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Cute illustration of content puppies and kittens sitting together with paw prints in the background

When It Comes to Hearing Wellness, Don’t Fur-Get Your Pets!

When It Comes to Hearing Wellness for the Whole Family, Don’t Fur-Get Your Pets!

In April, it’s paws up for Pet Appreciation Month. To celebrate, we’re sharing some pretty helpful tips to help you look out for your cats’ and pups’ hearing health. Just like their people parents, these furry members of the family can experience hearing difficulties too. Read on to learn what you can do.


AVOID EXCESS NOISE

As one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss in humans, loud sounds can also be a problem for the beloved pets in your household. Excess noise can go hand in hand with hearing damage, anxiety, fear, and even trauma. Limiting noise exposure helps support their hearing health and overall wellness.
 

CONSIDER HEARING PROTECTION

If hightailing it to a quieter space isn’t an option for Rover and Pepper during fireworks or other super-loud situations, hearing protection is another approach that could help. Earplugs and earmuffs made especially for pets help deaden intrusive sounds.
 

KNOW THE SIGNS

If your pooch or kitty doesn’t react in the usual way to your voice, squeaky toys, the doorbell, or other sounds, hearing loss may be the culprit. Behaviors such as reduced activity, excess barking, loud meowing, and sound sleeping even through the loudest noises may also indicate a problem.
 

SCHEDULE REGULAR CHECKUPS

Comprehensive vet exams may include not only a check of your pet’s eyes, nose, mouth, legs, heart, skin, weight, and joints but also their ears. It’s a good time to discuss any changes you’ve noticed in their response to commands or other sounds and gain tips on proper nutrition for optimal hearing health.
 

ADDRESS PROBLEMS EARLY

Early intervention on a suspected hearing condition could make the difference in your fur baby’s quality of life. Not all hearing loss is preventable — for example, a congenital problem, irreversible damage from injury, or another challenge — but working with your veterinarian may help moderate the problem.

Illustration of an audiologist looking at a large ear.

Hearing Care 101 – The Importance of Your Follow-Up Appointment

Q: I have a hearing aid follow-up appointment soon. What can I expect?

A: Better hearing is a journey, not a moment. Your hearing aid follow-up appointment is an important part of that journey. The more prepared you are for the follow-up, the more you’ll get out of it. Let’s take a look.


The Preparation

As much as you can between now and your follow-up, make note of how well you’re doing with your hearing aids. In what situations are you enjoying them? Which environments are challenging? Which important voices in your life still aren’t clear? Are the battery doors causing you trouble? Do they feel tight or loose in your ear? Bring your notes — and any questions you have — to your appointment.
 

The Conversation

This is the crux of the follow-up. Your provider will ask you questions, and vice versa. The more feedback you can offer, the better your provider can help. Every environment that gives you a challenge tells your provider valuable information about your hearing aid settings. Same with every loved one’s voice that still isn’t quite right.

But the more emotional or psychological components are key too. Your provider will want you to describe your overall impression of the hearing aids, such as what you like and don’t like, which expectations were exceeded, and which went unmet. This, too, tells your provider more than you might realize. There’s no such thing as too much feedback at a follow-up appointment!
 

The Refresher

You learned a lot in your evaluation and fitting appointments. Part of your follow-up appointment will be devoted to reviewing the care and maintenance of your devices. You’ll also probably get a refresher on which programs do what, how to access them, and how to use the smartphone app (if applicable).
 

The Adjustments

Your provider will use everything gathered in your feedback to make adjustments to your devices. This could include adding additional programs, fine-tuning existing ones, or providing you with different domes or tubing.

If some of your feedback suggests your ears and brain are having trouble working together after years of hearing loss, you might be assigned exercises to help establish a stronger ear-brain relationship. It’s a lot like physical therapy after an injury. But in this case, it will most likely be tasks done on your computer at home.
 

The Next Step

Your provider will probably schedule another follow-up for a couple of weeks out.

The more adjustments made or exercises assigned, the sooner it may be. Your provider wants to catch issues as soon as possible. They want you to thrive on your better-hearing journey just as much as you do!

Illustration of young African American woman listening to music on her headphones while looking at her smartphone

Connecting to Smartphones With Your Hearing Aids

The world of wireless can be a little daunting. But experiencing the joys of streaming can be as easy as 1-2-3. If you’re not sure how to get started using your hearing aids’ Bluetooth capabilities, read on.


Connecting Hearing Aids to Your Smartphone

There are a growing number of made-for-smartphone hearing aids. This technology lets you send the audio from your phone, tablet, or laptop directly to your hearing aids. In short, you can use your hearing aids as wireless headphones. Not all hearing aids with Bluetooth are smartphone-compatible — only the ones designated Made for iPhone or Made for Android.

The good news is setting these up is simple — the technology does most of the work for you! Whether you have Apple- or Android-compatible hearing aids, the idea is the same. The only difference is the steps you take on your smartphone to make it happen.

Turn on your Bluetooth

On either your iPhone or your Android phone, go to the Settings app. Find Bluetooth — it should be near the top of the menu — select it, then turn it on.

Locate your hearing aids in the list

On your iPhone, go back to the Settings app. Scroll down, find Accessibility, and select it. Scroll about halfway down that menu, find Hearing Devices, and select it. Your hearing aids should be listed.

On your Android phone, once you turned on Bluetooth, your phone should have started “looking” for other Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect to. Within seconds, your hearing aids should be listed.

For both phones, if your phone doesn’t list your hearing aids within a few seconds, you may need to open and close the battery doors or put them on the recharger. This turns them off and then on again, which should help your phone find them.

Select your hearing aids

When your phone finally lists your hearing aids as an option, select them. They will begin connecting, which could take up to 30 seconds or a minute.

Connecting Other Devices to Your Hearing Aids

 

Smartphone streamers

If your hearing aids aren’t Made for iPhone or Made for Android, you can still wirelessly stream audio from your smartphone to your hearing aids. It just requires a separate, tiny wireless device, called a streamer, that either clips to your collar or hangs from your neck and can be hidden underneath your clothing.

Other streamers

Many situations — even with smartphone-compatible hearing devices — require a streamer if you want audio sent to your hearing aids. From TV streamers to mini-microphones (for conversations in noisy environments), you can find a streamer to assist you in hearing your world even more clearly.

Each hearing aid manufacturer makes their own array of streamers. Connecting is often even easier than the above process and can be found in the streamer’s instructions.


If you’re curious about the latest streamers or want to learn more about smartphone-compatible hearing aids, contact us today!Connecting to Smartphones With Your Hearing Aids

Illustrations of scientists in white coats checking beakers full of fluid

Today’s Hearing Research Offers Hope for the Future

Scientists. They’re just like us: always looking for ways to help people hear and live their best. It starts with uncovering the mysteries of hearing loss, which can require a lot of resources. That’s why we love seeing important research initiatives get the funding needed to move forward.

Check out these three exciting developments:

AUDITORY PROCESSING

Can stress early in life affect children’s ability to make sense of what they hear? A $2.3 million grant awarded by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health will help Northeast Ohio Medical University explore just that. The funding will help power an investigation into the role of early-life stress on auditory processing — especially among children with conductive hearing loss. Per the school’s website, the research in part “will provide a focus for future experiments to determine how best to remediate these perceptual problems in children.”

HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS

Certain chemotherapy drugs can be life-saving for patients but potentially harmful to the ears. A $5.7 million U.S. National Cancer Institute grant will help researcher Lois B. Travis, M.D., Sc.D., at the Indiana University School of Medicine continue an ongoing investigation. The study, aimed to “evaluate long-term health outcomes for cancer patients who receive platinum-based chemotherapies,” may help provide some important answers regarding potential links between the cancer treatment and conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus. It eventually could help experts identify not only those at greater risk of the harmful side effects but also ways to reduce such risks.

HEARING HEALTH & COVID-19

Amid increasing reports of potential links between COVID-19 and hearing loss, the U.K.’s University of Manchester is taking a deeper look. With support from donors, the school’s Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness is exploring the disease’s long-term effect on hearing ability among adults. More than 10% of respondents treated for COVID-19 had reported tinnitus or decreased hearing in a previous study by one of the investigators. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the current research, which might offer additional solutions for protecting and preserving hearing health.


Did you know? Today’s better-hearing solutions are a testament to the tireless research that has helped make them possible. Discover the benefits firsthand by scheduling a hearing evaluation with our highly trained team. We can’t wait to see you!

Cochlear: When you first got hearing aids, they may have been the best solution. But are they still now?

Cochlear: Are hearing aids not enough for you?

Hearing Aid Check is an online tool that allows consumers to check the performance of their hearing aids compared to the performance of someone with a cochlear implant” Upon completion of the check the consumer gets an email of their results and recommendation to contact their audiologist.

When you first got hearing aids, they may have been the best solution. But are they still now?

Designed by an independent research body, National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL), this simple Hearing Aid Check will compare your performance with hearing aids to people with a cochlear implant.

The results will reveal if you should consider other options for better hearing.

Check your hearing now.

Lineup of new ReSound ONE and AGXrH Technology

New Technology – AGXr H: Empowered Hearing That Fits Your Life

We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

There’s nothing like the sounds that make your life unique. A favorite playlist. Your sweetheart’s laugh. The newscast you love listening to while whipping up your signature smoothie. In today’s world, however, hearing the sounds of your life can feel more challenging than ever.

It’s why we’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

  • Get closer than ever to a natural hearing experience with the microphone and receiver-in-ear option, which positions a third microphone in your ear to collect sound the way nature intended.
  • Enjoy up to 30 hours of superior hearing on a single charge or up to 25 hours of battery life with unlimited streaming.
  • Stream phone calls, music, and other audio right to your ears — wirelessly. Even enjoy your TV favorites without having to change the volume for everyone else.
  • Experience tailor-made hearing with the AGX® Attune app, including one-tap sound adjustments, geotagged settings for optimal listening, and more.
  • Gain the convenience of face-to-face online hearing care and anytime remote fine-tuning — no office visit needed!
  • Communicate confidently with technology that gives you everything you need to process sound with greater depth and direction, including:

In today’s evolving world, hearing your best matters more than ever. So don’t wait. Contact us to schedule your hearing consultation and personalized AGXR H demo today. We’ve made a limited number of appointments available and can’t wait to see you!


AGXR H

The personalized hearing experience you’ve been waiting for:

  • More natural sound and improved sense of space
  • Easier-to-follow conversations in dynamic environments
  • Best 1:1 speech understanding

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title: New Technology – AGXr H: Empowered Hearing That Fits Your Life

meta: We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing AGXR H.

alt: Lineup of new Resound One and AGXrH Technology

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tag: battery life, converstaion technology, geotagging, hearing aid advancements, remote interface, technology,

Lineup of new ReSound ONE and AGXrH Technology

New Technology – ReSound ONE: Hear Like No Other

We’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing ReSound ONE.

There’s nothing like the sounds that make your life unique. A favorite playlist. Your sweetheart’s laugh. The newscast you love listening to while whipping up your signature smoothie. In today’s world, however, hearing the sounds of your life can feel more challenging than ever.

It’s why we’re excited about a new line of hearing technology that can help you hear the way you want — naturally. Introducing ReSound ONE.

  • Get closer than ever to a natural hearing experience with the microphone and receiver-in-ear option, which positions a third microphone in your ear to collect sound the way nature intended.
  • Enjoy up to 30 hours of superior hearing on a single charge or up to 25 hours of battery life with unlimited streaming.
  • Stream phone calls, music, and other audio right to your ears — wirelessly. Even enjoy your TV favorites without having to change the volume for everyone else.
  • Experience tailor-made hearing with the ReSound Smart app, including one-tap sound adjustments, geotagged settings for optimal listening, and more.
  • Gain the convenience of face-to-face online hearing care and anytime remote fine-tuning — no office visit needed!
  • Communicate confidently with technology that gives you everything you need to process sound with greater depth and direction, including:

In today’s evolving world, hearing your best matters more than ever. So don’t wait. Contact us to schedule your hearing consultation and personalized ReSound ONE demo today. We’ve made a limited number of appointments available and can’t wait to see you!


ReSound ONE

The personalized hearing experience you’ve been waiting for:

  • More natural sound and improved sense of space
  • Easier-to-follow conversations in dynamic environments
  • Best 1:1 speech understanding
Illustration of a park bench on a snowy winter day

How Does a Pandemic Affect Noise Pollution? | The Apple Hearing Study

In this first-of-its-kind study, researchers set out to see how the sound levels we’re exposed to in our day-to-day lives can impact health.

We live in a noisy world. Dr. Richard Neitzel, of the University of Michigan, knows this only too well. In November 2019, his team at Michigan, along with a team at Apple Inc., set out on a two-year mission to measure some of the health effects of our noisy planet.

What they got was an unprecedented collection of information that answered an impossible-to-anticipate question — how does a pandemic affect noise pollution?


The Apple Hearing Study

 

The noise pollution problem

Around 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss simply because of their recreational habits. Occupational noise exposure affects up to 25% of American and 15% of Canadian workers. Plus, there’s traffic, daily construction in major cities, and a host of other sources of constant noise.

All this unwanted sound affects more than your hearing. It can disturb sleep, worsen patient outcomes in hospitals, even affect schoolchildren’s cognitive abilities. That’s on top of the already well-established effects hearing loss has on overall health.

In the face of this public health challenge, wouldn’t it be handy to measure just how much noise we’re all exposed to?

This is where Dr. Neitzel and his team come in.


The study

In this first-of-its-kind, two-year study, volunteers downloaded the Apple Research app to their iPhone. Headphone and sound-exposure data were regularly collected from their iPhone and Apple Watch (if applicable). The aim of the study was to measure how the sound levels we’re exposed to in our day-to-day lives impact hearing, cardiovascular health, and stress levels.

The COVID-19 Connection

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, they realized they had a unique, timely, privacy-centric opportunity: They could harvest data from their Apple Hearing Study to measure how social distancing affected sound-exposure levels.

They selected four states based on geographic and cultural diversity — California, Florida, New York, and Texas — and compared the data from two time periods. The first was January 8 to February 21, reflecting pre-COVID-19 conditions. The second period began for each state when that state first issued its social-distancing recommendations, and ended April 22, soon before the first states began loosening restrictions. They ended up with over half a million daily noise level measurements from almost 6,000 participants.

The Surprising Results

They published their findings in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Their analysis revealed that, compared to the pre-COVID-19 time period, daily average noise exposure was cut nearly in half during the social-distancing period, from just over 73 decibels to around 70.5 decibels.

One important piece of this decrease is the sound level at which it happened — 70 decibels. That’s well above the point at which noise can affect heart health, hypertension, and brainpower.

At those decibels, cutting sound exposure in half can have meaningful health benefits. In the words of the authors, “[T]he COVID-related reduction in sound exposures among study participants likely represents a meaningful reduction in overall risk of sound-related health effects.”

A Noisy World

The unforeseen — a pandemic — resulted in nearly halved noise levels, but you don’t have to wait for such extreme circumstances to take charge of your sound-exposure levels. From specialty earplugs to hearing devices, there are simple ways to take charge of how much noise you’re willing to put up with.

Contact us today to learn more about options for curbing noise pollution, regardless of the social-distancing situation you find yourself in!

Illustration of holiday table full of treats

Diabetes and Your Hearing | Diabetes-Friendly Recipe

Diabetes and Your Hearing

Did you know hearing loss and diabetes have something surprising in common?

Sure, they’re both health issues affecting millions of people around the world: Hearing loss affects 466 million worldwide, and diabetes affects 422 million people worldwide, per the World Health Organization. But they have even more in common.

Hearing Loss Is Linked to Diabetes

Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Even among adults with prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than those with normal blood-sugar levels. What’s the connection? Researchers are always fine-tuning their knowledge, but poor blood flow to the inner ear does play a role.

Diabetes-related hearing loss can affect one or both ears, may occur gradually or suddenly, and may or may not have related balance problems.

How You Can Fight Back

You don’t have to let diabetes get the best of your hearing — fight back by reducing your overall risk of hearing loss:

  • Keep up the good work managing your diabetes in collaboration with your medical doctor.
  • Avoid loud noise. Use hearing protection if that’s not possible. Excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.
  • Avoid using tobacco, which increases the risk of hearing loss.
  • Stay physically active, because excess weight affects your hearing.
  • Have your hearing evaluated by a licensed audiologist at least once a year — just like regular eye and teeth care — for early testing, detection, and treatment of any problems.

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet, which is crucial for managing diabetes, is also crucial for optimal ear functioning. During the autumn and winter, when we’re all a little more prone to snacking on sweets, is a prime time for this peanut butter and banana oat bite recipe from the American Diabetes Association.

Peanut Butter & Banana Oat Bites

Ingredients
1 egg
1 ripe banana (mashed)
1/2 cups peanut butter (heated in microwave for 30 seconds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar blend
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together wet ingredients and Splenda Brown Sugar blend.
  • In a small bowl mix together remaining dry ingredients.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well.
  • Scoop batter into 1 Tbsp. balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack.

Head to the recipe page on their website for nutrition information. Plus, there are plenty of additions, substitutions, and raves below the recipe in their Reviews section!

Take control of your overall health and wellness with an annual hearing exam. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

Illustration of a crowd from above walking in all directions

Better Hearing, Resilience & You: 5 Tips For Resilience

“All things in moderation,” the saying goes, but can one have too much resilience? Looking back on such an unprecedented year, we’re not too sure about that.

Like improved hearing, resilience can make a significant difference in quality of life — after all, it reflects an invaluable ability to adapt to, recover from, or withstand challenges, change, and adversity.

As your hearing care team, we’ve some tips for building resilience in your life. For today, the new year, and beyond, keep these five steps in mind:

  1. Remember You’re Not Alone

    If you’ve felt somewhat disconnected in these times, that’s not uncommon. Challenges such as the pandemic have upended the way we live, work, and play. Newer norms can feel uncomfortable. Drawing strength from the knowledge that others share your experiences can make a difference.

  2. Gain Empowerment Through Preparation

    If you wear hearing technology, it’s probably no surprise that a little maintenance goes a long way toward helping you stay engaged. Regular DIY care, supplies such as extra batteries and wax guards, and periodic clean and checks with our team can help you feel prepared for anything life brings.

  3. Think Total Wellness

    Hearing plays an important role in overall wellness, which in turn plays a role in resilience. Did you know? Ears and eyes work together to help you perceive the world. Conversely, hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, heart disease, isolation, and other issues, so protect your hearing health.

  4. Commit to Learning

    Learning not only stimulates the brain but supports resilience. It also supports better hearing, especially when learning more about your existing hearing device’s helpful features and capabilities — streaming, for example — that can help you communicate confidently and navigate your world.

  5. Reach Out for Help

    Expanding and tapping into your network of support — including friends, family, and neighbors — can help fortify your resilience. Count on our hearing care team as part of that important network, letting us know how we can help!

Has it been a while since your last hearing evaluation or technology clean and check? Please don’t wait. Schedule your appointment with us today!