Ear Works Blog
Hearing is a cognitive process; meaning we really hear with our brain and not our ears. Hearing loss will limit the amount of acoustic detail that the brain receives. When the brain receives less information, it needs to work harder in order to process, decode and organize the sounds. Oticon OPN utilizes BrainHearing™ technology to help provide the brain with access to all sounds, even in complex listening environments. Oticon OPN is also a made for iPhone® hearing aid! OPN can be directly connected to the iPhone® without an intermediary device. The Bluetooth technology in OPN supports streaming music and phone calls, with the user's voice picked up by the phone's microphone. The Oticon ON App can also be used to adjust volume levels, switch between programs and monitor battery levels. The app even offers a "find my hearing aid" search feature! Please call any one of our 10 offices to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists, or to ask any specific questions that you might have about OPN!
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is raising awareness of the link between unaddressed hearing loss and depression, and is urging adults of all ages to get their hearing tested to help protect their mental health. Studies show that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids often have fewer depressive symptoms, greater social engagement, and improved quality of life. Here’s why:
Five Mental Health Reasons to Get Your Hearing Tested
1. Ignoring hearing loss affects quality of life. Research shows that when left unaddressed, hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, mental, and emotional health issues that diminish one’s quality of life. Depression, withdrawal, isolation and a lessened ability to cope are just some of the conditions associated with unaddressed hearing loss.
2. Addressing hearing loss boosts mood. People with untreated hearing loss can feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed. But research shows that with the use hearing aids, mental health often improves. Most feel more emotionally stable, become more socially engaged and feel a greater sense of safety and independence which leads to a general improvement in overall quality of life.
3. Using hearing aids can help strengthen self-confidence. Studies show that hearing aid users with mild to severe hearing loss felt better about themselves and about life overall as a result of using hearing aids. Improved hearing can lead to more self-confidence and control and cause individuals to be less self-critical.
4. Good communication enriches relationships and social support. Healthy relationships rest largely on good communication. Recent research reported improvements in individuals’ ability to communicate effectively in most situations because of their hearing aid use. Results indicate that using hearing aids can improve relationships at home, social activities and ability to join in groups.
5. Today’s hearing aids are better than ever and virtually invisible. Dramatic new technological advances have revolutionized hearing aids in recent years. Many are virtually invisible, self-adjusting, and wireless. Today’s hearing aids can help people of all ages maintain active, healthy lifestyles while reducing stress, depression and isolation often caused by untreated hearing loss. It has been reported that eighty percent of hearing aid users report being satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives due to their use of hearing aids.
(Source: Better Hearing Institute)
The Internet is a great tool for information and shopping. However, purchasing hearing aids online is not recommended!
Audiologists are trained medical professionals with extensive education in hearing and the treatment of hearing loss. They make informed recommendations about the best and most appropriate hearing aid to meet an individual’s hearing and communication needs. Not all hearing aids are the same, and one hearing aid is not necessarily best for everyone. Selecting the right hearing aid to meet your individualized needs is an extremely important step in the process, and will greatly affect your success with your hearing devices. Some patients would benefit from specific hearing aids or manufacturers, and being fit with the correct hearing aid can significantly improve your communication and hearing abilities. Purchasing hearing aids online eliminates the Audiologist from the process and can be negative for the patient if they are not satisfied. One bad experience can deter someone from getting the care they need the proper way.
Hearing aids purchased online often do not include servicing plans, such as programming, adjustments or cleanings. Hearing aids purchased through an Audiologist often include these services, which are necessary for the maintenance and continued success while wearing the hearing aids. Periodic adjustments and re-programming of the hearing aids may be necessary over time and helps to maximize how well you will hear, even in difficult listening situations. Paying for these services every time they are needed through the Audiologist after you purchase the hearing aids online could potentially be more expensive over time.
Any necessary repairs or adjustments to your hearing aids can become inconvenient, or even more costly if they were purchased online. Adjustments can be completed in office, where you are then able to describe in detail any problems or concerns that need to be taken care of, and you can listen to the hearing aids as the adjustments are being made. Some repairs or issues may also be able to be corrected in office however if you purchase your devices online and do not have a local audiologist to service you, it may take days or weeks if the hearing aid needs to be sent out to correct the issue.
An Audiologist is also important to being able to select the correct size of components of the hearing aid, such a dome or speaker. Every person’s ear is sized and shaped differently so there is no- one size fits all when it comes to hearing aids. An improperly fit hearing aid can cause the hearing aid to sit incorrectly in the ear. When this occurs, oftentimes the hearing aids can fall off and out of the ear.
An Audiologist is also the best person to fit you with hearing aids if you are interested in custom hearing aids or custom molds. It is important to have accurate impressions taken of your ears to ensure the best fit possible, and to achieve the best sound quality. Most of the time, hearing aids purchased online can only be behind the ear models. If you are interested in the style that is custom to your ear, it is not recommended that anyone besides a licensed Audiologist take impressions of your ears for any type of custom ear device.
The Audiologist is an essential and important part of the process of obtaining hearing aids. Please call any one of our 10 offices to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists, or to ask any specific questions that you might have on your journey to better hearing!
You’ve finally decided to pursue getting hearing aids! Congratulations on taking the next step to bettering your relationships and enjoyment of life! The process of determining you have a hearing loss and obtaining hearing aids can be very daunting. This article is designed to help alleviate some of the hesitation associated with hearing aids & knowing what to expect can help you thrive with your new hearing aids.
When learning about hearing loss, expect a thorough assessment to learn about your hearing loss and what is best for you. When learning about hearing aids, expect them to be costly, they are indeed an investment! Your audiologist will recommend the best for you but also take into account more than just your hearing. They will take into account your lifestyle, priorities and your budget to determine what is best for you. Hearing loss typically occurs in both ears simultaneously. If this is the case, expect to go forward with two hearing aids rather than one. You will notice improved benefit when your brain receives input from both ears.
Once you have started wearing your new hearing aids, expect an adjustment period. It may have taken you a few years to realize you have a hearing loss and then to do something about it, so it has been quite some time since you have heard all the sounds around you. Everything makes noise! You may notice your footsteps as you walk, running water from the faucet & the quiet hum of the air conditioner or refrigerator. After wearing the hearing aids, you will begin to tune those sounds out! Expect adjustments. Every person processes sounds differently. If you need an adjustment, call your audiologist & they will be happy to help you.
Expect them to be comfortable & to wear them for your “waking” hours that do not include water. The more you wear the hearing aids, the quicker you will adjust! Expect them to “whistle” as you put them in your ears, which is normal! Once they are in your ears, they whistling should stop. If it continues, call your audiologist & they can fix it.
Expect to take care of your hearing aids! They better care that is taken of them, the longer they will last. It is as simple as routine nightly cleaning. Wiping them down with a tissue every night will go a long way. Expect a new set of hearing aids about every 5-7 years. Just as any other electronic device, they do not last forever and will eventually wear out.
Purchasing hearing aids is a big adjustment to your life but with these few pointers to get you started, you are on your way to better hearing! Call any of our office locations to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to determine what is best for you!