Category: Advice

Home Safety for People With Hearing Loss | Safety Alert Devices

So many things around the house are designed to alert you using noise. But what if a hearing loss means you miss when the smoke detector or alarm clock sounds?

The following alerting devices are ideal methods for helping your home — or the home of a loved one — feel even safer.


Smoke Alarms

A smoke alarm-based alert uses a bright, blinking light to indicate the smoke alarm is going off. You can buy an adapter for your existing smoke alarm, or you can buy a whole new battery-powered or hardwired smoke alarm with an alert built right in. When paired with a central alert system, you can also include a vibrating shaker to put under your pillow.

Doorbells

A doorbell alert sends a signal to a receiver that flashes a light, increases the volume of the doorbell, activates a shaker under your pillow or couch cushion, or all three. Often, you can buy extra receivers as well, so you could have one in your living room, bedroom, and kitchen. Some work up to 20 feet, others up to 1,000 feet. They are available in either battery operated or hardwired to your electrical system.

Weather Alerts

The NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio offers a simple text readout and visual or vibrating alarm features. Third-party vendors offer adapters that color code the warning lights and make the display more readable.

Baby Monitors

These are available in everything from simple to complex. The simplest style has an audio monitor for baby’s room that triggers a vibrating shaker under your pillow. You can also find systems, however, that use multiple monitors, video, lights, and sound. You can even turn your smartphone into a video monitor that triggers an under-pillow vibrating shaker.

Alarm Clocks

There are alarm clocks tailored to those with hearing loss, and there are accessories you can use with your existing alarm clock as well. Just like the doorbell alerts, alarm clock alerts increase the alarm volume, use a shaker placed under your pillow, use flashing lights, or all three. Still others have outlets — plug in any bedside lamp, and it turns on and off as the alarm sounds.

Do you use your cellphone or smartphone as an alarm clock? There are shakers you can place under your pillow that are triggered by a smartphone app when your phone alarm goes off.

Landline Phones

You can get traditional phones tailored to those with hearing loss or purchase accessories to use with your existing phone. A louder ring, flashing lights, a vibrating shaker under the pillow, or all three are available. There are even phones with outlets — much like the alarm clock option above, plug in any available lamp, and it turns on and off as the phone rings.


Contact us to learn more about home safety or to schedule a hearing evaluation!

Illustration of multiple stacks of books, some open, on a light yellow background

The Best Hearing Summer Reading/Watch/Listen List You Need

No summer’s complete without a good reading list, so we’re hooking you up.

From books to films to podcasts, we’ve put together some inspiring, entertaining, or though-provoking options that have some connection to hearing loss or sound. Take a listen, watch, or read, and let us know what you think!

  • The Way I Hear It: A Life With Hearing Loss (Book)

    Humorist, actress, public speaker, and hearing loss advocate Gael Hannan takes readers on a journey of life lessons and more in this 2015 book. Her insights offer advice and inspiration not only for those with hearing loss but for their loved ones, too.

  • Sound of Metal* (Film)

    Imagine being a musician on tour when suddenly confronted with profound hearing loss. It’s the challenge of a lifetime for heavy-metal drummer Ruben, who’s also in recovery. The deep-diving movie has garnered praise in the Deaf community and generated exciting Oscar 2021 buzz.

  • The Hear Me Out! [CC] Podcast (Podcast)

    Everyone has a story worth hearing, and host Ahmed Khalifa sees to it that you do. Whether talking deaf representation in pop culture, censorship in captions, or success at audiology appointments, Khalifa — a host with firsthand hearing loss experience — offers interviews and more in this candid series.

  • The Walking Dead* (TV series)

    You’ve probably heard of this juggernaut zombie series whose upcoming 11th season will be its last. But did you know recent seasons include two amazing actors — Angel Theory and Lauren Ridloff — who use American Sign Language on the show and have hearing loss in real life? Check it out!

  • Impossible Music (Book)

    This young-adult novel follows two Australian teens navigating deafness after having been able to hear most of their lives. The coming-of-age story about change, identity, belonging, relationships, adaptation, and resilience offers another perspective on life’s twists, turns, and blessings.

  • See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary* (Film)

    What’s it like as an entertainer with hearing loss to follow your professional dreams? This award-winning 2009 documentary offers an unflinching up-close look through the ups, downs, adventures, and triumphs of drummer Bob, comic CJ, actor and educator Robert, and singer TL.

  • My Deaf Friend Can Do Anything You Can Do (Book)

    Misconceptions and stereotypes can get in the way of building better understanding. This children’s book offers an opportunity for the whole family to explore the experiences of those with hearing loss and gain greater appreciation for what everyone brings to the table.

  • Twenty Thousand Hertz (Podcast)

    Cool title, right? This podcast is all about sound — as in, what it is, how it works, how beings can hear, and so on. It breaks down interesting topics such as synesthesia — dig into the January 13, 2021, episode to learn more — and serves up backstories on well-known sounds you might recognize.


We hope you enjoy this summer list. You might come up with a few entries of your own, too! And remember, we’re here to help you get the most out of the season by hearing your best. Schedule a hearing evaluation with our caring team today.

*Viewer discretion advised for language or visuals.

Illustration of several people in workers' coveralls holding a variety of common home maintenance tools like a screwdriver, wrench, and hammer

6 Ways to Keep Your Hearing Aids in Their Best Shape

Does hearing technology call for ongoing professional upkeep? Can I handle any needed maintenance at home? How can I tell whether my devices are damaged? Where can I take them for replacement or repair?

Much like today’s tablets and cellphones, hearing aids are powered by complex technology that may require professional attention in certain circumstances, but a little DIY maintenance can go a long way in keeping your devices in top shape.

Self-care of your hearing aids is an important part of keeping them performing their best, and periodic clean and checks with our caring professionals help identify and address any damage or other problems that might otherwise be harder to spot. Read on for six simple tips to maximize your tech’s longevity.

    1. Keep ‘Em Dry and Sanitized
      Water is kryptonite to hearing aids, so remember to remove them before showering or swimming, and use a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier not only to reduce moisture but to sanitize your technology at the same time.

 

    1. Wipe Off the Wax
      Earwax (also called “cerumen”) naturally accumulates in the ear and on your hearing aid, but gently wiping your devices each night with a soft, dry cloth and clearing any crevices with the provided brush will make quick work of the buildup.

 

    1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
      It’s no surprise that storing your devices in excess heat — leaving them in a hot car, for example — can cause damage, but did you know that cold and wind can be a problem, too? Protect your hearing aids from spring chills by wearing a hat, scarf, or earmuffs.

 

    1. Check the Batteries
      Batteries typically can last from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the technology, usage, and other factors, but a constantly beeping hearing aid may mean the batteries need changing. Always keep spares on hand — or consider rechargeable hearing aids — and remember to remove and store batteries at room temperature apart from your devices when not wearing them.

 

    1. Replace the Wax Guard
      If your technology isn’t functioning properly even with fresh batteries, it may be time to change the wax guard — which helps protect against the damaging accumulation of wax, skin particles, and debris. Put your hearing aid’s wax guard on a monthly change schedule.

 

  1. Skip the Pockets
    Pockets seem naturally convenient for carrying loose hearing aids and batteries while on the go, but not so fast! Keep your devices in their case to avoid losing or getting debris on them, and place batteries where they won’t come into contact with keys, coins, and other metals, which can cause battery discharge and other problems.

If you have questions about hearing aid maintenance, please let us know. And don’t forget to schedule your devices for a professional clean and check at least once every six months. We’re here to help!

Disposable vs. Rechargeable: Should I Get Rechargeable Hearing Aids?

Should I Get Rechargeable Hearing Aids? Rechargeable hearing aids are becoming more common. It’s natural to assume they’re the preferred model. But is that true? Check out our breakdown to see if rechargeable is the way to go. You might decide traditional disposable batteries fit your needs better.


Disposable vs. Rechargeable

Disposable

A disposable battery sits in a compartment in the hearing aid. You can easily access it via the battery door. When the hearing aid loses power, you switch out the battery for a fresh one.

Rechargeable

Rechargeable batteries are sealed inside the hearing aid. There’s no battery door, so you can’t access the battery. When the hearing aid loses power, you put the hearing aid on or in a charging station to recharge it.


Why Would You Prefer Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries?

More hearing aid styles

Disposable batteries are the norm for any hearing aid style. Rechargeables, however, are only available for behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal styles.

User control

If you’re already used to carrying around replacement batteries, you know the routine. It’s simple. It’s basic. No matter where you are, loss of power is no problem. Just pop in a new battery and go. When you’re used to the disposable routine, it’s tricky getting in the habit of charging your devices every night.

Less dependency

Disposable batteries are usually stored with the rest of your hearing care supplies. Everything is in one place. But a hearing aid charger usually sits on the bedside table, so it can easily be forgotten when packing for work or a vacation. Plus, the cord can become damaged, or the charger can stop working altogether. Then you’re stuck with no power!


Why Would You Prefer Rechargeable Hearing Aids?

Ease of use

Disposable batteries are tiny. The packaging can be complicated. If you have poor dexterity, whether from injury or age, that could be a deal-breaker. With rechargeables, you simply place the devices on the charger before you go to sleep. When you wake, you’ll have all-day power.

Safer for children and pets

Disposable batteries are the perfect size and shape to entice tiny hands and mouths. If swallowed, however, they’re extremely dangerous. Rechargeable hearing aids, which should be either in your ears or in the charger at any given time, are far less likely to be accidentally swallowed.

Environmentally friendly

One rechargeable hearing aid goes through one battery a year (give or take, depending on the model). One traditional hearing aid goes through 100 or so disposable batteries in the same amount of time. That’s a lot of waste.

Better for streaming

Bluetooth use and audio streaming drain your hearing aid batteries faster. If you plan to use either one often, rechargeables are a better bet. Instead of going through disposables faster, you can simply recharge your hearing aids.


Want to know more? There are lots of things to consider when looking for hearing aids. We’d be delighted to be your guide. Contact us today if you’re ready to start your better-hearing journey!

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

slug: new-tech-agxrh

cat: News – Technology

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