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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Hearing Loss During Stay At Home Order

Hearing Loss During Stay At Home Order

Staying physically active and socially engaged may be more challenging at this time but not impossible! Here are a few tips to stay active physically, socially and mentally during the Stay at Home Order.

The most fundamental tip would be to create a new routine, one that takes into consideration all the things you need throughout the day such as keeping in touch with family and friends, staying physically active and learning new things. Although you may have a lot on your plate, make sure you always make time to enjoy a meal, clean up and relax.

One of the best ways to wind down after exercising or engaging in a favorite hobby is to call someone. This is easy to do while maintaining social distancing.  Face timing over the phone or computer, is a better choice, if you rely on facial cues and lip reading to help you hold a conversation. If they are busy, send them an email or a text and it will be the same as sending a letter without the pesky trip to the post office.

One of the most important things you could do during this time is to create an emergency plan. Keeping your pantry stocked of supplies such as food, water, soap, paper towels and even batteries for your hearing aid is a great way to plan ahead.

Doing your best to help slow the spread of COVID-19 will not be easy but if we all do our part, we will get it done! Enjoy your new routine and party responsibly with your friends and family, at a distance. Should you experience any problems with your hearing aids, you are welcome to give Southern Nevada Audiology a call!

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How Hearing Aids Can Relieve Symptoms of Tinnitus

How Hearing Aids Can Relieve Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person perceives sound that is not actually present in the environment. It is often described as “ringing in the ears” but can include virtually any type of sound including whooshing, hissing, or whistling. Tinnitus is a common health issue that impacts between 10 – 30% of people.  According to the American Tinnitus Association, about 80% of tinnitus patients report relief by utilizing hearing aids. Sound therapy also helps, which is sometimes built into devices or via an app, and adjust sounds corresponding to personal preference. As a result, people experience a reduction in the harshness of tinnitus.

Hearing aids can help reduce the experience of tinnitus by subtly magnifying background sound to help reduce the perception of tinnitus. This means the brain can concentrate on the preferred sounds to hear instead of the sound of tinnitus.

Hearing aids can additionally help keep tinnitus from obstructing with the ability to partake in conversations and other social situations by gently amplifying sounds that are aimed right at the ear. This will help focus on the clarity of speech, the television, or anything else there is a struggle to hear, instead of tinnitus. If these desired sounds are rendered to be slightly louder than tinnitus symptoms, then it will no longer disrupt the capability to enjoy desired sounds.

In an article by scientists Heller and Bergman, they revealed that 94% of people with regular hearing experienced tinnitus when in a quiet atmosphere. With these quiet conditions, the brain can pick up on active soft-level sounds that we do not register in a loud world. Therefore, if hearing loss is not being appropriately amplified, the experience we have in more quiet environments can make tinnitus more noticeable.

Many of today’s hearing aids contain a technical element intended to precisely work with a person’s tinnitus. They emit white noise or synthetic sounds directly into the ear to deliver a sound designed to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio of the vexing tinnitus sound. This form of tinnitus treatment helps reorient the brain to “turn down” the volume of tinnitus symptoms throughout daily living. Hearing aids that link to cellphones can also play sounds to promote a sound-enhanced environment through specialized smartphone apps. Make an appointment with Southern Nevada Audiology to discuss options for further assistance and help with treating tinnitus.

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The Importance Of Utilizing Hearing Aids

The Importance Of Utilizing Hearing Aids

When hearing aids are medically advised to be worn, it is not just to help people hear better. It also helps maintain what hearing capacities remain. Neglecting instruction to wear aids is likely to result in further hearing loss. It is important to wear them, as it helps to maintain strong and healthy social connections, making conversations easy to follow.

Hearing loss does not have to be the course plotted to sail. The stress that comes with consistently misunderstanding discussions can altogether be avoided. These devices not only aid in hearing, but safety as well.

According to Ivy League research[1], the incidence of Alzheimer’s, Dementia and cognitive decline is all mitigated by adopting the habit of wearing hearing aids. Serious implications may be avoided for those who seek out proper care.

With the help of hearing aids, lives become enriched. Deeper social and professional connections can result from the clarity of sound.

To get the most out of hearing aids, everyday use is a must. With consistency, an audiologist is better able to fine-tune and calibrate hearing aids. These adjustments are made to the patient’s personal needs and preferences.

Proper maintenance is also mandatory, for long-lasting effectiveness. Ask Southern Nevada Audiology for tips on proper use and keeping the device clean.


[1]Lin FR, Yaffe K, Xia J, et al. Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(4):293–299. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1868

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