All modern digital hearing aids feature Bluetooth® technology so that your Apple and Android phones, TVs, tablets, and other devices with audio can connect to your hearing aids.
Earlier hearing aid styles forced users to choose between wearing their hearing aids to hear or removing their hearing aids and replacing them with earbuds or a headset. Wireless hearing aids use Bluetooth® to link your electronic devices and stream the sounds to hearing aids.
Hearing aids and Bluetooth®
Multiple leading technology firms developed Bluetooth®. It’s a wireless communication that transfers data between at least two electronic devices. Radio waves set to a high frequency to transmit data without hindrance or risks to security can pair with Bluetooth®. Devices such as computers, mobile phones, music players, tablets, and TV now use Bluetooth®.
Hearing aids for the iPhone®.
There has been a patent developed by Apple to connect Bluetooth® with hearing aids. That means certain hearing aids can connect with the iOS platform that controls iPhones, iPads, and iPods. This technology lets devices connect directly without draining too much battery power. The majority of hearing aid manufacturers make hearing aids that use Bluetooth® - marketed as Made for iPhone™.
Hearing aids for the Android Phone.
Google is developing a standard hearing aid compatibility platform for Android. Many hearing aid brands can stream Android-based phones that are 10.0 or more.
Can’t connect your hearing aids?
Not all hearing aids feature direct streaming from the smartphone to the hearing aids. If that’s the case for you, wireless hearing aids can connect to a compatible listening device (AKA streamers) which provides a communication link for the wireless technology and hearing aids as long as it has Bluetooth®.
You can pair digital hearing aids with a streamer. The streamer connects to an external device. The streamer harnesses the Bluetooth® signal and transmits it to the hearing aid using an FM signal or electromagnetic field. The streamer can be donned around your neck or stored in your pocket, giving you a hands-free experience. Talk to your hearing aid provider about the options suitable for you.
Bluetooth® is one of the top technologies that’s prevalent today.
Bluetooth® has helped make hearing aids ultra-customized for people’s listening needs. Not only is it convenient to use, but it helps by tailoring people’s unique listening needs.
Stay connected with others by contacting one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing.
Can you count how many times a week you’ve said to yourself, “I know it’s somewhere around here, I just had it with me”?
Due to their small size, it’s common for people to lose hearing aids and have trouble finding them. Here are some precautions to reduce your chances of misplacing them.
1. Label Cases or Storage Units used for Hearing Aids.
There are varied ways in which people can store their hearing aids. It’s normal to mix up a hearing aid case for something used to store other small items like medication, a mouth guard, dentures, jewelry, or eyeglasses. Simply label all of your containers if you use multiple ones. Glow-in-the-dark labels are available if you need to find these items in the dark or dim lighting.
2. The Case for Using Hearing Aid Storage
When hearing aids are not in the ears, they may fall from the table or shelf they are stored on and knocked into a garbage can, down a drain, or in the toilet. Placing them in a designated case is a great way to prevent these scenarios from happening. Just about every pair of purchased hearing aids has a storage case. If your devices do not, ask your hearing instrument specialist for one. At Pure Sound Hearing, our providers always give you a storage case with your hearing aid purchase.
3. Keep Your Hearing Aids Stored at Eye Level
When unused, placing your hearing aids in a dry space at eye level is a practical way to store them and notice if they are missing.
Another benefit of leaving your hearing aids at eye level or a higher level is that pets and small children have a lower chance of chewing or swallowing them.
Preventing yourself from accidentally stepping, rolling over, or getting water on the hearing aids lowers the risk of damage to the device.
4. Hearing Aids Should Not Frequently be Adjusted by Hand or Removed
Attempting to adjust or remove your hearing aids in public should rarely be carried out. If you’re in a busy, dark, or crowded area, there’s a higher chance that you’ll lose them if they fall out. Keep your hearing aid case on hand for storage.
You can use a find my hearing aids app and download it for your smartphone to locate your lost device(s). Different hearing aids and different smartphones require certain apps. Discuss what works best for you with your hearing instrument specialist.
You should remove your hearing aids when getting ready for bed. Not only does it give your ears a break, and you can recharge them overnight if your hearing aids are rechargeable, but the hearing aids and the batteries can become loose and fall onto the floor. It may become a chew toy for your dog or cat.
5. Do You Live or Work with Other Hearing Aid Users?
If others in your household also wear hearing aids that look similar to yours, they might mistakenly take them.
For households with multiple hearing aid users, store hearing aids in separate rooms and try not to share hearing aids with others.
6. Tidy Up Your Home
Whether it is your hearing aids or any other item you are frequently misplacing, having a tidier home may be the solution to keeping track of your hearing aids. Keep your hearing aids and all belongings in a clean, designated area so that it’s easier to locate if you think it’s gone missing.
If you’re looking for hearing aids in Lancaster County, schedule an appointment at Pure Sound Hearing for discount hearing aids programmed for your specific listening needs. Our offices are in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
For some, symptoms of tinnitus - a buzzing, clicking, chirping, or ringing noise in the ears - can be the most distracting and annoying health issue that one can have. It can interfere with your entire life.
This past year, about 10 percent of the U.S. population - about 25 million Americans - have experienced tinnitus that lasted for at least five minutes. For some people, the condition is chronic.
Some have felt so hopeless that they may not even bother to bring it up to a healthcare provider. Hearing aids or sound therapies are proven treatments for tinnitus. These treatments don’t work for everybody, but some have marveled at the lack of tinnitus symptoms.
Let’s learn more about the link between hearing loss and tinnitus - and why hearing aids are helpful in some cases to relieve symptoms of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss usually go Hand-and-Hand.
Tinnitus and hearing loss usually happen simultaneously. Not all people with tinnitus have hearing loss, but they are common comorbidities.
There are often moments when a patient will complain about hearing noises and not hearing loss. When they receive a hearing test, the hearing test administrator will usually reveal that the patient has hearing loss that they are unaware of.
It’s still uncertain as to why this happens.
The specific workings and causes of tinnitus are still under research. Studies on animals demonstrate that just about anything that causes hearing loss will also cause tinnitus.
Like hearing, tinnitus occurs in the brain and not in your ears. With hearing loss, your brain misses information, so you cannot process it.
To try and restore the missing input, the auditory neurons found in the brain become hyperactive and fail. As a result, tinnitus occurs.
Hearing Aids are Helpful for Some
Hearing aids cannot restore hearing, but they can help restore auditory stimulation to the brain. Essentially, your brain becomes hyperactive when you have hearing loss. The nerve cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus are overactive and may misinterpret as sound.
In theory, because hearing aids restore some of the stimulation that’s been missing in the brain, they may help manage tinnitus.
Hearing Aids can be Programmed to let You Hear or Block out Background Noise.
If you are in a busy environment and want to hear the people who came out with you, hearing aids use directional microphones that may be programmed to hear only their voices while blocking out distracting background noise.
Hearing aids can also help you hear quiet background noises. The ability to listen to these subtle background noises creates more contrast in the brain against tinnitus.
Hearing Aids may lower Stress Levels.
Tinnitus can become a vicious cycle of stress and worsened symptoms. Work, relationships, and the inability to communicate with those around you can become anxiety-inducing too.
Wearing hearing aids with a masking feature can help relieve the strain you may feel when trying to listen to others.
What are Tinnitus Masking Features?
Donning hearing aids lowers symptoms of tinnitus. Features that come with these devices can help too.
Masking features that are available for hearing aids are white-noise sounds, like rain noise or rushing waters. It’s known as a tinnitus sound generator (TSG).
When wearing them, you may no longer notice the symptoms. Hearing aids help the user make tinnitus more manageable by acclimating to the noise and using the hearing aids to control it.
Hearing aids let you connect to a phone to stream soothing sounds from an app.
There’s no cure for tinnitus, but sound therapies can help make them seem like it has temporarily gone away.
Hearing aids are helpful,l but there’s no guarantee that they will be effective for everyone. They are a treatment option, not a cure.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps people figure out how to deal with something that they cannot change. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) has methods to ignore tinnitus symptoms, along with coping strategies that include relaxation, visualization, and meditation.
Everyone reacts differently to tinnitus, so experimenting with multiple techniques is crucial to finding the right therapy.
Get a Hearing Test
If you think you are noticing tinnitus or a loved one is complaining about hearing phantom noises, get a hearing test to find out.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Apple has an App to Help Anyone who Experiences Difficulty with Hearing and Avoid Areas/Objects that are Too Loud
The Apple Watch has a feature that lets users measure the decibel levels in their surroundings. This lets you keep clear of loud environments or gives you a chance to learn about the importance of wearing ear protection to avoid hearing loss or additional hearing loss. But what is considered too loud?
The Hearing Health Foundation considers normal conversations to be about 60 decibels (dB). These noises do not have a maximum time limit in regard to hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is not recommended to be exposed to noises that reach at least 70 dB for a prolonged period of time.
Examples of noises that are 70 dB or more:
A vacuum cleaner or a home washing machine reaches 70 dB.
Heavy traffic reaches 80-90 dB.
Electric power tools or gas-powered lawnmowers reach 90 dB.
A motorcycle engine that’s running can reach 100 dB.
Playing music at the highest volume through earbuds or headphones can reach up to 105 dB.
Live rock concerts can reach up to 110 dB.
An emergency vehicle siren can reach up to 120 dB.
A jet engine when it’s taking off from a runway or fireworks can reach up to 140 dB.
If you are not sure if a noise level is dangerous, you can open the app to measure your surroundings and see what it picks up. The Noise app allows users to set a decibel threshold and get a notification if their surroundings reach or go past that threshold.
If you plan to stay in a loud area for an extended period of time, wear earplugs before entering these environments. Take breaks away from these locations, if necessary.
Those who are experiencing hearing loss can contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Nearly all home appliances, and entertainment systems, can be connected to a smartphone app in the modern age. Hearing aids are also part of that club.
Apps can make new appliances and devices, like hearing aids, easier to use. You can customize how your hearing aids work based on personal listening experiences. Some hearing aids feature AI, so based on the room or area you go in, your hearing aids will make optimal adjustments to the acoustics in that environment.
A person’s hearing loss, hearing aid, and communication needs are unique. In other words, programmed settings on a person’s hearing aids must be tailored to that user’s specific requirements. Instead of amplifying all sounds, only some sounds get picked up by the microphone within a certain range while blocking out distracting background noises. This is the primary difference between basic amplifiers and hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Apps
Just about all hearing aids feature Bluetooth® technology. With Bluetooth®, you can connect your hearing aids with various smartphone features. Some hearing aid apps available include decibel-measuring apps, captioning apps, translations, and more.
Hearing aid adjustments can be made manually and automatically. Using AI technology, hearing aids can detect the soundscapes in an environment and automatically adjust the room’s noise levels through the hearing aids. If you want more control of the volume, bass, and treble, the app lets you discreetly access that using your smartphone.
Personal programmed settings can be stored and then easily accessed when you are in a particular environment. If you are in a noisy restaurant adjustments can be made on your hearing aids through an app. These settings can be saved when you go back to that restaurant. Some hearing aids may have pre-programmed settings made by your provider, based on your hearing test results, in addition to a tinnitus masking program. There are many customized settings that your hearing instrument specialist can create for a better listening experience.
Apps let you check on your hearing aid’s battery life, so you’ll know when they need to be replaced or recharged. Apps will also show how many hours you wore your hearing aids each day/week/month.
Locating misplaced hearing aids
A find my hearing aid app can locate the device if you lose both or either hearing aid. The caveat is that the hearing aid (s) still need to have enough battery life to be located.
Direct connection to audio
Using apps, you can directly connect and stream your music, TV, and phone calls through your hearing aids.
Keeping Notes on Your Hearing Aid Experience
You should keep a hearing journal and a journal about your hearing aid experience. When you go back for a follow-up appointment, or even before that follow-up appointment, you can let your hearing instrument specialist know what problems came up with your hearing aids; for example what you liked about them, what you didn’t like about them, etc. Some apps let you get a snapshot so you can figure out when you could not hear in a certain situation. This information can be passed on to your hearing aid provider. Instead of verbally articulating what you heard, this lets them better understand the soundscape.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Generally, symptoms of tinnitus are fleeting, but some people do have symptoms that are so relentless that they can affect their sleep, which can lead to poor mood and difficulty with concentration.
Tinnitus is more of an annoyance than a life-threatening condition. It is the symptom of an underlying problem.
Anyone who constantly experiences symptoms of tinnitus may find navigating life a little more challenging than someone who does not have it. Even though there’s no cure, there are ways to find relief.
If you notice symptoms of tinnitus, contact a hearing healthcare provider immediately. The sooner you receive help, the easier it is to control symptoms. Narrowing down the underlying cause will help them determine your best treatment option.
1. White Noise Machines
A silent space is the worst environment for anyone with tinnitus. Your brain must redirect its attention to other noise and force the tinnitus into the background.
White noise machines or apps can help with this problem. A constant, low-frequency sound will muffle the tinnitus and teach your brain to disregard the noise. Air conditioners, air purifiers, or refrigerators can conveniently be used instead of a white noise machine.
2. Do Not use Ototoxic Medicines
If you notice tinnitus after taking a new medication, the pills may be the culprit. Some prescriptions or over-the-counter medications are ototoxic, indicating they can harm your hearing abilities.
3. Treatment Options
There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but training your brain to ignore it is possible. If this training, the white noise machines, or changing your medication does not work, find a specialist who focuses on tinnitus treatment.
Hearing aids or apps that connect to your hearing aids can drown out tinnitus symptoms. Some hearing aids feature a white noise generator which must be programmed into the device by a hearing instrument specialist.
Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of tinnitus and hearing loss? Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Most people think medical ID bracelets are worn only by patients with health problems involving heart conditions, epilepsy, or other similar illnesses. But people with hearing loss can also benefit from wearing them if they have a medical emergency.
Medical ID Bracelets
These are bracelets inscribed with your name, medical condition, the medications you take, and allergies you have. These are NOT the same as medical alert bracelets - wearable alert devices that notify emergency services during a critical medical situation.
Instead, these medical ID bracelets are discreet and intended to provide crucial information regarding your health if you can’t communicate after an accident or emergency.
Should People with Hearing Loss Wear Medical ID Bracelets?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends patients with hearing loss should don a medical ID bracelet.
If you get into an accident and your hearing aids are damaged, have fallen off, or can’t speak/communicate, the medical ID bracelet would specify vital health information to first responders.
Medical ID bracelets will help guarantee that patients receive proper care promptly. Please remember to keep your medical ID bracelet updated. Make sure your emergency contact and medication list are correct. Some ID bracelets have a QR code for medical providers to access the most recent information about a patient’s medications and allergies.
A medical ID bracelet for patients with hearing loss lets first responders understand that you cannot easily communicate and prevent mistakes caused by miscommunication or a misdiagnosis. According to a study by Johns Hopkins, medical errors is the third most common cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer. Medical staff will also be able to assess whether you can get an MRI, CT scan, and X-rays if you wear hearing aids or cochlear implants.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you’re a hearing aid user, you know the benefits that these devices can have in various situations. Depending on your range and type of hearing loss, it can still be challenging to hear people over the phone, while watching a movie/TV show, or with people at a restaurant. If you have normal hearing abilities, you may need help to communicate better with friends and family who have difficulty with hearing.
If you use a captioned phone, that’s great for calls made at home. A caption app is helpful if you’re away from home and use a smartphone.
Here’s a list of some captioning service apps you can check out. Many of them transcribe phone calls and live conversations into text.
Android and Apple iOS Apps
Your smartphone’s microphone for the captioning service picks up speech and transcribes it into text on your phone. A strong wifi connection is necessary for this app to work and pair with Bluetooth® devices. Users may share a QR code with others to add them to the conversation. Ava has text-to-speech features via keyboard. You can save conversations through this app to share or view them later. Ava is also available on the desktop for both Macs and PCs. Ava is accessible with Android and Apple iOS.
CaptionMate is a free app that immediately transcribes the conversation between people speaking on a phone call. Users can add this app to a smartphone, computer, tablet, or landline. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) pays for the real-time captioning service if you have hearing loss. You are required to register and self-certify your hearing loss.
This app transcribes captions in more than 100 languages in real-time. Conversations are saved and can be accessed later. CaptionMate is available for Android and Apple iOS.
ClearCaptions Mobile provides real-time captioning. It is FCC-certified, which allows the service to be available via a federally-funded program for qualified people with hearing loss. They offer a free account with a personal ClearCaptions voice phone number used for captioned calls. ClearCaptions Mobile is only available for Apple iOS.
The InnoCaption app is a free captioning service funded by the FCC. Anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing can receive real-time captioning on their smartphone. The app was developed in partnership with live stenographers so that users can receive quick and accurate captions. Users are required to register and self-certify that they have hearing loss. InnoCaption applies to Android and Apple iOS.
Rogervoice can transcribe live conversations in more than 80 languages. After making a call, the speech instantly displays in the text on the screen. All you need to do is reply by speaking or texting. Captions can show up for incoming calls. Rogervoice is Android and Apple iOS-friendly.
This mobile app is free and made for people who have difficulty hearing over the phone and want to listen to conversations while they read word-for-word captions. In addition to creating an account through Hamilton CapTel, users need a voice, data plan, and a Bluetooth or a wired headset that works with hearing aids. Hamilton CapTel is only available for Apple iOS.
Hearing Helper - Live Captions
Hearing Helper uses Siri through Apple to translate speech to text for anyone who wants/needs to communicate with someone hard of hearing (HOH), Deaf, or uses ESL (English as a Second Language). Users must press and hold the mic to record speech and have the ability to correct any words and make the text larger. Hearing Helper can only be used with Apple iOS.
These apps can be beneficial in certain situations where you have difficulty hearing. It should NOT be a substitute for getting hearing aids if you need them.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Consider this scenario: Getting a television should be easy. Buying it isn’t hard, but understanding how to operate or program it may be daunting at best.
Having a secure internet connection for your streaming apps and updating the firmware to improve your TV's performance are some things to consider. In short, modern TVs come with their complexities.
In contrast, despite experts talking about hearing aids with noise management algorithms featuring automated technology that adapts to your environment with range and advanced customization, they will assure you that using these devices will be easy.
User-Friendly Hearing Aids
With new technology, hearing aids are easier to use than ever before. Bluetooth® hearing aids will do all of the work. They adjust to listening environments automatically or through a simple command on an app. Here are four things to think about before getting your hearing aids:
The challenging part of receiving hearing aids is taking time to adapt to all of the sounds you may not have heard in years. It can be overwhelming! Simplicity is the key to hearing aids. There is little fuss in using them, unlike with TVs. If you are experiencing issues with your hearing aids, just contact Pure Sound Hearing for help.
If you notice any hearing loss and believe hearing aids can be a solution, contact us for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
When you have hearing loss and don’t have hearing aids, the inability to hear clearly can make you feel depressed and isolated from others. When it is hard to hear, it is hard to comfortably participate in one conversation, let alone in group conversations and activities.
Hearing aids ease the stress of struggling to listen. Communicating with others can still be challenging while wearing hearing aids, but not as strenuous as before using hearing aids. You may still need others to face you when they speak, and only one person should speak at a time while making sure you are paying attention to them. Hearing aids feature directional and omnidirectional microphones. Directional microphones pick up sounds from an assigned direction, usually from those facing you. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sounds that occur from any direction.
Programmable Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist can program your hearing aids, and you can select appropriate settings for different situations. For example, let’s say you are talking to some people in a crowded environment. Maybe you only need to focus on a conversation with those people while blocking out background noises. Your hearing instrument specialist can program a setting through an app on your smartphone. All you need to do is open the app to access it.
You can also use speech-to-text apps to help facilitate conversations. If you are driving or biking in a busy area, you can place your hearing aids in an omnidirectional setting, which lets you hear in all directions to be more aware of your surroundings.
For a complimentary hearing test and hearing aid trial, contact us for a consultation with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing.
If you have difficulty with hearing, conversing with others, and find yourself feeling left out in certain situations, in addition to using hearing aids, you can try an app.
Here’s a list of five apps to help you communicate with the people around you.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and 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.
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.
If you are new to hearing aids, figuring out how to use them can be a learning curve. Like all technology, once you get the hang of it, will be easy.
Linking up Hearing Aids with Your Smartphone
Just about every modern digital hearing aid can be paired with a smartphone. Audio files from your phone, computer, or tablet can be streamed through your hearing aids. They can basically be used like wireless Bluetooth® headphones. Not every hearing aid that features Bluetooth® is compatible with every smartphone brand. Android and iPhone are the only two smartphone brands that pair with hearing aids. It’s simple to set up because the technology automatically pairs them.
Switch on the Bluetooth® Feature
Through your smartphone, select the Settings app. Search for Bluetooth®, select it and switch it on.
Find Your Hearing Aids Listed in the Settings app
Through the iPhone, go to the Settings app. Find and select the “Accessibility” feature. Then find “Hearing Devices”, and select it. Your hearing aids should be shown. Through the Android phone, after the Bluetooth® is switched on, your phone should have started searching for other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to link up to. It should only take a few seconds for your hearing aids to show up on the list. For either one of these smartphone brands, if your hearing aids do not show up on your phone, the battery doors might need to be opened and closed, or you might need to place them back in the recharger. This switches them off and on again so that your phone can detect them.
When your hearing aids are listed as an option on your phone, select them. They will start their connection, which may take 30 seconds or more.
Pairing Additional Devices to Your Hearing Aids
Smartphone Streaming Systems
Even if your hearing aids are not Made for iPhone or Made for Android, wireless streaming is still available between your smartphone and hearing aids. You’ll just need a small, separate device known as a streamer. It can clip onto your shirt collar, or hang around your neck and be covered by your clothes.
Different circumstances - even those with smartphone-compatible hearing accessories - need a streaming device if you want audio transferred to your hearing aids. TV streamers, mini-microphones, and other devices can help you hear clearly. There are different styles of streamers that are unique to every hearing aid manufacturer. They are just as simple or, in some cases, more simple than connecting hearing aids to your smartphone.
If you or a loved one need hearing aids and/or an assistive streaming device for listening, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Summertime has arrived! If you are experiencing difficulties with hearing while having fun in the sun, find out how hearing aids can help.
Participate in Group Conversations Outside
Digital hearing aids can be programmed to focus on the conversations that you are participating in, rather than hearing background noises and other conversations going on around you. Directional microphones were created to pick up sounds that you are facing toward. When you or others speak, you typically face each other. Some directional microphones will change positions based on where speech sounds are emanating from.
Background noises like the crackling from a campfire or other people talking can be filtered out, so you can concentrate on the conversation at hand or sing-alongs instead of struggling to hear through the other chatter and sounds. Listening fatigue is a common problem among people with hearing loss, so the less energy you need to use in order to hold a conversation, the better.
Your smartphone or an assistive listening device can also be used as a microphone. You can place the smartphone or assistive listening device onto a table, and while everyone is talking near it, the audio will stream directly into your hearing aids. You can also download speech-to-text apps on your smartphone, if necessary.
Muffle Sounds of Fireworks
Modern hearing aids feature noise suppression. It will automatically or you can manually, lower the volume that you hear if there’s a sudden, brief noise - like a crashing sound if something falls over. Fireworks can still be enjoyed at a safe noise level. Ask one of our hearing instrument specialists about this feature for your hearing aids.
Instantly Switch Hearing Aid Settings
All digital hearing aids are paired with a smartphone and apps. You can use them to control the volume, change your hearing aid settings, and more. Geotagging is another application that you can use. It makes a geographical “bookmark” for your favorite locations. Just optimize your hearing aids for a specific location, like a park or restaurant, and add a geotag. When you go back to that environment, your settings will automatically switch to those settings so that you can have an optimal listening experience.
Wind Blocking Technology
Would you rather enjoy the feel of an ocean breeze than hear how loud it is through your hearing aids?
With behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aids, the microphones rest over the back of your ears. As a result, they can harness lots of noise from gentle breezes to gusty winds. You can ask our hearing instrument specialists to create a special program so that you may switch to a channel on your hearing aids, so the sounds of wind are obstructed.
If you or a loved one are looking forward to an easy, laid-back summer that’s not hindered by your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation for a free hearing aid trial.
Are you frustrated about communicating with the people in your life, or even with short interactions with strangers?
Get use apps as tools for connecting with people in real-time.
1. Live Transcribe
This app, which is used with Android smartphones/smartwatches, transcribes face-to-face conversations in real-time. Gallaudet University - the American school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students - developed a program that translates speech from over 70 languages and dialects to text that you read on your phone in just a few seconds. Bilingual conversations can be facilitated, and you can type your responses or prompts instead of saying them aloud. The app can also alert you if your smoke alarm, or any other alarm system you have set up, goes off.
Did you know that artificial intelligence (AI) can be conveniently accessed through a wristwatch? This smartwatch-based application can alert you when there are sounds around you. This app was specifically created for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It learns to alert users to types of sounds that can be preselected - a car horn’s honk, a baby’s cry, running water, etc. It is not for emergencies or high-risk situations but provides a general awareness of your surroundings.
3. Sound Level Meter from NIOSH
This app utilizes a compatible smartphone device with a built-in microphone to measure the ranges of sound in your environment. Across the globe, researchers stated that approximately 16 to 24 percent of hearing loss occurs on the job. Excess noise exposure is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, so it’s important to be aware of sound levels in the environments that you frequent.
4. Marlee Signs
This app can be used by children and adults to learn basic American Sign Language (ASL). Oscar award-winning actor, Marlee Matlin, who is deaf teaches the language. ASL, which is used in the U.S. and Canada, provides a connection with others no matter what range of hearing they may have. The app can be very helpful for anyone who has hearing loss or if you have friends or family members with hearing loss. There are a number of different kinds of ASL instructional apps, so explore forms of communication with finger-spelling, conversational signing, helping babies communicate, building vocabulary, and more.
This app features a decibel meter that is paired with the ability to upload results to a user community through a searchable database. Users can discover gyms, restaurants, subways, and other areas that are designated as “quiet”, “moderate”, “loud”, or “very loud”.
If you are noticing any changes in your hearing and need a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
There are so many useful apps that can be paired with your hearing aids. A remote control for your home security system, washing machine, lights, and various reminders are just a few we can name.
Hearing aids are devices that you wear to hone in on noises and conversations that you want to hear while reducing background noises that you don’t want to hear. Using hearing aids also provides the benefits of changing and managing features and settings based on your specific needs. App selections should be based on:
The Ability to Adjust Your Hearing Aids
Your hearing aid provider should have explained how to adjust your hearing aids when you move from one type of environment to the next. The volume levels may change, noise filtering features may be used, and adjusting the bass, treble, and other sound features to your preference may be implemented.
When pairing an app with your hearing aids, the app’s features and settings are controlled via smartphone or tablet.
Get an App that Streams Your Favorite Sound Files
Since hearing loss is a gradual process, it can lead to problems with comprehending speech sounds, specifically when there’s too much background noise. This is why it's crucial to have sound files that assist you so that you can hear someone speaking, even if you’re in a busy environment.
You can Monitor Your Hearing Aids’ Status
You don’t always need to take your hearing aids to your hearing instrument specialist. You will quickly be able to determine the appropriate situations when they are due for service, when the batteries need to be recharged or replaced, and other important problems.
Maintenances, such as cleanings, replenishing batteries/recharging the hearing aids, or replacing domes and keeping the devices in an overall good condition will lower risks of any glitches, which can negatively impact your hearing. Apps are also useful so that you can get advice from the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Hearing aid apps are a great help to hearing aid users, their family members, and caregivers to keep them organized and up to date. They can access notifications in regards to new features, updates, appointment reminders/rescheduling.
An App for Easy Access to Audio Sources
Apps allow you to directly link to music and other audio files. Stream your favorite music, videos, or podcasts through your hearing aids. While these sounds are streaming through your hearing aids, other people who are with you in your home can listen along on other devices.
Before selecting your apps, take your hearing aid needs into consideration. Think about the style of your hearing aids, and then look for apps that pair best with them. Use your hearing instrument specialist’s recommendations. Learn more about the different hearing aid styles from our article “What are Hearing Aids, and How do they Work?”
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do have hearing loss and experienced the frustrations of communicating with people at a hospital? Here are some tips for managing your hearing loss during a hospital visit.
Hearing loss can be equally as important to address as the healthcare emergency that landed you in the hospital. Not being able to completely understand the medical professionals who are taking care of you can be just as scary as your health emergency.
Hospitals can be busy and noisy. People rush in, there are loud machines or announcements over the intercoms, and all sorts of people - from personnel to other patients and their loved ones - are around you and talking all at once. From masked staff members to healthcare workers with unfamiliar accents, it can be overwhelming.
It’s important not to guess or tell people who are helping you that you understand what they are saying when you don’t. An incorrect response could put your entire health at risk.
A lot of people, particularly the older population, go to the hospital without hearing aids. Many people with hearing loss don’t even have hearing aids due to financial reasons, or denial about their hearing loss.
When you are in a noisy and busy environment, like a hospital, your hearing loss can lead to more problems.
People who have Hearing Loss are More Prone to Hospitalizations
Approximately 40 million adults in the U.S. have some range of hearing loss and are more likely to require hospital care. According to research from Johns Hopkins, of these 40 million adults, untreated hearing loss has a 17 percent higher risk of visits to the emergency room. They are also more likely to stay in the hospital, spend more days in the hospital, and have a 44 percent risk of being readmitted within 30 days.
Practices the Hospitals can Implement
Hospitals can help patients with hearing loss by:
Make sure to Advocate for Yourself, or Get Help from a Loved One
Let staff, personnel, and other medical professionals know that you have hearing loss. If necessary, caregivers may need to take on this role.
It is very important that you speak up about your hearing loss, and ask for accommodations. Hearing loss is an invisible disability. On rare occasions, patients have been sent to the “behavioral health” unit where individuals with mental health issues go after misunderstanding or mishearing a question, or even misspeaking.
Wearing Hearing Aids in the Hospital
Even though it is recommended to wear hearing aids from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, some people leave them at home because they are afraid of losing them.
If you decided to do this, alert the hospital staff about your hearing loss. Ask for a hearing amplifier. Plan ahead of time and practice using captioning apps. Otter is a great choice. With this app, conversations can be transcribed in real-time on your smartphone. For legal reasons, hospitals cannot provide this for you, but you may use it yourself.
If you choose to bring your hearing aids, and they need to be recharged, bring your charger along. The hospital that you go to might be able to track down a charger for you. Remember to carry extra batteries. You can always ask staff members if they have hearing aid batteries available for you.
Hearing is Important to make Proper Medical Decisions
Making medical decisions can happen at any stage during your hospital visit, especially if you arrived for an emergency. Whether you can hear or have trouble with hearing, it can be difficult to understand complicated or unfamiliar medical terms/procedures.
Whenever possible, have a friend or family member with good hearing and concentration involved in your decision. You may also use a transcriber on your phone. Make sure it’s accurate, and get help from the medical staff to verify its accuracy. If you find it too distracting to listen and watch at the same time, record the conversation and read the transcript at a later time.
Remind doctors, nurses, and other staff members that you are hard of hearing and ask them to speak up or repeat themselves when necessary.
What if Your loved one won’t Admit They Have Hearing Loss?
You cannot assume medical staff members will notice that your loved one has hearing loss. On average, only about half of the staff employees will be able to recognize this. Make sure that you inform staff members during the initial admittance and when seeing new medical staff members that your loved one has difficulty with hearing. This is especially important in hospice care and nursing homes.
If you or a loved one, experiences hearing loss and want an easier experience interacting with medical staff, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer assistive listening devices that can help make your emergency visits pan out better, or we can show you how to use transcription apps.
Whether you follow trends or not, it’s still a good idea to keep up and learn about what’s new when it comes to hearing aid technology.
Hearing Aids: The Multifunctional Devices
Hearing aids have changed, and continue to change each year. Hearing aids are not only meant to help you hear better but they also help users communicate easier with others.
Hearing Aids for Android Users
Google revealed that they are developing technology that will be compatible with Android. Anyone who wears hearing aids will also benefit from additional features with their smartphones, such as allowing them to use Google Assistant and other services. This feature is already available on iPhones.
Artificial Intelligence and Hearing Aids
Every industry in the field of technology uses AI, and that includes the category of hearing aids. AI is currently used to make sure all devices are upgraded and offer the best experience to its users. For example, hearing aids have already been using AI. The devices learn to adapt to your different environments and automatically adjust them to provide an optimal listening experience for you.
If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulty with hearing and need a solution, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Today’s doorbells, sound systems, refrigerators, and even washing machines can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It’s obvious that today’s hearing aids, most of which feature Bluetooth® technology, can also be connected to your smartphone through an app.
Apps can help new hearing aid users adjust to their hearing devices, by combining something familiar with something new. Hearing aid apps can help novice hearing aid users personalize their devices and smoothly transition into experienced hearing aid users.
Everyone who wears a hearing aid is different, and they have unique listening needs. Apps let each person customize the devices to their particular needs.
Hearing aid apps
There are so many different apps that can be paired with your hearing aids to improve how you experience listening in different environments. Decibel meter apps can show you how loud an area is. There are other apps that record how often and how long you use your hearing aids, while providing brain exercises that are related to hearing. Brain health is important to monitor. The ability to hear is crucial, to reduce risks of cognitive decline or brain atrophy due to lack of stimulation.
Apps for Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids are available on Apple and Android phones.
4 Features on apps
Features that are available on hearing aid apps include:
Learning how to use Your Hearing Aids
The best guidance on how to use your hearing aids will be through your hearing instrument specialist. You can review the manual instructions, or learn about the features of your hearing aids through our Pure Sound Hearing website. On our homepage, hover the cursor over the “Products” tab, and select the brand and style of your hearing aids to learn more about them. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Keep a Hearing Journal
When you have another visit with your hearing aid provider, bring along any important notes that you made if there were any problems with the device or while using the apps.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our providers will discuss your results and hearing aid solutions for your specific listening needs.
Hearing aids have come a long way, in regards to their technology. Just about every modern hearing aid is Bluetooth®-connected to your smartphone. Here is our compilation of articles for recommended apps that can be used to have an optimal experience with your hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, would like a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our providers will patiently work with you to ensure the best possible listening experience.
Technology is an ever-changing endeavor, with improvements and modifications to make your life more comfortable and convenient. Over the years, advanced developments in technology give your hearing instrument specialists a chance to recommend and program state-of-the-art features and settings that improve the way you hear.
Advanced hearing aids are essentially the same as your basic hearing aids, except there are more features that can benefit the user in different situations. While basic hearing aids can amplify sounds and help you hear, they do not have the same variety of features and setting options. When choosing the best option that works for you, you must let your hearing instrument specialist know what you are looking for in terms of how you communicate with others on a regular basis, what type of environments you frequent, etc.
Basic Hearing Aid Features
The main difference between basic and advanced hearing aids is the remote settings and manual controls. As mentioned earlier, basic hearing aids can still help you hear better but they might not be able to effortlessly change channels. You will probably need to manually adjust the settings as needed. For example, to raise or lower the volume, you may need to remove the hearing aids from your ear and then press a button on them.
Basic hearing aids usually only feature two channels. These channels process distinct types of sounds. This makes it difficult to customize settings for various environments. You’ll need more channels in order to truly customize your hearing aids.
Basic hearing aids may not provide advanced speech processing or be able to reduce distracting background noises. These hearing aids generally have basic directional microphones.
Advanced Hearing Aid Features
The great thing about advanced hearing aids is that they have various features and settings, and they automatically switch to these settings based on where you go.
There are more channels, so sounds can be isolated. This gives users a more natural listening experience where sounds can be heard more clearly. Just about every modern, advanced hearing aid is connected with Bluetooth®. This lets you link your smartphone, TV, computer, sound system, or any other Bluetooth®-connected device with your hearing aids.
With help from your hearing instrument specialist advanced hearing aids can be programmed to reduce noises, like the wind. This makes them easier to wear if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Data logs are also available in these hearing aids. A lot of information can be stored in these devices, including volume settings and preferred listening environments. This helps make a personally tailored experience for each user.
The convenience of pairing a digital hearing aid with your smartphone cannot match that of simply using a basic hearing aid. Downloadable apps make it easier to adjust the volume and streaming options directly into your hearing aids.
If you are unsure as to what type of hearing aids you should use, consult your hearing instrument specialist to learn about available options. They will help you determine the best options for your specific listening needs. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
When you are trying to enjoy a movie or TV show, engage in conversations, or participate in a class, you are probably expecting, or hoping, that the caption service you use is accurate.
Captions are very convenient, but only if they are accurate and in sync with the person who is speaking. Inaccurate captions can be ineffective and lead to confusion. This is why standard captioning is necessary.
Everyone Reaps the Benefit of Quality Captions
Whether you have hearing loss or not, everyone can be helpful for everyone. Studies have demonstrated that captions make comprehending videos easier. There have been more instances of remembering facts, the ability to draw conclusions, defining words, and summing up main topics. More time is spent focusing on captioned videos. Captions allow videos to be shown while muted, which is how many people view videos on social media.
This is only useful if the captions are accurate and of good quality. The interpretation of quality is different for everyone, so there should be a universal standard.
The Need for Standard Captioning
Every form of media should have a standard quality captioning service. Whether it’s on social media or during a video conference or a live stream.
In the U.S., according to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, telephone services that have captions are free for anyone with hearing loss.
Again, this service is only useful if it’s accurate. So far, there are no quality standards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the body of government that oversees captioned telephone service.
What can You do?
Be an advocate. Request captioning before meetings, classes, on websites, and anywhere else that you need them. Exercise your rights by educating others on providing captioning and other accommodations for anyone with hearing loss.
Check out these caption apps for your smartphone.
If you or a loved one needs hearing aids or learning how to use captioning apps on your smartphone, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Sound Recognition is a feature on iPhones that lets users who have hearing loss receive visual alerts for sounds such as smoke alarms, sirens, door bells/knocks, and dog barks. Internet connection is not necessary in order to use this feature. It uses onboard intelligence (the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, that is found in the device).
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it.
On the screen, there will be a list of different sounds. Yours may feature:
After making those changes to your Sound Recognition settings, tap “Back” once, then exit Settings.
You can test out the app’s Sound Recognition feature by searching for “Dog” or “Baby crying” videos on YouTube. When it’s triggered, the Sound Recognition will give you an alert notification at the top of your screen.
If you need help with setting up this feature, our hearing instrument specialists will be happy to help. If you need new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.