Hearing loss comes in varying degrees. Yet most often professionals advise that you treat any significant loss through implementation of hearing devices. Most often with two hearing aids. Recent developments have made these formerly cumbersome eyesores into seamless (and even sometimes invisible) electronics. Audiology Associates of Georgia believes that clear and confident hearing is priceless, and these electronic devices are worth the investment.
Unique solutions for your ears
Hearing aids are no longer “one size fits all” models. Many different styles and designs offer the wearer the best quality of hearing for their individual lifestyle and needs. For this reason, getting an assessment from a hearing professional is vital when choosing what devices are right for you.
Two hearing aids? Forget about it!
If you consult the top hearing industry professionals, they generally recommend using dual hearing aids to combat most types of hearing loss. Using two devices simultaneously (or binaural hearing) benefits the wearer to such a significant degree that it outweighs the additional cost. With two hearing aids, you will:
- Have a better understanding of speech – Two hearing aids allow for easier selective listening. Your brain can focus on the exact conversation you want to hear, not the background noise that is a nuisance to all untreated hearing loss sufferers (and even those who use one device).
- Be able to understand more accurately – Even in the most difficult of situations, speech intelligibility is vastly improved when two devices are utilized instead of one.
- Be able to correctly identify the origin of noise – Binaural hearing is optimal for localization or the direction in which sound originates.
- Have a better quality of sound – A simple numerical comparison says it all. Would you prefer 180 degrees or 360 degrees of sound reception? With two devices, the 360 degrees of reception allows for the most natural sound quality that is technologically possible.
- Experience a smooth quality of tone for better sound identification – Two hearing aids requires less volume than one. With the reduction of distortion, you can identify and comprehend sounds easier.
- Keep both of your ears active – With two devices, you will discover a wider hearing range. When both ears actively participate in the auditory process, you gain double the hearing power. With only one, the unaided ear can degrade over time. You can avoid Auditory Deprivation Effect with binaural hearing which two devices can provide!
Okay, I understand… but do I really need two hearing aids?
Usually, you will. However, if your hearing assessment reveals that your hearing is completely normal in one ear, a second hearing device won’t help you. Adversely, if you show total deafness in one ear, you won’t need two hearing aids. Also, if you suffer from chronic ear infections (which is a cause of hearing loss), a single hearing aid may work best. This will help you avoid aggravating the infection and limit the number of reoccurrences. Some specific forms of hearing loss cause garbled speech and no hearing aids would help.
Hear in stereo
But for majority of people with hearing loss, two hearing aids are best. Health care professionals generally recommend dual hearing aid configuration. Moreover, numerous consumer satisfaction surveys show better results with two. To learn about your specific needs, call us at (770) 769-1805. Audiology Associates of Georgia will happily walk you through the decision making process including financing and insurance possibilities. We welcome you to make a complimentary appointment today.
Hearing loss is a universal problem. It can affect anyone no matter their gender, age, race or any other socio-economic factors. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 15% of all Americans over the age of 18 have reported some trouble with hearing. And that is only the reported cases. Many view hearing problems as a bothersome nuisance not worthy of professional assessment. Even worse, some people who have severe hearing difficulties feel stigmatized by their deficit. So they refuse to acknowledge their weakness or learn to hide the symptoms from others.
Your hearing is a worthy investment
Luckily, you have invested time in learning about your hearing health and today’s treatment-based solutions. Hearing aids have served as an important investment for a long time. New technology has produced multiple designs and styles of hearing device. You have many choices in terms of models and technology that will suit your own individual needs. One of the biggest innovations – that is sure to delight both prospective and veteran hearing aid wearers alike – is the launch of Oticon’s rechargeable hearing aid.
The next step in convenience
The Oticon Opn rechargeable ZPower™ option is revolutionary in both design and convenience! Oticon’s current line of hearing devices sport a smaller but more powerful design. Yet one issue was never addressed… until now. Oticon Opn MINI RITE™ charges overnight so you can enjoy a day full of confidence knowing you can live your life without worrying about your hearing aid’s batteries!
More than “just” rechargeable batteries
As well as being rechargeable, the Oticon Opn has other customizations that you may wish to discuss with a hearing specialist. One of the most popular new options is Tinnitus SoundSupport™. Even though it is not an actual form of hearing loss, if you suffer from tinnitus, you are well versed in the frustration and fatigue it causes. With Tinnitus SoundSupport™, your device can help manage this condition with soothing sounds that are fully customizable to be unique to your own needs! Want to hear the calming comfort that only the ocean’s waves can provide you? With Tinnitus SoundSupport™, your Oticon hearing device will have you lying on your own personal mental beach!
Upgrade options for Opn users
Current Opn users: your hearing device is not being forgotten or left behind. You can bring your Oticon Opn miniRITE™ devices to your local hearing specialist to upgrade them to use rechargeable batteries. This new technology would save you 150 – 200 batteries a year.
The choice is yours
Disposable batteries can still serve a use to any Opn device. Carrying around a spare pair can serve as a backup if you forget to recharge. It is inevitable – even the most ardent charger of their hearing device will find themselves low on battery level at some point.
Take the next step
If you are interested in learning more about these new technological breakthroughs and the complete line of Oticon hearing aids, contact us at (770) 769-1805 or schedule an appointment. Learn about the multitude of choices that await you and your unique lifestyle with Oticon.
You can help the Oticon Hearing Foundation Combat Hearing Loss!
Hearing loss is a universal problem. Because hearing loss may strike anywhere, the Oticon Hearing Foundation was formed to empower those with hearing loss to communicate, interact and participate actively in life. The foundation’s goals are:
- To empower a “Community of Caring” – complete with a group of credentialed hearing care professionals that provide access to community-based hearing care.
- Increase public awareness on hearing loss and understanding of the toll it takes on the impoverished communities worldwide.
- Through treatment, empower individuals to live with a full quality of life no matter their social status or monetary means.
Supporting people at home and abroad
The Oticon Hearing Foundation strives to support all local communities and their residents’ hearing health. The hearing care professionals that service your local community may be taking part in their latest humanitarian endeavor to collect and donate gently used hearing devices. The foundation supports reconditioning used devices. They are then given to one of the many missions launched to help the hearing health of impoverished communities across the world. Your local hearing care professional may have an Oticon Hearing Foundation donation box at their clinic. If not, you may still join the “Community of Caring” by following these easy steps:
How to donate
- Place your gently used Oticon device in a crush-proof box.
- Mail to:
Oticon Hearing Foundation
Attn: Hearing Aid Recycling
580 Howard Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873
- Remember to include your name, address and email. All qualifying donations are tax-deductible. Oticon Hearing Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization. The foundation will send you a donation tax receipt.
Your donation helps provide invaluable resources in fighting hearing loss worldwide. Hearing health is important here at home, too. At Audiology Associates of Georgia we strive to create and promote hearing treatment solutions to fit every unique lifestyle and need. This is why we welcome you to not only become more informed about programs benefiting your local community. Most of all, this effort starts with becoming aware of your own hearing health. Because knowledge is power in the fight against hearing loss, call us at (770) 769-1805 for your free hearing assessment.
Although it is too late to enjoy Cochella in California, The Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island or GrassRoots in New York State, there is still time to enjoy music in the beautiful outdoors this year. So, make sure you keep these important tips in mind.
Take precautions if you are going to be in an unusually loud environment. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you are at a concert, ear plugs are a smart choice. We love concerts, but we don’t love the high decibel levels. Depending on where you stand, the amplification and the acoustics, you could be putting your ears in danger. Remember, if you are going to attend a very loud event and you already wear hearing aids, talk to your hearing care professional about how to handle it. You may still need to wear your hearing aids – to hear your friends – if not to aid hearing the music.
Give your ears a break
For every 60 minutes of excessive sound, give your ears equal amounts of “rest.” If you cannot leave the venue, try to find a less noisy spot, as far as possible from the amplifiers. One sign that your ears have enough is if you hear residual ringing after you have left the venue. Like after an evening in high heals or tight toes, your ears have a way of saying enough is enough.
The hearing aid wearer’s golden rule: keep your hearing aids dry
It’s less fun to be outdoors in a pouring rain, but the show must go on. If you wear hearing aids, remember to cover them up. Hearing aids are mini computers. Even getting a little wet may cause problems for their electronic components. Make sure when you are out in the open, you keep them protected from any elements, including rain, sprinklers and even excessive sweat.
Invest in earplugs
Worried about seeming uncool? Some professional-grade ear molds focus on discretion as a key component of their design. So no one needs to know you’re using them. If you are bringing children with you to any concert, it is always a good idea for them to wear noise-cancelling ear phones or other protection. Once you lose your hearing through noise exposure, the damage is irreversible. Speak with a hearing care provider to order your own fitted hearing protection. If you are concerned about past exposure to excessive noise, make an appointment today.
In 2014, researchers presented a study at a study American Thoracic Society International Conference on how sleep apnea can affect hearing. The fairly conclusive results discovered that sleep apnea negatively impacts a person’s hearing. In addition, the research showed that sleep apnea can cause both high and low frequency hearing loss.
Sleep apnea is when a person has 15 or more episodes of shallow breathing or pauses breathing completely while asleep (over the course of a 1 hour period). Due to this suppression of oxygen, scientist have noted various issues with blood flow. Since blood flow is vital for your body to function optimally, this lack of oxygen also impacts your ears and hearing. A lack of blood flow can cause damage to the ear. Such that hearing loss may occur.
“What is so important about this study?”
Researchers studied a population of more than 13,000 participants from the Hispanic Community Health Study. The participants consisted of 52% women and had an average age of 41 years old. The team chose this population to mimic an average segment of the world’s population. Amit Chopra, MD conducted the study and made sure all of the participants had prior sleep apnea testing completed in their homes. They used a standard hearing test to gauge their starting level of ability. At the onset, 10% of the total participants demonstrated sleep apnea and 29% of all the participants started with some noticeable hearing loss.
Throughout the study, Dr. Chopra discovered that the participants with sleep apnea had increased hearing loss. His results showed high frequency hearing loss in 31% of the affected patients. More striking, he found a startling 90% loss at low frequencies for those with apnea!
As a result, researchers are now looking deeper into this connection and looking to see how medication for the disorder can possibly help avoid hearing loss concerns.
Do you have trouble sleeping?
If you worry that sleep issues may have had an impact on your hearing, we can help. Contact us for a free hearing assessment to ensure you hear well – and to address any deficits.
Every doctor has one prescription ready patients: keep your body healthy through diet and exercise!
This suggestion may include a diet full of plenty leafy greens or getting extra steps by parking the car a little further away from the office. Regardless of your method of staying fit, it has been proven time and time again that your quality of life benefits from an active, healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t stop with toned muscles and a heightened stamina. Studies have shown that exercise (especially in women) is related to a decreased risk of hearing loss.
Here is our version of a Wellness Prescription for Health:
- Exercise! Yes, adding even just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can help do the trick. Keeping up with exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight. This helps lower the odds of hearing loss in the future!
- Just say no to smoking! Smoking can lead to hearing loss… and yes, this even includes second hand smoke. Yellow skin and black lungs are not the only thing that await, so think before you light up.
- Be careful of NSAID pain relievers. Taking over the counter pain relievers that include ibuprofen or acetaminophen too frequently can lead to damage in the ear.
This can result in unneeded hearing loss. Try to take these medications only when absolutely necessary.
- Turn the volume down on your headphones and earbuds. Setting your volume settings to 60% limits how loud a phone or MP3 player can play music automatically. Your ears will thank you… as well as your companions.
- Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. You especially want to try and eat ones that have magnesium and antioxidants (berries, leafy greens, bananas, avocados, etc..).
- Always remember to wear hearing protectors when attending loud events or recreational activities. This can include concerts, yardwork, sporting events… any gathering that makes your heart flutter, not out of affection, but reverb! Hearing protectors are comfortable and easy to use for all types of ears.
When caring for your well-being, don’t forget that your ears are important! Like your knees and your teeth, they need protection. And like the rest of your body, your ears benefit from eating well, getting enough rest and aerobic activities.
Start with a free assessment*
Find out more about your hearing health. What you learn may surprise you. Our hearing care professionals are always willing to give tips on healthy hearing and how this impacts healthy hearing. Make an appointment today.
Hearing loss in the workplace is not only frustrating for the employee who suffers from the debilitating condition, but also for all that person’s unassuming co-workers. Let’s face it: being in a fast paced workplace is stressful on its own! Add in hearing loss (whether your own or an office mate’s) and that stress can lead to large amounts of anxiety and strained times on the job.
“No one in my office has hearing loss! They just don’t want to do work!”
In an EPIC Hearing Healthcare study…
• 40% of employees said they have had to pretend that they heard something a co-worker has stated.
• 42% of employees said they often experience miscommunication between others at work.
• 57% of employees said they frequently have to strain to hear a conversation due to background noise.
• 61% of employees have had to ask a co-worker to repeat themselves while in conversation.
• Out of 2000 workers surveyed by EPIC Hearing Healthcare, 95% said that untreated hearing loss has a negative impact on their job.
2,000 workers were surveyed in this study and their overall finding was staggering! 95% of those workers said that untreated hearing loss has had a negative impact on their job. Whether it was their own loss or that of a co-worker, the result was detrimental to their experience on the job.
“95%! What can I do?”
Treating hearing loss means a world of a difference in all aspects of your life. But the benefits can be very rewarding while on the job. All too often, people speak over each other or mumble in office discussions which makes it hard to always hear and comprehend. For those who may even have mild hearing loss, this can be a burden that could be avoided.
Treating your hearing loss (even in the slightest) can mean better job performance, leading to an overall improvement in happiness. The results may also improve production in the work place. Who knew that getting your ears checked could make your boss smile? But new research suggests that miscommunication is one of the largest factors in profit-and-loss in the workplace. So, that smile is just one result of you taking care of you auditory health. Increase your chances of being a top performer at work by improving your communication skills!
How can I know if what I am hearing is real or phantom?
If you or someone you love has been experiencing ringing in the ears of other sounds that no one else can hear, it might be tinnitus. The first step for answers is to make an appointment for a hearing assessment*. After discussing your medical history with a hearing care professional, your provider will check for obstructions in the ear canal and clear out any built-up earwax.
If the tinnitus is reported as being unilateral (only in one ear) you may need to speak with a physician. An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist may order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan to rule out larger issues. If no obstructions are present in the ear canal and no other potential causes are discovered, an audiologist or other hearing care provider will consider other causes, including hearing loss.
Professional hearing assessments
Your hearing care provider may conduct a pure tone audiogram, especially if your tinnitus is unilateral or accompanied by loss of hearing. A pure tone audiogram plays different frequencies at varying volumes. Even if you haven’t noticed reduced hearing, an audiogram may show areas of weakness that you may not have noticed before. In addition to an audiogram, your audiologist may consider performing speech audiometry, which looks at how well a patient can hear and repeat certain words.
Sound matching and other methods
Since generally tinnitus’ perceived sound cannot be heard by another person, audiologists use sound matching to determine what the patient experiences. Sound matching consists of playing a series of audio clips to identify which sound is closest to the internally perceived sound.
A hearing care provider may use minimum masking levels to determine if a patient is experiencing tinnitus. This also determines how loud a sounds seem. The audiologist or hearing care professional plays audio clips at increasing volume levels until the patient registers that the external noise entirely conceals the phantom sounds.
How is tinnitus impacting you?
You may be asked to fill out a self-assessment form or questionnaire. This will establish how your symptoms are impacting your life and emotional well-being.
Tinnitus is not an illness. If you are experiencing buzzing, ringing or other sounds you cannot identify, and want to discuss options for relief, contact our professionals so we can discuss your challenges – and provide solutions. Make an appointment for a free hearing assessment* today.
When you have a hearing aid, you have to make sure you are careful when you are around water. This can be difficult in the summer months, when the call to the seashore beckons. Yet for those that spend all their days in a warm climate, this could be a daily occurrence. Thus, it is vital to know if your hearing aid is water resistant.
“Are there even waterproof hearing aids?”
They do exist, but even these devices may only be approved up to a certain level of water. A rogue ocean wave may spell doom to even the hardiest of hearing aid models. To learn more about your hearing aid and if it is water resistant, be sure to ask your audiologist.
“I’m not a beach person so this doesn’t apply to me!”
Not so fast! Your hearing aid may still come in contact with some water. Even the small bit can damage a unit that is not properly suited for water. Due to the small size of the current hearing aid models, they can easily become an after-thought. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage if your unit accidentally gets wet.
Remember these steps!
1. Turn off your hearing aid immediately!
2. Take out the hearing aid’s battery.
3. Shake the hearing aid to try and get all of the water out from the battery’s housing.
4. Find a clean and dry cloth to thoroughly dry your hearing aid battery. No water should be present when reinserting the battery into the device.
5. Keep the battery component open and place your hearing aid in a dry area. If you can place the hearing aid in a warm area, all the better!
6. You want it to dry out completely… but just make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Melting will be more catastrophic than the water damage!
7. Once fully dry, reinsert the battery to your device.
“Did I save it?”
If you follow these steps, your hearing aid will have a much better chance of working optimally once again. If it is still malfunctioning, you need to take your hearing aid to your audiologist. Only a trained hearing specialist will be able to assess the damage and tell you if the unit can be salvaged.
Vertigo can be a debilitating disorder that has the ability to control your life. This disease affects the inner ear, which plays a large role in our ability to balance. When was the last time you had to really focus before getting up out of a chair or even just trying to walk around your home? Those with vertigo know that these simple tasks can become daunting. It can be even more frightening to the elderly who could be at a higher risk of injury if they were to fall.
What causes vertigo?
• Meniere’s disease
• Head injury
• Ear surgery
• Extended bed rest
• Inflammation of the vestibular nerve or of the inner ear
• Reduced blood flow to parts of the brain
Are there any symptoms?
• It is common to experience dizziness when you have vertigo. The dizziness can range from mild to being so severe that a person may not be able to stand due to fear of falling.
• Nausea is another common complaint… but is usually just the result of the intense dizziness.
• Ringing in the ears that might even turn into temporary hearing loss.
• Difficulty seeing straight or clearly.
But there is good news…
In most cases, vertigo is a treatable condition. With the proper medicine, most people who suffer from the disorder can resume a normal life without enduring any of these symptoms. Although, in a few severe cases, treatment may not fully cure the problem. Still, any medical attention will produce small improvements. Thus, if you think you may have vertigo, you should reach out to your doctor immediately.