The invention of the ear trumpet during the 17th century and today’s digital hearing aids are just some of the historical breakthroughs in hearing.
It’s incredible how we’ve gone from simple using our hands as a natural sound harnesser to programmable hearing devices that come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors.
Hearing Aid Devices
Hearing aids are programmable medical devices that were designed to treat people with certain ranges of hearing loss. As long as they can benefit a person with hearing loss, they are usually the primary solution for anyone with hearing loss.
Natural hearing cannot be restored with hearing aids, but they can amplify certain frequencies so that the user can feel as though they’ve regained some of the hearing that they’ve lost.
Hearing loss can happen at any age. Some people are born with it, others come in contact with loud noises that impact their hearing, autoimmune diseases or other ailments can cause hearing loss, or simply an aging body can gradually lead to hearing loss. One in eight people in the U.S. who are at least 12-years-old experience bilateral hearing loss. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Jodie Foster wear hearing aids.
Hearing loss that goes untreated can create more problems in your daily life. Simple interactions with coworkers, healthcare providers, and even friends and family can become challenging. You may prefer to isolate yourself from these situations, which can lead to depression.
It may be surprising that among adults who are at least 70 years of age and could benefit from wearing hearing aids, less than 30% use them.
The Invention of the First Man-Made Hearing Aid
There were many varieties of hearing aids before today’s digital hearing aids became widely used. Today, hearing aid technology is changing at a rapid pace with more conveniences and features than ever before.
The very first hearing aid creation was the ‘ear trumpet’. This was a tubular mechanism that was designed to siphon sounds into the ear. These funnels were made out of animal horns, snail shells, wood, silver, or sheet metal.
Their usage can be traced back to the 17th century. A French priest and mathematician named Jean Leurechon first referenced the ear trumpet in the Recreations mathématiques in 1634.
The conical ear trumpets were also customized by instrument specialists. Just like today, hearing instrument specialists can customize the fit and programming for each person’s individual listening needs for the best results.
The Inventor of the First Hearing Aid
The ear trumpet, though impressive for its time, turned out not to be as useful as originally thought. It simply amplified all sounds. Better technology was created.
In 1889 the Akouphone was invented by Miller Rees Hutchinson. It was the first hearing aid that utilized a carbon transmitter. The carbon transmitter had an electric current that could change a weak signal into a stronger signal.
It featured an individual microphone, amplifier, headphones, and battery (which did not last long). The device was bulky and challenging to use. It was also very expensive, so few people used the Akouphone.
Among the wealthy, it was considered a success. The American press called it a “miracle”. Queen Alexandra of Denmark was thrilled with the results that Hutchinson was invited to attend her husband’s coronation.
19th Century Hearing Aid History
The potential business from hearing aids received more attention from manufacturing companies that specialize in mass production, and engineers who wanted to make more advancements with the device. This is what led to the variety of hearing aid products that are currently available.
Just like many inventions, it took trials and errors to improve the devices. Technology is always quickly changing and there are always improvements that need to be made with current hearing aids.
What is Vacuum Tube Technology?
The first vacuum-tube technology was patented in 1920, by Naval engineer Earl Hanson. It was known as the Vactuphone. This invention utilized the telephone transmitter to translate speech into electrical signals, then amplified via a receiver. This became a huge hit, and vacuum tube hearing aids were marketed in the U.S. in 1923.
Just like today’s technology, smaller versions of these devices became available throughout the 1930s. They were sold as wearables starting in 1936, and became popular across the country.
During this period, the amplifier and batteries were donned on your neck and the microphone was held by hand. The size of it was equivalent to your range of hearing loss. As a result, conversations mimicked a news reporter.
Transistor Hearing Aid
Transistors played a crucial role in the evolution of hearing aids. They were introduced in 1948, replacing vacuum tubes due to their better performance. Less battery power was utilized, there were fewer distortions and heat compared to vacuum tubes, and they were more discreet.
Manufacturers were thrilled about the benefits of transistors, but sufficient testing was not implemented on the transistor hearing aids. Due to their carelessness, the devices stopped working within weeks of a customer’s purchase. Moisture in the hearing aids interrupted the transistor and it would stop functioning.
This ushered in the invention of a protective layer and silicon transistor to repel sweat.
Microprocessor and Compression Hearing Aids
In 1970 the microprocessor was invented. It sped up the process of making hearing aids smaller and modernized. A researcher named Edgar Villchur built upon this invention by improving hearing for its users.
He made advancements by making an analog multi-channel amplitude compression device that let audio signals separate into frequency bands. They had the ability to finely-tune analog sound in a non-linear manner. This is how specific sounds could be lowered and other sounds could be made louder.
High-Speed Processors and Minicomputers
During the 1970s, high-speed digital-array processors were starting to be used with minicomputers. In 1982, digital, real-time array processing hearing aids were created at the City University of New York. It was used as part of a research tool to study digital signal processing.
Even though this was a major advancement, like many devices that were made up to this point it was big and heavy. Inside was a minicomputer, a digital-array processor, an FM transmitter, and a receiver.
The 1980s established the creation of digital chips that were used for high-speed digital signal processing. These enabled fast processing but were pretty hefty and drained too much power, so it wouldn’t be practical to wear them as hearing aids.
As more advancements were later made, these inconveniences became more manageable with the help of A. Maynard Engebretson, Robert E. Morley Jr., and Gerald R. Popelka, Ph. D. from the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID).
The First Complete Pair of Digital Hearing Aids
In 1987, the Nicolet Corporation introduced the first commercial digital hearing aid on the market, without much commercial achievement. Even though it seemed like a bit of a failure companies saw that it was possible to market, and improvements could be made.
It became a race to create functional hearing aids that could be marketed to a wider audience of people with hearing loss. There were quicker developments and leading hearing aid companies presented different combinations of instruments that used analog amplifiers, filters, and inhibitors that were digitally controlled.
Hearing Aids of the 21st Century
Hearing aid technology and usage has advanced greatly in modern times, thanks to the work and technology that has been refined. Bluetooth®-connected devices and rechargeable batteries make hearing aids more convenient for today’s users.
In addition to hearing aids, devices like Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) give people with hearing loss a way to hear their surroundings. They can control background noise by using ambient sound, isolation, and suppression. These devices help enhance your environmental sounds (whether it’s an office setting, class setting, or somewhere else), but should not be used as a replacement for hearing aids if you have moderate to severe hearing loss. These provide two different benefits and should be used when paired together, rather than working on their own.
If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulties with hearing, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
The sale of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids is meant to lower the cost of hearing aids, which sounds like a good way to make sure that everyone who needs hearing aids will be able to afford them. But a salesperson who is promoting OTC hearing devices does not have the knowledge and expertise of a hearing instrument specialist. Receiving a proper fitting, professional experience, and long-term care for the devices is crucial in getting the most out of your hearing aids. Investing in a local business, like Pure Sound Hearing, ensures quality service. Here are six reasons why you should work with a hearing instrument specialist.
Hearing instrument specialists are licensed to sell hearing aids. They know the technology, are versed in proper care, repairs, and maintenance. Problems regarding feedback noise, corroded batteries, or anything else can be resolved with their help.
2. The Fit
Comfort and performance are important factors in hearing aid usage. Standard hearing aid domes or a customized hearing aid that fits the contours of your ear ensures that you are not only hearing at your best but are also wearing devices that are securely fit. A secure fitting also ensures that feedback noises (the whistling sounds) are not blaring from the hearing aids. Customized programming for the hearing aids is also done by a hearing instrument specialist. They will base the programming on your preferences, lifestyle, and the environments that you frequent.
Monitoring your progress, while making adjustments as needed can ensure that you’ll get the most out of your hearing aids. After receiving a new pair of hearing aids, you may notice discomfort, or feel like the hearing aids aren’t working. It’s important to remember this: adapting to hearing aids takes time.
3. Your Relationship with Your Provider
Hearing loss is complicated. There are many types and causes, along with comorbidities that are connected to hearing loss. It can initially be difficult to become accustomed to hearing aids. Our providers at Pure Sound will be here to guide you and answer your questions along the way.
Hearing loss and tinnitus (the constant ringing, clicking, or whistling sound) often, but not always, go hand in hand. Ongoing research is helping professionals in the hearing healthcare world understand more about it. Providing support and solutions through hearing aids can help patients make their tinnitus symptoms more manageable.
Other than receiving the best support from a hearing instrument specialist, there is evidence that programming hearing aids on your own, or selecting a one-size-fits-all device (basically an amplifier) can cause more damage to your hearing. At Pure Sound Hearing, a series of tests will be performed to assess your hearing loss and make sure that the hearing aids provided will be tailored for your range of hearing loss. Too much amplification can do more damage to your hearing, and a poorly-fit hearing aid can lead to earwax build-up.
6. Hearing Aids are an Investment
Even though OTC hearing aids may save you money at first, over time, the poor quality of the technology and services (or lack thereof) will become evident. A hearing instrument specialist will provide warranty protection, professional hearing aid cleanings, advice on upgrades, and any advice you need on hearing aid care and maintenance.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss is common. There’s a procedure that you can follow in order to make treatment for your hearing loss go smoothly. One of those steps will be to schedule an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist. These are professionals who are knowledgeable about hearing aid technology and other assistive listening devices. They will be one of the most important people to see in your journey to better hearing. Here are some of the benefits that you will get from visiting one.
Hearing Aid Technology Experts
The primary help that you will receive from a hearing instrument specialist is their proficiency in digital hearing aids, and programming the devices. Hearing aids are intricate pieces of technology, so having someone who can answer your questions is always convenient.
Extensive knowledge about each Style and Brand of Hearing Aids
There are so many different styles and brands of hearing aids to try out. Someone who knows about each type of hearing aid and how they function differently can help you narrow down your search. Your hearing instrument specialist will be very knowledgeable about each device and model. They will be able to steer you in the right direction and guide you along the way to a life of healthy hearing.
Fit and Programmed Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist is professionally skilled in fitting patients with hearing aids. They will determine the proper fit and demonstrate how the hearing aids work. They have the training and tools to fit and program the hearing aids for you. This will guarantee that the devices are functioning at their best and tailored to your specific needs.
Repairs, Replacements, Restoration
Like all modern technology, there will be instances when your hearing aids will require repairs. That’s where help from your hearing instrument specialist comes in handy. They will quickly be able to provide repairs for your devices.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing any problems with your hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
The Emerald M 8C is discreet yet powerful and has very long battery life. If you experience severe hearing loss, this is the device for you.
It has an optional T-coil for streaming, which gives you maximum flexibility. Use the Rexton App for discreet control.
Learn more about the Emerald M 8C, and its compatible devices by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free trial.
Hearing aids can help make hearing and communication easier. But understanding speech and background noises might still make it difficult to hear. If that’s the case, Signia’s hearing aid may benefit you.
Signia Hearing Aid Options
Signia features devices for those with mild to profound hearing loss, along with Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) hearing aids for those who suffer from single-sided deafness (SSD).
Signia hearing aids use Augmented Xperience and Signia Xperience, which help enhance speech recognition and suppress background noises.
You can see more of the styles from Signia by following this page. Scroll over the Products drop-down menu and click on a hearing aid product that you’d like to learn more about.
A Closer Look at Signia Hearing Aids
There are six primary hearing aid lines with different models. Here’s an overview of each.
Signia Insio Charge&Go AX
Signia Motion X Charge&Go X
Signia Pure 312 AX
Signia Active Pro
Signia Silk X
Signia Styletto X
Customizations and Features
Based on which hearing aids you select, you may receive customized options on these devices:
Augmented Xperience (AX): Two different processors are used: one for honing in on speech sounds and blocking out background noises. This is known as Augmented Focus and may allow users to better understand speech by 25% in busy environments compared to other hearing aids. This technology can be accessed through Insio Charge&Go AX, Pure Charge&Go AX and T AX, and CROS Pure Charge&Go AX models.
For a free trial of any of these hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do have hearing loss and experienced the frustrations of communicating with people at a hospital? Here are some tips for managing your hearing loss during a hospital visit.
Hearing loss can be equally as important to address as the healthcare emergency that landed you in the hospital. Not being able to completely understand the medical professionals who are taking care of you can be just as scary as your health emergency.
Hospitals can be busy and noisy. People rush in, there are loud machines or announcements over the intercoms, and all sorts of people - from personnel to other patients and their loved ones - are around you and talking all at once. From masked staff members to healthcare workers with unfamiliar accents, it can be overwhelming.
It’s important not to guess or tell people who are helping you that you understand what they are saying when you don’t. An incorrect response could put your entire health at risk.
A lot of people, particularly the older population, go to the hospital without hearing aids. Many people with hearing loss don’t even have hearing aids due to financial reasons, or denial about their hearing loss.
When you are in a noisy and busy environment, like a hospital, your hearing loss can lead to more problems.
People who have Hearing Loss are More Prone to Hospitalizations
Approximately 40 million adults in the U.S. have some range of hearing loss and are more likely to require hospital care. According to research from Johns Hopkins, of these 40 million adults, untreated hearing loss has a 17 percent higher risk of visits to the emergency room. They are also more likely to stay in the hospital, spend more days in the hospital, and have a 44 percent risk of being readmitted within 30 days.
Practices the Hospitals can Implement
Hospitals can help patients with hearing loss by:
Make sure to Advocate for Yourself, or Get Help from a Loved One
Let staff, personnel, and other medical professionals know that you have hearing loss. If necessary, caregivers may need to take on this role.
It is very important that you speak up about your hearing loss, and ask for accommodations. Hearing loss is an invisible disability. On rare occasions, patients have been sent to the “behavioral health” unit where individuals with mental health issues go after misunderstanding or mishearing a question, or even misspeaking.
Wearing Hearing Aids in the Hospital
Even though it is recommended to wear hearing aids from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, some people leave them at home because they are afraid of losing them.
If you decided to do this, alert the hospital staff about your hearing loss. Ask for a hearing amplifier. Plan ahead of time and practice using captioning apps. Otter is a great choice. With this app, conversations can be transcribed in real-time on your smartphone. For legal reasons, hospitals cannot provide this for you, but you may use it yourself.
If you choose to bring your hearing aids, and they need to be recharged, bring your charger along. The hospital that you go to might be able to track down a charger for you. Remember to carry extra batteries. You can always ask staff members if they have hearing aid batteries available for you.
Hearing is Important to make Proper Medical Decisions
Making medical decisions can happen at any stage during your hospital visit, especially if you arrived for an emergency. Whether you can hear or have trouble with hearing, it can be difficult to understand complicated or unfamiliar medical terms/procedures.
Whenever possible, have a friend or family member with good hearing and concentration involved in your decision. You may also use a transcriber on your phone. Make sure it’s accurate, and get help from the medical staff to verify its accuracy. If you find it too distracting to listen and watch at the same time, record the conversation and read the transcript at a later time.
Remind doctors, nurses, and other staff members that you are hard of hearing and ask them to speak up or repeat themselves when necessary.
What if Your loved one won’t Admit They Have Hearing Loss?
You cannot assume medical staff members will notice that your loved one has hearing loss. On average, only about half of the staff employees will be able to recognize this. Make sure that you inform staff members during the initial admittance and when seeing new medical staff members that your loved one has difficulty with hearing. This is especially important in hospice care and nursing homes.
If you or a loved one, experiences hearing loss and want an easier experience interacting with medical staff, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer assistive listening devices that can help make your emergency visits pan out better, or we can show you how to use transcription apps.
We have mentioned the reasons why it’s best to receive services from a local hearing aid provider.
Hearing care services are usually included with the cost of hearing aids. Learn more about hearing care plans offered by Pure Sound by visiting our Unbundled Pricing page. This includes cleanings, re-fittings, re-programmings, and any other issues that may arise during your adjustment period. You will not receive these same services if you purchase them online or over-the-counter (OTC).
Adapting to hearing aids takes time and patience. Additional tuning and adjustments are necessary in order to get the most out of your journey towards better hearing.
Hearing Aid/Care Services are Generally NOT included with the Purchase of Cheap Hearing Aids
Cheaper hearing aids usually do not feature these services to care for the devices. This is why they are cheaper. It’s also why many customers leave feeling unhappy with their purchase. It’s a waste of money. In fact, you will need more care and maintenance because the cheaper hearing aids are not carefully fit or programmed by a hearing aid specialist.
The investment that you make with your hearing aids is important for your hearing health, which can impact your overall health. Make sure that you are happy with your hearing aids by ensuring that you will have access to extra services when they are necessary.
If you are in need of hearing aids with professional care and services, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to set up an appointment with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
If you currently experience hearing loss, protect your hearing from getting worse and discover what helps you hear better.
How to Stop Your Hearing from getting Worse
Medication and surgery are not treatment options for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hair cells that are damaged cause permanent hearing loss, so it’s very important to protect your hearing. If you experience hearing loss, here are some tips to stop or slow down the additional loss.
Consider a Device to Help You Hear
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
If you or a loved one notices a change in hearing abilities, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Purchasing new hearing aids is a crucial decision that can make positive changes in your life. Your hearing health and overall body and mental health can have significant improvements. Take your time and seek guidance from a professional hearing instrument specialist who will discuss your hearing needs and concerns that you may have.
Hearing Aids usage in Society
People of all ages wear hearing aids. Some are visible with bright colors, while others are more discreet and practically invisible. Technological advancements allow them to not only help with your hearing and brain health, but they also help you stay social with others on their own or with the help of Bluetooth®-connected devices, like your smartphone.
Some people who need hearing aids, do not wear them for various reasons including:
Early inaction can be devastating to your future hearing health. When the signs of hearing loss become more noticeable by yourself, your family, friends, co-workers, or others with whom you interact, it’s important to act as soon as possible.
Common Misconceptions about Hearing Aids
‘They don’t help.’ While this may be true with the earliest models, hearing aid technology has advanced quickly - especially within the past few years. The earlier models were bulky, aesthetically unappealing, and didn’t improve people’s hearing.
One of the most common complaints about them was loud feedback noises. These are the loud squeaking noises that hearing aids sometimes make when embracing another person. A simple fix to that would be to see a hearing instrument specialist who can fine-tune the hearing aids so that the feedback noises stop.
Some have claimed that using a hearing aid can ruin their natural sense of hearing, by making them dependent on the devices. But once your hearing is gone, it does not come back. What hearing aids do is help to keep the hearing abilities that you still have, or slow down the hearing loss and early onset of dementia.
Remember, they’re called hearing aids and not hearing restorers. Many people have found them very helpful for healthy brain function.
Steps to Take towards Better Hearing
Hearing is a very important sense. Hearing loss can lead to anxiety, depression, lower-income, and personal safety issues. Here are some things you can do to avoid or better manage these issues.
What should You know about before buying Hearing Aids?
Visit an experienced hearing aid instrument specialist. They will help you find the right solution that will benefit your hearing needs.
There are so many accessories that can be paired with your hearing aids to make watching TV, making phone calls or talking to others easier for you. Downloadable apps (decibel meters, captioning, etc.) can also be used to help. Available accessories will depend on the hearing aid manufacturer, model, and price. The more specific you are about your listening needs, the more effective your provider will be in advising the best choices for you.
Hearing aids feature artificial intelligence (AI), so they can adapt to different environments and block out distracting background noises to make your listening experience easier.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing if you, or a loved one, would be interested in a complimentary hearing aid trial.
Get the sounds you need with the small rechargeable RIC.
Signia’s CROS Pure 312 AX features Signia’s Augmented Xperience. It provides amazing speech clarity in any situation.
If you or a loved one would be interested in a free trial of Signia’s CROS Pure 312 AX hearing aid, or any of our other hearing aid options, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our providers.
Hearing aid domes are paired with receiver-in-ear (RIC) hearing aids. They are inserted in the ear’s canals to secure the amplifier, clench the hearing aid’s tube in place and form a seal over the canals. There are many sizes and styles, and it’s important to get a proper fitting from a hearing instrument specialist to ensure a correct fit for optimum comfort and hearing.
A proper fitting also guarantees that you are getting the most out of your hearing aids, otherwise sounds can leak out and the devices will wind up being ineffective. Wearing the right dome with the correct shape and size ensures that the hearing aids are functioning as they were meant to while feeling comfortable throughout your day.
Hearing aid domes, on average, should be replaced every two to three months - depending on how worn they are. You can consult your hearing aid provider about how often you should change out your domes and best practices to take care of them. It's important to be cautious when inserting and removing the domes from your ears. They could get stuck.
Selecting the Proper Shape
Domes are available in three fundamental shapes:
This style receives some natural sounds, which provide improved quality of sound with better sharpness. Unfortunately, it also weakens the amplification of bass sounds, and hearing aids with open domes usually need more power because some sound leaks out from the vents. This style prevents occlusion, where your own voice sounds echoed as though you’re in a barrel. It’s best for users with mild to moderate hearing loss. Feedback noises might also be a problem for anyone with moderate hearing loss. If that’s the case, talk to your hearing instrument specialist for different options or a refitting.
These are also known as vented or tulip domes. This style features less venting than an open dome, which is useful to amplify sounds if you have difficulty with hearing lower frequencies. It decreases the intensity of higher frequencies but is generally more helpful for anyone with moderate hearing loss.
If you have severe hearing loss, power domes should be used with your hearing aids. These domes completely seal the ear canal, which provides the best amplification with very few sound leaks. It’s important to note that these significantly increase bass and lower the sharpness of sounds. Power domes also cancel feedback noises.
Selecting the Proper Size
Generally, the hearing instrument specialist who fits the hearing aids will pick the right dome size and make sure it’s the correct fit. The dome should be slightly larger than the patient’s ear canal to seal the ear canal, but there shouldn’t be too much pressure on the ear’s skin. This will cause discomfort and redness to the ear. A dome that fits perfectly should make a light rustling noise when it’s inserted or removed. There should be some resistance.
What if it’s too small?
Hearing aid domes are considered too small if they show little resistance when inserted or removed. Very small domes might not make a noise when inserted or removed. If the domes are too small they won’t be very effective, and they will not securely fit the hearing aids in the ear.
What if it’s too big?
You’ll know if a dome is too big if your ears immediately feel uncomfortable within moments of contact. Open domes may cause more pressure in the canals when the vents deform, and other people’s voices might sound deeper and less clear. Power domes could become very uncomfortable, and soreness or swelling could occur due to the pressure in the canal walls.
If the sizes are too far off, the dome could fall out of the ear or deeper into the ear. This might result in a trip to get it removed by a professional. You should not attempt to take the domes out of your ears on your own. It could result in pushing the domes even further into the canals, which could damage the eardrum.
The best domes for you, are ones that fit comfortably, securely and provide the best sounds with your hearing aids. There are different dome styles and sizes for different brands of hearing aids, so you may need a few trials before settling for the right pair.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids and a proper hearing aid fitting, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. Our hearing aid providers are ready to help you.
Are You a Hearing Aid User with an Active Lifestyle? Here are some Tips for Keeping Your Hearing Aids and Hearing Health in Shape.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you’re a hearing aid user who practices physical exercises regularly, it’s advised that you wear your devices during workout sessions.
3 Reasons why Hearing Aids should be used during Exercise Routines
Be prepared by bringing Hearing Aid Gear during Workouts
To get the most out of your workout, reduce distractions and feel confident while wearing your hearing aids by being prepared. Here’s a suggestion of supplies you should keep with you.
How to take care of Your Hearing Aids after Your Workout
If you frequently work out, be cautious about wear and tear. This will help your hearing aids last longer, after each workout session.
Keep up an Active Lifestyle
According to the Hear the World Foundation, 70 percent of hearing aid users have said that they wear their hearing aids while participating in sports and did not experience any problems. About 37 percent of users said they enjoy participating in sports more when wearing them. So if you aren’t already wearing hearing aids while playing sports, try it out.
Be aware of Dangerous Noise Levels in the Gym
Gyms are well-known for blasting music too loudly during workout sessions. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. If you lift very heavy weights, while holding your breath, this can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. It’s important to protect your ears from lesser-known risks to hearing health. Special settings can be programmed into your hearing aids for all sorts of environments, like gyms.
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists about programming a customized setting in your hearing aids before your next visit to the gym, or workout session from home.
Bluetooth® has allowed the design and function of hearing aids to provide more for its users than ever before. In addition to better hearing, now you can stream audio from your TV, smartphone, or any other Bluetooth®-enabled device directly through your hearing aids.
Your regular usage of smartphones and other devices has become just as important as using the hearing aids themselves, so it’s important to find a hearing instrument specialist who knows the technology.
What is Bluetooth®?
In simple terms, Bluetooth® is a technology that can wirelessly connect at least two devices. For nearly every app, Bluetooth® is used to link the devices - similar to how the ‘USB’ has become the universal plug and outlet for cables and ports.
Bluetooth® devices connect by using a very high frequency of 2.4 GHz (24,000,000,000 Hz). This puts Bluetooth® in the level of radio frequencies. This means that it is prone to become intercepted by walls, or any other physical barrier and can be absorbed by bodies of water (the human body).
Wi-Fi can also be transmitted at this frequency. Therefore, wireless phones in your home, personal computer accessories such as a wireless mouse, and a keyboard can be used with Bluetooth®.
So it’s important to remember that distance from your internet source and interference can impact your device’s ability to function.
What does it mean to pair something with Bluetooth®?
Connections for your Bluetooth® devices are loaded up through a ‘pairing’. In this process, the two devices become acquainted with one another. They will share device addresses, connection information, and passwords to make a secure process. They will also be able to reconnect when it is necessary.
Practice and Play Around with Your Hearing Aids
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your hearing aids and Bluetooth® technology, play around with your devices to get a better understanding of them. It will take time to get used to. Remember, you can always contact your hearing aid provider for questions and concerns that may arise.
If you, or a loved one, would like to learn more about Bluetooth® and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
Did you know that three out of five older Americans who experience hearing loss do not wear hearing aids? Six out of seven middle-aged Americans who have hearing loss, also do not wear hearing aids.
Why Should You Take Action if You Experience Hearing Loss?
As you may already know, hearing loss is very common, and the chances of having it greatly increase as we age.
Unfortunately, most people with hearing impairment do nothing about it. It could be due to social stigma, or simply being in denial. There are negative consequences to untreated hearing loss including higher rates of cognitive decline, dementia, social isolation - which leads to depression, and a decrease in wages due to the inability to perform efficiently at your job.
If you have hearing loss, the last two years have probably highlighted the difficulties you have with communicating, staying connected to others, remaining informed, and having control over your overall well-being. Modern hearing aid technology can help with social isolation, reduce cognitive decline, and help you perform better at your job. It also helps to increase your health and safety when you are out in different environments, especially areas that you don’t regularly go to.
If you or a loved one are noticing a decline in the ability to hear, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will patiently work with you to find the right solutions for you or your loved one.
Hearing aids need proper maintenance and repairs by a professional. This is not only for the device itself but also to care for your overall hearing health. Here are some instances when you should get in touch with your hearing instrument specialist:
Damage due to Weather Conditions
The most common problems that people with hearing aids encounter are harsh environmental conditions.
These issues occur due to the environments that you frequent, your lifestyle, and the weather.
If you exercise or spend a lot of time outdoors, you are probably sweating profusely. Sweat and other forms of moisture can cause immediate damage to your hearing aid devices.
If you live in a hot or humid region, the weather could damage your hearing aids. Even though most modern hearing aids are sturdy enough to repel dirt and moisture, constantly putting your hearing aids under these extreme conditions is not advised.
Proper care is necessary when it comes in contact with water. Some hearing aids are waterproof, but if the device becomes submerged for any amount of time, you should contact a professional and get advice on what to do. If you have a hearing aid dryer, place your wet hearing aid in it. If you have uncooked rice, you may place your wet hearing aid in a bowl and cover it with the dry grains. Get in touch with your hearing instrument specialist for advice on what to do to take care of it.
Schedule regular visits with your hearing instrument specialist. They will check and perform maintenance work on your device to make sure that it is performing at its best.
If you are experiencing irritating feedback noises from your hearing aids, schedule a visit with your hearing instrument specialist.
Feedback can be caused by many things, but it’s always a good idea to inform your hearing instrument specialist of any problems that you are experiencing with your hearing aids. If you experience feedback noises, it’s important to get the issue repaired as soon as possible. The hearing aid can have long-term damage and may need to be replaced altogether.
The cause of the feedback is generally due to either a poorly-fit hearing aid or the volume might be too high. Proper dome sizes or customized molding should be used to reduce or eliminate the feedback noises.
A common issue with hearing aids is battery corrosion.
If your hearing aids are deteriorating because of the battery, schedule an appointment with your hearing instrument specialist. They will resolve the problem and check to make sure there is no serious damage to your hearing aids.
A number of things may lead to corrosion. The main culprit is moisture. After just a few days, a white powder may build up. This powder build-up can cause permanent damage to the hearing aids, so it’s important to check for any residual powder every day.
If you need hearing aid maintenance, repairs, or supplies, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing before stopping by at one of our office locations in Elizabethtown, Lititz, or Strasburg.
Signia’s Insio Nx IIC/CIC is one of the smallest hearing aids that provide users with natulal sound quality.
The Insio Nx can be customized to the shape of your ears for a snug and secure fit.
This device’s small, and discreet size offers discretion and comfort in addition to a quality hearing experience for mild to severe hearing loss.
Sounds are harnessed from inside your ear canals, in contrast to the behind-the-ear styles that gather sounds from the outer part of your ears. This makes wearing over-ear headphones easier or using your phone to make or answer calls.
These hearing aids will feel so natural, you might forget that you are wearing them.
Background noises in crowded areas become significantly reduced, by replicating the natural way we focus on sounds. Talking to another person is easier when distracting background noise is removed from your conversation. Directional microphones pick up the voice of the person you are focused on, and not the conversations that are happening further away from you.
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in a free trial of Signia’s Insio Nx, contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Rexton’s MyCore inoX CIC 8C hearing aids are comfortable to wear, and rest inside the ear canal for maximum discretion.
Solutions for the completely-in-canal (CIC) design include:
If you, or a loved one, would be interested in a free trial of Rexton’s MyCore inoX CIC 8C, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation with one of our hearing aid providers.
Most would argue that our sense of hearing and our sense of sight are the most important senses. If either of these senses weakens - especially as we age - it needs to be treated immediately.
Anyone who receives eyeglasses, contact lenses, or Lasik surgery usually doesn’t wait until it gets so bad that it becomes irreversible.
The reason behind this is because the impact of vision loss is immediate, and it’s more obvious that it needs to be treated. The inability to drive, read, use a computer, or watch TV is serious, and it’s more evident than hearing loss.
That’s not the case with hearing loss.
3 Reasons why Hearing Loss goes Untreated
1. Hearing loss sometimes happens gradually, so it’s not immediately noticeable unless you get a hearing test. Hearing tests are generally not automatically given to patients unless they voice concerns to their healthcare provider.
2. Another reason may be that most people don’t take it seriously. They may think, “It’s not a big deal.”
3. Not being able to afford hearing aids is a major factor that goes into untreated hearing loss.
6 Myths about Hearing Aids
1. “They make too many squeaking noises.”
A squeaking noise can easily be fixed with help from your hearing instrument specialist. They can make readjustments for a better fitting hearing aid.
2. “There is no treatment for hearing loss.”
Even though hearing loss is irreversible, you can still do something to help slow down the loss and save your brain from cognitive decline. Hearing aids can amplify sounds, and use directional/omnidirectional microphones to hear others in your surroundings. Anyone with mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss can get help with hearing aids. A professionally trained hearing instrument specialist can program your devices to hear sounds that you couldn’t without your hearing aids.
3. “My primary healthcare provider would have informed me that I have hearing loss.”
As previously mentioned, general practitioners are too busy to give patients a hearing test. So unless you mention any problems with your hearing, they won’t test your hearing. In a recent poll, 80 percent of adults over 50 stated that their doctor did not ask them about their hearing in the past two years. One-third of patients have not had their hearing tested for over a decade.
4. “Hearing aids are too complicated.”
The latest hearing aid technology has become more complex with advancements that make using them easier.
Rechargeable hearing aids allow users to place the hearing aids in a charger so that it eliminates the hassle of changing batteries.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and programmed sound processing technology will automatically hone in on speech and block out distracting background noises. Sounds are detected based on the direction from which it emanates, and automatic or manual adjustments can be made so that you can hear your best in any environment.
If you are tech-savvy and prefer playing around with hearing aid features and apps, you have the freedom to do so.
If you are less tech-savvy, and simply need to put them on when you wake up and remove them before going to bed, a hearing instrument specialist can install programs and settings for you. All you need to do is wear them.
5. “Hearing aids will make me stick out and look old.”
Even though people of all ages wear hearing aids, for some, there is still a stigma around wearing hearing aids. In today’s society, that stigma is going away:
6. "Hearing aids are not worth the cost."
Throughout this blog, we’ve discussed the potential strains on a person’s mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life if their hearing loss goes untreated. With time and patience, hearing aid users eventually discover life’s benefits of wearing their hearing aids on a regular basis.
One way to get affordable hearing aids is through Pure Sound Hearing. Contact us to schedule a free hearing test and consultation. Our providers will help you select the right hearing aids for your specific needs.
It’s that time of the year when family and friends are gathering together for the holidays. If you experience hearing loss, it can feel frustrating to communicate with others.
What can you do to Communicate Better?
If you believe that you may have hearing loss, schedule a hearing test immediately. Whether it’s mild or severe, a hearing test can determine whether you need additional treatment.
If you do have hearing loss, your hearing instrument specialist can give proper recommendations for hearing aids. They will go over your lifestyle, goals, and budget and fit you with the appropriate devices.
Do You Struggle to Hear in a Busy/Crowded Environment?
Wearing hearing aids is helpful, but here are some extra tips to help with communication.
Selecting the Proper Devices
Everyone’s hearing loss is different. What works for one person may not work for you. Choosing a hearing aid that focuses on speech and helps block out background noise may be helpful for most people with hearing loss. Many hearing aids feature advanced technology including Bluetooth®-connection to your smartphone and other devices, apps, customized programs, algorithms with noise reduction, remote microphones, and multi-directional microphones.
Give the gift of hearing and communication by contacting us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing aid professionals.
If you experience single-sided hearing loss, Signia’s CROS hearing aids may be a solution for you. CROS stands for Contralateral Routing of Signals. In this case, hearing aids are worn in both ears even when you have hearing loss in only one ear. Sounds that are harnessed with the hearing aid in the "bad" ear is transmitted to the aid in the "good" ear.
CROS Styletto AX
This stylish hearing aid features an award-winning SLIM-RIC design that’s smaller and more discreet than the last Styletto hearing aid iteration.
The CROS Styletto AX provides:
To learn more about the CROS Styletto AX, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free consultation and hearing aid trial.
The Insio Charge&Go AX from Signia provides speech clarity through a discreet hearing aid that is customized for each user.
From the tailored shape of the hearing aid to the individualized programming, users can be confident that they will feel comfortable and hear better in any environment.
The Insio Charge&Go AX is available in two different styles:
The rechargeable Insio Charge&Go AX challenges the older models of custom hearing aids and what they can offer.
The Insio Charge&Go AX devices are the first custom hearing aids that feature rechargeability with lithium-ion batteries.
Recharge them whenever you are not wearing them - overnight, or while you are relaxing in your home. Simple charge and then go. A single charge can last for up to 20 hours, depending on how frequently you use your streaming features.
To learn more about Signia Insio Charge&Go AX, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free trial. Our hearing instrument specialists will be happy to assist you!
Today’s hearing aids feature advanced technology, that does a better job at processing sound. Bluetooth® connectivity is featured in every modern hearing aid, allowing users to stream phone calls, music, TV, movies, etc.
The People Who Need Them are not Purchasing Them
According to hearing aid industry surveys, just 34% of Americans who need a hearing aid actually wear them. In the UK this applies to 41% of the population who need a hearing aid. This can be easily solved by providing access to this technology.
Of those who are aware of their hearing loss, and have not sought treatment:
Of those who do not wear hearing aids, but have been recommended hearing aids by a professional:
There is Value in keeping a Healthy Functioning Mind, Body, and Spirit
The value that hearing aids provide should outweigh the cost. Hearing aids can help you become social again. Hearing on a regular basis helps with brain function. An active mind can help you improve your performance in school or at your job. Communication is important in every aspect of your life. This includes hearing and discussing important information with various healthcare professionals, colleagues, classmates, family, and friends.
Isolation, which can lead to depression, is common among people with hearing loss that goes untreated.
Hearing Aids are Almost like any other Type of Technology
Face it, you know that you can’t live in our modern world without smartphones or computers. It’s how we communicate with one another. The same idea applies to hearing aids. If you have trouble hearing and do not have hearing aids or an assistive listening device, it’s extremely difficult to live your life.
The average patient does not know how to set up their hearing aids, which is dangerous and renders the devices useless to them. They can over-amplify, which leads to worsened hearing health.
A skilled hearing instrument specialist is trained to set up the software for your hearing aids. They can also help with proper fittings and programming for your specific hearing needs.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. We offer discount hearing aids, professional fittings, programming, assistive listening devices, hearing aid cleanings, hearing aid accessories, supplies, and professional advice for your hearing aid needs.
In some instances, maybe when you talk, it might sound like you are in a barrel, have a head cold, or your voice reverberates.
This is known as the occlusion effect. It’s when an object blocks the outer part of your ear canal, and as a result, your own voice appears to have a booming, an echo, or a hollow sound when you speak.
This effect is usually bothersome to new hearing aid users, but even long-time hearing aid users can find it annoying.
There are some tips to help reduce these issues.
How to Reduce Occlusion or Echo Noises in Hearing Aids
Bring up this problem with your hearing instrument specialist. There are a few techniques that they can try in order to help reduce the nuisance coming from your hearing aids.
Reprogram the hearing aids
When you contact your hearing instrument specialist, explain what you are noticing while wearing the devices.
A few easy adjustments to the hearing aid program can significantly reduce the occlusion effect.
The typical repair for this is decreasing the amount of low-frequency gain that the hearing aids provide.
Use a larger vent on the hearing aids
If you use in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids or custom earmolds with behind-the-ear (BTE) or receiver-in-canal (RIC) style hearing aids, your earmold probably features a “vent”.
The vent essentially helps circulate air into your ears and makes the noises that you hear sound more natural.
Making the vent’s diameter larger will significantly lower the occlusion effect. Talk to our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing to implement this adjustment.
Trim down the length of the canal on the earmold
The earmold’s “canal” is the piece that rests in the deepest part of your ear canal.
In some cases, shortening the length of the canal portion of the earmold will greatly diminish the occlusion effect.
If you are wondering whether this would be the best solution for you, slightly and carefully pull each of your hearing aids out of your ears by a few millimeters.
If you notice that the occlusion has decreased, this indicates that shortening the length of the canal will be helpful.
Contact our office and let one of our hearing instrument specialists know what issues you are having with your hearing aids, and find out if this solution would fix your problem.
Get New Earmolds
This would be a last resort.
In some cases, hearing aids parts need to be replaced or in this case, rebuilt differently with a new ear impression.
The earmolds may need to securely fit deeper in the ear canal, looser in the canal, or more tapered at the end.
Please be Aware
Sometimes when you make modifications to your hearing aids, when one issue gets fixed, other problems may arise.
For instance, getting a larger vent for the earmold may affect the amount of gain the hearing aid can provide for you.
Shortening the length of the hearing aid’s canal might cause feedback noise or the whistling noise that occurs due to hearing aids that are poorly fit.
The main point is that these are things to take into consideration. The problem may not be completely fixed, and more problems may arise.
The reality is, nearly all hearing aids might cause users to hear an echo. It’s something that users will become accustomed to as long as they practice wearing their hearing aids from the moment when they wake up, to the moment when they are getting ready for bed. Adapting to hearing aids take time, and wearing them as often as possible will help in the long run.
If you or a loved one are experiencing an echo sound with hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule an appointment and our hearing instrument specialists will help.
The products included in the Signia CROS Nx are the CROS Pure Charge&Go Nx, CROS Pure 312 Nx, and CROS Silk Nx.
Signia’s CROS Pure Charge&Go Nx
With the convenience of rechargeable batteries, the CROS Pure Charge&Go provides you with the natural sound of your own voice and direct streaming.
This hearing aid battery lasts longer, to keep up with you and your daily routines. Simply place your hearing aids in the charger before going to sleep, and they’ll be ready to go so that you can start your day.
Signia’s CROS Pure 312 Nx
The CROS Pure 312 Nx benefits hearing aid users who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear. With its small and discreet design, it still provides high-quality sound and the natural sound of your own voice if you have aidable hearing loss in one ear and unaidable hearing loss in the other ear.
CROS Silk Nx
This is the most discreet, and natural hearing experience for anyone with unilateral hearing loss.
The CROS Silk Nx harnesses sound in the ear that it is worn in, and then transmits it to a hearing aid that is worn in the other ear.
The small design and amazing quality of sound creates a natural hearing experience when listening to music through over-ear headphones.
The Signia app lets you discreetly adjust your hearing aid settings through your smartphone.
If you or a loved one have single-sided hearing loss, and believe that wearing and of Signia's CROS Nx products could be beneficial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation for a free trial.
If you're looking for high quality hearing aids with a sleek modern design, Signia Active Pro might be the devices for you.
Signia Active Pro has a user-friendly design that makes these hearing aids look just like a pair of modern earbuds, but with built-in audiological high-tech.
Top Audiological Performance
The Signia Xperience YourSound technology is based on acoustic-motion sensors with Li-ion rechargeability and Bluetooth®- connection.
When you're out at restaurants or any public space with Signia Active Pro, you'll still be able to hear the conversations that you have with others. Background noises and chatter from other patrons will stay soft so as not to distract you.
If you'd like to learn more about Signia Active Pro, get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.