Hearing Tips

5 Stealth Tricks That Can Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aids

By: Scot Frink : August 17, 2017

Picture of sun through fingers | 5 Secrets to Extending the Life of Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are the most typical types of hearing technology, but they have one serious downside. They tend to burn through batteries at an alarming rate. With close to 20 percent of the population in the U.S. experience at least minor of hearing loss, you can be sure the battery manufacturers are only ones happy right now.

The reality is, though, that good working batteries are a necessity if you want the hearing aid to work well but there are things you can do to make them last. For the savvy hearing aid customer, a little forward thinking about how long the batteries last will save you tons of cash on replacements and keep you hearing at the same time. Consider five covert ways that you can use to extend that hearing aid’s battery life.

1. Shop Well

Hearing aids are expensive and that cost factor doesn’t stop after they are paid for, either. How the hearing aid utilizes battery power is a primary consideration as you buy. There are many reasons for a serious battery drain such as:

  • Type hearing aid
  • Type battery
  • How you use the hearing aids
  • How many hours you wear the hearing aids
  • Features

Figuring out what features will work well in your life is a critical and something you need to research before picking out your hearing aids. Look for the features that will enhance your quality of your life, but get educated about what you’re buying first. Those little add-ons like wireless connectivity, direct audio input and synchronization can sometimes use lots of energy, so you have to balance out what you need with how much they contribute to battery burn.

Start by talking to a certified hearing aid seller, taking time to discuss each feature and don’t forget to ask how it affects battery life, then pick out the ones that matter most. Be sure you have a clear understanding of how each feature changes the way the battery operates and how that will, in turn, alter the cost of replacement batteries down the road.

2. Practice Good Hand Hygiene

When you do have to replace your hearing aid battery, hand washing should be your first step. Cleaning your hands well will remove any grease and dirt from your skin before you touch the battery. This debris can affect the performance of the battery and actually damage the hearing aid, too. Take the time to dry your hands thoroughly before handling either the battery or the hearing aid, because water does work well with either.

3. Practice Good Hearing Aid Hygiene Too

You’ll also want to clean the HEARING aids themselves. Dirt and ear wax build up can have a real effect on how each device works and, in turn, affecting the battery life. There are problems with poorly maintained hearing aids. First, ear wax, dust and other stuff will accumulate on these devices, keeping the speakers and ports from working well. This means you might be turning up the sound more often and draining that battery power in the process. The second concern involves changing the batteries out. If you put your fingers on a dirty hearing aid, you will transfer that debris to the battery.

Read the manufacturer’s recommendations to for keeping your hearing aids well maintained. This will likely include a good cleaning before switching out the battery and instructions to wash your hands right before making the change.

4. Follow the Storage Instructions for the Batteries

Often batteries come in a pack, so there are extra ones to store. Read the instructions on how you should properly keep them to ensure they are safe. Some common storage advice includes:

  • Leaving the tabs on all unused batteries
  • Storing them loose batteries at normal room temperature
  • Keep the batteries away from metallic objects like coins or keys
  • Let the battery sit for one minute after removing the tab and prior to inserting it into the hearing aid

These are basic steps designed to enhance the performance and lifespan of each battery.

5. Turn off the Hearing Aids

When you are not wearing your hearing aids, make sure to turn them off. Place the device in a safe container, preferably the one that came with it and then pull open the battery door. This allows any moisture inside the hearing aid to escape while cutting back on the units battery drain. If you plan on leaving the hearing aids out for an extended period, remove the batteries completely.

Keep in mind, too, that the better quality the battery and the hearing aid, the less time and money you’ll spend in the long run. It’s tempting to save money by buying cheap, but, in the end, it just ends up costing you more. Hearing aids and batteries go hand in hand, so shop smart and take care of your investment to keep both of them working at their best.





What Steps can You Take If Your Best Buddy Needs a Hearing Test

By: Scot Frink : August 10, 2017

Picture of two guys talking to each other | What to do Do When A Friend Really Needs To Get Their Hearing Tested  title=

Do you have someone in your life who you suspect has hearing problems? You are not alone. Statistically speaking, it’s possible that most people know at least one individual who is hearing impaired and probably doesn’t realize it. About 36 million people in the United States have hearing challenges, according to Dr. Bettie Borton, AuD, president of the American Academy of Audiology. If it’s not a friend, it might be a spouse, parent or a grandparent.

Often hearing loss is a progressive issue for most, so even though you can tell there is a problem, they may not see it. It’s common for a person’s friend or family member to be the one who recognizes the problem in the first place. Maybe, what you should be asking is what you can do about it? It’s your job to help your friend or loved one come to the see what you already know. It’s time for them to schedule a hearing test.

It’s a complex topic for most because hearing loss and aging tend to go hand-in-hand. Consider some practical and less offensive ways you can get that your close friend to agree to get a professional hearing test.

Start With a Discussion About Why Hearing Loss is a Concern

Make it about you, though, and not your friend, if that helps. For example, medical science has found a link between some kinds of hearing loss and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a 2014 report issued by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows there is a certain amount of brain shrinkage in patients that ignore their hearing loss as opposed to managing it with hearing aids and other devices.

Talk to your friend about the fear you have that undetected hearing loss can hurt you down the road and why you think it’s time for to think about a hearing test.

Get One Yourself

The truth is that most people benefit from getting the occasional hearing test, so why not schedule one for yourself and challenge your friend to join you. Instead of talking about potential hearing loss, make the test part of a comprehensive wellness strategy, something you can work on together You get your nails done together, maybe, you go to the gym together, you might even head to the dentist together, so why not a hearing test?

Maybe, tell your friend you need some help because you’re not sure what to expect from a hearing test. You might even claim to that you’re not sure if you have hearing problems of your own. It can’t hurt you to get tested, especially if it helps out a friend.

Recognize the Signs

Maybe just being honest is the better approach for this particular friend, but before you start that discussion, take some time to get the facts right. It’s possible what you’ve noticed isn’t about hearing loss, but a sign of another condition. This is the right time to get familiar with the signs of hearing loss, so you can talk intelligently with your friend. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Your friend avoids social settings
  • Your friend feels tired all the time
  • Your friend is having unexplained headaches
  • Your friend complains about ringing in the ears
  • Your friend tends to get the details wrong a lot
  • Your friend mutters “What” during every conversation
  • Your friend keeps turning the volume up

These little things are not something a person might pick up on their own, but stuff you as a friend might notice.

Now, Point Out the Things You’ve Noticed

When you’re ready, talk about the things you’ve noticed like:

  • You seen to have to repeat yourself a lot
  • Your friend is missing important details during your conversations
  • It seems like your friend is struggling to hear you talk

Indicate some of the tell-tale signs of hearing loss you see in your friend like turning the head to one side to hear or the seemingly automatic “What” with every discussion. It’s possible your friend always has a look might look confused during a conversation.

Take the time to write some specific examples, too. The more details you offer, the more your friend will recognize the symptoms. Even it if it doesn’t sink in the first time around, you planted a seed and now this person will start to notice things on their own. Don’t be confrontational, just caring and concerned.

Once, you’ve had the talk, offer to make the appointment for your friend. It will usually start with a trip to the ear doctor. Afterward, you can go along for the test as support.

Hearing loss is not an easy thing to accept, but an important challenge to face because there are consequences if you don’t. Be that friend that understands the need and help that someone in your life find their way back to healthy hearing.





What are the 6 Things Can You Do to Prevent Damage to Your Ears

By: Scot Frink : August 3, 2017

Sound Waves | 6 Ways To Avoid Damaging Your Hearing Today

Think of your hearing as one of your most important assets. What are you going to do to keep it safe? You probably realize that most people experience some hearing loss with age. What you might not know is that it has very little to do with getting older. This type of hearing loss occurs because of the damage people do to their ears over time. Looking for practical ways to protect your hearing right now will make all the difference later to prevent hearing decline.

The fact is there might still a slight decline in your hearing when you get older, but taking steps now can reduce the extent of the damage and reduce your risk of significant hearing loss. Consider six things you can do right now to avoid requiring hearing aids in 10 years.

1. Learn More About Hearing Loss

There are two primary reasons you might lose your hearing:

  • Age
  • Noise

Hearing is a very mechanical process. It starts when sound moves into the outer ears as a wave of vibrations. The ear drum amplifies that wave as it moves down the canal where it hits three small bones causing them to vibrate. Those bones, in turn, transmit the vibrations to the inner ear, or cochlea. Inside the cochlea are tiny hairs that move as the vibrations hit them.

It’s the hair cells that are typically the root of most age-related hearing problems. Extreme noise can damage the cells even though they naturally lose some viability over the years. It’s the combination of normal aging and chronic loud sound that hurts you, though.

Your goal is to come up with ways to keep the hair cells healthy and that starts with reducing their exposure to loud sounds. It’s a combination of environmental damage and natural aging is what leads to hearing aids for many people. Since you can’t do anything about aging, focus on what you can control – environmental damage.

2. Stop Putting on Those Headphones

One practical approach is to protect the delicate inner ear is by losing the headphones so many people love to wear when listening to music or watching TV. Headphones isolated the sound, so it enters the ear in a stronger wave. The mechanisms of the ear don’t change just because the sound is loud. When a strong wave hits the ear canal, the eardrum still amplifies it and the tiny bones still vibrate. The sound is now a violent wave as it hits the hair cells causing damage along the way. That happens every single time you put on those headphones no matter what the volume.

3. Figure out the Noise Factor

Even once you lose the headphones, your ears will still experience different dangerous sound levels. Everything from the local band to your lawn mower will impact your hearing in the future. Learn to filter out the sounds are causing hearing damage.

NHS lists the sound level of normal conversation at about 60 dB, so use that as a guide. Compare it, for example, to the sound of your lawnmower, which is closer to 85 dB, and you’ll start to get the idea. Going to see your favorite band exposes you to about 120 dB.

  • Typically, noise that you experience weekly over 105 dB causes damage.
  • Lower daily noise levels at 80 to 90db also cause damage

If you play your music on the loud setting each day, the level is about 112 dB, so think about turning it down.

4. Cut Back on Your Noise Exposure

Find ways to avoid loud noises. For instance, on you get used to listening to music at lower volume levels; it will seem completely normal to you. You’ll be surprised on easily the ears can adjust, especially in a tight space like the car. Ask others to respect your need for lower noise levels, too.

5. Get Some Good Hearing Protection

Making smart hearing choices doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your a concert or make major lifestyle changes to avoid the sound of a jackhammer. Plan ahead and wear ear protection when you must. A simple and inexpensive pair of ear plugs makes that concert much safer and if you decide to mow the lawn, put on a pair of sound-dampening headphones. Work with your employer to ensure ear protection is available on the job, too.

6. Schedule Regular Ear Checkups

A good ear health strategy will start with a baseline hearing test. From there, all you need is an ear checkup at least once a year. You will want to talk to your healthcare provider about scheduling a couple of hearing tests as you grow older to monitor your hearing ability.

Today, most healthcare plans focus on wellness, so extend that thinking to your ear health, as well. The sooner you start factoring in ear health, the better your hearing will be later in life.





Hearing Loss: What to do When Nobody Notices Your Problem

By: Scot Frink : July 27, 2017

Invisible Woman on Bench | What To Do When Nobody Can See Your Hearing Loss Struggle

What happens if you are the only one to realize you have hearing loss? It’s a common scenario among elderly people. They fight to stay involved in conversations but the people around them assume there are other reasons they seem distracted. Older folks can suffer from a number of issues that make them seem distant. It’s possible hearing loss is not the first conclusion they draw.

Hearing loss is an invisible disability, too. In other words, there is nothing to point that hurts. You can’t show someone the problem. It’s hard to understand how hearing loss affects your life unless you experience it for yourself. So, what should a person who thinks they have hearing loss do to make themselves heard?

Get Others Involved

Put your friends and family to working solving your hearing mystery, explains the National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders. Even if you think you have hearing loss, it might be difficult to be sure that’s what’s happening without some feedback from the people in your life. Ask them straight out if they think it’s a problem. Pose questions like:

  • Have they noticed you asking them to repeat themselves often?
  • Are you turning the TV up too loud?
  • Are you misunderstanding what they tell you sometimes?
  • It might be the idea of hearing loss just hasn’t occurred to them. Once you bring it up in conversation, they might start picking up on the clues.

Ask the Doctor for a Hearing Test

A physician that sees you one a year of a wellness check may not pick up on your hearing problems. Many conditions that lead to hearing loss don’t present with physical symptoms that a physician will see when examining your ears, either.

If you suspect hearing is causing you a problem, then it’s time to speak up. The doctor can ask questions to clarify your concern and even do same baseline tests in the office prior to sending you for a more comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist. None of that will happen, though, if you fail to make the doctor aware of your hearing loss.

Make Changes on Your Own

Once you have a real diagnosis and a professional hearing test, you have everything you need to improve your hearing health. For most people, hearing loss is a treatable condition. With the right tools at your disposal, your hearing loss will have less of an impact, so you struggle less. The audiologist and your doctor can look at your test results and help you make smart decisions designed to improve your life like getting hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.

Go slow picking out hearing aids to give yourself a chance to explore all the different features available and come up with the right mix for your needs. A certified hearing aid retailer will sit with you and go over the benefits of each brand and model. You will learn how different features work, too. Look for a dealer that offers a trial period, as well. This gives you the chance to test drive each feature, so you know if you need it or not.

Don’t Try to Do It Alone

Don’t leave the people in your life in the dark about hearing loss. That only hurts you. Make sure they understand your concerns by making them part of the solution. Start by taking a friend or family member with you to the doctor and when you go for your hearing test. Allow them to sit with you when you get the diagnosis and the hear more about the depth of your hearing loss. Make them part of the decision-making process as you pick out the different hearing aids you want to try.

You might have hearing loss, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it alone. When you include your family in the process, you make them apart of that world, too. Now, you are not the only one who understands what hearing loss is like and how it affects your life. By asking them in, you help them see what they didn’t notice on their own.

Hearing loss changes things but so much harder when you struggle with it alone, so don’t. You are taking the step by helping your friends and family overcome it with you.





Hearing Loss: What You Can Do If Your Family Fails to Notice

By: Scot Frink : July 27, 2017

Invisible Woman on Bench | What To Do When Nobody Can See Your Hearing Loss Struggle

What happens if you are the only one to realize you have hearing loss? It’s a common scenario among elderly people. They fight to stay involved in conversations but the people around them assume there are other reasons they seem distracted. Older folks can suffer from a number of issues that make them seem distant. It’s possible hearing loss is not the first conclusion they draw.

Hearing loss is an invisible disability, too. In other words, there is nothing to point that hurts. You can’t show someone the problem. It’s hard to understand how hearing loss affects your life unless you experience it for yourself. So, what should a person who thinks they have hearing loss do to make themselves heard?

Get Your Family Involved

Put your friends and family to working solving your hearing mystery, explains the National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders. Even if you think you have hearing loss, it might be difficult to be sure that’s what’s happening without some feedback from the people in your life. Ask them straight out if they think it’s a problem. Pose questions like:

  • Have they noticed you asking them to repeat themselves often?
  • Are you turning the TV up too loud?
  • Are you misunderstanding what they tell you sometimes?
  • It might be the idea of hearing loss just hasn’t occurred to them. Once you bring it up in conversation, they might start picking up on the clues.

Ask Your Physician for a Hearing Test

A physician that sees you one a year of a wellness check may not pick up on your hearing problems. Many conditions that lead to hearing loss don’t present with physical symptoms that a physician will see when examining your ears, either.

If you suspect hearing is causing you a problem, then it’s time to speak up. The doctor can ask questions to clarify your concern and even do same baseline tests in the office prior to sending you for a more comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist. None of that will happen, though, if you fail to make the doctor aware of your hearing loss.

Make Some Life Changes on Your Own

Once you have a real diagnosis and a professional hearing test, you have everything you need to improve your hearing health. For most people, hearing loss is a treatable condition. With the right tools at your disposal, your hearing loss will have less of an impact, so you struggle less. The audiologist and your doctor can look at your test results and help you make smart decisions designed to improve your life like getting hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.

Go slow picking out hearing aids to give yourself a chance to explore all the different features available and come up with the right mix for your needs. A certified hearing aid retailer will sit with you and go over the benefits of each brand and model. You will learn how different features work, too. Look for a dealer that offers a trial period, as well. This gives you the chance to test drive each feature, so you know if you need it or not.

Ask Them for Help

Don’t leave the people in your life in the dark about hearing loss. That only hurts you. Make sure they understand your concerns by making them part of the solution. Start by taking a friend or family member with you to the doctor and when you go for your hearing test. Allow them to sit with you when you get the diagnosis and the hear more about the depth of your hearing loss. Make them part of the decision-making process as you pick out the different hearing aids you want to try.

You might have hearing loss, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it alone. When you include your family in the process, you make them apart of that world, too. Now, you are not the only one who understands what hearing loss is like and how it affects your life. By asking them in, you help them see what they didn’t notice on their own.

Hearing loss changes things but so much harder when you struggle with it alone, so don’t. You are taking the step by helping your friends and family overcome it with you.





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