Everyone knows that hearing aids help make sounds louder for people who have hearing loss, but that is where those similarities end. Hearing aids are unique and have different power levels, amplification abilities, sizes, smartphone compatibility, etc. The style, model, daily lifestyle, and hearing needs are also part of the conversation with your hearing aid provider.
Here are some questions that you might go over:
These questions will help your provider determine which hearing aids are best for you and how to program them for your listening needs. People’s voices will be easier to hear while drowning out background noises. A hearing instrument specialist will help you during your fitting and trial period.
Some people with hearing loss wait years until they get help for their hearing loss - this can be due to not being aware that they are losing their hearing, financial reasons, or just plain stubbornness. When you first start with hearing aids, noises that you have not heard for a long time might come across as sounding very loud and annoying -- the clacking of a typewriter or the rushing sound of water. Hearing aids have become so advanced that users can hear speech sounds while blocking out or training their brains to ignore annoying background noises.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and need help choosing hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Modern hearing aids allow users to adjust the volume and clarity of their environment.
They help give their hearing aids optimal performance while bringing better awareness to a person’s surroundings. The fastest and easiest way to achieve this is by using hearing aid programs.
What are hearing aid programs?
A program for hearing aids is a pre-set sound setting to help you hear better in a particular environment. It can be indoors, like in a dining setting, or outside, like at a park. Based on your lifestyle, you might have a program for the outdoors titled “Outdoors.” A program for a place you regularly visit might be called “Dining.”
Why are hearing aid programs needed?
You might come across various listening environments each day. It might be a busy, crowded space like a dining hall or a quieter location like a healthcare appointment in a private office. Even PA announcements or a hearing loop connection to a theater’s speaker systems need a program or additional setting you can switch to. Different areas require different hearing aid settings.
How are hearing aid programs implemented?
It’s easy to use a hearing aid program. Some are automated, depending on the type of hearing aid you have. Or, you can select the applicable program setting when you arrive at the equivalent location. If you go into the same grocery store often frequented, the hearing aid setting automatically switches, or you may need to manually switch from the previous program setting to the “grocery store” setting.
Hearing aid program categories
There are two types of hearing aid programs available - professional and custom.
Professional programs are the most common programs that your hearing aid provider can set up. A hearing aid provider/hearing instrument specialist will create settings based on discussions about your lifestyle and listening priorities. For example, “Personal” (like your daily hearing setting), “Appointments” (for healthcare or other appointments), “Restaurant” (for dining out), “Outdoors” (for time spent outside), etc.
Anyone who is more tech-savvy and finds it easy or is more adventurous to play with new technology can use custom-programmed settings. The user can create their own settings for the environments they frequent.
Your hearing instrument specialist can help you assess the best program settings and how to operate these programs. The programs might switch on automatically, or you open them with a simple app on your smartphone.
Schedule an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists for a hearing aid trial today.
In the past, there have been strong cases that presumed the interconnectedness of hearing and brain health. New data is helping to back up that speculation.
The Lancet published a study this year that hearing aids can significantly lower the risks for the onset of dementia. This research maintains the understanding that seeking help and treatment for hearing loss might protect and improve cognitive abilities.
How and why is healthy hearing crucial for proper cognitive function? How are hearing aids helpful for someone’s brain and overall health?
The Relationship between Dementia, Hearing problems, and Hearing aids
For some, hearing aids may only be known to improve hearing. More benefits come with wearing them, like a user’s ability to process sounds.
Hearing loss can make traditional learning experiences more challenging, as processing new information can become daunting. If you can’t hear clearly, struggling to hear can lead to listening fatigue. In addition to exhausting efforts to listen, hearing loss has a connection to increased brain shrinkage. This phenomenon can occur through atrophy or loss of brain tissue.
Hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which can lead to dementia. The inability to hear can lead people to withdraw from others. Socializing with others stimulates the brain, which can prevent atrophy in the brain while helping overall cognitive function.
Hearing aids, Socializing, Cognitive Function, and Overall Well-Being
As mentioned, socializing is necessary for cognitive function. It helps reduce loneliness, isolation, and depression. These are all risk factors for dementia. Healthy hearing is crucial for enjoyable socializing. In the same way that impaired vision stops people from seeing everything around them, hearing loss can prevent people from hearing in their environment - that’s part of a healthy social life. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported that withdrawing from socializing increases dementia by 50%.
Hearing aid usage can change that. The ability to hear a simple conversation can exercise your brain. Active listening, remembering something from the past, and expressing yourself can improve cognitive function. Hearing aids can make socializing easier while being more aware of your environment.
You can calm any worries about your safety when there’s a better awareness of your surroundings. If you are in your home or a public space and there’s an emergency, hearing aids will help you become alert to those emergencies. If you don’t have hearing aids, or they are not working, figure out a different means of communication. That can include texting or writing things down using a pen and paper. Hearing aids can help lower the chances of falls due to imbalance. Your balance and hearing are interconnected.
According to The Lancet, about 8% of dementia cases are preventable through professional hearing intervention. Hearing aid users have 19% less risk of cognitive decline and 17% less possibility of dementia than those who have not had their hearing loss treated.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that dementia is more common among the study’s participants who experience moderate or severe hearing loss - at a 61% higher rate than participants with normal hearing. There were 32% lower cases of dementia among participants who used hearing aids with mild to severe hearing loss.
Wearing hearing aids can improve the user’s ability to correctly understand information and perhaps be better at retaining that information. Hearing aids don’t cure anything, including hearing and memory conditions. Instead, hearing aids help users hear better with the hearing abilities that they still have - also known as residual hearing. People may remember things better if they can listen and understand others.
The Best Ways to Protect Yourself Against Dementia
Protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss. If you are noticing hearing loss, seek help immediately. When you receive a hearing test and if the results indicate hearing loss, the professional who conducted the test may recommend hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
Wearing fitted and programmed hearing aids tailored to your specific hearing loss is crucial to reduce any additional hearing loss or cognitive function.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids would be beneficial, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. How can Hearing Aids help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Aging leads to the deterioration of brain cells, some of which can become permanently destroyed. As a result, “brain atrophy” or “cognitive decline” occurs, which can cause dementia.
It’s a complicated process. Genetic factors can cause cognitive decline, but sometimes it's manageable. Hearing loss treatment is one of the ways you can slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Treating high blood pressure, reducing your alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, managing depression, taking action if you are socially isolated, and exercising are all risk factors you can control.
If you experience hearing loss and dementia, will hearing aids help?
According to The Lancet, older adults who practiced hearing aid usage and regularly received help from a hearing healthcare provider lowered their dementia risks by 50% over three years.
The lowered risk included people with other risk factors for dementia (heart disease, social isolation, and physical inactivity).
An indiscriminate controlled trial studied how treating hearing loss impacted dementia. The test subjects in this study used hearing aids, a hearing “toolkit” which helped the individual manage their hearing loss, and continued instruction and counseling with a hearing healthcare professional.
After three years, the results indicated that the intervention lowered the rate of anticipated cognitive decline for adults between 70 and 84 years old. These benefits only included people with hearing loss and additional risks like dementia, heart disease, lower levels of education, and reduced physically active lifestyle.
The primary conclusion is that anyone with hearing loss, especially if they are older, should get a hearing checkup and treat any symptoms. There are no risks to intervening to take care of your hearing.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association-Neurology, wearing hearing aids can effectively reduce the risks of cognitive decline.
Another study by the Journal of American Geriatrics Society revealed that using hearing aids delayed the onset of cognitive impairment, dementia, depression, social isolation, and falls that can lead to injuries/hospitalizations. This study was not a randomized controlled trial. The results could have been due to other reasons: some hearing aid wearers have higher incomes, allowing them to access better medical care.
The Best Hearing Aids for Dementia
There isn’t one particular hearing aid or assistive listening device that helps with dementia, but there are multiple types and styles of hearing aids that can improve symptoms.
Are you a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Research what hearing aids work best for that loved one. Discuss your concerns about them with a professional hearing aid provider. Your loved one’s daily routines, specific listening needs, and abilities will be incorporated when selecting hearing aids.
Contact one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing for a consultation.
If you’re having trouble hearing, you may have considered hearing aids, personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), or “hearables”. The last two options are not, by definition, actual hearing aids, but for some people with mild hearing loss, it may be helpful.
Let’s learn more about the options available today.
Over-the-counter (OTC) Hearing Aids
PSAPs and ‘hearables’
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe prescription hearing aids may be appropriate, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing aids are an investment, so proper care is needed to keep them working their best. At Pure Sound Hearing, patients are provided with a warranty when purchasing hearing aids. Let’s go over what coverage you’d receive and how it works.
A hearing aids warranty is a contract signed by the customer for the hearing aid company from whom they purchase the devices to protect them if anything goes awry. Any hearing aid deterioration due to mistreatment or neglect typically won’t be protected by a warranty. Many warranties will, however, cover daily weathering.
Hearing Aid Warranties
Warranty coverage for hearing aids is crucial. You can get protection from hearing aids that are faulty while also protecting your investment in the product. Some people believe that hearing aid repairs require payment for any service during each visit to your hearing aid provider since there is no written contract between the user and the manufacturer or provider.
Based on your hearing aid model, manufacturers offer a variety of warranty plans. These may include:
Limited Lifetime Warranty
This standard warranty covers all parts of your hearing aids, excluding batteries and earmold fittings. Most companies have this option. It protects you from any defects in the materials or design. It does not cover repair expenses caused by abuse, accidents, or misuse.
Basic and Limited Warranty
This type of warranty covers all parts of the hearing aids, excluding batteries. It also does not cover damage caused by average wear and tear, like a scratched casing, dents, or other physical/surface deterioration that doesn’t hinder the hearing aids’ performance. This warranty does not cover repair expenses caused by abuse, accidents, or misuse.
This warranty covers all parts and labor when there is general wear and tear. It includes casings that become scratched, dents, physical/surface deterioration that doesn’t hinder the hearing aids’ performance, and damage caused by accidents. The cost of repairs caused by water damage or intentional destruction is not covered.
Warranties from Manufacturers
After purchasing hearing aids, your provider will give you a manufacturer’s warranty. A warranty from the manufacturer is a certification ensuring that they can sell their products to customers. Find out if your device has a certified warranty and what to expect.
Here are three different types of hearing aid warranties from manufacturers:
This warranty uses third parties, like an insurance company. It is for hearing aids under five years old. This warranty provides unlimited replacements for your device.
The best warranties last at least five years. Repairs or replacements are part of the coverage for your hearing aids.
Look over Pure Sound Hearing’s care plans for our warranty coverage. If you are unsure about something, please ask us questions about it.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid providers. We offer hearing aid trials, purchases, and services in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
After receiving your hearing test results and determining that you would benefit from using hearing aids, your hearing instrument specialist will help you choose the right hearing aids for your specific listening needs. When your hearing aids are selected, follow-up appointments will be made so that you can be properly fitted for the devices and the hearing instrument specialist will program different settings for you. You will also get a better understanding of how they work and how to take care of them.
Two Types of Batteries
Hearing aids come in various shapes, styles, and sizes. There are behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and in-the-canal (ITC) styles. The two battery styles are disposable batteries and rechargeable batteries. Your hearing instrument specialist will go over and help you understand the battery that your hearing aids have, along with maintenance practices for the batteries.
The disposable batteries are known as zinc-air button batteries. They are tiny and are manually placed inside the hearing aid. You need to know when the batteries are low and how to replace them. Hearing aid batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. The tabs on the batteries should remain on the batteries until you are ready to use them. Removing the tab activates the batteries, so make sure you have your hearing aids ready to insert the batteries immediately. Keep in mind that hearing aid batteries need to be stored safely so animals and children cannot get a hold of them. Read more about it in our article: Beware of Children and Pets Who May Swallow Hearing Aid Batteries
If you have a rechargeable battery, you need to understand how to recharge it so that it remains effective. Be aware that using streaming features to listen to phone calls, music, or other media will drain the batteries faster.
A Comfortable Fit
When you look for clothes or shoes, you try them on before purchasing them. You want to make sure they’re comfortable before you bring them home and wear them around. It’s the same idea with hearing aids.
The dome on the hearing aid receiver (the piece that rests in your ear canal) is available in standard sizes. Making sure you have the right size so it feels comfortable and doesn’t produce feedback noises is important. You may also get a custom receiver that perfectly fits the unique shape of your ears. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled so that you can discuss any issues you’re having with the fit of your hearing aids. Your hearing instrument specialist will work with you until you are satisfied with the function and feel of your hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Maintenance
Modern hearing aids are advanced. Not only can they make sounds louder, but they also have the ability to block out background noise. Some hearing aids feature artificial intelligence (AI) so that they can automatically switch settings based on your environment.
You need to regularly clean your hearing aids and properly store them when not in use. Earwax, moisture, or other debris can obstruct your hearing aid microphones and tubes, which can distort the way you hear. Professional/deeper cleanings by your provider should be made every six months or less if you are experiencing problems. Your provider will go over this in more detail during your hearing aid fitting.
Keep a Hearing Journal
Getting new hearing aids and being fitted for them is an important event in your life. You should come up with questions before, during, and after receiving your hearing aids. Keep a journal about your progress and any problems that you encounter. Notice where/when you hear better in certain situations. Your fitting appointment is a perfect time to discuss any concerns you have, but don’t hesitate to contact their office any time after your appointment. That’s what they are there for.
If you need hearing aids and a proper hearing aid fitting, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing aid trial.
Whether you are trying to fit in that last summer vacation, planning for Labor Day, or are readily available to travel all year long (Hello retirees!), sometimes it’s nice to get away by yourself. It is fun to explore a new place, and traveling is a great way to socialize and improve your overall health.
For some, hearing loss can make traveling slightly more challenging, especially if you plan to travel solo. Being prepared can make traveling alone easier.
1. Receive Treatment for Hearing Loss Before Traveling
If you experience hearing loss and haven’t sought treatment, get your hearing tested immediately. As with any health concern, early treatment is better for your health. Your hearing healthcare provider will offer treatment options suitable for your hearing loss. That may include hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
If you wear hearing aids, your hearing instrument specialist can program channels on your hearing aids to make it easier to focus on crucial things to hear, like a flight delay, while blocking out unwanted noises like a crying baby on the plane.
2. Pack Accordingly
In addition to your clothes and other essential items, don’t forget to pack accessories used with your hearing aids. Bring extra batteries or your hearing aid charger, a waterproof case, tools, cleaning wipes, and any other things you use to care for your hearing aids. If you forgot any of these items, look up a local hearing aid business to get your supplies.
3. Start by Taking Small Travel Trips
Your first solo trip doesn’t need to be abroad. There are lots of places to visit and enjoy within your local region. Whether you plan to travel by airplane or train, traveling to a closer area can give you practice on what it’ll be like to go through airports or train stations without the intimidation of being too outside of your home/comfort zone.
4. Do thorough Research Before Your Trip
Learning and understanding more about your means of travel, hotels, motels, an Airbnb that you are staying at, and the city/town you’re visiting will be to your advantage. You can feel more confident and secure when traveling. In addition to the area where you will be staying, it’s a good idea to research museums, parks, restaurants, theaters, or other spaces you plan to visit so you know what to expect regarding the establishment’s accommodations for people with hearing loss.
5. Keep in Contact with Loved Ones
Solo travel should still include loved ones. Have regular check-ins. When traveling abroad, ensure you can text and call each other, even with the international barrier. A reliable method of contacting someone is crucial in case of emergencies.
If you, or a loved one, experience hearing loss and need new hearing aids, supplies, or a professional cleaning for your hearing aids before traveling, schedule an appointment at Pure Sound Hearing.
Are you a hearing aid user who has been to a theatre, auditorium, or any other public space where the assistive listening device doesn’t work?
Your hearing aids should be able to connect with the loop system or an infrared listening system, which is found in most public spaces in the U.S., or paired with an assistive listening device provided by the theatre establishment.
What’s a Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop (or an audio induction loop) is a sound system that helps people with hearing aids hear in theaters, banks, waiting areas, auditoriums, teaching spaces, or any area with public announcements. The hearing loop produces a wireless, magnetic signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when the ‘T’ (telecoil or t-coil) setting is on. It has an audio source linked to an amplifier that processes the signal. The signal is transferred to the loop cable - a wire installed around the perimeter of a designated spot i.e. a small meeting room, but it can be designed to wrap around complex areas.
Hearing loops provide high sound quality. This is the only assistive listening technology that can stream directly to various hearing aids styles. They are the leading choice for audio accessibility in public spaces.
Employee Sensitivity Training
Employees should have required training on handling and accommodating patrons who are hard of hearing and require an assistive listening device.
For example, if a theater or any establishment touts accessibility accommodations for people who cannot hear very well and then fails to follow through on that promise, there should be a notification, an explanation, or an apology. There should also be an update to their system or an announcement on their website. For some businesses, accessibility services tend to take the back burner, which is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Advantages of Using a Hearing Loop
If you, or a loved one, are missing out during your favorite or important situations, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation about a hearing aid trial.
Our Pure Sound team just finished up at the Signia training event and we're ready to fit you with the latest amazing state-of-the-art products!
Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
Hearing aids, just like every technological device, should be upgraded in order to keep up with your hearing health needs. On average, hearing aids should be replaced every three to six years - depending on usage, along with wear and tear, and your maintenance practices.
4 Things to Consider When Upgrading Your Hearing Aids
1. The level and style of the hearing technology.
2. What is the overall quality of the hearing aids? Are maintenance issues becoming more difficult?
3. Possible changes in hearing abilities and listening lifestyle.
4. What is the condition of your current hearing aids? How is their performance?
5 Signs You Need New Hearing Aids
1. Faulty Devices
Do you still notice problems, even when you follow proper maintenance recommendations? Maybe your batteries drain faster than usual, or noises still sound suppressed after switching out wax guards.
2. Repairs are getting Expensive
Do you frequently get your hearing aids repaired? If you have an older model, it’s harder to find the necessary parts or the model may be discontinued. Sometimes repairs cost as much as a new hearing aid, so you may as well purchase new hearing aids.
3. Changes in Your Hearing
Your hearing abilities may change due to aging, exposure to loud sounds, or other health problems. Even though hearing aids can be tweaked and re-programmed to your new listening needs, too much change in your hearing may require a more powerful hearing technology.
4. Developments in Technology
Just like every piece of technology currently out on the market, hearing aids have made so many new advancements each year. Some have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, tinnitus masking features, better ways to filter out background noise, Bluetooth® streaming, fall detection features, and translating languages with captions.
5. Are You Frequenting New and Different Environments?
If you’ve made changes to your lifestyle, you might need different technology. Do you play a new sport? There are hearing aids with a moisture-resistant coating - this does NOT mean that they are water-proof, there are no water-proof hearing aids. Do you find yourself spending more time outdoors? You can get hearing aids that are programmed to automatically adjust to the environment that you are in.
If you or a loved one, are looking for an upgrade from your current hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
When you notice problems with your hearing or ears, you’ll need professional help. Having that contact available will be beneficial for so many reasons. Let’s go over what services a hearing professional/hearing instrument specialist provides.
1. Finding Out if You Have Hearing Loss
A hearing professional is a person you can visit and communicate concerns about your hearing problems. They can tell you how mild, moderate, or severe your hearing loss may be. Seeking guidance from a general healthcare practitioner will not be adequate. An expert in the field will guide you toward better hearing and communication.
2. Treating Your Hearing Loss
Hearing loss treatment options are available through a hearing professional. If hearing aids are a viable choice, you will go over style options, and receive the devices recommended by your provider, followed by accurate fittings and programming to hear better.
3. Hearing Aid Care and Repair
If you already wear hearing aids and your hearing aids are not working for any reason, your hearing instrument specialist can repair them. Like lots of modern technology, tune-ups are necessary to keep your devices functioning correctly. Modern hearing aids have a lot of power and they’re sturdy. You still need to properly care for them with a repair or replacement part, which your specialist will provide. Whether it’s a quick fix - like a professional cleaning, a recommendation, or your hearing aid needs to be sent back to the manufacturer for more intricate repairs, places like Pure Sound Hearing are here to help.
Hearing loss is prevalent but not exclusive to individuals 65 and older. Anyone can have a gradual or sudden hearing loss, making communication challenging.
Patients with signs of hearing loss, whether detected by you or others with whom you consistently interact, should seek a hearing test.
If you responded “yes” to any of these and believe hearing aids are a solution, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The Types of Hearing Loss
Multiple parts of the ear cooperate to create the ability to hear:
Three leading types of hearing loss alter different parts of the ear:
The Causes of Hearing Loss
If there’s an obstruction or damage in the external, middle, or inner ear, you may experience hearing loss. Common causes of hearing loss include:
The Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You may experience hearing loss in one ear (unilateral hearing loss) or both ears (bilateral hearing loss). Indications of hearing loss include:
You may exhibit other symptoms in addition to hearing loss, like tinnitus.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss or problems with your hearing, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do you experience hearing loss in one of your ears? This is known as single-sided deafness (SSD). For some, it may manifest itself as a shrill noise that permeates your head with a feeling of pressure. Then the ability to hear is gone. For others, it may be noise-induced, caused by an ear infection, genetic disorder, or a tumor.
In some cases, this type of hearing loss cannot be treated without the use of hearing aids.
A hearing aid provider may conduct tests including, pure tone audiometry, bone conduction, loudness discomfort, and word recognition.
A Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) hearing aid, which is available at Pure Sound Hearing, can be used to treat this type of hearing loss.
CROS hearing aids are made for people with severe SSD, also known as unilateral hearing. The average user has fairly normal hearing abilities in one ear, but standard hearing aids can’t help with the other ear.
CROS hearing aids are worn in both ears. For the ear that can’t hear, a device is used to harness sound. It then reroutes the sounds to another device that is worn on the other ear. In addition to the sounds that are normally heard in one hearing aid, sounds can also be heard in that same ear from the good ear, without amplifying it.
Some users are hopeful that being able to hear additional directions will help them feel more confident while communicating with others. If you need to communicate with a person, background noises can be blocked out so that it’s not distracting.
If you’re experiencing SSD and would like a free trial of one of our CROS hearing aids, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
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.
As we have mentioned in this blog, hearing aids are an investment. Daily cleanings and proper maintenance will help your hearing aids work at their optimal level. Think about your eyeglasses or your car. You keep those clean when they don’t look their best, right? The same idea applies to hearing aids.
Proper care for your hearing aids is essential. Your hearing aid provider from Pure Sound Hearing will go over cleaning instructions after your purchase.
Gently remove earwax and other debris using a soft cloth, professional-grade cleaning wipes, and cleaning tools like a brush and loop pick. These items are available at our Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg offices. Just stop by during our office hours or schedule an appointment. Hearing aids are fragile, so be careful when handling the devices to prevent damage. Wash your hands before and after touching your hearing aids to avoid potential dirt and oil from causing an infection in your ears.
In addition to the regular cleanings that you do, we recommend that you schedule a deep cleaning with our office once every six months. It will help maintain the quality performance of your hearing aids and make them last longer. If you produce a lot of earwax, you may need to stop by our office more frequently. Ask one of our hearing aid professionals what they recommend.
If you wear your hearing aids, sweat and moisture could build up in the devices. That’s not good for the circuitry of any hearing aid. Talk to our hearing aid providers for the best solution.
Hearing affects your overall health and how you communicate with the people and things you encounter regularly. Hearing loss can make interacting with family, friends, and coworkers challenging. If you are a candidate for hearing aids, please understand that they are worth the investment. So many users have already noticed the benefits in their lives.
Concerned about the Cost of Hearing Aids?
One of the top reasons why people put off purchasing hearing aids is due to other financial responsibilities. For some, hearing aids can’t be a priority. There are several ways to ease financial burdens, including Medicare plans.
You can also learn about our traditional and unbundled hearing aid plans from Pure Sound Hearing.
Find out if we take your insurance. If you don’t see your insurance provider listed, simply ask us so that we can verify whether your insurance is acceptable.
Today’s Hearing Aids for Tomorrow’s Hearing Health
Modern hearing aids feature Bluetooth® compatibility. Streaming phone calls, music, podcasts, TV, and other media is easy with hearing aids that have a Bluetooth® component.
If you have dexterity issues, try rechargeable hearing aids. You’ll never have to change a battery with these devices.
Other features include directional microphones, which help you focus on conversations that you’re having rather than hearing background noises from other people’s conversations. Hearing aids also feature wind noise reduction, so you don’t hear the wind blowing against your microphones while biking or being outside while it’s too windy. Hearing aids can also be controlled in different settings through an app on your smartphone, while you wear the devices.
Do you live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? Schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation at one of our Pure Sound Hearing offices in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
If you’ve got a loved one in a nursing home, you need to be concerned about multiple things from their nutrition to their safety and overall care. This includes keeping up with their hearing health with proper hearing aid usage, daily maintenance, and keeping track of their devices.
Medical emergencies and hygiene will usually be the priority of caregiving staff. Hearing aids and maintenance tend to be less of a priority. Losing hearing aids can be a common occurrence with hundreds of residents and staff moving through the facility. Many seniors in these facilities need hearing aids, but most staff members are unaware that they need these devices. It’s also likely that residents might refuse to wear hearing aids, which leads to frustration among patients and nurses.
Some reasons why residents do not want to wear hearing aids:
Nursing home staff should be trained in case these problems come up. Some people, particularly seniors, might feel confused, lost, isolated, and frustrated without their hearing aids, or hearing aids that are not working properly. It’s easy but takes time to keep up with hearing aid maintenance and cleanings. Hearing aids that aren’t worn at all, or used correctly can worsen current ailments, like dementia.
Regular hearing tests are important. If someone’s hearing gets worse, it might mean that the hearing aid isn’t working as well as it should be.
It requires a team of people to help them with this. Other non-nursing staff members should also be made aware of patients who wear hearing aids. A positive relationship is necessary for the best care.
If an item like hearing aids goes missing, you’ll have to figure out who bears responsibility. Every nursing home is different, so you’ll need to know how the nursing home, state, providence, or area will handle the situation.
Preventing Hearing Aid Loss
You may purchase a sleeve that fits over the hearing aid. You will still be able to hear through the sleeve. There are corded styles that feature a clip, which can secure the hearing aid to clothing. This helps lower the chance of losing the hearing device.
Label Your Hearing Aids
Your initials can be written on your hearing aid with a permanent marker, or you can put a small, shiny sticker on them. It’s easier to catch the eye with something shiny, as long as there’s light to reflect off from. A sticker with a bright color can also help you find the hearing aid if it fell on the floor or in your bed.
Storage Unit for Hearing Aids
Simply place your hearing aids in a small plastic case (hearing aid dryer) next to your bed, so it’s easily accessible in the middle of the night. Do not wrap them in a tissue or napkin to protect them. Hearing aids are lightweight, so it’s easy to mistake a wadded-up tissue or napkin for trash. If you need a case for your hearing aids, contact Pure Sound Hearing to set up a time to purchase it from one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, or Strasburg.
Maintenance of Hearing Aids
The staff members at nursing homes are very busy. But, it’s important to make sure they take the time to label each hearing aid, clean them, store them, make sure there’s no moisture build-up, and check the battery life. Family members also bear responsibility for helping their loved one arrange for a hearing test and maintaining hearing aids so their loved ones can get the best out of their devices. Your hearing aid provider should have gone over cleaning requirements, battery changes, how to use the hearing aid, and any other questions you or your loved one had.
If you need hearing aids, cleaning tools, or any other accessories for your hearing aids, please contact Pure Sound Hearing.
The summer heatwave is beating down upon us, and maybe you’ve noticed an ice cream truck circling your neighborhood. When you were a kid, do you remember perking up as soon as you heard that classic high-pitched tune playing on a loop to signal the ice cream truck was close?
You probably never knew or were curious enough to research the device used to produce the music from ice cream trucks.
Since 1957, Nichols Electronics Co of Richfield has been producing and selling music boxes for ice cream trucks. There’s plenty of competition against ice cream vendors. That means they should be loud enough even when there’s a lot of background noise, no matter the environment. Tunes that play from a high-quality music box allow vendors to get noticed by their customers. Anyone with good hearing can recognize that unmistakable jingle.
Nichols Electronics entered the ice cream music box business in 1957 when an ice cream truck driver from Los Angeles reached out to his friend Bob Nichols. He asked Nichols if he would create an electric music box, similar to the ones that Good Humor ice cream trucks used. This was the inception of the business of creating music boxes for ice cream trucks.
Do you miss hearing the sound of ice cream trucks? Don’t be left out. Enjoy some music and treats with family, your grandchildren, and friends. Contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid professionals.
Nearly 15% (37.5 million) of Americans at least 18 years old have reported hearing problems.
Researchers have found that just 34% of people who self-identify with hearing loss wear some form of a device that helps them hear better. The rate of individuals is not that much higher in European countries where they provide free hearing aids.
The average person with hearing loss waits 4.8 years for a professional assessment. They wait an additional 7-10 years to seek treatment.
The Lancet report found that hearing aid usage is one of the easiest ways to prevent or slow down cognitive decline.
Hearing aids are not always used. There are a lot of misunderstandings about hearing aids.
1st Myth: It’s not worth paying so much for a small piece of plastic.
Fact: Hearing aids are small computers that require programming. This complex series of wiring is shrunk down so that you can wear them all day in your ears. The ears are in a harsh environment - it’s warm and moist. There’s dirt and earwax buildup. There are also several experts in the field of hearing science and acoustics, along with millions of dollars that are dedicated to improving new technologies.
2nd Myth: All hearing aids are the same.
Fact: Hearing instruments come in various styles and degrees of technology. They must be selected and programmed based on each individual’s degree of hearing loss, style preference/comfort, listening needs, budget, and any other specific needs. A proper hearing aid fitting for physical comfort, adjustments for volume, and quality of sound are also necessary.
3rd Myth: Your hearing can be restored to normal with hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing aids cannot restore hearing abilities that are lost or cure problems with hearing. There are, however, significant benefits to wearing hearing aids. These include enhancing how you communicate with others, your listening skills, and your overall quality of life.
4th Myth: My hearing loss is barely noticeable. I don’t need hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing loss is unique. Symptoms of hearing loss are usually slow and subtle. Other people that you frequently interact with will notice your hearing loss before you do. Work with your hearing instrument specialist to find out the degree of hearing loss and how hearing aids will make your life easier and healthier.
5th Myth: Someone you know said hearing aids didn’t work for them.
Fact: There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to hearing loss and hearing aids. Everyone has unique listening needs, types of hearing loss, and ear shapes. The level of technology, the style of the hearing aid, the hearing aid provider, and the user’s patience and persistence while adapting to their hearing aids are all variables to consider.
6th Myth: Hearing aid are bulky and make me look old.
Fact: Modern hearing aids are more stylish and discreet. Most are invisible to the untrained eye. Also, almost everyone wears something in their ears these days whether it’s hearing aids or earbuds. So wearing anything in your ears isn’t as big of a deal anymore.
Some positive changes that hearing aid users have noticed include better/more effective communication, overall well-being, less isolation, participating in more group activities, and better relationships. As mentioned before, a user’s patience and persistence are necessary while adapting to hearing aids. This applies to loved ones, colleagues, and others who interact with someone that wears hearing aids.
If you are experiencing any range of hearing loss, or you have a family member who you notice is struggling to hear, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
One of the primary things to consider when getting new hearing aids is the number of channels you should switch between. The number of channels available for your usage can help correct your loss.
Your hearing aid can correct some of your hearing by adding several channels. Even though this sounds obvious, you’re probably wondering why. Let’s take a deep dive into hearing aid channels.
What are Hearing Aid Channels?
Hearing aids feature microphones which are built right into the devices. They can pick up various noises from the surrounding area and separate them into channels. The number of channels a hearing aid utilizes will determine how detailed everything sounds. So, the more channels there are, the more it will divide that harnessed sound.
The average hearing aid features 4 to 24 channels. Four channels are the simplest; 24 channels are more detailed and create a better sound experience for the user. You can discuss how many channels would work best for your hearing loss with a provider from Pure Sound Hearing.
What are the Benefits of Several Channels?
Everyone with hearing loss has a different degree of deficiency. Adjustments are necessary based on their hearing test results. More channels on a hearing aid make the users’ hearing precise and customized so they can get the most out of their hearing aids.
Discuss the channels on your hearing aids with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing. They’ll patiently work with you to get the most benefits from your hearing aids.
If you need tips to improve your hearing health, look no further. We’ve got simple resolutions to guide you through a better hearing lifestyle.
1. Get a Hearing Test
Hearing loss is a gradual process. No matter how good your hearing is, you should get your hearing regularly tested to detect possible deterioration. As soon as you notice anything wrong with your hearing, book a test immediately. Getting into the habit of scheduling a hearing test will help you in the long run. Most people with hearing loss wait five to 10 years before seeking a hearing test or treatment.
Anyone over 60 years of age should get an annual hearing test. Adults under 60 should pay close attention to their hearing health and get a test every few years.
2. Pay Attention to Signs of Hearing Loss
Don’t neglect any problems you encounter with hearing loss. It can get worse without any intervention from a hearing healthcare professional. Like other health problems, early treatment will make your hearing easier to manage. That may include using and adjusting to hearing aids, which can slow the loss. Common signs of hearing loss include the inability to distinguish others speaking in a particular space, especially when there is too much background noise. Do others need to repeat themselves around you? Maybe you have been raising the volume on the TV or stereo system. If everyone else can hear without a problem, then you have a problem.
If these scenarios have come up in your life, you may have a problem with your hearing. Hearing loss can impact your overall well-being and health. Many people with untreated hearing loss have reported experiencing anxiety, depression, dementia, and trouble accomplishing tasks - which can affect their income.
3. Wear Hearing Protection in Loud Environments
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is common among elders. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is another common cause and the only preventable type. NIHL occurs due to one very loud exposure to noise or a series of risks to loud noise exposure. A construction site, power tools, a concert, or a sports stadium can be blaring.
The only way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is by wearing earplugs or ear muffs to block dangerous noise levels.
Listen to music, podcasts, or videos at a safe volume. Dangerous volume levels playing through your earbuds mean the audio is so loud that it’s drowning out the noise around you. If you can’t hear some background noise, turn down the volume. Take breaks every thirty to sixty minutes between listening to rest your ears and brain.
4. Take Care of Your Overall Health
Your general health and hearing health are intertwined. Your diet affects your heart health, your weight, and your ears. Taking the proper vitamins will keep your ears and overall health in check. Regular exercises are crucial. When you exercise, your heart pumps and helps circulate blood throughout your body - including your ears. It helps to protect you from age-related hearing loss. Poor habits like smoking and the overconsumption of alcohol inhibit blood flow throughout the body, which harms your ears.
If you or a loved one experience hearing loss or other problems with hearing, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Rechargeable battery usage is becoming more common than disposable battery usage for many electronics.
Disposable and Rechargeable Batteries
A disposable battery rests in a special compartment in the hearing aid. It can be accessed through a battery door. The hearing aids will alert you when the devices are losing power so you can swap the old batteries for new ones.
Rechargeable batteries are built into the hearing aids. When the hearing aid is down to low power, place the hearing aids on the charging station to recharge it. It does not feature a battery door, so if the battery dies it must be sent out to be removed and replaced by a hearing aid manufacturer. You can do this through your hearing aid provider.
The Positive Uses of Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries
Variety of Styles to Select
There are more styles of hearing aids to choose from with disposable hearing aid batteries. Rechargeable hearing aids only come in behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (ITE), and in-the-canal (ITC) styles.
Better Control by User
If you are always on the go, replacing the batteries with new ones - instead of finding a place to recharge them - makes it easy. If there’s a power outage, it’s easier to pop in fresh batteries than to find a power source.
The Positive Uses of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Easy to Use
Disposable batteries are tiny. If you need help due to dexterity issues, this can be a problem. Simply place your rechargeable hearing aids in the charger overnight and they’ll be ready to go for your day.
Safe Around Kids and Pets
These small, shiny, button-sized batteries are easy for kids and pets to swallow. This can be very dangerous. Pets and children tend to use batteries and hearing aids as chew toys. It’s important to keep your devices and batteries on high shelves or locked away in a cabinet where they can’t easily access them.
Better for the Environment
One rechargeable battery for hearing aids lasts for about a year, depending on the model. On the other hand, hearing aids with disposable batteries can use 100 button batteries per year. This produces a lot of waste. Find out where you can dispose of your batteries locally.
Better Streaming Abilities
Bluetooth® streaming for audio can make your hearing aids drain faster. Rechargeable hearing aids are better for this feature so that you don’t need to replace disposable ones frequently.
Whether you prefer rechargeable or disposable batteries, Pure Sound Hearing has both options. Contact us for a free hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
After receiving test results that reveal hearing loss, it can be challenging to accept what you may have been dreading. You might not know which questions to ask your hearing instrument specialist. Learning some general information about hearing loss and hearing aids can help you reflect on important topics to discuss during your appointment.
What are some Hearing Aid Maintenance Tips?
Your provider should go over maintenance tips for your hearing aids. Feel free to ask any questions about this during your appointment. Different hearing aid styles are handled and cared for in a unique manner. Wearing hearing aids each day leads to varying amounts of weathering. Earwax and debris buildup must be cleaned gently with a soft cloth, hearing aid cleaning wipes, or a loop/brush tool. NEVER submerge your hearing aids in water. If they become wet, place the hearing aids in a bowl of silica gel or dry, uncooked rice. This method removes excess moisture.
Maintain a cleaning and a battery changing/charging routine. Your hearing aid provider will give you training and tips on the best care practices.
How Frequently Should My Hearing Aids Be Worn?
Your frequency of hearing aid use will be contingent on your degree of hearing loss, how beneficial your hearing aids will be, and recommendations from your hearing instrument specialist. For some, particularly new hearing aid users, it can be helpful to wear your hearing aids from when you wake up to when you fall asleep. It helps your brain get used to hearing sounds it may not have heard in years, like the rushing sound of water from the faucet. It can initially be overwhelming, so slowly increasing the time spent wearing them is recommended.
It can take up to 12 weeks for hearing aids to be adequately adjusted to your hearing abilities. Multiple short appointments may be required for your hearing instrument specialist to tweak and program the devices so they are tailored to your specific needs. Attending regularly scheduled appointments with your hearing instrument specialist ensures your hearing aids are correctly functioning so that you get the most out of them. If you notice any feedback noises, discomfort to your ears or you simply aren’t hearing clearly, contact your hearing instrument specialist so they can make adjustments.
When Should Your Hearing Aid Batteries Be Changed?
Without functioning batteries or fully charged hearing aids, your hearing aids won’t work. Unless you have dexterity issues, changing small hearing aid batteries is simple. Your provider should give you the tools to properly change your batteries, so your hearing aids don’t get damaged.
Change the batteries when:
If you have any additional questions or need clarification, do not hesitate to ask your provider. Contact us at Pure Sound for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.