mild forms of TBIs. There was a study on 395 patients who were at least 14 years old and visited an urban hospital because they had mild TBI. Out of those patients who met the typical standards for those who could be released from the hospital without a follow-up, 27 percent ended up having permanent cognitive difficulties and required therapy.
Acoustic trauma occurs when the ears are affected by a head injury (like a direct blow to the ear, or a loud noise within close range). Anyone who has trained or fought in war is at high risk for this particular injury. Many veterans have hearing loss and tinnitus.
Tinnitus and TBI
Over half of patients with TBI develop tinnitus. That number increases if the individual was exposed to a blast. Tinnitus is the first and widely reported problem after a TBI.
Tinnitus is the top service-related reason for veterans to file for compensation disability.
Symptoms of tinnitus can be the result of an injury or medication side effects that are used to treat TBI. This may include SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac, over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin, and anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, etc.
Many people who have tinnitus, also experience hearing loss. It may not be noticeable. You can wear hearing aids, which can be programmed to cover phantom sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or tinnitus sound therapy can help mask the noise.
Hearing Loss and TBI
A 2018 report concluded that those with TBI and no bone injuries to their head still had some hearing-related loss. Sometimes it was fleeting. A study on 1.6 million people in Taiwan showed that TBIs could lead to over twice the chances of hearing loss within the following decade.
When sounds vibrate through the ear, the eardrum will respond to the sound. Vibrations communicate with three small bones or the ossicles. When those bones vibrate, the vibration travels to fluid in the inner ear and cochlea, which communicates with the auditory nerve.
Possible problems may arise:
If you, or a loved one, have experienced any type of head trauma, and notice hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing evaluation.
Receiving treatment for hearing loss can alter your life. It’s always nice to share this news with people, especially those who need help with their hearing loss but haven’t sought care. Here are five tips to be a better advocate for anyone with hearing loss.
1. Share Your Journey to Better Hearing
The average person with hearing loss waits more than a decade after they begin to notice the loss before receiving proper treatment. Think about all of the things you could miss out on for a decade. There are also physical (balance issues), mental (anxiety and depression), social (isolation), and financial (losing a job because you can’t follow directions due to poor hearing) repercussions to untreated hearing loss.
Simply sharing your story can encourage others who continue putting off care for their hearing health to seek help.
2. Be there to Support Someone
Getting help is a major step that feels easier with family and friends by your side. Your loved ones are some of the primary people who are also affected by your hearing loss. Have you noticed communication issues with them?
Having family members at your hearing care appointments can help your hearing aid provider better understand how you communicate with others and find the best solution for everyone. The emotional support, a better perspective about your hearing needs, or being able to hear a familiar voice when you are trialing a pair of hearing aids is always comforting.
3. Be Available to Offer Advice
With all of the different features available, it can be overwhelming to learn how it all works. Hearing instrument specialists are available to guide you through the technology so you can get the most use out of them. There are all sorts of tips, apps, and smartphone compatibility features that will be beneficial to your hearing needs.
4. Practice Self-Care
Hearing health often goes overlooked. Remind yourself and family members, no matter what level of hearing abilities you/they have to get annual hearing tests, monitor hearing health, pay attention to problems that come up with hearing aids, and seek professional help as soon as possible.
Adults who received treatment for hearing loss have reported improvements in all of their relationships, their mental health, social life, and other important areas. The loved ones in their lives have noted the same. For your sake, and theirs, get your hearing tested and seek treatment if necessary by getting in touch with Pure Sound Hearing.
In the U.S. there have been laws established to protect everyone with hearing loss. These days they need to be adapted for technology that is constantly evolving. July 26th is the 32nd anniversary of the supreme law granting protections to people with a hearing impairment. It is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are the three titles of the ADA:
Even if you are a hearing aid or cochlear implant user, and those devices can help your hearing limitations, you still have a legal disability status under the ADA. This indicates that under the law, you are guaranteed certain protections and accommodations.
Changes in technology are constantly evolving and services are readily available online. As a result, the definition of discrimination has also changed. One example was when the Zoom video chat service charged more money for closed-captioning during video calls. In December of 2020, two individuals who were hearing impaired sued the company. They cited ADA violations and California and New York laws. In March of 2021, Zoom allowed users to sign up for free live captioning (this feature can only be accessed by the host of the meeting). This feature is now free for all users.
Hearing Loss Accessibility in the Internet Age
The ADA was originally written when the internet was still very new. Judges have provided different rulings on whether “places of public accommodation” include websites and apps, which do not have a physical location. The U.S. Department of Justice stated that it does, but there have not been any regulations issued.
Website accessibility guidelines have stated that anyone with vision impairment should be able to see and read a website, and the tools used by people with disabilities should be easily integrated. Closed captions and transcriptions should be available for all prerecorded audio and video. This is not a guarantee, as users of YouTube videos have been made aware of it.
Telephone Access for Hearing Loss
The law is more straightforward when it comes to telephone systems, which must be available for anyone with hearing loss and speech problems. The options are captioned telephones and web-based captioning services. The 1988 Hearing Aid Compatibility Act orders that every telephone and smartphone must be compatible with hearing aids.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was enacted in 2010, required text messaging, email, instant messaging, and video calls to be accessible for those with disabilities. Free live captioning on private platforms like Zoom is now available.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission ordered in 2012 that all TV programs with closed captions must be published online.
For all airlines, and foreign airlines that are flying to the U.S., the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) requires hearing loss accommodations, such as captioning on airport televisions.
The ADA requires courtrooms, hospitals, and schools to have sign language interpreters available when necessary.
Accessibility in Public Spaces
Theaters that have fixed seating for at least 50 people must provide assistive hearing services for audience members who have hearing loss.
Assistive listening systems for people with hearing loss must be provided by museums. This does not include sign language interpreters or closed captioning, but some include this as an option for Deaf patrons. Most times, these services are free or a small fee is charged.
Other spaces that must provide assistive hearing systems for anyone with hearing loss include hospitals, hotels, concert/lecture halls, convention centers, courtrooms, stadiums, and nursing homes. Facilities that have hearing loops can connect with hearing aids that feature telecoils (or t-coils).
Employment Discrimination and Hearing Loss
Job seekers and employees are protected by the ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If there are at least 15 employees at your place of employment, you do not have to report your hearing loss and your employer cannot ask you questions to determine whether you have a disability. The employer is allowed to ask specific questions about your ability to perform basic job functions, like how good your communication skills are, whether you can perform in a fast-paced noisy environment, or can meet legally required standards in safety.
If your hearing loss is obvious or you report it, the person who decides whether to hire you can ask if you need accommodations to perform the job.
Your Employer must provide you with Accommodations if You Have a Hearing Loss
Your employer must provide reasonable accommodations, which means it should not be too difficult or expensive to make adjustments. Some accommodations may include a sign language interpreter during meetings or assistive listening devices.
Discuss these things with your employer, and be prepared to give more information about your conditions and needs from your healthcare provider(s).
If you think there’s been a violation of your rights, make a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the incident. A lawsuit may be filed in federal court after you receive a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Hearing loss can affect anyone. There are different causes and ranges of hearing impairment. Detecting hearing problems early and receiving proper treatment is key to health management, preventing or slowing down a further decline.
1. Have Others Noticed a Change in Your Hearing?
If other people complain about needing to repeat themselves or if you don’t hear them when they say something to you, this can be another sign of hearing loss. Your loved ones or other people that you frequently interact with are usually the first to notice there’s something wrong with your hearing.
2. Do You Have Difficulty with Hearing Consonant Sounds in Words?
If you can’t clearly hear the beginning of words, especially consonants, this might be an early sign of hearing loss. If you have problems with differentiating some words from each other, like ring and sing, this can also be an early sign of hearing loss.
3. Do You find it Difficult to Hear in Loud Environments?
If you avoid certain places, spending time with others, or frequently need to ask others to repeat themselves, particularly in busy or loud areas, you may be experiencing hearing loss.
4. Are You Cranking up the Volume on Entertainment Systems?
This is one of the most common signs people experience when they start to lose their hearing. If others ask you to turn the volume down when watching or listening to something, you should get your hearing tested.
5. Do You notice a Phantom Ringing Sound?
Tinnitus is a common type of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among those who experience regular exposure to loud noises. Get a hearing test immediately if you notice consistent ringing noises that are difficult to ignore and have no outside/physical source.
Tinnitus can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so get your hearing tested as soon as possible so that you can receive immediate treatment.
6. Do You Hate Talking on Your Phone?
Hearing conversations through a phone is difficult for some people with hearing loss. Voices may not sound loud or clear enough. If you tend to switch to the loudspeaker option, this can be a sign of hearing loss. All modern digital hearing aids have Bluetooth® technology, so it’s possible to stream your phone calls directly through your hearing aids.
7. Do You Often Feel More Fatigued?
If you feel tired more often, this could be due to the amount of energy you use to pay attention to what others are saying. Get a hearing test if this is the case for you. Listening fatigue is a real problem among those with hearing loss. Receiving adequate treatment can help you focus easier, and make you feel less drained.
If any of these issues have occurred to you, or a loved one, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Les Paul, has been bestowed with many titles including award-winning musician, innovator, creative genius, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing, and other music advancements. He also wore hearing aids in both ears.
In 1969 his hearing started to deteriorate when a friend playfully smacked the side of his right ear, which led to his eardrum rupturing. It wasn’t a hard slap, but his friend’s open palm made contact with Paul’s right ear. The abrupt pressure popped his eardrum. A surgical procedure complicated his hearing, and he lost his ability to hear out of his right ear. A couple of years later, another guitar player slapped over his left ear, and again, that eardrum also popped.
In total, he had five operations on his inner ear and eardrums. His hearing loss eventually became permanent, and he has been wearing hearing aids ever since. He always looked for ways to improve the quality of hearing aids and hearing health until he passed away in 2009.
His work continues through the Les Paul Foundation, which provides yearly funding to Hearing Health Foundation’s Emerging Research Grants program to discover a cure for tinnitus.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation if you experience hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Hearing loss is as unique as the shape of a person’s ears. Being able to hear is important. Whether you can manage with a standard hearing aid or require a customized earmold, wearing hearing aids that properly fit can make a huge difference in how you absorb your environment.
Key Facts about Hearing Aid Earmolds
The hearing aid receiver is the part of the device that rests inside the ear canals. They are available in two different styles: domes or earmolds.
Hearing aid domes resemble a small cone shape. They come in standard sizes, rather than customized sizes. Hearing aid users will be provided with the domes that best fit their ear canals. If it feels uncomfortable, you may try a different size. The domes feature large openings that will harness natural sounds and provide ventilation.
Earmolds are comprised of plastic or silicone. They are custom-fit in order to rest close and comfortably in the ear canal. There are usually small air vents featured on them.
Why are Earmolds used with Hearing Aids?
If you find it difficult to hear low, most, or all frequencies (this is called flat hearing loss), an earmold can make sounds easier and more pleasant to hear because they rest securely in the ear. A secure and comfortable fit will stop amplified sound from seeping out of the ear canal and cause a feedback noise - the loud whistling noise that occurs as a result of sounds that leak and become re-amplified. Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss typically use earmolds.
Earmolds are best for any range of hearing loss. Any long-time hearing aid user might prefer wearing an earmold style, whereas new hearing aid users tend to choose hearing aid domes because they feel more comfortable, have less occlusion, and are easier to change out.
Everyone is different. Have a discussion with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can make custom earmolds or provide standard domes for your hearing aids.
Those with high-frequency hearing loss (who have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like children’s voices) usually wear dome-style hearing aids.
Proper Hearing Aid Fit
As mentioned earlier, ear shapes are unique, therefore it’s important to have a professional hearing instrument specialist customize an earmold in order to securely fit your individual ear shape. They need to be comfortable and tight enough to stop sounds from leaking out and causing feedback noise, but not too tight to the point where it feels painful to wear.
Customizing a hearing aid is simple. The process requires creating an impression of your ear canal and the outer ear using a soft molding composite, similar to how a dentist makes an impression of your teeth.
Common Dilemmas with Earmolds
Earmolds may still require additional adjustments after the impression has been made. Ears change in shape and size as you age, so a lot of earmolds are composed of soft materials that can be adjusted by your hearing instrument specialist.
Repairing Problems with Earmolds
Here are some typical problems that earmold users encounter:
Earmolds used as Earplugs
People who don’t wear hearing aids can wear earmolds. Custom earplugs and earmolds can be used to protect your hearing health from loud noise exposure. Musicians, professional football players, and race car drivers wear earmolds that feature an acoustic chamber that obstructs most noise while letting the wearer understand speech sounds. Swimmers wear special earmolds that prevent water from entering their ears. Talk to our hearing instrument specialists if you’re interested in getting custom earmolds.
The earmold is a crucial detail of your hearing aids. Just like with standard domes, the earmold should be wiped down with professional cleaning wipes before getting ready to sleep. If you notice any debris in the openings or tubing of the earmold, properly clean them by applying the instructions that your hearing aid provider gave you. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact them.
If you have any problems with your hearing aids, need a new pair of hearing aids, or are overdue for a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Google introduced Android 10 in 2019, which featured Live Caption and Live Transcribe. These apps highlighted captioning, with the purpose of providing accessibility options for Android users who have hearing loss. These two apps were developed by students and researchers at Gallaudet University - the only university in the world where students live and learn using American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
The Live Caption option is accessible on some Samsung devices - and most Pixel devices. It provides captions for any media that’s played on the device.
Some have voiced complaints that it does not have built-in auto-captioning. As a result, videos on social media are less accessible.
Live Transcribe is a popular app that became available in 2019. It utilizes machine learning tools to give users captions for spoken words that are gathered by the phone’s microphone. Live Transcribe also lets users pause, save, and search for old transcriptions. It also lets the user transcribe speech to other languages.
This was a personal investment by several employees at Google. At least one of the employees is hard of hearing.
Sound Amplifier is an app that can be found through the Google Play store. It’s pre-installed in Pixel and some Android devices like Samsung. It harnesses sound through the microphone on your phone and plays optimized sound through headphones. You can use the app to adjust volume, fine-tune, and reduce background noise. It can also be used to enhance audio for various media like videos or podcasts.
If you have different degrees of hearing loss in each ear, you can make one side louder than the other when wearing headphones or linking hearing aids to the app.
Complications with Android
Google lends its Android operating system to different smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Motorola, Samsung, and Xiaomi. Because of this, Google does not oversee which software features are used on each device. It solely depends on the manufacturer and which software they select.
Google’s Pixel is the only exception. It is managed directly by Google, allowing the company to easily introduce new accessibility features on Pixel phones.
Compatibility with Hearing Aids
Android’s Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids protocol was issued as part of Android 10 in 2019. This audio streaming service lets hearing aids that are compatible stream audio wirelessly through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) through the user’s phone.
It’s important to be aware that compatibility with hearing aids is not the same for every hearing aid manufacturer. There are lots of inconsistencies with software when it comes to Android phones. Be sure to bring this topic up before purchasing.
If you or a loved one are noticing any hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently guide you towards better hearing with their experience and expertise.
Be more Productive on the Job by Treating Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss and work with other people, missing or mistaking what you heard can lead to an unproductive day. In a survey that was recorded through The Hearing Journal, workers were asked about the repercussions of untreated hearing loss and how it affected their productivity. Nearly all participants in the survey reported serious obstacles they faced while accomplishing their work before using hearing aids.
Results from the Survey
These negative impacts of hearing loss should be a case for employers to offer hearing health benefits, encourage employees to seek help and treatment, and offer appropriate accommodations. Not only does it offer employees the hearing treatment that they need for their overall health and well-being, but it can also help them be more productive in the workplace.
Another recent survey showed that 51% of adults have reported hearing problems. Just 11% requested treatment. The cost of treatment accounts for 85% of why they do not get treatment, 45% reported the challenges with adjusting to hearing aids, and 28% account for the stigma of wearing hearing aids. Only 12% did not demonstrate any concern. This demographic can give hearing aid providers the chance to educate and provide resources that would help make getting hearing aids easier.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, Pure Sound Hearing offers a free hearing test and discount hearing aids. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Auracast™ is the latest Bluetooth® connectivity platform that allows audio transmitters like TVs, laptops, smartphones, or PA systems to relay audio to all Bluetooth® devices like hearing aids or earbuds.
Telecoils (or t-coils) in hearing aids have been available for decades, and they are reliable enough to gather broadcast audio in any area that features loops with a magnetic induction system. Telecoils may not provide a steady stream of good sound quality in every situation. Loops need to be maintained on a regular basis, and a skilled hearing instrument specialist needs to properly program the telecoils.
The Basics of Auracast™
Auracast™ is essentially a more powerful version of telecoils. With Auracast™ hearing aid users will be able to access audio streams securely and privately, without being confined to hearing loop cables. Audio will be streamed via a secure Wi-Fi network, without relying on electromagnetism.
If you are traveling through an airport, crucial flight/gate changes and other announcements will be streamed directly to your hearing aids. If you attend a live lecture or play, an Auracast™ transmitter will give you an alert on your smartphone to let you know that audio streaming can be accessed. The Auracast Assistant™ will be used to locate and select the sound stream and transmit it to your hearing aids or, other Bluetooth®-connected devices.
The only earlier options for these situations were t-coils, FM transmitters, or infrared receivers. Auracast™ may be the future of assistive listening systems.
The ability to hear and comprehend speech in different settings is an ongoing struggle for people with any range of hearing loss. New and quality technology is beneficial for everyone, including improvement in communication for those with hearing loss. Giving more options to people with a wide range of hearing loss is important.
The Telecoils are Still Beneficial
While the Auracast™ has many perks, there’s one significant flaw: it will only work if you have both a Bluetooth®-compatible hearing aid and the Auracast-enabled transmitter (a smartphone, computer, or tablet).
Many modern hearing aids feature Bluetooth® audio streaming technology. Most of the hearing aids that do not have Bluetooth® streaming are smaller devices. For example, in-the-ear (ITE), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids drain the batteries faster when Bluetooth® streaming is utilized.
Basic hearing aids are less likely to feature Bluetooth®. Many behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RIC), and custom-designed hearing aids can feature a telecoil. Venues around the U.S. are required to have assistive listening systems, so a telecoil is useful for these areas.
Even if Auracast™ functions well, it may take at least 10 years until the vast majority of hearing aid users can use it to their advantage. Telecoils are still a great solution to hear speakers or in noisy environments that use a loop system. So if you are shopping around for hearing aids, request a pair with telecoils if possible, and/or when your hearing instrument specialist recommends them.
Bluetooth® technology will grow and change in ways that will improve communication in many different types of settings and situations. Just about all hearing aids in the future will have streaming features. Auracast™ is still a major innovation that can expand the way hearing aids, earbuds, and speakers audibly adapt to their environments.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Some people with hearing loss are still irritated by loud noises. In fact, some sounds are more annoying and even painful than before they started experiencing hearing loss. The term for this is auditory recruitment or auditory distortion.
Why are certain Noises too Loud?
When the delicate, auditory hair cells (cilia) deteriorate due to aging or sensorineural hearing loss, they can’t respond to sound waves in the same way they used to. This is when hearing loss occurs.
Cells do not worsen evenly. Some hair cells stay in good condition, while others are over-exposed to sounds and the healthy cells immediately need to replace the dying cells. This can lead to sounds that make people feel distressed.
Generally, what happens is a person who cannot hear clearly does not respond to a person who is trying to speak with them at a normal or low volume. In turn, the speaker will talk much louder and the person with hearing loss will suddenly hear them and react in pain.
Hyperacusis is similar. This is when there is an intensity in someone’s sensitivity to sound. The way it's different from auditory recruitment is that hyperacusis can feel painful, but is not related to hearing loss. For example, a child who has autism and auditory processing disorder may experience sensitivity to specific sounds.
Auditory recruitment can be treated by wearing high-quality hearing aids. A hearing instrument specialist can program the hearing aids to compress sounds for the exact range of noises that irritate you. Hearing amplifiers and cheap hearing aid models won’t be useful because they do not feature adjustable compression bands, which can negatively impact your overall hearing health.
It’s crucial to have an experienced hearing instrument specialist who can recognize recruitment and program your hearing aids accordingly.
Recruitment, just like hearing loss, can gradually occur over a long period of time. Pay attention to whether you notice sensitivity to sound after wearing hearing aids. Tinnitus retraining therapy can give relief to those who suffer from it. Discuss this with your hearing instrument specialist.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
The staff from Pure Sound Hearing wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July!
All office locations are closed on 7/4/22.
Problems and Solutions: My Hearing Aids Feel Uncomfortable and Everything Sounds Too Loud. How do I Adjust to This?
As we’ve mentioned before, adapting to hearing aids takes time. Wearing your hearing aids every day, for as long as you can, will help you adjust to them and the sounds that you've missed out on. Eventually, there may be moments when you forget that you’re even wearing hearing aids.
Learn as much as possible about your hearing aids from your hearing instrument specialist. They are professionals when it comes to the hearing aid’s technology and understanding how the devices work. With your hearing instrument specialist present, practice placing your hearing aids in and removing them. They can give you tips on how to do it safely so that you don’t snap the receiver’s wires. Cleaning tips, replacing the batteries, and identifying the left hearing aid from the right hearing aid will be crucial so that you can get the most out of your hearing aids.
Ask how to test them in different environments where you have a difficult time hearing. Some hearing aids automatically adjust the volume and settings, while others require manual adjustments that can be made through your smartphone. Work with your hearing instrument specialist until you are satisfied with them. They will be available when you need help.
Common Problems that Arise
Do the hearing aids feel uncomfortable?
Wearing a new pair of hearing aids can feel like breaking in a new pair of shoes. They may initially feel too tight and uncomfortable. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist to find out how often you should wear your hearing aids each day during your adjustment period. Most would say to wear them from the moment you wake up, until the moment when you are getting ready for bed. But it might depend on your comfort level.
Are you hearing feedback noises?
Loud whistling sounds can come from your hearing aids if they don’t fit properly, or if it’s obstructed by earwax or fluid.
Does your voice sound too loud?
The occlusion effect is the blocked-up feeling you hear that makes your voice sound louder. This can seem startling to new hearing aid users. A correction may need to be made by your hearing instrument specialist. Most people get used to the sound as they adapt.
Are background noises too loud or distracting?
If you are hearing background noises or other people’s conversations, instead of the individuals who you are speaking with, your hearing aids will need additional adjustments.
Is there a buzzing sound when using your smartphone?
Hearing aid users may notice interferences from frequencies that are caused by smartphones or cellphones. There are more improvements in digital hearing aids and smartphones, so these problems do not occur as often as they used to.
If you are experiencing any problems with your hearing aids and need an adjustment, repair, or new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
Hearing aids are amazing pieces of technology that help you hear better and communicate with people easier. One of the downsides is that they sometimes fall out of your ears. This can create some anxiety, especially if you are outside of your home. Here’s some advice on how to keep your hearing aids from falling out.
6 Tips to Keep Your Hearing Aids Fitting Securely in Your Ears
1. Test whether your hearing aids tend to fall out during certain activities.
Do you notice that your hearing aids usually fall out of your ears during a certain time of day? Maybe it’s when you’re eating, speaking, or working out - sweat from your ears can loosen hearing aids and cause them to fall out. This indicates that your hearing aids are poorly fit, and you’ll either need a different size hearing aid dome or a customized earmold. If you have other dome sizes, try those out before seeking help from your hearing aid provider. If you need different hearing aid domes or would like a customized earmold, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing.
2. Examine the inserts that you are placing in your ears.
If your hearing aids keep falling out of your ears, it may be due to the size of the removable foam or silicone earpiece. If the earpiece is too big, it will be challenging to insert them into your ear canals and they’ll slide out. If the earpiece is too small, rapidly moving your head or even leaning forward will cause it to fall out. The foam tips should be switched out every 2-3 weeks; silicon tips should be replaced every 4-6 months. If they have not been replaced for a long time, this might be the problem. If the ear molds were customized to fit your ears, you may need to be re-fit. As you age, the size of your ears changes so it’s not an unusual request.
3. Pay attention to the way you insert your hearing aids.
In some instances, hearing aids may loosen from your ears because you are not inserting them properly. Be sure to insert hearing aids properly and in the correct ears for customized-fit devices. The hearing aid should fit evenly, and right up against the ear canals, or against the outer ear lobe if the hearing aids are larger. If they don’t slide in comfortably, use a mirror to look and check to make sure they are going in properly. Read through the owner’s manual, or ask your hearing instrument specialist for advice.
4. Clear out earwax.
If you don’t find any problems with your hearing aids, maybe earwax build-up is causing your hearing aids to fall out. Earwax build-up can push your hearing aids out of your ears. Safely clean your ears. Do NOT use Q-Tips or anything small that can be inserted into the ear. The irrigation and suction methods or a curette tool may be used by a professional to clean your ears out. With the irrigation method, a syringe containing warm water is held to your ear and the water flows behind the obstruction and pushes it out of the ear. The suction method uses a suction machine to clear the wax from the ears. A curette tool is a thin metal hook that is gently scraped in the ear canal to scoop out the earwax.
5. Use hearing aid accessories.
If you have an active lifestyle, you may have a challenging time keeping your hearing aids on after exercising or engaging in a long activity. This is particularly true if you end up sweating during the exercise/activity. Try using an accessory such as a clip, headband, or strap.
6. Maybe you need new hearing aids.
If you’ve had your hearing aids for more than five years, they may not fit anymore because the shape of your ears has changed. Everyone’s ears tend to become larger and stretched out as they age. The ear molds on your hearing aids should be replaced every 5-7 years.
These are just some of the most common causes as to why hearing aids slip out of the ears. If none of these reasons apply to you - or you are still having difficulties after figuring out the cause of your hearing aids falling out of your ears - schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing.