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Monthly Archives

July 2018

What Type of Hearing Aid Is Right for You?

By | Resources

Finding out you need hearing aids might feel a little overwhelming, even if you were expecting the diagnosis. There seem to be endless options when it comes to hearing aids. How are you supposed to know what’s right for you?

Lucky for you, when you have a hearing evaluation at Associates in Hearing, we are able to figure out what kind of devices would work best for your type of hearing loss. We can narrow your options if you come to see us first.

Once you’ve been evaluated and shared with us the kind of lifestyle you have, it’s much easier to make a decision! Here are some different types of hearing aids and how they might work for you:

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

These devices are just as they’re described: fitting within your ear canal, they are the smallest and least visible types of hearing aids available. They use very small batteries and have much smaller parts, which could be difficult for some people to handle. Because they fit within your ear, they don’t pick up wind noise, but they can become clogged with earwax.

In the Canal (ITC)

Like the completely-in-the-canal devices, these hearing aids also fit within your ear canal but are still partially visible. They are susceptible to the same types of issues as the CIC devices, like earwax buildup, small parts, and small batteries that may need to be replaced often, but they do well to treat mild to moderate hearing loss. Because they’re a little bit larger, they can have more features than CIC devices.

In the Ear (ITE)

These hearing aids are specially molded to fit your ear, depending on where and how they fit on the bowl-shaped part of your ear. These devices will have more features than ITC and CIC devices, like access to volume control right on the device. They will be easier to handle than the smaller devices available, making it easier for you to change batteries and make sure they’re working properly. They do have larger batteries, meaning a longer battery life, and they are more visible when you wear them.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

These devices hook over and behind your ear with a tube connecting the inner, custom earpiece. Although these are traditionally the largest type of hearing aid, there are newer models available that are much more streamlined. These devices are the best at amplifying sounds compared to other styles.

Receiver in Canal (RIC)

Similar to the BTE style, these devices fit virtually the same. However, instead of a tube that connects the speaker to the receiver, there’s a tiny wire that connects the two. These devices are less visible than the BTE style, giving you even more confidence.

Open Fit

An open fit hearing aid is similar to the behind-the-ear devices, only the ear canal is left very open, giving you a much more natural hearing experience. You’re able to hear your own voice without it being muffled by an earpiece within the canal. These devices can have small parts, so they might not be the easiest to handle.

Clearly, they are many options when it comes to choosing your hearing aids. We know it can be overwhelming, but that’s why we’re available to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle. Let’s get you fit with the hearing aids that will work best for you. Give us a call today, and we’ll help you discover the devices that will treat your hearing loss without sacrificing your comfort.

3 Cleaning Tips for Your Hearing Aids

By | Resources

Do you remember the first time you wore your hearing aids? Do you remember how the world sounded better, clearer than ever before?

Your hearing aids changed your life, and they make lives better everyday for people everywhere. Finally, you can hear what you’ve been missing. You can participate in life, stay connected to those you love, and do things you love to do.

Your devices are wonderful, and they work best when you are keeping them clean. Remember how clear you could hear the first time you wore them?

You should hear like that all the time, and that starts with keeping your devices clean on a daily basis. If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve made it easy for you. Here’s three tips to keep your devices clean and working just like they did the first day you wore them.

1. Regularly wipe clean and maintain your devices.

Think of your hearing aids like you would a pair of glasses. If your lenses are smudged or dirty, you take a cloth out and wipe them off. You wouldn’t leave a smudge on your lenses for days on end, allowing it to hinder your vision. You’d take care of it.

Cleaning your hearing aids should be a daily practice. Everyday, make sure your devices are wiped clean using a dry cloth or a soft toothbrush. Do this every night when you remove your devices as you get ready for bed.

2. Look out for earwax.

Your earwax is 100% normal, but it can be a little pesky when it comes to hearing aids. You might notice some on the earbud component of your device, and that’s to be expected. However, the wax can clog important components of your device, like the microphone and the earmold tube, so you need to inspect them carefully.

The best tools to remove earwax are a wax pick and brush, designed specifically for cleaning earwax off of hearing aids. Simply remove the earmold tube and gently clean it. If there’s wax stuck inside the tube, you can rinse it out with water.

Once you’ve cleaned the tube well, allow it to completely dry overnight before reassembling your hearing aid.

3. Avoid extreme heat, cold, and moisture.

A particularly humid environment can result in water getting into your hearing aid, which is not good! Water is damaging to your device, so if you’re going swimming, taking a shower, or using a sauna, remove your devices first.

Heat can also destroy a hearing device, so keep them away from space heaters, radiators, or other heat sources. Extreme cold can stop the batteries in your devices from working properly. That can be remedied by getting the batteries back to room temperature.

It’s important to your hearing that you keep your hearing devices clean, free of debris and earwax, and away from extreme elements. Incorporate hearing aid maintenance into your daily routine, and you’ll make sure that your devices are working like they did when you first got them.

We recommend that you get your devices professionally cleaned in our offices every three to six months. Simply bring your devices by Associates in Hearing, and we’ll be able to remove any stubborn earwax or debris and ensure that your hearing aids are working like they should.

How to Meet OSHA Requirements & Prevent Hearing Loss

By | Resources

If you want to run a business, you want it to be successful, right? Your employees are an important part of that. When they are valued, they work hard and help your company meet your goals.

Part of your job as an employer is making sure your employees are safe. Depending on the work your company does, your employees could be at risk for occupational hearing loss, hearing loss caused by dangerous noise exposure in a work environment.

We want to help you and your employees stay safe. Here’s everything you need to know about hearing loss in the workplace and what you should do to protect your employees.

What causes hearing loss?

Occupational hearing loss is specifically caused by noise exposure in the workplace. There’s currently around 22 million people exposed to dangerous noise levels at their place of work. In most instances, this exposure is unavoidable. It is, however, up to you and your employees to stay protected so it doesn’t damage your hearing.

Noise exposure causes hearing loss when the noise registers at or above 85 decibels. In other words, if you can’t hear your coworkers next to you, you probably should be taking measures to protect your hearing.

What does OSHA say about noise-induced hearing loss?

If the place you work is a loud environment, you need to take steps to keep your hearing protected. Otherwise, you’ll experience hearing loss from noise exposure over extended periods of time.

OSHA, Occupational and Safety Health Association, is part of the Department of Labor, and sets standards that ensure working men and women work in safe and

healthy environments. According to their standards, you and your employees are legally allowed to be exposed to noise measuring 90 decibels for eight hours. In those situations, you need to wear earplugs or earmuffs.

Your workplace should also take measures to reduce the amount of noise and those exposed to it. Earmuffs and plugs can help, but noise controls should be your first line of defense. Noise controls take different forms: from safety glass over loud equipment to sound-absorbing materials surrounding equipment, noise can be absorbed and kept from reaching damaging levels.

Your workplace should also utilize engineering controls. These can be low-noise tools and machinery, maintaining and lubricating equipment, barriers between the noise source and employee, and enclosing loud equipment to reduce noise. All of these controls can help keep damaging noise exposure to a minimum.

What should you do?

Now that you know some of the requirements and what’s expected for your business or wherever you work, you need to take steps to make sure your workplace is compliant and your hearing is safe. We can help.

Your first step is to call us at Associates in Hearing, and we will schedule an appointment so our team can come out to your workplace and measure the noise levels. We will be able to identify the severity of the noise level and if you and your

employees need hearing protection. We will even be able to screen your employees for potential noise-induced hearing loss.

After we’ve screened and tested, we will make sure you and your employees are educated on what can be done to keep their hearing protected in the future. Our team will also come back every year to make sure your workplace remains within OSHA’s regulations and screen your employees for hearing loss.

A successful business should have employees that know they are cared for. Start caring for the safety of your employees and your workplace by making sure the noise levels are safe and your team is healthy. Call us today!

5 Tips for Traveling This Summer

By | Resources

Summer is the perfect time to take a vacation. Time to relax, rejuvenate, and explore new places are some of the best medicine for the mind and for the body. But if you have hearing loss, traveling can easily become more stressful than it is enjoyable.

Traveling with hearing loss is possible! Don’t be intimidated by it. Here are five tips that encourage you to get out there and see the world.

Plan ahead.

There is nothing worse than arriving in a new place and not have a plan once you get there. It might be fun for a while, but it could quickly become frustrating if you struggle to communicate effectively because of your hearing loss. What if you’re in a crowded city and hearing someone when they give you directions is almost impossible?

Print off directions and itineraries and write down the addresses of places you’re visiting. Plan ahead for what you’re going to do each day, figure out directions, and decide what you’d like to do before it becomes too complicated and frustrating to figure out. You’ll be thankful you did.

Arrive early.

The last thing you want is to miss your flight or your train because you couldn’t hear. Arriving early will give you the chance to find the right terminal or platform well before it’s time for boarding. It will also give you the chance to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and where helpful kiosks are located.

Notify others.

Letting others know that you have hearing loss could alleviate unnecessary stress when it comes to communication. Don’t be afraid to tell those you are with and those who are there to help that you can’t hear well. This not only makes it easier for you, it could also be instrumental in your safety while traveling.

It’s important that those around you are able to help you as you’re traveling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It will give you and everyone you’re with a more enjoyable experience.

Use visual information.

Signs exist for everyone and anyone! If you aren’t sure where you are or where to go, look up and around and see if you can use visual information to figure out what you need to know.

Traveling, especially to an unfamiliar place or even a foreign country, can be intimidating. Use signs to your advantage whenever you find yourself somewhere new. They are a valuable resource when you need to know where you’re located, where help might be found, or directions for where you need to go.

Wear hearing aids.

Hearing aids can be the best tool available to you when you’re traveling. It’s frustrating enough trying to navigate a new place with hearing loss. If you wear hearing aids, it could be much easier to communicate with others, find your way around, and stay safe while having fun.

If you do have hearing aids, be prepared for anything while you’re traveling. Bring extra sets of batteries and tubing in case you need them, or if you have rechargeable devices, make sure you pack your charging station.

Traveling this summer can be a wonderful experience if you take the time to prepare. Plan ahead, arrive early, and tell those you’re traveling with that you have a hearing impairment. If you’re flying, let your flight attendant know, and feel free to ask for assistance if you need it. Don’t forget to pay attention to signs and other visual information if you’re not sure where to go or where you’re located. And if you have hearing aids, don’t leave home without them.

We hope you enjoy your vacation this summer! If you want to learn more about hearing aids and how they could help you, give us a call today at (215)855-4217, and we’ll help you hear like you were meant to.