Loneliness and Hearing Loss

Loneliness and Hearing Loss

Loneliness and hearing loss, is there a connection? Yes. Before birth, humans connect to the world around them through their five senses and hearing is the most influential at that time of life. Hearing connects us to the world in many ways but the most valuable influences are the ones we share with family, friends and partners.

People usually love to talk to one another – telling jokes, stories or exchanging advice or ideas. With hearing loss, it can be hard to do these simple yet meaningful things. Without a tether, loved ones will drift away and leave behind a feeling of loneliness.

Feeling alone is never a good feeling but it can also have effects on the body too. Some signs of depression, anxiety and high blood pressure can be linked to loneliness as the starting factor. Quarantine procedures are definitely not helping those who find themselves with hearing loss. With social distancing and mask mandates, even reading lips can be a challenge.

Taking charge during any signs of hearing loss can prevent both loved ones from drifting away and any unwanted side effects of loneliness. Hearing aids can help a person stay connected to the world. Do not allow precious moments to slip away! Get a good quality hearing aid and enjoy life.

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Hearing Aid Maintenance

Hearing Aid Maintenance

Hearing aids are a significant hearing health investment.  If maintained and cared for properly they can last for many years.  SNA recommends for hearing aids to be checked at least twice a year.  However, in between checkups, it is imperative to keep the outer and inner workings of hearing aids clean.  Here are a few tips for keeping hearing aids clean and at their optimal performance.

Create a Cleaning Routine

Creating and following a routine while using proper tools like a hearing aid wax pick, wire loop, bulb blower and a cleaning brush are key.  Ears and skin naturally build up their own debris like oil and earwax while also being exposed to outside elements like dirt and dust.  Hearing aid openings, such as microphone ports, are most vulnerable to these potentially clogging elements. 

Starting off with clean, washed hands will help ensure no transfer of germs & bacteria are passed on to the device.  Follow manufacturer’s directions for each cleaning tool for best results.

Don’t Forget The Batteries

Remove batteries from hearing aids and leave them open overnight, this will help the battery compartment to air dry and extend the life of the battery.

Get Them Serviced

Keeping hearing aids clean and dry is not the end of all worries.  Sometimes, hearing aids will have problems too deep inside for the average user.  Make sure to have them serviced to ensure a well maintained device and crystal clear audio.

Keep Clear From Health and Beauty Products

Health and beauty products like topical ointments, lotions, makeup or hairspray can damage hearing aids or clog vital outputs on the device.  Be sure to remove hearing aids if using these products and to clean the area before putting them back in.

Hearing Aid Checkups

Hearing aids should be periodically checked to make sure they are performing correctly and meeting your hearing needs.  Southern Nevada Audiology recommends that hearing aids are checked twice a year.  At this appointment our audiologist will perform a listening check to make sure your hearing aid is functioning correctly.  At this appointment any ear domes and wax filters will be changed.  Our audiologist can also make any adjustments at this time to make sure you are hearing clearly and comfortably.

Please schedule your hearing assessment / checkup today!  Learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.

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Phones for Hearing Impaired

Phones for Hearing Impaired

Hearing loss can make conversations over the phone nearly impossible without a specialty phone. Home phones with enlarged buttons and special speakers that are louder than the average home phone are an invaluable tool to those with hearing loss. These specialty phones help keep users in touch with work, family and friends easily with features like TTY and Relay services.

Cell phones, on the other hand, can sometimes be an entirely different story. While cell phones designed for users with hearing impairment are available, they often lack the many advantages of other types of phones. Likewise, most cell phones are not designed with hearing impaired users in mind.

As technology advances, improvements to cell phone programming are being made.  Most cell phones allow users to zoom in and make text, keyboards and numbers larger and easier to see.  TTY services are an option that can be automated instead of requiring a lengthy set up.

Bluetooth hearing aids are also an option. Choosing a bluetooth hearing aid with a telecoil is advised as telecoils, or t-coils, do not pick up feed back or make any unwanted whistling sounds. Cell phones also come with an M-rating which measures a phone’s resistance to interference. Cell phones with M-ratings of at least 5 are resistant to most interference and are a good choice for hearing aid users who prefer a microphone setting.

Call us today to learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.

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Ears Are AMAZING

Ears Are AMAZING

Ears are amazing at adapting to the environment around them. In loud environments, the first reaction most people have is to cover their ears in an attempt to block the sound. Overwhelming volumes can initially cause a ringing sound or painful sensation but the ear will adapt until the sounds become more bearable and the volume becomes less noticeable. 

Something similar happens in quiet environments as well. At night, when it is very quiet and calm, sounds that hardly register during the bustle of the day are suddenly loud and clear. Things like the rustle of leaves outside or the tick of a clock are now more noticeable in this environment.

At times like these, the ears try to adjust to a lot of different stimuli all at once. Unfortunately, this over stimulation can help contribute to hearing loss. One should use a sound blocking headphone to help control the external noises.

Please schedule your hearing assessment / checkup today!  Learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.

Phone: 702.990.1568 • www.snaudiology.com

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Listening Environments

Listening Environments

Days can begin quiet and quickly change as they progress.  A combination of usual background noises, conversations, outside noises, television and music can offer challenges for those with hearing loss.  Listening environments vary from person to person.  Some people have very high demanding environments and others have low demanding environments.  Click here to learn more about listening environments.

Hearing Aids are now customizable to fit anyone’s lifestyle.  Today’s hearing aids are packed with more features to help hear in difficult listening environments.   Plus, they are rechargeable, nearly invisible and provide a more coherent natural listening experience.

Give Southern Nevada Audiology a call to learn more about the advancements in hearing aids.

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Ear Health

Ear Health

A healthy ear is a clean ear.  Properly caring for them can help prevent hearing loss and ear infections.

Ears are meant to have some wax within them. Earwax is like a trap that helps prevent harmful things that could get into the body such as foreign objects and bacteria.  Usually, earwax or cerumen will leave through natural daily tasks like speaking or chewing but other times there may be an excess amount of it.

There are a couple of signs that there might be a build up of earwax. The first thing most people might think are symptoms are earaches, itchiness, a bit of hearing loss and maybe even ear infections but other symptoms can include Vertigo and Tinnitus. Vertigo is described as dizziness or a spinning sensation similar to standing up too fast or spinning around in a circle. Tinnitus is when a ‘ringing’ sound is heard with no external source. Most of the time, these can be taken care of  by having the ears seen by a audiologist who will then decide which treatment is best.

Sometimes the build up of earwax happens because of outside circumstances like water finding its way into the ear or a change in temperature. Other conditions of the ear, from bony growths to narrow or hairy ear canals, can also play a factor in causing a build up.

Interestingly, the most common reason for a wax build up is due to people cleaning their ears with a Q-Tip.  Q-Tips should not be used inside the ear canal as this can actually push the earwax deeper into the ear and cause build up. The best way to clean ears at home is by using ear drops.

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Lip Readers, Hearing Impaired & Masks

Lip Readers, Hearing Impaired & Masks

Masks, while integral to the protection of the user and the slowing of the spread of viruses, can make it challenging to hear people. It muffles the speaker’s voice, covers their mouth and makes it impossible to lip read. For people who rely on lip reading to communicate, this usually spells the death of the conversation and the birth of frustration between the parties. 

Despite this obstacle, there are still many ways to communicate. A common method is using pen and paper, a dry erase board or even a notepad application on a phone or tablet.

Other high tech options include speech to text applications that will ‘listen’ to what is being said and convert it to text. This can be used for both parties in the conversation as these applications usually also convert text to speech. It would be best to practice using the applications at home so the process is familiar and easy when needed. For use, simply activate the application then hold the microphone as close to the person talking as possible while keeping appropriate social distance.

Hearing aids are still a contender in the fight against failed communication but these devices often have a short distance where they are most effective. Make sure to be cautious when removing a mask to avoid losing a hearing aid. Tying the mask around the back of the head versus looping behind the ear will help prevent any losses or damages to a hearing device. 

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Face Masks & Hearing Aids

Face Masks & Hearing Aids

Care for our own safety and the safety of our community and loved ones encourages us to wear masks whenever we step out of our homes. It has been scientifically proven that masks greatly help control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, keeping it contained while also halting its advance.

The desire to connect with loved ones and our environment encourages the use of hearing aids. Sadly, wearing both masks and hearing aids can overlap in hazardous ways. Sometimes, removing masks can dislodge a hearing aid which can be hard to find if too much time passes between its loss and the realization that the device is missing.  The fallen hearing aid may even fall victim to pets who think they have found a new chew toy or curious young children who may not understand the importance the device holds.

It would be beneficial to double check that the hearing aids are still in place after the removal of a mask. It is also helpful to use a mask that ties around the head versus looping behind the ears to reduce any chances of interference with the hearing aids.

Whether the device is lost, damaged or not working right, we here at Southern Nevada Audiology will be more than happy to solve the problem and get life back on track!

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Listen Up - Hearing Health

Listen Up - Hearing Health

Ears are resilient yet delicate organs that can recover from common problems like tenderness or ‘ringing’ in the ears on their own. Some common problems surprisingly have easy solutions. The ‘popping’ in ears when driving around mountains or scuba diving can be combated by slowing your ascent or descent which allows your ears to naturally adjust to the change in pressure. Headphones that produce white noise or cancel sound all together can help after exposure to lots of noise like at a concert or around construction.  Ears and sinuses are connected, clearing your sinuses may help restore hearing related issues.

However, if problems persists, it might be time to start asking different questions.

Age, medication and genetics are things to consider. Do you have relatives who experience hearing loss? How old were they when it started? What medications do you take? Medication for high blood pressure, kidney issues or diabetes can sometimes have an affect on your hearing. If you take any of these medications and experience hearing loss, it would be best to talk to your doctor about it.

What about the inside of your ear?

Sometimes, the problem can exist within the ear itself in the form of abnormal bone growth or impacted earwax and would definitely require a visit to the doctor to safely assess. Trying to solve it without the aid of a qualified professional can result in damaged hearing or even loss of equilibrium and balance.

Our ears are how we connect to the world around us and losing that connection can be scary. Take charge of your hearing health and learn the facts.

Please schedule your hearing assessment / checkup today!  Learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.

Phone: 702.990.1568 • www.snaudiology.com

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TV Volume & Hearing Aids

TV Volume & Hearing Aids

Stay at home order has families spending extra time together.  While great memories are being created those with hearing aid issues can have a different experience.  The volume on the TV or a mobile device might be an indication of a hearing issue or a hearing aid on the fritz. 

If you find a loved one does not seem to be paying attention, is having trouble communicating or raises the volume way too loud then they might have a hearing problem. Try turning on closed captions for them so they will not be tempted to raise the volume. When talking to them, make sure you are in their line of sight and your lips are visible so they can read your lips which will help them to better understand you. 

If you or a loved one already have a hearing aid but find your hearing aid simply is not helping, then it may be time to have it checked out. Just like any technical device, a hearing aid is an invaluable tool and should be treated as such with regular cleaning, maintenance and proper handling.

Experiencing problems with your hearing or hearing aids?  Give Southern Nevada Audiology a call!

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