Advancements in Digital Hearing Aids

Add a sprinkle of flexibility, a dash of versatility, and a generous portion of technology and you’ve got today’s digital hearing aid, available since 1996. As such, hearing impaired individuals can innovative wireless technology and microelectronics to their advantage and have better daily experiences. There are other benefits to digital, too, such as background noise filtration and Bluetooth connections. You can even program the devices according to your preference and hearing loss level. Hard to believe, but digital hearing aids have only been around for under 20 years. Prior to that, analog hearing aids were at the top of the heap. We’ve definitely come a long way since the early 1800s when ear trumpets were getting all the press. Today’s models allow you access to remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, and some have omnidirectional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions.

Digital Noise Reduction (DNR)

Digital noise reduction technology takes the use of directional microphones one step further. This is because the technology comes from the physical characteristics of noise and speech rather than the separation of space. Speech modulation is one area in which this comes into play.

Self-Learning

Using preferences set by the wearer, these devices can pre-program what you like so you never have to fiddle with the setting again. It’s these regulating tendencies that are so special.
Today’s hearing aids are equipped with self-learning or regulating tendencies, which make them truly “smart” hearing aids that adjust settings like volume automatically.

Single Sided Deafness

Technologies like CROS devices and bone conduction devices allow the good ear to receive signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification. Prior to big advancements in digital technology, people who had single-sided deafness had to deal with the frustration of background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to pick up on conversation.

The First Digital Hearing Aids

The year 1996 saw the very first digital hearing aids, incorporating DSP, which stands for digital signal processing. Ideal for digital noise reduction, DSPs provided skyrocketed processing speeds which improved the ability to hear, for sure, but also amplification for individuals wearing the hearing aid.

Improved Connections

People who incorporate digital hearing aids benefit from increased range, digital noise reduction and higher frequency transposition. Users can even make a connection to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to expand their ease of use.

The Outlook

Always incorporating the highest level of flexibility and versatility, hearing aids made with digital components rely on innovative wireless technology and microelectronics. In closing, the horizon is bright in regards to the continued advancement of the digital hearing aid, with growth only expected to skyrocket in this regard.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

10 Ways Good Hearing Can Help Keep Seniors Young

You may not realize it, but you really can stay young by protecting your hearing. From the ability to avert disaster to better interactions with others on a daily basis, you can hold onto your youth with optimal hearing health. This works in much the same way as your physical health, which is important to maintain in order to stave off illness, diseases and  those dreaded extra pounds. Take a look at 10 ways you can grasp onto your youth a little longer.

 

  1. Engage in productive interactions in daily life. Hearing loss can unfortunately alienate people from getting the information they need to go about their daily lives. It’s tough to effectively communicate with anyone from friends and co-workers to check-out clerks and butchers when you suffer from hearing loss.

  2. Keep up with a sharp mind. No one wants to think about it, but dementia is a very real possibility for older seniors. The National Institute on Aging has linked hearing loss with dementia, thanks to the brain shrinkage we experience as we get on in years.

  3. Your risk of falling will lower. Individuals who can’t hear well don’t have as much of a stable awareness of their surroundings, and can trip and fall easier. People with a 25-decibel hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than others with no hearing impairments, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  4. Hear better at work. Improve your job performance with better hearing. If you can’t hear well, you obviously can’t pick up on important instructions or safety precautions. You certainly can’t readily participate productively in coworker discussions or meetings. The result? An impact on your job performance.

  5. Have a quicker reaction times to outside stimuli. When you have a healthy hearing level, you can better react to fire alarms and sirens so you can get out of the way and not get hurt.

  6. Increase blood flow to your ear canals. Exercise is great for the ears. Via aerobic activity, you send oxygen-rich blood flow to the ears which protects them from additional hearing loss.

  7. Interact better in school. Do you find yourself back in school after many decades away? You won’t learn as well if you constantly have to sit up front and ask the teacher to repeat herself. Maintaining a healthy level of hearing means you can understand the teacher’s instructions more clearly. In addition, you can interact with your classmates and participate in projects much more easily.

  8. Boost your self confidence in everyday situations. Those who have trouble hearing can have a lack of self confidence or self-esteem because they are afraid to engage in conversation with others. They fear they won’t be able to engage in a healthy back and forth discussion, so they tend to stay away from social situations.

  9. Better mental health. Falls and other events are big problems for seniors. Hearing loss can compound these risks. When you end up in the hospital, you have long periods where you’re relatively inactive as your recuperate. This can easily lead to feelings of depression.

  10. Get more friends and have better sex. It’s true! Studies have shown that hearing impaired seniors who wear hearing aids, along with seniors who have no hearing loss, tend to have an improved social life and sex life. They also experience better mental health and independence.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

The Various Functions of Digital Earplugs that Help Protect Hearing Health

Thanks to a shift in the way that people have been viewing their hearing health, one of the latest ways that individuals are looking to protect their ears is through the use of ear plugs. These devices can protect and improve their hearing is through state of the art technology that has certainly evolved over the last few decades. In more ways than ever, ear plugs aid people in their daily lives, especially when around loud environments for work or play. Following is an introduction into what digital ear plugs are and how they can help people preserve their precious hearing, as well as their usage in specific areas.

How Do Digital Earplugs Work?

Through various forms of digital earplugs, you can achieve different kids of benefits depending on the type you get. Although slightly different across the board, they all have some common ground and work in much the same way. Achieving a balance between protection and function is at the heart of digital ear plugs, which can keep the range of frequencies at bay that come through the earplug by altering the frequency response. This allows only certain frequencies to reach your inner ear for safety and functional reasons. An additional benefit is that they offer a buffer between your inner ear and sounds coming at it.

Specific Uses of Digital Ear Plugs

With the ability to protect hearing from loud, blaring noises and sudden sounds found in combat training and the daily lives of police officers, for example, digital earplugs are available in many formats depending on the user’s needs. The ability to pick up faint sounds in an environment is important for rescue workers and other first responders.

Benefits of Digital Ear Plugs

Digital ear plugs are used to helping people detect speech more clearly even when in a loud situation, such as an industrial environment with a great deal of noise. These also come in handy if you need to hear some sounds and not others. Choosing the right pair of digital ear plugs that can benefit you is key.
Because technology is such a big part of how digital ear plugs are created and used, they present many novel effects, such as being able to prevent sound from entering the ear canal. Others have a use stop-gap technology that allows users to hear certain levels of sound, or only at certain intervals, to their benefit.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

The question of the day is why diabetes and hearing loss are linked. This is what researchers wanted to find out, faced with the fact that 30 million people have diabetes in the United States, while 34.5 million people suffer from hearing loss. Those researchers directed studies involving 20,000 people from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia to learn whether diabetes and hearing loss are closely intertwined, and they found that, yes, they are. It’s not known why yet at this time. Those with diabetes are twice as likely to have some degree of hearing loss than someone who does not have the disease, which is an alarming fact. This puts diabetes and hearing loss at the top in terms of two health problems in this country, points out the American Diabetes Association.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

It’s no secret that old age and a noisy working environment can incur hearing loss. However, these factors do not apparently play into the scenario of diabetes and hearing problems. Although you could, as a diabetic, control your blood sugar levels better so hearing impairment doesn’t happen, it’s not known if this would indeed work. The hearing loss could actually be attributed to the medications and diuretics that diabetics take to reduce their high blood pressure. The link between diabetes and hearing loss is not in question; however, the exact cause is still unknown. Many researchers are testing the theory that high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels, leading to hearing impairment. It’s no secret that diabetics have problems with their eyes, kidneys and feet. Could their hearing also be affected? More research needs to be done in order to reach a more definitive conclusion.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Take a look at these signs of hearing loss. If you’re a diabetic, these two conditions are likely related. This embarrassing and potentially dangerous combination can affect where you go and whom you see. Getting in a car, too, can prove unsafe if you can’t hear correctly.

      • Do you only hear muffled sounds instead of clear words when in a conversation?
      • Do you have trouble picking up on background noise when there’s a crowd of people near you?
      • Do you suffer from the failure to adequately keep track of conversations involving multiple participants?
      • Do you have problems distinguishing the voices of small children or women?
      • Do you crank the TV up just to hear it?

Testing for Diabetes

Be sure to inquire about a screening for your hearing next time you’re at the doctor. When you next see your doctor, ask for a hearing exam so you can get treated by a specialist right away. This should always be a part of doctor’s visits for diabetics, yet it’s not – although doctors check many other components of a diabetic’s health at such checkups. As a result, you need to advocate for your overall health.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

Check out Hearing Loops and What They’re Used For

You’ve heard of hearing aids, but what about hearing loops? They’re similar, but different. Working in conjunction with one another, hearing loops use the latest in technology to help people in crowded places or group situations hear what is being said. Often times, in a group setting like a meeting, background noise and additional frequencies can make it difficult for the hearing aid user to distinguish what’s being said. But thanks to big strides since the days when hearing trumpets took were the most popular way to amplify sound, we are now seeing the advancement toward filtration of background noise. This new form of technology has come about in part as a result of the acceptance of the hearing impaired community and in part to the advancement of technology. Present in meeting rooms, concert halls, and businesses around the globe, hearing loops are taking center stage.

What are Hearing Loops?

For a more crisp detection of sound that makes group conversation easier to distinguish, hearing loops seamlessly combine two types of technology. Taking its cue from both the technology of hearing aids that so many people wear daily and a physical cable that is incorporated in a building or — more specifically – a single room, hearing loops allow these components to work in parallel with each other. They then help transmit ambient sounds that are detected throughout the room to the individual’s hearing aid.

A Closer Look

When you take a closer look at the technology, you’ll see that the loop wire circles the room to bring sound to hearing aids made possible by potent electromagnetic signals. Those sounds are picked up on by telecoils inherent in hearing aids, which is actually not really a new technology. It was borrowed from the same technology that maximizes range and signal for handset telephones that are away from their base. There’s a two-part basic system that works thanks to research into how telephone technology works.
As part of hearing aids and remote telecoil technology, t-switches are a crucial component in modern-day hearing aids and cochlear implants, helping the user to hear sounds more clearly and with less background noise. This device clears up the confusion when the t-switch is activated to pick up on the channeled electromagnetic sounds to the advantage of the user. Thus, the user can hear conversation much better than through the use of a hearing aid on its own. You can even use a microphone in conjunction with a hearing loop.

Implementation

This increasingly common fixture in public places, town halls and conference rooms is a big boost for the hearing impaired community. Did you know that many states and even countries may impose laws requiring the use of hearing loops in some public places?

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

How Have Hearing Aids Evolved to Where They are Today?

Today’s hearing aids should give a nod to the devices of yesteryear. Thanks to innovative technology, hearing aids have experienced exponential growth over the last two centuries. It’s pretty important to document how far this technology has actually come. Let’s explore in-depth how hearing aids have evolved since the early designs. Hearing aids, used by millions of individuals all over the planet, come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. As the decades have whizzed by, the devices have become smaller and more compact, offering an unprecedented comfort level for the user.

The First Hearing Aids

Designed to capture sound from close by, this primitive form of hearing aid — the ear trumpet — was developed for the widespread use of the hearing impaired community. Although hardly uniform in size, they did share a common attribute in that they were shaped like horns, funneling this sound into the inner ear so the user could hear slightly better. However, these early devices weren’t the best at amplifying sound and only really served to give incremental acoustic improvement.

Then Came Carbon Hearing Aids

Then came the late 19th century and the carbon hearing aid came into existence. These first models of hearing aids as we know them were invented with inspiration from Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone. The carbon microphone works alongside a magnetic receiver and battery. Sound waves struck the outside of the microphone, sending the carbon pieces in the hearing aid pressing against the diaphragm to create sound. These pieces moving through the diaphragm acted much the way sound waves do but they still lacked the sophistication we know of hearing aids today. They suffered from low-quality sound and picked up very few frequencies because of the carbon.

Next up were Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids

As the precursor to the first electronic hearing aids, vacuum tube hearing aids came about in the 1920s featuring a design that Bell Labs later improved on. Essentially they were the first transistors for use in hearing aids, made possible via a transmitter from a telephone that converted sounds and grouped them into electrical signals. The result was amplified sound that moved through the receiver’s end, becoming one of the first portable hearing aids as part of the electronic hearing aid design. Despite its weight, many people expressed their joy over the benefits driven by this new technology for improved hearing health.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

Costco vs a Hearing Instrument Specialist – Hearing Aid Quality and Service Comparison

The cut and dried answer is yes because you get a higher quality of care and products when you opt for a professional hearing instrument specialist. However, more and more people looking for the convenience of the big box stores are heading to Costco and Walmart for their hearing aid needs and evaluations. While jumping into the patient services sector seems like an added convenience to customers, it’s actually harmful to their hearing health. Employees at these stores aren’t as experienced and trained as a hearing instrument specialist is in the thorough evaluation and treatment of hearing impairments. Let’s take a look at why it’s best to go to a doctor in a clinical setting rather than hit a big box store.

Cost Efficiency

The low prices of ear care departments in big box stores are difficult to ignore. They may seem low, but that’s how they get you in the door. Once there, employees are trained to sell you on other products and accessories that don’t necessarily meet your needs. Plus, the cost of hearing devices is low for a reason because they’re manufactured with sub-part products. You may protest the initial cost investment of seeing a hearing instrument specialist for treatment and hearing device fitting but the truth is, you’re getting much higher quality for your money. Plus, your healthcare insurance will pay for a lot of the cost, so you may even come out on top. You just can’t slap a price tag on personalized attention from a hearing instrument specialist.

Quality Products

Just by wandering into the ear care department of big box stores, you’re already setting yourself up for lower quality services and products. You don’t get the same excellent hearing products on the market like you would at a hearing instrument specialist. This professional is at the top of his game in terms of emerging products that could be best for you. You don’t want to get a hearing device fitting at a big box store only to come away with a product that is deficient, such as with too much interference or low-quality sound. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but it’s likely you’re not getting the best quality products through these types of stores. When visiting a trained hearing instrument specialist, you know this professional can make necessary adjustments so you can optimize your hearing abilities to the fullest.

Professionalism

If you’d like a higher rate of professionalism, seek out a hearing instrument specialist trained in complete auditory health. Your doctor has a specialty, and that is the ear. As such, you’re paying for a doctor to bring his many years of education and experience to the table so you can enjoy comprehensive health care. You don’t get in-depth hands-on knowledge of the inner workings of the ear plus unique evaluations from a worker behind the desk at a big box store. There, you’ll get a sales person trained to sell you things you may not need.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

3D Printing Revolutionizes the Hearing Aid Market

The amazing process of 3D printing, in conjunction with laser scanning, has completely revolutionize the way these devices are made. It used to take a very long time to create a hearing device and it still wasn’t a truly custom fit. Those labor intensive manufacturing processes are gone, thanks to the new technology that decreases in time for manufacturing plus boosts the precise nature of the hearing aid. This process, revolutionizing the industry because of its versatility, speed and precision, is also known in the industry as additive manufacturing. What this means is, that instead of removing layers such as with lathes, you are adding layers. What comes out is a form fitting hearing aid that makes for a custom fit.

A Crafted Fit

First off, a blueprint or pointcloud is crafted by a trained hearing instrument specialist, through the development of a precise digital image of the ear via a laser scanner. After the comprehensive quality check to ensure proper fit, the shell, also known as the mold, is produced by the 3D printer and made of a flexible resin material. Once fitted with the acoustic vents, electronics and other components, thanks to 150,000 points of reference obtained via digital cameras, the template is applied to the mold to produce a virtually seamless fit for the individual. Audiologists, who test countless geometric patterns and combinations prior to printing out the final shell, add the complicated circuitry which codes the amplification of sound. Although not exactly a brand new concept, this technique is getting some much deserved attention in the medical community. Those with hearing impairments can now experience more comfort through the creation of state-of-the-art hearing aids, made possible via 3D printing.

Within a Day

It only takes a single day when 3D printing is used to make a hearing device, such as for the 10 million 3D printed hearing devices currently in circulation around the globe. The top advantage to this process is customization, thanks to this emerging scientific breakthrough. 3D printing has been in the background gaining momentum to increase the precision of the process. This hard-to-ignore component of the additive manufacturing industry is taking the hearing impaired community by storm. This approach can help people all over the world to hear better and feel more comfortable while doing it. This is a pretty big deal, as 35 million Americans have a hearing impairment, requiring a more comfortable fit through a unique hearing aid that serves their needs. When you think of improvements in terms of accuracy, speed, customization and efficiency, you will see that these components could have been possible with traditional manufacturing, which was time consuming and couldn’t guarantee a custom fit. Now all technicians need is a few hours to put together a quality customized hearing aid.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

Foods that can Prevent Hearing Loss – and Hearing Aids

With age comes a decline in age – this is no secret. We know eating a variety of healthy foods are good for our bodies, but what may not even be on our radar is the effect certain foods have on our hearing health. Our body systems are all interconnected, so by giving your body the foods it needs, you can actually help to prevent hearing loss. Many people suffer from hearing damage as they get older, but there are some things that can prevent this from happening in whole or in part. Sure, you may know enough not to expose yourself to loud noises in an effort to protect your ears but let’s discuss how important it is to eat right when it comes to your ears. This is backed by many bodies of research that show the foods you choose to eat have a direct impact on your levels of hearing loss.

Beneficial Broccoli

This super veggie boosts your hearing health because it’s brimming with vitamin and minerals that stave off the damage to ear tissue brought on by free radicals. Preventing hearing loss doesn’t have to be difficult when you regularly eat all kinds of veggies, especially broccoli. There’s a bonus to this, too, because your skin and hair will glow with radiance.

Citrus Snacks

Citrus has healing properties that can stave off the common cold. However, those same cold-fighting abilities also keep harmful ear infections at the wayside. Thanks to all the vitamin C and E packed into oranges and lemons, you can use that to your advantage in regards to fighting off infection. Don’t ever leave an ear infection untreated, as this can lead to chronic hearing loss that you can never recover from.

Fish like Salmon

Ever hear of omega-3 fatty acids? You’ve probably heard how good they are for you. Well, they’re present in salmon and other types of fish, going to great lengths to improve your blood flow. Getting your blood pumping at healthy levels is a crucial component to an overall healthy lifestyle. Consequently, improved blood flow is beneficial for your ears.

Sweet Snacks

By making luscious dark chocolate a part of your diet, you’re doing a lot to help your ears thanks to the loads of zinc present in this treat. Did you know zinc helps with hearing damage? It’s true, and you can get this mineral in a supplement form too. Don’t overindulge or your hips will show it, but a little here and there can actually help your hearing health. Thank you, antioxidants!

Banana Bonanza

Those who can’t get enough of bananas for their great taste will be happy to know they have many healthful properties, particularly in relation to their efforts in curbing hearing damage. This is due to the presence of magnesium that has been proven to stop or reverse the damaging effects of hearing damage thanks to external environmental influences like loud noises. Bananas are awesome alone or on your favorite breakfast cereal, so pick up a bunch today.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.

Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression

For anyone who has ever wondered why hearing loss is such a devastating disorder, yet another example has been presented by recent research. According to workers at the Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders, depression has now been tied to people who suffer from hearing loss. The alarm that has resulted from this is being felt across the nation. That is why we are going to explore the different ways that you can prevent hearing loss, what can be done in terms of treatments, and the results of the study.

Preventing Depression From Hearing Loss

There are many things that you can do to save your hearing for the future. However, when people are young they may take more risks than they know are necessary. You can prevent hearing loss by not spending as much time in very loud settings like sports venues or even concerts. This does not mean that you cannot have a good time, but it is advised that you always keep ear protection on you at these events, especially if you work in a loud environment.

Treating Hearing Loss-Depression

Depression that has been caused by hearing loss is a very difficult thing to treat because it is the combination of two different types of ailments. That is why you should choose to treat the hearing loss in order to treat the depression. You can treat the hearing impairment by consulting with an hearing instrument specialist to see if you can have surgery to correct your hearing or if a hearing aid would work for you. Either way, you will have the ability to gain more hearing back and reintegrate into daily life; an action that can alleviate depression. Otherwise, it is a good idea to seek a medical professional for medication and even therapy to help work on your depression.

The Latest On The Study

The study that was done by the institute used 18,000 different people from all around the United States. These people were volunteers and were asked to self-report their hearing loss if they were under the age of 70, and asked to go to a clinic for testing if they were over 70. After their hearing data was collected, they were given a very short question session that was used to see if they had symptoms of depression.

The results of the study were absolutely stunning because they showed that eleven percent of people who had hearing loss under the age of seventy also had depression. That was an incredible find that was confounded by the fact that the older people did not suffer from the same rates of hearing loss. Right now, this information is going to be integrated into studies to look into this data even more to determine why there is such a disparity. The fact remains that hearing loss is positively correlated with depression.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Great! Just fill out the short form below to schedule your appointment.


Phone Number: *
 
Email: *
Availability: *

Please reserve one hour for a initial appointment on new clients.