Some people have described adjusting to hearing aids as kind of like walking out of a dark restaurant or movie theater and into a bright environment. You may instinctively shield your eyes and squint. This is a brain reflex that’s communicating your new surroundings are too bright.
The average person waits several years before they seek treatment for their hearing loss. Their ears are not used to hearing sounds regularly, so when they can suddenly hear more clearly than they have in years, it’s overstimulating for the brain.
The longer you have hearing loss without receiving treatment, the harsher noise will seem when you can hear them again. A Consumer Reports survey on 17,626 people discovered that at least 6 out of 10 waited over 2 years after initial experiences of hearing loss, to get hearing aids.
When that amount of time has elapsed, the brain becomes completely acclimated to listening at a substandard level. That’s why an adjustment period is necessary to become accustomed to these new sounds that are being heard.
According to the survey, about 3 in 4 people stated that it took them under a month to get more comfortable with their hearing aid.
Here are 5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to Your Hearing Aids
1. Get a Proper Fitting
Be sure that the hearing aids are properly fit in your ears. If they feel too loose or too tight, tell your hearing instrument specialist before taking them home.
The hearing aids will feel more comfortable and you’ll get the best experience from them. In the beginning of your trial period, the hearing aids should feel comfortable. You’ll still notice there’s something in your ears for the first few weeks, but it should not hurt when they rest in your ear canals.
Your hearing aid provider will show you how to correctly put your hearing aids on. Most modern hearing aids feature a program that will reduce or eliminate feedback, so it’s possible to have harsh noises or whistling sounds if the device is not properly fitted.
Show your hearing aid provider that you can correctly remove and insert your hearing aids. They’ll help you if you’re having trouble.
2. Practice Adjusting to Sounds
It’s important to be patient when learning to hear sounds again. Your hearing instrument specialist will program your devices, to calibrate the proper amplification for your unique hearing needs.
If the sounds are so loud that it’s painful, the amplification can be set at a lower volume, and gradually go higher as you become accustomed to hearing again. Most hearing aids can be programmed to slowly rise in volume over several weeks until you arrive at your goal.
It’s normal for sounds to seem too loud and high-pitched if you’re a first-time hearing aid user. The best, and only, way to get the most out of your hearing aids and allow your brain to adapt is by regular noise exposure.
Wear your hearing aids from dusk until dawn, unless you’re taking a shower or swimming in a body of water.
You should take breaks from wearing your hearing aids while adjusting. It is not recommended to enter a noisy area and remain there for hours at a time. Background noises in these types of areas can over-stimulate your listening experience, and make hearing conversations more challenging.
3. When Should You Go Back to Your Hearing Instrument Specialist?
At Pure Sound Hearing, after you have started your free hearing aid trial, you will have six months-worth of follow-up services. These services will include refittings, adjustments/fine-tuning, and a thorough cleaning done by a professional. If you are having any difficulties with your hearing aids, whether it’s the inability to hear certain sounds or any discomfort with the devices, address these issues with your hearing instrument specialist.
4. Pure Sound Hearing offers Auditory Training
If you are struggling with understanding speech sounds and following along during conversations, even with your new hearing aids, try auditory training.
These short-term programs can help improve the way you process sounds while enhancing your listening and communication.
It’s common for anyone with damaged sensory cells to require practice with hearing new sounds or sounds that they haven’t heard in several years. It’s akin to someone who has received a prosthetic limb and needs physical therapy.
5. Be Patient and give Yourself Reasonable Expectations
Many people who experience hearing loss have permanent damage to their auditory system. It’s crucial to understand that even the best hearing aids, that are tuned by the best instrument specialist, cannot completely restore your hearing. What hearing aids can do, is help preserve the hearing abilities that you still have. Many hearing aid users have acknowledged that hearing aids may not be perfect, but they can significantly improve hearing and cognitive health, and reduce depression caused by isolation.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, check out these resources.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment for a free hearing test, consultation, and hearing aid trial.
It's Time to do Your Taxes
Are you a hearing aid user, who is hoping for a big refund on your tax return? If you document your medical expenses, hearing aids are tax-deductible. This can save you money that can be used on other expenses that you may have, which can help reduce your overall medical expenses. The IRS has ruled that you may qualify for this tax deduction, if you spend over 7.5% of your income on medical and dental expenses, and itemize your medical expenses. If you itemize your medical expenses, you may include hearing health-related purchases when preparing your tax return.
If you normally do not document your medical expenses but spent a significant amount due to a hospital stay or surgery in 2020, talk to a professional tax advisor in order to find out whether you would benefit from itemizing your medical expenses this year. Also, if you plan for impending medical expenses for 2021, take advantage of this time to find out whether you or your spouse needs hearing aids in the near future. You’ll be able to deduct them from next year’s tax return.
Deductible Expenses for Hearing Healthcare
If you itemize your medical and dental expenses with a Schedule A Form 1040, you may deduct the following hearing-related medical expenses:
Additional Hearing Loss-related Costs that can be deducted from Your Taxes
The team at TurboTax wants to remind you that you should include the following hearing-related deductions if you plan to itemize medical expenses:
If you suffer from a chronic medical illness, you may deduct your attendance at a conference related to the illness, but you may not deduct meals or lodging.
For Caregivers of Hearing Aid Users
If someone in your household (parent or child) purchased hearing aids last year, you may deduct the cost of these on your taxes if you claim them as a dependent. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for this, talk to a tax professional or an accountant for the details in regards to your personal situation.
The IRS has a helpful online resource about what is covered. You will be given questions about your personal situation to help determine the correct action you need to take.
This year, the IRS extended the deadline to file your taxes to May 17. You have some more time to find your receipts. If you purchased hearing aids from Pure Sound Hearing in 2020 and need documentation, contact one of our providers.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of a free hearing test and consultation for a hearing aid trial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Modern Hearing Aids have Bluetooth®
Modern hearing aids are notably better than the hearing aids of the past. In most instances, today’s hearing aids can give users better hearing than someone who has “normal hearing” abilities. The majority of today’s hearing aids have Bluetooth®, so you can connect your smartphone, TV, or any other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to your hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing can even program your hearing aids so that you can hear better when speaking to someone who is wearing a facemask.
These features help you communicate with others and improve your overall hearing health.
The Downsides of Hearing Loss
A negative side-effect of hearing loss is isolation from others. Research has indicated that there is a direct link between these risk factors, along with Alzheimer's, anxiety, dementia, depression, heart attacks, and strokes. Hearing loss impacts more than the inability to hear. Getting proper treatment for hearing loss helps to improve a person’s overall health, quality of life, and in some cases prolonging their life.
Even though we are currently practicing social distancing with people who do not live in the same house, communication via phone, Live Transcribe, FaceTime, or Zoom meetings can still be challenging for anyone with hearing loss.
Digital hearing aids do not simply amplify sounds. They reduce background noise and help users hear conversations that they are having with others. Directional microphones pick up sounds from a specific direction that the user is facing while blocking out sounds from the areas that they are not facing. There are also hearing aids that feature omnidirectional microphones that pick up sounds from any direction. These are generally used when biking or engaging in any activity where hearing in every direction is vital for safety reasons.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids for people of all ages.
We have featured articles on Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aid, and all of the benefits they provide.
But did you know that the Livio AI has won multiple awards?
Just last year, it was the recipient of the Silver Stevie® Award under the Health & Pharmaceuticals Product category in the 18th Annual American Business Awards®.
There are 200 American executives who evaluate and recognize excellence in the workplace. During their assessment, they mentioned the amazing features of the Livio AI. They have acknowledged the work put in by Starkey to make life more inclusive for the hard of hearing.
The Livio AI also won the Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough Award in 2020 for “Best Intelligent Personal Assistant”. This award is bestowed upon technology that solves problems and transforms an industry.
The ear has been seen more and more as a pathway to better understanding a person’s overall health. This is where the Livio AI comes into play. It’s the first and only hearing aid that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and integrated sensors to harness the best quality of sound and track the health of your body and brain.
Users of the Livio AI can be more proactive in controlling their overall health. More and more evidence has shown that using hearing aids to treat hearing loss can help prevent or slow down serious health problems, like cardiovascular disease and dementia.
Some of the latest features of the Livio AI include fall detection, voice-to-text transcription, and direct streaming via Bluetooth®. Simply double tapping the hearing aid, or using the Thrive Hearing Control app, can grant users access to health tracking features. You may also ask questions about the weather and instantly receive a response directly through your Livio AI hearing aid.
Are you, or a loved one, experiencing hearing loss? Contact us for a free hearing test and consultation. Starkey’s Livio AI is just one of many hearing aid options that you can try out at Pure Sound Hearing.
If you experience hearing loss, hearing aids can significantly improve your overall well-being, reduce isolation, and help with better communication skills. Using hearing aids also helps to delay the onset of dementia.
Hearing aids are still not used by many who would benefit from them. Millions of Americans can improve their hearing health and overall health, but they either never get them or wait too long to purchase them. The three main reasons why many people don’t wear them are due to the cost, access, and stigma that is sometimes surrounded by wearing them.
An Increase in Hearing Aid Use
From 2011 to 2018, hearing aids have had an increase in use from 15% to 18.5% in adults over the age of 70. This data was published this past December of 2020 by the medical journal JAMA: Internal Medicine.
This means that many more older Americans have an easier time socializing with family and friends while reducing the risks of health problems that are associated with untreated hearing loss.
The use of Hearing Aids is Unequal between different Socioeconomic Groups
According to data that was collected, significantly fewer Black Americans reported an increase in purchasing and using hearing aids. That’s just a +.8% shift in 7 years. In contrast, there was a +4.3% increase in White Americans purchasing and using hearing aids.
Based on levels of income, the number of people who owned hearing aids fell in the past few years (from 12.4% to 10.8%) among older adults who live under less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
Basically, if you are White or have a higher level of income, you will probably use hearing aids.
Why is there a gap in Hearing Healthcare Treatment?
There is a gap in treatment for hearing health. The latest studies show that this problem is growing, especially among the most impoverished Americans.
There are systemic problems in American healthcare that cause minorities and Americans with lower income not to have access to many different services, even if they have Medicare or Medicaid.
What should You do?
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer various hearing aid styles and brands, along with assistive listening devices at discount prices.
Did you know that most hearing aid users do not use services that are available through their hearing aid provider?
According to a study from Johns Hopkins, only one-third of hearing aid users take advantage of the hearing care services that are accessible through their provider.
Hearing aids are an important investment for not only your hearing health, but also your personal/work relationships, and your overall health. Just like with anything you invest in, why not get the most out of it?
Receiving hearing aids from a professional hearing instrument specialist ensures that you will have the proper fitting, along with the maximum performance, satisfaction, and quality service.
The hearing devices and hearing aid services that an experienced hearing instrument specialist can give you are verified. Hearing aids purchased over the internet may not work properly, and will most likely cost you more in the long run.
At Pure Sound, we provide thorough testing, custom fittings, and tuning along with follow-up appointments, advice, and hearing aid cleanings/maintenance from our staff.
Patients who do not utilize these services tend to become more discouraged about wearing their hearing aids. As a result, they do not get the most satisfaction from their hearing aids, which will exacerbate their hearing health.
Avoid this situation for the sake of your health and investment.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation at one of our offices in Lititz, Elizabethtown, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg. We're always here to help.
How are you going to choose which hearing aids are going to work for your specific hearing needs?
The features of each hearing aid are slightly different but unique.
Canceling Feedback Noises
This feature is available in the most basic hearing aids. It recognizes any whistling and feedback sounds and then cancels them out. It also reduces the annoying and distracting noises that come with feedback sounds.
Automated Noise Reduction
This feature is also available in the majority of hearing aids. Automatic Noise Reduction can identify background noises and block out some of those sounds. It won’t make them completely disappear, but it will significantly reduce the amount of distracting noises that you do hear.
Low Battery Signal
When the battery power in your hearing aid runs low and needs to be replaced with a fresh one, the hearing aid will make a sound. This is especially useful for anyone who forgets to change their battery and winds up with hearing aids that are not functioning at their best. This feature, along with keeping extra batteries with you at all times, should make you worry less about whether the hearing aid will stop working when you are out and about.
The microphone is one of the most essential parts of a hearing aid. There are varieties of hearing aid styles. Each type harnesses sounds in different ways. An adaptive (directional) microphone, will focus on where the speech is emanating from, whereas an omni-directional microphone will gather sounds within a 180-degree radius. If you wear two hearing aids, sounds will be picked up from any direction.
A tinnitus masker is not a regular feature in every hearing aid. A tinnitus masker will create a low-level sound to cover up the noise that comes with tinnitus. This is also known as a combination device. The hearing aid will create a low, and consistent sound that you cannot hear to mask the tinnitus. It may not work for everyone, but it has helped many people.
Hearing aids are only as helpful as the person who programs them. If you’d like to learn more about features that are available in hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Our hearing instrument specialist, Christine, is inspecting a patient's hearing aids. It's important to get your hearing aids cleaned and inspected for wear and tear.
At Pure Sound Hearing, we recommend our patients schedule a cleaning with us every 6 months.
If you need a professional cleaning for your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
Hearing aids are complex instruments that can help you hear better and improve your ability to hear. It is important to know when it’s time to get an upgrade.
Other than instances when your hearing aids cannot be repaired by your hearing instrument specialist, there are additional reasons to recognize when it’s time to get a new pair.
There has been a Shift in Your Hearing and/or Health
In the same way that your vision changes as you age, your hearing abilities also change. You may notice the sounds harnessed by your hearing aids are weaker. This is notable for those who use standard hearing aids and have severe-to-profound hearing loss. A stronger hearing aid, like Oticon’s Dynamo, might be more effective.
A shift in your overall health can trigger the need for a new hearing aid. For example, if you have arthritis the dexterity in your fingers makes smaller hearing aids difficult to handle. In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids feature a very small battery door, so it may be a good idea to get behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Some models are rechargeable, so there is no need to change any batteries.
Are Your Hearing Aids over 5-years-old?
The majority of hearing aids have a lifespan of three to seven years. Hearing aids are meant to be used all day, from the moment you wake up to the time when you go to bed. Even with thorough care and cleaning, exposure to natural outdoor elements, along with moisture and earwax, can lead to damaged hearing aids over time.
Older hearing aid models do not function as efficiently as modern hearing aid models. The latest hearing aids are basically miniature computers that rest inside your ears. They can sequence algorithms to regularly improve your ability to hear. Based on the type of hearing aid that you get, it will probably feature better technology that can:
Have You Made Big Changes in Your Lifestyle?
In some cases, a change in your lifestyle is a great reason to get new hearing aids. The old technology may not fit with your personal needs, or it may simply be out of date. For example, maybe you got an upgrade on your smartphone and watch videos, but are unable to stream the sounds directly to your hearing aids. Maybe you are spending more time outdoors, which requires a hearing device that can withstand different environments, such as blocking wind. Perhaps, if you no longer get out of your home as often as you used to, a basic hearing aid model might be your best option.
Your Perspective on Hearing Aids has Changed
Most individuals with hearing loss are hesitant to purchase their first pair of hearing aids. On average, many people wait 10 years to get hearing aids after being informed that they have hearing loss. Those who know exactly what they need - in regards to hearing - and feel comfortable with hearing aids, may want advanced devices with a variety of settings.
If you are unsure about what you should do, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for guidance from one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. For any repairs, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a hearing test and consultation with Sean Mark, BC-HIS.
Hearing loss is a prevalent health problem that people across the globe currently experience. Seeking the proper treatment should be based on the severity of your hearing loss, its underlying cause, type of hearing loss, and your personal lifestyle.
You should start your hearing loss treatment with a simple hearing test that is conducted by a professional.
The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that goes untreated in children will adversely affect their development in language acquisition, learning, and socializing with others. Older adults who experience untreated hearing loss typically struggle with following along in conversations. As a result, they might withdraw from activities and other things that they usually enjoy. This leads to social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and an increase in falls for those who are at least 66-years-old.
Research has shown that Hearing Aids Help with the Following:
Treating Age-Related Hearing Loss
Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. As we age, the cilia (hair cells located in the inner ear) start to lose their function. Half of the adults who are 75 or older have hearing loss.
Presbycusis is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. This indicates that the loss of hearing begins in the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve. It’s usually caused by damaged hair cells in the inner ear. In addition to aging, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is also a major cause of this type of hearing loss.
Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss is permanent. The cilia are irreparable when they become damaged. Anyone who experiences this type of hearing loss can use hearing aids as their best option.
Many people gradually lose their hearing as they age, and it needs to be treated. It’s important to get a regular hearing test because you probably won’t notice the subtle loss of hearing. The earlier you get treatment the more likely you will be able to preserve the hearing that you still have. The ability to hear is important for your safety and overall health. It helps you stay connected to the people in your life, and your surroundings.
How can Hearing Aids Benefit You?
If your hearing instrument specialist recommends hearing aids, based on the results of your hearing test, they will patiently work with you to calibrate the devices to your individual hearing needs. This method is known as a fitting. The fundamental goal of a hearing aid is to amplify sounds. Modern hearing aids can be customized and programmed to your particular needs, like increasing important sounds such as speech noise, while reducing background noise. Hearing aids cannot imitate the same normal hearing that you used to experience, but they are helpful for anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids can be worn behind or inside the ear. It depends on your severity of hearing loss and personal preferences.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid options and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Assistive Listening Devices
Hearing aids are very useful but don’t always address every single person’s needs. Those who cannot benefit from hearing aids can use assistive listening devices (ALDs) in situations where hearing is difficult. These devices can improve your experience while you watch TV, listen to music, or talk to someone over the phone. You may use amplified phones, captioned phones, FM systems, TV hearing devices, smartphone apps that use captions, and hearing loops that are connected to hearing aid telecoils (T-coils). Scroll through this page to see the options that we have available at Pure Sound.
Do You also have Tinnitus?
As you age, it’s common to encounter tinnitus if you begin to experience hearing loss. Tinnitus is one of the first signs of hearing loss. Just about all modern hearing aids have a “tinnitus masking feature”, which helps drown out the buzzing or ringing noises. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist for available tinnitus treatments.
Where to Get Help
Hearing loss is common, but modern hearing technology can help with nearly any hearing problem that you have. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Sean is ready to greet you at our Strasburg office.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and free hearing aid trial.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Martha is always ready to help our patients with their questions and hearing aid needs in our Lititz office.
If you, or a loved one, would like to schedule a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Ask about our latest ad.
Hearing aids can only be recommended for someone hard of hearing when they seek help. As frequently mentioned in this blog, the average person with a hearing loss usually waits after 10 years of hearing decline to actually get help. The decline is usually not noticeable at first, and then most people think it’s not a big deal. If you find it difficult to follow along during conversations, frequently raise the volume on some of your devices or TV, or ask others to repeat themselves, you might need hearing aids.
Hearing Instrument Specialists and Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist recommends and helps you choose hearing aids. If you are new to hearing aids, you will probably have a lot of questions, especially before your first appointment. Hearing instrument specialists can give you a lot of information and advice on hearing aids and hearing loss.
Before determining which hearing aids are best for you, get a hearing test. At Pure Sound Hearing, our hearing instrument specialists will conduct a pure-tone audiometry test. The test incorporates playing a series of tones with an audiometer. The hearing tone test measures which frequencies of tones you can hear.
The outcome of your hearing test will provide an accurate depiction of the severity of your hearing loss. You may discover that you can hear better in one ear than the other, or there are certain frequencies that you can or cannot hear. The results of the test will help you and your hearing instrument specialist determine which hearing aids would work best for you.
Hearing Aid Fitting and Adaptation
After choosing the hearing aids that feel most comfortable to you, a hearing instrument can properly fit the devices in your ears. After the fitting, there is an adjustment period which is when your brain, which has not clearly heard sounds in years, can get used to hearing those sounds again. Good maintenance and care are necessary for your hearing aids to perform at their best. You need to clean the devices regularly, and the batteries will eventually need to be replaced. It is recommended that you get a professional cleaning done at least every 6-months.
Everyone adapts to hearing aids at a different pace. Some people get used to wearing them within a few days, while others can take months. Your hearing instrument specialist will give you a better idea of what to expect.
Protect Your Hearing Health
In addition to guiding selecting hearing aids, fitting and programming the devices, and proper maintenance, a hearing instrument specialist can also give you tips on protecting your hearing health. Don’t hesitate to contact them for help.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before stopping in at one of our office locations.
After receiving your new hearing aids and wearing them, there is an adjustment period - especially for new hearing aid users. The first days of wearing your new devices are important for your journey towards better hearing. This is usually when you determine whether you want to continue wearing the devices. Here are 13 tips on how to smoothly transition into a daily hearing aid user.
1. In the beginning, they will feel strange. Do not feel discouraged.
In the same way that your feet need to break in a new pair of shoes or your nose needs to get accustomed to the feeling of eyeglasses resting on it, your ears need time to get used to hearing aids. If you wear eyeglasses, here is some advice on which style of hearing aids you should wear.
2. Start by only wear the hearing aids for a few hours each day.
Based on your comfort level, you may wear your new hearing aids in familiar environments and situations during the initial wearing period. Hearing instrument specialists would recommend that you try wearing them from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. You will eventually become less and less aware that you are even wearing hearing aids. When your brain can recognize and filter out more sounds, in addition to determining whether a noise is bothering you, this can help your hearing instrument specialist adjust the devices to your specific needs at your follow-up appointment. Wearing your hearing aids more often, even when there is very little noise occurring, allows you to detect the sounds and filter out noise. As a result, your brain will acclimate at a faster rate.
3. Start listening in a quiet room.
During your first day, find a quiet room to sit in. Simply listen to faint sounds and your brain will eventually get used to them, such as the sound of your refrigerator humming or a tea kettle whistling. Initially, everything might seem too loud. That’s only because your brain probably hasn’t heard these noises in a long time, so it’s getting used to hearing these sounds again. You can keep a journal to make note of what’s bothering you, and bring them up during your follow-up appointment if they are still bothersome. Your hearing instrument specialist will make the necessary adjustments.
4. Do not adjust the volume too often.
Most modern hearing aids will automatically adjust to your environment, so you probably won’t need to make manual adjustments too often. If you raise the volume levels, do not make them too loud. It’s not advised that you make your hearing aids do what fully-functioning ears cannot do, for example, hear faint sounds from afar. This is not how hearing aids work, and you’ll actually cause more damage to your hearing. Most people with hearing loss want to hear clearer, not louder.
5. Practice talking with a group of people.
You will want to start having conversations with close friends and family. Their voices will be easier to identify. Due to current circumstances, it is advised to set up a Zoom chat or FaceTime with one another. Active listening is a key factor in hearing. A speaker’s face must be easy to see, so ask others to look directly at you and make sure the area that you are talking to them in isn’t dark, but brightly lit. This will help you see their facial expressions, read lips, and notice their body language.
6. Ask friends and family to turn the TV to a “normal” volume setting.
Your new hearing aids should help you hear better, therefore, you can lower the volume levels to how people with normal hearing would set it. Ask your friends or family members to set the TV to an appropriate volume level, and try to keep it at that level.
7. Read the captions or subtitles to movies or shows.
Listening to words while reading them, is a good method to retrain your brain to associate the sound with language. You can do this by switching on the captions while watching a movie or show.
8. Listen to an audiobook and read along with a physical or digital copy.
This is similar to the previous tip. Listen to the audio version of a book, while the physical copy or digital copy on your tablet. You may also ask someone to read to you out loud while following along.
9. Read aloud to yourself.
Initially, your own voice will sound different when wearing hearing aids, but eventually, you’ll get used to it. Reading out loud will help you quickly become accustomed to your own voice, and retrain yourself on how to speak at a normal volume.
10. Close your eyes and engage in some listening exercises.
Try to identify the direction that the sounds are emanating from, without looking around for the sound’s source. You may also try to listen to determine the difference between sounds and speech patterns.
11. If your hearing aid features telecoils or t-coils, use looping systems.
Many public spaces have looping systems set up that transmit wireless signals, which are then received in the telecoil feature of a hearing aid. Not all hearing aids have t-coils. Some phones also feature looping systems. Ask your hearing instrument specialist whether your hearing aids have the telecoil. If they do, request that they are activated when fitting and programming your device.
12. Make talking on the phone easier by placing the receiver over your hearing aid’s microphone.
If you still prefer to use a phone to talk to someone, it’s recommended that you slightly tilt the phone forward so that the receiver is hovering over your microphone. This will help you hear better. For behind-the-ear models, the microphone is typically located on the hearing aid part that rests behind the ear. Angling the phone will help reduce the amount of feedback when holding the phone to your ear/microphone. Or, you can make things much easier by using Bluetooth® to stream your phone calls directly into your hearing aids. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about this.
13. Steadily begin to wear your hearing aids all day.
After two weeks, your hearing aids should be worn from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. If you go swimming or take a shower, remove the hearing aids. If your hearing aids become submerged in water for any amount of time, contact your hearing instrument specialist. If you own a hearing aid dryer, put your hearing aid in it. You may also use some uncooked rice to soak up the moisture and dry it out.
Your brain must adjust to sounds so that they will become effective in your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing aids can change your health and your life for the better. If you or a loved one would like a free trial for hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Hearing aids are a marvelous wonder for anyone who wears them. If they are well cared for, these devices should last for a very long time. They are delicate and need to be regularly monitored to detect any problems with them. In some cases, you can handle these repairs on your own, but there may be a more complicated issue that your hearing instrument specialist can fix for you.
Difficulties with volume levels
If noises sound muffled, no matter how loud the volume is, that could indicate that there is a problem with the hearing aid’s tubing. The tubing can become clogged with earwax or moisture, which can alter the sounds you hear. Some people can replace the tubing on their own, but you can also stop in at your hearing instrument specialist’s office to get it repaired.
You hear whistling noises through the hearing aid
This could be caused by the earpiece, or the hearing aid’s dome, which is placed inside your ear canal, is not correctly placed on. You can check if this is the problem by removing the dome, then carefully placing it back on. There could be too much earwax obstructing the dome, so you can use a loop brush cleaning tool to clear out any excess wax. You can also use an earwax softener to remove excess earwax in your ear canals. DO NOT use cotton swabs or Q-Tips. These will push earwax deeper into your ears.
Your hearing aid might be “dead”
If your hearing aid stops working, you could have low batteries or a low charge, if you have rechargeable hearing aids. Simply change out the old batteries and replace them with a fresh pair of batteries. If that still doesn’t resolve the issue, make sure there isn’t any earwax that’s obstructing the tubing. The tubing may need to be replaced. If none of these solutions help, go to your hearing instrument specialist so that they can fix it.
Your ability to hear is intermittent
Intermittent hearing aid performance can be traced back to the battery. Change your battery again and notice whether that was the issue. If that doesn’t work, contact our office and let us know.
You notice a decline in your hearing
If your hearing appears to be getting worse, even if your hearing aids are working perfectly fine, your hearing aid might need to be reprogrammed or replaced with a new model. Contact us and discuss this with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
If you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned problems with your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer hearing aids, hearing tests, retests, hearing aid repairs, and hearing aid supplies.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings, and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.
Our digital media assistant, Vi, is working on some research topics for our blog. Click here to learn more about sensitivity to sounds.
If you are experiencing problems with your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We are offering curbside services at our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, and Strasburg.
If you don’t take proper care of your hearing aids, frigid winter weather can lead to problems for your devices. Although the hearing aids can be repaired, the device’s overall function requires taking serious preventative measures.
How Hearing Aids are Affected by Cold and Moisture
Extreme climate can negatively impact hearing aids, along with their batteries. It’s not simply the chilly temperatures that cause the damage, rather it’s the condensation that develops as a result of changes in temperatures. This moisture is what damages the electronic components of the hearing aids. Severe temperature shifts can lead to condensation, which could lead to deterioration in the electronic make-up of the hearing aids. Moisture is always present in the colder seasons, due to intense temperature shifts that are prevalent during the winter season.
Take, for example, if you are walking through very cold weather, you’ll probably be wrapped in warm clothes with a hat covering your ears. When you go indoors, it might be significantly warmer because the thermostat is turned up. After removing your coat and other winter clothes, the shift in temperature can create condensation inside your hearing aids. If you were sweating from the warm clothes or from moving around, sweat may have dripped from your head, which can lead to damaged hearing aids and hearing aid batteries.
How do You know if there is Moisture Damage to my Hearing Aids?
Any ounce of moisture can destroy your hearing aids’ microphone and receiver. It can also obstruct the tubing that is connected to the domes or earmold, which can lead to corrosion. Here are some common signs that your hearing aids are damaged from moisture:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
After your hearing aids have been exposed to moisture, check the following:
If none of these appear to be the problem, there may be moisture in the hearing aid. For behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, examine the outside and inside part of the tubing for moisture droplets. For earmold users, an earmold puffer can be purchased and used. This device will blow out moisture.
If you wear in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, it may be a little more difficult to extract moisture. If you don’t already own a hearing aid dryer to store your hearing aids in, getting one would be handy to dry them and prevent damage.
What to Wear with your Hearing Aids in Cold Weather
It’s not easy to stop moisture from getting in your hearing aids, but there are some things that you can do to try and keep your hearing aids dry and fully functioning.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Earmuffs
Earmuffs not only keep your ears warm, but there are special pairs that can protect your hearing from dangerous noise levels. If you already have hearing loss, it’s a good idea to prevent further damage by taking precautions and reducing the amount of time spent in loud areas. Noise-reduction earmuffs are not simply for winter. They will be helpful in any noisy environment, from areas that require you to operate heavy machinery to watching and hearing fireworks.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Sweatbands
If you are active in the wintertime and wear hearing aids, your sweat could be a damaging factor for your hearing devices. You may also encounter heavy snow or freezing rain. Reduce the amount of moisture you expose to your behind-the-ear hearing aids. If they are exposed as a result of sweat or precipitation, invest in sweatbands. These will absorb the sweat from your body instead of allowing the moisture to ruin your hearing devices. They typically repel moisture and block the sound of wind from your hearing aids.
Wise Investments for Your Hearing Aids
Protect Your Ears in the Winter
If your ears hurt when exposed to cold weather, this could be frostbite. Please keep your ears covered in frigid weather to reduce feelings of frostbite.
Too much exposure to extreme elements of cold and wet conditions can cause exostosis. This is also referred to as “surfer’s ear”. It occurs to those who spend a lot of time in or around cold water. Exostosis occurs when exposure to cold leads to abnormal bone growths on the bone that surrounds the ear canal. As a result, there can be an obstruction in the ear canal, which raises the risk of infection caused by trapped fluid. The condition can be corrected through surgery, but it’s still advised to keep your ears warm and dry.
Cold Weather and Tinnitus
Tinnitus can trigger some people’s tinnitus. Research indicates that people search the internet more frequently about tinnitus during the winter. It’s not completely known as to why tinnitus cases rise during the winter season. It may be affected by colds and cases of the flu (which can cause more pressure in the ear), consuming salty foods that cause high blood pressure, as well as higher rates of depression and stress. All of these factors can trigger tinnitus.
Sudden Pressure Change
A shift in barometric pressure can lead to a clogged feeling in your ears during any season. Common respiratory infections that occur during certain periods of the year can leave you feeling lousy. You can learn more about clogged ears from this link.
Why do Ear Infections frequently occur in Winter?
In the winter, parts of your body get colder which leads to poor blood circulation. This includes blood that is circulated to your ears. The winter season also brings a higher risk of bacteria and virus infections. When you combine these factors, you have a high risk of sinus infections and a condition called otitis media - an ear infection.
Otitis media cause painful swelling and inflammation in the middle ear. The swelling and infection can build and add pressure behind your eardrum, which obstructs the fluid that drains from the Eustachian tube. Most ear infections can be treated with antibiotics, but the fluid needs to run clear, or else you can experience temporary hearing loss. The flu and colds should be treated immediately with medication, rest, and consuming fluids.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Guidance from Hearing Instrument Specialists
When making an important purchase - whether it’s for a vehicle, eyeglasses, or hearing aids - receiving guidance or an opinion from an expert has been helpful for many people.
The patient demographics for hearing aids has significantly shifted. Today’s hearing devices are much more intricate, therefore it’s important to stress how essential hearing instrument specialists are to hearing aid users.
Hearing aids have undergone considerable research and development in their technology. There are different levels of efficiency based on the brand and style. These ever-advancing pieces of technology continue featuring newer algorithms based on the manufacturer’s software for each unique hearing loss. The only way to know if a hearing aid is suitable for you is to try them with the guidance of a professional.
Choosing Hearing Aids
Selecting hearing aids is a team effort between you and your hearing instrument specialist, where good communication is necessary. Patient-centered care or mutual decision making is important to make the proper treatment options based on the results of the patient’s hearing test. Topics such as personal lifestyle - such as how active the patient is inside or outside the home - and what is to be expected from the hearing aids should be considered.
The hearing aid test drive (HATD) is used in today’s hearing health care practices. This is patient-centered care, and a shared decision-making process, where patients are critical in their treatment options. With the help of their hearing instrument specialist, they may try out the hearing aids in their own home, work environment, and/or social situations to determine whether the device works for their individual listening needs.
If you, or a loved one, need a hearing test, hearing aids, and trial please contact us for a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands which include HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
Hearing loss is common among Americans, so there’s a good chance that you know someone who has difficulty with their hearing.
Poor hearing has been linked to adverse physical, psychological, and social well-being. These conditions can become more prominent during the holidays, and even more so during COVID. Christmas and the holiday season can give you a great chance to provide or receive a very purposeful gift.
Here are some gift ideas for the person in your life who experiences hearing loss:
Give the gift of hearing to someone special, by supporting small businesses like Pure Sound Hearing. If you have questions about any hearing aid supplies or accessories, contact us at Pure Sound. If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Martha is in our Lititz office, preparing a hearing aid delivery for one of our patients!
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of styles and top name brands from HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, and Widex.
As frequently mentioned in the blog, hearing loss generally goes unnoticed because it occurs gradually over time. There are usually subtle signs before you, or a loved one, realize that you need a hearing test. Have you noticed that you turn the volume up to hear your T.V. or listen to music? Even after a person is informed that they have hearing loss, on average, most of them wait about 10 years before they will get hearing aids.
What is Auditory Deprivation?
Please avoid the mistake of putting off your hearing health. Untreated hearing loss can lead to auditory deprivation in the long run. The sections of your brain that are vital for hearing can shrink or become atrophied due to lack of use.
Auditory deprivation is when the brain struggles to comprehend and process information because it is not receiving enough stimulation.
The brain will become active when it hears sounds and turns it into information that can be understood.
Untreated Hearing Loss and Brain Atrophy
Hearing is an activity for the brain. Ears funnel sounds to the brain as electrical impulses through the auditory nerve. Your brain will then translate the electrical impulses into sound.
Hearing loss leads to sensory deprivation. The auditory segment of your brain requires sounds to stimulate it and keep the mind agile. Mild hearing loss can lead to an under-stimulated brain, so it’s important to get help for your hearing loss as soon as you, or a loved one, notices these symptoms.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to atrophied auditory pathways, due to lack of usage.
When fewer sounds travel to the brain, the brain will respond by adjusting the way it works. Subtle hearing loss causes the brain to deal with auditory processing by focusing more on visual processing.
Exercise Your Hearing Abilities
If you don’t seek help for your hearing loss, it will become much more difficult to comprehend and process information. In other words, you might be able to hear speech sounds but not understand what is being said. You may feel as though you have cognitive decline, but it is actually hearing loss. But remember, untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline.
Can Auditory Deprivation become Permanent?
There is still uncertainty as to whether the atrophied sections of the brain that convert sound is permanent or not. It can be different for each individual.
On a hopeful note, the brain is extremely flexible. It can adapt and shift when stimulated. New connections can be made for more information to be understood.
A study found that negative shifts in the brain can be improved when hearing aids are worn regularly.
What causes Auditory Deprivation?
Auditory deprivation is usually caused by a lack of treatment for a person’s hearing loss.
For instance, if a person has hearing loss and receives hearing aids, but does not wear the hearing aids regularly (or at all), this can lead to auditory deprivation.
If a person with hearing loss does not receive auditory stimulation, the connection between the ears and the brain becomes ineffective. The auditory nerve will start to atrophy and become weaker.
A different reason as to why auditory deprivation can occur is if a person experiences hearing loss in both ears, but only wears a hearing aid in one of their ears.
Auditory deprivation may also occur if the hearing aids do not fit correctly or properly programmed. This is why it’s important to have follow-up appointments and work with your hearing instrument specialist to tailor the hearing aids for your specific needs. Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids may require a custom fit and will definitely require a customized program for your particular type of hearing loss. Your hearing will shift over time, so it’s important to regularly schedule appointments with your hearing instrument specialist.
Two Hearing Aids are Better than One
Only wearing one hearing aid - when you have hearing loss in each ear - will lead to poor results.
The ear that wears the hearing device will remain strong, but the other ear that does not have a hearing aid will become weaker and atrophy at a faster rate than the ear that is aided.
Remember, Adapting to Hearing Aids Takes Time
It will take time to adjust to listening, putting your hearing aids on, and wearing them from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. This is particularly true if it has been a long time since you’ve been able to hear clearly.
You’ll be able to hear things like the hum of your refrigerator, the clicking sound of your blinker lights, birds chirping outside. It may be overwhelming at first, but your brain will eventually become accustomed to the sounds that you haven’t heard in years.
Wearing hearing aids all day helps the brain acclimate to the sounds, but it requires a lot of time and patience.
How to Prevent Auditory Deprivation
It is possible to prevent auditory deprivation by taking safety precautions when you know that you’ll be in a loud environment. Wear earplugs or earmuffs when attending a concert or any other noisy setting.
You should get your hearing tested annually, whether you are having trouble hearing or not. Mild hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline.
If you, or a loved one, need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer several hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We will be offering curbside services. If you are visiting us for a repair, we ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. A staff member will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or an assistive listening device, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.
On average, hearing aid users replace their hearing devices between three to five years. You may need to replace them before that. Technology is as ever-changing as your hearing loss. Hearing aids that are worn out could indicate that it’s time for an upgrade.
Has there been a Shift in Your Ability to Hear?
A human’s ability to hear is always evolving. More powerful hearing devices will be more helpful for hearing loss that has shifted from moderate to severe. Modern technology has made so many advancements that older models can’t compete with them.
With the help of an experienced hearing instrument specialist, many modern hearing aids can now be programmed to block out background noises and even the sound of wind.
Has there been a Change in Your Lifestyle?
As long as they are charged or having functioning batteries in them, your hearing aids are constantly working. If you have an active lifestyle, that can wear down your devices. There are hearing aids, like Starkey’s Livio AI, which help support an active and healthy lifestyle with the Thrive Hearing app.
Your physical health will also determine which hearing aids would work best for you. If you suffer from arthritis, behind-the-ear hearing aids will be easier to put on than devices that are placed inside your canal.
Today’s hearing aids can conveniently stream audio from phone calls, tablets, or TV directly into your ears.
Do Your Hearing Aids Need to be Repaired?
Are you hearing aids frequently being sent out for repairs? If this is the case, you may need to invest in a new pair. Exposure to elements such as debris, dirt, humidity, sweat, and wax will wear down your devices at a faster rate.
Proper maintenance such as light cleanings, thorough cleanings from a professional and keeping the devices dry in a dry aid kit will help them last longer. If they’re not jostling around in your purse, bag, or pocket - or if they are dropped - the device’s algorithms can be impacted.
If you, or a loved one, need to replace or repair your hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
When selecting a hearing instrument specialist, you need to think about the options that are available for you in your area. Having a number of choices is good, but knowing which one is suitable for you is not always obvious. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some things that you should consider.
Excellent Communication Skills
Someone with good communication is important for any type of service. This rings particularly true when dealing with your health and selecting a product that will significantly improve your life. Your hearing instrument specialist should be good at effectively communicating with you, in addition to listening and accommodating to your hearing needs. They should review your personal requirements and make recommendations based on your concerns. They should also have a team at the office with whom you can easily communicate and voice your questions or needs.
Is Your Hearing Instrument Specialist Knowledgeable about the Latest Technology?
Since your hearing instrument specialist is going to help you select hearing aids or an assistive listening device, they should have thorough knowledge about the products that they provide. If you have an interest in pairing your hearing aids with your Bluetooth®-connected devices, your hearing instrument specialist should be able to show you hearing aids and other listening devices that would work with your lifestyle.
Full-Services for Hearing Aids
You should receive a thorough service from your hearing instrument specialist, that satisfies your particular needs. Prior to showing you any products, they should go over your general lifestyle, which includes your daily activities and recreation. A detailed explanation should be provided when going over hearing aid options and fitting them. The hearing aids should feel comfortable during the fitting process. If the devices do not feel comfortable, let your hearing aid provider know. In addition to simply providing you with hearing aids, full-services are also arranged to help you care for your hearing health.
Long-Term Hearing Aid Care
A good hearing instrument specialist should stress the importance of long-term care for your hearing aids and hearing health. If you were fitted for a hearing aid, they should have you schedule a follow-up appointment in the near future. This gives you a chance to talk about how your new device feels and functions. You can also get adjustments if they are needed. Repairs and cleaning services should be provided in order to get the most out of your hearing aids.
At Pure Sound Hearing, you'll find these qualities in our hearing instrument specialists. Feel at ease knowing that you will be on a journey to better hearing.
If you, or a loved one, are in need of hearing aids and hearing aid care, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands which include HANSATON, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Rexton, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, and Widex.
It’s been a long day, but Sean still has plenty of energy to flash his big blue smile.
We are offering curbside hearing aid services at all of our office locations.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices in Elizabethtown, Lititz, Mt. Joy, or Strasburg.