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Think You May Have Hearing Loss? Here Is What To Do

477 million: that’s the number of people worldwide who live with hearing loss. Among people 75 and older, nearly half have hearing loss. These numbers make it clear that hearing loss is far from uncommon, and it can happen to anyone. So, if you think you might have hearing loss, what should you do?
Here are six simple steps you should take if you think you have hearing loss:
1) Know the signs.
While every person experiences hearing loss a little differently, there are common symptoms you can watch out for to know whether you may have hearing loss. Common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Turning the TV or music to a volume that other people find loud
  • Difficulty understanding conversation in noisy places
  • Trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Feeling like other people are frequently mumbling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Avoiding social situations you once enjoyed
  • Other people, such as your spouse, friends, or family members, telling you that you might have hearing loss

2) Have your hearing tested.
If you have noticed the signs of hearing loss, or if a loved one has suggested you might have hearing loss, the next step is to have your hearing tested. You can start with an online test (many online hearing tests are free), or you can go to a hearing health professional. The benefit of seeing a professional for a hearing test is they will be able to explain your results and what action should be taken.
3) Decide whether you want to treat your hearing loss.
If the results of your hearing test reveal that you do have hearing loss, it is time to decide what you’re going to do about it. You could ignore the problem, but this is not recommended. The effects of untreated hearing loss include social ones, like not hearing important information, feeling lonely when you cannot have conversations as you once did, mishearing conversations (especially in noisy environments), and feeling frustrated in social situations. Untreated hearing loss can also affect your overall health; those with untreated hearing loss are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety, falls, and dementia.
Treating your hearing loss, on the other hand, can lower your risk for all of these problems. It can also help you enjoy auditory experiences you may have forgotten about, like hearing the birds outside your window or the babbling sound of the little stream that runs alongside your favorite nature walk. You will also be able to understand conversations with your loved ones and feel comfortable and confident in social situations.
4) See a hearing professional.
If you did not see a hearing health professional for your hearing test, now is the time to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, hearing aid specialist, or ENT. The hearing professional will be able to determine how severe the hearing loss is and recommend the best treatment for your specific needs.
5) Ask to try hearing aids.
Hearing aids are a common and effective way to treat hearing loss. Did you know that most states require a 30- or 60-day trial period for hearing aids? This allows you enough time to try out your hearing aids and see how they are working for you. Your hearing professional will help you with any adjustments you need, and they can also recommend different hearing aids if you feel you didn’t get the right fit the first time.
Although over-the-counter hearing aids are now available, the best choice is often to get personalized ones from a hearing professional. With this option, your hearing professional can make certain that the hearing aids are tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
6) Enjoy hearing well.
Most people who try hearing aids report that they enjoy many activities so much more now—from listening to music to conversing with friends, and from hearing the sounds of nature to watching TV without turning the volume up to the max. In addition, you can rest assured that you have lowered your risk for the health problems associated with untreated hearing loss. Now, that’s something to celebrate!
If you would like more information or think you might have hearing loss, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today. We look forward to taking care of you.

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New Study Confirms Link Between COVID-19 and Symptoms of Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, and Vertigo

Now that we have been dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic for over a year now, you have probably learned that symptoms of COVID can vary from person to person. Some people experience difficulty breathing, while others only suffer from a loss of taste or smell. Some people experience nausea or vomiting, while others have a fever and chills.
You may also know that certain viruses can lead to hearing difficulties, including measles, mumps, and meningitis. But what about the coronavirus? Could one of the varying symptoms of COVID-19 be an effect on your hearing? A new study found that yes, there is a link between COVID-19 and symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo.
Tinnitus is the most common hearing symptom reported by those suffering from COVID-19. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a fairly common condition on its own, with nearly 15 percent of the population (approximately 50 million Americans) experiencing some form of tinnitus. Most people who experience tinnitus also have hearing loss, which suggests a close link between the two conditions. Researchers suspect that tinnitus is one of the first signs that the hearing system has been damaged by factors like excessive noise or ototoxic drugs.
Tinnitus has been reported to be a common symptom of what is referred to as “long COVID,” which is where symptoms persist weeks or even months after the infection is gone. The exact connection between tinnitus and COVID-19 is unclear. It may be that the virus affects the auditory system, or tinnitus may be caused by stress from the pandemic.
While tinnitus is most frequently reported by those suffering from long COVID, hearing difficulties have been reported by patients of a wide age range who experienced the illness in varying degrees of severity. Hearing loss has been reported among those with mild cases that were managed as home, as well as among severe cases that required hospitalization. There have also been several reports of sudden hearing loss in one ear, accompanied by tinnitus, from patients with COVID-19.
Research has found that viruses can cause sudden hearing loss, so SARS-CoV-2 may be responsible for the cases of sudden hearing loss reported in COVID patients. However, because of the high number of COVID patients worldwide, it is difficult for researchers to determine whether the rate of sudden hearing loss is higher than normal.
Many COVID patients also report dizziness as a symptom of the disease. Dizziness may be difficult to differentiate from rotatory vertigo, which is caused by damage to the balance system in the inner ear. The best estimate from current surveys and reports is that rotatory vertigo occurs in approximately 7 percent of COVID cases.
From these reports, it is clear that COVID-19 is linked to hearing difficulties, including hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Further research is needed to more fully establish the connection and the true cause of these symptoms. To learn more about how COVID and hearing problems are linked, we invite you to contact our hearing clinic today. We are eager to assist you.

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Smartphone Apps That Support Hearing Aids— How To Know Which Ones Work Well

Have you ever heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that”? While this phrase was first used over a decade ago (Apple began using this slogan in their advertising in 2009), it has never been truer than it is now. You can download an app to your smartphone to do just about anything you want—to check the news, keep you updated on the weather in your area, chat with people halfway around the world, remind you to drink more water, do your banking right from your phone, keep an online journal, and much, much more.
So, what about when it comes to your hearing aids? Yes, there’s an app for that, too. There are, in fact, numerous smartphone apps now available that support hearing aids. How do you know which ones work well? Here are a few key features you might want to look for when you are considering apps to support your hearing aids:

  • Apps created by hearing aid manufacturers

Many hearing aid manufacturers now have their own apps. The app created by the manufacturer of your particular hearing aids might be one of the best for you to use. These apps are typically custom made to work seamlessly with your specific hearing aids. So, if you are new to using a smartphone app with your hearing aids, start by downloading and exploring the app made by your hearing aid manufacturer.

  • Adjust your hearing aids

If you wear hearing aids, chances are good that you’ve been in a situation before where your hearing aid settings weren’t quite right. An app allows you to adjust the treble, bass, volume, and other sound settings right from your phone. Not only is this incredibly simple, but it can also be more discreet than reaching up your ears to adjust your hearing aids.

  • Battery life notifications

Choosing an app that notifies you when your hearing aid batteries are low can allow you to recharge or replace the batteries before they die.

  • Direct audio connection

Using Bluetooth, apps allow your hearing aids to connect directly to audio. This means music, podcasts, TV shows, and more can stream directly to your hearing aids.

  • Custom hearing programs

As mentioned above, your hearing aids might need to be adjusted for certain settings. For example, maybe you always find it challenging to hear well when you go to a particular restaurant. Using your app, you can create a custom hearing program that you specify to this setting, and then you can save the program to use again when you visit in the future. The app may also save the information so you can share it with your audiologist, which can help them better understand the settings that offer challenges.

  • Statistics and location

An app can offer statistics regarding your hearing aids, such as how many hours you wore them per day, week, or month. The app may also track the location of your hearing aids, which can be helpful if you misplace your devices.

  • Hearing aid manual and instructions

One of the benefits of using an app created by the hearing aid manufacturer is the availability of the manual and instructions for your particular device. This might be especially helpful if your hearing aids are new to you. Plus, it is certainly more convenient to access the manual via your smartphone than to carry the manual around with you!

  • Communication with your hearing aid specialist

For almost a year now, many audiology practices have limited in-office appointments. Even if you cannot see your hearing care professional in person, or if you want to avoid the health risks of doing so, you can communicate with them via your hearing aid app. These apps allow your hearing healthcare specialist to conduct a hearing test, adjust your hearing aids, fit the hearing aid, and much more.
It may be hard to believe at first, but some hearing aid apps offer even more features than these! To learn more about how an app can help you control your hearing aids, we welcome you to contact our hearing care practice today.

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Hearing Aid Use in the U.S.—Increasing or Decreasing?

If you or a loved one uses hearing aids, you know that these devices can make a huge difference in your daily life. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, not everyone who has hearing loss wears hearing aids. A new study has found some changes in the percentage of Americans who use hearing aids, and it’s a case of good news and bad news.
The study, which was published in the medical journal JAMA: Internal Medicine in December 2020, tracked hearing aid use among older American adults from 2011 to 2018. The overarching good news that was uncovered in this research is that hearing aid use among older American adults is increasing. Between 2011 and 2018, hearing aid use among a representative sample of American adults over the age of 70 increased from 15 percent to 18.5 percent.
While it is great news that overall hearing aid use is increasing, there was bad news as well. Hearing aid use did not increase as dramatically for older Black Americans—only a +0.8 percent change in seven years. Furthermore, hearing aid use did not increase at all among older adults living at less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level. In fact, hearing aid ownership actually dropped during this period from 12.4 percent to 10.8 percent. While this study did not look particularly at hearing aid use among older Hispanic Americans, other studies have found a similar disparity in hearing care.
There are several possible reasons for the disparity among minorities and lower-income adults. Systemic problems in healthcare lead to fewer minorities and low-income individuals having access to the care they need, including audiology and hearing loss services. When they do receive care, it is often delayed.
Even if these individuals have Medicaid or Medicare, they may not have access to the hearing healthcare they need. Medicaid hearing care depends on each state’s guidelines, while Medicare only partly covers hearing care. For many people in these minority and low-income groups, preventive care is limited or nonexistent. Hearing loss may go undiagnosed, and treatment may be out of reach due to cost and access. Stigma may also play a role among the percentage of the population who have hearing loss but do not use hearing aids.
For those with hearing loss (whether or not it has been diagnosed) who do not use hearing aids, the consequences can extend far beyond simply not being able to hear as well. Research has shown that untreated hearing loss is linked to an increased risk of depression, social isolation, anxiety, falls, dementia, and auditory processing problems. Because of the hearing loss treatment gap among minorities, experts expect dementia rates to increase disproportionately in minorities in the coming years.
What can be done to remedy this situation? First, be sure to have your hearing tested and follow your hearing specialist’s recommendations for treatment, including using hearing aids. If you have a loved one who you suspect may have untreated hearing loss, encourage them to have their hearing tested as well. Second, you can be part of ending the stigma surrounding hearing aid use. Never make fun of someone for using hearing aids or having a hearing loss. Instead, offer support and encouragement for seeking treatment.
Researchers are optimistic that a federal law passed in 2017 (that may go into effect in 2021) may help. This federal law makes hearing aids available over-the-counter, which could help many Americans gain access to hearing aids.
To learn more about hearing aid use in the United States or to schedule your appointment with our hearing specialist, we invite you to contact our practice today. We are here to assist you.

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New Discovery in Fruit Flies Holds Promise for Age-Related Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing loss is more common than you may realize. In the United States, 1 in 5 people over the age of 12 have hearing loss of some kind. When combined with the children who have hearing loss, that makes for 48 million Americans with hearing loss. For those who are aged 65 to 74 years old, approximately one third suffer from hearing loss. The numbers are even greater among those who are older, with nearly half of adults over the age of 75 experiencing hearing loss. Around the world, nearly 477 million people have hearing loss.
With numbers like these, it is apparent that any research that could lead to better ways to treat and even prevent hearing loss is extremely important. Hearing loss is not just inconvenient; it can entirely change a person’s life. People with age-related hearing loss often experience social isolation, loneliness, trouble communicating, depression, anxiety, and dementia.
These statistics and the conditions linked to hearing loss are only a small piece of the reality of hearing loss. However, a new hope may be on the horizon, thanks to groundbreaking research conducted by a team of scientists at University College London (UCL).
The scientists recently published a study in Scientific Reports that shows their findings related to hearing loss—in fruit flies. Before you assume that fruit flies are too far removed from humans to provide any promising research in the field of hearing loss, think again. The fruit fly is a powerful tool in biology, and when it comes to hearing, a fruit fly’s ear shares many molecular similarities with that of a human. Up until now, however, no studies had examined a fruit fly’s hearing ability over its lifetime.
In this new study, the researchers found that the antennal ears of fruit flies also display age-related hearing loss. They also discovered that certain genes are responsible for the fruit fly’s hearing ability over its lifespan. These two discoveries are groundbreaking on their own—because humans also suffer from age-related hearing loss, and many scientists have tried to identify the genes that control hearing ability in humans. This demonstrates that fruit flies are an ideal tool for learning more about how hearing loss could be treated in humans.
The researchers at UCL did not stop at these two major discoveries. They also found a way to manipulate some of the genes responsible for maintaining hearing sensitivity. With these manipulations, the scientists could prevent the flies from experiencing age-related hearing loss.
Because of the similarities between the hearing structures and genes of fruit flies and humans, this new research promises to lead to many more discoveries that could change how hearing loss is treated in humans. With further research and testing, scientists and doctors may one day be able to make genetic adjustments in humans that would eliminate age-related hearing loss.
To learn more about this exciting new research and how the promise it holds for the future of hearing healthcare, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today. We are eager to care for you!

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Why It’s Important to Always Wear Your Hearing Aids—Even At Home

If you are like most people in the world, you have probably spent a lot of time at home in the last few months. It seems that “normal life” grounded to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and since then, many of us have been spending more time than usual in our homes. All of the places we regularly go—gyms, stores and shopping centers, restaurants, salons, and even many workplaces—have been closed.
If you are a hearing aid user and have been spending a lot of time at home lately, you may be tempted to not wear your hearing aids as often. This may be especially true if you live by yourself. After all, hearing aids are used for communication, right? So, if you are staying home and have no one you need to communicate with, it might seem unnecessary to use your hearing aids.
The truth, however, is that you should continue wearing your hearing aids, even when you are at home alone. Here are just a few reasons why this is so important:

  • Hearing aids stimulate your brain.

Even if you are not leaving your house much, or perhaps especially if you are not leaving your house much, you want to continue to stimulate your brain.
In one study that followed 639 adults for almost 12 years, a research team at Johns Hopkins found that untreated mild hearing loss doubled a person’s risk for dementia. Those with untreated severe hearing loss were at even greater risk—they were 5 times more likely to develop dementia than those with normal hearing.
Hearing the incidental sounds that happen in your home every day helps to keep your brain active and processing sound. Even if you are not communicating directly with anyone on a daily basis, wearing your hearing aids will help to activate your brain.

  • Hearing aids enable you to connect.

Even if you are not seeing people face-to-face much these days, your hearing aids can still help you stay connected. If you have a phone call or video call with a friend or family member, your hearing aids will enable you to better communicate with them.
Many modern hearing aids can also connect to devices like smartphones, tablets, and TVs. This allows you to stay up to date on the latest news and information that you might otherwise miss. Furthermore, if you have Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, you can use them to directly connect to phone calls, FaceTime calls, video chats.
You might be distanced geographically from your friends and family at this time, but that does not mean you cannot communicate and connect with them!

  • Hearing aids are essential to your safety.

You are much better able to hear alarms and sirens when you are wearing your hearing aids. This makes it important to your safety—and the safety of others—that you continue wearing your hearing aids at home.
Plus, there are some sounds around your home that you are not sirens or alarms, but they might be important to your safety and the safe functioning of your home. If you are not wearing your hearing aids, you might miss these noises, such as an unusual noise being made by a home appliance or your car.
Wearing your hearing aids is important to your health and safety, even when you are at home. To learn more about the benefits of using hearing aids, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today. We look forward to caring for you!

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Face Masks, Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids—What You Need to Know

While many areas around the country have begun to reopen and lift stay-at-home orders put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should still take precautions to protect your health and that of your family. The CDC recommends that you continue following basic guidelines like washing your hands (thoroughly!), not touching your face, and staying home if you don’t feel well.
One guideline, however, can create challenges for people with hearing loss: the recommendation (or requirement, in some areas) to wear a face covering in public settings. This can be difficult for those with hearing loss for several reasons.
First, if you use hearing aids, the elastic bands of the face mask may interfere with your hearing devices and could tug on them while you are wearing the face mask. You may also find that removing your face mask also pulls out your hearing aids.
Second, it’s more difficult to understand someone who is wearing a face mask. This is especially true if you have hearing loss and have learned to rely on lip-reading or facial cues to aid in your understanding. The face mask can also muffle and distort speech.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it easier to effectively communicate while still wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others.
How to wear a face mask with hearing aids:

  • Remove your mask carefully. This will decrease the chance of yanking out your hearing aids. Move slowly as you remove your mask so that if your hearing aids are dislodged, you can easily catch them and reinsert them.
  • Try using a mask with fabric ties instead of elastic loops. The ties can be adjusted and loosened to avoid interfering with your hearing aids.
  • Try out a mask holder. These are worn near the back of the head and hold the ties or loops of the face mask. Using a mask holder may reduce your mask’s interference with your hearing aids.
  • Speak with your hearing professional. They may have tips on how to make it easier and more comfortable to wear a face mask with hearing aids.

How to communicate with someone with hearing loss while wearing a face mask:

  • Speak clearly and slowly. Try to enunciate your words. Do not yell, as this can be painful for someone with hearing loss. If the person does not understand what you say, try rephrasing it rather than repeating the same misunderstood sentence.
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible. Make sure you have the attention of the person you are speaking to.
  • If the person uses hearing aids, make sure they are wearing them and the devices are turned on.
  • Take turns while speaking. Do not allow more than one person to speak at a time.
  • Use body language and eye contact to further express yourself.
  • Consider using a portable hearing aid amplifier.
  • If possible, use a clear plastic face covering. This enables the person with hearing loss to see your mouth while you are speaking and can improve their understanding.

These simple tips can go a long way in helping a person with hearing loss better communicate with those wearing face masks. Whether you have hearing loss or you know someone who does, be patient with yourself and others as we all strive to protect ourselves and navigate our new normal.
For more information about how to use a face mask with hearing aids, or how to more effectively communicate while wearing a face covering, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today. We look forward to serving you!

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6 Simple Video Conferencing Tips for Those with Hearing Loss

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a new way of life that affects all of us. Most states around the US have issued stay-at-home orders, allowing you to venture out for only a few specific reasons. Because of this, you may now find yourself working at home (or attending classes at home, if you are a student) and trying to remain connected with loved ones virtually.
While working from home has its benefits (like no commute and all-day access to the kitchen), it certainly has its drawbacks, too. This is especially true for those with hearing loss, who now find themselves trying to navigate video conferencing and other work-from-home challenges.
If you have hearing loss, however, don’t despair! You can successfully work from home. All it takes is a few tips to make things a bit easier:

  1. Advocate for yourself.
    Be sure to let your team members know that you have hearing loss. If you are struggling to hear or understand during a video call, be sure to make them aware. Give tips for what they can do to make it easier for you to effectively understand and participate.
  2. Try out different communication techniques.
    If one certain type of communication is especially challenging, don’t be afraid to suggest an alternative. Experiment with video conferencing, phone calls, text chats, and more. Even using a pen and paper or a whiteboard can be helpful!
  3. Use headphones with a microphone and noise-canceling technology.
    If you and everyone on your team use a headset with a microphone, the sound quality will be better and clearer for all involved. This can make it easier for those with hearing loss to understand the conversation. Be sure anyone who is not speaking mutes their microphone to reduce background noise.
    Using headphones with noise-canceling technology can also help you better understand the conversation at hand by cutting out background noise.
  4. Make the most of video technology.
    Many people with hearing loss rely on visual cues for context. Because of this, be sure to use video capabilities during work or class conversations. It’s also important to use good lighting (light from the front, not from behind), to not cover your mouth, and to speak clearly. Do not let team members speak over one another, as this is garbled speech is almost impossible to understand if you have hearing loss.
    Many video conferencing programs also offer live captioning. This can be a great asset to those with hearing loss, so be sure the captioning is turned on.
  5. Record video conferences for later reference and provide written follow-up.
    Be sure to record any video meetings and allow your team to access them following the meeting. Those with hearing loss may find it helpful to rewatch any sections they had difficulty understanding. During the video call, be sure to screen share when you are discussing any relevant documents or programs.
    You can also provide clear, written follow-up to your video or voice calls. This can be helpful to reiterate important points and clarify assignments.
  6. Use Bluetooth technology.
    Some hearing aids come with Bluetooth technology that allows them to directly connect with devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones. If your hearing aids are equipped with this technology, you may be able to directly connect your hearing device to your video conferencing app.

Now, the benefits of video conferencing aren’t confined to work and school only. Telehealth appointments also allow you to meet with medical providers—like your hearing healthcare professional—from home as well! These virtual appointments can be an easy, effective way to connect with your hearing professional, ask questions, and receive the care you need.
If you would like to learn more about how to successfully navigate video conferencing with hearing loss, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today. We are eager to assist you!

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Here Are Things You Can Do At Home to Support Hearing Loss

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, you need support. Even if you are unable to visit an audiologist or other hearing healthcare specialist soon due to COVID-19 restrictions, you can take steps to support hearing loss at home. Experiencing hearing loss does not have to mean that you become reliant on others or that you lose your independence. It instead means you will need to find alternative solutions to the challenges of everyday life.
The following tips are simple, yet they can make a big difference for you and your loved one suffering from hearing loss:

  • Put alert systems in place.
    Those with hearing loss often cannot hear normal alarm systems like smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. Special systems can be put into place that instead vibrate your bed, flash a bright light, or sound a very loud alarm to alert you of an emergency situation.
    Doorbell systems work in a similar fashion. Since you will likely no longer hear your doorbell, these systems use lights or vibrations to alert you of visitors. There is even a similar solution available for your everyday alarm clock. Now you don’t have to worry about sleeping in too late!
  • Make communication easier.
    One common solution for making communication easier with hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. They can be life changing! If you have hearing aids, be sure to wear them. Using your hearing aids more frequently will help you get used to them.
    If you do not have hearing aids and cannot visit a hearing specialist at this time, you can use other communication tools. Telephone amplifiers, extension ringers, and other assistive devices can make landline calls clearer. Most mobile phones and smartphones come with accessibility settings you can use to make it easier to use your phone. You can choose options like flash notifications, left/right balance to assist hearing when using headphones, and more.
  • Enable entertainment options.
    For many people, one of the first signs of hearing loss is being unable to hear their television or radio at a normal volume. In addition to turning up the volume, there are other options you can use to make it easier to enjoy entertainment once again. Check the sound settings on your television. Reducing the bass can help you hear higher-pitched sounds better. Many TVs also come with a “speech enhancement” setting that can make it easier for you to understand speech.
    You can also use subtitles on your television. If you have a hearing aid, many TVs can connect to hearing aids via a hearing loop so the sound is streamed directly to your hearing aids. If you do not have hearing aids, you might consider using headphones that allow you to adjust the volume and sound settings.

Of course, one of the keys to supporting hearing loss is to be patient–whether it is with yourself or a loved one. Hearing loss is a new experience that will require adjustments from everyone.
To learn more about how you can support hearing loss at home, especially during this unprecedented time, we welcome you to contact our hearing practice today.

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9 Tips for Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids at Home

With the current “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders around the country, it can be difficult to see your hearing aid professional as often as usual. Even as states begin to ease restrictions and businesses cautiously start to reopen, it is best to avoid unneeded visits to places like stores and offices. Even with the best safeguards in place–like social distancing and a face covering–it is safest to avoid contact with anyone who could have COVID-19.

Because it is more challenging to see your hearing aid specialist, it is essential that you know how to take care of your hearing aids at home. While certain problems and emergency situations will need to be brought to a professional, some issues can be resolved on your own. One important way to prevent problems with your hearing aids is to properly maintain them.

While all hearing aids are subject to environmental factors, such as earwax, humidity, moisture, and debris, different types of hearing aids are particularly susceptible to certain types of problems. In-The-Ear (ITE) and Invisible-In-The-Canal (IITC) hearing aids are especially susceptible to earwax. On the other hand, devices that are worn over the ear are more frequently exposed to sweat, water, and physical debris.

No matter which type of hearing aid you have, you can take steps to keep your hearing aids working well. Here are a few simple tips for maintaining your hearing aids at home:

  1. Always handle your hearing aids with care. Although they are not necessarily fragile, they could break or become lost due to an ill-timed drop.
  2. Wash your hands before handling your hearing aids.
  3. Store your hearing aids in a safe, dry place when you are not wearing them. A small, plastic container, like the one your hearing aids likely came in, is perfect. Be sure to keep your hearing aids in a safe place, away from any pets or children.
  4. Turn off your hearing aids when you are not using them. This can help to extend the battery life.
  5. Consider using a cord-and-clip system. This attaches to your hearing aids on one end and clips to your clothing on the other end. If your hearing aids fall out, this system prevents them from falling and becoming lost or broken.
  6. If you often find yourself losing your hearing aids, consider painting them a bright color or adding a bright-colored dot sticker. This can help you find them more easily.
  7. Periodically clean the battery contacts in your hearing aids. Be sure to also remove any visible earwax or other debris with a clean cloth.
  8. Regularly change the filters or wax guards. This helps to remove wax and dirt that could interfere with sound quality.
  9. Do not wear your hearing aids while you shower, swim, use a blow dryer, or use hair spray.

With these easy tips, your hearing aids are likely to stay in good working order. To learn more about how you can take care of your hearing aids at home, we encourage you to contact our hearing practice today. We look forward to assisting you!