Are you noticing yourself chatting less often on the phone due to your difficulty hearing? Hearing loss, as time goes by, can make you feel isolated. It isn’t necessary to stop talking on the phone. It is possible to remain in touch with friends and loved ones.
Communication is The key
With any relationship, communication is the key and the same goes for your phone. Can anything be done to enhance the situation?
- If the volume is already cranked up, have you experimented with an accessory like headphones or a Bluetooth? Maybe that’s all you require to make your phone sound better and it doesn’t cost that much.
- Have you had an ear exam? Your hearing loss may not be permanent so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. It may be something as simple as earwax buildup or an ear infection.
- Are the voices difficult to hear? Check the phone to make sure that the volume is all the way up.
If you look at the most obvious problems and have ruled them out, it will be time to think about more in depth solutions.
You Can Find an App For That
There are really several potential apps. There are many apps you can download that work to get you, and your phone back on the same page, some of which are pretty cool.
What the other person says can be turned to text with some of these apps. These apps are far from perfect, but you should be able to work with them. Brands to look up include:
You can’t get all voice to text apps for free but the majority won’t cost very much.
They Make a Phone For That
There are phones that work the same way as an app for those interested in a landline option. They can amplify the voice on the other end, making it much easier to hear. An equalizer makes the high pitched sounds that usually drop of clearer.
Another solution is a captioning phone. You need to have a special phone that has a screen if you want to use the captioning service. Captioning works with a third party operator that either repeats the spoken words so speech recognition software can translate them into text or types them right into the system. From there the words are displayed on the screen of the phone. Also, the internet is required for most captioning devices.
Text-to-Voice Teletype (TTY) is a traditional phone system that is still available and works in a similar way to the captioning phone. It requires a TTY device that sits next to the phone to show the text, though.
The Best Alternative Are Hearing Aids
In the past, whenever a hearing aid got near a phone, there would be ear piercing feedback, but those days are over. The latest technology can work with a hearing aid compatible phone to enhance the sound and eliminate interference like background noise. Even when you are not on the phone these wireless hearing aids still work.
An advanced program that enables it to be compatible with both smart-phones and landlines is a stand out feature of current hearing aid technology. The technology functions by holding the hearing device up to the phone and streaming the sound from the one to the other.
Lots of digital hearing aids are also Bluetooth compatible. You pair the phone up with the hearing aids just like you would with wireless headphones or earbuds. The sound goes directly to your hearing aids when it rings.
Don’t permit hearing loss to ruin your friendships and other relationships. Get back on your phone whatever it takes so you can start talking again. You can check out the newest hearing aid technology by making an appointment with a hearing care specialist.
You’ve bought a set of new hearing aids. Nice job taking the first step to better your quality of life. There are things you should learn to do and not to do with newer technology such as modern hearing aids. With hearing aids the list is important even though it’s short.
It’s not just about caring for your hearing aids, either. The things you fail to do will make the hearing aid less useful or slow your adjustment time. It’s time to learn from the mistakes other people in your shoes have made; think about these four things you shouldn’t do with those new hearing aids.
1. Putting in Your Hearing Aids Right After You Buy Them
Without taking the time to understand the basics of how your hearing aids function and exploring the features that come with the brand you purchased you might be overlooking powerful features. Chances are if you simply turn on your new hearing aid and start wearing them, they won’t work efficiently for you. Bluetooth and noise filters are some of the best features that you may also lose out on.
You can learn how to get the cleanest sound quality and work on the numerous adjustments that maximize the hearing aid’s function if you simply take your time and read the included documentation.
you will have a general understanding of what the hearing aids can do when you buy them. Now you have to figure out how to use them which takes a little time.
2. Underestimate the Adjustment Factor
Whenever you get a new pair of glasses, your eyes require time to adjust to the change in the lenses or the shape of the frame. The same is true for hearing aids. The sound quality is not just magically enjoyed by new hearing aid owners. That’s an unrealistic expectation.
If you haven’t ever worn hearing aids, it’s a significant change and your ears will need some time to adjust. Adapting to your new hearing aids as quickly as possible is all about consistency.
Once you’ve put them in leave them in. In the beginning, you might have to fight the urge to take them out every few minutes. Think about why you might be uncomfortable.
- Are you overwhelmed by the background noise? Spend a few minutes in a quiet place each day when you first put them in. Sit down with a friend and talk. Ask if you are talking too loud. This will help you make adjustments to balance out the sound.
- Take out the hearing aid when it gets uncomfortable for short intervals. Go back to the seller and have your hearing aids checked if they don’t seem to fit right..
- Is the sound too loud? Maybe you need to turn the volume down.
Giving up is the worst mistake you can make. If you throw your hearing aids in a drawer and forget about them, they will do you no good.
3. Fail to Get a Professional Fitting Upfront
There is a lot involved in getting the proper hearing aids, and it begins before you even start looking. During your hearing exam at the audiologist, it’s important to tell the truth about what you can and can’t hear. Hearing aids that aren’t right for your type or level of hearing loss can be the result. For instance, some hearing aids by design amplify a high-frequency sound. If your hearing loss interferes with your ability to hear mid-range or low tones, the hearing aids won’t work right for you.
In many situations, hearing aids might not really fit your lifestyle. Maybe you spend a lot of your day on the phone, so you will need to get hearing aids with Bluetooth technology.
Take note of when you want your hearing aid to do something different or when they’re not functioning correctly while you are still in the trial period. You can go back and talk about those issues with your hearing care technician. You might need a different type of device or you might just need an adjustment.
Make sure you buy your hearing aids from a retailer that does fittings, too. If they are too big for your ears they won’t work properly.
4. Poor Maintenance
Successful maintenance of your hearing aids begins with understanding how and when to do it. Take the time to figure out how to take care of your hearing aids even if this isn’t your first rodeo.
When you buy your hearing aids, Take a close look at at the warning signs listed in the user manual like using hair care products with your hearing aids in or not turning them off when you take it out.
Additionally, study the troubleshooting instructions and the maintenance guide.
Keeping it clean is a big part of Taking care of hearing aids, so be sure to understand all the hows and whys. Don’t quit at just cleaning the device, either. Properly cleaning your ears is essential too.
If you want to get the most out of your hearing aids, the ball is in your court. The process starts as you are shopping for them and continues when you begin wearing them. Schedule an exam with a hearing professional to learn what kind of hearing aid will work best for you.
An elderly person with an out-dated hearing aid saying “what’s that sonny”, is what most people think about when hearing loss is discussed. The fact is, hearing loss has increased dramatically amongst all age groups and it has an effect on more than just your ability to hear. If it goes untreated it can cause shocking effects. It’s worth having your hearing tested based only on these four.
1. Cognitive Decline
Although you might not have previously known it, hearing loss can impact your overall health. The most serious is the impact hearing loss has on your cognitive functions and brain health. Hearing decline is the true cause of certain conditions which some people connect with aging.
The brain’s natural ability to adapt to sensory changes backfires when it comes to hearing. For somebody with normal hearing, a sound is processed through the inner ear in a way that the brain can understand. The difference between the music playing on your car radio and the music the ice cream truck plays as it heads down the street is processed by this mechanism.
The brain experiences sound every microsecond whether you think you are hearing something or not. If you are sitting in a quiet room, there is still background noise around you, like the hiss of air coming into the AC vent. Your brain filters it out because it decides you don’t need to hear it.
This stimulus is something the brain comes to expect. All of a sudden, when there is loss of hearing, the brain doesn’t get the same quality or quantity of sound. It struggles to find the missing sound believing it should still be there. The lack of stimuli causes the brain to stress bringing about cognitive decline and a higher risk of dementia. Seniors have a forty percent higher rate of memory loss and cognitive decline if they have hearing loss, according to studies. Even more persuasive, people with hearing loss that get treatment like hearings aids have been shown to enhance cognitive function.
2. Stomach Issues
That seems like a stretch, but it’s not. Hearing loss leads to changes which are associated with:
- Muscle tension
- Upset stomach
The continuous stress can cause intestinal problems like:
- Abdominal cramps
As the discomfort increases, you may end up with a more severe intestinal condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
3. Mental Health Problems
The most noticeable side effect is probably the impact hearing loss has on your mental health. A 2014 study found that in adults below the age of 70, an increase in depression correlates to a decline in hearing.
People who suffer from hearing loss have a tough time communicating with others, according to JAMA Otolaryngology Neck Surgery, and that likely accounts for the depression. The research indicates that for women between the ages of 18 to 69 the depression is more pronounced.
Through the years, the neglected hearing loss has been connected to many mental health problems like:
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of focus
People who aren’t able to effectively communicate stop trying and that leads to sadness and psychological strain.
4. Relationship Troubles
Hearing loss impacts more than just your physical and mental health. Statistically, if a person has hearing loss, they will probably make less money. A 2007 study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute found 20,000 dollars per year less is made by individuals with hearing loss in comparison to their hearing colleagues.
Hearing loss causes problems in personal relationships, as well. A 2007 survey found 35 percent of the respondents with hearing loss had trouble maintaining relationships. The survey showed:
- Thirty-seven percent of women interviewed reported being irritated when someone who has hearing loss wasn’t listening to them
- Forty-three percent of men indicated that hearing loss caused relationship problems
- Thirty-five percent of men reported they agreed to treatment for hearing loss because their spouse or partner pressured them into it
- Most women indicated that hearing loss was a significant concern when communicating with friends and family members.
How you feel about yourself and the world and the state of your health are impacted by hearing loss. It also has an effect on your relationships. The good news is many of these side effects disappear or lesson when you get help such as hearing aids. Schedule a hearing test to find out what course of action is best for you.
The ringing of tinnitus will be annoying whether you only hear it sporadically or all of the time. There might be a more appropriate word than annoying. Makes-you-want-to-bash-your-head-against-the-desk infuriating and downright frustrating might be better. No matter what the description, that sound that you can’t turn off is a serious issue in your life. So what can be done? Can that ringing really be stopped?
What is Tinnitus And Why do You Have it?
Begin by learning more about the condition that is responsible for the buzzing, ringing, clicking or roaring you hear. It’s estimated as much as 10 percent of the U.S. population endures tinnitus, which is the medical name for that ringing. But why?
Tinnitus itself is not a condition but a symptom of something else. For many, that something else is loss of hearing. Hearing decline commonly comes along with tinnitus as a side effect. It’s not really clear why tinnitus happens when there is a decline in a person’s hearing. Presently the theory is that the brain is filling the void by producing noise.
You come across thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of sounds every day. Some obvious examples are car horns, the radio, and people talking. The sound of air blowing through a vent or the rotating blades of a ceiling fan are not as obvious. These types of sound are not generally heard because the brain decides you don’t need to hear them.
The main point is, hearing these sounds is “normal” for your brain. So what happens if you shut half of those sounds off? It becomes confusing for the portion of your brain that hears sound. Your brain is aware that the sound should be there so it’s possible that it creates the sounds associated with tinnitus to compensate.
Tinnitus has other possible causes also. It can be linked to severe health issues like:
- High blood pressure
- Poor circulation
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMJ)
- Acoustic neuroma, a tumor that grows on the cranial nerve
- Head or neck tumors
- Head or neck trauma
- Meniere’s disease
- Turbulent blood flow
- A reaction to medication
Any of these things can trigger tinnitus. You may experience the ringing even though you hear fine or after an injury or accident. A hearing exam should be scheduled with a doctor before attempting to find another way of dealing with it.
What Can be Done About Tinnitus?
You need to know why you have it before you can begin to determine what to do about it. Giving the brain what it wants might be the only thing that helps. If the lack of sound is the cause of your tinnitus, you need to generate some. It doesn’t have to be much, something as simple as a fan running in the background might generate enough sound to shut off that ringing.
Technology such as a white noise generator is designed just for this purpose. They simulate relaxing natural sounds such as falling rain or ocean waves. Some include pillow speakers, so you hear the sound as you sleep.
Getting hearing aids is also a good solution. The sounds the brain is looking for can be turned up using quality hearing aids. The brain no longer needs to generate phantom noises because hearing aids normalize your hearing.
For many people, the solution is a combination of tricks. For instance, you could use a white noise generator at night and hearing aids during the day.
There are also medications available if soft sounds are not working or if the tinnitus is more severe. Certain antidepressants can quiet this noise, for example, Xanax.
You Have to Change Your Lifestyle if You Want to Handle Your Tinnitus
It will also be helpful if you make a few lifestyle modifications. A good starting point is determining what triggers your tinnitus. Keep a record and make a note of what’s happening when the tinnitus starts. Be specific:
- Did you just take medication even over-the-counter products like Tylenol?
- Are you smoking or drinking alcohol?
- Is there a particular noise that is triggering it?
- Did you just have a cup of coffee or soda?
- What did you just eat?
Be very accurate when you record the information and pretty soon you will notice the patterns that trigger the ringing. Meditation, exercise, and biofeedback can help you avoid stress which can also be responsible.
An Ounce of Prevention
The ideal way to get rid of tinnitus is to prevent it in the first place. Protect your hearing as much as possible by:
- Taking care of your cardiovascular system
- Turning the volume down on everything
- Not wearing earbuds or headphones when listening to music
- Using ear protection when around loud noises
Eat right, exercise, and if you have high blood pressure, take your medication. Finally, schedule a hearing exam to rule out treatable problems which increase your risk of hearing loss and the tinnitus that comes along with it.
Inability to hear is not the only effect of hearing loss, it can also have a serious impact on your life. Having trouble carrying out daily activities, and strained relationships are examples of the overall effect of loss of hearing.
A survey carried out by AARP found that neglected hearing loss had a greater effect on quality of life than:
Even though it gets in the way of their lives, many people who have hearing loss refuse to get treatment. A perceived stigma associated with hearing loss is one reason why people who have hearing loss don’t get the help they need, according to researchers. Being treated differently is one reason people who suffer from hearing loss are reluctant to tell anyone they can’t hear that well. It doesn’t make a difference how old they are, this perception can alter the way they view themselves.
It’s Not Just You
Although it can affect people of any age, it is true that as lifespans grow longer there are more instances of hearing loss. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, many of them young adults, in danger of hearing loss and the public perception that comes with it. Hearing loss is, as a matter of fact, one of a young adult’s leading health threats. Even as the number of people with hearing loss keeps growing, the resistance to getting help for hearing loss seems to persist. How does this impact one’s general health?
What is The Perception of Hearing Loss?
A brand that labels someone as inferior is how sufferers of hearing loss feel and that is the actual definition of stigma. The concern for many people who suffer from hearing loss is that they will appear less capable, older, and maybe less healthy.
Historically, there is some foundation for this concern. A 2010 study found people were not as well accepted when they had hearing loss. But that study is based on data almost a decade old. As hearing loss is becoming more common, this perception is improving. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the technology is becoming more sophisticated, stylish, and fun. Other health problems related to aging, like cognitive decline and dementia could be delayed or even prevented by getting treatment, according to research. This is also helping to improve the perception. In spite of this, some people still won’t get the assistance they need.
Does it Even Matter?
Don’t let your fear of negative perception stop you from getting treatment or you might suffer permanent health consequences. More people get colonoscopies than hearing tests according to an AARP survey. Not having a hearing test because you refuse to recognize your hearing loss will impact your health as you get older.
Untreated Hearing Loss, What Are The Consequences?
These bodily consequences of not taking care of your hearing loss will affect your general health;
Everything in life is more laborious if you are struggling to hear. You have to work harder than others to hear conversations and sounds. Because you can’t hear traffic or that person walking up behind you, you need to put more energy into staying safe too. You will become chronically fatigued simply by trying to hear everyday sounds.
You can suffer from headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and stress. Studies have shown a link, though you might not have recognized there was a connection, between some forms of hearing loss and migraines. Your brain needs to make up for what you can’t hear, so even if you don’t normally suffer from migraines, the extra effort can give you a headache.
As a consequence of your untreated hearing loss, you may be facing mental health problems like depression and social anxiety. Social isolation is worse when you have hearing loss and it can also lead to dementia. You will have less energy and will be moodier if you have these other issues.
The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss Can be Surmounted
Overcoming these negative perceptions begins with seeking out help. It is possible to treat hearing loss. Your only causing your own hardship by not seeking help.
Not all hearing loss is permanent, either, so you could be stressing out over nothing. Simple earwax buildup can cause loss of hearing, but you can’t be certain unless you schedule an appointment to have your hearing checked.
Make sure you deal with it if it turns out that you do have hearing loss. Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes nowadays. You can get hearing aids that are less visible if your concerned about people learning you have hearing loss.
You can prove everyone wrong if you deal with your hearing loss in a confident way. You can wear your hearing aids with confidence because when you can hear, you will be just as active and healthy as anyone else. Everyone who has hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Boost awareness and keep healthy by not giving in to negative perceptions.
Hearing loss is a medical condition, not a problem. Get your hearing tested today.
Meet the Team
The best way to pick the right hearing expert is to get to know them.
What Our Patients Say
Find out what people you may know in your community say about our services.
Talk to the Experts
Call us today to cut through the confusion about hearing loss and hearing aids.
Doug W., Patient