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Technology is an ever-changing endeavor, with improvements and modifications to make your life more comfortable and convenient. Over the years, advanced developments in technology give your hearing instrument specialists a chance to recommend and program state-of-the-art features and settings that improve the way you hear.
Advanced hearing aids are essentially the same as your basic hearing aids, except there are more features that can benefit the user in different situations. While basic hearing aids can amplify sounds and help you hear, they do not have the same variety of features and setting options. When choosing the best option that works for you, you must let your hearing instrument specialist know what you are looking for in terms of how you communicate with others on a regular basis, what type of environments you frequent, etc.
Basic Hearing Aid Features
The main difference between basic and advanced hearing aids is the remote settings and manual controls. As mentioned earlier, basic hearing aids can still help you hear better but they might not be able to effortlessly change channels. You will probably need to manually adjust the settings as needed. For example, to raise or lower the volume, you may need to remove the hearing aids from your ear and then press a button on them.
Basic hearing aids usually only feature two channels. These channels process distinct types of sounds. This makes it difficult to customize settings for various environments. You’ll need more channels in order to truly customize your hearing aids.
Basic hearing aids may not provide advanced speech processing or be able to reduce distracting background noises. These hearing aids generally have basic directional microphones.
Advanced Hearing Aid Features
The great thing about advanced hearing aids is that they have various features and settings, and they automatically switch to these settings based on where you go.
There are more channels, so sounds can be isolated. This gives users a more natural listening experience where sounds can be heard more clearly. Just about every modern, advanced hearing aid is connected with Bluetooth®. This lets you link your smartphone, TV, computer, sound system, or any other Bluetooth®-connected device with your hearing aids.
With help from your hearing instrument specialist advanced hearing aids can be programmed to reduce noises, like the wind. This makes them easier to wear if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Data logs are also available in these hearing aids. A lot of information can be stored in these devices, including volume settings and preferred listening environments. This helps make a personally tailored experience for each user.
The convenience of pairing a digital hearing aid with your smartphone cannot match that of simply using a basic hearing aid. Downloadable apps make it easier to adjust the volume and streaming options directly into your hearing aids.
If you are unsure as to what type of hearing aids you should use, consult your hearing instrument specialist to learn about available options. They will help you determine the best options for your specific listening needs. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
Just about everyone has experienced getting a song stuck in their head. But have you ever heard a tune that isn’t actually playing?
You could have a condition known as, musical ear syndrome (MES) or musical tinnitus. This is similar to tinnitus, except you hear music or singing when there’s no actual source for the sounds.
If you are experiencing this, be aware that this is NOT an early sign of dementia. However, it may be the result of hearing loss.
Let’s learn a little more about MES, treatment options, and whether there are tricks to lower the volume.
Musical Ear Syndrome: An Explanation
MES is a chronic condition that causes musical auditory hallucinations. It’s actually fairly common but rarely diagnosed. It’s derived from hearing loss, but the basic details of this condition are still unknown.
The brain gathers information from your five senses to help you understand your environment. When you have complications with your hearing, the brain won’t completely shut off its functioning. Instead, the brain will find something to replace the lack of ability to hear with a sound that will stimulate it. It essentially fills in the void with noises that it has heard in your different environments. An assortment of sounds can be produced. When it comes to MES, the brain will replace the void with music.
Do we know the causes of Musical Ear Syndrome?
Even though the logistics of MES are still being researched and studied, some causes of the syndrome have been identified.
1. Hearing Loss
Disregarding other hallucinatory or cognitive symptoms, hearing music that is not actually playing may be caused by hearing loss. It is possible to have MES and other conditions like dementia.
2. Wearing a Cochlear Implant
Some reported cases that caused MES includes the insertion or removal of a cochlear implant.
The connection between cochlear implants and MES has not been thoroughly analyzed, so there is insufficient information. A study on 82 patients, showed that 22 percent had developed MES - 7 prior to implantation and 11 post-implantation.
Some medications can induce hallucinations, which include auditory hallucinations. These instances generally include hearing voices or noises.
It is very uncommon that medications would cause MES. If you do notice that your medication is causing any type of hallucinations, mention it to your healthcare provider.
What are treatments for Musical Ear Syndrome?
1. Hearing Aids
Getting treatment for hearing loss could reduce the symptoms. If your hearing can be improved with hearing aids, that could help stop your brain from trying to fill in the blanks.
If your MES is not being induced by your medication and you have run out of options, other medications might help. Here are some medications that have been used to treat MES:
There are possible side effects to every medication, so talk to your healthcare provider before selecting a treatment option.
Changes in Your Lifestyle
Other things that you can do, besides hearing aids and medical treatments, are little changes to your daily routine that may reduce the impact of MES.
If you can hear, whether it’s with or without a hearing aid, add some external noises. This may seem unusual or unhelpful, but listening to music or background noise might deter your brain from creating its own noise.
Strategies to practice if the music is distracting you:
Activities to practice in order to lower stress in connection to MES:
MES happens when you hear music even when there’s no outer source that is creating it.
It is created in your brain. It is NOT a psychological problem or symptom of dementia. It’s generally caused by some range of hearing loss, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids could be a solution to MES. If you have MES, find out whether you have hearing loss by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
The University of Michigan found that adults who received hearing aids shortly after experiencing hearing loss had reduced risks of anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, depression (caused by social isolation), and falls.
Only 12% of people who are diagnosed with hearing loss actually get hearing aids - even if their insurance helps cover the cost. There are also disparities in hearing aid usage among people who are part of different races, ethnicities, genders, and geographic locations.
A team from the University of Michigan studied reports from about 115,000 individuals who were over 66 years of age and experienced hearing loss. The people in this case study had insurance through Medicare HMO from 2008 and 2016.
As frequently mentioned in this blog, those who experience hearing loss are more prone to poor health events, and additional comorbidities. The study demonstrates how intervening affects a person’s health while showing the beneficial link between wearing hearing aids and the outcome of a patient's health.
Hearing aids cannot prevent anxiety, cognitive decline, depression, and falls, but they can delay the onset of dementia. Hearing aids have also been shown to improve how a person understands and responds to others.
Distinctions in Hearing Loss and Other Comorbidities
Analysts studied the patients who received hearing aids for three years and compared them to those who did not receive hearing aids. Discernable differences came to light.
Overall, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) within three years of experiencing hearing loss was 18% lower for those who used hearing aids. The risk of being diagnosed with anxiety or depression by the end of three years was 11% lower for those who used hearing aids, and there was a 13% lower risk of needing treatment due to a fall-related injury.
This study also supports past studies, which determined that individuals with hearing loss had significantly greater risks of dementia, depression, and injuries due to falls than the overall population.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
The familiar warning signs for hearing loss are constantly asking others to repeat themselves, raising the volume on your TV, and missing parts of verbal conversations.
Modern digital hearing aids are available in small/discreet sizes and styles. They also feature Bluetooth® technology which allows you to stream phone calls, TV, and music directly into your hearing aids.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free pure-tone hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists can help you select hearing aids and program them for your specific listening needs.
Experts in the field of hearing health, are providing hearing aid
specialists, parents, and teachers advice on the best practices to integrate for children who have unilateral hearing loss (UHL), also known as single-sided deafness (SSD), and hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
There are about 3 in 100 children who have UHL when they reach school age. Studies have shown:
During the second half of this past decade, there have been huge breakthroughs in learning about the challenges and needs of children with UHL. This information has been compiled in the 2019 Consensus practice parameter: audiological assessment and management of unilateral hearing loss in children.
3 Recommendations to assess and treat a student with UHL
1. Effectively communicate with families
As with all care for children, working closely with parents is crucial for practical care. Cooperation with parents can lead to the best combination of:
Parents need a team of advocates to learn about what accommodations they need to make for their children. Here’s a guide to accomplish that. These practices will help families with children who experience UHL throughout their hearing journey and encourage better communication with you and other professionals. This resource may be shared with your child’s caregivers and teachers.
3. Be open to an array of hearing technologies
Studies have indicated that children who have UHL, demonstrate a substantial decrease in speech comprehension in both quiet areas (with a distance of 3 meters or more), and noisy areas (with a distance of 1.5 meters or more) when there is no use of interventional technology. Students with UHL can achieve academically by using technologies like hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation we offer a variety of hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
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.
Hearing loss is a prevalent health problem for many Americans. The proper treatment should be based on how serious the hearing loss is, the possible underlying cause, what type of hearing loss you have and your lifestyle.
If you, one of your family members, or colleagues notices that you are not hearing clearly, it's time to get a hearing test.
Why Should You Get Treatment for Your Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss that goes untreated, has a negative effect on a child’s learning, development in language and socializing. Elderly adults who have hearing loss may exhibit frustration when following along in conversations. As a result, they may become socially isolated and stop doing things that they used to enjoy.
Individuals in their early to mid 60s, who have not received treatment for their hearing loss, have been prone to physical and psychological problems, which include anxiety, cognitive decline, depression and a higher risk of falling.
The Benefits of Hearing Aids
Research has shown that using hearing aids can decrease feelings of loneliness, slow down symptoms of dementia, and improve your overall quality of life.
Managing Age-related Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. As humans age, the hair cells in our ears become weaker and no longer function at their optimum level. About half of individuals who are 75-years-old or older, have some form of hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss is categorized as a type of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates that it stemmed from the inner ear and/or auditory nerve, and is mainly caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. Exposure to loud noises is also a main cause of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent. Hair cells cannot be restored after they are damaged. Hearing aids are the best option for this type of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common as you age. Unfortunately, the uncommon factor is actually getting treatment for it. The ability to hear is very important for your safety and quality of life.
How can hearing aids help?
During your initial fitting process, a hearing instrument specialist will patiently work with you in order to program the hearing aids to your specific needs. Digital hearing aids don’t simply amplify sounds, but they can also reduce background noise. They cannot completely restore your hearing back to normal, but they are very helpful if you suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids are available in the behind-the-ear (BTE) style, in-the-ear (ITE) style, receiver-in-canal (RIC) style - A.K.A. receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) style.
If you also have tinnitus, modern hearing aids have “tinnitus masking features”, which help drown out the buzzing, humming, or ringing noises. Discuss these options with your hearing instrument specialist.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss? If so, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing aid providers will go over hearing aid options that are most suitable for the hearing loss that you are experiencing.
There’s an array of hearing aid styles and brands that are fit for people of all ages and ranges of hearing loss.
Maybe you thought about getting hearing aids, or have been told by a loved one or trusted hearing healthcare professional that you need hearing aids. Maybe you have concerns about options that are available to you, how they look, or whether you can afford them.
First, it’s important to understand that hearing aids cannot restore your hearing to normal. What they can do is help you hear clearer in different environments, keep the hearing abilities that you still have, and slow down cognitive decline. Secondly, there's no one hearing aid that's right for everyone. Hearing loss is unique for each person, so one hearing aid solution/style may work for some, but not for others. It is highly recommended that you try different hearing aids out before purchasing them.
Hearing aids can also significantly help slow down your hearing loss, which helps reduce the risks of cognitive decline and dementia. It’s important to wear your hearing aids from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Learn more about the importance of wearing your hearing aids each day.
How do hearing aids work?
Each hearing aid uses the same components to harness sounds from your surroundings into your ear to make them louder and clearer. Most modern hearing aids are digital, and all of them use a battery or are rechargeable.
A tiny, built-in microphone gathers sounds in your environment. A computer chip featuring an amplifier translates the harnessed sound into a digital code. It interprets and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs, and the range of sounds nearby. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through receivers (it’s like a speaker located on your hearing aid).
Styles of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids differ in size, shape, features, how they rest in your ear, and price. Hearing aids are getting smaller and smaller, making them nearly invisible. Here’s a list of common hearing aid styles that are offered at Pure Sound Hearing.
The completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids were created to rest inside the ear canal. It helps mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid has a customized earmold that will rest perfectly in your ear canal. This hearing aid style can help adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is customized in two styles -- one that covers most of the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear (known as a full shell) and one that only covers the lower part (known as a half-shell). Both can help individuals with mild to severe hearing loss and feature directional microphones (two microphones for a 360-degree range of noise).
A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid has a receiver (dome/earmold) that goes inside your ear, and then the case that holds all of the wiring and technology, curves around the top of your ear, and rests behind the ear. Tubing connects the hearing aid to a customized earmold made by your hearing instrument specialist that is fitted to the unique shape of your ear canal. This hearing aid style can be worn by users of any age and nearly any range of hearing loss.
Receiver-in-canal or receiver-in-the-ear
The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aid styles are similar to the BTE hearing aids, where the speaker or receiver rests in the ear canal. Instead of tubing, a small wire, attach the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.
Other General Hearing Aid Features
There are some other optional hearing aid features available, depending on the style or brand, that can improve your listening experience in particular environments:
Contact us at Pure Sound for a free hearing test, consultation, and trial. Work with one of our hearing instrument specialists, and find out what works best for you.
Modern hearing aids can respond to your environment - whether it’s busy and loud or quiet - by adapting to a pre-programmed setting that is already featured in your hearing aids.
The standard programs can be useful, but when moving through different environments there may still be challenges. In these cases, ask your hearing instrument specialist to customize your hearing aid settings by adding unique programs based on the places that you frequently visit.
What to know about Customized Hearing Aids
Getting Your Hearing Aids Programmed
This process starts with your hearing instrument specialist’s help. After undergoing a hearing test and choosing hearing aids, the test results are imported into the hearing aids. This information helps the hearing aid determine where additional volume is needed. Hearing aids are not simply designed to amplify every noise in an equal manner, but it carefully calculates where the volume level goes up and where the different pitches are needed.
When the hearing test results are imported into the hearing aids, the hearing aids recognize whether to add a small amount of volume if there’s only mild hearing loss, or a significant amount of volume if there is severe hearing loss.
This is when the hearing aid fitting occurs, and the hearing instrument specialist discusses programs and settings.
A number of these settings are automatically available, with the hearing aid shifting from one program to another without the need to manually switch device settings from the user. The hearing aid will transition in and out of programs while figuring out how much more volume should be added.
When soft sounds are detected, the volume gets raised on the hearing aids. In other instances, if you hear a loud sound with the volume setting at the maximum level, the hearing aid can detect that the volume is very high, and won’t add excess volume.
Hearing aids are meant to keep each range of sound in its natural state.
If you want more control rather than rely on automatic adjustments, users can manually change channels to their optimal setting.
Hearing Aid Modes, Programs, and Settings
The programs and settings that are found in your hearing aid are based on the style and brand of device that you own. There are three to five programs that come with the devices, like a program for quiet environments and another one to block out background noises during conversations.
Here are some examples of hearing aid programs:
Everyone’s listening needs are unique. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to discuss the difficulties that you, or a loved one, are experiencing with hearing.
Did you know that each hearing aid purchase from Pure Sound Hearing comes with a coupon for free professional strength hearing aid cleaning wipes?
Contact us to schedule an appointment for a free hearing test and consultation, and Vi will send you a coupon if you purchase hearing aids from Pure Sound.
Is there a way to Repair a Hearing Aid Battery that can’t keep up with You throughout the Day?
Just about every new rechargeable hearing aid is meant to function for more than 24 hours until they need a recharge.
Rechargeable hearing aids are made from lithium-ion batteries. These are the same batteries that are used for smartphones, laptops, and TV streaming remote controls. After they are used over time, they become less and less powerful. As a result, they need to be recharged more often and eventually replaced by a manufacturer. Hearing aid repairs may also be necessary, so it’s important to contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to get help from our hearing instrument specialists.
How do you get a Repair for Your Rechargeable Hearing Aids?
If you bought your hearing aid from Pure Sound Hearing, you should bring it back to us in order to get it fixed. If there is an internal problem with the device, we will ship it to the manufacturer for you and it will get refurbished. It should take 1-2 weeks for the hearing aid to be ready, but you’ll essentially go back home with a brand new hearing aid.
If you are in need of a hearing aid repair and are new to the Lancaster County area - or received your hearing aids from a different provider - you may contact us at 717-945-1477 before dropping it off at one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.
Unfortunately, there is no method of replacing a lithium-ion battery on your own if you have a Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, or Unitron hearing aid brand. But, if you wear an Oticon Opn miniRITE, you might be able to replace the battery by yourself.
It’s advised that consumers should not change out the lithium-ion batteries. The FDA warns of exposure to toxic chemicals, so a professional should replace them.
How much does it Cost to Replace a Rechargeable Hearing Aid Battery?
If the hearing aids were purchased less than 2 years before needing a replacement, the lithium-ion battery replacement and any other repair should be free because your hearing aid would still be under warranty through the manufacturer. Contact us at Pure Sound for the cost of repair if the hearing aid is more than 2 years old.
Find out if Your Hearing Aid is Under Warranty
In order to determine this information, you’ll need to look for the serial numbers either on your hearing aid, on the paperwork that came with the hearing aids, ask your hearing instrument specialist, or an office staff member who has access to your paperwork.
Your hearing instrument specialist can contact the manufacturer to determine the date that the warranty ends. Usually, warranties for hearing aids last for 2 years from the date they were purchased. In some cases, the warranties last for up to 3 years.
Could the Hearing Aid Charger be the Culprit?
To determine whether the charger for your hearing aids is what’s causing the problem, place the hearing aid that’s causing the problem on the opposite side of the charger. For instance, if the left hearing aid does not last a full day, charge it on the right (red) side of your hearing aid charger.
If it turns out that this was the problem, you’ll need to buy a new charger. Hearing aid chargers are not under warranty from the manufacturer so you’ll need to purchase a replacement. You may do this through us at Pure Sound Hearing.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Rechargeable Hearing Aid Battery
Hearing aid batteries tend to quickly drain when they are linked to external accessories, like smartphones. Switching off the Bluetooth® feature on your phone will disconnect the hearing aid from your smartphone, which will extend the battery life.
Streaming anything from your TV to music and videos will also lead to more power drain.
Recharge your hearing aids as often as you can, preferably overnight when you aren’t using them. It might be too late to do this if you are already experiencing power-draining problems. Recharging the battery each night while you sleep will help preserve the battery life. Do not let the battery reach 0%, this will make it more difficult to get any use out of the battery.
Average Lifespan of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
One full charge should allow your hearing aids to last more than a full day of wearing them. Some Phonak rechargeable hearing aids can last more than 30 hours before a recharge is needed. If you add 6 hours of streaming, the battery should still work for at least 20 hours. On average, a full-time hearing aid user only dons their hearing aids for 12 hours per day. So the battery should not reach below 50% within the first year.
It’s important to note that the longer you have your hearing aids, the quicker your batteries will drain. It’s just like any other piece of technology, such as a phone or kitchen appliance.
You should send out your hearing aids to get repaired for a refurbishment during their last month in warranty. The rechargeable batteries will be replaced to guarantee the hearing aid has optimal performance.
If you or a loved one would be interested in a hearing aid trial with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries or disposable battery-powered hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Recently, the choices for purchasing hearing aids have become more complicated. There are merchants that only sell online, big-box stores, and new or unlikely businesses that tout their own hearing care solutions.
It’s important to know that seeing a professional hearing instrument specialist is still the leading choice in treating your hearing loss.
You have a Distinctive Range of Hearing Loss, so You’ll need a Solution for Your Particular Needs
The complexities of hearing loss require help from a professional who understands how to treat it. Each individual who experiences difficulties with their hearing needs to communicate with their hearing instrument specialist so that they can tailor a solution for them.
Proper fittings, programming, and guidance from an experienced hearing instrument specialist are the best steps toward better hearing.
Modern Hearing Aids: Refined and Effective
If a healthcare professional recommended hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, you are in luck. Today’s hearing aids feature advanced technology that makes listening and engaging in conversations easier.
The difference between an “OK” and an “Amazing” Listening Experience
The only person with the skills and training to fit and program a hearing aid for your individual needs is a qualified hearing instrument specialist. They will ask you about environments where you spend most of your time, what it’s like when you communicate with your loved ones or other people you talk to on a daily basis, the frequencies that you struggle to hear, whether one or both ears are affected, the variations of hearing loss/lack of hearing loss in each ear.
Other topics that you might go over:
Investing in Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are a major investment, so it’s important to be able to get the most out of them. With time and patience, they can change your life for the better. Imagine the improvement in communication, less isolation, better overall health, and well-being. These things are possible - so get your money’s worth.
Receiving these devices from a professional and getting their advice, will help you achieve these goals. Also, if you need help you can always contact your hearing instrument specialist.
Local Hearing Aid Providers
There have been so many changes in hearing aid technology. The one thing that remains consistent is the support and care from local hearing aid providers who are able to deliver the best possible results.
Get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing, and talk with one of our local hearing instrument specialists in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They are here to listen and patiently work with you or your loved one.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) reveals innovation in new products and possible trends that are set for the future. The 2021 trade show focused on inclusive tech, which encourages everyone to actively participate in life.
The significance of this is being able to provide access to others. Healthy hearing paves the way for people to enjoy and fully participate in what matters, and those who matter to them, in their lives. For example:
Forms of inclusive tech presented at the 2021 CES
Modern hearing aid features include:
There have been so many new advancements to improve your life, overall health, and hearing. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test, hearing aid trial, and consultation to learn which digital hearing aids would work best for you and your lifestyle.
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.
Check out the latest smartphone app from CaptionCall. This free app lets people who experience hearing loss make phone calls and receive them through the Android smartphone.
This app makes it easier for users to understand others when they speak to them and gives people a more independent life.
Easy Access to CaptionCall
As long as they have decent Wi-Fi service available, the CaptionCall Mobile app can be easily accessible. Features include:
The app is currently available to download at the Google Play store. It can be used with Android smartphones that have an Operating System (OS) 7.0 or newer and the Jitterbug Smart2 smartphones that have the Android 7.0 OS or newer.
The app can be connected to your hearing aids via Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to enhance your CaptionCall by:
Smartphone Usage with Bluetooth®-compatible Hearing Aids
People of all ages experience hearing loss, but the aging population is more likely to experience it. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that more and more seniors are using smartphones than ever before. About 46 percent of individuals who are at least 65 years old use smartphones.
The CaptionCall Mobile app (for Android smartphones) is convenient for anyone who relies on smartphones to communicate with others - whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers, or the general public.
If you or a loved one are interested in Bluetooth®-compatible hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
1. It provides some of the most natural sounds and can reduce background noise.
It's difficult to hear in a busy area. That especially rings true for anyone with hearing loss. To take on this problem, Phonak Marvel uses the Autosense feature. This technology automatically adjusts your hearing aid settings based on the environment that you're in so that you can hear better in any place.
2. Phonak Marvel features Hands-free Bluetooth® Technology
Phonak’s Marvel hearing aid can be connected to any Bluetooth®-enabled device, which includes any TV, computer, or phone that has Bluetooth®. The Bluetooth® connection does not require the use of an adapter to switch on the audio streaming feature.
Marvel is a hands-free Bluetooth® earpiece and a hearing aid. When the Bluetooth® is switched on, the hearing aid user can keep their smartphone or other Bluetooth®-enabled devices on a table while doing other things. The sounds will be harnessed through the hearing aid and pick up the user’s voice. When the phone or Bluetooth® device stays within Bluetooth®'s connectivity range, you do not need to hold the audio source.
Other hearing aid brands tend to let the user hear sounds in the hearing aid, but they need to stay close to the phone or audio source’s microphone for the sound of the voice to get picked up. Listening and communicating through a hearing aid can be like listening and communicating through a speakerphone. Even if you can hear the call through your hearing aid, the caller can only hear you if you are near the microphone.
3. If necessary, get an adjustment for your hearing aids.
If there’s anything wrong with your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our providers can reprogram the devices, or conduct a deep cleaning if it's necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Phonak Marvel devices or any hearing aids that were purchased from Pure Sound Hearing, please contact us.
Hearing aid technology is constantly changing. The oversized, indiscreet hearing aid styles are becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are opting for smaller, customized hearing aids. Modern hearing aids can be programmed by a hearing instrument specialist for each user’s specific listening needs. Just about every modern, digital hearing aid features Bluetooth® connectivity, which allows users to clearly stream music, media, and even phone calls directly into your ears.
What do you need to know about IIC hearing aids?
IIC hearing aids are small devices that discreetly fit in your ear canals. They are nearly invisible to other people. The only visible part is the thin, clear wire that is connected to the aid. It attaches the receiver to the hearing aid device. It is also the piece you hold onto to insert the dome into your ear or remove it from your ear. IIC devices are similar to completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids. The IIC hearing aids are a little smaller and rest further inside the ear canal.
What are the advantages of wearing IIC hearing aids?
The primary reason why some hearing aid users wear IIC hearing aids is so that they have a device that’s completely invisible to other people. These discrete devices are customized for anyone’s ears. A hearing instrument specialist may even create a custom-made earmold for the user.
Another convenience that IIC hearing aids help with is providing coherent sounds from the user. The small size will not block up the rest of the ear’s natural functions. This means that it receives sounds and amplifies them directly to the eardrum. IIC hearing aids also allow users to recognize where sounds are emanating from.
This hearing aid style is also comfortable to wear. The customized mold will rest right on the bone to make sure that it does not become loose while being worn. Many IIC hearing aid users have reported that they are unable to feel the aid when it’s in the correct position. Due to their small size, they can comfortably wear helmets, over-the-ear headphones, and place a phone up to their ear as though they aren’t wearing a hearing aid.
What are the disadvantages of wearing IIC hearing aids?
The size of an IIC hearing aid does have its drawbacks.
If you experience problems when it comes to dexterity, inserting and removing these hearing aids might be difficult. Another problem can be the amount of battery life it holds. While it’s not too serious compared to other hearing aid batteries, IIC hearing aid batteries don’t last as long as the average battery.
Since IIC hearing aids rest in the ear canal, they may need more maintenance. Proper and frequent maintenance will guarantee the best function, and ensure that ear wax or moisture isn’t clogging the device.
Not everyone with hearing loss can use an IIC hearing aid. Depending on the shape of your ear, the device may not properly and securely fit in your ear canal.
Who are the best candidates for IIC hearing aids?
IIC hearing aids are perfect for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The small size is not suitable for individuals who experience a more severe form of hearing loss. The smaller hearing aids feature amplifiers and processors that have less power than larger hearing aids. IIC hearing aids are useful for anyone with an active lifestyle or who wants a discrete device.
If you would like to find out whether you are a candidate for IIC hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about the Rexton MyCore Sterling 8C IIC.
Extending the life of your batteries is very helpful for any hearing aid user. You never want to constantly stop what you’re doing just to change them out. Proper care and preservation are key to moving on with your day.
Caring and Storing Your Hearing Aid Batteries
A battery that is not stored properly could become damaged or even lose the ability to charge.
There is a sticker on the battery, that should only be removed when you are getting ready to place the batteries into your hearing aids. Removing the sticker causes the batteries to activate, so even if you don’t place them into your hearing aids, the energy is still draining from them. It’s vital to store the batteries so that there is no way that the sticker separates from the battery. Store them in a cool, dry place for the best results.
Hearing aid batteries should not be stored in your refrigerator or bathroom. Many falsely believe that storing hearing aids in the refrigerator will make them last longer. They should be stored in a dry area, like a cupboard, drawer, or shelf that won’t collect too much moisture.
It’s very important to store the hearing aid batteries out of reach from children and pets. Hearing aid batteries can damage internal organs if swallowed. If this occurs, immediately seek medical care.
Loss of Battery Power
The amount of charged power, or hours that each battery has will differ based on the hearing aid style and battery size. A smaller battery will deplete faster than a larger battery. For instance, batteries in a size 10 will only last for 3-5 days.
Most people wear small and discreet hearing aids for aesthetics. As a result, smaller batteries don’t last very long. It’s common for batteries to drain more quickly if you have a more severe form of hearing loss. They also drain quicker if you frequently utilize the Bluetooth function and other hearing aid devices.
On average, a hearing aid’s battery life lasts about one week if the hearing aids are being worn for 12 to 16 hours each day.
How to Prolong Your Hearing Aid’s Battery Life
Facts about Storing Hearing Aids
Taking just a few extra steps to care for your hearing aid batteries can help you save your battery life and some money.
If your hearing aids need batteries, stop by one of our offices in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg to replenish your battery supply.
It’s time to look forward to sunny weather and summer holiday gatherings! And with these get-togethers, you’ll want to make sure you can still enjoy conversations by hearing your best. Here are some tips on how to protect your hearing health and, if you are a hearing aid user, get the most out of your hearing aids.
According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one in three Americans between 20 to 69 years old, experience noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
NIHL is the only preventable type of hearing loss, so you should always carry a pair of foam earplugs with you.
Inserting the earplugs into your ears, while being in loud environments - such as watching a fireworks display or going to a sporting event - can reduce the noises and the chance of permanent damage to your ears.
Be aware of Swimmer’s Ear
This condition can be painful and may cause temporary hearing loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that you should:
Hearing Aid Users
If you are a hearing aid user, be aware that you will probably come in contact with more humidity and moisture caused by sweat and hotter temperatures this summer. As with any electronic device, water can damage your hearing aids.
This is why it’s so important to keep your hearing aids dry. You may get a hearing aid dehumidifier, which has desiccant and place the devices inside to extract moisture due to condensation, humidity, or sweat.
If you or a loved one are a Lancaster County resident who experiences hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
Some hearing aid users have asked whether they should replace or repair a broken/overused hearing aid. This depends on several factors.
There isn’t a universal answer as to whether you should replace or repair a hearing aid. It would be based on your unique situation and specific hearing needs. It’s worth noting that all hearing aids will eventually stop working sooner or later, no matter what the price or condition may be. This same idea applies to all sorts of technology.
Your hearing aids are consistently in a situation that isn’t always the best environment for digital devices. There’s a lot of moisture and earwax buildup that occurs while wearing anything that obstructs your ear canals. The purpose of earwax is to protect your ear’s skin and reduce the amount of debris that can enter your ear canal. Moisture and earwax can wear down hearing aids, and water that remains in the ears after a swim or shower can cause more damage. Adding other factors such as accidentally breaking the devices along with natural depletion, and you’ll realize that you will need to repair or replace them.
How do you know whether to repair or replace your hearing aids?
First, you should think about whether you like your current hearing aids. Other than the elements that need to be repaired, overall, are they still useful? If you still enjoy wearing your hearing aids or you have adapted to the way you hear with them you should probably just try to get them fixed if that’s possible.
The other obvious factor is the cost. A new pair of hearing aids will cost more, whereas the hearing aids that you own might only cost a little more to repair. Your insurance coverage would also be factored in. Some insurance providers will cover replacement hearing aids, while others will not cover the repair of your current hearing aids.
Another concern is what to do if you choose to get your devices repaired.
1.) Should you send them back to the store where you purchased them?
2.) Should you send them to a hearing aid provider that is conveniently located near you?
It’s recommended that you send the hearing aid back to your original provider. They will be able to determine if the repair is needed and fix the hearing aid on site, or if further repair by the manufacturer is required. If additional repairs are needed by a lab or manufacturer, the hearing aid clinic will facilitate the necessary deliveries and paperwork for you.
If it’s an emergency and you are traveling in an area away from your hearing aid provider, you may try a local hearing aid provider.
Do not assume there will be a higher cost for these services. Hearing aid providers send large volumes of hearing aid devices to repair labs. If you opt to replace the hearing aids, there will be more selections for you to choose from. There are so many styles of hearing aids with newer technological innovations available.
Only you will truly know whether you should replace or repair your hearing aids.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our providers will help you select the best hearing aids for your specific listening needs and answer questions or concerns that you may have.
Hearing aids are battery-powered. Whether it’s rechargeable batteries or disposable ones that need to be manually changed, hearing aids need a source of energy. This means that you will have to incorporate battery replacements or time for charging into your daily routine.
The style of battery that you’ll need will depend on your hearing aid brand and model. You get to choose which hearing aid batteries to buy.
Here’s a guide on hearing aid types and brands to look into.
What are the Types of Hearing Aid Batteries
There are two hearing aid battery categories:
You most likely own a device (computer or smartphone) that has its own rechargeable battery. Just like these devices, hearing aids also have a rechargeable battery that needs to be restored with power in order to work each day.
Here are some companies that make hearing aids with rechargeable batteries:
Long-time hearing aid users, who wear devices with rechargeable batteries, recommend placing them in the charger overnight while they are sleeping.
Your hearing aids’ battery life will be mentioned in the manufacturer’s pamphlets that come with your hearing aids. On average, you can expect at least 30 hours of use per charge. Please note that streaming music, media, phone calls, etc. via Bluetooth® will quickly drain your batteries.
Zinc-air Button Disposable Batteries
There’s zinc in disposable batteries, which is why they are lighter in weight and cheaper than lithium-ion. Zinc is environmentally friendly, so it can be recycled, unlike regular batteries.
Disposable batteries have a factory seal that should be peeled off when you are ready to place them in your hearing aids. The sticker protects the hearing aids from getting air into them. As soon as oxygen comes in contact with the zinc, creating zinc oxide, the hearing aid becomes activated. It’s important to keep the backing on until you are ready to place the batteries into your hearing devices.
There are four sizes of hearing aid batteries. Each size is color-coded to lessen confusion. The smallest batteries can last about 3 days, and the larger batteries can last for 22 days.
Here’s a list of battery size from largest to smallest:
The blue size 675 batteries are used for powerful hearing aids that allow maximum amplification. They have generally been used in behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.
The orange size 13 batteries are typically used in BTE hearing aids that are in size medium to large, and provide high levels of amplified sound.
The brown size 312 batteries are generally used in small BTE and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.
The yellow size 10 batteries are used in the smallest hearing aids, i.e. mini-receiver ITE hearing aids and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids.
The Lifespan of Hearing Aid Batteries
The lifespan of hearing aid batteries are influenced by:
It’s always a good idea to keep extra batteries with you, no matter how often you use your devices.
3 Tips on Purchasing Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing Aids and Batteries: The Cost
Battery costs should be taken into consideration when purchasing hearing aids.
Disposable vs. Rechargeable - rechargeable batteries may be more cost-effective than depending on the disposable batteries. Consider your personal preferences. Rechargeable batteries are easier to use than changing out batteries if you have dexterity challenges. If you have an active lifestyle, disposable batteries may be your best option if you are constantly on the go.
Bundled with Hearing Aids - Bundling can be an option. Batteries are normally included with the bundled cost of hearing aids, along with warranties. Bundles usually include as many batteries as you need for the lifespan of your hearing aids.
So, if you need a rechargeable or disposable battery-powered hearing aid, contact us at Pure Sound or stop in at one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.
Just about all modern appliances, from your doorbell to your washing machine, can be connected to your smartphone through an app. So it’s obvious that hearing aids can also function with the use of an app.
Nearly everyone uses apps these days. They help make something new become familiar in an effortless manner. For hearing aid users, there are many features within each app to make wearing hearing aids more customized to a person’s unique experiences.
Hearing Aid Apps
There are many hearing apps that can be used with smartphones. For example decibel (dB) meter apps can measure how loud your environment is. Remember, the average hearing threshold is 85 dB. Anything higher than that can lead to hearing loss.
Other apps can perform a basic hearing screening, or can even help train your brain with listening exercises.
For anyone who currently wears hearing aids - or is thinking about getting hearing aids - you should look into apps that were created by your hearing aid manufacturer. For example, there’s the Oticon On app which has a remote control, HearingFitness (hearing training), tinnitus sound support, and other features that connect to an IFTTT network (this is a network that stands for “if this, then that”.) It helps you connect all of your apps and devices when you engage in certain practices. For example, if your coffee maker is connected via Bluetooth®, your Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids will also turn on when you switch your coffee maker on to start making your coffee - as long as everything is in its place.
These apps can be linked with the hearing aids that you wear via Bluetooth® by using an Apple or Android phone.
Available App Features
There’s a range of apps for a range of different features. Here’s a list of the most common features on popular hearing aid apps:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
Many hearing aids can automatically adjust their volume and settings based on the environment that you are in. If you prefer controlling the bass, treble, and volume, smartphone apps give you a more discreet option - instead of reaching your hand up to your ear to press a button. It’s like changing the volume or setting on a remote-controlled stereo.
Personalized settings can be saved.
If you frequent a certain area or building that is difficult to hear in, you can make adjustments that provide the best listening experience and save those settings when you go back to that place. Some settings may already be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist.
You can monitor the status of your device.
Apps let you know what the battery life is on your hearing aids - that way, you can check when they need to be recharged or when you need fresh batteries. There’s also a “Find my Hearing Aid” feature in most hearing aid apps if you lose your hearing aid. You can also see how many hours you wear your hearing aids each day/week/month. This is great to monitor your cognitive health. Remember, it’s important to wear your hearing aids each day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed.
Hearing aids can have a direct connection to audio.
You may use an app and connect straight to sound sources. This lets you stream music, phone calls, and TV through your hearing aids.
Hearing aids have become so advanced with new features that help make your life easier. Contact us at Pure Sound for a hearing aid trial and more information on these incredible pieces of technology.
If you have an aging father who is losing his hearing, discussing the prospect of receiving hearing aids probably won’t be easy. Statistically, it’s more likely that men will need hearing aids than women. This usually comes down to the work environment that men usually spend time in, i.e. construction, loud industrial facilities, operating heavy machinery, etc.
There are many reasons why some people decide not to wear hearing aids, but what should you do when your dad begins to show clear signs of hearing loss? Here are some tips to get a loved one so that they can get their hearing loss treated.
Recognize the Stigma that sometimes comes with Wearing Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids can rest behind the ears, along your outer ear, or deep inside your ear canal. A lot of men tend to ignore obvious signs of hearing loss, so they may choose not to get hearing aids. Or, they may get hearing aids but won’t use them. The stigma of hearing aids was more widespread in the past, so it might be difficult for them to shift their mindset.
Today, there are so many different styles of hearing aids that are powerful and discreet:
Why Some Men Don’t Want to Wear Hearing Aids
There are practical reasons for this:
Depending on your hearing loss, the discreet ones may not work best for someone with severe or profound hearing loss.
And there are emotional reasons for this:
4 Tips to Discuss Hearing Loss with Your Dad, or the Male Figure in Your Life
When you decide to sit down and talk about hearing loss with your dad, or an important man in your life, you need to have a strategy.
1. Research information about hearing loss: He may appreciate it if you can give helpful and accurate information on hearing loss, treatment options, and how using hearing aids can be beneficial. Let him know that there are different and more discreet styles that are available.
2. Timing is everything: Make sure both of you are in a good mood before bringing up this topic. The conversation might be futile if one, or both of you are frustrated while talking about it.
3. Raise awareness about the negative impacts of hearing loss: Rather than focusing his attention on his hearing loss, inform him on how the hearing loss impacts his daily life. Maybe he no longer participates in things with you, or anyone. Hearing loss can atrophy the brain, which can lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
4. Be patient, and help as much as you can: Find help for him. Take him to get a hearing test and help look at the options that are available for him.
If you believe that you have a loved one who has hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing healthcare providers are professional hearing instrument specialists who can program your devices to suit your individual listening needs.
What 4 Questions You Should Ask Your Hearing Instrument Specialist, Regarding Insurance for Hearing Aids?
Figuring out your health insurance plan can be a daunting task if you’re new at it and don’t know what questions to ask. Here is some general information to give you an idea of what to expect.
1. Do I have hearing aid coverage through my plan?
Each insurance plan is different for each patient. Our patient care coordinators will be able to help you figure out this process and talk about the benefits you can receive.
2. Are my hearing aids covered for a certain percentage?
Some insurance covers 100% of the cost for your hearing aids, while others cover only a portion of it. When you come for a visit with our hearing instrument specialists, they can go over the details of your coverage with you based on your individual hearing needs.
3. How often can I receive hearing aids through my insurance?
Each insurance plan varies, but on average it’s every three years.
4. Are there specific types of hearing aids that I am limited to receive under my insurance plan?
There are many different types of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about this, after receiving the results of your hearing test.
Find out if we accept your insurance at Pure Sound Hearing.
If you have any questions about hearing aids and insurance coverage at Pure Sound Hearing, or need to schedule a free hearing test, please contact us.
Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, is raising awareness about deceptive tactics of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid companies, which falsely claim that they are approved by the government.
There are several alternatives for hearing assistance, but many of them are no better than cupping your hand behind your ear. It’s important to do your research before investing your time and money in a product that doesn’t benefit your hearing health.
Even though the U.S. Congress approved OTC hearing aids in 2017, none of them have been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration. This has not deterred some companies from falsely claiming that they are FDA-approved.
The current OTC hearing aid salespeople are not required to be transparent that their devices are not designed for anyone with severe hearing loss.
Here’s a guide to buying hearing aids or assistive listening devices:
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need reliable hearing aids and hearing instrument specialists, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.