Getting Ready for Your Follow-up Appointments
Between now and your follow-up appointment with your hearing instrument specialist, keep notes or even a journal on your progress or any problems that you had with your hearing aids.
Questions to consider:
Jot down any of your questions or concerns with the devices, and bring these notes to your follow-up appointments so that your hearing instrument specialists can address the issue.
Discussing Your Progress, and any Bumps Along the Way
These are helpful meetings that are meant to let your hearing instrument specialist ask questions about your progress and any problems that you’ve encountered. Of course, if you are noticing issues with your hearing aids before the appointment, contact your hearing aid provider’s office to ask questions and voice concerns. The more detailed your questions are, the better help your hearing instrument specialist can provide.
All of the challenging environments that you frequent give your hearing instrument specialist the information that is needed to make adjustments to the programming/settings. Adjustments can also be made if you find it difficult to communicate with loved ones. Let your hearing instrument specialist know the pros and cons that you experience while wearing them. Did something exceed your expectations? Were there any shortcomings? Give as much detailed feedback as possible, so that you can get the most out of wearing your hearing aids.
Reviewing Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance Practices
You should have been given a lot of information on care and maintenance for your hearing aids. Your follow-up appointment will focus on reviewing these practices and clarifying any uncertainty about them. You’ll probably get a reminder on the function of each program/channel, how to access them, and if applicable, how to use your smartphone app.
Finely Tuning Your Hearing Aids
With the observations, questions, and concerns that you expressed, your hearing instrument specialist will use that information to make readjustments to the hearing aids. They may add other programs, tweak existing programs, or maybe give you different domes or tubing. If some of your concerns suggest that your ears and brain are not smoothly working in conjunction with one another, after too many years of untreated hearing loss, some brain exercises may be suggested to help create a stronger bond between the ear and the brain. A listening app or auditory training can be useful in these cases.
What Happens Next?
If you purchase a pair of hearing aids from Pure Sound, towards the end of your trial period, contact us to schedule your follow-up. Depending on the adjustments that need to be made, you may need to schedule a follow-up sooner. The earlier any problems are addressed, the easier it will be to transition to a full-time hearing aid user.
Get the most out of your hearing aids by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We have mentioned the reasons why it’s best to receive services from a local hearing aid provider.
Hearing care services are usually included with the cost of hearing aids. Learn more about hearing care plans offered by Pure Sound by visiting our Unbundled Pricing page. This includes cleanings, re-fittings, re-programmings, and any other issues that may arise during your adjustment period. You will not receive these same services if you purchase them online or over-the-counter (OTC).
Adapting to hearing aids takes time and patience. Additional tuning and adjustments are necessary in order to get the most out of your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing Aid/Care Services are Generally NOT included with the Purchase of Cheap Hearing Aids
Cheaper hearing aids usually do not feature these services to care for the devices. This is why they are cheaper. It’s also why many customers leave feeling unhappy with their purchase. It’s a waste of money. In fact, you will need more care and maintenance because the cheaper hearing aids are not carefully fit or programmed by a hearing aid specialist.
The investment that you make with your hearing aids is important for your hearing health, which can impact your overall health. Make sure that you are happy with your hearing aids by ensuring that you will have access to extra services when they are necessary.
If you are in need of hearing aids with professional care and services, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Are You a Hearing Aid User with an Active Lifestyle? Here are some Tips for Keeping Your Hearing Aids and Hearing Health in Shape.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you’re a hearing aid user who practices physical exercises regularly, it’s advised that you wear your devices during workout sessions.
3 Reasons why Hearing Aids should be used during Exercise Routines
Be prepared by bringing Hearing Aid Gear during Workouts
To get the most out of your workout, reduce distractions and feel confident while wearing your hearing aids by being prepared. Here’s a suggestion of supplies you should keep with you.
How to take care of Your Hearing Aids after Your Workout
If you frequently work out, be cautious about wear and tear. This will help your hearing aids last longer, after each workout session.
Keep up an Active Lifestyle
According to the Hear the World Foundation, 70 percent of hearing aid users have said that they wear their hearing aids while participating in sports and did not experience any problems. About 37 percent of users said they enjoy participating in sports more when wearing them. So if you aren’t already wearing hearing aids while playing sports, try it out.
Be aware of Dangerous Noise Levels in the Gym
Gyms are well-known for blasting music too loudly during workout sessions. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. If you lift very heavy weights, while holding your breath, this can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. It’s important to protect your ears from lesser-known risks to hearing health. Special settings can be programmed into your hearing aids for all sorts of environments, like gyms.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about programming a customized setting in your hearing aids before your next visit to the gym, or workout session from home.
Basic hearing aid maintenance can be done by you, in your own home. If you are having more advanced problems with them, our staff at Pure Sound can help or we can send your hearing aids to the manufacturer if other technical problems need to be addressed.
Some simple steps for maintenance care can be made to extend the life of your devices.
The care that you give for your hearing aids is just as important as the care that your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound provides. To make sure they have optimal performance, we recommend a professional cleaning every six months. If something is wrong with your hearing aid, check in with our providers. They will identify and take care of visibly damaged devices or any other issues that might not be easy to notice.
Here are 6 Tips for Proper Hearing Aid Maintenance
Contact Pure Sound Hearing if you need to schedule a professional cleaning, or need help with maintenance. If you need new hearing aids, schedule a free hearing test and consultation with us.
The whistling is actually feedback noise from your hearing aid. It tends to happen when you’re too close to a radio or speaker that’s switched on. Feedback noises can also happen while putting a shirt or scarf on.
How do feedback noises occur with hearing aids?
Hearing aid feedback noises occur as a result of sounds that were supposed to travel through your ear canal, but move out of your ear and return to the hearing aid’s microphone. This sound becomes reamplified, which is what leads to the whistling noise.
Feedback noises can happen in many different situations, including the moment when you insert or remove the hearing aids from your ears. It can even happen when someone embraces you. This is common. The hearing aid devices are responding to the sound that ricochets from your environment.
Hearing aid feedback may also occur as a result of a much-needed repair, or a more thorough cleaning from a professional.
5 Cause of Whistling Noises
Today’s hearing aids feature feedback cancellation, but it’s not always helpful. Here are the most common causes of feedback noises and what can be done about them.
1. Poorly fit hearing aids - Everyone’s ears change as they age. The ear’s shape and hearing abilities are prone to change. If they do, the earmolds may loosen and will not have a secure seal. When this happens, the sound moves away from your ear and back to the hearing aids’ microphones. This is when the feedback occurs. A hearing instrument specialist can fix this problem by making new earmolds that are securely fitted in your ear. Weight gain or weight loss can affect the way your ears and how the earmolds fit you.
An improper hearing aid fitting may let the sound leak and re-enter the hearing aids’ microphone. So talk to your hearing instrument specialist, and let them know if your hearing aid feels loose. They will guide you and make sure the devices are properly fitted.
2. Broken tubes - For the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, the tube that connects the earmold can become hard and shrink. In some instances, the tubing will tug at the earmold. This warps and changes the fitting. In this case, the tube needs to be replaced.
3. Loud volume - Sometimes you’ll have a hard time hearing in certain environments, so you may crank up the volume on your hearing aids. Increasing the volume to the point where it’s too loud can force the sound to re-enter the hearing aids. This is what causes the whistling noise. Lower the volume on the hearing aids. In the future, try to avoid being around sounds that are so loud that it creates feedback.
4. Producing excessive amounts of earwax - Your hearing aids harness sounds directly into your ear canals. If the ear canal is clogged and impacted with too much earwax, the sounds won’t be able to reach them. This is when the noises bounce back into the hearing aids and whistle.
Excess earwax can obstruct your ear canal. This not only creates issues with your hearing aid devices, but you may experience earaches or even harm your hearing health.
Your ears should be cleaned by a professional. Do not insert anything smaller than your fingers into your ears. Check to make sure the receiver, vents, and tubing aren’t clogged with earwax.
5. Loose microphone - Loud feedback noises can be caused due to loose or microphones that have been displaced. If you experience this problem, ask your hearing instrument specialist for help.
If you still have an issue with feedback noises from your hearing aids, schedule an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing.
Did you know that most hearing aid users do not use services that are available through their hearing aid provider?
According to a study from Johns Hopkins, only one-third of hearing aid users take advantage of the hearing care services that are accessible through their provider.
Hearing aids are an important investment for not only your hearing health, but also your personal/work relationships, and your overall health. Just like with anything you invest in, why not get the most out of it?
Receiving hearing aids from a professional hearing instrument specialist ensures that you will have the proper fitting, along with the maximum performance, satisfaction, and quality service.
The hearing devices and hearing aid services that an experienced hearing instrument specialist can give you are verified. Hearing aids purchased over the internet may not work properly, and will most likely cost you more in the long run.
At Pure Sound, we provide thorough testing, custom fittings, and tuning along with follow-up appointments, advice, and hearing aid cleanings/maintenance from our staff.
Patients who do not utilize these services tend to become more discouraged about wearing their hearing aids. As a result, they do not get the most satisfaction from their hearing aids, which will exacerbate their hearing health.
Avoid this situation for the sake of your health and investment.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg. We're always here to help.
Our hearing instrument specialist, Christine, is inspecting a patient's hearing aids. It's important to get your hearing aids cleaned and inspected for wear and tear.
At Pure Sound Hearing, we recommend our patients schedule a cleaning with us every 6 months.
If you need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
On average, hearing aid users replace their hearing devices between three to five years. You may need to replace them before that. Technology is as ever-changing as your hearing loss. Hearing aids that are worn out could indicate that it’s time for an upgrade.
Has there been a Shift in Your Ability to Hear?
A human’s ability to hear is always evolving. More powerful hearing devices will be more helpful for hearing loss that has shifted from moderate to severe. Modern technology has made so many advancements that older models can’t compete with them.
With the help of an experienced hearing instrument specialist, many modern hearing aids can now be programmed to block out background noises and even the sound of wind.
Has there been a Change in Your Lifestyle?
As long as they are charged or having functioning batteries in them, your hearing aids are constantly working. If you have an active lifestyle, that can wear down your devices. There are hearing aids, like Starkey’s Livio AI, which help support an active and healthy lifestyle with the Thrive Hearing app.
Your physical health will also determine which hearing aids would work best for you. If you suffer from arthritis, behind-the-ear hearing aids will be easier to put on than devices that are placed inside your canal.
Today’s hearing aids can conveniently stream audio from phone calls, tablets, or TV directly into your ears.
Do Your Hearing Aids Need to be Repaired?
Are you hearing aids frequently being sent out for repairs? If this is the case, you may need to invest in a new pair. Exposure to elements such as debris, dirt, humidity, sweat, and wax will wear down your devices at a faster rate.
Proper maintenance such as light cleanings, thorough cleanings from a professional and keeping the devices dry in a dry aid kit will help them last longer. If they’re not jostling around in your purse, bag, or pocket - or if they are dropped - the device’s algorithms can be impacted.
If you, or a loved one, need to replace or repair your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
When selecting a hearing instrument specialist, you need to think about the options that are available for you in your area. Having a number of choices is good, but knowing which one is suitable for you is not always obvious. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some things that you should consider.
Excellent Communication Skills
Someone with good communication is important for any type of service. This rings particularly true when dealing with your health and selecting a product that will significantly improve your life. Your hearing instrument specialist should be good at effectively communicating with you, in addition to listening and accommodating to your hearing needs. They should review your personal requirements and make recommendations based on your concerns. They should also have a team at the office with whom you can easily communicate and voice your questions or needs.
Is Your Hearing Instrument Specialist Knowledgeable about the Latest Technology?
Since your hearing instrument specialist is going to help you select hearing aids or an assistive listening device, they should have thorough knowledge about the products that they provide. If you have an interest in pairing your hearing aids with your Bluetooth®-connected devices, your hearing instrument specialist should be able to show you hearing aids and other listening devices that would work with your lifestyle.
Full-Services for Hearing Aids
You should receive a thorough service from your hearing instrument specialist, that satisfies your particular needs. Prior to showing you any products, they should go over your general lifestyle, which includes your daily activities and recreation. A detailed explanation should be provided when going over hearing aid options and fitting them. The hearing aids should feel comfortable during the fitting process. If the devices do not feel comfortable, let your hearing aid provider know. In addition to simply providing you with hearing aids, full-services are also arranged to help you care for your hearing health.
Long-Term Hearing Aid Care
A good hearing instrument specialist should stress the importance of long-term care for your hearing aids and hearing health. If you were fitted for a hearing aid, they should have you schedule a follow-up appointment in the near future. This gives you a chance to talk about how your new device feels and functions. You can also get adjustments if they are needed. Repairs and cleaning services should be provided in order to get the most out of your hearing aids.
At Pure Sound Hearing, you'll find these qualities in our hearing instrument specialists. Feel at ease knowing that you will be on a journey to better hearing.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids and hearing aid care, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands which include HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
When choosing a new pair of hearing aids, it’s important to think about how long the devices will last. It’s similar to purchasing a car, where the mileage might be different for each car model.
Many of today’s high-quality hearing aids have a lifespan of three to seven years. It’s important to take into consideration the fact that even if two different people get the same hearing aids, they can last for very different lengths of time.
What Influences How Long Hearing Aids can Last?
There are at least nine circumstances that can affect the lifespan of hearing aids:
1. The components that are used to produce the hearing devices
Even though hearing aids are designed and built to be sturdy, hearing aids are constructed out of metal, plastic, silicon, and many other components that can eventually wear down. Most modern hearing aids feature a protective nano-coating that repels dust, liquid, and moisture. It should still be treated with a lot of care to protect them from any physical and internal damage to the electronic components.
2. Advancements in technology
Old hearing aid models can become obsolete. Between five to 10 years, hearing aids manufacturers might stop producing replacement pieces for certain devices, making repairs to earlier models very difficult or unattainable. Software that is used to program hearing aids gets updated over time, and ultimately becomes antiquated. This creates huge obstacles to reprogramming old hearing aid models. Advancements in hearing aid technology move very quickly. Technology that was considered top-of-the-line six to seven years ago would be considered outdated today. Many people who get hearing aids, seek to benefit from the latest technology that will be available in four to five years.
3. The style of the hearing aids
Generally speaking, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have a longer lifespan than in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. This is because more of the electronic parts rest inside the ear canal, which is a damp environment. The latest advancements in nanocoatings for internal and external units might be able to improve the durability of these hearing aid styles.
4. The frequency of cleaning
The majority of people would never go months without cleaning their body, face, or hair. Unfortunately, most hearing aid users forget or don’t think about the effects of exposure to outdoor environments. Dust, moisture, oil, and sweat, caused by high humidity and sunlight can clog up your hearing aids. In addition to all of that, your earwax can also block up your hearing aids. Some hearing aid users only get their devices cleaned by a professional twice a year. This damages the hearing aids and can cut their lifespan. To lengthen their lifespan, it is recommended that they are cleaned as directed by your hearing instrument specialist and professionally cleaned by your hearing instrument specialist every six months.
5. The frequency of maintenance
Most hearing aids feature parts that can be readily replaced. These include dome earpieces, earmold tubing, and wax guards. These are replaced by your hearing healthcare provider during regular maintenance visits. Other hearing aid parts can also be replaced, such as the battery doors, earmolds, external speakers, and covers for the microphone. It’s important to take care of your hearing aids so that they can last longer.
6. Where the hearing aids are worn
Hearing aids that stay in damp or dusty environments, may malfunction. If you have concerns about the environments that you frequent with your hearing aids, talk to your hearing instrument specialist for guidance. They may recommend that you use a sleeve to preserve the hearing aids or schedule more professional cleanings to prolong the life of your hearing aids.
7. How the hearing aids are stored
How you Store your hearing aids, when they are not being worn, can also affect a hearing aid’s lifespan. Hearing aids that use disposable batteries should be stored while the battery door is open, and placed inside a dehumidifier. This will help remove moisture and keep your devices dry, which will extend its lifespan. Discuss storage units and dehumidifier options with your hearing instrument specialist.
The lithium batteries in rechargeable hearing aids last for four to five years. It’s like the battery life of your smartphone - the longer you own the device the shorter the lifespan becomes. If your battery is draining faster than normal, talk to your hearing instrument specialist about replacing your lithium batteries or getting new hearing aids.
8. A person’s body physiology
In some cases, bodily fluids can significantly affect the metal and plastic parts of hearing aids and usually discolor or diminish those parts quicker than others. Some people produce a lot of earwax, oil, or sweat, which can affect the hearing aids' lifespan. If you experience any of these issues, mention them to your hearing healthcare provider when choosing your hearing aids.
9. A person’s individual hearing needs
The changes in what you personally need for your hearing health may also affect how long your hearing aids last. In some cases, after many years, your hearing loss may become so progressive to the point where you may need a more powerful device. Your individual lifestyle might change and you may need a hearing aid that has more - or less - features.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. If you need additional information or advice on how to clean and maintain your hearing aids, contact us.
There are many things to think about when a loved one lives in a nursing home. Are they receiving adequate care? Are they eating properly? Are they safe? Everyone wants what is best for their loved ones. More pressing needs like hygiene and their primary care tend to get addressed first. Caring about their hearing health may become less important.
Moving into a nursing home is not a smooth transition for anybody. Also having hearing loss and living through a pandemic that impacts the health and well-being of older individuals can lead to feelings of anxiety, frustration, and isolation.
Hearing Healthcare is Neglected in Nursing Homes
Studies have shown that between 70 to 90 percent of people who are in long-term care experience hearing loss, but most staff members in nursing homes are unaware of their disability. In a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 30 out of 279 residents in nursing homes had a hearing test within the last year. The study also found that 81 percent of the residents did not receive any care for their hearing health.
In some cases, even if a resident wore hearing aids, they went unused due to the maintenance that was needed. Other reasons why some hearing aid users don’t wear hearing aids:
Hearing Loss that goes Untreated Leads to Poor Quality of Life
As we age, many of us will develop presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). The ability to hear the environment around you is important for a good quality of life. Anyone who has hearing loss and cognitive decline is more likely to experience problems when it comes to living in a facility for long-term care. Hearing loss typically goes undetected in patients who have Alzheimer’s, which leads to more incidents of anger, anxiety, and confusion. Symptoms of cognitive damage can worsen with hearing loss. This emphasizes the need for caregivers and staff members to be more aware of an elderly person’s hearing loss. Regular hearing tests or screenings should be conducted. Hearing aid use and maintenance should be just as important as the daily medication that they receive.
There are some things that can be done to make sure that your loved one is getting adequate care for their hearing health. It needs to be a team effort. Build a positive relationship between you, your loved one, and the staff. Good communication can help build a solid foundation. Familiarizing yourself with the nursing home’s policies on hearing aids and hearing care can help put everyone on the same page when it comes to the hearing health of your loved one.
Communicating through COVID
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing home staff are required to wear facemasks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the residents. When possible, residents should also wear them. Masks tend to muffle sounds and make it impossible to lipread, which is why many residents in nursing homes are having additional problems when it comes to communication. Here is an article that shares tips on how to communicate with people with hearing loss, while wearing a mask.
Advice to Care for Hearing Aids in a Nursing Home
Place a Label on the Hearing Aids
Hearing aids that go missing are sometimes difficult to find and expensive to replace. The tiny devices can get collected in bedsheets when the staff changes them. You may want to write your loved one’s name on a label and place it onto the device. You can also use the “Find My Hearing Aids” feature in the TruLink Hearing Control app on a smartphone.
Create a designated Storage Space when they are not being Used
Hearing aids that use disposable batteries can be stored in a hard plastic case, like the one that came with the devices when they were purchased. Rechargeable hearing aids should be placed in the charger overnight.
Use a Cord and a Clip
A cord and clip can be used to connect to the hearing aids at one end and clips onto the hearing aid user’s clothes. They can also prevent the hearing aids from falling onto the floor (and getting trampled on) if they fall off of the ears. Some options that can be used are the Ear Gear and Earstay.
One can only hope and imagine that the nursing staff would be able to take care of each resident’s hearing aid needs, to make sure that the devices are thoroughly cleaned, functioning at their best, and are being worn by the user. Due to the time constraints, and other tasks that the staff needs to tend to, your loved one’s hearing aids won’t be a high priority. Family members need to help with that maintenance. The devices need to be cleaned regularly to remove debris that builds up, otherwise, it can clog the microphones and amplifiers, rendering the device useless. If the hearing aids use disposable batteries, they should be checked each week to replace them with fresh batteries.
Discuss Hearing Aids with Staff
Talk to the staff and mention that your loved one needs to put the hearing aids on when they wake up in the morning and removed before going to bed at night. Based on a nursing home’s policies, this should be an easy task that can be taken care of by a staff member. Ask them about their policies for hearing aids when you first meet and discuss your loved one’s move into the home. Do some research and learn about the rights of nursing home residents in your area.
When someone lives in a nursing home, they have the same rights as everyone else in the community along with 32 additional rights under the federal law known as the Older Americans Act.
They have a right to wear and get help with the devices that they need to function on a daily basis. Make sure they are receiving regular care for their hearing needs.
Work with your loved one’s nursing home and ensure that they are getting regular appointments and check-ups. It is common for residents in nursing homes to be treated as tasks rather than individuals who all have different needs.
Some nursing homes include policies where they will cover a deductible for a lost or damaged hearing aid. Find out what the nursing home’s policy is for your loved one’s lost or damaged hearing aid so that you know and understand what would happen if this were to occur.
Advocate for Hearing Care
The best thing you can do to help a loved one who resides in a nursing home is to be an advocate for their long-term care. This includes taking their hearing health, particularly age-related hearing loss, into consideration. Be part of the initial planning for hearing care needs and in any follow-up appointments.
Family members can discuss what their loved ones with hearing loss need and what their personal preferences are, such as whether their loved one prefers leaving the hearing aids out while sleeping at night.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a hearing test and hearing aids please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment. We offer a wide variety of hearing aid styles and brands for your hearing needs.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Whether you wear hearing aids or not, it’s important to get your hearing checked on a regular basis.
A survey conducted by Reuters concluded that 33% of seniors who wore hearing aids also benefited from using regular hearing services.
Regular Checkups are Necessary After You Start to Use Hearing Aids
Your hearing shifts as you age. When these changes happen, it’s important to have your hearing aids reprogrammed to support your latest needs. If you start to notice any changes in your hearing, immediately schedule an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist.
The Risks of Not Scheduling Your Follow up Appointments
If you don’t have any follow up appointments after getting your hearing aids, they won’t perform at their optimum levels. You will likely become frustrated with the devices and will cease to wear them. Hearing aids not only help you hear more clearly, but they can support your overall health. Hearing loss has been linked to cognitive health, depression and social isolation.
If you are in need of hearing aids and hearing aid care, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. You may also schedule regular follow up appointments with us, and feel at ease in knowing that your hearing aids are functioning at their best.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Recommended Sanitation Procedure of Roger Devices in Classrooms
As we continue to live under these uncertain conditions, Phonak has devised a sanitation plan that is specifically for COVID-19. These guidelines are meant to be practiced in classrooms, where Roger products are shared between users.
The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can spread via droplets that are created when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
When multiple people are sharing any of the hand-held or body-worn devices, like the Roger mic, there’s a risk of transferring the virus from one person to another. Asymptomatic individuals can be carriers of this virus, so it’s important to sanitize in between users.
This recommendation applies to the following Roger products that are used by multiple students to reduce the risk of transmission:
Use a surface disinfectant, as directed in the instructions on the bottle. This is most effective in killing viruses. Do not use disinfectants with skin moisturizers, ointments, salves or creams.
Do not use bleach (e.g. those which contain chlorine or peroxides) and disinfectants that have ethanol. These can damage materials.
Use the following types of disinfectants:
Proper Cleaning Steps
Be aware that alcohol-based cleaning disinfectants can damage the device’s coating and electronic elements.
If you’re a parent who has a child with hearing loss, or a school administrator who has a student with hearing loss, please call us at Pure Sound Hearing to discuss using the Roger Select ™ Microphone.
If you, or a loved one, are looking for new hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Even though summertime is coming to an end, the heat and humidity continue to linger in the air. Here are some tips on how to keep your hearing aids safe under these conditions.
7 Steps to take Care of Your Hearing Aids in the Heat
Any plans that you have can potentially endanger the quality of your hearing aids. These risks can be avoided by taking some practical safety measures.
Hearing Aids that are Water-resistant vs. Waterproof
A waterproof hearing aid does not exist, but hearing aids can be water-resistant. Water-resistant hearing aids can protect the device from water damage and are more durable against this element. This is not a pass to dip your hearing aids into water.
If you shower with your hearing aids on, they should still work. If you go swimming, that can cause some significant damage. The water-repellent coating of the device, along with the lithium-ion batteries, are what make hearing aids last longer. This does not mean that the devices are indestructible. A full plunge into water can seriously damage the devices.
Which Hearing Aids can Withstand Heat, Humidity and Water?
If you have hearing loss, or need to get new hearing aids, you might want to try some water-resistant options. Signia hearing aids have some of these choices available. Most of them have the IP68 proof of standard for resisting dust and water. All Signia hearing aids feature a hydrophobic coating, which resists dirt and water from penetrating through the hearing aids. This does NOT put an end to all water damage, but it can protect the devices against dirt and sweat. It does feature protective filters that go over the microphones and receivers, so as long as you take proper care of your hearing aids, they will last a long time.
If you, or a loved one are looking for new hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
Our patient care coordinator, Martha, is ready to offer you curbside services in our Lititz office.
This is a friendly reminder that our offices are only open by appointment and for essential visits at this time. We kindly ask that you wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to retrieve them.
If you encounter any issues with your hearing aids, most of them can be solved at home. Here are some typical problems that many hearing aid users have come across.
If you notice loss of sound, a weak or irregular amplification, internal noises from your device or distorted/garbled sounds, ask yourself these four questions:
Is the hearing aid switched on?
If you don’t hear any sound coming from your hearing aid, make sure that the battery door on the hearing device is securely closed and the hearing aid is switched on. If there is a volume control feature, make sure that the volume isn’t on a mute or very low setting.
Is there an issue with the battery?
The battery needs to rest inside the hearing aid device in a precise way in order for it to function (look at your instruction manual for information on how to correctly place the battery in) All batteries have a “ + ” and “ - ” mark. The flat edge of a hearing aid battery is the positive pole. Make sure that the battery is placed correctly in your hearing aid. If the battery is upside down, the hearing aid will not be able to extract any power.
There is a chance that your battery is dead or very weak. Take a fresh battery and remove the sticker/tab from it. After removing the sticker/tab, you should wait 3-5 minutes before placing the battery in your hearing aid. This lets it thoroughly charge before being used.
FEMA and the American Red Cross recommend keeping hearing aid batteries in your disaster supply kit.
Is there an obstruction in the hearing aid?
Earwax, moisture, oils and/or other debris may build up in your hearing aid’s microphone(s), sound port, and tubing which can cause the device to malfunction.
Is the hearing aid switched onto the proper program?
Your hearing aid may have multiple programs that you can switch in between. Make sure that you are using the most suitable program based on the environment that you are in. There are some programs that are meant to be used with the phone, or in different environments, that may sound unusual if you decide to use them in other situations that it was not originally intended to be used in.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our office locations.
Due to the social distancing mandates in regard to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, loneliness has become a leading issue among those who suffer from hearing loss.
According to a recent study, individuals who have hearing loss are linked to an increased risk of loneliness and being socially isolated. This is just another correlation to how untreated hearing loss is associated with higher risks of developing dementia, depression, and falling.
It’s important that hearing healthcare professionals address a patient’s loneliness, in addition to the challenges they may face when trying to communicate with others.
Another matter when it comes to being quarantined is how dependent everyone becomes on technology. Instead of communicating verbally and in person, the latest technology can actually make interacting with others more difficult for anyone with a hearing impairment.
People who have hearing loss do not have the capability of associating a voice with a face. Distorted sounds that tend to occur with technology makes it challenging to identify who is speaking and what that person is saying.
Subsequently, those with hearing loss risk being misinformed, they may be disruptive if clarification is needed or a reiteration of what was said, and they could become detached from others if they decide to avoid communicating altogether.
Hearing healthcare facilities that are unable to offer services, may contribute to the further decline of a person’s social life.
Patients are at risk when they suddenly stop using their hearing aids, due to hearing healthcare offices that do not offer hearing aid repairs during these difficult times. This leads to hearing aid users who may stop wearing their hearing aids or wear them less and less each day. This may cause problems when it comes to communication, safety, and health issues that are related to severe hearing loss.
It is important to note that social isolation is not equated with, or automatically leads to, loneliness. Being lonely and being socially isolated are two different concepts. Sensory impairments, like hearing loss, can lead to loneliness and social isolation, but someone who is socially isolated may not actually feel lonely.
Advice for Hearing Healthcare Providers and Patients
With physical distancing measures in place, hearing healthcare providers can safely keep in contact with patients via telephone. Hearing healthcare providers can consider reaching out to patients and let them know that you are available to answer questions and concerns. A simple call can help relieve the loneliness and social isolation that many individuals with hearing loss experience.
Tips for Hearing Aid Users and Those Who They Communicate With
There are still some unique concerns for those with hearing loss during this time. The facial coverings - as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus - can disrupt lip reading for those who have that ability.
Speakers and listeners must practice useful means of communication, such as rephrasing, repeating, and summarizing what was said.
When someone who has hearing loss uses a facemask, please be aware of the hearing aid device(s). There’s a chance of unintentionally knocking them loose and off of the ear(s) while taking off facial coverings.
Proper Hygiene for Your Hearing Aids
Not only do you need to keep your hands clean and thoroughly wash them, but your hearing aids also need proper maintenance. Hearing aids, along with other amplification devices, need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Look at your user manuals for explicit instructions. Remember, do NOT use any alcohol-based disinfectants to clean your hearing aid devices. The alcohol can cause the dome to become brittle.
Advice for Caregivers of Patients with Hearing Loss
Pure Sound will only be open by appointment and for essential visits. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings.
Earbuds and exposure to bacteria
When we carry our earbuds around with us, they become exposed to all kinds of surfaces, which raises the risks of gathering bacteria from our bags, desks or tray tables.
Not only do our earbuds constantly come in contact with contaminated surfaces, but simply using earbuds can build up more bacteria in your ears. Wearing earbuds traps moisture and heat in the ear canal which can create a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
Bacteria is bad, but earwax is good
Our ears use earwax, or cerumen, as a protective shield against bacteria. We normally see earwax on earbuds, after removing them from our ears. Earwax helps to clean and lubricate our ears, and reduce the feelings of dryness and itchiness.
Earwax also prevents debris and dirt from coming in contact with our eardrums. The apocrine glands located in the outer section of our ears produce the cerumen. These glands are similar to the glands that produce sweat. The same situations that cause you to go into fight-or-flight mode can make you sweat and induce stress. This circumstance has also been shown to make your ears produce more wax.
If your ears generate a lot of wax, you can use a cloth to clean the outer part of your ear canal or you can place a couple of drops of an over-the-counter ear cleaning solution that will soften and remove the wax. If your ears feel as though they are obstructed or the wax interferes with how you hear, get it removed by a professional. Moving your jaw from eating or talking can also help remove earwax.
There's a very low chance of getting an infection from sharing earbuds
Studies on whether it's safe to share earbuds have varied from different researchers. Business Insider had tested 22 pairs of in-the-ear (ITE) style earbuds in Columbia University's microbiology lab. Most samples tested positive for bacteria that are found in our skin, such as staphylococcus. Two of the samples tested positive for yeast. Yeast is a fungus that can cause infection. You can get an ear infection from yeast.
Sharing earbuds can present new bacteria in your ears, and double the microbial flora in the ears. Most bacteria are innocuous and generally, there's a low risk of infection. But there is also a small risk of producing middle ear infections, fungus, and an increase of swimmer's ear if you share earbuds. If there is a laceration in your ear canal, sharing earbuds can also cause skin infections.
Tips on earbud usage
It would be best to avoid sharing earbuds. If you really need to share them, make sure you or the person you are sharing them with thoroughly disinfect the earbuds with rubbing alcohol, a disinfecting spray, or professional-strength cleaning wipes. Use a dampened cotton ball to remove any visible residue and bacteria.
You might also want to invest in earbud covers.
Hearing aids, just like earbuds, are not for sharing. Each hearing aid is customized and programmed for each individual user. They are at the same risk of exposure to bacteria from various surfaces. It's best to have good cleaning practices for your hearing aids and to occasionally get them thoroughly cleaned by a professional. If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. If you need to get your hearing aids cleaned by a professional, please contact us.
Our patient care coordinator, Martha, just received a shipment of professional strength hearing aid cleaning wipes in our Lititz office. Stop by at any of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Mount Joy, Lititz or Strasburg and to pick up some cleaning wipes. They may be used to clean your hearing aids, earbuds or earplugs.
If you wear hearing aids, have you ever noticed a difference in how sounds are being heard - even with a fresh pair of batteries or a full charge overnight? Do noises sound muffled, distant, or just wrong, as though something is missing?
The other possible reason why you may be hearing these faint sounds could be due to earwax.
Earwax is unavoidable. No matter what type of hearing aid you wear, whether it’s in-the-canal (ITC) or behind-the-ear (BTE), there will be contact with your ear canal.
Earwax has health benefits for your ears. It possess antibacterial and antifungal elements that can ward off many infections.
Earwax and hearing aids aren’t always a good mix. Moisture from earwax can prevent hearing aids from properly functioning. Fortunately, earwax is predictable and manufacturing companies are making strides to improve hearing aid devices.
Today’s hearing aids have a protective shield, known as wax guards. This helps to stop earwax from interfering with the performance of your hearing device. The “faint” sounds may be caused by the wax guards.
More on Wax Guards
A wax guard is a very small part of technology in your hearing aid. Wax cannot enter through it, but sounds have the ability to do so. It is important to have wax guards in your hearing aids to let them work properly. There are some instances when the wax guard could be the issue:
After Changing Your Wax Guard
You should be able to hear much more clearly. Listening and engaging in conversations should be easier.
There is a learning curve when taking care of any intricate devices like hearing aids. If you are experiencing poor sound quality, check your wax guard.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a new wax guard or a professional hearing aid cleaning, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
In addition to colder temperatures, the wintertime carries along risks to your ears and hearing health. Here are some things to consider this season.
Snow machines and winter gear
Any machines or tools, particularly ones that are used for outdoor maintenance, can damage your hearing. The whir from your snow blower can surpass 100 decibels, which can cause noise-induced hearing loss. You should wear a pair of foam earplugs. These can conveniently be purchased from a drug store. There is also the option of wearing noise reduction safety ear muffs, or headphones that completely cover your ears. These can keep your ears warm, while also protecting your ears from dangerous levels of noise.
In order to avoid potential moisture build up in your hearing aids, you might want to remove the devices and keep them in a safe spot, or occasionally wipe them down. Your head will most likely be covered in earmuffs or a hat, and the sweat that builds up in your ear canals could cause problems for these devices.
A good solution to reduce moisture build up is to place your hearing aids in a dry-aid kit overnight. Remove the disposable batteries (rechargeable batteries may not need to be removed, talk to your hearing instrument specialist to verify this). Hearing aid sweatbands are spandex covers that are designed to keep moisture from getting to your hearing aids. You can also get water-resistant hearing aids.
Dangerous decibel levels at indoor sports arenas
Many people enjoy going to arenas to watch basketball or hockey during the wintertime. It’s important to know that decibels, particularly at indoor arenas, can - and usually do - exceed safe noise levels. A safe noise level is 70 decibels. Some arenas can reach up to 120 decibels!
You may not initially notice any damage to your hearing because hearing loss occurs gradually over time. Always be prepared and bring a small pair of foam earplugs wherever you go. Make sure the earplugs are properly fitted for maximum protection. They can help preserve your hearing in the long run.
Look out for slippery surfaces when walking
According to a Johns Hopkins study from 2014, those who have hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than those who do not have hearing loss. You are at an even higher risk of falling during the winter due to ice and snow. If you have issues with your balance because of your hearing loss, or Meniere’s disease, look out for ice patches that may be hidden, objects that are covered in snow or slippery steps that could cause you to fall.
Take care if you get a cold or flu
If you believe that you may have an ear infection, go see a doctor.
In the winter season, your ears are normally colder. That means you have less circulation to provide your ears with a healthy supply of blood. Bacteria and virus infections are more prevalent during the colder season. This combination raises the risk of otitis media.
Otitis media is an ear infection that leads to severe swelling and inflammation to the middle ear. This swelling and infection could build up behind the eardrum and obstruct the Eustachian tube. Ear infections can be treated with antibiotics, but you may suffer from temporary hearing loss if the fluid does not clear out right away. If you believe that you may have an ear infection, go see a doctor immediately.
Keep your ears warm and dry if you are going to be outside in a cold environment. This may lower the possibility of ear infections. It’s also important to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly for good blood circulation, particularly in the wintertime when everyone has a high risk of infection.
Keep your ears warm and dry when you are skiing or riding a snowmobile
Wearing earmuffs, hats, scarves, and/or sweatbands are a great way to refrain from overexposure to extreme cold and wet conditions, which may cause exostosis, or “surfer’s ear”. This is a rare condition that typically occurs when someone is in or near cold water. Exostosis happens when you are exposed to cold temperatures and knobs of bone grow on the bone that surrounds your ear canal. The ear canal could get obstructed, increasing the risk of infection due to the fluid that gets trapped. This condition can be corrected with surgery, but it’s best to keep your ears covered, warm and dry to lower any risks.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss or need advanced hearing aid care maintenance, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.
If you wear hearing aids, they are probably one of the more delicate and essential devices that you own. Many people wear their hearing aids all day long. They help make your life more enjoyable and easier to navigate. You must take good care of your hearing aids to get the best use from them.
1. Use Cleaning Tools
A brush and wax pick are important tools that help with earwax buildup on your hearing aid. This is the most common cause of malfunction. Too much earwax can create static, muffled, or loud feedback noises.
Use the wax brush and pick on a daily basis. Each person produces a different amount of earwax, so it’s important to check your hearing aids often to notice if they are blocked up. Make it a routine to clean your hearing aids at the same time, either at the beginning or the end of your day. Wipe them with a tissue or dry cloth. Separate tubing and clean it to restrict earwax from accumulating inside.
2. Practice Preventative Care
Because hearing aid devices are electronic, it’s important not to get them wet or allow moisture to build up. Remove hearing aids when showering, bathing, or washing your face with water. Do not leave them in the bathroom while you are taking a steamy shower. When you have taken the hearing aids off for the day, open the battery doors overnight. This lets the hearing aid air out and dries the inside of the battery compartment.
You may also use a dehumidifier. These cases rid your hearing aids of moisture and are great to use as a storage unit. Keeping your hearing aids dry is important.
3. If your hearing aids get wet, here are some more tips:
Do not panic if your hearing aids get wet. A dehumidifier or hearing aid dry kit can be helpful in this situation. The devices can most likely be repaired. If none of the advice that was previously mentioned works, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids and set up an appointment.
Hearing Aid Feedback
Hearing aids a great way to hear the important sounds from your life again. From your loved ones, to nature and music, hearing aids can make a huge difference in your life.
Sadly, these devices might draw some unwanted attention due to feedback noises which sometimes produce a loud, high-pitched noise.
Hearing aid feedback is defined as a noise that is produced when an acoustic signal - or sound wave - leaves the ear canal and comes in contact with the hearing aid’s microphone. It may sound like a buzz, hiss, screech, squeal, static or whistle.
This is a common issue with hearing aids. If a hearing aid user has a severe hearing loss, there is a higher chance for feedback noise due to the intensity and magnitude of the sound wave.
Causes of Feedback in Hearing Aids
There are three common types of hearing aid feedback that wearers experience: acoustical, electronic or mechanical.
Hearing Aid Feedback in the Latest Devices
Modern hearing aids are much less prone to create feedback because they are designed to handle the noises. These hearing aids also don’t produce a lot of feedback noises for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. As long as the device is in proper working condition, is either custom fitted, or a standard hearing aid that fits comfortably, and the sounds are traveling to the eardrum, there should not be any issues.
Fine-tuning Your Hearing Aids to Avoid Feedback
Feedback sounds are not detrimental to your health, but they may irritate you or cause some embarrassment when you’re in a public environment. If the feedback is acoustical, here are some things you can do that might correct the issue.
Get Help for Your Hearing and Hearing Aids
Don’t let the fear of experiencing feedback noises stop you from getting your hearing treated. Untreated hearing loss can worsen over time, and exposes you to other health issues including dementia, depression, social isolation and other psycho-social problems.
If you, or a loved one, use hearing aids and experience feedback noises, please schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer custom-fit hearing aids, and standard hearing aids with domes that are available in a variety of sizes.
If you notice that your hearing aids have suddenly stopped working, there might be a quick and easy way to fix it. Eventually the devices might need to be taken to your hearing instrument specialist, but you also may be able to fix it yourself.
Are You Hearing Static or Broken Noises?
If your hearing aids stopped functioning, the most common reason is low battery power. Be sure that the battery is completely charged or it is brand new - batteries normally last for a week if your hearing aids are used routinely. You can lengthen the battery life by switching off your hearing aids when they are not being used, or taking the batteries out of your hearing aids. It’s best to store the batteries and the hearing aid itself away from moist, hot, and cold temperatures. In other words, do not store your hearing aids or batteries in the refrigerator, keep them away from steamy bathrooms and shield them from the rain.
Static noises may be caused by receivers that become clogged or dirty, covered in lint or other debris, and possibly flawed programming. You could also change the channels or volume if the static persists.
Do You Hear Whistling in You Hearing Aids?
One of the most common explanations for a whistling sound are hearing aid devices that do not fit comfortably. When you buy your hearing aids, the device should be customized to the size of your ears and your personal hearing needs.
If you hear whistling noises when you wear your hearing aids for the first time, remove them from your ears and adjust them. If you are still hearing a whistle even when they fit comfortably in your ears, there may be cerumen (earwax) built up which causes a blockage, or the volume might be too loud.
Are You Unable to Hear Anything at All?
If you sense that the sound on your hearing aids are not functioning properly, make sure they are switched on and the volume is loud enough for you to hear. There’s a chance that you may have unintentionally tapped or switched something while placing them into your ears. Double check your batteries, you might need to replace them.
If you still can’t hear anything, look at the hearing aid tubes and receiver. They may be dirty or plugged with earwax. It’s best to clean after you remove the batteries and clean every surface with a dry cloth. Use a proper cleaning brush and wax pick provided by your hearing instrument specialist.
When is it Time to Get a Professional to Help?
If you need a more thorough cleaning, it is recommended that you go to your hearing instrument specialist. You can also get batteries, tubes, wax guards from them.
Most hearing aids include a protection plan or warranties. These are useful when you are unable to resolve the problem yourself and need a professional to help. If your hearing aid continues to have these problems, even with the help from a professional, it may be time to replace part of the hearing aid or get a new device altogether.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids if your hearing aids have stopped working. Our hearing instrument specialists will be able to determine the best solution for you!
Moisture and Hearing Aids
Some hearing aid wearers have experienced malfunctions in their devices when they come in contact with sweat or other forms of moisture. Manufacturers have attempted to handle this issue by creating water resistant hearing aids, but moisture still causes some complications.
Preventing Moisture from Coming in Contact with Your Hearing Aids
One tip is to wear a sweatband when you exercise in order to absorb excess perspiration.
Like all electronics, hearing aids are fragile. It is advised that you should avoid placing them in a climate that is warm and humid. It’s best to get a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier to store your hearing aids. This will help preserve and extend the usage of your hearing aids.
It is also important to regularly keep your hearing aids well maintained by cleaning them. Remove earwax or other debris that has built up to prevent any moisture from permeating into the devices. If you live in an environment with a lot of humidity, heat or pollen, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist who will provide a more thorough cleaning.
If you need to have your hearing aids cleaned, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids to schedule an appointment.